That said, we are so thankful to be at the end of a long semester. It has been a long and fruitful one, but one that has had Brendan juggling almost more than he can handle with work. We are needing time as a family and time to rest. We just returned from Charlottesville, VA, having spent a week with my family for Thanksgiving. Emma had a great time being with her Mimi, Grandpa, Auntie Rachel, Uncle Nate, and the three dogs living with my parents. We were grateful for family to share life with and to be away for a week. It's always rough coming back because Emma goes from about 6 admirers all the time to just being with me during the days. I have to get creative! Another reason to be thankful for the snow- fun times outside lie ahead! The adoption process has been going well. We are hoping to send in the last of our homestudy paperwork early next week (that includes medical forms, education forms, house safety checks, personal history sheets, autobiographies for Brendan and I (both are over 15 pages long!), copies of birth and marriage certificates, background checks, and of course, a huge chunk of change!) and we are hoping to have our first homestudy visit scheduled before January. That might be overly hopeful, but we'll see. That is one part of completing our dossier- paperwork for the Ethiopian government- which makes the homestudy paperwork look like a breeze. We definitely have our hands full. It is hard in the midst of all this to have perspective that this is about a child. I have to pray to remember that! We will work hard to get all this paperwork together and then there will be months and months of waiting! It's been good to connect with others who are in the same place. The doctor who did our medical exams last week gave me the phone number of another family in town who has adopted a child from Ethiopia and we know of another family who just adopted from there as well. Our agency, America World, has connected us with a Yahoo Group of others adopting from Ethiopia through them. It's been great and very connecting to be a part of that community. Keep us in your prayers as we keep plugging away at all this paperwork. I am hoping to have our dossier sent off to our agency (and then on to Ethiopia) by late February or early March. From that point we wait for a referral and the wait time for baby girls is about 7-11 months right now. We are thankful for you all this Christmas season. Blessings on you and we'll leave you with a few recent pictures.
Two former IV students got hitched (Emma was the flower girl)
Way to go Josh and Hannah!