My friend who has "been there, done that" directed me to a website that has travel tips and hints for Ethiopian adoptions. It has lots of information. I know several people are planning on traveling soon, and others have upcoming court dates with (hopefully) travel shortly after that. Maybe this will help those of us who no idea what we are doing!! :) Happy packing!
We secured our tickets today for our flight to Ethiopia. As I am thinking about all the little details, James informs me that we will miss the UK/UofL game. (priorities, you know :) We will be landing in Louisville right smack in the middle of the game! I know I am going to have some family and friends wondering why we scheduled that flight! For those of you unfamiliar with this game, I know people who have scheduled their weddings around this game...it's kinda a big deal. I guess we'll see who our real friends are. HeHe. (just kidding)
Fun Times...our tentative travel plans are to leave on Dec. 26th with our embassy date on the 30th!! Talk about a whirlwind holiday! Now I am off to make some plans with the travel agent. YEAH!!! Dawit, here we come!!
P.S. The Gibson Family passed court! There is a possibility we could even travel the same week. :)
Isn't that just GREAT news?? Susan called while I was at mom2mom this morning. I was holding my phone and kept staring at it...hoping she would call. When she called I ran out and into another room. The conversation went like this: Me: Hello Susan: Hi, it's Susan. (like I didn't know) :) Me: Yeah... Susan: How are you? Me: Good, how are you? Me thinking:get on with it already!! Susan: Do you have a suitcase? Me: YEAH! We passed!! (scream).......
We are soooo excited and rejoicing right now. We should know more about travel specifics in a few days, but right now it looks like 6 weeks. Which would put us right after Christmas. Holding our little boy seems so close now! We are proud to introduce the newest member of our family... These first two pictures were taken in June. I love those huge, brown eyes!
Hasn't he grown? This was taken in September.
Here is the video that I love! I love his laugh!
Thank you so much for all your prayers! Our friends the Gibson family have court tomorrow, and we are praying him home too. Baby Bennett is a month younger than Dawit and I know they will be great friends!
Most of you know that Wednesday is a very important day in the Armstrong family. We are praying that tomorrow the Ethiopian courts will officially make Dawit an Armstrong! My verse of the day (and tomorrow, and the next day, until we hear something) is Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
I will let you know as soon as we hear something....
So, today is our 7 year wedding anniversary. Without getting too mushy, I just want to say how much I love James! He is such a great hubby and a super dad. 7 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT JAMES... 1. I love that he works so hard for our family and I can stay home with the girls. 2. I love that he is a great dad. 3. I love that he watches U of L games with me...and has stopped getting mad when we lose. :) 4. I love that he picks on me when I am in a bad mood and gets me out of my funk. 5. I love that he likes different types of food and we can cook and eat together. 6. I love that on our first date, after he hugged me he gave me a little kiss on the forehead. 7. I love that I get to spend many, many more years with this guy!!
He is such a blessing! I thank God for him daily, but probably don't tell him that nearly enough.
Today I finally got the video of our little guy that Susan took while in Ethiopia. I can't wait until we pass court next week and I can show you this. (praying we do) Someone is tickeling him and he is squealing...not laughing...squealing! It is hilarious! I can't wait to get my arms around him.
Pray with us that we pass court next week. Pray specifically that all the paperwork is complete and everything is correct. Pray that our MOWA letter is there. Pray for his birthmom, please. She is on my heart so much. She will be there next Wednesday and I am sure it is going to be a tough day for her.
Well, it is Sunday night and I am pooped! We have had such a busy weekend...but extremely fun. On Friday night, Arise hosted a Prayer and Worship Service to celebrate it's first year of service to the orphan child. James and I started the evening with dinner at...you guessed it...Queen of Sheba. (can we buy stock or something?) Several Arise families joined us. Carla and two of her children actually made the trip from sunny California for the service. She just missed all that we do and wanted to meet everyone on this side of the computer screen. Neat huh? We had a great dinner, everyone liked it! Here is a picture of the gang. Afterward we headed to the church for our service. I was so excited to see everyone there. Many families waiting for referrals or court dates, and also families that have brought some real sweeties home. I love seeing all their faces. I think about the next time we all get together...maybe Dawit will be there. Anyway, the service was great and I love that God was given all the Glory. I am so glad that we found a Christian agency right here in town. It is such a blessing! Dawit made the big screen, as he was included in a video they made of the children. The had a short talk by a preacher who brought 2 little boys home and then prayed over all the waiting families. Then it was time for cake, which all the kids were excited about. Here is Lesley and I. This is Eli's mom, who my kids are totally in love with! When we pass court, she will be the one helping us prepare for travel. Emily, Donna, and I. All matched with kiddos and waiting. On Saturday we got up and started working on our portion of the Allen's fundraiser meal. Along with everything else, we chopped 24 lbs. of chicken!! The Doro tips were a huge hit and the fundraiser was a success! Another good day!
Today Carla and her kiddos met us for church. We got to visit one last time before they leave on Tuesday. Then we high tailed it home so I could make another batch of Doro tips to take to our family reunion. James thought it would be a good educational opportunity! :) I am happy to say that I barely brought any home. So if you are counting, yes I ate Ethiopian food 3 days in a row. I think I am good for a while. :) The family reunion was fun, but like I said, I am pooped and ready for bed. (Its 8:30!) I hope you all have a good week!
This Saturday we have the privilege to help our friends, the Allen's, with their adoption fundraiser. If you are looking for something fun to do or maybe you just want to help a family that is following Gods call to adopt, we would love for you to join us. Here are the details...
Many of you may know that we have been praying about adoption. We feel very strongly that God is leading us down this path and Ethiopia has been where our hearts have been led and where our daughter is. We are now into the process.
In order for us to raise money, we are holding an Open House Chili Supper with an Ethiopian flair! It will be held on Saturday, November 7, 2009, from 4:00pm to 8:00pm. Please feel free to come and go as you please during this time. It will be at the Lake Forest Lodge, which is located at 511 Woodlake Drive, Louisville KY 40245.
To cover the cost of food for the event, a donation of $10 per adult is recommended.
Children are welcome! There will be an adult supervised play area. There will also be hot dogs for them!
A small silent auction will also be held. Checks and cash accepted only.
For those unable to attend, we will also be accepting donations. Checks can be written to Lifesong for Orphans. Please add "Rob & Mandi Allen" to the memo section and mail them to 10714 English Oak Court, Louisville KY 40241. All donations are tax deductible. Please be advised that due to checks being processed by Lifesong for Orphans, it may take a month or two for checks to be deposited by Lifesong for Orphans. If you need a receipt, please let us know.
We thank you in advance for your support financially but we would also covet continued prayers for this journey. We look forward to sharing with you as we follow God's will in adding to our family!
We have enjoyed watching friends go through their adoption journey and look forward to those who may be encouraged by our journey as well.
God bless! Rob, Mandi & Carissa Allen "Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, 'Give them up!' and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.' Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth." Isaiah 43:5-6
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27I
I have been doing so good at not buying any boy clothing since we 1. aren't sure when Dawit is coming home and 2. we aren't sure how big he will be. But, I caved tonight. I found this cute shirt at Children's Place. I had to get it. I think we will definitely be doing some celebrating, don't you? I got a 3-6month, which goes up to 15 lbs. That should be good for a while. He wasn't quite 10 lbs a month ago. With that said...he turns 8 months in a few days! (those numbers just don't go together) I just wish he was home so we could celebrate these things with him!
Speaking of him being home, court is that much closer! Official Countdown: Which, if we really get technical, there is only 13 days, because it is already tomorrow in Ethiopia! :) Leave it to me to find a way to make it shorter.
12/2008 Made the descision to adopt
1/09/2009 Sent in Arise application
2/05 1st Home study visit
2/12 Downtown for fingerprinting and turned in
our I600a forms
2/26 Final home study meeting
4/01 Turned in dossier to Arise
4/21 Dossier arrived in Ethiopia
5/2 USCIS approval
5/15-16 When Hope Has a Name, Adoption Workshop
5/27 Accepted referral for Dawit 7/7 Dawit's weight: approx.6 lbs
7/23 Race and Adoption Class at Highview
7/31 Dawit's weight: 6.6 lbs
8/3 Travel Meeting with Arise
8/25 Dawit was transferred from Narareth to Addis
8/27 Dawit's weight: 7.7 lbs
9/29 Dawit's weight:9.9 lbs
10/21 Received court date of Nov. 18
11/18 PASSED COURT!! 11/19 Got tentative travel plans to leave on Dec. 26
11/20 Booked Flights
12/8 Travel Plans changed :( no MOWA letter
12/9 Travel Meeting with Lesley
12/15 Booked new flights: leave Jan. 10
1/10 Left for ET
1/12 Arrived in ET..Dawit Day!
1/20 Home forever!