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.