Lilypie Notes:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Other Blog

Now that we are home, this part of our adoption journey is over. So I will not be posting to this blog anymore. Please follow our lives at

Day 4

Day 4
I know that I blogged this one out of order, but thats because it was the hardest to talk about. Not because it was so busy or anything, but because there were so many emotions going through my mind.
Today was the day we left the city and headed out to Durame. This is a city that is about 5 hours outside of Addis. It is 10 miles off the highway on a dirt road, and is very isolated. The reason we went there, is that is where the intake center for Holt International Ethiopia is. What that means, is that is where the kids that are adopted  live before they come to Addis and the Transition Center. This is where they undergo the medical testing, and the court procedures that make the free for adoption.
This is also where the boys lived before, well close to it. They lived about 20 miles away in another village. This is also where we got to meet the birth Mother. This was a bittersweet experience for us. We were nervous, but also excited. We walked into a room with about 8 other birth parents. We looked around, trying to find which one was the boys birth Mom. But we did not see her. We had to wait about 20 minutes, until it was our turn to go into a back room and meet with the 2 translators-Kimbatta to Ahmraic to English- and meet her face to face.
Our first thought was, it is clear who the boys look like. She is a small woman, and she was dressed like a traditional Ethiopian woman. From the moment we sat down, she was already crying.  We asked her some basic questions, and discovered what time of day the boys were born, and how and why their birth Father died.
But she was most concerned with the idea that the boys needed to come see her someday. She told us that relinquishing them was the hardest thing she ever did, but she has no choice. She told us more about what she meant by that, and we understand how hard it was for her. I think the thing that hit us the hardest, was the fact that this village the boys came from was about 20 miles from the intake center. They told us that she walked all that way, carrying the boys knowing that at the end of her trip they would stay there, and she would return home empty handed. I cant imagine how she felt, or how hard that was. She told us she did it save their life, and I am sure that is true.
It was a very emotional moving day, and very hard, but very good as well.

Day 5-7- I know we are missing day 4..its coming soon

Day 5
Much of the day was spent returning from Durame. On the way home, we made some stops at a woman's health clinic that is supported by Holt International. But the highlight of the day was taking official custody of the boys.
When we first got the referral, we went to build-a-bear and got some bears made. So when we went over to the center for pick them up, we brought those bears. As they came down the stairs and ran to us, we hugged them, gave them the bear and then a few minutes later walked out with them in our arms.
Tegan knew what was happening and was so excited that he got to go with us to the hotel.  Preston was excited, though he did not necessarily know why! It was so much fun to give them their very first bath and dress them in their new clothes. To be able to feed them, and tuck them into bed. We are so blessed and so excited that we get to be parents.

Day 6-7
I decided to combine these 2 days, as while they are important there is not a lot happening. We are not allowed to take our children outside the hotel, the government has asked that for various reasons, so we have to stay inside. We just spent this time getting to know the kids, and watching their personalities emerge. We spent a lot of time playing and tickling, and packing for our trip home.
On we, morning, we did have the farewell ceremony. What this is, is the chance for the boys to wear traditional Ethiopian clothes, as well as just mark the occasion of moving on from the Transition enter into a forever family.
The boys looked so handsome, and had so much fun saying goodbye to their friends and nannies who have taken care of them since April. They are very special and are so glad that they are ours!

Day 3

Today was spent learning some cultural and other aspects of Ethiopian life, as well as time with the boys!  The next morning we will be heading to a village called Durame, about 5 hours outside of Addis. There we will see where the boys first lived when they came into care, as well as where they grew up and meet their birth Mom.
We started by visiting the Ethiopian museum, which is famous for the skeleton of Lucy. It was actually on loan to some other museum so we did not get to see it. The afternoon was spent at the transition center, and just hanging out with the boys. It is such an amazing feeling to know that they recognize us and love us and want to see us. Knowing that we will not see them again until Monday afternoon is hard, but going to Durame and meeting the birth Mother is something that we must do, and something that will pay off in the long run.
Some people went to a Cultural dinner that explained a little more about the traditions, but we were so tired, we just went to bed.

Day 2

Our day began really early. We could not sleep, so around 6:30 we went outside and explored the area around our hotel. It was in a residential area, so we got a feel of what real life is more like. We got back to the hotel, and just counted down the hours till we could see our boys for the first time.
Our hotel is right next to the transition center, where the kids were living. So we could lean out of our 3rd story window, and look right onto the balcony of their house. So of course we did that, hoping that we could catch a glimpse of the boys. We did not really expect to, but we could hope right! Well, a group of toddler boys came out, and much to our surprise we saw this boy holding a book that we recognized. It was actually the family book we sent the boys in June. So realized it was Tegan Mesfin and got so excited. He had seen us hanging out the window, recognized us, and ran and gotten his book. We started crying, and could not wait to see them.
Finally the time came. They took us to the rooms where the kids were, opened the door and told us your youngest boy, Preston Amama is in here. I saw him instantly, and he ran over and gave us a huge hug. As we are hugging and crying, his big brother Tegan Mesfin comes in as well. He jumps into my arms, and for the very first time we are a family.

We spent some time with them just playing and hugging, and getting to know each other. Tegan actually has a good command of English. He understands a lot, and can count to 11, say his A.B,C's and can copy me when I say " I love you." They are amazing boys....
We went to dinner at this authentic Chinese restaurant, and we ate great Chinese food. We asked the chef in Chinese if they could cook us some of our favorite dishes that were not on the menu, and they did. We later found out that the reason Ethiopia has such a Chinese feel, is that China is building their roads and over passes and sidewalks. China has a lot of people who live and work there. It was fun to use our Chinese in Africa.

Day 1

Today was the day we had finally dreamed about. After all this planning and frustration, and excitement we were on our way to Ethiopia! We left Portland very early, so we checked into a hotel at the airport the night before, and we actually got some sleep.

Our flight to Min. and then onto Amsterdam was very uneventful and I actually got quite a bit of rest, something that never happens for me on a plane. We thought that each step of the way, we would get more excited, but I guess the face that we were almost there was not hitting us yet. Finally after about 20 hours in the air, we are almost there. We just had to stop in Sudan for one hour. We did not have to get off the plane, but some people did get off. One thing I realized, is that from the air, Sudan looks like you imagine it does. We had to circle for a while, as the one runway in that airport was closed due to some important person there. It was also filled with UN planes, which was kinda cool.

Finally we landed in Addis Ababa, and stepped out into the Africa air. Before we could go meet our group, we had to get our visa and go through customs. We live and work in a very crowded country, and are used to pushing our way through crowds, but this was un-like anything we had done before. The lines to do these things were just a solid mass of humanity. It was so much fun.
Eventually we work our way through everything, and ,meet up with the other 9 families from Holt who are there to pick up their kids as well.
The drive to the hotel was at night, so my fist impression of Africa was hindered. But the one thing that stood out was it felt and looked like China. We found out later there is a reason for that...
We got to our hotel, unpacked and went to sleep knowing in the moring we would meet our boys!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Our Final Day

On Our Way....

It is so hard to believe that the time to travel to pick up our boys is FINALLY here. We are all checked into our hotel, and have a 4:00 am wake-up call. I doubt will will sleep much, so its not a big deal.
We leave in the morning about 6:30 am and fly to Minneapolis then onto Amsterdam, and finally arrive in Addis about 22 hours after we leave Oregon.

Our schedule for our time in Africa will be as follows:
Friday: Meet our boys and spend the day with them
Saturday: Time with the boys, as well as sightseeing around the city and visit to some important places.
Sunday: Travel to Durame and meet the birth Mom
Monday: Travel back to Addis and then see the boys
Tuesday: We have our Embassy interview, and officially take custody of the boys
Wednesday: Stay in the hotel with the boys, and shopping
Thursday: Pick up their US visa's and begin the long flights back

We will not be able to update this blog or our facebook, simply because outside the major hotels, electricity is not a constant, and the internet is dependent upon electricity! We will be going to some internet cafe's, but the speed there is dial-up, so we can not do much!

Thanks for all your prayers and support. We will be posting pictures to

Feel free to look there once we get back! It so hard to imagine the next time we post, we will have the boys!

Friday, September 25, 2009

5 more days

We are getting close now, only 5 more days. I really hope they don't go to slow, I don't think I can take much more waiting. I think it will be okay though, this week has gone by really fast, so I am confident the last few days will as well.

We are all done packing, and I am so proud of myself and Renee. We have everything we need in 2 forty-five pound suitcases.  We pride ourselves on traveling light, and even with a lot of stuff for the boys we have done it again.

A friend of ours called us the other day, she and her husband has picked up their daughter in China a few months ago, and she asked is we were ready and if everything was done, but then she said, "Wait, look who I am asking, of course you are done." So I guess we have a bit of a reputation, but we have waited for this time for so long, and we are so ready. We are a little scared about actually having the kids, and being parents; but excited to begin this journey.

I will post a picture of us and our luggage later today. Its early and Renee has not even woken up yet. I will also update after we have the conference call with the people we are traveling with.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

New Clothes

We saw these today, and just had to have them So cute!

My Mom made these for the boys, they will love them. We are bringing these with us, so they can enjoy them immediately.

Getting Closer

Today we got to speak at Portland Metro which is also the home to Portland's Ethiopian Church. It was so exciting to pull up to the church and the first thing we hear is Ahmaric being spoken. It is getting so much closer, and we are so excited.
On a side note, we discovered that we are saying our youngest' Ethiopian name wrong. We met an Ethiopian man in Salem, and he told us the correct way to say it. We had been placing emphasis on a vowel, when it should have been on a constant. It was close, but we are glad to know the correct way.

Tomorrow we plan to bake our injera, we will post pictures, no matter what the result is!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Closer and Closer

The count down is officially down to 12 days till we leave PDX, 11 till we leave our house. Everything is pretty much done, and while it seems so far away, we will make it.

My Mom has a tradition of making a blanket for each Grandchild. She just finished ours. They have the boys name on them, and are so cute...

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Countdown Begins

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Adoption Books

We got some highly recommended adoption books today. We were crying as we read them, only 20 more days!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Flight Plans

We got our tickets today as well. We fly from:
Sept. 30th
Portland to Minn. to Amsterdam to Addis Ababa,

October 8th:
Addis Ababa to Amsterdam to Portland

So excited!


We got the most amazing email today, one that we have been waiting for, for the past 5 weeks. We have to be in Ethiopia on October 1st, and have our Embassy interview on October 6th.
This means that within the next 30 days, we will have official custody of our boys!

Once again we have been reminded of how amazing God is. Just yesterday, we were at the point where we could go no longer. We all know that God will not give us more than we can handle, and we were truly at our breaking point. Last night, we went on a walk and just prayed for peace and patience. Its truly exciting to see how God knows when and where we need Him. We are once again reminded that He is in complete control. We are thankful and excited for this new amazing gift!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

First Presents

Yes, the boys have gotten presents before, but only from family. But today, I had to go to the Post Office to pick up a package that we were not home to receive yesterday. It was from a childhood friend of Renee's and it contained the boys very first Texas Longhorns, and matching shirts. I guess by marrying a Texas girl, I automatically became a Longhorn fan...who knew! Anyway, we are excited and ready for them to come home!

Friday, August 21, 2009

New Present

Since it will be a few more weeks before we see the boys, we decided to send them a present. We found some cute cards, they may scare them, but I think they will like them. We also sent along some pictures, and coloring pages. We are coming boys!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Not such good news

We got some disappointing news, we talked to Jenn today and she said there are no scheduled interviews for Sept 8th, and that there is 15-20 families waiting to travel end of Sept. and beginning of October. We are disappointed, but we can stop pressing the "refresh" button on our email every 5 seconds! So at the most, we travel a month later than we originally thought, and while sad, I can handle it ( Renee is a different story) Time to go unpack,so we have something to wear for the next month! We are so anxious to see our boys, but are praying this extra time will help them as they adjust to life without their Mom and prepare for a new life and family in the US and China.
Boys, we are coming soon. We love and miss more than we ever thought possible. Soon boys, soon!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Smiling Brothers

We got a new email today from someone who just picked up their child from the transition center last week. It is as follows:

My wife told me you are the two adopting the "smiling" brothers from Addis. You have a true treasure coming to your house. Your youngest boy and I played with a broken wheel from a toy for over an hour. He never quit smiling. I hope you like to smile and have a great sense of humor. Congratulations!!!!!!!!

We love them so much, and are so ready to see their smiling faces, soon boys....

Friday, August 14, 2009


We got a package today from a church we spoke at a few weeks ago. They had called asking for our address, because they had a present for us, and it was an amazing one. They gave us a lot of money to go buy kids clothes, and some gift card to McDonalds so we can "fatten them up! Thanks Bly Faith Assembly!

Thursday, August 13, 2009


We are constantly thinking about stuff that we do or don't need. One thing that kept coming to mind was a stroller. We travel a lot, and see people all the time who have huge strollers and are very rude concerning the space those strollers occupy; especially on planes. So we did not want to become one of those people. But as everyone says, when you become a parent things change. We finally gave in and found a double stroller that does not take up much room and was cheap!
So here it is, our first concession to parenting!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Toys for the Boys

Like before, we decided to send the boys a few things. We can only send stuff that can lay flat in an envelope, so Renee had the idea to send some paper bag puppets. We also sent each boy a picture of the teddy bear we will be bringing them. I know they may not even realize what they are, but thats okay. We want them t have something from us while we wait. We also sent a picture so they could see how to use the paper bag puppets.

Renee with Tegans bear

Josh modeling the paper bag puppets
Renee with Prestons bear

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Passed Court, What Does This Mean?

This means, the process is almost done. At the court date, the Ethiopian Judge makes sure all of our paperwork is in order, and that the child has been officially released for adoption.
Now that the judge approved all of that, there are only a few steps left. As we speak, the MOWA, they control the adoptions, are getting Ethiopian passports for the boys, as well as their new birth certificates with our names on them!

After that happens, the paperwork is sent to the US Embassy in Addis Ababa, and they schedule an interview for us. We have to be in country for that, and at that interview, we tell the US government that we will take care of the boys, and all of that kind of stuff. They then issue a visa for the boys, we go back to the Embassy to pick that up. We then are free to bring them back to Oregon and to their new life with us. This will actually be happening soon.

Any questions, feel free to ask!

New Pictures

We got some new pictures, and both boys are smiling. We realize the girls will be chasing them and there is nothing we can do about it....Oh well. They look wonderful and so happy. We are so grateful for them! We are coming boys...

Monday, August 3, 2009


WE PASSED. Just a moment ago, we found out that we passed court last Friday and are officially the parents of 2 amazing boys. We are waiting for our official travel date and Embassy interview date, but that should be soon. More details later....

Sunday, August 2, 2009

More Wonderful Things

This is another update from a family who just got back. After reading it, we are a little scared but so excited! Hoping for amazing news tomorrow!

Josh and Renee,
I hope you're ready, these boys are a hand full. Don't let those sad faces in the pictures you have fool you. I think your boys are the happiest at the care center. Also VERY good eaters, they were putting it away. We sat and had lunch with them, and they were lots of fun.

We had so much fun with your boys. When we were at lunch, Tegan got a bigger plate than all of the other kids, and he finished it before everyone. He got a second helping and was trying to take more from Preston. So, Preston started shoving big handfuls of injera in his mouth so Tegan wouldn't eat it. It was hilarious. They have so much personality, and Preston loves to be tickled. Casey ( a person who traveled to get their child) was getting him good, and he kept coming back for more even though he could hardly breathe he was laughing so hard.

We love our boys so much...We cant wait to see them!

Friday, July 31, 2009

New Information

While we are waiting to hear about the court case we had yesterday, we got an email from someone in our agency who just returned home with their child. We had asked her to check on their size, and this is what she said, "
Hi Ransom family. Just wanted to let you know that we saw both of your boys in Addis. They are adorable and very high energy. My husband spent time playing with both of them. Preston loved being tickled and would laugh until he would almost cry.

We are so thankful that the boys are doing well, and playing as healthy, normal boys should. While it is hard to wait a few more days, it is so amazing to hear that Father is taking care of them, until we can be there and do that ourselves. This was news we were desperately needing to hear today....God is so good!

Wait Again

Now the wait begins. There is a large group of people from our agency who have a court date on Monday, and we have been told it may be after that before we hear anything. So we are still anxious, but ready to hear what happened! We will let you all know as soon as we hear something, I promise. We are so ready to begin making travel plans and allow us to dream of the first time we hold our boys. Hold on guys, we will be there soon!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Court Date

Tomorrow, well tonight while we sleep, is our second court date in Ethiopia. The first was postponed due to the MOWA closing. For us, this is the hard part, simply because we have no control over this. We dont know if the birth Mother showed up, if the paperwork is all okay, and on and on the list goes.

If something happens and we do not pass, its no the end of the world. It will feel like it, but we will get the kids eventually. I feel that they will quickly reschedule our court date, but there is no guarantee.

So, we are asking people to pray for us, and for our boys. For wisdom for the court and that everything will go smoothly. That no matter what, we will have a peace and confidence that Father is in complete control!

We may not know the result until next week, but will let you all know as soon as we know anything.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Info

We finally got the new information that was promised us! The boys are bigger and look a lot happier. They still are not smiling, but the are not scared and unsure of what is happening anymore.
They both have had some small medical issues, but are doing fine now. Preston has chicken pox, and we are sad because we want to be there with him.
They are doing great socially and play well with each other and the other kids in the Transition Center.
They are officially in the capital city now, waiting for us to come pick them up!
Our court date is scheduled for Friday, and we are praying that we will pass with no problems, so we can travel next month! God is so good and so faithful!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Few More Days

Well this week did not end as we would have liked. We never did get our updated information, though we have been told its on the way! The people in our adoption office have been very busy, especially since one is in Africa right now, and they are swamped with all the regular things they have to do. In addition to trying to organize, file and email us a lot of files. So we understand, but are wishing we had them!

It is only 6 days till our rescheduled court date, and we are feeling very confident. While it has been hard waiting for the MOWA to reopen, the time has gone faster than we thought it would.

Renee came up with a great idea for the next time we send the boys some stuff. Paper bag puppets! We just sent off some coloring pages a week and a half ago, so in another week or so we will prepare another envelope to send them!

Really looking forward to seeing our boys in September, as long we pass court in the next few weeks!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New Court Date

We just got our new court date, July 31st. So hoping and praying this time all will be well and we will pass!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Court Date 1

Today was our supposed to be our court date, which would legally give us guardianship of our boys. We were excited about this, but last week the MOWA suddenly closed. They had to write the letters that go with our court file to the judge. As a result, we did not clear court today, and are very disappointed. We are grieving a little bit, even though nothing has changed. The only difference is now, we have to wait a few more weeks for our boys.

We know God is in control, and He knows all the details. He knows when we need to be back in China, when we need to be fully funded. I know we can trust Him with every detail of ours lives; but I am human and sometimes forget these things. So while we are sad, we look forward to that incredible day when we can finally see our boys, and become our forever family.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Possible Delay

Today we got some shocking and disappointing news. The Ethiopian Ministry of Woman's Affairs, suddenly decided to close for several weeks. This agency is important as they have to write a letter that is submitted to the Ethiopian court in support of our adoption. If that does not happen, the court date can not proceed as scheduled.
So we are disappointed, and grieving a little but, even though we do not know what this closure means for sure. At best we have a short delay, at worst the delay is several month. No adoption agency is totally clear on what this means, so we are waiting for more information. I will keep you all updated, thanks for your prayers and support.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Court Date!

We found out today that our court date is next week, July 15th. We are so excited, a little scared, and incredibly happy. Please pray that all goes well, and we pass the first time. We are so anxious to hold our boys in our arms, and bring them home to their forever family!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

We Miss You

Tegan and Preston,
It is so hard not to be able to hold you in our arms and tell you how much we love you. It is hard to know we are so close, yet still so far away.
This week we are getting to tell so many people about you, and show off your handsome pictures, and it is making us miss you more. We get to see all of our co-workers kids, your new friends, and we miss you more. We want to experience all this with you, and can not wait till we are all home together.
Your Mommy and I miss you and love you more than you will ever know. We can't wait till we meet, and we are a forever family. All we can do right now, though, is wait. Wait till that amazing day, when we finally hold you. Hold on boys, we are coming.
Your Daddy and Mommy

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I think we are ready...maybe

Yesterday we had our niece and nephew visit our apartment. They are not quite the ages of our kids, but kinda close. So we saw this as a trial run, did we have enough toys, child dishes, and stuff. Well, it was a resounding success. Both of the kids had a lot of fun, and really enjoyed our toys. We played with play-dough, and trucks, and our new tool set. In fact, our niece cried when she had to leave.
When they left, we had this feeling of peace, that we can take on two boys and be okay!
We are really missing our boys. We know it will still be several months before we can actually hold them, but we want them now! I know this is a normal feeling, and I know we when we finally hold them it will have been worth the wait!

I love you Tegan and Preston, and Mom and Dad are coming, I promise!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Wait.....

The past week and a half has been a complete whirlwind of emotions. We already love our boys and can not wait for them to come home. But first we have to wait....wait for a court date, then for that date to pass, then to the travel time. We are tired of waiting!

But we have been putting the time to good use. I think we have purchased almost everything we need! Well, we do not have any clothes yet, but we have no idea what the sizes will be, so we are putting that off. But other than that, we are all ready.

More later....

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Blurb Books

Our blurb books are almost here! Our agency allows us to send our children a welcome to our family book, something that introduces them to their new life. We had a friend who used the site blurb to make a book for her son, and we stole that idea! The books were shipped yesterday and should be here tomorrow. I cant wait to include some coloring pages, and send this off to our boys! We are so blessed and so excited!

Monday, June 15, 2009


Today we officially turned in the final paperwork, well for now! We gave them a whole bunch of stuff, which included our acceptance letter, acceptance contract, foreign travel release, and a huge check! It was sobering to read some of the language in the contract, especially dealing with wording such as, " total financial, spiritual responsibility for the child." It is such a huge and awesome responsibility! But one we are so ready for!
We spent the day buying things for our amazing boys. Although we are poor now! We had saved some money so we could go crazy buying stuff! Its so much fun!

The pictures are ones that were taken at the adoption agency this morning. They will serve as the beginning of our kids scrap books and photo album!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sesame Street Room

Our kids room theme is clearly Sesame Street. We are still missing one bed, but otherwise we are all done!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Name switch a roo

We made our first mistake as parents. When we began the adoption process, we picked out 4 names, 2 for girls and 2 for boys. The boy names we choose are Tegan and Preston. Well, when we got the referral, we decided to give the older boy the name Preston and the younger one Tegan. We also decided to use their birth name as their middle name.
We wanted to make sure we knew how to pronounce their Ethiopian names, so we asked a friend to who speaks Ahramic. The gist of it it, the older boys African name rhymes with Preston. We knew we could not subject our kids to that, so we decided to just switch names.
It is a little embarrassing to do that, but we had to!

My next post will have pictures of their new room. We are still one bed short, but we are still trying to figure out if the younger one needs a pack and play, or a toddler bed.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Today about 4:45 pm we received a call for our social worker. We thought nothing of it, just because she has called several times in the past. This time was different, because she said, "this is the call". Renee was on the phone and asked what we were referred with, and she would not tell us, only to check our email. She did let it slip, as I was checking it, that we were getting a sibling group.
I honestly had given up on that idea, but was so excited. This is everything we had prayed for!

We got the call at my Mom's house, which is nice as she was able to look over the development tests with us, and help us see that they are doing great.

They are 2.2 and 3.3 years old. The oldest will be named Tegan and the younger Preston. We will use their Ethiopian names as middle ones, but we can not post them due to ethiopian law.

They are so handsome and in good health, they just need to gain some weight. We are so excited and humbled by Gods faithfulness. Its hard to take it all in right now, I am sure reality will set in soon!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Okay, we are now number 9 on the list. We are hopefully optimistic we will see something happen this month. I will keep you all updated!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

No new news...but

As they say, no news is good news right? Well, we think that no news is ...very frustrating! We are moving up the list, but not fast enough!
We have some books that we wanted to share with others who are in process as well. Our agency gave us a big list of the, posted below, and we have read some of them. Basically whatever we could find in the library. The ones we really liked are in bold. This list was helpful to us, as it gives us something to do while we wait. Renee and I need to feel as though we are taking steps forward, and by studying up on some of the issues we will face, we feel as though we are doing something important. Hope this helps!

1) Attaching in Adoption by Deborah D. Gray
2) Being Adopted by David Brodzinski
3) Does Anybody Else Look Like Me: A Parent's Guide to Raising Multiracial Children by Donna Jackson Nakazawa
4) In Their Own Voices: Transracial Adoptees Tell Their Stories by Rita J. Simon and Rhonda M. Roorda
5) Making Sense of Adoption by Lois Ruskai Melina
6) The Psychology of Adoption by David Brodzinski
7) Raising Adopted Children by Lois Ruskai Melina
8) Real Parents, Real Children by Holly van Gulden and Lisa Bartels-Rabb
Adopting Children of Color
1) Adoption is a Family Affair: What Relatives and Friends Must Know by Patricia Irwin Johnston
2) Are Those Kids Yours? by Cheri Register, PhD.
3) Dealing with Racism by Jen Green
4) Different and Wonderful by Hopson and Hopson
5) Dim Sum, Bagels and Grits: A Sourcebook for Multicultural Families by Myra Alperson
6) I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children in a Race-conscious World by Marguerite Wright
7) Loving Across the Color Line: A White Adoptive Mother Learns About Race by Sharon Rush
8) Pact's Booksource: A Reference Guide to Books on Adoption and Race for Adults and Children by An Adoption Alliance
9) Transracial Parenting Project Self-Awareness Tool: Are You Ready to Parent a Child of Another Race, Culture, or Ethnicity? by Jeanette Wiedemeier Bower

Thursday, April 16, 2009

2nd I-171H

We got the amended I-171H yesterday. This one says it has been sent to the National Visa Center, as well as Ethiopia, so we are all okay. Now, once again, we just wait for the call that will change our life!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I realized I had made a mistake with the filing of our I-600A, so after we received our I-171H we had to make some corrections as to where it has been sent. So while we have it and can be matched, we are waiting for our new copy of it. But we were told last week that it was being taken care of, so we should see it soon.

So good news.....we are number 14 on the waiting list. That sounds like a lot, but 6 weeks ago we were 35-40! So we are hopeful within the next 3 months or so, we will have our referral! I promise to keep you all up to date!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Our I-171H Approval

We received our I-171H approval today! It was approved on April Fools Day...hum....
All we do now is wait.....

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dossier Received in Ethiopia!

We were told today that our dossier was officially received in Ethiopia yesterday! So we are one step closer.
We are still waiting on our I-171H, but that should be here in a week or so. We are so excited!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More Ma Fan..thats means frustrating things.....

Today we received a letter from USICS and we thought it was the I-171H.  But it was a letter saying we had to submit more information. In 2007, our accountant made a mistake with our taxes, and that lead to a question as to whether we have the financial clearance needed.
The same question came up with our caseworker and in the home-study, and its all okay..the USICS office just has to see our 2007 and 2008 tax returns, as well as a letter from our employer. Luckily, we had to submit a letter in the dossier, so we just sent a copy of that. It will be okay, just more waiting...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Fingerprints 3

Well we finally go our fingerprints done for our I-600A application. The 600A becomes the I-171H when it is issued, should be 2 weeks or so.

We have several problems getting them done though. The first was we cold not find the place. Our GPS gave us bad directions, so we went on a wild goose chase.

1. From the address we were given to the Federal Courthouse

2 From the Federal Courthouse to another Courthouse

3. From the second Courthouse to the USICS office

4. From the USICS office to the fingerprinting office.

When we finally found it, we discovered we were a block away from where we started. Oh well. We got there over an hour late, but the fingerprinting people did not care. So now we wait...again...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Fingerprints 2

Tomorrow we go get our fingerprints for our I 171H approval. I will let you know how it went.

Saturday, February 28, 2009


This week we found out where we are on the waiting list, as it is not near as bad as we thought! So that is a cool thing!
We also have our fingerprint appointment for our I-171H, so we are excited for that too. Every day that fact that we will be parents is more and more real to us, and we are so excited, even though we still have a long wait....

Friday, February 20, 2009


Its been about a week and a half since we turned in the dossier, and obviously nothing has happened! Nothing can happen for another month or so, or at least until the I -171H comes through. All you veteran adopters know what I am talking about.
So until next time.....

Also, we have begun talking to other adoptive parents of Ethiopian children, about the basic stuff such as skin care and all that. We have also begun to rethink the whole name thing. We have already decided that we would give them AMerican first names and Ethiopian middle name, but we are discovering that many people are keeping their African names.  So we will think some more, and make a final decision after we have a referral! We would appreciate any thoughts and suggestions...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Now we wait...

After some last minute drama getting the home study accepted by the Ethiopia program, we turned in the dossier and the dossier money today. According to our agency, as soon as those things are in the office, we are on the waiting list. So we are very excited about that.
Our next step is to wait for our finger print appointment, which should be in about 2 weeks! I will keep you updated.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


We have all the paperwork we need, and are just waiting till Tuesday! They are making us turn in the dossier the day AFTER our second anniversary, but its only another day!

We are already tired of waiting, and the process has barely just begun. But it seems as though Ethiopian children are popping up all over the place, which is good. We saw a sibling group in Target the other day, and Renee broke out in tears. We can not wait to be a Mom and Dad!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Final Home Study

We had our final visit yesterday, who know it took 3! The dossier is 99% done, we are just waiting on some things from our friends and boss!
Less than 3 weeks from now, we will have celebrated our second anniversary and will be on the waiting list. We found a website that had a lot of cool bumpers tickers and t-shirts and such, and they have a lot of Ethiopia and other country specific stuff. It is at    We enjoy our new stickers!

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Things are finally starting to move quickly now. We started this process so early, that it feels like we have been working on this forever.
But on Friday we turned in the 600A
Monday is our final home study visit
Less than one month till we submit the dossier and begin the waiting time!

We are so excited!