This picture could not describe our feelings more accurately these past few weeks! We received two large binders full of paperwork, and our adoption education booklet about two weeks ago. These documents will serve to help prepare us for our home study as well as to begin the compilation of our dossier. I cannot even begin to describe the amount of documents that are required for adopting an international child! Here is a brief glimpse into what we are talking about: Notarized employment verifications, proof of health, life, and auto insurance, financial statements, FBI, state, and local background checks, child abuse screens, notarized medical clearances, fire safety inspections, home safety audits, veterinarian letter of clearance, 8 references, notarized guardianship documents, and various copies of marriage and birth certificates, social security cards, drivers licenses, tax documents, and on and on and on. I have to admit that the hardest part is the notarization! While most banks will provide this service free of charge, there are several documents that require us to hire a traveling notary to follow us to doctors appointments and the like, and because the process is so long, the notaries expiration date that we use can not expire for 24 months. I have only two notaries who fulfill this part and they aren’t travelers! I keep telling all the people who are helping us compile all of our documents that we will bring our baby around to show them why all this hard work was needed and worth every minute. I have to say that if anyone in the Columbus area is considering international adoption, please let me know and I will go get my notary to help your process go more smoothly!
While all the paperwork is daunting and seemingly never ending, we are glad that we have something to focus on, something to work towards. I know there will come a time when all we can do is wait, and I hear that is the hardest and longest part of the journey. We do have a lot of education to complete that is necessary for our home study, and it is exciting for Jay and I to begin discussing things like where the baby will sleep when he comes home, and how we are going to incorporate his culture into our lives. In fact, we have kind of already started that part. I recently found an Ethiopian restaurant near us and we invited the family to partake in our first cultural outing experience. In the Ethiopian culture, eating with people is a pretty big deal. Everyone at the dinner shares a large plate or tray, and it is said that those who dine together this way, shall never betray each other. Everyone eats with their hands (no worries there was plenty of purell to go around) and it is a sign of affection to actually feed each other. Everyone must eat with their right hand. Ethiopian food is considered a respected gift from God and eating it with your left hand is considered disrespectful! Injera is Ethiopia's national dish. It is a spongy, tangy, kinda mushy tasting bread made from the grain teff which grows only in the highlands of Ethiopia. This is Injera. It is kinda like a thicker, spongier crepe.
The Injera sits on a the large plate or tray and is covered with wots (or wat). Wots are the traditional stews made with various Ethiopian spices, meats, vegetables, hard boiled eggs, and legumes. While its hard to tell by the pic, the center plate, which we all shared, was pretty large...in fact it fed six of us with left overs.
So, you get sides of injera and you simply rip off pieces and you use these to eat the different wots (or stews), with the right hand of course!
"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
"I will never leave you nor forsake you." Hebrews 13:5