The BIG news!

Okay, so it isn't the news you were hoping to be reading about, there is no referral to report. (B.A. -I know you are laughing now or shaking your head at me.) The big news to report, tonight I got to have coffee with 7 other moms from the AGCI Ethiopia program. To know there were that many of us in the area is amazing!

Adding to the excitement, I got to met "R" who came home this past Friday (I fell in love by the way.) Can I just say ADORABLE!

It was so nice to get to talk with others who have gone through the process or are going through it. We are all in different stages of the game, so there were lots of different perspectives. I am thinking it will be a great way to add support in the coming years for us as well as our children, especially as the group grows. 



Yep, today marks two hundred and seventy five days on the waiting list. Why is 275 days significant? Great question, I am so glad you asked!  (You know you were wanting to ask, unless you had already done the math in your head.) Today is a BIG day for us, it marks 9 months on the wait list. Yep. 9 months is how long we have officially been hanging out and counting down to Lando. That is the same as: 6,600 hours; 396,000 minutes; or 23,760,000 seconds. (Anyone else humming “Seasons of Love” from Rent? I am, but I also heard a parody to it earlier today from Thursday night’s The Office.) FYI- It has been 492 days since we first met with “L” from The Baby Fold to begin the adoption journey. 

So why is 9 months significant? It marks the entry into the threshold of when we were told to expect a referral. One of the things we liked about All God’s Children International (AGCI) is when we “interviewed” them; they told us they could give us an average of most people’s wait time, but not a specific one due to it being international adoption. (Others had flat out told us we could expect a referral within “x” number of months.) So when we decided to go with AGCI, we were told the average family was looking at 9-12 months on the waitlist, dependent upon their specific parameters.

Side note: I am not a fan of the term average. I understand the value in averages, but to be honest, I am not a fan of any of the measures of central tendency (mean, median, mode, or range). It doesn’t allow for individuality and it doesn’t make you feel good when you are the outlying data point. At the same time, I am so hoping to fall within the range of 9 to 12 months, closer to 9 months, when it comes to waiting for Lando. To be even more honest, I was hoping to be one of the outlying data points that didn’t have to wait 9 months before a referral. 

The adoption path to Lando really has been a journey and unfortunately our Garmin, Daniel, so doesn’t help in getting us to our destination. You get a map of the path you are supposed to take, but it is a really bad map. Silly cartographer. (Okay so now I am thinking about the West Wing episode where the fictional group, the Organization of Cartographers for Social Equality, discussed the “Peter Projection World Map” which shows the continents in their true proportions. Please don’t think I just happened to know the name of the organization at the top of my head, I recalled the episode and then had to Google the rest.) In our map, everything is laid out very linear, as you go along the adoption journey you go from point A to point B and so on. The problem is that the cartographer didn’t denote on the map the amount of space time between the points. Everything looks equidistance, but it isn’t, the map doesn’t have those little marks that say how many miles months it is between points. 

So what destinations have we already covered in our journey to Lando? Well we went through the busy city of “Homestudy,” which for us was a twin city to “Determine Agency and Apply Land.” Once we exited this destination, we journeyed to “Illinois needs to approve our Homestudy” which did take a bit, before we got to the village of “Submit your Dossier.” Luckily for us, this was a quick voyage and we didn’t have to redo bits of that portion of the journey so that we could get to the land of “Waitlist” on July 23rd. While in the land of “Waitlist” we have gone down the street of “USCIS Fingerprinting,” which led us to the avenue of “Favorable Determination Letter.” The avenue of “FDL” is the last official item we have done, but we have done a lot of sightseeing (9 months worth) while in the land of “Waitlist.” So hopefully we get to leave “Waitlist” soon to go to “Referral,” because that would mean we would have seen a picture of Lando. Granted, there is more waiting in “Referral,” which I suppose is even harder since we would know what Lando looks like, but at least it would be progress and be closer to our goal of having a son/daughter/children. 

Have we come a long way since being place on the waitlist? Yes. We have moved 32 spots on the boy’s list, 54 spots on the girl’s list, and 34 spots on the siblings’ list. So there has been movement, but there needs to be more!


France and waiting

So my parents just got home from France (Okay, they got back into the States late last night)! They took a river cruise from Paris to the Normandy District and ended up spending an extra day in Paris due to plane issues. In Paris, my mom enjoyed seeing the Eiffel Tower (especially at night),
while my dad liked the Musee d'Orsay.

If you know my dad, you would also be surprised to learn he ate escargot. 

So my mom has been waiting to go to the beaches at Normandy for years, she is very excited about collecting sand at Omaha Beach (the furthest south they went on the tour, but my Papa was actually further south and inland with the 101st). 

So fun things to wait for:
  • To go to Normandy. (It's on the to do list and has been for a while.)
  • Go back to Ireland. (We would love to go back to Killarney. I think Luc wants to hike again to Ross Castle- the long way- and then take a carriage ride there the next day- the short way. Not that this happened or anything our first day there. . . But it was a really nice walk, it was only about 2 hours of walking.)
  • Opening Home Day for the Sox! (Granted it would have been nicer if the temperature was higher than 38 degrees. We are counting it in the adventure column.)
  • The beginning of any sport season. 
  • For the Bulls to be #1 in the Eastern Conference once more!
  • The Blackhawks going back to the playoffs, unfortunately as the #8 seed. However, it was a tense game waiting to see if Dallas would lose. 
  • Disney (So thinking Lando will like this one, especially because he can then meet his friend A just north of Orlando.)
  • The bread to come just out of the oven
  • The cookies to come just out of the oven (I love when the chocolate is still kinda melted)
  • Walking to Whitey's Ice Cream (Mom, we are so doing this when we come up for Easter. I haven't walked to Whitey's in years. Can we take Joey Ramone? Joking on Joey coming with us.)
  • For the pizza delivery guy. (I didn't grow up with delivery, so I enjoy this.)
  • The BIGGEST and BESTEST thing we are waiting for. . . Lando! So we have no idea when, but we are getting closer! So without further ado, the new countdown numbers to our son/daughter/children.
Boys and Siblings: #15

Girls: #25


Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my Dad's birthday. When I was younger my parents made the error of always let me pick out the gift I was going to give. I picked out awesome gifts for me Dad, but for some reason he did not enjoy the year of the Barbie, the year of the hula hoop, or the pink poodle. I have no idea why. 

A couple months ago I got the idea into my head that on April 8th we would get our referral and we would get it because: A) it's my Dad's 60th birthday (sorry Dad about announcing it, I know you were hoping to keep it a secret) and how awesome would that have been and B) April marks being on the wait list for 9 months (granted 9 months is officially on the 23rd, but so hoping to be below average when I got this idea). So since I was hoping a picture of his new grandchild(ren) would be the birthday present this year, I haven't gotten one and am open to suggestions. Maybe we will get a referral in time for my parents' anniversary, or my sister's birthday, at the end of the month. (Sorry Edd or Kathy, we would prefer not to wait until your birthday for a referral.)

So. . . 

While we hang out at 16 unofficially for a boy and siblings and 25 unofficially for a girl, we went to the White Sox home opener yesterday. The game was great, you have to love a win, but COLD (most of the game was played with the temperature at the stadium in the 30s). We did however get a 2011 White Sox "All In" car flag. We are really hoping weather.com is accurate with their forecast for Sunday's games with the high of 80 degrees.


State Department Notice

U.S. Department of Sate


April 5, 2011

Notice: Significant delays remain likely for cases presented to Ethiopia's Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs after March 8, 2011

The Government of Ethiopia's Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs (MOWYCA) told the American Embassy officials that adoption cases presented to the Federal Court of First Instance prior to March 8, 2011 will be processed expeditiously. However, cases presented to the Court after March 8 will be processed in a more deliberate manner to allow greater scrutiny and oversight. Based on their March 8 announcement the American Embassy anticipates that MOWYCA will process these cases at a rate of approximately 5 per day.

It is unclear whether there will be an official announcement from the Government of Ethiopia regarding the plan to reduce the number of cases adjudicated daily.

Prospective adoptive parents who did not reach the court summons stage before March 8, 2011, should expect significant delays in the progression of their paperwork through the Government of Ethiopia. Prospective adoptive parents should be in close touch with their adoption service providers to confirm the status of their cases.

The U.S. Embassy continues to work with Ethiopian government officials and adoption agencies to gain a clearer understanding of these procedures, and will continue to post information as it becomes available.


The Zoo

There's still 9 school days to go before Spring Break, so life is kinda like a zoo right now at school. Last Friday, I had to chance to help chaperone a trip to St. Louis to see the zoo and Busch Stadium. The field trip was great, one of the best I have been one, it also helped that I got to see one of the zoo's newest animals. 


While at the zoo, we spent some time in the Penguin & Puffin Coast. (This reminded me of how much Luc likes penguins.)
 penguins at New England Aquarium during our trip in Sept 2009

So because of seeing the penguins at the zoo, Lando's book collection grew. (I also need to be sure Luc is represented in Lando's library.) So Lando is now the proud owner of: Your Personal Penguin (which can be sung to the tune of "Hey, Hey, We're the Monkeys), That's Not My Penguin. . . (it is an Usborne touchy-feely book), I Love My Daddy, and Waddle!

I have to say, I am really liking Waddle!. I saw it for the first time when I was with my friend J at Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville. There are a couple of other scanimation books like it, but Lando's next one is going to be. . .
So can't wait to take Lando to the zoo for the first time!

Unofficial numbers are: Boy and Siblings 16, Girl 25