Only in the Ozarks I suppose?

Today's weather has been crazy! This morning at about 9:00 am it was almost 70 degrees (I washed my car & even broke a sweat!)...now at 3:30pm we're below freezing, and it's snowing! But on a positive note, the weather changed so fast we were able to avoid the spring-like tornadoes we had several weeks ago.

Update: Our home study is on its way here from KC. Our next step will be to send it back to KC (ugh) to the USCIS, requesting a revision on our I-171H (immigration approval). Our friends, Missy & Brad, received their revision in about 20 days...oh, we can only hope our paper work will return as quickly.

In the mean time, I'm collecting the remaining documents for our dossier, complete with notary and authentication certification (can you say 'head-ache'??). Best case scenario: we log our papers with Ethiopia in March...worst case scenario: not ready to think about that yet.

Haven't said it in a while, so...Thanks! To all of you for checking our updates! We love you!


Lack of Knowledge Leads to Destruction (Hosea 4:6)

I mentioned in my previous post I’d do some research regarding mother-to-child-transmission (MTCT) of HIV; here’s what I discovered:

Just because a mom is HIV-positive doesn’t guarantee the virus will be transmitted to the child. Transmission depends on several factors; the main one is the severity of the mother’s infection during her pregnancy. On average, only 15-20% of HIV-infected mothers pass the virus to their baby before or during birth. Another 1/3 will pass the virus to their child if they elect to breast-feed. Interestingly, only 2% of HIV-positive mothers transmit the virus during labor if a C-section is preformed, instead of vaginal delivery. A single dose of nevirapine can be given to an HIV-positive mother during labor and to the baby post-delivery, reducing MTCT by about 41%.

This treatment seems to be widely available and inexpensive, but the problem lies with HIV detection. Testing is expensive and not always readily available. Not to mention lack of education…sometimes moms simply don’t know they should be tested, or are unaware that the virus is transmitted by breast-feeding. Sadly enough, even with disease education and drug/testing availability, mothers are still helpless to protect their children because many areas are so impoverished that breast-feeding is their only option.

What a shame.

Reminds me of a cartoon I read:
Two turtles were discussing meeting God. One said, “I can’t wait to meet God. I’m going to ask him why didn’t He do something about all the suffering on earth.” The other turtle hesitated and responded, “I’m afraid he’s going to ask me the same thing.”


A Short-Cut...No Way?!

Our China adoption process included seeking approval from the USCIS to bring an orphan to the US as citizen. This paperwork cost just under $900, and it took about 13 weeks to receive our approval. USCIS approval was the most excruciating part of our China adoption process because we felt like it took forever!

Our agency informed us last week that we’ll be able to revise our current approval from China to Ethiopia…it will cost $0 and be quicker– yeah! Not to worry- this revision will in no way compromise our China adoption (I can assure you that was my first question). As our China adoption draws nearer, we’ll simply re-apply with USCIS to bring Mayah home.

This short-cut is extremely welcome…time is precious.

Our social worker came last night to ask one final question that was not included in our original home study for China. The question: “How do we deal with death and dying?” This question is so relevant because there is a great possibility that our child will have one, if not several, family members who were victims of HIV.

Speaking of HIV, many people have asked us about the health of our child. We are requesting a healthy child, although children with HIV are available for adoption. Our child will be tested for HIV twice, on two separate occasions. When we receive our referral, we’ll also receive a medical report so we can consult with a local pediatrician before we travel. There is medicinal intervention to prevent HIV transferring from an HIV-positive mother to her baby, but I’m not sure how available it is in Ethiopia…researching.



Recently, China's Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA) removed their 'document processing' log from their puplic domain. The info previously provided the most recent info on families that had officially been reviewed, as well as the families that had received referrals. Our agency informed us that they still have access to this info, so not to be alarmed...but I still wonder what the CCAA is up to??

Food for thought--
"It is poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."
- Mother Theresa


Now We're Officially "OFFICIAL"

Last week, as we were frantically gathering items needed to update our home study to pursue Ethiopia, our agency informed us that we still needed to apply with them through the Ethiopia program. We thought the approvals from the concurrent adoption program and our social worker were sufficient -- but we still had one more to go...my goodness! So instead of mailing our home study, I applied for adoption with AWAA's Ethiopia program. (That wore me out just typing about it...)

This morning, by faith, I went ahead and dropped our home study paper work in the mail. And this afternoon, AWAA called us to relay our final 'approval'. Yeah!!

I'd also like to share an excerpt from my Bible-reading this morning...prospective adoptive families, take heart!!

"Do I bring to the moment of birth
and not give delivery?" says the LORD.
"Do I close up the womb
when I bring to delivery?" says your God.
Isaiah 66:9

God is promising His beloved Israel that He WILL 'finish what He starts' (this is regarding the work of the church)! Does He conceive, but not deliver???
I believe this promise represents His entire character! Does He invite us to join Him, only to slam the door in our face??? Absolutely not!! Just as He is the author & perfector of our faith...He is the author & perfector of all facets of our lives.

An Orphan's Ticket Home

An Orphan's Ticket Home
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