Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Tough decision

AAI faxed us Mimi and Yonas' information today, and we have decided that, sadly, we do not feel called at this time in our lives to take on that magnitude of a challenge. Their medical conditions appear much more complicated than we had believed, especially Mimi's, who in addition to nystagmus exhibits some behavior that could potentially be autistic (or best-case related to neglect.) Our hearts go out to these kids and we hope and pray that they will find a family very, very soon. They are of utmost value in God's eyes and their special needs make no difference to their worth or value. It is comforting to know that He is looking out for them.

It is a hard call to make because the bottom line is that they need a loving home regardless of whatever problems they may have (and really, especially BECAUSE of their problems), and I also believe God will give you the strength and grace to do His work. However we have decided to wait for a more manageable situation. There will always be unknowns and challenges with children, no matter who they are and where they're from, but right now we don't feel like we are wanting to take on what could be serious developmental disorders. Someday down the line this may change, but for now we will continue waiting for a referral of somewhat healthy infant twins (though will of course remain open to waiting children as well.)

So please continue praying for a referral to come soon, and also keep Mimi and Yonas in your prayers. We will keep you posted!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

And we're STILL waiting...

Yet another post to say that we still haven't received Mimi and Yonas' medicals and background info! I contacted AAI today and they said that it was mailed exactly a week ago. Who knows what happened to it? They said to let them know if it didn't arrive today or tomorrow and that they would resend it if it hadn't. I let them know it didn't come today and that I'll contact them tomorrow as well. I also asked if these papers could be faxed--Kevin has access to a fax machine at work.

We are both very anxious to look over the information and make a decision! I am hoping that we will be able to do so very soon!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Still waiting

I just wanted to write a quick update to essentially say that we have no update! Mimi and Yonas' information has still not arrived in the mail so we are still waiting anxiously. :) I would imagine it would be here today--of course I said that Saturday, too!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Mimi and Yonas

I just wanted to update you all on our latest adoption "news." We are now considering two of the "waiting children" from the video our adoption agency mailed us this past month. Waiting children are kids who are waiting right now in either an orphanage or our agency's care center in Ethiopia. (As opposed to basically us being the waiting ones for children to come into AAI's care.) They are either older children or younger special needs children.

There are two children from the video that we are looking at, a 7 month old baby girl, Mimi, and a 12 month old baby boy, Yonas. The girl has a correctable eye problem and the boy had meningitis as an infant, spent a bit of time in the hospital, and while he's currently healthy and has made great progress since coming to the orphanage, he's still a little behind developmentally (which makes sense.) Our agency normally doesn't place more than one non-related child at the same time, however they often do make exceptions for special needs kids as they are, sadly, more difficult to place.

So we will see! Yesterday our agency mailed us their lab reports, medical histories, photos, etc. so we should receive those within a few days. We will probably consult with a physician about their medical issues. Please pray that God will give us confidence and joy in whatever we decide. At this point we are very, very interested. We've always been open to special needs adoption (of course as far as we know the "needs" of these children are very minor.)

Above this post (I can't figure out for the life of me how to add a picture to this post) are pictures of little Mimi and Yonas. Mimi, in addition to her eye problem (some mild form of nystagmus we're told, which is where your eyes sometimes flicker back and forth involuntarily; she's been fitted for glasses which they say will correct the problem), is also malnourished, but she is one of the most gorgeous babies we have ever seen. Just beautiful. (The picture is taken off of the DVD so it's poor quality and you can see the reflection of our lamp on her head but oh well.) Yonas just seems full of personality and seemed to be a favorite of the person narrating the video.

We will keep you all posted and thanks so much for your prayers!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Dossier and Cruise

Some exciting adoption news: this week our dossier was mailed to Ethiopia! This means that we are now on "the list" and eligible for a referral. What THAT means is that as soon as a pair of siblings comes into AAI's care over in Ethiopia that matches our request (siblings under 2, at least one girl) and that no one higher up on "the list" is interested in, we will be notified and have the option to accept the children. Very exciting!

However, from all reports, it will probably be somewhat of a long wait. We're trying to settle in and not be impatient, though it's hard! We would love your prayers during this time, that God would be watching over our children, wherever they are, and that He wouldn't make us wait TOO long. :)

We just took our first real "vacation" since we've been married: a cruise to Mexico (Royal Carribean) at the end of September and had a fantastic time (minus what I will refer to as the "forgotten driver's license dilemma.") Lots of good food--I think we must have gained about ten pounds each! We left out of Los Angeles (San Pedro) on a Monday evening and docked in San Diego the next morning. Monday afternoon, right after boarding (thank you to my mother who saved the day by rounding up people at Creston School to repeatedly fax my driver's license to US Customs officials until they finally got a fax that was clear enough for them-boy were they picky), we enjoyed a big buffet style lunch. Then we hung out until it was time to go to dinner. We got to sit by some really awesome people, Sheila and Megan, who we really enjoyed getting to know over the course of the cruise. That evening we checked out some of the entertainment aboard the ship. We also took advantage of the late-night (11 p.m.!) Mexican buffet.

The next morning we docked in San Diego. After sleeping in (I referred to our room as a dungeon, as it had no porthole and was pitchblack 24/7 unless you had the lights on), we had a big breakfast onboard and set off to explore the San Diego shore. We got to see some really neat ships, and also went to the top of the Hyatt to see a BEAUTIFUL view of San Diego, the water, etc. We headed back onto the ship for lunch. Kevin entered a ping-pong tournament, but unfortunately lost in the third round. Most of the people playing weren't as good as him (we own a ping-pong table for goodness' sake!), but he had to play one of the best people in the third round. Kevin climbed the rock wall that afternoon as well, and we spent some time up on the pool deck. More good dinner and company and entertainment that evening.

Wednesday morning we arrived at Catalina Island. We got up early and took the ferry to the island (about a ten-minute trip)--the big cruise ship drops anchor a ways off-shore. We went kayaking and it was an amazing way to see part of the island. It was also a lot of work! We walked around for awhile, ate lunch at a cantina and went on the glass-bottom boat. We headed back to the boat late in the afternoon. I took a nap while Kevin went back to the rock wall. :) That night was formal night. We got dressed up and attended the "Captain's Gala" in the big theater. There were complimentary appetizers and drinks, which was fun. The ship's captain, from Norway, came out and talked about the ship. Not too exciting but it was fun being waited on and being dressed up. Afterwards we headed off to dinner. We stayed up late to enjoy the amazing midnight dessert buffet, complete with ice- and chocolate-sculptures. It was quite a sight to behold! We were so exhausted however that we downed our food and went to bed.

Ensenada was the final stop on the cruise. Thursday we got up early, ate breakfast, and got onto a charter bus to go to Fox Studios Baja. The studio was built to film "Titanic" and some of the sets are still up. They have the old car from the movie, for example. It was pretty neat to see all of the recognizable scenes. They also had some displays from "Planet of the Apes" and some other movies too.

The neatest part of Ensenada, however, was the bus trip to the studios. It was about an hour-long trip through Ensenada and then up the BEAUTIFUL coast. It was so neat to see a bit of Mexico and learn some of the history behind the country from the tour guide. The last night on the cruise we enjoyed some time out on the deck looking out on the vast ocean. Pretty amazing. (I think the cruise rekindled my enjoyment of traveling--I can't wait to go to Africa!)

Friday morning we returned to San Pedro, and drove home. The cruise was tons of fun but we were both so happy to get back home to Anna!!!! We missed her terribly--I think it was too long to be away. But we had a great time and she had a WONDERFUL time with Grandma and Grandpa Perruzzi. I hear she even got to treated to breakfast at Starbucks!

That's the latest news here. Please keep us, our adoption, and Ethiopia in your prayers!

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