Saturday, November 26, 2011


According to dictionary dot com........
DOSSIER - noun - a collection or file of documents on the same subject; especially a complete file containing detailed information about a person or topic.

Sometimes it seems that adoption people speak their own language. Adoptionese maybe.

Today, I thought I'd share with you a little of that adoptionese:


It's a funny thing, really. We have labored hard over that set of papers. Papers that started out with a simple two-page adoption agency application. From there, we applied for a home study. We filled out more agency forms. We completed educational requirements. We have written our testimonies; we have drawn our family trees. We've had meetings with guidance counselors and doctors appointments. We even proved that the dogs are up to date on their shots. People have written letters on our behalf and we have had more things notarized than I care to count.

When we began getting close, we set a goal to have the dossier (the final set of documents....the set that will represent us in Ethiopia) out of our hands by Thanksgiving. It didn't quite happen that way but, just the same, our agency will have it in their hands by 10:30 a.m. on Monday morning.

And as much as we have wanted it gone; as much as we have wished this part was behind us, letting go of it was hard. And wonderful all at the same time.

What happens next you ask? The dossier goes to our agency in Louisville, KY. It then goes to West Sands Adoption (our referring agency....coming up soon: "What's a referral?") in Utah; while in Utah it is authenticated by the state of Utah. Next it goes to a courier in Washington DC who hand-delivers it for US authentication before heading to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for translation and processing.

Thank you for saying a little prayer for our dossier and the little girl who, ultimately, will join our family as a result of it. Praise God for the lives of our family who have already been changed by it.

P.S. I am unable to rearrange the pictures at the top of this post which, actually, is another little side story to our dossier's departure......

My laptop is having issues so, before we found a Fed/Ex Kinko's location, we had to go to MacAuthority to see about having my computer fixed. Since we were in that area of town, Jeff put "FedEx/Kinkos" in his GPS and it referred us to the closest one; a location on Broadway in downtown Nashville. A location, mind you, that we would have never chosen on our own. We entered this location to find Ellen (pictured above), who was so helpful and kind to us. Turns out, Ellen is from Africa. Ghana to be exact....what are the chances?

There are several little things like this that have happened throughout this process. The graphic designer that produced our shirt images.....he's adopted. The screen printer who is printing them....he's adopting.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sealed the Deal

I definitely wouldn't say that my trip to Ethiopia with Ordinary Hero was THE reason that we are now pursuing adoption. However, it was definitely paramount in sealing the deal as far as where we would adopt from. The love that I have for this little country is beyond what I can even put into words and I can hardly wait to share it with Jeff and the boys.

I wanted to share this video from my trip (I even make an appearance). One of the sweetest moments of our entire 10 days was being able to reveal to the young boy at the end of the video that he had been chosen and that he would soon have a family of his own. Please pray for him and his family; they have passed court and are awaiting clearance for travel.

Enjoy (but scroll to the bottom first and pause the music on my playlist).......

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Somewhere In Africa

There came a time in this process that we realized something.

Because of the age of child we will be adopting (3-5 years old), it came to mind one day that somewhere in Africa, we have a daughter. She's not not yet conceived. She's not waiting to be born. She is alive and she is somewhere in Ethiopia. We don't know if she's cold, if she's hungry, if she's hurting or loved. And that's hard. It makes things very real and very personal. It makes me look at every little girl (red or yellow, black or white) about that age and wonder.

And when I wonder, I'm often reminded of my own words to my friend Valerie (when she was wondering and worrying about her own little girls in Ethiopia). I told her one day, "as much as YOU love those little girls, HE loves them more". It sounded good at the time and I know that it's true but it sure takes on different meaning now.

Our paperwork is almost done. We have one online seminar to complete and two documents that we should have in our hands in the next day or two. Those two papers will complete our dossier and then it will leave our hands; bound for Ethiopia. Where our daughter is.

People sometimes wonder, "why Ethiopia"? And I could go on and on about why but, mostly, it's where God told us our daughter was/is. And He loves her more than we do. He knows her name and how many curly little hairs she has on her head.

EDITED TO ADD: By the way, He knows and loves Valerie (and Chris)'s girls too. And it seems that He may be arranging for them to be home for Thanksgiving (when we all thought it was a stretch that they'd be home for Christmas). Keep them in your prayers as they hear later this week if/when they are cleared for travel.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fundraising Spotlight

God has such a way of placing just the right people in your life at just the right times. One of the many ways that He goes about accomplishing his purposes in our lives.

If you have talked to or followed me at all since July, it is no surprise to you that my life was "completely screwed up", as my husband says (and he means that in a good way), in and through my trip to Ethiopia. I haven't and will never be the same (Praise the Lord!). Aside from the obvious things of breaking my heart for what breaks His; aside from allowing me to love because He first loved me in a new and different way, in a new and different place, that trip also gave me the opportunity to meet some great new friends. People who have a similar heart for the orphan (and for Ethiopia) and several who God used to confirm what He was speaking directly into my/our heart(s).

I treasure these friendships and the experiences that we shared together. I would love to be returning to Ethiopia with them in 2012 but God's plan for me this year was a little different. Maybe next year.

But, today, one of those friends, Amy, is featuring our family over here. Thanks Amy for your dedication to helping fellow adoptive families raise funds

Filled With Praise

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Orphan Sunday

Today is Orphan Sunday which, all of a sudden for me, takes on something altogether different than ever before. It's becoming so much more personal with all of the pen pushing I've been doing of late (adoption paperwork).

Adoption isn't easy. Nothing about it is. It is not for the faint of heart and not to be taken lightly. But what it is is this. It is what we are called to do. As Christians, we are called to love others with ALL of our heart, ALL of our soul, ALL of our mind and ALL of our strength...and to love our neighbors as ourselves. I don't know about you but I don't want myself to be cold, dirty, thirsty, hungry, homeless, scared, lost or unwanted.

His word says, "I will not leave you as orphans.......". Well....if WE are His hands and His feet, what are we waiting for; what have I been waiting for?

(You'll need to scroll to the bottom of my blog and pause the music so that you can get the full effect of this video....and not go nuts from the competing music:).

(Copy and paste the above link into your browser to view the video. I had to remove it from my blog as it was interfering with the music and wasn't pause-able.)