Thursday, September 25, 2008

Very cool poem...

...that my sis-in-law wrote for the baby shower! I completely spaced and forgot to put it in that post. So, better late than never. Here goes...

Dear Dietrich & Amy,

So you're expecting a baby, God's blessed you again
with a new one to cuddle and love.
He's opened your heart and your home to let in

a gift that He gives from above.


New into this world the baby has come
in the natural way of all men,

But into your home he'll be born once again

with paper and ink and with pen.


He'll have a new name and new rights he will hold

as a son and heir of your clan.
It's a new life for him with treasures untold

all signed with a stroke of your hand.

What a beautiful way God has shown what He's done

for those that believe on Christ's name.

Though, it's not with black ink but with the blood of His Son

He's adopted us just the same.


Rebecca Yovanovich
Eph. 1:5 & Rom. 8:15

Just gives me goose-bumps (people-bumps as the kids like to say!) every time I read it!

WE HAVE TENTATIVE TRAVEL DATES!!!!!!

Yep! We're pretty excited!!!! We just look at each other and shake our heads because we can hardly believe we could be on a plane in ONE MONTH!!!!!!! AAAAHHHHH!!!!!! :D Part of me wants to be able to say for sure that we will pass court on the first try and part of my wants to be a pessimist and say-- well, we'll see. :) So, we'll keep praying and see what God does. (did the little "pessimist on my shoulder" just win out? LOL)
Oh! The "tentative travel dates" are October 25-31! Can you believe it?! YIPEE!

Ezana, baby, we're almost there!!! I can almost feel you in my arms already!

Monday, September 22, 2008

All those crazy USCIS forms we need...

I'm sure there are many who are way ahead of me here, but that's OK! :)
I had a few minutes in between schooling the kids this morning and so I thought I'd look up those sites for the paperwork we have to bring to ET. Well, I found it all easy-peasy, but thought it would be just plain silly to close down those browsers without copy and pasting it into an email or posting it here for all my fellow adopters, YGers and travel buddies!! So, here's what I made.... (feel free to post it on the YG if you think it's helpful and please let me know if I did anything wrong. I tried to double check it all and would never want to lead anyone astray! :D)

What I did was....
I made one copy of the instructions for "just in case" and then I made 3 copies of each form...
2 for Ethiopia that are blank and 1 to practice on here at home and have somewhat figured out before we get there (Rachel said to bring 1 blank to fill out there and 1 just in case you mess up). Remember though, this is what AWAA stresses... "Do not fill out any of these forms until you are instructed to do so by our representative in Ethiopia." I printed out the extra just to familiarize myself with them and will by no means "fill our any thing on the forms until I am instructed!" hahaha

For the I-600
http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=c5695f56ff55d010VgnVCM10000048f3d6a1RCRD&vgnextchannel=db029c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD
At the top of this page it will say:
Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative
scroll to the bottom of the page for the 2 links to down load the instructions and the form
For the actual website this form is found on go to: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis
and click on "Immigration Forms" at the top and then you can scroll through and find the I-600 & I-864

For the I-864
http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=b70f8875d714d010VgnVCM10000048f3d6a1RCRD&vgnextchannel=db029c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD
At the top of this page it will say:
Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the Act
scroll to the bottom of the page for the 1 link to down load the instructions and form... pgs 1-11 are the instructions & pgs 12-19 are the form

For the DS 230
http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/81807.pdf
At the top of this page it will say:
APPLICATION FOR IMMIGRANT VISA AND ALIEN REGISTRATION
This is the actual form, part I & part II, just print out all 4 pages and you will have all the parts for the DS 230 :) Thanks to the person on YG (sorry! Can't remember who it was!) that posted this link...it was perfect!

Hope this saves you some time and headache!!! :)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Can you say, "Yipee!" ?

Guess what we got in the mail (well, email that is) yesterday....
TENTATIVE TRAVEL DATES from our adoption agency!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YYYAAAHHHHOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you tell we're excited?!! LOL
This court closure wait has been a killer and one begins to feel as though one will never actually leave, but stay in this state of limbo/waiting forever! So that email, even though the dates are only "tentative", was like a splash of cold water in the face! Wake up!! We will really be going one day soon!
I'm so glad I've been gather, buying, packing and getting things ready. Once I had my many lists compiled into just a few (one makes MANY lists when waiting 7 months for a referral!), I was able to start shopping the last two weeks or so. It has been so fun! I even called a friend, who will Lord willing be one of our travel buddies, from Target to get her opinion! LOL What fun! Dietrich and I keep picking up those soft, fuzzy, snuggy sleepers I just washed just so we can hug and smell them! LOL Yep! Smell them! Rubbing our faces in all that soft snugginess and thinking about our adorable baby boy!
That email makes it all feel so much closer and a bit more like reality if you know what I mean.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Two by Two and Something New

What a fun, memorable day we had last Friday!
As our time for traveling gets closer we've been planning fun things to do with the kids, more so than usual, since we will be away from them for a week and then will have a new baby at home when we get back. One of things was to go down to LA (that's Los Angeles for you non-Californians! haha) to the Skirball Cultural Center for the Noah's Ark Exhibit...and boy was it worth it!!! Anyone that lives even remotely close ought to go! And we found out that Thursdays are free (after paying for tickets!). All you have to do is reserve a spot or buy tickets...they have time slots so it doesn't get too crowded at any one time since everything is interactive for you and your children. All the animals are made out of previously used items and so creatively done! Our kids had a great time trying to figure out what each animal was made of as they touched, played with or climbed on it. Here's a link to a You Tube video that shows a little bit about the place. Oh! By the way... at the end, outside, is a "misting" wall where you can see rainbows and walk through it...beware! It should be called the "drenching" wall!!!! LOL I'm sure you can imagine what happened!!!
Towards the end we were talking to one of the ladies that worked there and she was commenting on the kids (3 is really not a lot, but to some it's like we have 15!!!) and then we had to "shock" her by saying we were expecting our fourth! Of course she glanced down to look at my stomach (which is the smallest it's ever been when I'm expecting!!! LOL) with a puzzled look and then we explained that we were adopting this next one and don't I look fabulous for being 9 mon. pregnant!!! hahaha
Well, the short of it is she loves Ethiopian food and told us how to get to "Little Ethiopia" in LA where there are shops and restaurants. We are not usually very spontaneous with three small children, but I'm proud to say that this day we were! We jumped in the car, battled Friday night rush-hour traffic in LA (EEKK!) and went to Little Ethiopia for our first ET meal! So many others have said how delicious it is but we weren't too sure as we looked at pictures of the food! LOL But now I can report that we are lovers of ET food and wish there was a place closer to us!!! IT WAS SO DELICIOUS!!! What really made the whole experience though were the Ehtiopians there that were so friendly...one man even made us try some of his food! :) Oh! We can't wait to go to ET!!! They truly are a beautiful people!
Here are some pics from the Noah's exhibit and Little Ethiopia....





Yummm! It was so good! :)