Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Working on Nursery

I cleaned out "Ollie's Room" this weekend in preparation for a nursery. I'm sticking with the light blue on the walls so I don't have to paint. The bedding set I picked out is a safari theme (going with my favorite - giraffes) in blue and yellow gingham--like the picture on the right. I already have a couple of stuffed giraffes and the carved ones Dad brought me from Kenya. I want to get the picture of the mother giraffe bending over the baby giraffe for the wall. So far the only thing in the room is a white rocker (redistributed from the porch--very comfortable and Mom is going to make cushions to match the curtain already hanging). There is a small bookshelf with lots of kids books--thanks to years of collecting and a quick trip to the Green Valley Book Fair. And tonight I ordered a crib and changing table/dresser online. I found the one I wanted (Storkcraft Rochester) and hunted around to find prices that were good and reasonable shipping. I succeeded after several hours.

I know it is a little early to get the nursery ready but I need something to do. My first home study appointment isn't until April 5th and, until I get my birth certificate in the mail, none of my other paperwork can be started. So at least starting on the big stuff in the nursery makes it feel like I'm moving forward.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Children's Hope

Here is the website for the agency I am using. They also have a "sponsor-a-child" program if anyone is interested in helping a great cause.

Where is Ethiopia?

Here is a map of Ethiopia. When it is time to go, I will be told what date to be in the capital Addis Ababa. I will be met there and then taken to wherever my child is located. Once I hit the airport, everything is arranged by Children's Hope until the time I go back to the airport to leave.

Starting out!

Well, this is my first post and I will try to bring you up to speed. I have been officially approved today from the last person (the director of the Ethiopian program). The agency is still waiting on their final set of signatures from the Ethiopian Ministry of Justice for their accreditation. Nothing can go forward until that happens but it should be done any day now and I still have a couple of months of paperwork to do anyway. I have kind of been greenlighted to be part of the "pilot" group of about 25 families that can go ahead and do my paperwork and then submit when it's done or the accreditation comes through (whichever is last). This "pilot" group is made up of families thatwill represent America well and build a good reputation with Ethiopia to develop a strong program for future families--something like that! Why I got chosen for this...I don't know. (Dad, I think this had something to do with you because I mentioned in my application that you were planning to come with me and you had been to Kenya twice...they seemed to feel this would be very beneficial to me. So, thanks for laying the never know how things you do will affect things later!).

The next step is to do my home study (no, this does not mean they come in and study my home). This consists of gathering documents that verify my life; financial statements, employment verification, criminal history checks, reference letters, etc. They also have you write an autobiography and question you on things about how you were raised, how you plan on raising a child, how you feel about transracial adoption, etc. After the home study is done, I complete my dossier. The dossier consists of the home study plus all the "government" stuff. Fingerprints, INS clearance, passport, birth certificate, etc. All this has to be quadruple checked, notarized, authenticated, etc etc etc. All this could take 2-6 months. After that, I wait for my referral.

A referral is when a child is chosen for you. They send you a picture, medical profile, and any other info they have (all children are tested for HIV, Hepatitis, TB, and syphilis). If you accept the referral, you fly to Ethiopia within about 2 months to get your kid. Because I'm in the "pilot" program and they have already established their program in the orphanages over there, the referral will only take about 0-3 months!! Usually this take 3-6 (or 12-24 months in some countries). Because I'm asking for an infant girl, it could take a little longer than 3 months.

The Ethiopian government is closed from July to mid-Sept. for break. So no adoptions can be finalized during this time. Referrals can still be issued but children can not leave the country so it looks like it will be at least October or later. Which is not that far away...hope I'm ready!!!!! Then again it could take until next year depending on any obstacles I hit. So, one step at a time.