Monday, May 31, 2010

Hip, Hip, Horray!!!!

We have new best friends, the Johnson Family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They sent us 11 pictures and a video of our baby boy, Easton. We have spent ALL weekend staring at the new pictures and watching the video over and over again. We have never met the Johnson's and know little about them. They are adopting a 5 month old baby boy and decided to travel to Ethiopia for their court date. They actually received their referral before the cut off and did not have to appear in court but chose to be there anyway. We will find out today if they were lucky enough to pass the first time. Only 50% of families successfully pass court on their first try.

We are among the first 10 families EVER to appear in Ethiopian courts for our adoption. We have a conference call today at 3:00pm to learn the expected timeline. As always, there are expected delays, bummer!!! More to come tomorrow.

Our Tentative Plan is for Ashlie to travel to Ethiopia sometime after June 15th. Ryan will join her for the schedule court date, we are praying it is at the end of June or July. Ashlie will stay until her Mission Trip to Uganda on July 19th. She will then return to Ethiopia with the Mission Trip Team until August 1st. Our hope is for her to stay in Ethiopia until the end of August and then return home with Easton. That would be 63 days staying in Ethiopia with Easton!!!!! She will be staying at the Yebsabi Guest House and have the assistance of our agency's drivers and staff.
We'll see if our "plan" works out! Today's conference call will give us insight and help us nail down these "plans".

Thank you for your prayers and support,
Ashlie and Ryan, Easton's parents!!!!! Whoooo Hoooo!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dancing, Singing, Praising the Lord for His Blessings!

We are still smiling, crying, laughing and high-fiving over our beautiful son Easton!!!!! Today Ryan played "Everlasting God" on his guitar as we danced around and sung the lyrics!!! It's our adoption theme song! Come on, you know you want to sing along with us, "Strength will rise as we Wait upon the Lord, Wait upon the Lord, we will Wait upon the Lord" We are just 2 happy parents dreaming of the day we hold Easton in our arms!

Here is our first care package!!! Everything has to fit in one ziplock bag. We are sending it to a family who will be traveling to Ethiopia next week for their child's court date. We have also asked the family to take pictures and video of our baby! We can't wait to see more images of him!!! Ohhh, his eyes and smile!!! I need more of him!!!!! =)

As we happily wait, we are nesting!!! Here are some pictures of Easton's room, we hope he loves it!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Today was the day!!! God has blessed us tremendously today! Our hearts are overjoyed and we are absolutely grateful for God's timing for our baby Easton. 1 James 1:17 says, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." This is surely our scripture to cling to as we praise the Lord for Easton!!!

So, here's what happened: As I was driving home from work, around 4:00pm my phone rang. It was a (703) area code and I just stared at my phone. Suddenly, I took a deep breath and calmly answered. It was our sweet family coordinator Caitlin. Obviously, I wanted to scream, "IS THIS OUR REFERRAL CALL???", but somehow I composed myself and waited for her words. Then she said it, "Ashlie, this is your referral call!" Tears automatically streamed down my face and I tried to catch my breath. I cut across 2 lanes of traffic to pull into a gas station parking lot. She then attempted to call Ryan's cell phone to conference him in. She tried 3 times with no success!! (Come to find out, Ryan was downstairs at his office, getting a soda!!!!) In a panic, I accidentally hung up on Caitlin. Ugggh, this was NOT going as I had imagined. In a last minute effort I quickly texted Ryan "REFERRAL". Finally, we were able to get him on the conference call!!! Caitlin then informed us that our referral was for a baby boy, and I mean a baby, baby, baby boy!!!!! He is 7 weeks and 2 days old today!!!! He is one of the tiniest referrals we have seen!!!!! She couldn't stop telling us how precious his pictures were and how excited she was for us!!! Again, tears were uncontrollably coming down my cheeks! Luckily, I turned on my Flip video recorder and captured the whole thing to show Easton one day! (It's a little to emotional and raw for the blog, maybe one day....)

Ryan and I raced home, where my dear friend Nikki met us. She was the videographer of the moment we have been longing for (video below) As we opened the email we both nervously shook and held on to each other. Then, just like that, there he was, our baby Easton!!!!!!! He has beautiful, big, brown eyes and a toothless smile that will melt your heart!!! I wish I could accurately describe the smile he is giving us in one of the pictures. He looks so happy and alert, like he knows we are meeting him for the first time!

We have more details about Easton but cannot share them or his picture until we pass court and he is legally our son!!!! We will keep you updated on the next step in the process. Right now we are preparing to travel to Ethiopia in the next 4-6 weeks for his court date. Stay tuned!!!!
Here are pictures of Ryan and I signing our Referral Acceptance! Tomorrow I will be happily Fedexing it to American World Adoption Agency in Washington, DC!!!

We thank each of you for your prayers and support of our adoption process. It has been a long journey but today made it all worth it. Now we are preparing our hearts for meeting our son for the first time and bringing him home!!!!!!!!!
Love, Ashlie and Ryan

Seeing our Baby for the 1st time!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

4 month celebratory Ben and Jerry's

For all of our curious readers, we enjoyed Ben and Jerry's Crème Brûlée!!!!

Patiently waiting for Easton,

Monday, May 10, 2010

4 months

And just like that our 4 month anniversary of waiting has come and gone. (We are counting from the time that our paper chase ended and we could official receive a referral) So what is life like for the Fulmer's? We are constantly attached to our cell phones, waiting for Caitlin, our dear family coordinator, to call us with THE NEWS!!! Last week our agency had an abundance of referrals, court dates, and families meeting their children in Ethiopia. Unfortunately, we weren't included in the celebrations. However, our hearts are hopeful that our referral will be here in May! Maybe not today, not tomorrow or even this week, but eventually. We continue to cling on to the scripture Isaiah 40:31
"but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."

This was an excerpt of an email Ryan sent me this morning:
"It will happen in God's timing, not sooner, not later. Easton is being taken care of by people who love him at AWAA, so find comfort in that. We will be there to see him and know him as soon as we can. He is fine, just pray that he knows his forever parents love him."

I am so thankful to have such a compassionate husband who puts all of his Faith in the Lord. We are learning so much about each other through this process and are grateful for every emotion, conversation, and prayer we have had through it all.

Thank you for our continued prayer and encouragement!
Love, Ashlie

Saturday, May 1, 2010

#1 #1 #1 #1 #1 #1 #1

Get excited, we are #1 on the "unofficial waiting list"!!!!!!!!!!! What this means is that of all the families who have revealed themselves on our agencies' Yahoo group, we are the next family for a baby boy. We anticipate a call from our family coordinator Caitlin, who will say the words, "Fulmer's we have a referral for you." We will then cry, race home, and wait for her to email us a picture of our baby, medical information, and history. We will then decide if we want to accept the referral (obvious answer, YES!) and Fedex our written acceptance.

After we accept our referral we will not have a timeline or any idea when we will travel to Ethiopia for a few weeks. What the referral really means to us is that we are finally parents and have a son! Seeing Easton for the first time is something we have dreamt about for over 9 months now. We know the real excitement is meeting him for the first time but receiving our referral officially means we have a baby!!!!!
Thank you for all of your prayers and support. We are so close and cannot wait to see what God has planned!
Ashlie and Ryan