Wednesday, November 12, 2008

An Ethiopian Feast: Injera and Lentils

Ben and I were able to go out to an Ethiopian Restaurant in East Lansing recently. The place is called Altu's and the head cook is none other than Altu herself. The small restaurant was surprisingly busy as we took our place at a table that really looked more like a woven basket. We ordered the meat and vegetable feast for two, thinking that way we could try a bit of everything. The waitress let us know that the ground yellow peas were her personal favorite and the lima beans were a secret family recipe, so we were sure to include both and added in the lentils. Mummm, I like lentils. We ordered the lamb and the chicken for our meat selections and filled our own cups at the soda fountain in the middle of the dining room.
Soon authentic Ethiopian flat bread (injera) with a variety of legumes and meat spread out on top all cooked by an authentic Ethiopian woman arrived to our basket- table. The injera bread is make by fermenting a teff flour batter for several days and cooking it in a skillet(you can see it rolled up on the side of the platter. It can best be described as a spongy sourdough pancake. I is not only used to line the plate, but as utensils as well. We broke off pieces of the bread and picked up a bit of meat or vegetable with it and dropped it in our mouths.
We really enjoyed our first Ethiopian food experience. Lots of new flavors, although we didn't order any of the spicy options and I think that it may have been more authentic with the spicy spices! Maybe next time. Hope you enjoy the photos of our food- fest... we sure enjoyed eating it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Last Steps to Home Study Approval

Good News: the nurse that I have been calling every Friday has sent the doctor's letter. Now we just wait for the Home Study to be approved by our social worker's supervisor (our home study is currently on her desk as I type) and our agency's social worker. It's looking like some time next week we might be able to send in our papers to immigration. Please pray for all the powers that be to be satisfied with the paperwork.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Rate Adjustment

Our adoption agency has notified us of a rate adjustment in our projected adoption fees. It seems that the Ethiopia program is growing exponentially and there is a great need for hiring more social workers, purchasing more computers, hiring more caregivers, etc. After thinking this through it not only seems reasonable, but wonderful that these orphans will have better care and be placed in homes more speedily.

Due to these rate adjustments our percent of needed funds in hand is now 35%.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Red Letter Day

Friday was a great day! I picked up the rough draft of our home study from our social worker. We are supposed to look it over and make sure all the details are correct and then take it back to her on Tuesday.

Then, when I got back from the adoption agency I checked our mailbox and found my passport! It only took around a week to get it. Apparently, they haven't had any cutbacks in the US Passport Department. I was so pleasantly surprised.

And to top it all off Ben showed up with his medical in hand. What a great day!

And now only three remain...
1. Kris' medical
2. Kris' doctor's letter
3. The final copy of the home study

...until we can send our I-600A (application for Immigration). Yes! I'm beginning to think this might actually happen.

On another note, today I stopped in and encouraged my nurse to fill out my medicals (which we found out last week had been misplaced). I brought in new copies of the forms last Wednesday. Today she said to give them about two or three more days. I think I will go there again tomorrow.

I often find myself wishing things would fall into place more quickly and smoothly. I think about how each extra week we wait, actually affects which children will be referred to us. Knowing that these little bits and pieces of the process affect the future of our family in such a great way makes me a little crazy. But it also helps me to see that my hands are tied. And that's OK because God's hands are never tied.