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.