Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Howl-oween!!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Halloween weekend! Yes, we dressed Maggie in a lovely bumblebee outfit.  Don't think she particularly enjoyed it, but we thought she looked just adorable. 

She's usually a bit more dignified.  Parents can be soooo embarrassing. 

It's just humiliating to be dressed up as a bee.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rah rah, IRS!

We are loving the IRS tonight--that's a new one, huh?  They actually sent our docs pretty darned quickly, which is awesome as it is the last document we need for our homestudy!!  YAHOO!!  So I'm sending in those docs tomorrow, and hopefully we can get our home visit on the books.  Not looking forward to that one little bit, I must say, but it's one more enormous hoop to jump through in this adventure. 

We are now connected to the WACAP message boards, and it's fascinating to see questions and answers of those who are much farther along in the process than us, especially those getting ready to travel.  It seems just so far away; it's almost more of a theoretical idea, that we will travel to Africa (twice).  Yet there are people, right now, who have pictures of their babies and are packing clothes, formula and diapers, finalizing their airline tickets and researching where to get their morning coffee (a lot of ET adoptive families are from Seattle :-)  It's so incredibly encouraging and just makes us want to celebrate each little step along the way, including finishing our homestudy documents.  Bring on the champagne!

Monday, October 25, 2010

And Deliciousness Ensued...

I've decided to expand my culinary horizons and create some traditional Ethiopian dishes.  Last night I made doro wat, a yummy chicken stew using berbere, a blend of spices essential to Ethiopian cuisine.  Berbere is pretty spicy, but added a ton of flavor--this is our new favorite meal for a cold and rainy day!  And yes, there are hard-boiled eggs in the stew--Cory was in heaven!  Really easy and really yummy, and hopefully will be a little taste of home for our future baby.

 Oh, and the comments section is now active. 

Doro Wat

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Food for Thought

Tonight we took part in a webinar on nutritional deficiencies typically found in internationally adopted children.  It was really interesting, and I frantically took notes only to find out in the end (thank goodness!!) that a recorded version of the webinar is available to us for a month.  Phew!!  There is a high likelihood that the child referred to us will have some malnourishment issues, so this was an informative and useful training.  The doc who presented covered everything from supplements to feeding picky toddlers to what to ask the caretakers before taking our child home.  Great session--looking forward to many more!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

We had a lovely fall weekend--dinner with friends (ribs! mmmmmm) and worked hard on adoption paperwork--we are almost, almost done!  Tomorrow we send in medical information, pay stubs, a parenting resource plan, etc, etc, etc.  Of course, we missed one dinky page of our 2009 tax returns when copying them last year, so are waiting for the IRS to send us a new copy.  Yes, we are waiting on the IRS to move forward with our homestudy--and at risk of getting audited, that's all I'm going to say about that :-)  Anyway, as far as I can tell, that's the only thing left, so we are moving at lightning speed so far.  We take our first adoption class in two weeks, and can have our home visit after that is done.  We are really looking forward to the class, as I'm sure it will clarify a lot of questions we have about the process.
More to come!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sambusa, Sega Tibs, Shiro Wot, Oh My!

So last night it was pouring and chilly (I write as if it's a novelty in Seattle), and neither of us were in a cookin' kinda mood, so I headed to Habesha, a lovely restaurant in downtown Seattle, for an Ethiopian takeout meal.  Ethiopian food is eaten with injera, a steamed bread, instead of silverware, is highly flavored and pretty darned spicy.  Here's what we had--I did take pictures but, as I discovered I am definitely not a food stylist, my pics made the food look like dog vomit.  I promise, however, that it was delectable. 
Missir Sambusa:  Pastry rolls filled with lentils, green peppers, garlic, onion and tons of spices. 
Sega Tibs:  Cubes of beef sauteed with spices, onion and tomatoes
Kike:  Split yellow peas with onions, garlic and turmeric  (I think my teeth are permanently stained yellow from the amount of turmeric in this one!)


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Holy Paperwork, Batman!!

We got our "Adoption Toolkit" in the mail, which outlines the many, many documents we need for the homestudy.  Overwhelmed, much?  It's just a crazy amount of paperwork, tax returns, life insurance verification, etc, etc, etc.  We also will complete several loooooong documents in which we decide our guardianship plans, what the worst case scenario for our adopted child would be, what resources we have in place, etc, etc, etc.   At the end of the day, however, we decided that it's actually a really good conversation for expectant parents of any kind to have.  Nothing like getting your worst fears out on the table early in the process, right?  Anywho, this is the list (about a third of the paperwork--whooo-hooo!!) that we are sending in tomorrow:
*Molly's Autobiography
*Cory's Autobiography
*Tax Returns for past two years
*Additional Autobiographical Statements
*Financial Statements
*Cash Flow Analysis
*Guardianship Plans
*Release of Information
*Education Verification
*Family Health Insurance Plan for Adoption
*Cory's Birth Cert
*Molly's Birth Cert
*Marriage Cert
*Divorce Decree
*Background Check Forms

Wow.  I mean, really, wow.  But hey, we are on our way, right? 

More to come....

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


We are so happy you’ve joined us on our journey to parenthood! As hopeful as we were, and as hard as the road was, we are breathing a sigh of that the infertility process is over and are moving on to a new and exciting adventure.  We are hopeful that the road to adoption will not be too bumpy and will result in the creation of our family.  Addis Ababa, here we come!
In case you were wondering, here are the Ethiopian adoption basics:
1.        Pre-application:  We just received approval from our adoption agency (WACAP) to begin the adoption process, which was reason enough to bring out the champagne!  Not too early to celebrate, right?
Step one, complete!!  Yahoo!!
1.       Next:  The Dreaded Homestudy:  During this phase of our adoption, we gather every document we’ve ever touched in our lives, write a biography, fill out a resource plan, have physicals, increase our life insurance, etc, etc. Once the homestudy documents are complete, our case manager from the agency will come to our home and give it the white glove test.  Just kidding! (We hope!)  This  visit is just to make sure that our home is safe and appropriate, and to meet us in person.  The homestudy process takes roughly 3 months, which we are beginning now.

2.       The Dossier:  Once the homestudy is complete, we begin our dossier, which is another packet of documents that are sent to Ethiopia.  I understand that some of these documents are similar to the homestudy requirements, so we are going to try to kill two birds with one stone and order doubles of everything.  The dossier process takes roughly 2 months.

3.       Immigration:  Once our dossier is complete, we wait for an appointment to be fingerprinted.  Once fingerprinting is complete and Immigration gives us the green light, we are on The Wonderful, Amazing List!!

4.       The Wonderful , Amazing List:  Once a family is added to The List, they are officially in line to receive a referral for a child from Ethiopia.  We are waiting for a 1-12 month old child, either a boy or a girl.  Because we have not designated a desired sex, we will very likely be referred a boy.  The current wait time for a healthy baby boy is 7-12 months. 

5.       The Referral:  This is the call all adoptive parents wait dream about.  Once a referral is made to us, we receive medical information and any history that is known about the child.  If we accept the referral, we get ready to travel!  If we do not accept a referral, we stay at the top of The List and wait for the next referral. 

6.       Pack Your Bags!:  Once a referral is accepted, we start getting ready to travel.  For an Ethiopian adoption, two trips are required to Addis Ababa.  The first is to go to court to become legal parents of the child.  The second trip is to take the child home.  This is a new process, as before June 2010 only one trip was required and the courts are closed in August and September.  As it is so very new, we aren’t really sure how it’s going to work out – we know some folks going ahead of us so they will pave the way (thanks, guys!).  Wait times between the referral and the first trip is 8-12 weeks.  Between the two trips, the wait time is 5-8 weeks. 

7.       Come home, breathe a sigh of relief, and start our lives a family!!
This is a very simplified version of upcoming events, but hopefully everything will go smoothly and in the next 18 months or so we will have a little one to call our own!! 
More updates are coming soon.  Once again, thank you to everyone for your support over the last couple of years and in the upcoming roller coaster!
Much love,
Molly and Cory