Sunday, July 30, 2006

Speaking Freely

Welcome, new readers! Before reading further, you may want to go back in time and read the first post, "Frequently Asked Questions."

FINALLY we can speak freely! Because we've been traveling and hosting guests so much this summer, we hadn't had good opportunity to tell many people here in Waldport about our adoption plans. It may seem silly, but I wanted the people to whom we are closest to find out first, or at least at the same time (not last). But if we told people one at a time, it'd take forever, and then no one knows who else knows. And we knew once we told Toshia and the rest of the youth group kids, it'd be all over! (No offense, loves, if you're reading this.) But now that we're really getting into the process, we were just bursting to share. With Aaron back from YL camp, I told him I couldn't take it any more--we're telling! Everyone! So this morning at church he stood up and told the congregation at almost the end of the service, since he didn't manage to get it out during regular prayer request time. Everyone grinned and clapped and congratulated us. They're so wonderful. And wouldn't you know it, someone in the congregation has a grandchild also currently adopting from Ethiopia!

I wanted to see Toshia's face when Aaron said it--it was priceless. I've never seen a mouth gape so wide, and for about ten minutes! She was actually almost a bit scary, being so shocked and indignant that she hadn't known--we weren't sure whether she was going to punch us or cry. She soon moved into the latter. Ana looked dazed in her shock. Shayla is calling us Mom and Dad, "so we can get used to it."

After church many of us went to the Adobe for lunch (a celebration of Desi and Heather, Margaret Ann, and, I suppose, per the sermon, "Cloud Appreciation Sunday"), so we got to talk more with some people. Linda is so cute, all giddy to buy baby things and decorate the room. I reminded her of our first experience sewing curtains . . . perhaps we'll find some to buy! Unfortunately Billie was at home with laryngitis, so we had to stop by and tell her, because Linda said she'd be calling Billie to see if she'd talked to me yet until we did. Sure enough, while we were there, Linda called. What a pair you two are!

We still have people from outside of church and most of the kids to tell, but I'm sure word will spread fast (this is Waldport, after all), and now that it's kind of "out there," I feel like I can tell anyone and everyone. Tell one, tell all! We're pregnant on paper! Whee!

Thank you most sincerely to all of you for your happy and supportive responses. Our church is truly a family any child would be blessed to grow up in.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Countdown Begins.

Note: If you're new to this site, you might want to start with the previous post, FAQs.

Happy birthday to me--I mailed our adoption application! We have applied for the Ethiopia program of Dove Adoptions International. It's a mid-size agency near Portland. We also have started working on home study paperwork for Sandy C., who is an independent social worker but has worked with Dove a lot.

Choosing an agency was somewhat difficult, but since only a few agencies are licensed for Ethiopian adoptions, our choices were greatly narrowed down. I got information packets from five agencies; two of them have waiting lists because their Ethiopia programs are growing so quickly. I got recommendations from people on online adoption forums. I read a lot and eventually called our top choices to ask questions about their programs and process. I won't get into detail here about why we decided on Dove beyond saying we feel comfortable with their program, their accessibility, their facilities in Ethiopia, etc. For you Reformed fans of Providence out there: Dove was the first agency site I ran into when I started thinking seriously about adoption and doing research. A hint? Ethiopia lodged permanently in my heart right then and there. Just took us a while to get to this point of applying.

We have also started on home study paperwork. Well, Aaron has. He spent a day cranking through his "homework" before Young Life camp. My parents have been here, so I have yet to catch up with him. Sandy may be able to come here for our visit around the second week of August. Yes, things are happening fast! Since the application is in the mail, assuming all goes well, the 9-month timeline clock starts now. Stay tuned . . .