Saturday, December 29, 2007
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
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
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
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 www.currentfun.com
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
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
Have I mentioned how much fun paperwork is?
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
The moral of the story, even when you think you have it all done - you don't.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
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
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
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
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
- North Carolina Homestudy Agreement
- Home Study fee
- Post Placement Report Fees
- Autobiographies (1 from each of us)
- Birth certificates for our entire family
- Marriage certificates
- Divorce decrees
- Copy of driver's licenses
- Copy of social security cards
- Copies of our verification of employment
- Previous years W-2s
- Current income tax return
- Signed guardianship statement
- Copy of financial statement
- International disclaimer (What's that?!)
- Education history of both of us
- Our work histories
- Medical history form for everyone in the family
- Medical reports for everyone in the family
- Resident County Criminal Record Check
- Hillsborough County Criminal History check (since we have not been here 3 years)
- Sworn disclosure statements
- Credit reports
- America World reading agreement
- 2 relative references (Get ready parents)
- Responsible individuals list
- 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
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
Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
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
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
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
Monday, July 16, 2007
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
Friday, July 13, 2007
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
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.