Sunday, June 29, 2008


Do you ever wonder what it would be like to go through life without friends?  I honestly cannot imagine what that would be like because we are constantly surrounded by people that love us and that we enjoy hanging out with.  Although there are several people that I wish I could see more often, I love how we can pick up right where we left off.  To me, that is a true friend.  I like being myself.  

I am having trouble with my pictures so things are a bit out of order.  For those of you who know me, I sometimes jump from one thing back to another so I might as well in my blog too!  On Friday, Chris and I went to a birthday party for one of our dear friends, Syd.  It was his 30th birthday and we had a great time!  His girlfriend, Katie, threw a great party!  It was fun meeting different sets of their friends to celebrate Syd's birthday.  Chris and I thought it would be fun to take a slip and slide.  We didn't realize it at the time, but it was a little short.  No wonder it was only $4.  It was fun to watch Chris, Syd and Kevin (Katie's brother) enjoy themselves in the rain.  

This is my dear friend, Katie.  I am so glad that I have had the chance to get to know her over the past year.  She has been so supportive of our adoption.  I love how God places friends in your lives for a reason.  

Skipping ahead to Sunday, Chris and I decided we wanted to make something.  So, a corn hole set was the result!  It is actually up to the Official Corn Hole Set standards!  Now the big decisions...what do we paint it?  We are thinking we are going to go for a sport theme...Colts, Notre Dame, many choices.  I think that we decided to paint it for the Colts and possible make the bags out of ND material and Cubs material...It was a fun project and nice to start something and finish it in the same day.  

Chris is playing softball this summer.  His games are usually on Monday or Tuesday evenings.  I had the chance to see him play this past week.  It was a double header.  His team won the first game and lost the second game.  He plays on the church league with Greg and Syd down in Indy.  

Back to the birthday party...we took our washer game and we had fun playing it with Liz and Don.  Chris works with Don at Wiley.  This was the first time that I met Don's wife Liz.  It is always nice to meet someone that you hear a lot about.  They have two girls and they are adorable!  We really enjoyed getting to know them better.

So, Katie's father owns a rental place in Indianapolis and for the party, there was a moonwalk!  Although few adults actually ended up jumping in it, I was waiting for my opportunity.  I honestly don't have any idea how kids jump in this thing for so long.  It seriously wore me out.  It was fun though!

It was great seeing Mike, Syd, Greg and Chris together at something other than a wedding!  These guys hung out all the time in high school and can always pick up right where they left off. 

It is a short week at work.  This week is actually the first week of "shutdown" at Delphi.  This is great!  Things will slow down and I will be able to catch up so that is really exciting for me!  Like I said before, please continue to pray for our adoption.  We are so grateful we have so many friends that pray for us everyday.  May God bless you this week!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Week in Review

We have had a busy week.  Chris had a softball game on Monday night, Tuesday we cleaned our house, Wednesday I attended a student picnic at a local park for work, Thursday we had Deress and Jesse over for a cook-out, Friday we went to Indy for a date since our plans of camping with the Ponsler family did not work out, Saturday we ran errands in the morning and then I attended a baby shower and worked on homework, and today is Sunday and we went to church and worked on homework again.  

Deress (our really good friend from Ethiopia) and Jesse (a high school friend) came over for supper on Thursday.  We had a great time catching up and talking about Ethiopia.  My mom bought us a book of pictures from Ethiopia and Deress went through it with us telling us about the culture.  We really enjoyed it and I think he enjoyed sharing his culture.  All of us shared stories throughout the evening and our next plans are to go to the Greentown fair and introduce Deress to the Demolition Derby.  Boy is he in for a treat!  Even though Jesse works at the same place that I do, we haven't made it a point to get together and catch up.  Jesse is always up for an adventure and he plans to travel to Ethiopia within the next year.

On Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend the baby shower of one of my dearest friends.  Abbe and I have known each other for nine years and within the past year, we have become really close friends.  Abbe is going to be a mom for the first time!   She is actually having TWINS!  I am so excited for her and she has been such a great blessing to me.  Abbe is so supportive of our adoption and has really gone out of her way for us.  I have always wondered what it would be like to be pregnant and Abbe has shared many details with me so I can better understand what it feels like.  I had lunch with her this past Thursday and she let me rub her belly for at least 10 minutes.  She is amazing!  

For her shower, I decided to create a diaper cake.  This is my third cake so far and I have to say, it turned out different than my first two.  I added the bow to the front and I think it was a nice touch.  Since her babies will be smaller, I decided to use the new baby diapers instead of the typical swaddler diapers.  It took a lot more diapers, but the end product turned out!

Continue to pray for our adoption.  Thanks for your continued support!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Loving Indiana...

This past week (on Wednesday) we were very surprised to receive our I-171H Form from the Indianapolis CIS office. Talk about incredible! Usually this process takes 2-3 months and we received our paperwork in 3 weeks. This is when we LOVE Indiana! We have read several blogs from people who have adopted and this is the paper that most people wait by the mailbox hoping to receive it. God continues to amaze us each and everyday!

This past Friday we went to a Jack Johnson concert at Verizon Wireless. It was a lot of fun! We really enjoyed it. We have had the tickets for a long time and we thought it would be a great opportunity to be together and enjoy some good music. It was a great concert and we created some great memories!

On Saturday, we went to Indianapolis and set up a concession stand at a neighborhood garage sale. We were able to hang out with family and enjoy a beautiful day outside. We met some great people and I found that you can get some good deals at garage sales! We picked up quite a few books and a winter jacket and snow pants for our nephew.

Speaking of our nephew, I was talking to Nathan on the phone today. He is 3 and a half and I think he might be the funniest person I know. He is so inquisitive. He was telling me that he wants to go to China. I also love how he does not have the concept of distance. I told him that we have some new toys for him to play with and he said, “Aunt Sarah, you can just bring them over and I can play with them. That way we don’t have to wait for weeks.” After that, he was done talking to me and requested to talk to Uncle Chris. Chris was actually playing softball so he was unable to enjoy the conversation.

So, we are thinking that our dossier is in Ethiopia right now. Hopefully they (we really have no idea who) are in the process of translating it. It seems weird that nothing is in our hands…there is really nothing that we can do to speed up the process. We will continue to wait patiently.

Monday, June 9, 2008

What do we have left?

Several of you have asked about the status of our adoption. Earlier in the process we received an email from our case manager and so I thought I would share it with you. I have modified it a little bit because we have completed some parts and are waiting on others. I hope that this clears up any questions that you might have.

• We sent a set of our home study documents to CIS, for our I600A. We will receive the response from CIS (most often identified as the I-171H form) after both our fingerprints and our home study have been completed and submitted to CIS. We need the I-171H in order to travel to Ethiopia. It is our approval from the US stating that we can adopt.

• Our dossier was sent to Ethiopia on June 4, 2008. It takes 1-2 weeks to arrive to Addis. When it arrives, it will need to be translated from English to Amharic.

• We are added to the waiting list for a referral upon shipment of your dossier to Ethiopia. At this time your case will also transfer over to the case managers who work with referral, court, and travel processes with all families.

Now, the waiting begins…Habakkuk 2:3 “For the vision is yet for the appointed time, and it hasteth toward the end, and shall not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not delay.”

• Our child will have to be re-adopted in our local/state court after arriving home. It is state specific and the process varies widely by state. Our child will not be a U.S. citizen until the re-adoption process is completed.

The Referral process and timeframe to adoption - Please note, these timeframes are estimates only, and vary by individual case.

• On average, we will wait approximately 2-3 months for a referral. Depending upon the number of families already on the waiting list, the specific gender those families are requesting, and the number of children in the orphanages who need a family, our wait could be less or more than 2-3 months. Typically, more families are requesting a girl referral, so the waiting time for a girl will probably be longer.

• When we receive our referral, the child will be living in an orphanage. We will usually receive photographs, and a report of medical conditions. We will take this info to a pediatrician for an evaluation and consultation.

• If we accept the referral, the child will then be moved out of the orphanage to a care facility in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. This is a CWA care facility. Before the child can be moved to the care facility, we must have received our CIS approval.

• When the child arrives to the care facility in Addis, he/she will be taken to a medical clinic for a complete physical exam. This process can take up to two weeks, depending on our child’s age. The results of the medical exam and tests will be given to us, along with new pictures of the child. If necessary, we will share this info with your pediatrician again for additional consultation.

• If the medical results are acceptable our staff will then submit our case to the court to request a hearing date for our adoption. Typically the court dates are scheduled 3-5 weeks out.

• Sometimes the scheduled court date is postponed due to missing paperwork, or the inability to get a birth relative into the city to attend the court hearing. Hearings are rescheduled for as soon as possible.

• After our adoption has been approved in the Ethiopia court, we will travel approximately 3-6 weeks later to get our child.

We have been busy this past week. The main activity has been staining our pool and deck. This needed to be done last year and we finally got to it this year! It looks so nice. We also opened our pool. I give Chris the majority of the credit. I started staining while he hooked everything up.

My grandpa came over and helped us do some maintenance on lawn mower. Boy, are we thankful for the timing! I guess that we were close to burning up the engine because we hadn’t added any oil to it for a long time.

Our cousins, Greg and Cari, had a baby girl on Friday morning at 12:17a.m. Elliot Rose (Elli) is adorable and we are happy for them! We actually had the opportunity to see Elli this evening. She is adorable. She is so tiny. We are used to our nephews who weighed 8-9 pounds. Elli only weighed 6.

Please continue to pray for our adoption process. We have been so blessed by each of you and we continue to see God opening doors for us.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Weekends - they go by so fast

We have been busy lately. On Friday, my parents came over and we were able to catch up on my father’s trip to Afghanistan. It was fun to hang out with them for a few hours. We had a pretty bad thunderstorm, so we played Uno for a little bit and then we played the Wii. We have a lot of fun competing against each other.

The weather has been so nice and we have been enjoying some time outside. We can now say that we have totally redone all of the landscaping at our house. On Saturday, we finished the west side of our house. When we started, we had to remove 3 huge bushes that had been there since my parents built our house. Of course, my dad’s response was “I paid good money for those bushes.” On Sunday, we started opening our pool. Due to the upcoming weather, we won't be able to finish it until next weekend.

On the adoption front, we received a call on Friday that our documents have been authenticated by the Department of State and the Ethiopian Embassy. We are still waiting for confirmation that the documents have been received in North Carolina. The next step is for our agency to send the dossier to Ethiopia for translation into Amharic. Please pray that everything continues to go smooth for us.

5 Years ago...

What were you doing five years ago?
I was on our honeymoon! We were in Santa Barbara, CA. We had a great time; however, no one told us it was June gloom. The sun was not out very often and it was chilly. I’m glad we were married because I wore the same outfit everyday because I couldn’t wear what I brought because of the weather.

What are five things on your to-do list for today?
Open our Pool

What are five snacks you enjoy?
Ice Cream
Gummy Worms/Bears
Sparkling Grape Juice
Anything Sweet – cookies, brownies, sugar cream pie, cheesecake

What are five things you would do if you were a billionaire? (in no particular order)
Adopt a lot of kids
Be a stay at home mother
Give to the poor – something in Ethiopia and something local
Pay off our mortgage
Help family, save and invest some of it

What are five of your bad habits?
Gagging – mainly when I brush my teeth
Washing the dishes right away
Cracking my toes
Leaving the lights on when I am not in the room
Repeatedly saying “you know what I mean”

What are five places you have lived?
Kokomo, IN
North Manchester, IN
Cheltenham, England
Peru, IN
Kokomo, IN

What are five jobs you’ve had?
Swim Instructor
Resident Assistant
Operations Supervisor
International HR Rep

What five people do you want to tag?
Brandon & Natalie