Monday, March 9, 2009

The Adoption Process and Where We Are in the Process.

Okay, we thought we'd take a minute and explain a little bit about the adoption process and then tell you where we are in all of this. The first thing we did when we knew we wanted to adopt was select an agency and then fill out an application. We did this back in January of 2008. Once the agency accepts your application, you start the "paper chasing" phase of the process. During this time you collect all kinds of documents from official birth certificates and letters of employment, to tax documents, reference letters, fingerprints, and everything in between. You also meet with a social worker for a few visits. She evaluates you, your marriage, and your home to ensure that you will make good parents. The social worker gathers documents, makes an assessment and compiles this information in a "Home Study" document. This documentation is needed by the US government in order to gain approval for adoption. Once you are receive this approval, then you go through the process of getting all the documents you collected notarized, county certified, state certified, and authenticated. These official papers along with your home study make up your "dossier" and are then sent to Ethiopia. Are you tired yet?! Our dossier went to Ethiopia on August 1st 2008. Now we are "on a wait list" for a child. We were allowed to choose the age and sex of the baby and we asked for an infant girl less than 12 months old. When it's our turn, we will receive a "referral". This means that we will get a phone call letting us know that there is a baby available for us. We will then be sent a picture of the baby along with medical records. Once this information is reviewed and we've accepted the referral, a court date will be set in the Ethiopian courts to finalize the adoption. Our agency has told us that it takes 9-11 months from the time the dossier goes to Ethiopia for us to get a referral. We are in month 7! So, that means we are hoping to get our referral as early as May and hopefully no later than July. We hope to travel to Ethiopia to pick up our little girl a few months after that but we'll have a better idea about travel once we get our referral. The Ethiopian courts close in the summer for two months so things might be delayed as a result of that. We're really hopeful that we won't run into that. Let's hope our referral comes in May!! So that's where we are in the process. It probably sounds like a lot of work but really it's been the best thing that has ever happened to us. If you could just see Steve light up when he talks about this little girl that he's never met, you'd know what I mean. It's just so awesome to be in love with the thought of someone. If this is the way we feel now, I can't imagine what it will feel like when we actually meet her! We're in trouble! We love to talk about her so please ask us if you have any questions. It's amazing to see how excited everyone is for us and we want to share this with you as much as possible.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

We're Selling T-Shirts to Raise Money to Bring Kaiyin Home. Buy One Now!!

You know you want one of these really cool t shirts! These t shirts were designed by Kaiyin's Uncle Jeff and made by one of our great friends, Chris Carpenter. The back of the shirt is printed with Kaiyin's name up at the top. Only $15.00 each! We only have a few t shirts left and sizes are limited. Let us know what size you need and we'll see if we can't make it happen!


How Did You Come Up With That Name?

We really wanted her to have an African name so we spent some time looking through books and online websites for African names. We came across her name in the process. It's an African name that means "long awaited child". Seriously folks, we're not making this stuff up. As soon as we saw it, we knew that would be her name. Her full name is Kaiyin Mariam Burke at this point. My sister's name is Mariam and she paid big money to secure that middle name. :) We will probably add to her name when we discover what her given name is.

Kaiyin's First Shoes....Every Girl Needs Gold Loafers Right?!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Kaiyin's Room

The beautiful mural is courtesy of our friend Jeff Welch. He's awesome! Thanks to our parents for the beautiful furniture! She's already spoiled.

Registering for Baby!

Steve registered for the practical stuff while I registered for pink Converse.