Saturday, May 31, 2008

Thoughts- Edited

Okay, I am reading through what I wrote here, and I realize that it could still be confusing to people. So, let me start at the beginning.

The Court Process

After a family accepts their referral, some final papers are gathered. The file is then submitted to court. Once a court date is issued, reps submit the file to MOWA at least 7 days before the court date. Then Gladney informs the family of when a court date has been set.

The Court's role is to finalize the adoption- either by granting it, not approving it (rare), or by requesting more information to allow them to grant the adoption. At the court hearing, the court handles things like relinquishment and establishment of the child as an orphan. They review MOWA's opinion and make a ruling on the adoption. Once they rule in favor of the adoption, the child is legally yours.

MOWA's role is to investigate the child and family, and decide if the adoption should be granted. MOWA takes the file, reviews the paperwork, and issues an opinion (favorable or unfavorable) about granting the adoption, or requests more information. The opinion is usually issued the day before the court date, although due to recent power outages and internal changes in MOWA, there has been some hold up of late.

Out of respect, I have taken down the rest of the information in this post that relates to the present delays in the courts. Gladney has indicated that Ethiopian culture dictates that even the most factual and anonymous data posted on blogs could be viewed as disrespectful of the parties involved, and for this reason, I do not want to post anything further in this public arena.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Feeling... (Updated at 8pm)

Cautiously optimistic. But resigned, at the same time.

Please pray for my friends M&R and Jana and Michael who are both going through a very difficult part of their wait. Hopefully we will all get good news today.

As of 8pm....

So, it looks like no one got a referral today, and for good reason. Gladney announced some delays in Ethiopian adoptions that are beyond their control. Out of respect, I have taken down the details.

All that to say- yeah, I don't think I will be getting my referral any time soon. The cautious optimism is gone, and resignation reigns.

17 days until I exit The Window.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

"In the Window" Daily Routine

0500- Hit snooze button. Resume dreaming about referral.
0540- Stumble to coffee pot.
0541- Check email/blogs for any "overnight" announcements of referrals/court dates.
0600- Apply full face make-up, including waterproof mascara and lip gloss.
0615- Drink second cup of coffee. Consider how nervous will feel with any more caffeine on board. Seriously consider third cup. Decide not to have third cup of coffee as jittering in referral video would be concerning to others.
0630- Check work bag. Ensure tissues, camera (battery fully charged), cell phone (also fully charged) and lunch are ready to go. Double check chocolate/treat supply.
0640- Talk with Abigail about "sissy" on the way to school.
0700- Arrive at work. Remind secretary that today could be "The Day" and any incoming calls from outside lines should be screened: if it is from my agency, she is to overhead page "important personal call" so that I can drop everything and get to the phone.
0900- Note that Gladney is now open for normal business hours. Feel heart rate and blood pressure increase. Begin checking email/blogs every spare moment.
1400- Note that it is now "after lunch" at Gladney (I think most referral calls come after lunch.) Obsessively check caller ID on any call coming into my unit.
1600- Walk outside and check voicemail on my cell phone. Hurry back to the unit in case "someone" called while I was gone.
1800- Start to get sinking feeling in stomach. Remind myself that referral calls have come as late as 19:15 (7:15)pm EST.
1930- Leave work. Check voicemail again as I am leaving... still no call.
1940- Arrive at babysitter's house. Get my act together, and try to not look disappointed.
1942- Get hug from Abigail. Remember why I want another child.
2030- Put Abigail to bed. Bedtime prayers for her sister and for "The Judge" to tell us we can go get her sister.
2045- Resume blog stalking and obsessively checking email.
2200- Turn in for the night. Remind myself that tomorrow could be "The Day." Drift off to sleep, thinking of taking Abigail and Sparrow to the pool later this summer.

Help A Sister Out

Actually, help my sister out.

My sister will be traveling to Mexico with her church in June. Among the various outreachs the will have, they will be running a well-baby clinic. (My sister is a NICU nurse, so this is perfect for her!)

If you have any supplies or baby items that you might be willing to donate (diapers, wipes, formula, medical supplies, clothes), drop me an email (see the sidebar on the right.) Help her bless the sweet children of Mexico!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Getting through the day.

Sometimes, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.
More pics (with Abigail, or with me.)

Week 19

Again, I am left without words. 19 weeks of waiting to meet my daughter. 4 months, 1 week, 5 days. Feels like a lifetime.

Please, God, soon. There is a glimmer of hope in the FBI movement....

Monday, May 26, 2008

Psalm 33:18-22

But the Lord watches over those who fear him,
those who rely on his unfailing love.
He rescues them from death
and keeps them alive in times of famine.
We put our hope in the Lord.
He is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord,
for our hope is in you alone.

Friday, May 23, 2008

How Do You Spell Relief?


I don't know how to describe it, other than to say that there is a strange relief that comes over me each Friday evening since I've entered The Window.

It's the relief from the constant awareness of where my cell phone is and how far I am from the nearest Internet connection. It's the release from carrying my laptop and camera with me everywhere I go. It's the weight that's lifted when I know that I can go without mascara and stay in my jammies until noon. It's the relief of knowing that the next 2 days probably won't be life-changing.

And this weekend, it's three days of relief. Happy Memorial Day! And enjoy your weekend:)

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I am sure that many within and outside of the adoption community are aware of the loss that Steven Curtis Chapman and his family experienced yesterday. A blog has been set up to express your condolences.

Please take a moment to support his family if you feel led, by visiting and commenting on the blog dedicated to the memory of his youngest daughter, Maria Sue.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

For the Fournets!

Praise be to God, the giver of all good gifts!

He has blessed the Fournet family with 2 beautiful babes, and on Beau's birthday at that! Go see their blog for details!

Wait List Delirium

I think I have wait list induced delirium.

Delirium is not a detachment from reality, but rather an altered interaction with reality. It's like- you are completely aware of reality, you are living in reality, but your interactions with reality (your interpretations and responses to reality) are tainted.

I know that I am experiencing wait list delirium when loosing my keys and being a few minutes late to work causes me to freak out. Or when my hands shake upon finding my phone and discovering that it was not thisclose to me during Gladney business hours.

And I am not the only person suffering from wait list induced delirium. Meredith of the Guzo variety describes herself as follows:

Anxious. Excited. Mind racing. Attached-to-cell-phone. Hopeful. Freaked Out. Crazed. Can't concentrate. Obsessively checking messages. Sleepless. %@&*!#!! = Me

A clear example of wait list delirium. But the wait list is not the only kind of delirium.

Jess may be suffering from court-wait delirium: she writes:

When I open the refrigerator for my daily morning yogurt, I peer at all of the expiration dates on the top shelf. Cottage Cheese….ooh expires June 2nd, that’s after my court date! Extra firm tofu…expires in August….way after my court date. Is that crazy or what???

No, Jess, it's not crazy, it's court-wait delirium.

Meredith might be suffering from paperchase delirium. She writes:

Oh, Alabama!
Where is my clearance letter?
I will punch you soon

Punching an entire state is not crazy, it is simply paperchase delirium influencing Meredith's view of reality.

So, in my wait list induced delirium, I have emailed my poor, sweet, patient caseworker, Jessica, 2 times in the past 2 days. Over silly things- things that are not really all that important, but that have made me freak out. I feel bad for her- she must get an awful lot of crazy thrown at her each day. Although, as I told her at the end of my last delirium-induced email:

I know I am probably over-reacting and succumbing to the "wait list delirium;" I probably just need to take a chill pill, but sadly, my hospital won't dispense those to the nurses, only to the patients! (I am becoming that wait-lister that I never wanted to be, but man, who knew the wait list would affect me this way? It's like the crazy cravings of pregnancy- you think they won't happen to you, you think you can predict them, and in the end, the hormones run wild and you end up craving Spaghetti-Os and canned spinach. Well, at least I did.)

Week 18

Well, at this point, what is there to say? 18 weeks waiting for my little Sparrow.
This morning I couldn't find my keys, and I knew I would be late for work. I ran around my house like a maniac, checking under pillows and cushions, and tears streaming down my face. The subtlety of this stress of waiting is hard to articulate, but I know it's there when I am crying because I am going to be a few minutes late to work. As if somehow, if I am late for work, I will miss "The Call." Even though, logically, I know that Gladney isn't even open when I start my work day.
Please pray for me. This is so much harder than I thought it would be.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." (NKJV)

Peace in the waiting, to all who wait. Do not be afraid, but know the power, love, and soundness of mind that you have in Christ Jesus. Be encouraged!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Psalm 25:5

"you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."

Just one of those reminders that God is my Savior- not just for the purpose of spending eternity in heaven with Him, but He is my Savior today, all day long. He saves me from envy, anger, pride, hurtful thoughts and actions, and from a spirit of defeatism. He saves me from myself, so to speak, and He does this, so that I can learn to bless Him and bless others, regardless of my circumstances. To bless people who share this ache in the waiting, and to bless those who are living in different circumstances, whatever they may be.

So, to anyone who reads this today, be blessed. Know how deeply you are loved, and be encouraged!

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD."

Jeremiah 29:11-14
P.S. Today is my 26th birthday. Happy Birthday to me!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Help Wanted

Do you enjoy stalking blogs for adoption-related information? Do you have consistent access to the Internet? Are you part of the Gladney Yahoo Group? Then you are just the person I am looking for!

With school starting next week, I am thinking that it may soon be time to pass on the responsibility of keeping up the FBI list. I think that there are a lot of people who enjoy and benefit from the List, but sometimes, between working full-time, school full-time, and preparing to (hopefully) travel soon, it can be too much at times. I would be happy to share the responsibility with someone, or pass the responsibility on completely.

In order to maintain the list, all you need is a Google account. If this is something you are interested in doing, leave a comment or email me.

Friday, May 16, 2008

4 Months

4 Months waiting for my referral.

When I say "Lord, have mercy!" I don't mean that as a figure of speech. I'll be honest- I never thought that for the age range I am requesting, I would wait 17+ weeks. This has been a huge disappointment.

But I am keeping the faith; somewhere in a little home in Addis Ababa, in the distant and foreign land of Ethiopia, a world away from me , Gladney knows the name and story of my little girl, and they are so eagerly anticipating the moment that she gets a Momma, just as much as I anticipate the moment that I get a new little girl. And this is all in God's hands, the hands that hold the world, and that cradle my sweet Sparrow in my stead.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Poll: Fellow PAP, Elle Woods

I may be wrong, but I think Jennifer is actually the real-life Elle Woods. Why?

* She is cute, blond, and has great glasses that make her look bookishly sexy/smart.

* She is a practitioner of the law.

* She likes and owns little dogs.

So, what think you, readers?

Week 17

Locked out. That is sometimes how I feel. But by the grace of God, I don't feel that way often. Nonetheless, this is a difficult post to write, so I will let this picture speak for itself. 17 weeks waiting to meet my little girl.


My sister loves babies and kids. Her 2 favorite kiddos are Abigail and my little Sparrow in Ethiopia. How do I know this? I read her new blog!

Stop over and welcome her to the world of blogging!


In a word- Rocksome. Stories and pictures to come.

In the mean time, there are only 2 remaining referral guesses (see the sidebar on the right.) If you would like to re-submit a referral guess, leave me a comment.

And no, I am not engaged. Nor do I expect to become engaged any time before October 10. Just so we are all on the same page:)

Oh, one more piece of business... check the FBI and make sure your info is up-to-date. I added a column (# of court attempts) and want to make sure I have it right.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Checking Out

Abigail and I have a date to eat lunch with some princesses, so I will be checking out for a few days. Keep me updated on anything exciting. Until then, keep the faith. See you soon:)

P.S. If this isn't rocking my daily routine, I don't know what is!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Choices, Choices

Jana is up there on the list. So is Meredith(Guzo). So when Meredith wrote this post, I could totally relate. Then Jana left this comment:

"You are echoing my feelings EXACTLY. In a few days, I have gone from zen girl to jumping out of my skin.....I am SOOOOOO with you, girl. It is really quite unpleasant. Today I got pulled over for expired registration, THEN I didn't have my ID with me (long story) and THEN my ins. card had expired a few weeks ago. I ended up with a 500.oo ticket. I thought, as the police officer was writing up my ticket in his car, "What if my referral call comes right now? I think I will spontaneously combust."Again, everything you said, I echo!!!"
Oh Jana, how I know what you mean... Yesterday, I was in a near-code situation, and all the while, I kept thinking... "Man, what if I am on this lady's chest doing CPR and my referral call comes?"
In the end, I did decide that if that happened, I would have to call Jessica back.
But it was a real toss-up.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Proverbs 19:28

"Many are the plans in a man's heart,
but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails."
And prevail, He will, in whatever happens in this referral process.
Keep the faith.

Adoption Acrostic

There seems to be some confusion about what an acrostic poem is. I did not make it up! I present the following as an example:

Across the wide ocean
Deep in the heart of Africa
One little girl waits.
Patiently, I wait
Thinking of how
It will feel when I hold
One dear heart
Near to mine.

Here is a slightly more desperate acrostic:

Can it be that
All these families have their
Little one's pictures? Their
Little one's name?

Maybe one day I will hear Jessica's
Excited voice, too.

(Week) Sweet 16

Could this be the week? Could week 16 be my super-sweet 16? Let's hope!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The FBI List- A Haiku

Refresh. Click. Refresh.
So many times, and yet-
No referral date.


His eye is on my little sparrow in Ethiopia... and on my little anxious heart right here in Pennsylvania.

Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking?

So, after reading The Kennedy's account of their referral call, and Chris and Shasta's account of their call....

I theorize this: You must rock your daily routine and then you will get the call. Do something you don't normally do... and then the call will come.

So, my mind jumps to my upcoming Disney World trip... but maybe I will scrub my kitchen floor today, just to test my theory.

(Hey, it's a theory. They are usually proven wrong, and my kitchen floor could use it...)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Keeping the Faith

Sometimes it's discouraging and difficult to hold onto the hope that my referral will come. In the past month, there have been 7 (known) referrals in my agency. One was for an infant girl. One was for a sibling group (both girls). The other 5 were for boys.

People who went on the wait list after me, some as much as a month after me, have gotten their referrals. It's hard to keep faith that my referral will come at just the right time- God's time.

But I will keep faith.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose... What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? ... Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? ... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:28-39

Saturday, May 3, 2008


So, you know how I like to post a little picture with each weekly update? Well, I was browsing for a picture for this upcoming week and it occurred to me that I don't have a picture to post for when I receive my referral.

I seriously debated if I would be jinxing myself by browsing for a "referral announcement" picture. I mean, looking for a "week 16" picture was difficult enough...

But I did. And it is ready when the call comes (hopefully soon.) And if the call doesn't come any time soon, I also have a "week 17" and "week 18" picture ready. I figure searching for more weeks of pictures would cancel the jinx of searching for a referral picture, right?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Personal Call

So, after Chris and Shasta got their referral, I was sitting at work (correction, I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off- I'm a nurse, you know?) and all the sudden I got paged for a personal call.

I about peed my pants. "This is it! They are calling about my daughter!" My heart was beating out of my chest and I rushed out of my patient's room and to the closest phone.

It was about my daughter, actually. It was the babysitter, calling about Abigail.

Kind of a let down:(