Milestones Abound

Drumroll please! It's time for the sentence we've been waiting to say for six months: Our paperwork is done.

Well, almost.

Last week, we met with our favorite notary (and good friend!) and notarized a stack of documents that would put any mortgage paperwork to shame.

The next day, Fernando took a few of the forms to the Secretary of State's office in Phoenix and returned with some lovely authentication forms bearing beautiful seals. Maybe they were just beautiful because we have been wanting to see them for so long. Regardless, they are the final pieces to our dossier.

Today we sent copies of our dossier to our case manager with other miscellaneous forms. If there are changes to be made, we'll most likely know within the week. After those changes are made, we will have the original document sent via courier to the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington DC where everything will get authenticated one more time. (Just for fun!) Then on to Ethiopia.

It feel so real suddenly... to be nearly past this part of the process feels impossible, especially after so much of our time and energy has been devoted to assembling the necessary documents.

Our goal was to be here before Christmas - so far, we're right on track!


Dear Ethiopia

This letter is part of our dossier. It is our chance to speak from our hearts directly to the country of Ethiopia, and to explain our reasons for adopting.

December 10, 2008

To the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia:

Thank you for your consideration of our family in this application for international adoption. We appreciate and respect your time and effort.

We know without question that God placed the desire in our hearts to adopt internationally. After extensive research into various programs and countries, we decided on what our hearts had known from the beginning: Ethiopia was the birth country of our next child.

Ethiopia captured our hearts for many reasons. As Christians, we were already aware of the rich history of Ethiopia, and its Biblical ties and references. The ancient culture, like the rock structures in Lalibela and the natural history, like the impressive Tis Essat falls, serve to remind us of our place in a much larger world than we dare imagine. No amount of poverty can mask the inherit beauty of the people, and the very land itself.

Our family is a happy one - we have one very healthy biological child, and could have conceived again. Our decision to adopt from Ethiopia was not driven by medical reasons. Our decision came from an overwhelming desire to take into our family a child who desperately needed a home. A child that would add to the celebrated cultural diversity already present in our home.

Our hearts break daily for the economic hardships facing Ethiopia. We are already committed to her as a country – financially and prayerfully supporting the efforts and charities that will make a difference in the lives of struggling Ethiopians. Now we long for the opportunity to profoundly impact the life of just one Ethiopian child by committing to him or her our lives and love. We long to follow God’s model of family – his divine plan of adoption. We are all, after all, adopted into His family.

We are committed to the significance of birthplace ties. We understand the need each of us has to stay connected to our culture and homeland. We know why it’s imperative that adoptive parents faithfully encourage adopted kids to participate and grow in their relationship with their own homeland, through education and travel. We are committed to that decision and lifestyle.

Thank you again for your consideration.


Fernando & Carrie Fay Amaro