Wednesday, March 31, 2010

While we wait..

According to Fedex, our package containing our dossier is in Dubai right now..getting closer to Ethiopia! Abby and I decided to do a little craft project today. We made tee shirts with Africa on them and hearts on Ethiopia! Abby even did her own sewing on hers! I think they turned out really cute!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Great News

I copied this off the Christian Alliance Blog. This is GREAT news for families adopting or considering adopting this year!

Amidst the intense controversy of the health care bill signed into law by President Obama yesterday, there’s at least one provision every orphan advocate can cheer. The adoption tax credit was preserved for another year…and increased in value!

To encourage and support adoption, the adoption tax credit was expanded by President Bush and Congress in 2001. This increased the value of the credit from $5,000 to $10,000, and indexed it for inflation (meaning the credit would increase each year to keep up with inflation.) For 2010, its value had risen to $12,170. However, the 2001 increase was scheduled to “sunset” at the end of 2010. This would mean that any adoptions finalized after December 31, 2010 would be eligible for—at most—a credit of only $5,000.

This sunset has now been extended one year. That means that it will need to be extended again before the end of 2011. For the present, however, this extension comes as very welcome news for families considering adoption or in the adoption process.

Specifically, the provisions contained in the health care bill include:

  • The current adoption tax credit has been extended until the end of 2011;
  • The value of the adoption tax credit has been increased from $12,170 to $13,170.
  • The increase is “retroactive,” meaning that any adoption occurring after January 1, 2010 is eligible for this higher credit.
  • The credit is now refundable. This means that even families that owe zero taxes can receive the full tax credit in the form of a tax refund to help with their adoption-related expenses.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The new Easter Dress

This year I have decided to forego my annual Easter dress purchase and instead give the money to the Wiphan Care Ministry. This is taken from their website and tells a little about what they do:
Wiphan Care Ministries is an African-based ministry that exists solely to nurture and develop widows and orphans in the compounds outside of Ndola. Wiphan’s desire to “look after” widows and orphans comes directly from God’s word in James 1:27. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.” The mission of our ministry is to love and care for the materially poor in Ndola, Zambia. Our aim is to relate to the children and ladies in our program through the love of Jesus Christ. As we develop these relationships through love, service, and community, their spirit is strengthened and we see firsthand how we are made to love others.

I have plenty of outfits I can wear any given Sunday and by sending my $30 to Wiphan , they will use it to feed and educate an orphan for a month. They will also send you this cool tee shirt...a lot more comfortable than some fancy smancy dress!

Friday, March 26, 2010

DTE baby!!

It's Official... We are DTE!!!!! We received an e-mail this morning from our Family Coordinator at America World that our dossier had been reviewed at their office, authenticated at the State Department, sent to the Ethiopia Embassy in Washington DC, and is now on its way to Ethiopia! It was mailed today via FedEx, and we even have a tracking number so we can follow its journey (I will check it 1,000 times!) to Ethiopia! DTE really seemed next to impossible back this fall when we began this journey and now here we are!!

Our DTE date, 03/26/2010, is our official place in line to be matched with our son! The current wait time for a baby boy referral is 3-6 months after DTE. Of course, I'm hoping to be closer to the 3 month side! :) It is amazing to think that we could travel and get our new son as early as this summer!

Thanks so much for all the prayers, encouragement and support we have gotten over the past few months. You all are such a blessing to our family.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

So what happens next?

Now that our paperwork is all turned in, few people have asked us what happens next. Well, our paper work will be at AWAA for about a week and then it will get mailed off to Ethiopia. The day it is mailed out is our DTE ( Dossier to Ethiopia) date.

Right now our agency is saying the wait time for a baby boy is 3 - 5 months. I am, of course, hoping that we will land a little more on the three month wait time side ( doesn't 12 weeks sound better than 3 months?) That will make getting a referral ( picture of the baby and his medical history) this summer, as early as June! So, the next big thing is :
A Referral!!
Then about a month after that we will travel to Ethiopia to meet Isaac and to attend a court hearing and testify to wanting to adopt him. We will be there about 5-7 days. If we pass court the first time, Isaac will legally be our son and we will be able to post pictures of him on the blog. If not there will be another court date a few weeks later, but we will not have to attend.

After we pass court, we will have to wait for the US Embassy to give us a Visa appointment. Right now they are doing their own investigations to make sure the children being adopted are true orphans. This is a good thing, but it is taking longer and making appointment times extend to about 8 weeks. Once we get that Visa appointment with the US Embassy, we will fly back to Ethiopia and pick Isaac up and bring him home for good! This trip is only about 3-5 days and we are planning for Abigail to go with us. I am hoping this trip will be in September or October.

Since we will have met him and have been there for court as soon as his feet touch US soil, he will be an American Citizen.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Dossier on its way

I am sooo happy to announce that we have sent our dossier to AWAA! They will check over it twice and then it will be sent to the State Dept and Ethiopian Embassy for more authentication and then on to Ethiopia!! Yay!!
Here are the pictures of my paperwork baby! We all put out hands on it and prayed for Isaac. Then I had to get a picture of the UPS man for the baby book! :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The waiting game

OK so I think we are going to ( the 4 letter word I dislike soo much!) WAIT and go to Raleigh on Tuesday. After wise council it would seem best to expedite the paperwork from VA SOS to me instead of to our agency. I will still (hopefully) get our Dossier mailed to AWAA by Thursday the 18th and then that will give them ample time to look over it and make sure it is all there, in order and correct and then our official DTE will be March 26th. I am so ready to get it all mailed out!
I have read on other blogs about how families will mark each month they have waited after they are DTE by baking a cake, eating a pint of Ben and Jerry's, fun things like that!

Any suggestions of what we should do each month on the 26th to mark our milestones?

Friday, March 12, 2010

DTE by March 19th??

We might be DTE by March 19th!! We are going to Raleigh to have papers authenticated Monday, we have one more paper that will need to do some UPS overnight magic from Richmond to McLean Virginia, but the plan is to over night our dossier to AWAA on Monday the 15th, it will arrive the 16th and be mailed to ET March 19!
We received our email with all the forms and guidelines on November 19th ( Abby's birthday) so if it we are DTE March 19th it will be exactly a 4 month paper pregnancy!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Good News and the Bad News

The Good News:
We received our I-171h form in the mail today! That was only 8 days from when it was mailed to USCIS. I was sooo excited! This means that Friday we will take all our paperwork to Raleigh and spend the day there waiting for it to be authenticated. We have to make 3 copies of everything and then Monday we will overnight our paperwork baby to AWAA in Virginia. Less than a week after that we should be DTE!!

The Bad News:

No less than 5 min after I had checked the mail and did the " received our I-171h form" dance, I checked my email and there was an email from AWAA to all parents adopting from Ethiopia. Apparently the government in Ethiopia is now requiring parents to be present at their first court date. As in be in Ethiopia about 4 weeks after your referral and then You will have to fly back to Ethiopia to pick up your child 10-12 weeks later.

Ok..the bright side is we will get to meet Isaac about 4 weeks after we see his baby face. We will spend around 5 days loving on him and documenting him as an infant. The not so great thing is we will have to leave him there for 3 months. Gulp. This is why I would never even consider adopting from Russia or any country that you have to travel twice.
There are alot of questions swirling around with my awaa yahoo group pals and I have and we are trying to see the bright side of this. Maybe referrals will come quicker now? Maybe the possibility of passing court on the first try is higher? There is also talk of the possibility of escorting the babies to the US the second time.

I keep quoting Romans 8:28 to myself and know it will all work out in His perfect time and His perfect will.
We have an AWAA conference call tomorrow at 3:00. I am guessing they will break records for the most families listening in to find out the specifics and where to go from here.

Please pray for us and all the other families that are trying to understand this and are worried about the extra amount of money two trips will cost.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

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