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!