A long time coming...

1993 Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention
The Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention) protects children and their families against the risks of illegal, irregular, premature or ill-prepared adoptions abroad. This Convention, which also operates through a system of national Central Authorities, reinforces the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (Art. 21) and seeks to ensure that intercountry adoptions are made in the best interests of the child and with respect for his or her fundamental rights, and to prevent the abduction, the sale of, or traffic in children.
*On December 12, 2007, the United States of America deposited its instrument of ratification of the Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, which it had already signed on 31 March 1994. In accordance with its Article 46(2)(a), the 1993 Convention will enter into force for the US on 1 April 2008.

*The US is the 75th nation to join the countries already part of the Hague global network in the field of intercountry adoption – a network that counts some 200 Central Authorities, competent authorities and accredited bodies co-operating to protect children worldwide.

Hague Accredited!
America World announced they received notification in February from the Council on Accreditation that they have granted AWAA Hague Accreditation. This accreditation enables America World to continue to process adoptions in Hague countries (China and El Salvador, specifically).

...this is good news!


More Ethiopia Referrals!!!

A total of nine children were referred to families this this week!!
Praise God!!
This really is a huge victory, considering all the details that must come together for each child's adoption! We also received some additional good news: Ethiopia has changed the number of days an abandoned child has to remain in an orphanage before being eligible for adoption. The time frame has been reduced from 90 days to 60 days.

On another note, I bit the bullet.

As many of you know, I am NOT a scrap-booker. I am typically in a state of bewilderment whenever I'm around a group women who are scrap-booking...the paraphernalia is unimaginable...
But, tonight, I purchased my very first scrap-booking supplies.

Over the past several months I've read about the practice of preparing a Life Book (scrap book) for our children. We'll use them to preserve all sorts of things: paper-chasing, our life/anticipation during the wait, our travels to ET & China, the adoptions themselves, coming home, info about our children's birth countries...and on and on... And, I have a secret confession- I'm actually very excited about starting both books- who knew?? there's been a scraper in me all along :)


Thank each of you for your continued support for our coffee fundraiser! We have T-shirts on the horizon, too...stay tuned :)

Below are this week's updates from our agency, AWAA:

Ethiopia Program
Three families received referrals today (3/24/08)!
The DTE (Dossier to Ethiopia) date of the families that received referrals are:
Infant Girl: 8/1/2008
Infant Boy: 9/20/2008

The wait time for an infant girl remains to be 7-9 months and for an infant boy the wait time is at 5-7 months.

China Program
Referral Matching: The CCAA has finished the placement of children for the families whose adoption application documents were registered with their office before January 4, 2006. America World's next Log in Date (LID) is 1/6/06. (our LID is 7/31/07...long way to go)
Wait Time: The current wait time from LID to referral is 27-28 months with the trend of increasing by roughly a half to a full month every month.
Dossier Review: The CCAA has completed the review of all adoption application documents registered in their office before October 31, 2006.

Tonight we meet for the second time with our Adoptive Group in Branson...a fab group of families!! Oh, and could I ask you to pray for the Rogers family - I may be able to share their story at some point - but for now, God knows their needs...


Sunday is Coming...

This is what is written: the Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day…
Then the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?"
"They have taken my Lord away," she said, "and I don't know where they have put him." At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
"Woman," he said, "why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?"
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him."
Jesus said to her, "Mary."
But the (angles) said to (the women),
“Why do you look for the living among the dead?
He is not here: he has risen!”
…and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations…


I'm it

My blog/adoptive cam padre Rebecca Caldwell tagged me!!!
Here’s how it works:
-You have to tag 5 people (you can't tag the person that tagged you)
-You leave them a comment on their blog (‘you’re tagged’ and ‘why’)
-Direct them to your blog for instructions…when you get tagged, you post ten fun facts about yourself!
So, here are my ten:

1- I LOVE a good cup of coffee…no cream or sugar, please – well, maybe one Splenda

2- I am an Internet/blog junkie…seriously, it’s ridiculous (note: I have an utter disdain for 'forwards')

3- I love to run…I’ve competed in a sprint-triathlon and two half-marathons

4- I am confident that if I were a man, I’d be a Preacher/Pastor…no comments about that one, please

5- I love to read (that God allowed us to conceive of ‘written language’…what a gift--actually, it was His idea & He used 'words' to preserve His own revelation)…spiritual growth and biographies are my favs

6- My biggest fear: living an ordinary life…my second biggest fear: my kids living ordinary lives

7- I have a deep desire to minimize and simplify what I own and use…so that I can give and go as God directs

8- I go to the movie theater, on average, once every 1.5 years…no hang-ups, just not a priority

9- My husband is my best friend in the entire world…we do everything together…truest, purest companionship

10- I unapologetically believe in God’s sovereignty - His plans cannot be frustrated…not even by me!

I’m going to tag Courtney G, Karen T, Lori M, Kelly B and Laura S!


What We're Reading

Alisa is reading
Black Baby White Hands: A View from the Crib by Jaiya John:
Jaiya John has the distinction of being the first African American baby adopted by a white family in the state of New Mexico. John’s lyrical memoir details his life as a black child growing up in a mostly-white community during the late 1960s and ‘70s. This childhood branded in him a burning passion for giving his life to improve the way human beings relate to each other. Jaiya studied psychology at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and earned his doctorate from the University of California, Santa Cruz in social psychology.

Vince is reading
I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children in a Race-Conscious World by Marguerite Wright:
A child's concept of race is quite different from that of an adult. Young children perceive skin color as magical--even changeable--and unlike adults, are incapable of understanding adult predjudices surrounding race and racism. Just as children learn to walk and talk, they likewise come to understand race in a series of predictable stages.
Based on Marguerite A. Wright's research and clinical experience, I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla teaches us that the color-blindness of early childhood can, and must, be taken advantage of in order to guide the positive development of a child's self-esteem.
Wright answers some fundamental questions about children and race including:
-What do children know and understand about the color of their skin?
- When do children understand the concept of race?
-Are there warning signs that a child is being adversely affected by racial prejudice?
-How can adults avoid instilling in children their own negative perceptions and prejudices?
-What can parents do to prepare their children to overcome the racism they are likely to encounter?
-How can schools lessen the impact of racism?

With wisdom and compassion, I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla spells out how to educate black and biracial children about race, while preserving their innate resilience and optimism--the birthright of all children

We'll keep you posted about the content and insight from each of these authors.


Where in the World...

...is our dossier??

Well, after a few stops around the world (yes, I stalked it with my Fed-ex tracking #), our dossier has landed safely in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It now waits to be picked up by our ET rep...it could take a few days to possibly two weeks to be collected. **update: Our dossier was picked up by our ET rep on Monday morning!!!**

It was another small victory for me when I discovered it had arrived in ET on Saturday. I entered into yet another dimension of, "this IS really going to happen." And as my heart soared, I closed my eyes and imagined all the brown hands and brown eyes that would be handling/reviewing our paperwork...G-man, orphanage workers, court officials/judges, transitional home staff... And then all I could do was pray: that God's blessing be upon them, His favor be upon us, and that our precious child be cared for and provided for by God in miraculous ways.

On another note, we participated in a conference call on Friday with our Family Coordinator, Duni, and the 50+ families who are waiting for referrals. It was a very encouraging and empowering two-hours! We hope to do this again on a monthly/bi-monthly basis...it was so reassuring for the families, and, I'm sure it simplifies Duni's job, too. By the way, she is fantastic to work with -- overall, our agency has been a magnificent blessing!


Redeeming the Wait

The wait for our China adoption is increasing by 1/2-1 month each month...the wait is currently 27-28 months, and we have been waiting 7. All that said, a group of women who are also waiting in the China program have formed a swap group. Here's how it works: each month someone designates a theme, we are matched with partners, and shopping commences. I've only participated for the past two months, but it has been soooo much fun!!! The Feb theme was winter hats, and the Mar theme is Easter. Are the above swaps we've received so far cute or what!!!!

The swap group has been so therapeutic for me -- until now, I have not made any purchases for our children (other than paint for the baby room). Somewhere along the way, I made up in my mind that I'd wait until we received a referral (especially since we're uncertain about the gender of our child from Ethiopia) before buying clothing & basic supplies.

You see, I have this hang-up with feeling presumptuous...don't misunderstand me, I have 110% faith that God will fulfill our adoptions...but I am a linear thinker, so, everything has an order. Probably not very rational thinking...but it's my warped thinking just the same. Anyway, the swap group has allowed me to indirectly (since I'm actually shopping for someone else) break my own rule. Although, now -- dilemma -- I need to purchase hangers for children's clothing...can I do it??? Stay tuned... ;)


What a Good Daddy!

At the beginning of each year Vince likes to ramp-up his work outs with the Body For Life program. Last year he got the Body For Life cook book, but, cooking is not a passion of mine, so the book commenced to collect dust.

But not this year!!!

Vince has decided in order to make the most of the BFL work outs, he needs to incorporate the recipes as well...and this picture says it all!!! Vince- you're hired!
Vince also wants to permanently assume dinner duties. (You go hubby!) He's excited about teaching our little kiddos not only how to cook, but also teaching them that genuine leaders are servant leaders.

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