March 19, 2011

spring 'break'

ok, so this has been a really LONG week for me. Thankfully it is nearing an end and I have some great news! I made it, Myles made it, Michael is scheduled to be back late tonight from his 9 day trip to Paris, Ethiopia has new staff members processing adoptions, and they are NOT restricting the number of cases they are processing!!

So at the beginning of the week we were in a lot of uncertainty with our adoption since we're still in the paperwork process-which got slowed down with some documents I have to redo :( and Ethiopia reducing the no. of adoptions they processed by 90%. I talked to our helpful social worker, and case managers this week and was very encouraged to keep working and trusting the Lord to bring about His perfect will. And at the end of the week (I still can't believe it's only been a week!) we got notice that there is a new staff at the Ministry of Women's Affair's (MOWA-the people who process intl. adoptions in Ethiopia) and they are working hard to make up all these cases the last group of folks left and are going to be processing cases like 'normal' with no drastic cut backs!!

Please pray for these new staff members who are undoubtedly 'swamped' right now. Pray for the children and the families to be patient and understanding and for ethical adoptions to be the foremost concern.

Glory to the Lord! And thank you all for praying!! Here's an bit from an email our agency sent out on St. Patrick's Day!

At this time, all Foreign Staff on the ground in Ethiopia are reporting that MOWA has completed their staffing changes and are now currently working at full capacity to complete those adoption cases currently re-scheduled or assigned a court appointment through the courts of Addis Ababa. Our staff believe this to be around 800 cases they are working at full force to complete with no restrictions on the number of cases processed each day. This is great news! We are thrilled to hear these drastic changes do not seem to be going into full effect.

We are also pleased to report that for new cases moving forward; it appears the original changes proposed by MOWA will not be implemented to the degree of 5 cases a day. At this time it is unknown whether or not MOWA will issue a formal statement regarding how they will process cases in the future, but from all discussions it will not be a drastic decrease from before. Through the continued work, meetings, and advocacy of many Foreign Staff members in Ethiopia, it appears any future changes within the case processing for MOWA will avoid sweeping and disproportionate alterations to the number of cases processed each day. Rather, the hope is that MOWA, Joint Council, Adoption Service Providers, the US Department of State and other NGO organizations can come together to support the government of Ethiopia in strengthening the process for ethical adoptions to continue while also improving the general social structures to assist with family preservation in Ethiopia.

March 14, 2011

Court attempt #....I lost count!

ok blog friends-My friends, the Busby's, are sending out the Call to Prayer for their adoption of Miss Mercy!! This is another court date that they are attempting and I honestly have lost count how many times they've seen a judge, or suppossed to have seen a judge and things have not gone the way we thought, though God is totally sovereign and has His perfect timing. Please pray for their court appointment in Uganda tomorrow!! Here's a link to Melissa's blog post!

March 8, 2011

Call to Action!

This is an urgent update and a 'Call to Action' on behalf of Ethiopian adoptions. Please pray!! Thank you for your support.

Help Us Advocate For Ethiopian Orphans

An Important Update

The Ethiopian Ministry of Women's Affairs (MOWA) has announced a proposal to decrease the number of adoptions they will process and approve—even by as much as 90%. They are planning to accomplish this decrease by limiting the number of approved cases to only 5 per working day. This change is currently set to begin on March 10, 2011.

Please know that no one fully understands this proposal yet. Our staff, led by Almaz in Ethiopia, are still sorting out what this could mean for each of the children and families that we work with. These children are their passion and they are working on the front lines in this advocacy. Also, this is not limited to AGCI. This will impact every agency and the families that each serve. This means that all agencies are working together in their advocacy making a very strong force that is working on the behalf of children and families. Currently, all agency staff are waiting for the Director of MOWA to return to Ethiopia. Once she returns they will have a chance to sit down and talk over the implications of this proposal.

To attempt to counteract this proposal, the Joint Council on International Children’s Services (JCICS) has put a “Call to Action” in place. This sort of international advocacy is what JCICS does, and they do it well.

We are strongly encouraging you to read their post below and follow the suggested steps. You can also share this with your family, friends, Facebook friends and church to do the same. It is so important that we are all united in this effort! We are all advocates in our own circles of influence—and it is good to partner with you in this!

Thank you again for all that you are doing at this time. You are all valued and important in this process of promoting and preserving the best interest of children in Ethiopia and around the world.

God Bless,

Hollen Frazier
Executive Director


JCICS Call to Action

March 8, 2011

Joint Council: Emergency Campaign for Ethiopian Children

What You Can Do:

1) Sign the petition to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi – and pass it on!

2) Have you adopted from Ethiopia? Please send us up to 3 photos and 50 words or less with what you would like the Ministry to know about your child – we’ll compile the information and send a book to the Ministry of Woman’s Affairs. Send your photos and stories to by Sunday, March 12, 2011 to be included. Please note that sending photos and stories gives Joint Council unrestricted right to use the information you provide.

3) Share…Please send this Call to Action to family members, other adoptive parents, and everyone you know! Post, forward and share your adoption stories via Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. Make sure you include us in your posts so we can all hear your stories! Here’s links to our pages: Facebook, Twitter and our our blog.

4) Stay informed: Get up-to-date information regarding the situation in Ethiopia by signing up to receive information from us: click here to do so, make sure you choose “country and issues specific information” and “Ethiopia.” And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and our our blog.

5) Help ensure our advocacy can continue: Joint Council is a non-profit and receives no government funding. Please join us in ensuring more children live in safe, permanent and loving families. Donate today!

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Fat Tuesday

Yesterday I ordered all of our birth certificates and mom is working on getting a cheaper marriage certificate copy for us thursday. Today I went by my social worker's office to drop off our tax return. Since we were so close to baptist hospital, I couldn't resist stopping in to check on our friends-the Yates. They had just had their third child!! James, a healthy baby boy, is here, and his family couldn't be happier :)

All we lack now to finish our homestudy is a verification of our smoke detectors and fire extinguisher and our final home inspection in which our social worker will 'interview' Myles-can't wait for that! He knows our social workers name even though he hasn't met her, and he is eager to play choo-choo's with her when she comes over! haha Happy fat tuesday all! We're having the Spring break Paris missions team over tonight and I've got the king cake ready!

March 6, 2011

Sweet baby James

So I'm in need of a blog update! Here goes...

First, on the adoption front, we got to send in our adoption education on thursday! That was a big chunk of the homestudy process and took about 20 hours or so to complete the workbook and the online classes. Thank the Lord!

Secondly, the end of february was gorgeous weather here and Myles and I went to the park and/or were outside everyday for like two weeks. So while I was getting spring fever, Myles got croup :( He had to miss school friday and we missed church today since he's still contagious with his runny nose, sneezing, and coughing all over the place! poor baby!!

Part of the reason he had to miss school friday was the croup setting in, but the other reason was because we were out at the airport until way past his bedtime welcoming home the very first Pinelakers to internationally adopt. The Daniel's family came home from Thailand with their little 20 month old boy, James, and we got to celebrate their arrival! It was our first time to witness an adoption homecoming and it was really exciting for us personally and as a church family too. The thing I liken it to is adding a child into your family at the hospital when the new baby is born...The family takes their first photographs together, they introduce the other older children to the baby, all the relatives are anxiously awaiting meeting the new addition. Rarely does a non-relative get to be a part of that beautiful picture, but we got to share in that families joy when they added James and got to all be together for the first time. Their first pictures were precious, the older sisters were beaming with pride, the aunts, uncles, and grandparents kept pacing the halls until they arrived. A family is created with love in both instances, and it's a beautiful thing ;)

Myles was talking about 'baby James' all day, we made him a welcome home sign and he was VERY serious about James having that sign, not anyone else! One time James grandmother was holding it for him, and Myles went right up and took it from her yelling that's baby James'! oh my. Did I mention it was way past his bedtime??! I loved it when Myles realized 'baby James' was bigger than Myles and he quickly dropped the 'baby' in front of James' name! haha He's been asking when James can come play 'choo-choo's' with he and his best friend Mac!