Glory Be! She's FREE! We have a new Daughter!

Monday, October 13, 2008

4 Months Waiting...

Beautiful baby girl,

4 months waiting for your arrival have gone by!  WOW!  Just a few more until we are blessed with the beauty of your face.  We pray that Jesus will keep you strong and healthy wherever you are.  Mommy and Daddy have been very busy preparing for your homecoming.  Your room is pink and so girly (just like your big sister requested!)  

Dear Jesus,

Please watch over our daughter today.  May you guide her birth mother in her choices and decisions to come.  Provide all that she needs as her baby is growing within her.  Let her know that you are there.  She is so brave and courageous.  Watch over her and protect her, keep her safe.  We ask that you provide all the nutrients needed to ensure a healthy baby.  We ask Father, that you continue lining up all the right people in the process of bringing Ava home.  Be with Duni and all the parties working on our behalf at AWAA.  We thank you for leading us to an awesome, Godly adoption agency. We ask that you provide all the needs for our agency to continue the work for the orphans of Ethiopia.  Thank you Lord for providing all that we have needed and we TRUST that you will continue providing financially for our family.  It is our desire to be obedient to you.  

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

More to pray about...

WOW!! What a week (it's only Tuesday)! This is going to be a lengthy post, but I want my family and friends to know what we are facing. PLEASE join with us in prayer this week regarding the following issues (K. Lunceford did a great job describing the situation):

$$$ AWAA Rate Increases $$$

I found out late last night (hubby is away on business) that if we don’t receive our referral by November 1 we will be required to pay approximately $2,500 more than what was expected of us in the original estimations provided to us by our adoption agency. As of November 1, the International Program Fee will be $7,500 instead of $5,000. A $385 post-placement administration fee has also been added. . We will be given a more thorough explanation on a conference call next Thursday of why this all came about and what it means for us. In the meantime, here are some things that we know are contributing to the new fees:

New capacity-building fee by the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs
MOWA has mandated a capacity building fee so they can hire more social workers and purchase computers to process adoptions. MOWA’s role is a critical one when it comes to getting families through court, so these changes are encouraging even if they do come with a price.

Transitional Home Costs
Unlike most agencies, AWAA cares for the children it plans to place in homes. These children come from difficult situations. Some are malnourished and many get sick with common cold, pneumonia or parasites. AWAA doesn’t want to merely "keep" the children until families come for them, but feels responsible to provide them the best treatment and care possible. Medical care of children, especially when they first arrive at the transition home is quite high. AWAA hires qualified nurses and has a lower nannies-to-children ratio so that the children can get a more personalized care than they would at an orphanage. AWAA also provides transitional services such as hiring English teachers and an American social worker to help the children adjust better. All of these things involve significant financial undertaking.

And then there’s the reality that inflation and the weakening dollar has led to formula and diapers becoming a lot more expensive than in the past. For example, the costs of things such as formula and diapers in Ethiopia have increased by 400%.

Exceptionally Tiny Babies
Yesterday, the Forrest family found out that their 4-month daughter is in the hospital with pneumonia and diarrhea. She is only 6.8 lbs. and is on oxygen. This is starting to become a common trend, Karen Bowman (number 2 in line for a girl) sums it up best on her blog:

"We’re starting to see the effects of the drought and famine that occurred earlier this year. Lately the babies that have been referred to families are very small compared to children who were referred to families earlier in the year. Some of the children have come into orphanages severely malnourished and have to be nursed back to health before they can be matched with families. I realize now that this is most likely because of the awful conditions in the country, and because our agency is working with some orphanages that take in children from outside the capital city in the rural regions which suffered the effects more directly. "

Pray for the Forrests, for their baby, and for all the other babies who are fighting for their health while they wait to travel home. Please pray also that our daughter, Ava Joy will receive the care she may desperately need to stay strong and healthy for us to meet her and then travel to bring her home.


Duni’s Transition Within AWAA

Finally, we also learned yesterday that Duni, our family coordinator, will be moving to Ethiopia in November to oversee things from there:

"Duni will focus on developing our Ethiopia program to respond to the growing numbers of families pursuing adoption from that country. It was decided that Duni would be most effective by overseeing the intricacies of the program and the transitional home by being on location in Addis Ababa. Her last day in the corporate office will be Wednesday, November 26. Duni says, “I love working with the families here but I am looking forward to meeting all of them personally as they come to finalize their adoption. I feel that my move will better serve families as I will be able to be in the frontlines of their adoption.”

***One day Ava will learn of all the miracles that took place in bringing her home to her forever family. I can't wait to tell her of God's provision***

Our children will also serve him. Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord. His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born. They will hear about everything he has done. Psalm 22:30-31

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Updated Girl List!!

Updated List - (that we know of...) For Those Waiting for Girls!!

Black - 1
Bowman - 2
Blackwell - 3
Lunceford - 4
Rothermund - 5
Eckhardt - 6
Heinrichs - 7
Jones - 8
Keiderling - 9
Gillman -10
Mullins - 11
Moffat - 12
Pickard - 13
Delfosse - 14
Dragovich - 15
Gagnon - 16
Bartley - 17
Portilla - 18 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Foote - 19
Redd - 20
Kerby - 21
Reed - 22
Bowers - 23
Carpenter - 24
Monberg - 25

And - in case you need more lists - here's the top 11 overall (from all "lines", I'm assuming) waiting for referral (* = from the girl line!):


So..... let's say in the month of October AWAA does a little bit of catching up from the slow month of September and does somewhere between 11-15 referrals - if all of these top 11 get referrals then that would move us up 5 places in line since 5 of those in the top 11 are waiting for girls (see *). However - from the opposite perspective (have to keep things balanced here) if it does take longer to receive a girl referral - can all 5 of these girl referrals happen in one month?

Courts are open again in ET!  This Oct 8 (this week!) several AWAA families are to have a court date that they've waited so long for! Pray that all of them have a successful court date! Here's the list of those waiting for court, travel, etc. (I swiped all these lists from our YG - thank you!)

October 8 court date, tentative travel October 25:


Tentative travel November 1:


Waiting for court:


**Of course, in the world of international adoption, anything can change**