Saturday, December 29, 2007

Some news...

Well, it has been about 2 weeks since our last post and for once we really have some news. For starters I finally had my physical done and as luck would have it, I'm still alive. We also received our appointment for our fingerprints to be done. Dottie and I will be heading to Charlotte January 3rd. In the meantime Dottie is panicked about anything happening to her hands that will mess up the fingerprinting.

We have also been busy celebrating Christmas. It's a tradition in our family to give everyone a new Christmas tree ornament each year. This year Dottie's ornament was a "passport" featuring an Ethiopian visa. We are praying that this coming year will have the real thing stamped and ready to go.

It's nice to have my physical done and our fingerprint appointment just around the corner. It seemed that for awhile there had been a slow down in progress on our adoption. With these two things getting done it is a nice way to end one year and begin a new one.

Happy new year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Well, today I (John) was supposed to finally have my appointment to get my physical. As fate would have it I received a phone call early in the morning telling me that it would have to be rescheduled. So now I am going Friday.

All wasn't bad news though. When I went to get the mail I was thrilled to see a letter from the Department of Homeland Security. It's been such a long wait I had nearly forgotten about it. The letter informed us of our appointment to go to Charlotte and get our fingerprints done. The appointment is for Jan. 3.

These are small steps in the ongoing and very long process of adoption but at least they are steps forward.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The newest adopted family member...

Today Dottie and I went Christmas shopping. We decided to go to a pet store because the kids had been requesting fish. It was a rather busy day in the pet store and one particularly busy area was in the back of the store. It was in the back that the SPCA had set up with several dogs for adoption. My wife just couldn't resist going to look. It didn't take long before she found a dog that was just "so cute." With her own puppy dog eyes she looked at me and said, "You know Hannah really wants another dog for Christmas." Long story short, meet Hannah's new dog Cinnamon:

By the way, Cinnamon is a nearly 10 year old long-haired Dachshund. She sleeps a lot and as you can see from the picture below she is a tad overweight.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Time flies when you are havin' fun but mostly around here it has just been getting through the mundane aspects of life. Dottie just asked me to update our blog and I first had to look at what the last post was. It seems that it has been a while since we last wrote anything. So, let me update you. In the past couple of weeks we have continued to get a few more of the documents that we need for our dossier. Dottie got her first round of shots (Hep A/B and Tetanus). I finally made my appointment to get my physical. Frankly though, it seems that things have slowed down somewhat. Not much more can happen until we get our fingerprints and are approved my immigration. Never the less, things move forward. One really great thing happened. We received our first official donation to our adoption fund. It was great to get it not just because of the financial help but because of the emotional support that was behind the giving.

Today of course we celebrated Thanksgiving. We had turkey and a wonderful apple pie that Joshua and Dottie made. For the most part we spent the day relaxing and going through sales ads. It was a good day. I have noticed that throughout the day I have found myself thinking about next Thanksgiving when our house will have 2 new children who know nothing about this holiday. I've also been wondering what they are doing today in Ethiopia. Hoping that, even though they aren't celebrating Thanksgiving, that they are having a good day and eating well. In what may seem strange to some people, I suppose I have been missing our kids today. I dwell for a moment on those thoughts and then come back to the now. I hear Joshua talking about a new cartoon. I hear Hannah blowing her nose (again). I hear my wife giggle at our goofy kids. Life will be different next year. Life will be good next year. But life is good this year too.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Life goes on and we get one more step closer...

As a family goes through the process of adoption, much of their thoughts and energy is put into the adoption. Even during the periods when you are merely waiting for paperwork to be filed and finished you can find yourself easily caught up in all things adoption. However, life does and will continue. Just this past weekend life continued here as we are celebrating our daughter's 13 birthday. Officially her birthday isn't for another couple of weeks but for her birthday she wanted to go to a horse show that was happening this past weekend in Virginia. So, her, her mother, and a friend enjoyed a weekend away.
Now today we met with our social worker for our final meeting. We were scheduled to do this earlier but the social worker got sick. Unfortunately, this meant more than just having to wait another couple of weeks it also meant that we had to switch from meeting at an Ethiopian restaurant in Raleigh to meeting at a Cracker Barrel in Salisbury. Never the less, we had a good meeting and a good meal.

Now we are one more step closer and yet have many more steps to go. So, life goes on...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Adoption Funds

Hey everybody,
As you all know we are currently in the long process of adopting 2 children from Ethiopia. As you may also know this is one very costly adventure. In order to both help with the expenses of the adoption and to provide an opportunity for others to be involved in this wonderful mission we will be doing various fundraisers throughout the process.

One fund-raising idea that has come our way is through Current. You may recognize Current as the company that prints checks as well as other paper products such as wrapping paper, cards, and stationary. If you wish to participate simply:
1. Go to
2. Click on "Start Shopping Now" and shop.
3. When you are done shopping and "Proceed to Checkout"
4. You will be asked for what state. Click on "North Carolina"
5. When the list of organizations come up, scroll down to "Raymer's Adoption Fund".
6. Finally, just finish up your order.

Please understand that we in no way want people to feel obligated to do this. Honestly, I really don't like the idea of fund-raising. However, I do like the idea of involving as many people as possible in this incredible life changing event for not only our current family but for the our two children currently in an Ethiopian orphanage. This is just one way to get involved. If you want to help with the adoption but aren't into "Current" stuff, we will have other opportunities. And by the way, we only will be getting a check from Current. We will have no idea who bought something or what they chose to get.

We thank you all for your support and above all for you prayers during this time.
John and Dottie Raymer

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Mommies and Cookies

John's parents came to visit. While they were here John decided he wanted THE COOKIES. The ones that when he talks about them, he refers to his mom as "mommy". I just had to get a shot of John in the kitchen with his mommy and son making cookies. (Please ignore the mess!!)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Being Authentic

Well, the other day I emailed scans of much of our dossier paperwork to our family coordinator. Most everything looked good but in her response she listed that many of our documents needed to be authenticated by the states in which they came from. Having a document authenticated involves sending it to the secretary of state along with the appropriate fee (and sometimes a self-addressed stamped envelope) and having them certify that either the notary or other state official who has signed the document is in good standing with the state. We knew that we would need to do this but we failed to understand that the authentication had to be done in the state the document came from. We thought that we simply took all of our documents to the secretary of state in North Carolina when we got it all together and that they would do the authentications. Being that this isn't the case we had to send documents to Florida, Alabama, Kentucky, and Virginia at a total cost of $80.00. When we get our I-171 (approval from immigration) from USCIS (which is immigration services) we then take all of our other paperwork to be authenticated at the secretary of state in North Carolina but that should be a while before we get to that point.

Have I mentioned how much fun paperwork is?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

An Adoption Video from Ethiopia

Alright, I'll admit this choked me up a little.


I found this on the internet and thought it might be of interest to everyone adopting:

There are many clips from the movie on the website. It deals a lot with international and tranracial adoptions.

We are officially married!

Today we received our marriage certificate. I guess that means that Dottie and I are officially married. It's kind of depressing really. We have just a few more items in our paperchase and then we really begin waiting. Particularly we are waiting for our appointment to get our fingerprints. Of course, once we have that we will then wait to actually go get our fingerprints. And then...well, it's a bit depressing to list all the stuff you wait for so I'll just stop there.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Home Study #2

Well, last night we had our second home study meeting. Once again it was painless. Actually, it was quite nice. We met at a Chilis so I got my baby back ribs. Ribs is good. Me like ribs. I will say though that it is a bit odd to be sitting in front of your spouse and having to answer, "So, what are her strengths and weaknesses." One must be careful with such questions. But we both survived, still happily married, and still adopting.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Home Study Interview #1

We survived! Well, our first visit with the social worker ended just about 20 minutes ago. We spent last night and much of the morning cleaning the house, changing the batteries in the smoke detectors, and making sure our new fire extinguisher was properly placed in a position that looked as though we had always had it there (oh, and we hid 3 laundry baskets of clothes over at the church). The house inspection ended up not being much of an inspection at all. She glanced at the rooms (I don't think she ever even looked in the bathroom - that's the last time I clean the toilets), she tested the smoke detectors, and looked at the fire extinguisher. That was really it. The rest of the time was just talking. Much of what was talked about were the same things you cover when writing your autobiography - your parenting style, your marriage, your reasons for adopting, your extended families' thoughts on the adoption, your community, etc. The interviews with the kids lasted about 5 minutes each. That was about it. All in all, it was quite painless. Our next meeting is Monday night and we are meeting at Chili's so that will mean "I want my baby back ribs."

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Paperwork is easy to miss...

A while back Dottie and I sat down one evening to systematically send off for all the paperwork that we would need for our home study and our dossier. We sent off for birth certificates, death certificate, dissolution of marriage certificate, and our state of Florida criminal background checks. We were so proud to have all of this accomplished. About a week later one of our certificate request was sent back to us because I had failed to put in a copy of my driver's license. Never the less, it got sent back and the certificate has been received. We really thought we were ahead of the game. Then we got to wondering, all the certificates we had sent off for had been received in a relatively short amount of time. However, we were still missing one. We had never received our marriage certificate. Now we were quite thorough so we couldn't have possibly forgotten to send off for it. A quick check of our checking account revealed that indeed no check had been written to obtain our marriage certificate. So, another check is written and tomorrow another application for yet another certificate will be mailed.

The moral of the story, even when you think you have it all done - you don't.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Paperwork Update

Well, we felt like we should update everyone on our paper pregnancy. After initially being so overwhelmed with all the stuff to do for the home study, I took a day off just not to think about it and then went back to work. I discovered that much of the home study paperwork was merely signing one document after another. So Dottie and I sat down one evening and just started signing. Before long we had checked off over half of the paper work to be done. That gives you one great feeling. In addition we have gotten both of our children's physicals done (Dottie and I just keep putting ours off). All in all, things are moving along quite well.

We are also working on the paperwork for the dossier. Before we began the process we had heard a lot of talk about the dossier but I really think the home study paperwork is much more complicated. The dossier is mostly sending off for your various certificates (birth, divorce, death, etc.). Perhaps the only thing that really makes it more difficult than the home study is the fact that virtually every single piece of paper has to be notarized.

Finally, we sent off today our I-600A Application to the USCIS office in Charlotte. We have heard that it can be quite a wait to get an appointment for your fingerprints and that it is best to send this application off as soon as possible. We won't get our approval until the home study is complete but by sending in the application now we get put into the system for awaiting fingerprinting.

Anyhow, I am sure this hasn't been the most exciting post you have read...well, that is the nature of a paper pregnancy. Maybe paperwork is the equivalent of morning sickness - it may not be much fun but it's a sure sign something is happening.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Dossier Documents

Last week we received the packet that outlined all that we needed to be prepared for our home study. Today we received another gift package. This one detailed all that we would need for our dossier. For those unfamiliar with the international adoption process the dossier is the paperwork that will actually be sent to Ethiopia for approval. A lot of what you need for the dossier is what you need for your home study with a couple of very important extra details. For instance, the home study requires a birth certificate which I and Dottie both have. The dossier requires a birth certificate but it has to be certified from the state AND they must be sent to Ethiopia within 12 months of being issued. Well, my birth certificate is certified by the state but it was issued in 1973. Dottie's birth certificate is a little better - it was issued in 1988. Perhaps by the end of this adventure I'll learn to like paperwork - on second thought...

By the way just as we listed the stuff needed for the home study here is the stuff we need for the dossier:

1. Application Letter (Notarized)
2. Birth Certificates (State Certified and in Ethiopia within 12 months of being issued)
3. Marriage Certificate (Same requirements as Birth Certificate)
4. Death Certificate (also same as birth certificate requirements)
5. Divorce Certificate (again same requirements)
6. Physical Exam Forms (Notarized)
7. Proof of Medical Insurance (Notarized)
8. Proof of Life Insurance (Notarized)
9. Financial Information Worksheet (Notarized)
10. Employment Verification Letter (Notarized)
11. Home Study Report (Notarized)
12. 3 Letters of Reference (Notarized)
13. Criminal Background Checks (Notarized)
14. I-171H Approval Form (A Notarized Photocopy)
15. Power of Attorney (Notarized)
16. Agency Recommendation Form (Notarized)
17. Agency Post Placement Agreement (Notarized)
18. 2 Passport Photos of Each Parent (these don't have to be notarized!)
19. Photocopies of passports
20. Photos (2 photos of immediate family, 4 photos of family life - whatever that means, 1 photo of front of the house, 1 of the back of the house, and 1 photo of each of the main rooms - I bet that means will need to clean up first)

That's all folks! I wonder if this blog was supposed to be notarized?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Special Delivery!

We have made a special effort to discuss the adoption with Hannah and Joshua from the very beginning. Hannah understands the impact of having two new children in the home and she understands more of the details of how the adoption process works. Joshua on the other hand basically just knows that he might be getting a brother to play with. Never the less, we continue to discuss the adoption with Joshua to better prepare him for the transition that we will all be going through. My wife informed me that while talking with Joshua yesterday she discovered that he didn't quite understand what we meant by saying that we would be "getting" his new brothers or sisters. It seems that Joshua thought that we would be "getting" his new siblings via US mail. That's right, he thought they would be coming wrapped in a box and delivered to the house. I guess we need to explain this a little more.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Paperwork Begins!

Well, today we began to work on the paperwork. Yesterday when we received the package I was simply overwhelmed and never even finished reading everything. So today I decided just to start and tackle one piece of paper at a time and hope that by the time I was done that I would feel that something was accomplished. I dare say that there is still a lot to do but a lot has been done even in just a day. If you haven't started your paperwork, one thing that has given us a true sense of accomplishment is that we had ordered or found items such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, passports, etc. Today, was just a matter of putting it all in order. Our next biggest task facing us is scheduling physicals for everyone. We are praying that the kids will get in to see the doctor before Oct. 1. They get new insurance then and their co-pay will cost us $60.00 compared to the $0.00 co-pay now. We also heard from our social worker today and have our first home study meeting scheduled for Oct. 13 (I have until then to hide the wires hanging out of the wall - just kidding, Rebecca).

All in all, today is better than yesterday. I don't quite feel so buried in paperwork. We may actually get this done.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The homestudy begins!

We got all of our information for our homestudy. We will soon be working with our social worker. She will come out to visit 3 times and we need to collect the following forms/fees for her:
  1. North Carolina Homestudy Agreement
  2. Home Study fee
  3. Post Placement Report Fees
  4. Autobiographies (1 from each of us)
  5. Birth certificates for our entire family
  6. Marriage certificates
  7. Divorce decrees
  8. Copy of driver's licenses
  9. Copy of social security cards
  10. Copies of our verification of employment
  11. Previous years W-2s
  12. Current income tax return
  13. Signed guardianship statement
  14. Copy of financial statement
  15. International disclaimer (What's that?!)
  16. Education history of both of us
  17. Our work histories
  18. Medical history form for everyone in the family
  19. Medical reports for everyone in the family
  20. Resident County Criminal Record Check
  21. Hillsborough County Criminal History check (since we have not been here 3 years)
  22. Sworn disclosure statements
  23. Credit reports
  24. America World reading agreement
  25. 2 relative references (Get ready parents)
  26. Responsible individuals list
  27. Homestudy Agency Post-placement agreement

Who knew that in the process of adopting 2 children, we would be destroying a small portion of trees in the rainforest!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Tax Credits and Siblings...

Today we heard from our adoption agency twice. First they called us to say that they had received our contract and initial payment. They also wanted to let us know that a policy change had taken place. Fear struck me at this point, thinking they were about to say that we were no longer eligible to adopt. Fortunately, the policy change was not quite that dramatic. We had told the agency that we wanted to adopt two children and that we did not care if they were siblings or unrelated. The new policy (and we are not sure if it is AWAA's policy or Ethiopia's) is that when adopting more than one child they have to be siblings. Our response to this news - OK. We just know that we want two children. We aren't really concerned if they are biologically related or not. If the policy is that they will be biologically related, well that's fine. Fact is that when they are adopted they will be related and they will have 2 other siblings as well.

Later we received an e-mail from AWAA that alerted us to some very nice news. The state of North Carolina just voted to extend a tax credit for adoptions. Yea! Finally tax legislation that I am in favor of. Every now and then the politicians can surprise us.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Life Outside of Adoption

It is amazing when going through the adoption process that your life can be overwhelmed with paperwork, studying about adoption, cultural and racial considerations, and of course, working your way through the hours of waiting for stuff to get done. It can be so overwhelming that people (particularly loyal blog readers) can begin to believe that nothing else occurs in your life other than adoption. I am proud to announce that there is more to our lives. For instance, I am about to celebrate my first anniversary as pastor of Deep Springs Baptist (hopefully some members of the congregation also feel this is a celebration). This week our kids started back to school. On the first day Hannah came home and said it was boring. Joshua came home and said he made new friends but he doesn't know their names. Dottie came home from her first day back teaching and said, "I'm tired and my feet hurt." I just enjoyed the peace and quiet in the house.

Last Saturday, Hannah rode in her first horse show. Hannah has been taking riding lessons for about 9 months now and loves it. She did nearly faint at one time. It was a bit of the heat and a lot of nerves but she made it through the day. Shortly after her near fainting incident she got on her horse and her mother asked her how she was feeling. Hannah replied, "I always feel better when I am on a horse."
That's just a little peek into our lives outside of the adoption process. Now, if you'll excuse me I have to go and once again tell Joshua why he is not allowed to play video games that are rated "T" for teens.

Friday, August 31, 2007

First Payment and Agency Contract Mailed

Sorry it has been a while since our last update but as you may know the process of adoption is that things happen and then you wait. More stuff happens and then you wait. More stuff; more waiting. Since our last post we have been waiting. This time we have been waiting for Dottie to get paid. The school district up here in North Carolina pays their teachers on the last day of the month. It makes for a nice paycheck but you have to wait an entire month between checks. Anyway, being as it is that we are paying for this adoption primarily through her paycheck we had to wait. Well, we now have it so we mailed off our first payment to the agency and our contract. As soon as they receive it they will have our family coordinator contact us and then all the real fun begins. So, now we wait.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

We have been approved!!!

Well, AWAA said they would contact us within 10 days after receiving our application to let us know if we had been approved and 10 very long days later - we got the call! We are officially adopting. In "paper pregnancy" terms I guess this is the equivalent to having your home pregnancy test come back positive. Now, the real paper work begins...anyone know where I put my birth certificate?

Oh yea, I guess I should tell you that AWAA probably thinks I'm a bit nuts. You see Dottie had just walked out the door when the phone rang. When I saw on the caller id that it was American World I naturally got a little excited. I answered the phone and the lady on the other end said, "You've been approved..." That is when I interrupted her and said, "Great! Hold on. My wife is leaving. I have to stop her!" I then ran out the front door and stopped Dottie just in time to tell her the good news. I definitely think the lady was a little taken back with my enthusiasm but how many times does a guy get to celebrate being approved to adopt a couple of children from Ethiopia.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

We heard from one agency...

Well, we are still waiting to hear from the adoption agency but we did hear today from the U.S. government. Dottie received her passport. Estimating by other people's time lines we weren't expecting it until October. Go figure that the government would surprise us and be timely. Is that one of the signs of the apocalypse?

Thursday, August 9, 2007

We heard from the agency but...

Well, this morning the phone rang. The caller ID said that it was American World (the adoption agency we applied with). We answered the phone with great excitement. Hopefully this was the call to tell us that we had been approved. Unfortunately, they were only calling to clarify something on our application. So, it is back to waiting. By the way, did I mention that I hate waiting!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

We applied!

Well, Dottie's first paycheck came through and that means today we officially start the adoption process. I just sent in our online adoption application. Now we get to experience another period (in a series of many) of waiting. I hate waiting.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Adoption Blogs

My wife is addicted to reading adoption blogs. I must admit that she has gotten me involved as well. It is amazing how well we "know" people that we have never met. It makes me wonder how we would have handled going through this process some 10 or even 5 years ago. It is incredible how much information we have been able to obtain just from reading other blogs. More importantly though than just information like "there are no double beds in the Addis Ababa Hilton" there is the fact that we have a community of people "around" us who are or who have gone through the same process. They understand what it means to go through a "paper pregnancy." I simply can't imagine doing this without the support of the blog. So to all of those who have shared their own journey's with us, I thank you.

Waiting - the name of the Adoption Game

Dottie and I decided a good couple of months ago to adopt. We knew then that we would have to wait until she started back to work in order for us to have the money. We first had to wait for her to get a new teaching job (she hadn't worked since we moved to North Carolina in October). Fortunately, that wait really didn't take to long. Then the wait began for the first paycheck. We knew that we would have to wait for that check just to begin the adoption process. Well, that first check is still about a week away. It seems that the closer the date gets for us to get that check, the longer it is taking to get here. Each day seems to be a little longer. To think that this is just the beginning of many, many waiting periods. I don't do well waiting (Dottie, is even worse but don't tell her I said so).

Monday, July 23, 2007

Ethiopian Adoption

It has been reported that someone teared up a little when watching this video. In my defense it was late and I was tired (but, it wouldn't have mattered the video will just hit you in the heart). Enjoy. - John

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Orphanage

As you are most likely aware, the keeping of this blog is not an original idea. In fact, Dottie keeps track of nearly 40 blogs from other people who are in various stages of their adoptions from Ethiopia. One couple that we have particularly been paying attention to is the Waals' blog( On their blog they listed the link for the orphanage that works with America World Adoption Agency (this is the agency we hope to be using). Here is the orphanage website. The website doesn't provide much information but I thought some of you might like to see it.

Let me encourage you to visit the Waals' blog and to read the post titled "Hope". It is a great description of their first visit to the orphanage with pictures.

Oh yea, if you want to be notified when we update our blog, just go to the bottom of the page and click on "subscribe".

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Your Responses

I have loved all the messages of love and support we have received about the adoption. However, my favorite comment by far comes from a very dear friend whom I have known for many, many years. Her comment? "Wow, you guys are really serious! I thought it was just a phase!"

Monday, July 16, 2007

We were going to keep this secret, but...

We originally thought that we would wait to share this news. At first we thought we would wait until we received our referral but that could easily be a year from now. That was just way too long. Then we thought we would just wait until we had actually turned our adoption application in and we had been accepted. That should only be another 2-3 weeks. Then we realized that as we were talking to people we increasingly found it too difficult to keep this little secret of ours. So, here it is...when we decided to adopt we had decided that it just didn't make much sense to go to Ethiopia and only bring home one, so will be bringing home two. Now you all know. Our plan is to ask for 2 children (siblings or unrelated), at least one of the two being 12 months or younger, the other being 6 years or younger, boys or girls.

As you can imagine getting 2 verses 1 changes things a bit. Suddenly we will be a family of 6. One of which will not have any language skills and one (depending on age) will most likely speak only Amharic. Furthermore, this changes the cost factor of our adoption. It doesn't exactly double the cost but there will be additions. For one thing we will have an extra plane ticket for the ride home not to mention the additional fees for immigration, adoption and re-adoption fees (yes, I said re-adoption - you have to re-adopt when you get your child in the U.S.). We are confident the cost can be covered and yet we also know that this is a step of faith. We are asking that everyone keep us in your prayers during this journey. Pray for the finances, pray for our children (all 4) to adjust well to their new home situation, pray that Dottie and I don't go crazy just sitting around waiting to go to Ethiopia, pray for our children in Ethiopia that while they are currently out of our care that they will be safe and cared for by the aid workers at the orphanage, pray for the families who have had to give up their children - their sacrafice will allow for our family to grow (many of these families give up their children due to severe poverty and/or the death of one or both parents).

We thank everyone for their love and support during this journey. We are truly excited to see what God has planned here and we are excited to share it with you.

By the way, we had only told Joshua we were requesting one. We decided that since everyone else now knows about the second, we should tell him too. His response? "Well at least one of them will be potty trained!"

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Miracle of Adoption

This is a video of a couple who recently adopted from Ethiopia. Thought it helped to further show why we are beginning this journey.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Why Ethiopia?

We've been asked why Ethiopia? (We've even been asked, "Why would we want a baby from Ethiopia when we could adopt a white baby from here?") When we first started researching we looked into domestic adoption, as well as other countries, but we were always drawn to Ethiopia.

Did you know?

  • This country, that is about twice the size of Texas, has an estimated 4.3 million orphans.

  • 47% of children under 5 yrs. old are moderately to severely underweight.

  • HIV/AIDS killed 120,000 people in Ethiopia in 2003.

  • Tuberculosis (TB) killed approximately 550,000 people in the region last year.

  • 41% of Africans live on less then $1 a day.

  • Today in Africa there are 12 million AIDS orphans and that number is expected to climb to 18 million by 2010.

  • 49.2 years is the average life span of an Ethiopian.

  • 20% of deaths in children under 5 are due to diarrhea (mostly due to unclean water - only 22% of the population has access to clean water sources.)

  • ONE MILLION children are killed by malaria every year which can be prevented by a $6 mosquito net.

The statistics maybe daunting and it maybe considered admirable to "rescue" a child from such conditions. Admittedly there is some satisfaction in knowing that we are possibly giving a child a better start in life. However, the reason we "chose" Ethiopia is because we both feel that Ethiopia is where our child is from. We felt called to Ethiopia. We love its history. Did you know that Ethiopia is the 2nd oldest Christian nation in the world? Did you know that Ethiopia has a long history connected to the Jewish faith (i.e. Queen Sheba and King Solomon, Philip and the Ethiopian, and a great legend that has the Ark of the Covenant resting in a church in Ethiopia?) Ethiopia is also a beautiful country with such places as Lake Tana and the Blue Nile (which combines with the White Nile to create the Nile.) Like any country, Ethiopia has problems as the statistics above attest too. However, there is also a lot to be admired about this country. Admittedly, much of this we have learned after we knew that Ethiopia was where our next child would come from. Perhaps that is the key to answering the question, "Why Ethiopia?" We just know that is where we are to adopt from. For those less than religious this may not make much sense but prayer and consideration led us both to know that was the place. It was not so much a case of us chosing Ethiopia as it was that Ethiopia was the only choice. Simply put, our child is there, we just have to go pick him/her up.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Timeline and Cost

When we started to research adoptions we were always curious about the actual cost and the timeline of the journey. So, we will be posting ours for anyone else who may be curious.

5-12-07 Attended Christian World Adoption Seminar $0.00
6-9-07 Attended America World Adoption Seminar $0.00
6-26-07 Dottie applied for her passport (John has one)
*Passport photo $10.11
*Passport application $97.00
7-07 Decided to go with America World Adoption (they give ministers a discount)

Note: To make this information more readily available we moved it over to the sidebar of the blog.


When we decided to adopt we realized that I would need to go back to work (I had taken time off when we moved from Florida to North Carolina - but now I'm looking forward to getting back to work). So, I've got the job (teaching 5th graders), picked out health and life insurance. Now we're just waiting on that first paycheck at the end of July. We will then send in our application to American World Adoptions and officially start our adoption journey.


For those of you who stumbled onto our blog...we're the Raymers. John and I have been married for nearly 9 years. He is a minister and I'm a teacher. We have 2 great kids- Hannah 12 and Joshua 7. This blog is our way to share our Ethiopian adoption process with our family, friends, and anyone else out there interested in adoption.