Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I have looked at her 12 photos about a million times.  I have been saying her name in my head all day, and I can see her smile when I close my eyes.  But I still cant believe we got the call today that will change our lives forever.  I know there are people who can feel "today is the day"...that was not me.  I was expecting to hear from Radu about our decision to possible accept 2 children, but I did not at all expect an email with "referral" in the subject line.  She is BEAUTIFUL!!  I will not be able to post any pics of her just yet, but trust me on this one...she is one adorable little girl.

So - next steps - we are meeting with a doctor from Children's Hospital tomorrow who will give us her opinion about her health based on the medical forms sent to us from the agency.  Then, assuming we accept the referral, we will wait for a court date in Ethiopia.  After that, we will return in 6-8 weeks to pick her up once her passport and VISA are ready at the Embassy.

I don't imagine that people who are not familiar with this process realize just how insane a 3-week referral is...adoptive parents will definitely get it :)  I think the average wait is about 6-9 months...3 weeks is crazy people.  CRAZY!  We are so lucky and so fortunate to have to come this far in barely 4 months, which really has kinda flown by.  Now, its on to the next step to bring our little "T" home with us forever.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Other People's Babies

Tor is CHEESING....he's going to be a great dad!
As most of you know, it has been a rough road as Tor and I have been trying to become parents for the last 18 months or so.  There have been some real low days, but some great days in between.  Lately - many of those days have been spent with the babies, toddlers, and teenagers.  They all crack me up!  I am happy to say, that the next best thing to being a proud mama...is being a proud "auntie".

Baby Lance 5 months ago...oh my he has grown since this photo

Lance is now in the stage where everything that looks interesting goes straight in his mouth, iPhones are no exception.  But the absolute best part of this video is just that incredible smile.  It makes my day!!

Lunch break with little Gemma


Serious Poker Face 

Tor and Lance..."Can I please put the button on your jacket in my mouth?"
Baby Aya napping in the sunshine

A blast from the past...me holding my little cousin Tay

Still a missing piece

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Help Save the Adoption Tax Credit!

As you are probably well aware by this point...international adoption is EXPENSIVE (between $25-$35K) and often cost is the major barrier keeping people from pursuing it. The federal tax credit has been a big help for many families, who often use the refund to adopt again in the following year! YAY!!! Well - 2012 is the last year that the adoption tax credit is being made fully available and we need help to see that it continues. From a fellow adoptive parent:

In 2013 the tax credit will be a maximum of $6,000 for parents adopting children with special needs. There will be no adoption tax credit available for all other adoptive parents beginning in tax year 2013.

We need everyone to sign this petition at


Additionally, there is a bill in Congress trying to get passed and if it goes through there will be a PERMANENT tax credit put in place.

Please consider taking a moment to sign the petition linked above. There are currently 25,000+ signatures on it...with a whole bunch more needed! Signing the petition takes about a minute, at the most. A small amount of time to lend a hand to the orphan crisis.

Please consider Facebooking, blogging and emailing friends and family asking them to join in. Feel free to link to this post. It doesn't matter if you have adopted, are adopting or hope to adopt....your help is still needed!

There are 163,000,000 reasons why signing the petition and praying for favor is a must!

Thank you sweet friends! And on behalf of the 163,000,000 orphans whose families will find them, thank you as well!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

An actual update

I spend my nights reading so many blogs of other families that have completed their adoption journey, or are getting close to bringing their children home, that I often forget to actually do some writing about our own journey.  It just seems that our waiting period is not as fun to read about...like reading about paint drying.

We did finally mail off all of our paperwork to the adoption agency last week, and Radu said that he sent everything off to Ethiopia (via D.C.) last Tuesday, and it arrived in Addis Ababa today!!  So now we are waiting to hear that it has been translated and registered by the Ethiopian government.  Then, we will officially become "waiting parents".  It does actually feel like a real step, to have everything out of our hands and just sit back and wait for the phone to ring (or an email to show up).

Tor and I have discussed names for our baby girl, hoping to keep her given name as a middle name at least.  I have been fighting the temptation to keep buying girl clothes (kinda).  I think we are doing well with being patient and trying to just enjoy each other.  Work has definitely been keeping both of us busy lately, and I will be in need of a vacation in the very near future.

We are also very excited about the trip to Ethiopia itself, as neither of us have been to any part of Africa.  I am sure it will be a very emotional trip and so I have tried not to make a long to-do list, but I think it is VERY important that we try to take in as much as we can while we are there.  Ethiopia will always be a part of our child's life, as well as our own.

I must admit, though I am excited and feeling very lucky to become a mother to a beautiful child in need, I am devastated that somewhere there is a mother realizing her poverty is too extreme to raise her own children.  Knowing that somewhere there is a mother dying of a disease she doesn't fully understand, or of a lifestyle she does not see a way out of.  It saddens me that one day I will have to tell such a sad story to my daughter, and explain to her why her birth mother and her 'forever mother' are two different people.  That could have been my life on the other side of the world, making what must be the hardest decision a parent must ever make.  I do not know who she is, but I already love this woman and feel for her.  I respect her, and I pity her.  I am angry and sad that adoption has become the only option for her, but I am making her a promise, that I will love her child with all my heart and until my last breath.  For I am grateful for the chance to become a mother to someone that needs all this love that I have to share.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

My T-shirt Model

Last month I designed some adoption t-shirts for Tor and I to wear in support of our journey.

Fundraiser Idea - We are thinking of selling to help with some of the adoption costs.