Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A taste of Ethiopia

While we are waiting for our adoption to move along, Tor and I have kept busy learning more about the country of Ethiopia and reading books on being the world's most awesome parents...or at least just being parents.  I am learning more about Attachment Parenting, and agree with probably 80% of it.  I remember hearing babies crying when I was younger and it would make me soooo sad.  I just thought "they clearly don't understand what is going on and why you are not picking them up...so just pick them up already!" Maybe I am just too sensitive and my children will be spoiled rotten.

As you may know, one of Tor's favorite activities is...basketball, video games, comic books, EATING.  You guessed it!  So, this weekend we treated ourselves to a little Ethiopian cuisine at Cafe Colucci in Berkeley.


Injera = your knife, spoon, and fork :)
 Just being in the restaurant made me feel at home and somehow connected with our Ethiopian 'child-to-be'.  The food was awesome, and the people were great.  I can't wait to take our children to eat there, although the Honey Wine is just for mama!!  While we were there, Tor and I took turns looking at the menu and quizzing each other on the different foods.  (Honey Wine and short-term memory games do not go well together)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Waiting and waiting...wrapped in Red Tape (rant)

I will never understand why there is so much waiting involved in the adoption process, unnecessary waiting and frustratingly slow U.S. federal departments!  We are on week 4 of waiting for an appointment card to come in the mail so we can go have our fingerprints scanned for the THIRD TIME during this process.  Why the h*ll didn't the first two sets count??  Consolidate the process, please!!  Sorry - very frustrated as you can see.  Then, we have to wait another month for them to approve the fingerprints and send us an approval.  Really?  All for $890...yeah, you  read that right.

I hate sitting around waiting for the mailman, I feel like its the first of the month and I'm waiting on my County check...

These are actual lives we are talking about...let's step it up people.

Friday, February 17, 2012

One step closer...still seems so far away

Ethiopian Adoption 2012: Checklist on the Fridge

Today I mailed our 11 pg. home study off to USCIS (immigration) which will hopefully give us some good karma for our fingerprint appointment to come in the mail.  This also marks the official end to my hunting and gathering phase!  All the official documents have been obtained and now we just need to pay someone another $400 to prove they are real...again.

21 original documents signed and notarized!

After immigration approves us to adopt an orphan (hopefully 30 days), Tor and I will drive all the paperwork to Sacramento for the great California State Seal.  Then the documents will be off to Ethiopia and we will officially become a waiting family.  Technically, they will be hand-delivered to Washington D.C. to obtain the great Federal Seal.  So...60 days from now (hopefully) we will be sitting by the phone everyday waiting for a 703 area code to tell us a baby is waiting for us bring them home.  In the meantime, I am also working on ways to fund this adoption.  I am working on various adoption grant applications, and keeping my fingers crossed that the federal adoption credit will be extended.

We are so excited, and anxious, and all of the other feelings that come up during this process.  It has also brought up a lot of sad feelings about our baby girl Cali that we lost 8 months ago.  Some days I miss her all over again as if we lost her yesterday.  I just cant believe it happened, it is almost like it happened to someone else.  If I have to find a 'silver lining' in all of it, it is that we are adopting a child that needs us from another country, forgotten by so many of us here in the comfort of our cozy homes halfway around the world.  They say things happen for a reason and I have to remind myself of that often just to make it through the day.  

Sunday, February 5, 2012

While We Wait (1)

The Home Study will be complete this week, the official forms have all been gathered, and we are basically just waiting for our immigration to say we are eligible to adopt an orphan.  From the recent blogs I have read, most people have this in about 60 days from mailing in the form (I-600A).  We mailed ours on Jan 23rd so fingers crossed that by March 23rd we will have our approval in-hand and can send all our forms off to the U.S. and Ethiopian governments.  Patience is not my strongest trait...by far.  I want everything done NOW, and nothing drives me crazier than indecision and inaction  (Breathe Drea).  So, I am doing what I do best...over-analyzing every possible scenario and reading every book, article, blog, and post-it note that references Ethiopian adoption!

Here are some of the things occupying my time...


This is the best book I've read in a long time...it is the story of one woman in Ethiopia opening her heart and home to the orphans in her country.  However, the story is told in the broader context of the history of Ethiopia and  AIDs epidemic.  I cant even summarize the power of this book in one blog post.  Tor is reading it now, and I've seen him pick it up to read instead of playing video games...which says a lot these days.

This book is by the same author, but reveals the lighter side of the adoption journey.  She and her husband, a white Jewish couple in Atlanta have 4 "bio" children, a boy from Bulgaria, and 4 children from Ethiopia.  The book is so heartwarming and hilarious!

This is my current book, about a doctor who is actually mentioned in the first book I listed.  He moved to Ethiopia and ended up formally adopting (5) boys (the legal limit) and informally caring for many more.  He is pretty damn awesome too!


Very informative (and its a black mom and white dad...HA!)

Super-cute twins adopted by a rather witty and fun-loving couple

I love these...prepare to be moved

and then just a random favorite...Daddy and twin time