Keeping Up With The Jones'

My Photo

Brandon and I have been married for almost 13 years, have two beautiful children, soon to be three! We are adopting from Ethiopia and couldn't be more excited to start this new chapter!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Latest news from Ethiopia

On Monday we received the latest news from the federal court in Ethiopia re: travel and court dates. They have decided that instead of both parents having to travel to Ethiopia to attend court only one parent is now required to go. Also, they have changed the court process. The previous way they scheduled court dates was that once you accepted your referral you were assigned a court date that you did not have to attend. This first court date was for MOWA (Ministry of Womens Affairs) to give their opinion to the judge on whether or not the child should be adopted and for the birth family to relinquish their child, if possible. The second court date, approximately 4-8 weeks later, was for the adoptive parents to be present in court to state their request to adopt their child(ren). Now there is only one court date. MOWA, birth parents, and adoptive parents will all be in court on the same day but MOWA and birth parents will be there in the morning and the adoptive parent(s) will be there in the afternoon. This is really great news because travel is approximately 4-8 weeks quicker than it would have been!

Gladney has a conference call that they give on their Ethiopia program every month and this afternoon they gave a good explanation of the new policies as well as what to expect on the first trip to Ethiopia. The first trip is NOT a bonding trip, you do not get one-on-one time with your child, you do not get to have pictures taken with only your child and you and you aren't allowed to give them a care package. If you take one, the care center will keep it for you until you have passed court (which may or may not happen on the date that you're there) and then give it to your child. The bonding time will be on the second trip, after you have passed court, and the child is officially yours.

Brandon and I are talking about the different possibilities but right now we're leaning toward Brandon leaving for the first trip, me giving him power of attorney to speak for me in court, and returning home and then I will will travel for the second trip and he will stay home. This is not set in stone but this is what we're thinking for now.

We'll keep you posted!

Oh, and the wait list is still approximately 8 months...we're almost to month #2!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Madelyn's 8th birthday

 Madelyn turned 8 years old this year! I can't believe how fast 8 years has gone by! She had a very fun, special birthday this year. She had the option of having a party with a lot of her friends at home or taking one friend to go to Lily's Pampering Salon & Party Boutique for an afternoon of pampering. She chose to take Bella (no surprise there!) and go to Lily's. The girls had a GREAT time! They got manicures, pedicures, had their make up done, drank pink lemonade, ate cupcakes, and even got their ears pierced!! It was a HUGE day for both girlies!!


Getting pedicures

Aunt Jamie got to go with us!

Beautiful toes


Bella getting her make up done

Madelyn getting her make up done

Bella getting her ears pierced! Gorgeous! She was sooo brave!

Madelyn was upset when she got her ears pierced but is very happy with the outcome!

Mama wiping away the tears.
Silly, happy girls at Red Robin for lunch after their morning at Lily's. if that weren't enough of a celebration.......we had dinner with our family to celebrate as well!

First day of 1st Grade and 2nd Grade

Nolan was so ready for the first day of school! He loves it every single day!

 Madelyn has a bit of a harder time with school starting but having her same teacher as last year helped!

One month

We have been on the wait list for one month. It sure has gone by fast! I know that not all months will go this fast but I expect that these next few will fly. It seems like with school starting, Madelyn's birthday, Halloween, Nolan's birthday and Thanksgiving, and then's a very busy time of year!

The kids are sooo excited for Halloween this year. We just put all of our fall decorations out. The kids did a very good job of making sure that everything was put where it was supposed to go and even made a few decorations of their own. Very cute!

Most posts to come...first day of school, Madelyn's birthday, and the zoo!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Why Ethiopia?

Just because a lot of people ask the question, "Why Ethiopia?" I thought I would share these statistics:

  • There are over six million orphans in Ethiopia
  • One out of every 20 children born alive die in their first month of life
  • One out of ten children born die before their first birthday
  • Ethiopia’s doctor to children ratio is 1 to 24,000.
  • One out of six children die before their fifth birthday
  • The median age in Ethiopia is 18
  • Per capita, Ethiopia receives less aid than any country in Africa
  • Coffee prices (Ethiopia’s only major export) fell 40-60% from 1998-2002 - strange since coffee consumption has grown in the US.
  • In 1993, after 30 long years of war, Eritrea broke from Ethiopia and became an independent nation leaving Ethiopia landlocked without any major seafaring ports.
  • If only 7 percent of the 2 billion Christians in the world would care for a single orphan in distress, there would effectively be no more orphans.

Addis Ababa