Mama (Anne) & Reese

Daddy (Mike) & Lilly


This book is a MUST read for all interested in Ethiopian adoption.

Melissa Fay Greene

Here's a great video summary of the book by MF Greene and here is the full length version

Thursday, November 30, 2006

paperwork, paperwork, paperwork....

This is when things started getting really busy. For several months we spent countless hours per week completing our agency application and foreign dossier-sometimes 20 or more hours in a single week: filling out paper work, going to doctor's appointments, requesting birth and marriage certificates, getting fingerprinted by citizenship and immigration, the police, and the FBI, writing mini-biographies, etc...the list goes on and on. There are so many steps to this process!!! We had visits from the social worker and inspections by the Fire Department, and the Montgomery County Dept of Housing. Though it seems to involve many steps, I am glad that the process is thorough. I have also never had to have so many documents notarized before! Special thanks to those who helped us complete this arduous process: Thanks, Liz for the many times you allowed us to exploit your certification as a notary and have you come over and notarize documents for us. Thanks for all of the super kind letters of recommendation from friends and family: the Riveras, Ugolinis, Bruce C., Lemlem, the Sheads, and Teri and another thanks to the Ugolinis for enduring a face to face interview with our social worker. We really appreciate you all your confidence in us and support. We're getting excited!!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

the gladney center it is!

Oct 2006: We chose the Gladney Center for adoption located in Fort Worth, Texas to facilitate the adoption. We received the first package of paperwork and made our first payment to the agency. Again, there were many things that lead us to choose Gladney, but this decision was without a doubt a great one! The first woman that I spoke with from the agency who works with east coast families was very helpful and made me feel well taken care of. After a glowing recommendation from a woman who had just used Gladney to adopt her little girl, we made the decision. Whew! I am glad that decision has been made.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

information gathering

July, August, and September: During these months, we began doing research on different adoption agencies that facilitate adoption between Ethiopia and the US. There aren't a ton of agencies that do so, as US adoption from Ethiopia is relatively new. However, as time proceeds more agencies seem to be opening up programs... it's amazing how fast it is growing! The internet is such a priceless tool for families who want to adopt! We found out about agencies, the adoptions process "at-a-glance" and then eventually joined an online group of local (mid-atlantic area) families who have or are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia! We attended a potluck dinner with the group and got to meet many wonderful families and learn more about the process. Now, we just need to chose an adoption agency!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

we've decided to adopt

Our 4th wedding anniversary. Over a wonderful anniversary dinner in Bethesda, MD, Mike and I made the decision to expand our family through adoption! Ever since we were engaged, we had discussed the idea of adopting a child. We knew that it was something that we both wanted to do at some point in our lives. We wanted to provide a home and loving family to one of the millions of children that may otherwise not have either. We recognize that we have been very fortunate in life - in our family, our friends, and our circumstances - and so we want to share what we have. We've had many friends and even family members adopt domestically and internationally and we've seen what a blessing it is for everyone involved. We also decided that taking this course in our life would be an opportunity for us to live out our beliefs. "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. " - James 1:27 During the month of June, we began doing research on countries that are potential options for adoption, including the US, and where the greatest needs are. We learned that Ethiopia has allowed international adoption for several years. We learned that there many many children in need of adoption in Ethiopia, and that the culture is such that, though the people are often very poor, they value children and tend to treat them as kindly as they are able, even in the orphanages. Everyone who decides to adopt is faced with many decisions (above and beyond the first big decision to adopt); such as the country from which to adopt, age range of the child, etc... It's a touch decision and ultimately we just chose what felt best for our family of three. We cannot adequately explain every single thing involved in our decision to pursue Ethiopian adoption, but once we did, there was no turning back. Ironically, we remembered that our very first date (on January 1, 2000) was at an Ethiopian Restaraunt in Adams Morgan, Washington, DC! A little bit of foreshadowing, I guess. On that particular day over 6 years ago, we never could've known then that we'd get married, have one beautiful daughter named Reese and eventually have another daughter born in Ethiopia! So... This is the day that the official process began.