Friday, February 19, 2010

No travel date

We have been waiting to hear when we travel to Africa and still no travel date to speak of from our agency. Believe us we want to know when we will go as much as all of you. Now that Tara is ours, we think about her even more. Good thing I have great friends who have sent me photos of her as they have returned from Africa. Wendy is the blond holding Tara. What a great thing to have these clips and video link too!

I think Wendy might have been a
bit emotional while holding Tara

Well I did want a daughter with Curls!

Tara has one of the nicer beds.
She does make eye contact which is a good thing

The nannies love the kids
and hold them...A LOT!

I think she is saying
please come and get me?

Big eyes!!!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Reflecting on our day

I know that I had asked many of you to pray for our court date. As you know that our request was just for God's timing and we would be Ok with either result.

Trust is a hard thing for me! Amazingly I did not feel rushed for this to pass, nor worried that it wouldn't happen because honestly we completely trusted that it would happen and the only thing we were unsure about was "when".

Yesterday afternoon we got the call from our agency that we passed court. What a weight off our shoulders...she is ours. Ok, I have to say that one more time...Tara is ours. Last night I sat back and wondered, how did we get so lucky? So many families go to court multiple times before passing. Some family have been known to go five times. I know that this week there were families who did not pass and we did.

We attended a funeral yesterday. Yes sad. As we left the chapel, we got the call. Normally I would be at work and so would Rich. But this day we were together as a couple and actually surrounded by family. We got the news at 2:10 from our case worker Chandra (who has been our rock through the last 2 years). It was wonderful to get the call from her personally and to be with our family during the call. It is a
moment I will never forget.

Last night we got an email from our agency. Our case worker Chandra resigned. Yes, just hours after we passed court. What if we had not passed? What a mess that would be! I was also heartbroken to hear the news. Reflecting back that she probably knew at the 2:10 call that she was leaving, but did not cloud our moment of joy with her news. She put Tara first.

So many people have unselfishly supported Tara during this process. Many told us yesterday that they had been praying for Tara and "just knew" that we would pass. Many prayed in the middle of the night and early morning (probably as the court case was actually happening in Ethiopia). I can only imagine how many prayers were going her way!!! Love it!

Then I sat down last night and reflected back on the day. And clarity happened for me.
I realized that it was all God’s doing. Gods perfect timing...

Amazing that Liviann was born at 2:10pm, we got the call for our referral at 2:10pm and now we get the news that we passed court also at 2:10pm. I truly believe from the bottom of my heart that this is the work of the the Lord and that I need to give him the credit. He was trying to show me a confirmation that he had his hand in things. For some it could be subtle, but for me it had to be blaringly obvious or I would miss it. It was like he was stamping his 2:10 approval on things and saying "I want you to know that this is my timing and your children are in my grip.". Anyway, I think that is what he is saying : ) Isn’t funny how Trust and Gods timing have to go hand in hand? As if he is saying to trust in him as he has a plan for Tara and her future.

“What’s next?” is the biggest question asked. Now we wait for a travel date and Embassy appointment. We should hear this next week what dates were chosen for us. We have two choices. The first one gets Tara home quicker and the second is better for Liviann. So which one are we hoping and praying for? Not to sound redundant, but Gods perfect timing once again.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tara is Officially part of our Family!!!

We have been waiting 567 days to say that we are now officially a family of four:
Rich, Kristie, Liviann, Tara (plus two cats)!
We passed court today and received the call at 2:10 this afternoon. I think there must be something magical about that time because that was the time Liviann was born, that was the time we got our referral call and now we hear today at 2:10 that we pass court. This means that Tara is officially ours and that we travel soon to get her.

Travel dates will be nailed down next week, but we will be leaving sometime in the second half of March. And what an adventure that will be!

If you want to see what little baby Tara looks like, copy and past this link in your browser:

She is so sweet and we can't wait to bring her home!

Today was our court hearing in Ethiopia

Well what is done is done. It is after 5pm in Ethiopia so the court case is over. Now it is just sitting back and waiting for the results. As of noon, AAI still has not hear how things have went. I will post to the blog as soon as I know.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

One day till court

We just have hours left to wait till we go to court. This is all in Gods hands! We are in his grip.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Two days till Court

It is hard to believe that there is a chance that we could pass court in just 48 hours, I really have the nesting bug going on. Just need to get all ready for this little sweety to come into our lives.

Monday, February 8, 2010

That is what friends are for!

This past weekend I went to a wine tasting party with some of my closest friends. I held my glass up at the toast and said "Not many women can toast and enjoy a glass of merlot just 4 days prior to having a baby: That is the beauty of adoption". It was a wonderful event.

I am not sure if it was the wine mix with too much chocolate, the late hour or a case of the sillies, but one of my closest friends said something that still has me rolling with laughter. I was telling her that I was packing and getting donations together and though she might be able to help me hunt for some donations for the orphanage. She then began to tell me that she had the perfect gift in mind for little T...designer luggage tags. I said "what for?"... she then preceeded to tell me, "well of course when the staff goes to pack up all of T's things, she will need something really cool to tage all the bags with. I instantly began rolling in the giggles! I said "what things""... It is sad to thing that these little ones in the orphanage do not have one thing of their one. As a matter of fact, you can't even keep the outfit they are wearing unless you ask to swap it with a new outfit. I have thoughts of them hauling loads of fashions in trunks with designer labels to our car with Little T...NOT!

Three days till court

Many people ask us what we will do once we get to Ethiopia. Here is a glimpse at our schedule:

Travel to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: (4-6 weeks after we pass court)
  • Fly (Wed): Fly to Europe and then to Ethiopia. This is a two or three leg flight.
  • Arrive: in the capital and and travel to hotel, acclimate to new time zone.
  • Travel South (Friday): An escort will help us travel to the south. See wild life and other sites along the way.
  • Awassa: Go to the orphanage in Awassa where little T lived
  • Dilla: Then travel to visit Gedeo region and Dilla her city.
  • Relation: Experience her people group and possibly meet a relative it they are available and willing.
  • Return to Addis (Mon): She will have got moved to Addis the capital we will need travel back to Addis to meet her
  • Take custody (Wed): Meet her and claim her. She will live with us after that in our hotel room
  • Embassy appointment (Thurs): in the capital and and check into hotel, acclimate to new time zone.
  • Leave (Friday or Saturday): Pack up and travel to airport.
  • Fly Fly to Europe and then to USA and then to GR. This is a two or three leg flight.
Welcome Home!!!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Four days till we pass court

Can I really be that optimistic? Well we sort of have to plan as if we are passing because we have to get so much ready. For example, paperwork, collect donations of supplies for the orphanage and pack all our stuff. Plus there is the whole logistics of finding care for our bio daughter.

So many people are asking what happens when we pass court. The first thing is that we jump up and down and hug everyone in site. Then after that, we wipe away the tears and wait for an embassy appointment. Once we get this, we scramble to make travel arrangements. Everything pends on that embassy appointment. Normally we leave 3-6 weeks after passing court.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Five days till court for little T

Today is a big day because I get to pack and plan. Yes it is the best Saturday I ever hoped for. I just need to get organized and be a better planner. Today I begin work on a photo album for the family our our daughter to be. We want those surviving family members and neighbors to be able to see what little T's live will be like back here in the states. Another thing I am working on is trying to get a nice letter put together that would help communicate our feelings of thankfulness on the adoption, our promises for the the baby and our hopes/dreams for her future.

Friday, February 5, 2010

People surprise me with their generosity

Today my friend Wendy will make her way down to Dilla City to see our little sweety. What a friend. If I had to pick anyone who would hug and kiss our daughter to be, Wendy would definitely be on my top ten list. She emailed me today "This is amazing and overwhelming". I can't wait to hear all about it. She has a big bag of goodies to give little T. One is a blankie that I kept 2 weeks in our dirty clothes. It talks a real friend to hand carry a cloth with my BO thousands of miles half way around the world!

I was very touched today by several people who offered one of the most important gifts of all to little T...Prayer. When asked what I would like pray for, I consistently say God's perfect timing in this whole process. We have been in his grip so far, and I am overwhelmed with trust that he will carry us the rest of the journey.

Brookhouse family leaves for Africa

Yesterday my friend Wendy and her husband should have landed in Africa. She is traveling to pick up her daughter Blen who is staying at the same orphanage as our soon to be daughter little T. Wendy is just one of those people that is so full of life and love and I can't wait to see her spread all of that love and uniqueness all over her new daughter! John of course is just going to be a pillar of fatherly support in Addi's life. My plan is to meet them at the air port on Sunday. Let me know if you would like to join me. How cool is it that Addison Blen will arrive home on valentines day!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Court date: In Ethiopia is Feb 11

We expected to have a court date sometime in March. Think again! We found out that our court date is February 11. Yes, in less than one week! What a cool thing, but the responsibily of it all hit us like a load of bricks. We have about a 50/50 shot at passing court the first try. We are prepared to go a few times as it is pretty likely for this to happen. Why? People ask this all the time. Well it is not because of us. We are actually pre-approved by MOWA to adopt (Ministry of woman's (and children) Affairs in Ethiopia). It is that the paperwork has to be perfect! No translation errors, nothing missing, nothing unsigned or unstamped and no confusion with the facts stated on the records. This is actually a good thing that all spend so much time making sure that everything is authentic and there is no fowl play going on. There are many parts of the world where child trafficking is taking place and it is great to be sure this is not one of them! Plus all the players need to be present at the court case. Mowa, the judge, someone from the baby's family (tribe), the orphanage, and our power of attorney all have to be there from what I heard through the grape vine. The good news is that we can hire a power of attorney and not have six grand extra in flights!