Wednesday, April 15, 2009

More pics......

IT'S A BOY!!!!!!

Today, Yonas Gabriel Brewer legally became a part of our family! There are no words to begin to describe...although he has been in our hearts since day one, he is now truly and completely part of our family....SOOOOO...drumroll he is!
This was the referral photo that we received in December....this photo was taken in approximately September of 2008 I and see how the love and care provided at WACAP House brings him to life! :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Counting down and gearing up....

Two weeks from today Beth will be 22!!!! Two weeks from today (if all goes well) I will be a mommy again! Unbelievable! And only four short weeks after that, Beth and I will travel to Ethiopia to bring home our new little guy!

Here is a bit of a rundown of what I know...or think I know....When we travel, we will be traveling with 5 other familes to bring home their little new ones too! We will all stay in a guest house (similar to a bed and breakfast) that is set up just for adoptive families....the week will be filled with visits with the kids, shopping, eating, Embassy appointments, and I'm sure sights and experiences that will change our lives forever.

I spoke with my adoption coordinator today...She just returned from Ethiopia and visited with all of the children while she was there....a CD of video and pictures is in the mail, on its way to my house right now! Just the thought of knowing that she was there with Yonas, sharing in the moment when he found out about his new family and his new home...overwhelming!

I have mentally packed for this trip in my head hundreds of times...I am anxious to just get it done...more than anything I just can't wait for that first moment of eye contact between me and my new son...the first hug...the first smile...the first everything....everything unpredictable and challenging...everything filled with joy and fear and excitement....

Six weeks...........

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Travel dates....and everything else that has suddenly hit me!

We got our tentative travel dates this week! May 14-May 21!!!! Oh my gosh! That is only two months away! As I was lying in my bed this morning,looking out into the living room, I suddenyl could see him...he was there...rolling around on the floor with his new brother, Steven! In only two months he will be playing in the yard outside, sitting on a stool at the bar in the kitchen, floating around in a bubble bath, IN THIS HOUSE!!!!!!!

My brain is on overload...the planning...the packing...adding him to scans...immunizations....stool samples (don't even get me started) fears....laughing...crying...I don't even know where to begin!

We got to send a package via our adoption coordinator this week! It ALL had to fit inside of a gallon sized ziploc do you do that? Everything you ever wanted to know about your new family and more in a little plastic disposable bag!!!!! So here is the list:

*paper, stickers, twistable crayons to share with his friends
*a matchbox airplane so he gets a little peek into what's to come
*a Carolina t-shirt (of course)
*a teddy bear with a soccer hoodie (his caregivers told us he enjoys soccer)
*and of course, a photo album of his new mommy, his new brother, his new sisters, his new doggy, his new house, and him!

He will be holding it all in just a few days! And wonderful Megan (our coordinator) will be returning with new pictures for us to ooohhhhhh and ahhhhh over!

And in between each letter I type my stomach flip flops and my mind reels....I don't even know where to's really happening...he is really almost here.....

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Court Date Has Arrived!

We heard from our adoption coordinator this week, and we are excited to share the news! Our court date to make Yonas a legal part of our family, is April 15, 2009! Amazing! On his big sister Beth's birthday! How incredible is that! So although we are a bit disappointed that it is further in the future than we had hoped, there are many up sides to this.....

  • We will more than likely travel after Beth has returned home from school after Spring semester
  • I will be done with my Spring semester of grad school before we travel
  • Yonas will probably not even need to be enrolled in school this year, giving us time to assess the right age and grade level int he fall
  • I may not have to return to work at all after we return since I planned to take 3 weeks off for this new adventure
  • If I have to return to work, Beth will be able to be with him during the day, giving him someone he is already familiar with to spend that time with (afterall, who doesn't fall in love with Beth once they meet her) hehehehe
  • This will give us the summer with no school schedules to interfere with doctors, dentists, etc etc etc
  • Beth's Senior Recital is scheduled for April 14 in Mississippi, so we will all be together when we pass court (staying completely optimistic of course!)

So...the preparations begin...not that I actually have any idea of where to begin, but it sounds good!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

People often ask...why would you go all the way to Ethiopia with so many children here in America in need of families....I used to believe that it was my responsibility to adopt here in the US if I were to adopt again....then I began truly examining the entire world around me. The opportunity to adopt in Ethiopia provides me not only with the chance to change the life of a child who may not live to see adulthood, but to share with the people in my life what the reality is beyond our borders. I will see first hand and tell the story. I will be able to share my thoughts and experiences of what life is like for children thousands of miles away and know that there are ways that we can make a difference...from our own living rooms. The list that follows is a response to the question "Why adopt from Ethiopia?" It is not something I compiled, but it tells the story and creates a picture of life in the country I will be honored to stand in to bring home our new little brother....

*One in ten children die before their first birthday
* One in six children die before their fifth birthday
* 44% of the population of Ethiopia is under 15 years old
* 60% of children in Ethiopia are stunted due to malnutrition
* The median age in Ethiopia is 17.8 years; the average life span is 37 years
* Half the children in Ethiopia will never attend school; 88% will never attend secondary school
* Ethiopia has the highest HIV/AIDS population in the world
* There are 4.8 million orphans in Ethiopia; 1.2 million children have been orphaned by AIDS alone
* Ethiopia’s doctor to children ratio is 1 to 24,000* In the 1980's one million Ethiopians died of starvation
* Drought struck the country again from 2000-2002 (1st year no crops, 2nd year no seeds, 3rd year no animals)
* Only 24% of households have access to safe drinking water
* 82% of the population survives on less than 1 dollar a day
* Coffee prices (Ethiopia’s only major export) fell 40-60% from 1998-2002
* Per capita, Ethiopia receives less aid than any country in Africa* In 1993, after 30 long years of war, Eritrea broke from Ethiopia and became an independent nation leaving Ethiopia landlocked without any major seafaring ports
*In 2006, ONLY 731 children were adopted by U.S. families

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Oh.....the joy of a new son...the frustration of waiting for a plan

We are all so unbelievably excited about our new little guys arrival! My adoption coordinator has received our acceptance of the referral and has contacted the director of the transition home where he is staying. He will now request a court date from the Ethiopian government, which will probably happen around the end of February or beginning of March!!!! Once we have passed court, he is legally mine! And then the chaos begins....Beth and I will probably travel within 2-3 weeks of court approval, so it could be anywhere from May...we think....yes, we really have no idea. So we get the shots, make housing arrangements for Alina, Tessa, and Steven with some wonderful family friends, and count our nickels and dimes...ugh...don't even get me started!

Trying to ignore the money and focus on the fun stuff....the first time I see his smile...will he be apprehensive and timid? will he be joyful and energetic? will I understand a single word he says? will it really matter?

Must arrange time off work....add him to insurance....get shots....prepare the other kids....learn Amharic(ummm....really?).....

I continue to remind myself that many have done this before me and lived to tell about one piece...and with some semblance of's all I can hope for :)