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Two trips to Africa - It's official

Lora Dykstra - 2010-03-11
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For about the last couple of days there has been rumors that the Ethiopian government may require adoptive families to attend court for the adoption it's official.  We have gotten confirmation from our agency that this will be the case starting in April.  That likely means two trips....(unless they would streamline the paperwork between court and embassy so that it would be one trip that last 3-4 weeks).  This will involve more cost (extra plane tickets & cost of stay) and more "vacation" time and time away from Abi and Ben, but we know that it's worth it. Thankfully Chad has a lot of vacation stored up!

The reason for this change is apparently due to some families who have passed court and when they come for their embassy date to bring the kids home, have changed their minds.  I can hardly imagine!  But this is just one step the government is taking to safe-guard the kids and to assure that the adoptive parents have seen the kids and there is not much chance of a "surprise".

At this point I'm just sad for all those who have referrals and are waiting for court dates....they didn't plan on traveling for 3-4 months and now they might have to get on a plane in less than a month.  AND then again a month later.  Their are a lot of families that I know that are stressing so please be in prayer for all the families in process.  I also am sad for all the social workers how have to relate this to all their clients...I'm sure it's frustrating/hard to have to tell everyone about this rather big change in the process.  You are told to expect change when dealing with international adoptions...but it doesn't always make those changes easy.

The news for me is kinda mixed.  Because we haven't been matched yet, everything seems so just isn't very real yet.  But as I think about it -  I'm excited to see my kids that much sooner (4-6 weeks), but I think it will be hard to see them and then have to leave them:(  That just seems SOOO hard for us and the kids!  One good thing is that they will come home and become citizens as soon as they touch down in the USA.  If you don't see your kids before court, you have to do extra paperwork (time and money) to get citizenship.  Some families I know have been home for almost a year and their kids are still "aliens".  I've heard some states are worse than others and MI not so bad, but it will be nice to have a little less cost and paperwork needed after they are home!

Another benifit that someone meantioned is the opportunity to meet any living birth parents (they have always been required to attend court).  That would be a very special time...probably difficult, but I've heard a lot of positive feedback from those who have had this opportunity. 

We are still hoping and praying for a referral in the next 6 months and we would love to bring our kids home sometime in 2010, but we know that their is know way of knowing or even estimating when we will be matched.  Thank you to all of you who are "following" us on this journey and praying for us along the way!   

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We still wait and rejoice with all those receiving great new

Lora Dykstra - 2010-02-25
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I am often asked if there is anything new with the adoption process.  We always appreciate people's interest!  No news for us, and it's hard to know how long until we might be matched with our children.  But our agency has some new orphanages they are working with so there has been a lot a matches made for other families who are waiting.  In January there were 23 referrals (last year there were a total of about 70...10 in December).  In December, families were waiting 14 months to receive an infant match and some people were matched in January only waited 9 months.  Yesterday there were at least 5 new matched families!  We rejoice with them all!!

As some of you may know there is an "unofficial" waiting list that I keep an eye on on Bethany's forum.  There were 7 families who all had our paperwork sent on July 1, 2009 (along with ours).  There were 4 of us open to siblings (or only wanting sibs).  Well, there are now only 2 families left of our original 7....all the others have been matched (no sib groups though)!!  Some just got matched yesterday, some have court dates, others have passed court and are waiting for an invitation to travel.  So we know that if we were open to a single child we would have been matched already:)  It would be hard, but I feel so strongly about getting a sibling group that the idea of only one child makes me it's been easy to celebrate with others and not be jealous!  It's not that the wait is easy, it's just that I have a lot of peace about it.  It's been less than 8 months, and we were told the wait would likely be about 12-15 that helps in being patient!  I'm definitley trying to take this time to read and prepare.  I've been reading a couple of books and feel like I'm learning so much about parenting...especially understanding the complexity of international adoption and the effects on kids.  Again I celebrate the new level of service that our agency provides with a video life book for the kids.  To have that connection to their birth country, culture, community and any living family will be priceless!!

We look forward to hopefully have amazing news to share in the next 6 months or so, but in the mean time we are enjoying the precious children we already have been blessed with!

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Running, Running & hopefully more Running!

Lora Dykstra - 2010-01-11
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It’s official.  We’re committed to running the 5/3 Riverbank 25k on May 8th.  So let the training begin (OK, continue…we’ve been training for 2 weeks now).  The ultimate goal here is to see if I will be able to run the Chicago Marathon in October.  For those of you who know me well, you remember that I ran the Chicago Marathon in 2001….nine years ago….and it about ruined my body…but I got to know Chad so it was all worth itJ 

So, you might be asking, “What are you thinking?”  That is a great question.  The answer is that I feel God calling me to train.  We want to join Team World Vision and raise money for children in Africa who are dying because of a lack of clean water, food and medicine.  I don’t know if he will grant me the physical ability to complete the training, but I’m confident that I’m supposed to start training and see what doors are opened and which are closed.  I’ll also be smarter this time…I will do 2 of the 6 days of running per week as a cross-training activity…I’ll do some workouts in the water and some elliptical training.  Also, if my hip hurts, I’ll walk instead of limp-running (not recommended).  I know better what kind of pain to run through and what to walk out. 

So we are hoping to get a team together.  Anyone feel God might want you to join our team?  

So while we wait for our adoption to happen we can focus our efforts and passion for caring for orphans on running ....and running some more!

26.2 for Africa on 10-10-10 (or 13.1 at Chicago’s Half Marathon Sept 12th).  I care. So I run.

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