Tuesday, April 22, 2014


So… we have been terrible about updating our blog and keeping everyone informed. We apologize. And since it has been over FOUR months since our last blog post we have A LOT to share. A LOT has happened in the last months and there are A LOT of changes up ahead…

All of our adoption paperwork for Ethiopia (called dossier) was completed and formally approved by the adoption agency in early December. Starting at that point our family was on the adoption agency’s wait list and we were in the “waiting stage”. We had done all that we could do and we were literally just waiting. Our agency had very clear in the early stages of our paperwork that wait times in Ethiopia were averaging 2-3 years or more but they could make no guarantees.

At the end of December and the months that followed, we received some difficult news from our adoption agency. Every e-mail they sent out seemed to be filled with more hard news. “…at the end of December The House of Peoples Representatives and the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth urged sakeholders and the public to undertake integrated work to totally stop adoption of Ethiopian children by foreign families. In a press conference, House Speaker Abadula Gameda and the Minister Zenebu Tadesse told journalist that stakeholders should work closely to end foreign adoption.” Our adoption agency, other families and we were caught off guard. Adoption wait times in Ethiopia had been increasing the last several years, but I don’t think any of us perceived the possibility of a total shut down. So we did the only thing you can do in a situation such as this; pray. And we want to say thank you for everyone who joined us in praying for the orphans in Ethiopia. In February we received an email from our adoption agency that stated international adoption remains open in Ethiopia, although the current climate of adoption in Ethiopia remains unstable. Our agency went on to explain that corruption is rampant throughout the country without control to monitor agency practices, orphanage relationships and funding systems. The corruption within the system has adoptions increasingly rare and challenging to complete in an ethical way. (This has changed forecasted wait times to closer to 4-6 years.) Again we did the only thing you can do in a situation such as this: pray. We continue to pray and urge you to pray for us. Please pray that the Ethiopian government will find new ways to manage their adoption system. It is of the upmost importance that the adoptions are done in an ethical manner. It is difficult to make the large changes need in the adoption system without increasing wait times, but please it will not result in longer wait times for the children. Their best interest need to be the focus of the changes.

In light of all the information, our adoption agency was encouraging each family to consider their options. Again we did the only thing you can do in a situation such as this: pray. Our adoption agency had given all families a deadline of March 31st to have a formal decision made. There were several weeks where we (especially Jessica) were anxious and filled with unrest not knowing what we should do. Again there was much prayer involved and on March 26th we filled a contract with our adoption agency to switch programs and start our adoption from BULGARIA!  We are excited and happy, but most importantly we are at peace with our decision. We know that this is what we are supposed to do and feel that we are being obedient in our program switch.

Let’s talk logistics; what does this mean? Because we switched programs before March 31st our agency fees were switched over the Bulgaria program and we are extremely grateful for it! Our adoption paperwork (the dossier) and our home study were are written following Ethiopia’s guidelines and addressed to Ethiopia… Which means we are going to have to redo ALL of our paperwork. On one hand this is frustrating however, third time is a charm? And we are hoping the paper work process will go faster now that we know what to expect. We have six months to complete all of our paper work and then we will send it off to Bulgaria for translation and to be registered with the authorities in county and then we are back to the waiting stage again. We are expecting around a 2 year wait time… Although we know very well that everything could change tomorrow.
LONG story short: Please pray for the orphans in Ethiopia. Pray that the government will protect the children while pursuing what is best for them. And we are now adopting from Bulgaria!  Pray we will be obedient and patient as we travel down this new road.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Pure Charity

Your normal, everyday online purchase can help us bring our child home. Simply create a Pure Charity account and install the browser plugin. When you're shopping, look for the PC icon in the top left of your screen. If it pops up, click on it and then click the "Click here to earn..." text.

It's that simple. You'll earn rewards in your PC account. Then whenever you want, you can donate them to our fundraiser.

You can also make an out-right donation if you wish.

Go one step further, and invite YOUR friends to Pure Charity and tell them about our fundraiser. When they shop not only do they earn rewards, but you earn rewards from their purchases as well. It's like a multi-level marketing program - but the AWESOME kind!

Here are some more detailed directions that were given on Jen Hatmaker's blog (LOVE her)
It's the easiest, easiest thing ever, and I'm going to walk you through the steps:

1. Sign up for a Pure Charity account. If you're on Facebook, you can sign in through that (which is great for sharing in the future), or you can sign up the old-fashioned way.

2. Install the browser plugin. This causes a cute little icon to pop up when you're shopping online at participating vendors, and with a simple *click*, a percentage of your purchase will be routed into your personal giving account with Pure Charity. And when I say participating vendors, yall, I'm talking about over 1000 stores like:

Target      Gap              Best Buy
Groupon   Priceline      Sam's Club
Apple         Sephora      Petsmart
Walmart      Lowe's      Forever 21

 3. Register your main credit/debit card with Pure Charity. This is so brilliant, because every time you use that card at a participating vendor IN STORE, a percentage is automatically zipped over to your personal giving account. You have to do absolutely nothing at all. (Not every online vendor has an in-store partnership, so when in doubt, online shopping will always build up your personal giving account. Plus, who wants to shop in the store when you can do it online?? asks the shopping-hater.)

4. Now, browse the projects. You can find our adoption fundraiser on there: Ever Growing Nix Family

 5. Support your favorite project. (You can change the amount you support…it starts with $5 increments…by clicking the dollar amount and changing it.) These are time specific projects with a set amount of $. If that project doesn’t fund by the finish date, Pure Charity refunds the money back into your giving account. But again...kindly wait just a few baby days, because I clearly have an ulterior motive here.

6. Share it with friends! There’s a strong social connection to this, where you can share buttons and widgets with your friends and followers, to generate interest in a cause you’re passionate about.

Pure Charity offers a redemptive opportunity to harness consumerism for great good. It's just so brilliant. Good reader, please make a Pure Charity account. Please share this blog with every person you know. Did you know that in the next two months, Americans will dole out roughly 40% of our entire annual spending? If ever there was a time to capitalize on capitalism, it is surely now.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Thirty-One Fundraiser

My family is having a Thirty-One party in Arizona. The consultant Rebekah Cross (an adoptive Mom herself) has offered to donate the profits to our adoption fund! To order go to www.buybetterbags.com, click on "My parties" and select "Alexandra's Adoption Fundraiser."

In November, you have the opportunity to purchase a medium utility tote (available this month only) for $7 when you spend $35! Be sure to have your order shipped directly to you rather than the hostess if you are ordering from outside of Phoenix, AZ.

Birthday Boy

"Charlie" turned one on October 9. It is so hard to believe that he is one! It is a cliché, but very true... time just flies by!

We opted not to have a BIG First Birthday Party and even now that his birthday is over with I am pleased with that decision. At first I wondered if I would regret it, but I knew that if we did have a birthday party for "Charlie" I would want a Perfect Pinterest Party... You know the kind; an original theme with custom invitations, monogramed birthday shirt, matching photo backdrops, theme food, fancy cake, and the list could go on and on! And if you threw a Perfect Pinterest Party for your little one's first birthday; all the power to ya! I am not judging! I knew that for us; we were either going to GO BIG (AKA Perfect Pinterest Party) or stay home. The organize it, control planner in me doesn't do middle ground.

SO... instead of a BIG First Birthday Party we met a photographer and had some special photos taken of "Charlie." I am in love with how they turned out. (Amy did a great job! Check our her website here.) And of course we wanted to share some photos of our big one year old...

Saturday, September 7, 2013

September News

Summer has come and gone… and we have been busy with our adoption. The amount of paperwork required to adopt can be mind boggling, but we are excited, because we have made a lot of progress in the last few months. Here’s a little peak of what we have been up to:

·         We completed seven online education classes and one online work book of parent education.

·         We had physicals and the doctor signed off that we were free of TB and mentally stable (in case you were worried).

·         We have had background checks completed at the local, state and national level.

·         We have had original copies of all our important documents ordered so we can send them to Ethiopia; birth certificates, marriage license, ect.

·         We completed our home study!! This is an exciting one to mark off the list. The home study itself includes copies of birth certificates, financial papers, letters of recommendations and home visits and interviews with our home study assessor.

Where do we go from here? We are now waiting for our adoption agency to officially accept our home study as is or make suggestions for needed changes. Once our home study has been accepted, we can put the finishing touches on our dossier (The dossier is the packet of paper work that goes to Ethiopia.) and begin waiting.

The paper work stage that we are in now is the only part of the adoption that we have any ‘control’ of. Once our dossier is submitted to Ethiopia, everything is out of our hands. We will be waiting for the US government, the Ethiopian government and the adoption ‘system’ in country. But ultimately we will be waiting for the Lord’s timing. Please pray that the rest of our paper work chase will continue to go well, but even now please pray that we would be patient as we wait upon the Lord. Romans 12:12 reminds us we are to “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Waiting can be the hardest part for adoptive parents. But it is the hardest for the children who are waiting for families. Please pray for the orphans in Ethiopia as they too wait.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Introducing "Charlie"

We started this blog to share our adoption story with our friends and family. Along the way we had a beautiful baby boy and without much thought we began sharing his picture and stories about him on the blog as well. Don't worry we will will continue to do so, but we will no be using his real name. We have decided to give him a "blog name." So... we would like to introduce to you "Charlie"!

We have an official orientation call with our new adoption agency on Wednesday. Please pray that it goes well and we receive answers to all our questions. We should have more adoption updates for you in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

6 Months Old

Our son is SIX MONTHS old. Where does time go?? He is becoming more and more active every day. He has started eating solid foods and much to his Mommy's delight he loves peas. He may not have gotten Dwight's dislike for peas; but it looks like he will be built just like his Daddy. He is growing... he is just not growing like a weed! He sits up all by himself and we fear that scooting is in his near future. We hear everything changes once a baby is mobile!

Our son hitting the sixth month mark is exciting and almost overwhelming as his parents. It also is an important monthly marker for us as adoptive parents. When we first placed our adoption on hold, we knew we would be waiting until April 2013 to resume it; when our son was 6 months old... Now here we are. We have jumped right back into the adoption process. I wish we had more to share about the adoption, but unfortunately it moves VERY SLOW. We are waiting on paperwork to come from Arizona that we need to complete our formal application for our new adoption agency. We are also working on the initial paperwork for the home study... I am sure you will see a theme to the adoption process; paperwork and waiting! Hopefully we will have some more exciting news in our next update!