November 27, 2008

December hope?

So I just got some amazing news from our caseworker at Imagine.

Our court date is set for December 26th!!!

The reason why I was told January is kind of a long story so I will spare you the details. However, I will say that our agency has now changed their policies and will be telling waiting parents their exact date of court!

Now we just pray that our case is not only heard that day but that it also goes through and that every piece of paper is in place and everything that needs to happen that day will happen. It seems like there is no rhyme or reason whose court will go through and whose will not. My heart continues to break for the families caught in court closures and that are still waiting today...

It's hard to both get excited and yet remain aware of the fact that we may have to keep waiting. Our anniversary is Dec.27th so this would be a great anniversary gift (not to mention Christmas)!!!! My biggest fear is that if we don't get through, follow up court dates are taking so long to book that our next date might not be till the end of January or February!

If court goes through on December 26th Samuel Meseret will legally be our son and we will announce our new name for him!!!
Stay tuned...

November 26, 2008

Happy 3 months Samuel!!!

We love you! (sending you hugs right now) xoxoxoxo

November 24, 2008

FAQ #2...

A. “So will you have him home by Christmas?”
B. “When will you bring him home?”
C. “Do you have to go to Ethiopia to get him?”

Mike and I have been asked these questions a lot lately and I don’t think I’ve ever properly addressed it here on my blog so I am finally going to!

First of all, question A is slightly annoying to hear because it brings up the ever-present pain of the fact that NO we won’t have him home for Christmas. If we were we would probably be telling you and be talking about booking flights and how excited we are, etc, etc. So no, we won’t have him home by Christmas. Please ask again in a more open-ended way.

Question B. Yeah! This is a much better way of asking!!!
From the time we received our referral for Samuel we were quoted 4-6 months (Feb-April) for travel. Of course, this is international adoption so we know that nothing is set in stone.

Let me break down what has to happen in order for us to travel in 4-6 months:

First, we must have a successful court date proving that the adoption is legal and ethical. This takes 2-3 months and we just found out that our first court date will be in January (3 months from referral…. already on the long side of things so we are praying it will go through on the first appointment and not require another one weeks later!). This is the most important step and the reason why it takes so long is because everyone in the world who is adopting from Ethiopia goes through the same courthouse in Addis and the same judge (that I know of). So yeah, it’s a slow process. But I respect it and the way Ethiopia desires to make sure each child is placed in a loving home and that each adoption is completely ethical in every way. If there is a grandma or relative for Samuel that decides she wants to raise him, then she will have the opportunity to come to court and claim him as her child. Although this will be extremely heart breaking for us, we know that it is in the best interest of the child: to be with family. Adoption is not about finding a baby for a waiting couple; it is about finding a family for a child.

During the wait for court we are also waiting for our “request for medical” to be issued (immigration medical exam), completed and sent to our agency. This should happen within the wait for court. If not, then we must continue to wait for this medical to be completed after court.

After court and medical, our documents will finally be sent to Nairobi, Kenya where the Canadian High Commission office will issue the visa. This begins the immigration process so that Samuel will be allowed into Canada. We are going to be bringing him into Canada through a process called PRV: the lovely Permanent Resident Visa. Part of this also means waiting for Samuel’s passport and birth certificate to be printed. As you can tell there is a lot of waiting involved. The estimated wait for this is anywhere from 6 to the dreaded 16 weeks. It’s really hard to say. We know families that have had their documents done in 3 weeks and their visa in 3 more. But there are also heart-breaking stories of families waiting 12 weeks for their visa. We are praying that we won’t be one of them but know that sometimes things just don’t go as you hope or pray. I have a wee bit less patience with this side of the wait (versus the wait for court) because it is the Canadian government that is taking their sweet time to let us bring our babe home! I seriously get so angry when I read on American blogs how families after court travel within 3 WEEKS!!!! It’s just not fair!!! But of course we know it will be worth it. And we’ve heard that once you pick up your child all of this waiting disappears…. I’ll let you know if that happens.

As for question C, yes we will go to Ethiopia to bring him home but we don’t see it as “have to” we see it as “get to”. We are beyond excited to travel to Ethiopia and consider it a great privilege and honour to spend time there.

And just so you know, we love your questions. I think it is just like a pregnant women who gets constantly asked about her due date. Sometimes it is great, and some days it is frustrating if you ask it in a way that looks like you think she is way too big or way too small for how far along she says she is. I know tons of pregnant women that become upset when people make “assumptions” and I think that is how I feel about our adoption too. Please don’t assume, just ask. And save your comments of “well I know a couple who waited 3 years to bring their child home and then the country shut down” or “I know someone whose adopted child ended up burning their house down” for when you are at home and not talking to an adoptive parent. We’ve heard the horror stories and we don’t care. I could tell you a million horror stories about giving birth but I wouldn’t do that to you.

November 17, 2008

Images of Ethiopia...

I thought I would post this video that I got off of Amy Bottomly's blog. She is helping fundraise for Children's Hope Chest in Ethiopia. I thought some of you might like to see more footage of Ethiopia and the beautiful people and kids.... enjoy!!!
And if you want more information on sponsoring the many kids that are in these orphanages go to

November 13, 2008

"sometime in January"

....we are going to have our first court date. And hopefully if all goes well it will be our only court date.

Originally I thought 2-3 months for court, but then our agency said 1-2 and I got all excited, and now today I was told that we received a much later court date than expected and that it will be "sometime in January". My heart just sank when I read those words. Now that the hope has been killed for a court date before Christmas I feel so discouraged.

Of course, this week has been even more brutal on my dear adopting friends who not only got their referrals during court closures but now didn't get through their first court date and may have to wait till January 1st for their next one. It's just not right! Why can't there be more court-houses and judges in Addis?!?! It's so frustrating.

So now I wonder what is "sometime in January". January is a long month people. There are 31 days!!! If we have to wait till January 8th that is 8 weeks. January 28th would be 11 weeks from now!!!!!!! 11 weeks!!!!

I some how need to find a way to distract myself. And I think I am going to be taking down my desktop photo at work tomorrow. I just can't quite do that anymore.

Knowing that Samuel is completely oblivious to this somehow helps a bit. I know he's probably just sleeping or eating or babbling to his caretakers right now... and one day we'll walk into his room and pick him up and become his parents.

November 11, 2008

November update on Samuel!!!

To my surprise, when I opened my email this morning I found an update with new photos of our little man! I just started screaming. It is so amazing to see how he has grown!

So here are some new things we've learned about Samuel:

He babbles!!!

Weight: 9.9 pounds (he's gained 2lbs 5oz since his 15 day weight and his face is way more round!!!)

Length: 56.5 centimeters

Head circumference: 39.5 centimeters

Vaccines: it looks like he's had two vaccinations done for a total of 7 needles??? If I am reading the chart right. Whatever it is, I hope his caretaker was extra sweet to him that day.

He's really cute.

We have prints of his tiny little hands and feet.

No new curls, maybe a few less!

(more shots of friends & family seeing our referral pictures)

In other news, it looks like 6 families (that received their referrals in the summer during court closures) passed court today. I am so happy for them all. Of course, there are still many more families that are still waiting to hear and one family that I know of who have a rescheduled date for December 31st! Eeek! I am praying that we have a court date before Christmas, but part of me wonders now if it won't be till after. I'm managing to feel pretty peaceful about it all though. So far the wait has been like the beginning of the referral wait: exciting. I'm sure as we move closer it will change to something more along the lines of torture/agony.