Lilypie Countdown to Adoption tickers

Lilypie Countdown to Adoption tickers

Monday, November 28, 2011

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Long Awaited Introduction

Jack Leuel Skinner
August 11th, 2010
Dire Dawa, Ethiopia
Hayley Selamawit Skinner
July 29th, 2010
Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

Thursday, April 14, 2011

It’s Official!

We are mommy and daddy times 2! On Tuesday we received the call from our agency that we have received the MOWA letter, which was the last document needed for the legal process. We have officially passed court and we are the legal parents of Jack and Hayley! Yaaaahooooooo!

No, we don’t have a date yet as to when the kids will be home. We have to wait….again…but we are feeling like we are in the homestretch. The MOWA letter was the one document that really had my stomach in knots, so we are relieved that we have made it over this hurdle. If you don’t follow Ethiopia Adoption, let me give you some context: MOWA recently announced that they will be reducing the number of letters completed each day from 50 to 5! We were notified of this new rule just before we left for our trip not knowing how it would impact us. We learned when we were there, our file, along with 800 others would be expedited before this new rule went into effect. You can imagine how relieved we were to hear that news and to now have this letter. My heart breaks for those families who will be impacted by this new process. I hope and pray that the U.S. and Ethiopia will continue to work together towards solutions to better the process. Ultimately, it is the children that suffer in the end.

We are currently waiting for our file to be submitted to the U.S. Embassy. This includes gathering all paperwork on us, Jack and Hayley, including a medical exam for Jack and Hayley completed by and Embassy approved Dr. and getting their passport photos taken. It just cracks me up thinking of two 8 mo. olds going to the court house and getting their passport photos taken for their passport. Our agency can only submit files to the Embassy on Thursday, so we are hoping they will be able to gather the appropriate documents quickly!

After our file is submitted to the Embassy, they have to review our file and grant U.S. Embassy approval for us to be able to take them out of the country. This process could be as little as 48 hours or as long as 2 months!

We are still hoping to be able to bring Jack and Hayley home by the end of May. Early May would be ideal, but all the stars would need to align for that to happen. Anything is possible though, right?!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Quick Update

I know I have been terrible about updating my blog since we have been home. I think it is because we are just soaking it all in and still ooohing and awwwing over Jack and Hayley. I plan to write more in detail about the experience later, but this is just a quick update to let everyone know where things are at and how the trip went.

To summarize, the trip was amazing and exceeded our expectations in every way. The best part being the second Jack and Hayley were placed in our arms, we truly felt like a family and that we were meant to be. Secretly, our biggest fear was meeting Jack and Hayley for the first time and just feeling like they were cute and all, but they weren't our children and no real emotional connection to them. That fear was proven to be wrong and we couldn't imagine anything but them being our children. They were amazing, healthy, beautiful little babies. Or maybe I should say big babies; Jack is 15.4 lbs and Hayley is 16.5 lbs. It was great to see how healthy they were with our own eyes, and how wonderfully they are doing. They were just the best and it was one of the best moments of our lives being able to meet them and love them to pieces. Although, one of the hardest things we ever had to was leaving them behind. It was emotionally challenging and very hard for us to have to say goodbye.

So what is next?  We are waiting for an approval letter from MOWA. We were told that we should have the letter within 15 business days when we were in ET. Once the letter is received the court will need to ratify our case. Once complete our agency will submitt our file to the US Embassy for review. This review process can take 48 hours to 2 months. Once we receive approval from the Embassy we submit 3 days to the Embassy that we can appear for our Embassy appointment. The Embassy will pick one of the three travel dates and then we will travel. All in all, we are expecting that the entire process from court (the 17th) will take 8-10 weeks. Please pray that this time will go fast and we will be able to travel soon!

Thanks for your support and following our journey!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Greetings from Ethiopia

Christina and I are doing well and enjoying our first significant travel adventure.  We met our son and daughter today and the valuable time we spent justified our adoption experience. We are learning more everyday in everyway.  Thanks to all our friends, family and others for their support, encouragement and good wishes. - Sam

Friday, March 11, 2011

We made it!

We made it! Well at least to Amsterdam. Yesterday was
challenging adjusting to the time change, but we are feeling refreshed today
and ready to take on the days activities.

Here are some first impressions of Amsterdam:

1.      Everyone rides a bike and no bike helmets. You can
be wearing stilettos and a mini skirt, you still ride a bike.

2.      Anything and everything goes.

3.      They play a lot of 1990’s American music.

4.      People are helpful if you ask, but they don’t go
out of their way to help.

5.      All the stairways are spiral and small.

6.      There are no fat people here, probably because everyone
rides a bike everywhere.

7.      Everything is served in miniature sizes,
including coffee and beer.

8.      Cheese here is good and cheap!

Today we are off to the Anne Frank house, a few museums and
a bike tour!

Tomorrow we are off to Ethiopia!