Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Our DC Visit!

Ryan and I had a great time touring DC, seeing the monuments, visiting the Smithsonian Museum and of course making a stop at the Ethiopia Embassy. One of the highlights was our cab driver on the way back from the embassy. He asked us what we were doing on International Drive and we shared that we were visiting the embassy. He then told us he was from Ethiopia and had been here for 20 years! He shared all about the culture and even told us that he was traveling to Ethiopia with his wife in December to adopt a baby! He offered us an interesting perspective and was very supportive of us. We are so thankful to have these experiences and can't wait to move forward in the process!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The beginning of our journey

Ryan and I are thrilled to announce that we have begun the process of adopting a baby from Ethiopia!

Getting to this point has seemed like a long journey of it’s own, many trials, many prayers. We’re officially on the road to adoption and are looking forward with eager expectation of what God is going to do through it. We’re so thankful for God’s leading us to this decision and opportunity.

Luckily, choosing a country was easy, after finding American World Adoption, through the 88.1 the Joy FM. Out of all of the international adoption program, Ethiopia was our best match, no questions asked!! Mainly due to the health and age of the baby, care of the orphanage, efficiency of the process, travel time, and cost. We have absolutely no doubt that we can love a child of any race. Although some may have concerns about having a multicultural family, we are confident that we can overcome these challenges. A huge factor that sold us on this country was that it’s one of the only countries that has a need of adopting infants. We’d be able to get a child anywhere from 3 months to 15 years old. We would LOVE to have an infant. Ethiopia is also one of the most affordable of all international adoptions. ($25-30K)

You can follow us every step along the way through this blog, if you’d like to! After being accepted by the agency (step completed!!!), we begin our homestudy. This can take up to 3 months, that consist of 3 intense interview by a social worker. They will talk to us about our motives for adoption, ability to parent a child, check out our home for cleanliness and safety, and write up an official report. While the homestudy is being written up, we can also be working on our dossier, which is a collection of about 20 documents that will be sent to Ethiopia to be approved by their government. Once our dossier is sent, the wait time for a referral from Ethiopia is currently 5-7 months. Upon receiving a referral, which will include a picture of the child and known medical/family history, we’ll need to accept or decline. Once accepted, we’ll buy plane tickets and make plans to travel to Ethiopia. The travel time in Ethiopia is about 7 days. Our agency will arrange everything from hotels to translators to food. We will be able to meet our child right away and spend time with them in their country while we wait for their government to finalize it all. We’ll travel to Addis Ababa, which is the capitol, and then take a day trip to see the orphanage in which our baby was cared for.

That is the basic information, I’m sure we’ll learn much more about the process as we move forward. Affording an International Adoption will be very challenging, however, we are trusting that the Lord will provide. We are working on a few fundraising efforts, in which we hope that you will participate. So we will pray and "wait upon the Lord."

Please follow along this journey with us! Feel free to write comments and ask questions as we look for encouragement and support through this process. We know that God has placed this on our hearts and we are eager to see his mighty hands work in our lives.

Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west...Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth-Isaiah 43:5-6

Love, Ryan and Ashlie