No court date yet, but...

Sam is on our minds all day everyday. I am so anxious to get additional information about him and pictures of him. Our agency allows families that are traveling before us to take care packages and take pictures of our son for us. We have a very sweet person, Kara, who is doing this for us and she leaves for Ethiopia this coming Friday! We will also receive monthly updates from the agency in regards to Sam's weight, measurements and current pics. We are even allowed to send 5 questions to have answered in that monthly update.

Our next big step is getting assigned a court date. We have not received that yet but are hopeful it won't be too much longer. Then the big deal is that we are able to pass court on the first try.

Until then we are getting ready here. We finally decided to rearrange rooms a bit and put Cole in the bonus room and give Sam Cole's room. Cole is pretty fired up because the playroom has a basketball goal, pool table and pretty big TV.....not a bad setup for a ten year old boy. About a week ago I ordered a crib, changing table and "armoire type" piece and it all came in today. I am so excited to get everything put together and get Sam's room ready for him. All of this helps to make it seem more real and like it won't be long.

I read the following on a person's blog and loved it so much I wrote it down and wanted to share it on my blog....

God writes words on our hearts that long to be spoken and strain to be lived out. Then with his own great hand He begins to write the script... Experience by experience through seemingly ordinary days He supernaturally orders our lives. Only when we look back and reflect on what appeared to have been the ordinary events of life does it become clear what a miracle the Lord has performed.

It is through so many seemingly ordinary days and events that my awesome God has led me to this sweet blessing of being a mom to Sam.

A little recap...

Our Timeline to Ethiopia…

In January of 2009 Russ and I first discussed the idea of adoption and my feeling called to adopt
In February, March and April Russ and I both spent time in prayer trying to determine if this is what God had planned for our family. It was also during this time that we became more and more drawn to Africa and specifically Ethiopia.
In May we decided this was what God was calling us to do and we took a leap of faith and began the process.
June and July were spent gathering more paperwork than you can imagine.
On August 20, 2009 our paperwork had been signed off on by the American government (Hilary Clinton specifically), was translated and sent to the Ethiopian government. This date is called your DTE date and becomes “your place in line on the waiting list”.
On November 19th we received an email to let us know that we were “on deck” which basically means getting near the top of the list and to be prepared for a referral in the next 1-3 months.
Our next step will be to receive our Referral. A referral is when a specific child is matched with our family and we find out who he is! We will be given a name, approximate age, medical information and any history that is known. We have requested a boy under the age of 2 and the agencies and Ethiopian government have that information when making a match for our family.
Once we receive a referral………we still have to wait. We will wait to be assigned a court date. The court appointment is in Ethiopia and our agency goes on our behalf. It generally takes 6-8 weeks after referral to receive a court date. If we pass on our court date (about 65% of cases pass on the first time) then we will be given our travel dates. Generally these are 3-4 weeks after passing court.
We will go to Ethiopia to pick up our son and will spend one week in the country. We will travel with a group and will be with people from our adoption agency the whole time.
January 12th was a BIG day. We received our referral for a beautiful 2 month old baby boy. We have 2 pictures of him and love just staring at them indefinitely. Now we must wait for the court date which I mentioned above.


God is so Good!

2010 has certainly started off with a bang. As I have been going through my paper pregnancy my brother and his beautiful wife have been going through pregnancy the old fashion way:) The whole family has been so excited to have 2 new precious babies join our family and in a matter of one week we did it all. On Tuesday, January 5th Mackenzie Blake joined our family and she is so adorable. Then exactly one week later on Tuesday, January 12th Russ and I received our referral for an infant boy(still not allowed to give much more info than that) and he is adorable too.

Baby Blake did have to go to the NICU at Vanderbilt so the days between the two were very full but she is home with her sweet brother Jax now and doing very well.

In regards to our process... we will now wait for a court date which generally takes place about 2 months after the referral call. We will be asking for many, many prayers that court will go well and that we will pass. If that were to happen the first time we would then be assigned travel dates that would be about 2-4 weeks after that. In other words we are still waiting and praying for a few more months. I do have a blog friend though that is going to Ethiopia the end of this month and has offered to take a care package for me!

Even though I can't share much info about our sweet baby boy I can tell you that we have two pictures, his medical file and how he got to the orphanage. We have the International Adoption Clinic at Vanderbilt reviewing his medical files and have a call with them at 10:30am today. Russ and I feel very strong that he is our child but we still want to know anything from a medical standpoint that we need to be prepared for. They have been great to work with and I would highly recommend them. We met with them the first week of December....we met with a pediatrician, occupational therapist and psychologist. It was very informative and a bit overwhelming at the same time. When we received the referral I sent the medical information on to them about 1:30pm and by 9:30pm that same night we had a report back from the pediatrician. They have been so great to work with and I look forward to my call with them today.

I am still smiling from ear to ear although all this excitement caught up with me and I have a head cold that started yesterday. Normally, that would be no big deal but right now it keeps me from hugging and kissing on my sweet Blake so I am drinking about a gallon of orange juice and trying to rest and get well fast.

Not sure how any month in 2010 can compare with this first one but I am going to just hold on and see....
God's love and power is amazing!



I can't believe I have not had much to post for months and now I have so much news my heart is racing. Last Tuesday the 5th my brother and sister-in-law had their precious baby girl, Blake. Then this Tuesday the 12th we received our referral for our precious baby boy, Sam (Bezakulu). I will post the details I can a little later today but just had to get some news up now!