Friday, May 23, 2008

I Love Teaching

Today I was walking down the hall and 2 girls were coming down the hall carrying daisies. I asked them where they got the beautiful flowers (although I knew they were picked out at recess.) We discussed how daisies were my favorite flower. I also said, "Can you believe I have been married 10 years and my husband has never sent me a bouquet of daisies?" So they went on to class and I went on to get my class. At the end of the day I took my kids out for recess. When I returned, the above picture is what I found on my desk.

The note read:

Mrs. Raymer This is to make up for your husband's sillyness.
(I guess I need to work with them on that whole change the y-i thing!)

It cracked me up and I made sure I brought it home to show John. Between the flowers and John telling me we were going out, I thought the day couldn't get any better. I was wrong.

We called our adoption agency to ask about our eligibility for court. We weren't sure if we could go to court since we were waiting on an amended home study. We talked to Tara and she said, "Oh, I'll let you talk to Duni. She can answer your question better and besides she has a funny story about B."

We were transferred to Duni. She told us that when she was in Ethiopia her sister got married. The kids at the orphanage were excited about the wedding so they decided to have their own wedding. So apparently our B got "married" last week.

Then Duni said, oh and you have a court date for June 1oth.


OK- don't get too excited. Most people don't pass court the first time. We are considering it our dress rehearsal.

WE HAVE A COURT DATE!!! To make it even better- it's on the last day of school. WOO-HOO!!

Friday, May 16, 2008

An Update on the Boys

( YUMMY- John was excited about this.)

The following is an update from Rachel. She works for AWAA and lives in Addis Ababa.

The boys came to the transition home on Tuesday, May 13, 2008. They were happy to see their friends here, who have previously come from Kids Care. They seem to be really enjoying themselves, though it was a sad goodbye at Kids Care. There is one boy in particular that B was very excited to be reunited with! All the older boys had their heads shaved on Wednesday.

Their diet:

For breakfast the children eat traditional Ethiopian bread and drink hot tea. Lunch can be a variety of things. Our side items are usually steamed spinach, cooked vegetables (beets, carrots, potatoes), or salad (lettuce, tomato, onion, peppers). The main dish is pasta with tomato sauce or meat sauce, rice with veggies and sauce, or injera with a lentil sauce. The children usually have a snack around 5:30 pm, which they eat bread with honey or fruit. Dinner is eaten around 8:30pm, and they eat the same thing as lunch.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A rose by any other name...

Well, Dottie and I received a small video today of our youngest boy. Needless to say that we have watched it numerous times. In the video he is seen eating spaghetti and throwing a soccer ball. He is just a sweet little boy who as Dottie likes to say, "Needs his Mommy to hug him." Sorry we can't share it with everyone yet. Hopefully soon.

Dottie (and my Mother) believe that we have names for the boys. We are planning on keeping their Ethiopian names and adding to them. For the longest time we had been thinking about the names Josiah and Jeremiah but Dottie has issues with the name Jeremiah. I love them both for no other reason then the theological connection. Dottie now believes that the names Isaiah and Malachi would be better. You may think that there is good theology behind those two names and that should be fine but I have always felt more of a connection to the Biblical Josiah and Jeremiah. Never the less, I told Dottie that we can use Malachi and Isaiah but that she first has to tell me something about these men other than the fact that they were prophets. We shall see what she comes up with.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Spoiling the kids.

These boys are going to be spoiled. The picture above shows the items we have collected to include in care package that we will be sending over to Ethiopia. As you can see, we have perhaps gone a little overboard. I am afraid that this is the start of a trend.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

We Did It!

We signed the "We want 'em" papers. We will get them sent off on Thursday. Below is what happens next.

Step 1- Upon acceptance of the referral, a Contract of Adoption is signed between the child's legal guardian (the Orphanage) and the adoptive parent(s), or the agency representative (Girmachew). If the legal guardian is also the agency that is processing the adoption, another licensed orphanage can sign on behalf of the child. This contract is the basis for the issuance of the adoption decree, which shows that the guardian or the orphanage has relinquished their parental or guardian right in regard to the adopted child. The contract must be taken to the Inland Revenue Administration office to be stamped. There is a nominal fee.

Step 2- The parents' dossier is returned to MOWA . MOWA will then affix a summary sheet, on which will be noted items such as court decisions, background data on the adopted child or children, and the names of Adoption Committee members who will complete the form at a later date (see below). At this point, for private adoptions only, MOWA usually asks the U.S. Embassy to provide a letter of support for the adoptive parents.

Step 3- MOWA submits the parents' dossier to the Adoption Committee for review and approval to adopt. The Adoption Committee meets periodically, sometimes as often as every week, to review cases. The Committee either approves or rejects the prospective adoptive parent(s), based on Ethiopian guidelines for international adoptions. Given the volume of work before the Committee, it can take weeks before the Committee reviews a dossier. Further investigation into the parents' qualifications is done if deemed necessary, and a recommendation is made. Only if all the members of the committee agree, and sign the recommendation, is the request approved.

Step 4 - Once the Committee has approved the parents' dossier, MOWA opens a file at the Federal First Instance Court to apply for an appointment date for the adoption hearing. The court date could be one to two months from the date of filing.

Step 5 - CYAO opens a file at the Federal First Instance Court to apply for an appointment date for the adoption hearing. The court date could be one to two months from the date of filing. The Court generally is closed between three and twelve weeks between July and October. The dates change every year.

Step 6 - A notice seeking any other claimants to the child is published in the local press stating the child's name and the name of the adopting parents. Anyone opposed to the adoption is requested to appear at MOWA by a certain date and time.

Step 7- When the appointed court date arrives, the prospective parents or their agency's local representative will be asked to appear in court. Final decisions can be handed down quickly, but delays of weeks are not uncommon. Adoptive parents must obtain at least two originals of the court decree. One will be retained by MOWA and one must be submitted to the U.S. Embassy for the visa application. The original submitted to the Embassy will be returned to the parents. (I have already warned my parents that it is not uncommon to not pass through court the first time.)

Step 8- After the adoption is complete, MOWA prepares a request to the city of Addis Ababa for the issuance of a new birth certificate, and a request to the Office of Security, Immigration and Refugee Affairs for an Ethiopian passport for the child in its new name. The U.S. Embassy needs both the new birth certificate and the passport to complete the child's U.S. immigrant visa application process.

Step 9 - The court decree must be translated into English. The original and the translation are submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) for authentication. The authentication stamp, seals and signature are placed on the back of the translation. If the adoption contract was made in Amharic, it too must be translated into English and the original translation authenticated by MOFA.

Families can travel to Ethiopia for their consulate appointment and pick up their children after the above steps have been completed.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Connected Child

I am loving this book written by Dr. Karyn Purvis. If you're looking for a good book on parenting adopted children, I highly recommend it. I even plan on using some of the techniques in my classroom.