Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Embassy date confirmed: Jan 3rd, 2011

In exactly 12 hours, our plane will lift off from Bradley International Airport and we will begin the long journey to finally, finally, bring our daughter home! The house is spotless, the nursery is ready, Lucy's closet is filled with freshly laundered clothes, there's homemade baby food in the freezer, and mom is sleepless with anticipation.

We will be staying at the care center where Lucy presently lives, and taking full-time custody of her after our embassy hearing on Monday. We will be taking a day trip to Woliso to see where she is from, including St. Mary's church. We will be learning her food, sleep, and play habits, and trying to learn how to properly change her diaper, bathe her, and soothe her.

We will be shedding many tears of joy and repeatedly thanking all of you who have cared for us, helped us, and waited with us for this glorious time.

Next time you see us, you'll be awestruck by our stunning girl. We certainly are!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Court date confirmed!

December 3, 2010.... that's our day in the Ethiopian court and when we'll become the legal parents of Louise Mariam Landstrom!

We are in the process of buying plane tickets and celebrating. We will meet Lucy for the first time on December 1st or 2nd. We'll be traveling home on Dec. 4th and then waiting another 3 to 7 weeks to bring her home to Williamsburg.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Travel information

Our adoption agency contacted us today to say we are likely in the next travel group and will likely travel for our court date in early December. We will know for sure in a few more days. Thought it would happen earlier, and Lucy is unlikely to be home for
Christmas, but at least there is news! Most kids are being approved by the American embassy to come home about one month after the Ethiopian court date. So now we hope to bring Lucy home in January.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Paperwork Chase, part 17

After congratulating us on accepting our referral, our adoption agency announced, "Back to the paperwork!" We mailed our passports and visa applications for entry into Ethiopia to the Ethiopian Embassy in DC yesterday. Hopefully they'll come back to us later this month! We also found out that the American Embassy in Ethiopia actually has all of our current paperwork and government approvals for adopting, hooray! We were told it is very common for the American Embassy to *not* have the right paperwork, necessitating rounds of petitions, sometimes with the assistance of one's congressperson, to get it all worked out. But it looks like we're going to be spared that particular paper chase.

We also found out that Lucy's Ethiopian birth certificate and Ethiopian passport will have the first name the orphanage workers gave her, Bikiltu, plus Peter's name as her legal name (thus, "Bikiltu Peter Landstrom") We'll rename her legally (Louise Mariam Landstrom) when we re-adopt her in the U.S. While she'll be legally our child after the court hearing in Ethiopia, and an American citizen upon entry to the U.S., in order for her to have an American birth certificate we have to go through the American adoption court process again after we get home. Ah yes, the paper chase, part 24 awaits....But now I have this picture of our beautiful daughter before me, and her big eyes make all the additional paperwork less tedious.

In other news, the Ethiopian courts are closed for annual holidays until the end of September. So we won't know until early/mid-October, at the earliest, when our court date will be and when we'll make the first trip to Addis Ababa. Luckily (?) the school year is kicking into high gear and September will disappear for me before I know it.

Love to all,

Friday, August 20, 2010

More information about baby Lucy

Okay, now that I'm descending from the heavens, here's some more detail about Lucy. The doctors estimate she was born around February 3rd, 2010, and she was admitted to the orphanage on March 8th, 2010. Woliso, the town where she currently resides and very likely the town of her birth, is about 45,000 people, and located 115 km southwest from the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. Woliso is in the Oromo region, thus, Lucy's ethnicity is very likely Oromo. With 30 million members, they constitute the single largest ethnic group in Ethiopia and approximately 34.49% of the population according to the 2007 census. Their native language is Oromo (also called Afaan Oromoo and Oromiffa), which is part of the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. The Oromo people are the largest ethnic grouping in Ethiopia, which has a total of 74 ethnically diverse language groups. About 95% are settled agriculturalists and nomadic pastoralists, practicing traditional farming methods and living at subsistence level. A few live in the urban centres.

Lucy's family brought her to the Bethesaida Kidist Mariam -- the St. Mary of Bethesda's Church, which is an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian church located in Woliso. Thus, we've used "Mariam" as her middle name. Woliso (sometimes spelled Waliso, or Walisso, or formerly known as Ghion) is known for its fresh water springs, and St. Mary's church reports that over 9 million people have made the pilgramage to Woliso to partake of the curative waters. During one of our two trips to Ethiopia this fall, we plan to take a trip to Waliso to see Bethesaida Kidist Mariam and the orphanage where Lucy spent her early months. By the time we travel to Ethiopia, she will have been transferred to Horizon House in Addis Ababa, the orphanage run by our adoption agency, Wide Horizons for Children.

So those are the details we have, and we are so delighted to be able to explore Lucy's cultural and ethnic background in advance. What a wonder the internet is!

Baby Lucy!

The stars have aligned! Today we accepted our referral of a 6 month old baby girl! We hope to travel for the court date to adopt Louise (Lucy) Mariam Landstrom in late October/early November, and hopefully bring her home by the end of the year!

Such a wonderful day and so long awaited!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Wishin' and hopin'
And thinkin' and prayin'
Plannin' and dreamin' ......

of you....

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Still Waiting....

We haven't disappeared anywhere, we are still waiting for a referral. This spring we got to revisit the entire home study process, including fingerprinting, medical check-ups, financial updates, and re-applying to USCIS for our authorization to adopt...because our original documents were set to expire. Hopefully all of this paperwork will be sent by our adoption agency to the government again this week.

We are very hopeful of a referral this summer. It is increasingly hard to wait, but we did finally pick names (and thanks to everyone who gave us their opinion)! Sorry, no spoiler here, you'll have to wait to see what our little darling's name will be (everyone should get some practice waiting, no?).

Keep your fingers crossed for us on this terrifically long journey. Thank you for your support! Hopefully my next entry will have good news to report, and not take six more months....

Keeping the faith, M