Welcome to Rob and Candy's Blog

We are going PINK- we are adopting a little girl from Ethiopia. We'll be sharing our journey to adopt our daughter!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ethiopia update

We have been told that the backlog of MOWA/MOWCYA letters have been written!  The letters are now with the judges.  The judges are going through the backlog of cases daily. This is great news!

In other news, we received an e-mail regarding our little girl.  Please pray for healing.  She is sick again.


Help support our Children's Hope Chest care point in Kombolcha, Ethiopia.   Thanks to the Stums and the amazing team at First Baptist in Cleveland, TN.

For each shoe purchase, Toms will donate $5 to One Child Campaign. This money will go toward funding service projects for this year's team to do in Ethiopia. You can join the team by applying at http://onechildcampaign.showitsite.com/#/trip-dates--events/

Order online a TOMS.COM use coupon code "KICKS" online and One Child gets the $5. Spread the word!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Two families passed court today!!

Great news- Two families with our agency passed court today - on their first court date!!  We are delighted for these families and their children!!

We do not have a court date yet.  I have been assured by our agency they have everything they need to obtain a court date.  They hope to receive one soon.  We hope and pray for the same thing.

I read a fantastic blog post about abandonment and institutionalization of an orphan.  You may read the post here.   This week we have been living out some of the impacts of institutionalization.  I have thoughts about the blog post but I am still processing them. 
I should be getting baby girl's room ready- cleaning out the guest room, moving everything out and putting her things in but I'm in some weird holding pattern.  I walk in the room, open the closet and slowly close the door... perhaps everything in there will mysteriously disappear on its own??
Next week is spring break.  My sister is coming for a visit.  Maybe I will be more motivated while she is here... or we'll take the kids to the zoo!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sweet, sweet news- Ethiopia Update

We received an e-mail from our agency with good news:
America World has received confirmation of significant personnel changes within MOWA.  These changes have resulted in overall staff turnover and changes within the adoption unit.  The unit is now called the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs (MOWCYA).  We are hopeful that the new leadership will not only support processing an adequate number of favorable recommendation letters, but also continue to implement policies that will best serve the children of Ethiopia.  Due to the staffing changes we anticipate much transition over the next few weeks until the staff are settled into their new positions. We have continued to receive optimistic feedback and have seen how the Ethiopian government is very committed to adoption.
We look forward to more good news and a court date!

Friday, March 11, 2011

The latest information on Ethiopia

There are so many rumors about what's going to happen with Ethiopia adoptions.  I don't know if any of them are true so I'll stick with the facts.  The Joint Council posted the following summary of today's Department of State conference call:

The following are our notes from the Department of State Office of Children’s Issues conference call regarding Ethiopian adoptions conducted earlier today. These notes do not represent nor are they in any way attributable to the Department of State or US Citizenship and Immigration Services. We are providing the notes with respect to those who could not participate in the conference.

We extend our thanks to the Department of State for conducting the conference call and to US Citizenship and Immigration Services for their participation and contributions.
The Department of State is Actively Involved

The Ethiopian Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs announced a reduction in the processing of intercountry adoption cases from 50 per day to 5 per day, effective March 10, 2011.

The Department of State is actively involved in discussions with the Government of Ethiopia, other governments and stakeholders.

A coalition of countries is preparing a proposal to assist the Ministry increase its capacity.

Embassy suggested that children with special need’s cases should not be delayed.

The US Embassy officials have a scheduled meeting with the Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs for Monday, March 14, 2011.

There are areas of concern related to intercountry adoption, however the reduction is disproportionate.
Adoption Cases:
Currently there are no implementation guidelines for in-process cases.
For adoption cases registered with the Ethiopian court, the best estimate is a one-year delay.
The staff change at the Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs has been confirmed as taking effect the week of March 13, 2011.  The impact this will have on adoption cases is not known.
It is estimated that between 800-1,000 adoption cases are currently on the docket of Ethiopian courts.

We are looking forward to more information after MOWA and the US Embassy meets. 
Today, our agency was able to secure April court dates for two families!  It's great to know that court dates are still being issued!  It gives us hope that we could receive our court date soon.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Some Encouraging news

On the first day of the MOWA slow down we have a huge praise from our agency- AWAA!
 we received favorable recommendation letters from MOWA today for 4 families currently in Ethiopia resulting in them successfully passing court today!
We rejoice with these familes!

I remain very encouraged that the situation in Ethiopia will be a temporary one.  The National Council for Adoption issued the following statement today in regards the situation in Ethiopia:

At the end of February 2011, the Ethiopian Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs (MOWA) issued an unexpected directive indicating a dramatic reduction in the number of intercountry adoption cases to be processed by the Ministry. This directive is scheduled to go into effect by Thursday, March 10, 2011.

In 2010, more than 2,500 Ethiopian children were adopted by American families. Should MOWA implement the recent directive as indicated, the number of adoptions from Ethiopia could fall as much as 90%, although the full impact of MOWA’s decision is unknown and cannot be predicted at this time.

This ruling follows a year of significant progress in improving and increasing transparency in the Ethiopian adoption process. Following several safeguards enacted last year, NCFA’s confidence in the Ethiopian adoption system has grown significantly. Additional protective measures may still be necessary, however, to increase global confidence in the process. MOWA’s recent decision appears to have surprised many Ethiopian government officials, as well as the Central Adoption Authorities in the U.S., Italy, and Spain. Many within the adoption community, including the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), members of Congress, child welfare officials in many countries, and the National Council For Adoption (NCFA), have criticized the MOWA directive as unfair, unnecessary, and harmful to children in Ethiopian orphanages who await permanent families.

NCFA is grateful for the swift action taken by the U.S. Department of State, led by Special Advisor Ambassador Susan Jacobs, to communicate with Ethiopian adoption officials in an effort to reach a favorable resolution that will serve the best interests of abandoned and orphaned children in Ethiopia.
"We are encouraged by the advocacy taking place behind the scenes and hopeful that these collective efforts will bring clarity and an immediate adjustment to this unjust and unnecessary ruling, which has the potential to negatively impact so many vulnerable children,” said NCFA president and CEO Chuck Johnson.

Unconfirmed reports indicate that personnel changes within MOWA have resulted from the rogue handling of this decision, and because of this, NCFA is hopeful that new leadership will offer opportunities for better communication and a swift resolution to this looming crisis. NCFA respectfully calls on MOWA to amend its recent harmful directive and ensure that subsequent reforms reflect a comprehensive child welfare policy that retains the option of intercountry adoption for Ethiopian orphans while ensuring policies and procedures that serve the best interests of children.
Thank you to everyone who has signed the petition!  If you haven't done so, please click here.  It only takes 30 seconds or so.
Please continue to pray that meetings and decisions in Ethiopia will align with God's heart for orphans and adoption.  Thanks!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


The US Department of State has issued an alert for Ethiopia adoptions.
Click here for the alert.  I have posted the text below:

Government of Ethiopia Plans Major Slow-Down in Adoption Processing

March 9, 2011
Citing the need to work on quality and focus on more important strategic issues, the Government of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Women, Children, and Youth Affairs (MOWCYA) will reduce to a maximum of five the number of adoption cases it processes per day, effective March 10, 2011. Under Ethiopian adoption procedures, MOWCYA approves every match between prospective adoptive parents and an Ethiopian child before that case can be forwarded for a court hearing. The U.S. Embassy is working with Ethiopian government officials and adoption agencies to learn more about this change in procedures. We will continue to share information as it becomes available.

Given MOWCYA's current caseload, the U.S. Embassy anticipates that this change could result in an overall decline in case processing of some 90 percent. If this change is implemented as proposed, we expect, that parents who have begun the process of adopting from Ethiopia but have not yet been matched with a child could experience significant delays. It is not clear if this change in procedures would have any significant impact on cases in which MOWCYA has already approved matches.

Prospective adoptive parents should remain in close contact with their adoption service provider to obtain updates on individual cases.

The Embassy's Adoptions Unit can be reached at consadoptionaddis@state.gov.
Please continue to monitor http://adoption.state.gov/ for updated information as it becomes available

Please continue to pray. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Campaign for Ethiopia's orphans

By now if you are connected with adoptions in Ethiopia, you've heard the rumors - MOWA- the Minstry of Women's Affairs plans to reduce the number of interntional adoptions dramatically.  If you are concerned about the slow down in Ethiopia adoptions there are a couple things you can do.
You can Help via the Joint Council Emergency Campaign for Ethiopia Children.
Click here to go to their website which I have cut and pasted below:

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, Children’s and Youth Affairs. Send your photos and stories to advocate@jointcouncil.org 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 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 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!

Most of all ....Please continue to pray that meetings and decisions in Ethiopia will align with God's heart for orphans and adoption.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A time to pray

There are rumors - The Ethiopian international adoption wait time could be increased greatly after March 10.  Right now they are rumors
I've talked with several mom's who are very unsettled because of the rumors.  Here's what we know for sure:
  1. Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs (MOWA) have made statements that they desire to decrease the number of recommendation letters they write each day.  These letters are required in order to sucessfully adopt. 
  2. There will be talks this week in Ethiopian between the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MOWA) and court officials.
Does this concern us- YES.  However, Rob and I know what God has called us to do- Adopt from Ethiopia. That is very clear and we will not be shaken. We have a choice at this time- we can believe God's truth- adopt from Ethiopia OR we can focus on the rumors. We are choosing to believe God's call for us to adopt. That doesn't mean we are in denial or pretending the meetings in Ethiopia aren't happening. We know they are but we are believing God will work through the details.

Please join us in prayer- We want to blanket the meetings between MOWA and court officials in prayer.  We are praying that the meetings and decisions made in Ethiopia will align with God's heart for orphans and adoption.

Here are a few verses I will be holding onto this week-
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.

Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight

James 1:27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

Isaiah 1:17 learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.
Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Supplement update

Igor has been taking supplements since the end of August.  We have noticed a positive difference in his ability to control his emotions over the last seven months.  It's so easy for me to forget where Igor was emotionally when we first started him on the supplements.  In seven months Igor has moved to a new normal.  There are hard days and I am still working with Igor on how to deal with certain emotions and feelings.  Most days a good days and I am so thankful!
Last week I gave Igor 1/2 his regular dose of supplements because I forgot to re-order them!  I noticed a difference in Igor's moods and behavior over the last week.  Was I was looking for something to justify the use and cost of the supplements?  I wasn't really sure.
Instead of riding the bus, Rob took Igor to school today.  Igor's teacher pulled Rob aside and asked if we've noticed a change in Igor's behavior in the last week or so.  I was shocked the teacher noticed a difference in Igor too!  The supplements have arrived and Igor is back to his regular dose.  I hope we all see a more calm and focused Igor next week.