Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

One GIANT Step Closer!

Our case was submitted to the US Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia today! We are weeks (2-4) away from returning to Ethiopia to pick up our baby girl! Words cannot describe how excited we are! Here is a photo we just received today - cuter than ever! :)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Aubrey's Room is Coming Together!

We have made great progress! Here are some pictures of how her nursery is shaping up. I would describe the vibe of her nursery as soft, whimsical and happy. :)

  • We repainted an old dresser, the base is in Benjamin Moore 2133-50 Pigeon Gray and the drawers are in PM-13 Atrium White. 
  • We also ordered some vintage dresser drawer pulls, they are like bright yellow daisies and should arrive this week. 
  • We ordered her bedding from Pottery Barn Kids, the Georgia bedding set. They should also arrive this week.
  • We ordered the attached animal prints (lion will appear instead of bird cage) in soft yellow and gray scheme. Each animal will have a different background so the set will be unique and whimsical.
  • We are holding off on wall color until the bedding arrives, but will go with a very soft yellow like Benjamin Moore 324 Little Dipper.
  • We are working on an order for custom wooden letters that spell her name... surprise to follow!
Having fun an *PRAYING* we are submitted to Embassy this week!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Three down, one to go!

It has been three weeks and two days since we passed court in Ethiopia, and we now have Aubrey's adoption decree, birth certificate and passport. We are just waiting on her physical and expect our case to be submitted to the US Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia next Wednesday, July 17. It will be another 4-6 weeks after that when we will travel to pick her up. I am praying for sooner rather than later, DOmi starts school on August 21 and I want him to come with us!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

1st Visit - Check!

We received a call from our agency (IAN) on Tuesday, June 11 letting us know our  court date was scheduled the following Monday on June 17! A requirement before court is to meet the child you are adopting, and that 1st visit cannot be done on a Sunday. All of this meant we had to arrive in time to meet our baby on Saturday - with a 28+ hour journey, we had to plan on leave on Thursday, June 13. The first step of booking travel became easy when we connected with Tabitha from MKI travel (, she was referred to us by our life saving IAN Family Support Group on Facebook. We were lucky that we received our recommended travel vaccinations the previous week.

We didn't have Dominic's passport yet, so through our beloved Facebook IAN group we were advised to contact our congressman. Dan got on the phone with Rep. Schweikert's office and worked with the best lady there who counseled us for four hours, well past working hours and arranged for us to go to the Western Region Passport Processing Center in Tucson on Wednesday, one day before we were scheduled to leave! So, we set off at 5 a.m. on Wednesday morning and made it to the Tucson office around 7:30 a.m. Through the grace of God we received the passport and made it back home at around 2 p.m. Then it was a frantic rush to make lists, go shopping, do laundry and pack! We splurged and bought Dominic an iPad so he would be entertained on the very long flights.

The hotel our agency recommended to us was full, so we spent two days at the Ebenezer hotel which was uncomfortable for us. The three of us were on a double bed, the bathroom was open concept with no tub or enclosed shower and there was no place for Dominic to move around. Thankfully, we moved to the Addis View two days later.

We arrived into Addis Ababa late on Friday night and traveled to the Care Center on Saturday morning. We were so nervous and excited to meet our daughter, it was very emotional seeing her in person for the first time! She is just an absolute gorgeous angel! :) Her skin is smooth as butter, her hair is glossy ebony with medium tight curls, her eyelashes are long and curly and her smile is precious!

We could not take her from the Care Center, so we visited her 2 - 3 hours each day. She really started to warm up to us on the last few days and smiled for all of us, and laughed and clapped and kicked her legs in excitement. She seemed very healthy and I know she will learn to sit up independently, roll over and crawl very soon after she comes home.

Our court date was on Monday, June 17 and all went very well. We did have plenty of free time the rest of the week and hired a recommended guide named Joel to show us around. We visited the National Museum and had a great docent who told us about the history of Ethiopia, art and culture and of course shared the discovery of "Lucy" - skeletal remains that advanced the study of evolution. We then had a wonderful lunch at Lucy's CafĂ©, great food and beautiful restaurant.

We also visited Entonto Mountain and Museum, as well as St. Mary's church and the castle of late Emperor Menelik II. So much amazing history in Ethiopia! We picked up some postcards to frame and put in Aubrey's room. We also shopped at the Post Office shops and enjoyed bartering for our goodies, Dominic was a pro with his charming ways and walked away with good deals on Ethiopia soccer jerseys for him and Dan! Aubrey will be raised to be proud of her heritage!

One of my favorite excursions was our visit to the Former Women Fuelwood Carriers Association (FWFCA) compound. You can read more about them here Basically, these women would gather pieces of wood and bundle them on their back, carry them long distances up and down mountains and sell them to provide for their families. These loads were extremely heavy and physically demanding. The Connected in Hope organization helped find the compound and set up weaving looms so these ladies could make scarves and baskets and become artisans as a new livelihood. We bought several scarves that are so lovely, and are so touched by this amazing story!

Overall, we had an amazing visit and cannot wait to go back and pick up our baby girl! We received our adoption decree this week, so birth certificate, passport and physical examination are next.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

We are on our way!

So much has happened since my last post in late 2012! We received a referral for a baby girl on April 5 and are about half way through the process to bring her home! The timeline below is an estimate, we are hopeful to have our baby home by the end of summer.

Milestone Tentative Projections Actual
Official Match  4/19/2013 4/18/2013
Translation 4/20/13 - 5/4/13 4/18/13 - 5/1/13
Submit to Court 1st week of May 5/2/2013
1st Court Date End of May 5/22/2013
2nd Court Date End of June  
Embassy Submit Mid-End July  
Travel Mid-August  

Monday, November 12, 2012