Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ethiopia or Bust!

First, let me say that I never ate a casserole until I married my husband :) They seemed silly to me and hard to make healthy. Chris loves casseroles though so I started working with them when we first got married. When we decided to adopt we wanted to do fundraising but in a way that gave up the ability to give back to the people that were giving us donations. Cooking/baking was my very first thought because I love to do both. Being a mother of three, I completely understood the challenges of everyday life and getting food on the table without fussiness, tantrums and stress. Casseroles. I decided to sell them. So I brainstormed with my friend Michelle (I like to call her my friend but she's actually Chris' cousin) and we planned a menu out, my friend Eryn helped me with business cards, and Ethiopia or Bust was born. Selling casseroles and baked goods to help fund our adoption. It's gone well so far, maybe three or so orders a week. SO, if you're interested you can order from the blog our check out the website I'm trying to add a couple of new dishes to the menu this week so they'll be up soon! If you've already ordered from us, thank you so much! We have been so blessed with an outpouring of support from friends and family.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

We are hopeful

You know when you think you're sick and you google every side effect you have, diagnosing yourself with all kinds of crazy conditions? Everyone knows it's bad to do that! BUT I know I end up doing it every time I feel funny or can't get into the Dr. right away :). I think it's kind of the same thing with this adoption business. I've stopped checking all the message boards and blogs. I randomly check the facebook updates but stick a fork in me, I'm done. It's making us crazy. We're staying positive over here in the Noonan house. We've heard rumblings of court cases going up to 20 a day which is awesome and we're taking every day as a positive and closer step to our sweet baby girl. Enjoying the days with our boys but always praying for Ethiopia, the orphans and for the patience of Job. The other day we were saying our morning prayers and I asked Lucas what he wanted to pray for that morning. He said simply, "I wanna pray to be more like Jesus". I don't think I could have said it better. Keep that pray up lil' man. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Children of God

I'm adopted. I was adopted when I was about 6 weeks old and ever since I can remember my mother has always told me that she didn't have me from her body, but she had me in her heart. She also told me that we were all adopted children of God and just like she loved me, God loved us too, as His children. My mother always made it a point to tell me about the importance of taking care of children. "Any one can choose to be a mother. A mother feeds their babies in the middle of the night, sings them lullabies and hugs them when they feel alone, sad or happy..everyone needs that. Everyone needs a mother" she would say. I didn't really understand that until I myself, as a mother, decided to become an adoptive parent. My friend Cindi shared this video today. I ended up sitting with my coffee cup with tears streaming down my face because of how beautiful it was. We are all God's children, adopted and perfectly made.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I'M SO EXCITED!!!!! ish...

What a week it's been... We were approved at AWAA, filled out our program paperwork *high five* and were mailing out everything when we found out some (at that time) really scary news. Ethiopia is slowing their program down. Not to like to a jog but to a very slow, teasing walk. Now all of this is through the grapvine of course and nothing has been posted by the federal govt. but word on the street is that Ethiopia will be slowing their courts down from 50 cases a day to five. Yes....five. I called our "go to gal" at AWAA and even before I could say a word she said, "let me first say we don't know anything". LOL I already knew she'd probably gotten a bunch of calls already but just wanted to touch base and see what the plan was. So right now the plan is there is no plan. We know we can expect the program to change how much change we just don't know. We doubt it will close but for the families already waiting for a referral we're not sure how much longer they'll have to wait. Chris and I are staying positive. This could be a good thing for the long run of Ethiopia's orphan crisis. It will ensure that the children who are being adopted are truly orphans and that their families will not taken away from them. So for now we wait on word from the agency but we stand on the Word of God. God tells us that he's not going to leave us alone. He's got our backs even when we're scared, anxious and afraid and we trust that. We had ti remind ourselves that we're following His instructions. He's going to take care of this. I know he is... We will be in continued prayer over the future of the Ethiopia program and know with God's guidance we'll know exactly what to do. It may take a little longer for our baby girl but she's worth it.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Exciting news...we've been approved for the Ethiopia program for America Words Adoption. This is just the first of many hurdles we'll have to jump but it's a start and it's right where we need to be. A few of you asked if I'd put a timeline up on the blog so you could see how everything would play out so here ya go! After the acceptance into the program, we're now waiting to be given an adoption coordinator that goes step by step through the process with us. THIS is the process :)

1. Apply to USCIS (I-600 petition for an orphan) and complete our homestudy

2. Collect dossier documents (i.e. birth certificates, marriage certificates, physical exams, financial info, insurance info, employment info, reference letters, police reports, federal paperwork, power of attorney, passports and family photos and homestudy) All which has to be approved and certified to send to Ethiopia.

3. Wait...wait...wait for referral (when they find the child for us)

4. Referral Day! We'll receive a picture and medical report of our baby girl and AWAA will send the acceptance letter back to Ethiopia to confirm we're adopting her.

5. Trip one -- travel to meet our daughter and have our court date with The Women's Ministry (5-7 days)

6. Trip two -- Travel back to Ethiopia to complete visa paperwork and bring our baby girl home (4-5 days)

7. Complete our post adoption reports and paperwork

So there ya have it...lots of paperwork but well worth it. So excited to start the process. GAAH! Sooo. excited!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

And so it begins...

So, we put in our application to America World Adoption Agency on Monday!! Chris, cool, calm and collected. Dani, giddy like a little school girl. I've talked to so many people who have adopted and they say the waiting period is really the hardest. Were they talking about the waiting period about the application!?! LOL Just kidding. I think being involved in things such as these allow you to put things in perspective. We have no control over ANYTHING but ourselves. We've done all our research, found a great agency and met some many people who support us. That's really all we can do for now. Once the gigantic stack of paperwork gets here then our work REALLY begins. Phew..I'm sweating just thinking about it ;). One day closer to you sweet girl.