Sunday, April 7, 2013

March 7, 2013 @11:02am

This marks the time that we received the LONG awaited phone call. 

"Mrs. Turner, this is your referral call..."

WOW!!!! I don't even have words for how we felt when our agency told us we had a 4 yr old little boy named "A" (can't disclose his name until he is legally ours) waiting for us.  We weren't home when we received the call, but we couldn't wait to get home to check our email and see his little face.  We cried in amazement, happiness, joyfulness, and shock; you name it emotions were flying. :) We were finally parents!

When we saw his face, we'd never seen a more beautiful sight. His eyes were almond shaped and very big.  He had a cheesy grin and the brightest glow about him.  He was, OUR SON! :)

Now it's time to prepare:
  • Get His Room Ready
  • Register For The "Kid Shower"
  • Finish Renewing Documents
  • Renew Passports
  • Fill Out More Travel Paperwork
  • Prepare To Be Gone For Who Knows How Long

We were able to sign a Photo Release for another traveling adoptive family to take pictures of "A" while they were meeting their son and deliver a care package to him. We sent a new outfit, a Lion King coloring book and 2 matchbox cars.  I also wrote him a simple note just telling him we were praying for him and loved him. I signed it "Love, Mom & Dad"  This is real! :)

Didn't send the dinosaur this package!


We were blessed to not have to wait very long for a MOWCYA court date.  This is the date that the Ethiopian court is presented with our file and meets "A's" birth mother.  She will relinquish all rights to "A" and the court will either write a positive letter, and we will get our court date and meet our son, or they will request further investigation in our case. The date for this is May 24.  If they write a positive letter, we might receive a court date and make plans to travel to Ethiopia within 2 to 4 weeks.  I am praying for the positive letter and the 2 weeks. :)  If this is the case we will most likely be traveling at the end of June! :)

Needless to say, we have been over joyed and frantic since Mar 7th.  We have almost completed his room and finished renewing some paper work.
Please be praying for us and our son, until we are together as a family!

Love,
Emily

Monday, February 25, 2013

Since May...

Wow!!!  A lot has changed since my last post on May 19th 2012.
  • We had a Home Study update to change our request for an older child
  • We are officially waiting for a 0-5 yr old boy
  • We are no longer using the name Julani (I'll explain later)
  • We had a HUGE garage sale Fundraiser, raising over $1,400 :)
  • And we are officially in the time frame they gave us, waiting 18-24 months for a referral
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To start, in late November and Early December of 2012 Joseph & I and another couple went to NYC. Joseph had a small conference to attend and the rest of us just played. We LOVE NYC!!!
I was resting in the Hotel Room checking my facebook, while Joseph was out (probably getting me snacks, I'm a muncher,) I received a message from someone who recently "friended" me from the AWAA Ethiopia Facebook group.  Reading:


"... Looks like we are the next two in line for a boy 4+ yrs. ..."

Needless to say this caught me way off guard.  "Next in line?" I had stopped looking at the list just because we hadn't moved in so long. We were only 16 months DTE at the time and the wait was 18-24 months. Not having to wait that long NEVER happens. I was sooooooo excited I started crying, of course.  I told Joseph when he got back to the Hotel and we were both in shock and full of excitement.  Coming back to reality we knew that with the trends in the program there could still be a long wait, and the list on our yahoo group is not official by any means. But it still gave us hope and made the fact that we will most likely be parents in the next year a reality. :)

With the excitement, I went to Gap kids in Boston (after NYC) and bought a pair of pants and 2 pair of socks size 5T, just in case. ;)

As soon as we got home we started to make sure everything was in line to accept a referral when it came. 
  • Painted the room
  • Started looking for a Big Boy bed (twin)
  • I actually created an amazon "Baby Registry" with big boy items 
  • Removed the highchair i thrifted and refinished from the dining room and placed in storage
  • Started researching Reading tools to teach him to read English (luckily my best friend is a Kindergarten Teacher)
  • Had a Huge garage sale to help with the final costs
  • Made plans for people to watch our dogs when we travel etc...
 It is now 3 months later (DTE 19months) and still no referral. This is totally expected but we know that it could be any day.  I am clinging to my phone tightly waiting for that phone call. :) In God's timing!

_____

We have decided to not use the name Julani any more. The reason for this is, after much research and reading what other adoptive moms have said, when asking an older child that you are adopting if they want to keep their name or want a new name, they usually say they want an "American name."
With us wanting to include the child in their naming process we realized that "Julani" is not an American name, just another African name that we liked.   So we are leaning towards "Eli" which will be short for Elijah, which would have been Julani's middle name anyway.  If our son likes the name Eli, then that will be his "American name." We are sad to leave "Julani" behind but we believe that its meaning "God is my strength" has gotten us through this long adoption process. I think it has served its purpose.

Please continue to be in prayer for us as we wait for the referral of most likely a boy 4-5 yrs old. 
I will try to be a better blogger since things are starting to happen again. It was hard when there was nothing to write about.
Praise God there is now! :)

-Emily 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

New Things / Changes...

First I want to say that we have a new fund raiser. To the left of my blog you will see a Just Love Coffee button.  If you buy coffee from this link, a portion of the proceeds will go towards our adoption fund! Who doesn't LOVE coffee?
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This week I started reading "Orphanology" by Tony Merida & Rick Morton.  If you follow me on Twitter or read my status on Facebook, you’ve been bombarded with quotes from the book.  Sorry about that… Well, kinda.  Reading this book has rekindled my passion for adoption and has opened my eyes to the priority God places on us taking care of orphans.  I encourage everyone to read it if you get a chance.
Along with this rekindled passion I’ve been on a mission that exceeds adopting Julani, along with any future children we will welcome into our family.  The book stresses the Biblical command for Christians to take care of orphans.

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” - James1:27

The Greek word for visit, “episkeptesthai,” means more than dropping by. It means that we should be personally involved with others and care for them, exercising oversight on their behalf by helping them in their need. It means we should take the role of shepherd in the cause of caring for the helpless (Paraphrased from Orphanology).  Needless to say, I’ve been looking into how our church, Sojourn, can "visit" the orphans.  I’ll talk more about that later.

I’ve also looked into our own adoption to see if there is more we could be doing or if there is anything the Lord is showing us through all of this. After reading adoption stories in the book, my eyes have been opened to options we knew were out there, but seemed too overwhelming or complicated for us at the time we began our adoption process. Examples being: sibling groups, older children, waiting children, special needs children, etc.
Recently, Joseph and I revisited all of these options and the only one that seems suitable for our family, or that we qualified for at least, is to open our age range to 0-5 years.

Adopting older children stereotypically comes with greater complications.  For instance, they are more likely to remember past abuse or abandonment, they struggle with language differences, they are more emotionally distraught, and have slower learning development. But that always depends on the individual child, infants may have the same issues as well.
I thought to myself, “why do I have to have an infant when there are all sorts of children who need parents?”  I realized that wanting a baby was selfish on my part.  When I mentioned this option to Joseph, he said having an infant was never a "must have" for him. Baby things tend to freak him out anyway. 
We asked another adoptive mommy who has adopted older children and she encouraged us to go for it!  She said that she wants me to watch and discuss the Karyn Purvis seminars on child development and connecting with adopted children.  She also said to be prepared but not scared, basically!
We have told our Family Coordinator that we would like to expand our age range and we’ve started taking the necessary steps to do so.  We will need to be approved by our social worker, but I'm praying that we won’t have any problems with that. So, the outcome is not official yet but that’s the current plan.

Please be praying for this change with us. Now we need to be prepared to bring home an infant or a child that is almost in elementary school, which is a major difference.

God's plan not ours!

-Emily

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Worst Blogger EVER!

So I have been really bad at blogging lately.  I think because there isn't much more to report.
We are now 9 months DTE which is exciting. The time really is going by quickly.
The current wait time for a referral is still 18-24 months.

We have decided to continue as planned and wait for Julani to be our first child.  Unless God reveals otherwise.

Month 8, I was sewing the next link in the "Wait Chain" and my sewing machine wouldn't stop bunching the thread, so I need to have that fixed so I can sew the last 2 links.  I am also wanting to start making the projects I have in mind for the nursery. (Need my sewing machine to work.)

We recently purchased a dresser at a thrift store for $35 for Julani's room! Love good finds. It was painted brown with blue over spray on the top.  I'm wanting to strip it and stain it! :)

Here is the dresser still in the thrift store. (had to get permission from the hubby)

Please continue to pray that we will have patients and trust in the Lord's perfect timing for our family! :)

Love,
Emily