Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ethiopia Updates

Let me preface by saying Holy Cow is our Ethiopia process different from either of our Kyrgyzstan processes!  I'm sure much has to do with the much better organized, much more mature program and much less corrupt government, and certainly we can credit much of the smoothness to working with an agency that actually has a clue and cares! 

Ethiopia has experienced some bumps this year.  Most recently, many orphanages have been shut down.  Referrals have been lost by families.  I cannot imagine being as far along in the process as having been to court and then losing your referral because of an orphanage shut down, but it has happened.  Thankfully, so far, our agency has not been affected and our kids' orphanage is safe. 

We get an update on the kids every month like clockwork.  We get updated photos and an updated social/medical history report.  They are growing and appear healthy, happy and well-adjusted.  Reports from families who have travelled and spent time with them are always positive.  They are definitely well-loved by caregivers. 

Just for fun, here's a measurement comparison of the kids (obviously, I don't have any clue where Kamila falls because we don't get decent updates from Kyrgyzstan):

                   Esen - 5yo            h 42"     w 33 lb
                   "B" - 4yo              h 39"     w 31 lb
                   Marissa - 2yo       h 33"     w 26.5 lb
                   "H" - 3 1/2 yo      h 34"     w 27 lb

So, you see, if they all stay nice and constant, I will have one set of clothes for my boys and one set for my girls!  How wonderful will that be?!  I have a feeling that "B" and Marissa will take off, though.  "H" is reported as being significantly stunted and Esen has really slowed in his growth over the last two years. 

H continues to not receive any medication while "B" continues on his previous medication regimen.  I still worry that they will fall ill, but there is just nothing we can do to speed things up.  We are, as always, at the mercy of the system.

As far as the process goes, unfortunately, the USCIS approval took F.O.R.E.V.E.R. and then our I-171H got "lost" so they've had to reissue it.  Our dossier, which has been ready and waiting since March, except for the I-171H, still sits untranslated and unsent.  We have now officially missed the deadline for court submission prior to the close of the courts for the rainy season.  It is highly likely that we will not get a court date until late Oct-Nov thus delaying the kids' arrival home until Dec-Jan. THAT is a tough pill to swallow!

Fundraising continues to be the most difficult part of this process, although we have been incredibly blessed and touched by the goodness of some true angels whose generosity kept us moving forward when finances were the only thing that threatened to stop us in our tracks.  While there is no way we can ever properly say "Thank You" or repay them, it is our hope that someday we can pay it forward and show the same generosity to another family in a similar situation as ours.  We find ourselves still facing the daunting task of needing to raise over $20,000, some of which will be needed by the time we go to court and the rest by the time we travel to bring the kids home.  That still doesn't include the amount of out-of-pocket medical expenses we will face once they are home.  We welcome fundraising ideas, donations, links to funding sources and any advice anyone might have to offer!

That's it in a nutshell.  We wait, we hope, we scramble for funds, we hope some more and look forward to the day when ALL of our kids will be here, under one roof, laughing and playing together.


China Dreams said...

It's wonderful that you get such regular updates. Good luck with the continued fundraising, and with all the forms :(


Jes said...

Hoping and praying that all our kids are home SOON!!