Sunday, April 29, 2007

First Entry

Finally, we’ve got this adoption blog up and running. This is something that we’ve wanted to do for a while now. Really our idea was to be able to easily keep everyone updated on our adoption process. As we’ve been going through this process over the past 9 months it’s been hard to keep track of who knows what. This should help. In addition, we hope to provide information about adoption in general and the entire process. It has been fulfilling to us that so many people have expressed genuine interest in the progress of this adoption. It has been difficult at times to share little moments of joy, frustration, or excitement along the way because most of our friends and family aren’t familiar with how it all works. At the same time, it’s been rewarding to expose so many people to international adoption.

After deciding to pursue adoption through Ethiopia in July 2006, the process has involved months of education seminars, reading, home study interviews, fingerprints, writing large checks, collecting dossier paperwork, document notarization, medical exams, vaccinations, and (worst of all) waiting. And waiting. And waiting. After all of this we finally were given our referral on April 4. We received pictures and a brief medical record of our new son, Henock. We were told that he was approximately 5 months old. At the time, the adoption agency did not know his exact birth date and their information was an estimate based on a pediatrician’s medical evaluation. We were (and still are, of course) thrilled to be matched with a child so young. Based on previous Ethiopian adoptions through Adoption Associates, we were thinking our child would be close to a year old when we received them.

Last Monday, we received additional information from our agency. We were emailed what looks like paperwork Henock’s birthmother filled out when she brought him to the orphanage. The 3-page form includes the birthmother and birthfather’s names, Henock’s actual birth date (11/29/06), and information about why he was brought to the orphanage in February. We feel very fortunate to have this information. It is a lot more than most adoptive parents receive. While there is joy in having this information, there is also sadness in knowing why Henock is available for adoption. What an unbelievably difficult time this must be for the birthmother. What a brave decision to entrust her own son to the care of others that he might have a brighter future. And how lucky we are to be part of that decision.

Currently, we are waiting for a court date to be assigned to Henock’s case in Ethiopia. On the court date, our lawyer in Ethiopia will be present along with representatives from the orphanage and governmental agency that handle international adoption. If everything goes smoothly, the adoption will be final on that day. Before we even meet our son! We will then make arrangements to travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to pick Henock up. We’ll definitely post updates as we continue to walk through this process.

In a nutshell, that’s where we are with everything. I hope in the coming weeks and months we’ll continue to post comments and elaborate a little more about how things are going. Thanks everyone for your support so far…we’ll continue to need it.