14 March 2010

Change is in the air!

Well, it has truly been an interesting couple of weeks since my last post.  Lots of changes going on!

We did manage to have our biometrics (fingerprints) done this past week.  Check that off the list.  So, we should receive our I-171 in the next month or so.

We also learned this week that Ethiopia has changed their requirements for adopting families.  We will now be required to travel to Ethiopia twice rather than once.  We will need to travel for the first time within a month or two of receiving/accepting a referral for a child.  The purpose of this first visit (roughly one week in length) will be to go before an Ethiopian judge to confirm our willingness to adopt our child.  The second visit to Ethiopia would be roughly 2-3 months later to actually bring our child back to the US.  There are various reasons for Ethiopia making this change.  Overall, we are very supportive of the change & are very excited to have the opportunity to see our child so quickly following referral which has not normally been the case unless a family did travel twice of their own will.  Additionally, our child would now be able to travel on an IR-3 visa (rather than the previous IR-4) which makes them a US citizen as soon as they land on US soil.  This does, however, add quite an additional financial amount but we're already doing this on faith so we have faith that God will provide ALL that we need!!!

So, we are praying for all families who are in the process of adopting, considering adoption, or those already home.  We hope you will pray over our family as well in the midst of all the crazy changes in our lives.  We love & appreciate you!

01 March 2010

Progress - Biometrics Appointment!

This will be short & sweet - getting ready for bed as I'm working in Phoenix this week.  I am thrilled to report that we have our Biometrics (aka fingerprinting) appointments next week!  We are getting closer & closer to sending our Dossier to Ethiopia!!!!! We are SO EXCITED!

19 February 2010

Another Overdue Update

Ok people, so stellar blogger I am not! Time just seems to get away from me - I have really excellent intentions... I THINK about updating the blog... ;-)

So today we received "official" word from USCIS (Immigration - or officially, the Department of Homeland Security) that they have received our I-600A application.  That's pretty good - only took about one week because I didn't actually get the application to them until February 10th.  So, next we should receive a "Biometrics (fingerprint) Appointment Notice."  I can't wait to see this as our notice says that the notice will contain "the specific date, time & place where you will have your fingerprints and/or photographs taken."  Given that I work out of town A LOT, I just know that the "specific date" will likely be when I'm in Lubbock, Little Rock, Timbuktu, etc.  So, we'll see how that goes...

That's our next step.  I have the necessary information to get the two documents "certified" (meaning that the notary on them is verified by the Secretary of State) at the Oklahoma Capitol so will try to do that next week.  It's been interesting learning about "notorizing" & "Notaries" throughout this process.  Apparently, many things that get notorized are not actually notorized correctly.  Notary Publics are sent a brochure that tells them how to notorize - they are not really overseen in a consistent manner & they are not all actually "trained" on how to notarize aside from their brochure.  I'm not sure if this is true just in Oklahoma or all over.  Interesting...

Still working on making fundraising items - not enough hours in the day!!! I'll get that stuff going eventually - work has just been too busy - no complaints - a great problem to have!

So, a bit more waiting but we are steadily making progress toward sending our dossier to Ethiopia!!!!

03 February 2010

Step 7 of 9 - Paperchasing Progress! & Fundraising Update

It's Wednesday - week is half over & it's already February.  Wow!  Valentine's Day is just around the corner.  Just random morning thoughts.

We are so excited to have received our official Home Study copies yesterday which means today we will send of our I-600A form to USCIS (Immigration) to apply to adopt an orphan from abroad.  USCIS approval will complete Step 7 of 9 in terms of completing of Dossier (the official package of papers that we will send to the Ethiopian government for their approval of us as an adoptive family.)  We are also ready to get the required documents certified by the State of Oklahoma which is Step 8 of 9, and, we already have Step 9 - which is making copies of Dossier documents - mostly done.  So, in short, we have made progress & are getting closer to submitting our Dossier.  We are hoping to be able to do so in April.

We will be really ramping up our fundraising efforts as we have a large amount that must be submitted with our Dossier.  We are praying about this portion of things and have faith that God will provide in this area.  We are continuing to do coffee through Just Love Coffee & are additionally going to be selling jewelry that I am making with African Trade Beads I obtained as well as Ethiopian silver beads.  We also have a t-shirt idea in the works for early spring.  And again, I need to be cloned to get everything done - the scientific part of me is working on that!!

So, I have one necklace example so far.  I will post the first pics I have (which I took with my phone & are somewhat mediocre) so I can see what you think.  I have sold one necklace thus far - so I'm on my way! :-)  I made the necklace with leather cord, African Trade Beads from Senegal, African Christmas Beads from Ghana & a clay cross made by Georgia in Taos.  I am in the process of making other jewelry pieces & will post pics as I get them done.  I appreciate any & all comments - good or bad!

So, that's the news & update for this morning!  More pics to come in the next several days.

Have a blessed Wednesday!

19 January 2010

First Fundraiser

We decided to begin our fundraising with something near & dear to many peoples hearts - coffee!! Just Love Coffee based out of TN has been supporting orphans & adoption for some time.  They have wonderful Fair Trade coffees.  Every coffee purchase benefits our adoption directly in addition to benefiting orphans as well as coffee growers worldwide. 

Check out our store: www.justlovecoffee.com/babypenningtonsjourney.  You can purchase individual bags at a time or if you love their coffee as much as we do you can have it shipped automatically each month!

We appreciate your support of our journey!

For those of you who are also on this adoption journey, if you visit the Just Love Coffee website (http://www.justlovecoffee.com/) & click on Adoption Fundraising, you can learn more about setting up your own store if you'd like to fundraise in this manner.

18 January 2010

Compassion International in Haiti

We have now been involved as sponsors with Compassion International for several years and truly love this organization.  Compassion works in many countries around the world, including Haiti.  I have posted below a link to Compassion's most recent blog post about what they are currently doing in Haiti.  Please join our family in supporting their work.  For more information on Compassion, go to:  http://www.compassion.com/.

Haiti Earthquake Updates

Haiti Earthquake Updates

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