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!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Holocaust and Genocide awareness month

I didn't know it was is Holocaust and Genocide awareness month until my dear, sweet husband asked me to the movies... he said we'd get a sitter for the boys and head for the movies at our "old time" theater downtown.  It sounded like fun until I asked what movie we were going to see.  This is when I found out Rob had been invited to be part of event to Honoring Holocaust survivors, liberators and others who had survived genocide. 
We would also watch - "The Last Survivor." The film follows the lives of survivors of four different genocides and mass atrocities - The Holocaust, Rwanda, Darfur, and Congo - and presents a unique opportunity to learn from the lessons and mistakes of our past in order to have lasting impact on how we face similar issues today.

The Last Survivor Movie Trailer from The Last Survivor on Vimeo.

We went on our date, we enjoyed our time with one another and we also shared the pain and hope portrayed in the movie.  Rob and I left the movie theater with the feeling that we saw the movie for a reason.  It was clear that it was not an accident that Rob was invited to the event.  Now we are wondering what should we do next.  We are praying for clear direction.
The movie will be screened in several locations all over the country in the next 30 days.  Please watch the movie trailer.  I encourage you find a screening and attend!  If you cannot, you may request a screening in your town.  The co-producer stated it will be available for viewing on the Internet this summer.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The winner is....

Thank you to everyone who entered the Blog giveaway!!  I loved hosting the giveaway and may host another one soon!
We put all the entries in a bowl and Henry pulled out the winner.

Even though I failed to say it on the video clip- Congrats to our winner!!!  We hope you enjoy the magnet.
I wish we could give one to everyone who entered.  If you love the magnets you can buy them here.  Let Debi know which design you prefer- she makes each one to order. The magnets cost $10 each but Debi is donating $7 to our care point in Kombolcha, Ethiopia! The purchase of each magnet will feed one child for six days!
Thanks again to everyone who entered!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Court date!

We received a call from our agency this morning.  Our court date is May 18!!  We are so excited.  We cannot wait to meet our daughter!  I have so much I want to share but I'm speechless.  Right now I'm savoring the sweetest words, "you have a court date"
Thanks to all who have been praying for this call.  We appreciate your prayers and support so much.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Blog Giveaway!

We are so excited!  We have teamed up with Debi's Esty shop!  Debi and her husband are adopting from Ethiopia and sponsor a child in Ethiopia!  We are doing a giveaway for one of her super cute magnets.  The magnet measures approximately 4 inches x 3 3/4 inches. It is stained and has a slit on the top to set your photo in. They are the perfect size for a sponsor child's picture, a referral picture, a photo of a missionary family, your family... the possibilities are endless!
The winner of the giveaway may pick any one design posted above.  She also has Russia magnets available!
To Enter the giveaway:
1. To enter this giveaway post a comment on which of the magnets you would love hanging on your refrigerator!  (1 entry) You may enter even if you do not have a google ID or blog.
Additional Entries:
2. Tweet about this giveaway with a link to the giveaway. Make sure you comment here telling me you have done so. (1 entry)
3. Blog about this giveaway (5 entries) leave your link in a comment.
4. Share our page on Facebook (2 entries).
If you love the magnets and want to guarantee that one will be hanging on your refrigerator you can buy them here. They are a perfect gift! Let Debi know which design you prefer- she makes each one to order. The magnets cost $10 each but Debi is donating $7 to Children's Hope Chest's care point in Kombolcha, Ethiopia! The purchase of each magnet will feed one child for six days!

Giveaway ends Midnight on Tuesday, April 19th.  The winners will be announced on Wednesday the 20th.
Good luck!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Agency conference Call

This week the USCIS held a conference call on the findings from a joint trip of USCIS and Department of State officials to Ethiopia in January 2011. A hand out from this meeting can be found through the following link here. Our adoption agency held a conference call yesterday to go over the status of adoptions in Ethiopia and the findings of the USCIS and DOS visit.

It was a long call here are the highlights:
  • The Ethiopian government, judges and MOWCYA are all committed to international adoptions.
  • The infrastructure is not there for the number of international adoptions taking place. They are doing the best they can. They are committed to ethical adoptions.
  • MOWCYA is not stating the number of letters it is writing each day, but it appears to be processing a good number per day.
  • Our agency is hearing conflicting reports on whether or not the number of MOWCYA letters will be impacted for families whose court dates were issued after that date.  They should know more in the next few weeks.
  • The court is being more meticulous with the documentation needed to complete an adoption. In some cases judges have asked for additional documentation. While this can be frustrating to adoptive parents AWAA supports this as the judges are trying to make sure all adoptions are ethical. 
  • USCIS and the Department of State has reviewed the process and adoption program. They did some baseline analysis based on 4000 cases. They were looking for abnormalities. Generally, they did not find fraud but some paperwork was not 100% complete. The process may need some refinement and they are working with the Ethiopian government.
  • The Department of State sees some weakness in the processes. They have proposed a voluntary option (this is not in place now and no dates were given) which would allow the Embassy to do it's investigation after the referral but prior to the family's court date. This may slow the issuance of a court date but could make the court to Embassy visit faster.
Overall, the call was positive and AWAA stated over and over the Ethiopian is not closing the international adoption program.

If you were on the call and I missed something major- please feel free to comment.\

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

One day without shoes

Today we participated in TOMs One Day without Shoes to raise awareness for children who live without shoes.
The day started out cold and rainy!  Henry insisted on wearing shorts... which makes sense if you are going barefoot all day (right?).  He was a little reluctant to get out of the van during the downpour.

The preschool director allowed Henry attend preschool barefoot this morning saying she supports raising awareness for children who live without shoes.  She also invited Henry's classmates to join him.
We were so excited to see Henry's best friend and their teachers barefoot when we arrived at school!
Several of Henry's friends in his class were also barefoot for one day.
Henry's Aunt Shawn and friend also went barefoot.
It was a great day of conversation and awareness. 

US Department of State Update 4/5/2011

Today the US Department issued the following alert click here or see the text below.
Our agency- America World Adoption sent an e-mail today about the release saying:
We are continuing to monitor the situation in Ethiopia and will be in touch with families as we confirm information.
Since the reports of MOWCYA changes in early April, America World has continued to see many families pass court in March and April. The recent staff turnover at MOWCYA has led to many families successfully passing court at their first scheduled appointment. Additionally, we know the court is committed to continuing to process adoption cases in a timely manner.

The US Department of State's alert sounds alarming but I am taking a deep breathe and turning it all over to God.  Currently the number of AWAA families which are passing court on the first court date is a very high percent.  Three families passed court today on their first court date!  Things may slow down so please continue to pray for officials at MOWCYA.

We are asking for prayers for the families who have had a court date (in January, February and March) but did not pass because of the MOWA letter was not present.  These families files are in a backlog.  Please pray the judges would work through the backlog quickly.  Please also pray the judge would issue our cour date.
thanks so much!

US Department alert:
Notice: Significant delays remain likely for cases presented to Ethiopia's Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs after March 8, 2011
The Government of Ethiopia's Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs (MOWYCA) told the American Embassy officials that adoption cases presented to the Federal Court of First Instance prior to March 8, 2011 will be processed expeditiously. However, cases presented to the Court after March 8 will be processed in a more deliberate manner to allow greater scrutiny and oversight. Based on their March 8 announcement the American Embassy anticipates that MOWYCA will process these cases at a rate of approximately 5 per day.
It is unclear whether there will be an official announcement from the Government of Ethiopia regarding the plan to reduce the number of cases adjudicated daily.
Prospective adoptive parents who did not reach the court summons stage before March 8, 2011, should expect significant delays in the progression of their paperwork through the Government of Ethiopia. Prospective adoptive parents should be in close touch with their adoption service providers to confirm the status of their cases.
The U.S. Embassy continues to work with Ethiopian government officials and adoption agencies to gain a clearer understanding of these procedures, and will continue to post information as it becomes available.

Monday, April 4, 2011

One day without shoes

Tomorrow we are going barefoot.  We are joining TOMs in their One Day Without Shoes campaign to raise awareness for the millions of children who don't have a choice. 
Our friends at One Child Campaign have partnered with TOMs to raise money for our Care Point in Kombolcha, Ethiopia. 
If you are looking for a knew pair of shoes- check out TOMs! KICKS FOR KOMBOLCHA IS HERE! For each shoe purchase, Toms will donate $5 to One Child Campaign. The money will go toward funding service projects for this year's team to do in Ethiopia. Order online a TOMS.COM use offer code "KICKS".

Are you going barefoot on April 5?