Friday, December 28, 2007

a little update...

After getting the Gladney application last Thursday, we had been working to gather all the documents we needed...we FedExed all we could on Wednesday and hopefully Gladney will be getting it soon. I also called our old agency and asked for them to send in our file to Gladney...I was so excited today when I got an email from Anne telling me that they have received our file from the other agency and then she wrote down what our file was still lacking...the items on the list were the ones we sent by FedEx! Yay! Hopefully we will be Gladney approved soon! This next week we are going to be busy getting our physicals (again) and getting more fingerprints taken for the FBI clearance. I feel like we are almost back to where we were! We are just praying there could be able to get over the Ethiopia before the courts close in the summer.

We have been so blessed by everyone who has left kind comments and lifted up was feeling pretty dark for a while...but all the encouragement we have received from all of you has truly touched our lives. Thank you. Thank all of you.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Just call us the Super Paper Chasers!

Last night we received the Gladney application via took a few hours, but it is filled out and will be put in the mail tomorrow! The paperwork is split into three parts...I think we will actually be mailing out part one and part two tomorrow and part three hopefully next week. It really helps that we have done all of this before. Please be praying that documents we have to chase after again, like our medical stuff, health insurance, and references will go smoothly. We are trying to have everything in the post in the next two weeks....Yikes!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Phone Orientation...Check

We just got off the phone with Judy at Gladney...we are so excited to have things moving once again. We are hoping to get our new application on Thursday and have it ready to turn in as soon as we can. I have been so down about this whole situation for the last couple of weeks and now, after talking with Gladney, and having things moving again, I feel refreshed and so excited. We'll keep you updated as we move through this process (again).

Friday, December 14, 2007

Creation for a Cause

My dear friend Amanda just started an Etsy site where the proceeds go towards international adoption. She has been working so hard creating some amazing things - like this apron. Check her site out...she does special orders too.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Last week we received a letter from immigration telling up we could go get fingerprinted...yesterday we made our first (of many, I'm sure) trip to the immigration office to get our prints taken. It was actually kinda of cool...they took the prints electronically. They would smoosh each of your fingers on to this glass screen and they would appear on the messy hands, very cool. Now we wait for our approval to come from immigration telling us that we are approved.

We have our Gladney phone orientation next week...we can't wait to start moving again. We originally started this process in March and we kinda expected to be in Africa picking up our baby right about now...for some reason God wants us to go a bit later. After getting over the initial frustration and hurt, I am excited to see why God wanted us to wait...I know we are waiting for His best for our family and I can't wait to find out what that is.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Gladney Phone Orientation

Yesterday, we scheduled our phone orientation...yay! It isn't until the 18th, but I feel like we are moving forward once again.

We have heard so many great things about Gladney and are so excited to be working with them.

Thank you to everyone who has been purchasing necklaces and thank you to those who have posted it on your blogs! You guys are going to help us reach our goal for our adoption! My mom has been busy making each and everyone of the necklaces...thank you, thank you, thank you!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Waiting and Hoping.

We are waiting to find out if we will be able to use the new agency we were looking in to and hoping that things will start moving once again. I will keep you updated.

Thanks for all the comments and encouraging has been a rough week but we have been blessed by friends, old and new.

Thank you...thank you so very, very much.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

World Aids Day

People living with HIV:
-33.2 million people living with HIV worldwide -30.8 million adults
-15.4 million women
-2.5 million children under 15

Today is World AIDS are some links you might want to visit:

World AIDS Day site
MSN - AIDS day
Common Misconceptions about AIDS and HIV

It is so important to start learning about AIDS and talking about it. There are so many, many misconceptions about Aids...visit these websites to learn more.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


The road to international adoption is a bumpy one with lots of twists and turns (yes, we knew the road was like this when we started this process). There are quite a few large potholes (careful not to fall in), and some forks too. Well, we have come to another fork in the road.
The first fork happened in August and it consisted of the Zambia program being put on hold and us changing to Ethiopia. We learned about the second fork yesterday while we were at the Colorado Secretary of State Office trying to get our last documents for the dossier certified. We were all set to send our dossier on Friday. We had some problems at the SOS office and I needed to call Love Basket to see if they could email us the forms we need to get certified because the person who notarized it did not have the correct stamp format. When I called Love Basket our adoption supervisor told us that she was just sending out an email to the families in the Ethiopia program to let them know that they had not been getting referrals as quickly or as frequently as they were expecting and they did not know when they would be getting the next set of referrals. She also went on to say that if something does not change, they would have to look at putting the Ethiopia program on hold for a while until they could figure it out. Well, as you can imagine, we were quite upset. We have been so very, very close to being done with all the paperwork. I have our dossier in an envelope ready to send in. There were tears yesterday, lots and lots of tears. Tears of frustration, not tears of throwing in the towel on our Ethiopian adoption. Our daughter is still there, somewhere in Ethiopia.
Last night, we made the decision of contracting with a new adoption agency and filled out our information for that agency online last night. Thank goodness this new agency will take our home study. We have to take a few steps back. This new agency will have to approve us into their program and we will have to fill out their application information, but then hopefully we will be able to send in our dossier soon. For now, we are enjoying the scenery the new fork has lead us too. Yes, the road to international adoption is one of the bumpiest roads I have ever traveled, but it is filled with kind people, dreams of our Ethiopian child, views of foreign lands, and shaped by God's very own hand.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


One thing I have seen throughout this process is the amazing Ethiopian adoption community. I have gotten many many emails and comments from other families who are in the process of adopting or who have finished. These people are so kind and welcoming and ready to answer questions and calm concerns. This last weekend, we were able to meet Josh, Amy and Silas Bottomly who have adopted from Ethiopia, and Kevin and Laurie who are just starting the process. It was so great to meet the Bottomlys as I have been following their blog for the last few months...Silas is just a cute as can be. We are also starting to meet this community of families adopting from Ethiopia who live in Colorado. Kevin and Laurie are adopting a little girl as well...I can't wait for our daughters to be able to meet each other one day. It was just a great time to connect and talk about Ethiopia and adoption.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

So much to be thankful for...

Wishing you and yours all the joy and kindness
this Thanksgiving 2007.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ethiopia in Budget Traveler

A friend of mine sent me this article from Budget Traveler (thank you, Melanie).


We just got an email from Jennifer at Hope's Promise saying that our home study has been sent on for state foreign review and three notarized studies were sent on to Love Basket!

We also received the final dossier packet today from Love Basket...I'm ready to work my backside off this week to get the dossier ready to be sent out right after Thanksgiving. Yay!!!

If you have a chance, please visit the Lander's blog, they are in Sierra Leon for their first trip to meet their twins, Zeke and Kora. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Time Magazine :: Aids in Africa

When you have a few minutes...check this interactive TIME article out. It is a photojournalistic look at the effects of AIDS in Africa. It also examines the issue of AIDS drugs and how to break the culture of silence. It is not the easiest thing to look at or take in, but this is the reality.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

We turned in our I 600 A documentation yesterday...our Application for Advanced Processing of Orphan we wait. We wait for our home study to be written up, we wait to be called in to do more finger printing (this time for the FBI) and we wait until we can send in our dossier. We are definitely learning patience during this process. We are moving forward though and that is exciting. I know the next few months will fly by what with the Thanksgiving and Christmas, and before we know it, we will receive our referral, the picture and information of our's coming, I know it is. God is oh so good. This whole process is in His control.
In the mean time...please be praying for:
  • Our I 600 A - that it will be processed quickly
  • Our Shaohannah's Hope Application - this is the application for an adoption grant - please pray that we will be able to get in all of the needed documentation turned in by November 8th. Yikes!
  • Our financial needs for the adoption - Please be praying for our silent auction and dinner coming up in a few weeks
  • Prayer for our daughter and her birth family - As this is a time of great celebration for us, we have no idea what our daughter and her birth family are experiencing right now...please be praying for peace for them.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Coffee with Heart...

I know there are so many people who love drinking coffee and love helping others...Saint's Coffee is a coffee company that is transforming the lives of orphaned children by investing almost 1/3rd of net profits from every sale into organizations helping children. Their coffee is certified, fair trade as well. With Christmas coming up, giving a pound of coffee that helps children as a Christmas gift is an awesome idea! When you buy a pound of their signature blend, St. George the Dragon Slayer, you are feeding an orphan for a month! So drink some great coffee and help needy children!

Adoption Training #1

Over the last two days, Andy and I have had CORE training, training the state of Colorado requires adoptive parents to have. Colorado requires all adoptive parents to have 16 hours of CORE I and for international adoptions you also have to have 8 hours of CORE II. This was such an encouraging time for me because we were able to meet many other couples who are building their families through adoption. We even met a few other couple who are adopting from Africa. It was such a great time to learn more about adopting and to connect with others. I am hoping that the couples we met at this training can become some great friendships as we go through this process.
The last part of our training was really interesting...they had three birth mothers come and talk to us about their experience relinquishing their babies for adoption. These women were so brave. Brave to be able to speak to a room of 50 adoptive parents, and brave to know that their children would have more opportunities if they were adopted. These women loved their babies so much that they did what is best for the babies. I know that situations in Africa or China or other countries in the world are different for birth mothers, but that love is still the same. Our family is honored with the responsibility of taking care of and loving a child from another country and from another family...what an amazing privilege...I can't wait.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Melissa Fay Greene

I have shared my love for the book There Is No Me Without You...because reading is not Andy's favorite thing in the world, we have been listening to this book on CD. Reading (or listening to it) for the second time has really weighed on my heart. My heart just aches for these kids who have watched their parents, brothers, sisters, teachers, mentors, neighbors, schoolmates, and even themselves waste away to HIV/AIDS. I found this video of Melissa Fay Greene, the author, speaking about Aids and Adoption. The full video is over an hour long and can be viewed here.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Ethiopian Coffee

I love, love, LOVE Coffee. It is such a comfort thing for me...especially now that the days are cooling down a bit. Colorado has wonderfully cool mornings that make coffee taste oh-so-good.

Coffee has its roots in Ethiopia. Below is a short video showing the coffee ceremony in Ethiopia.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007:

The date when our home study case will be presented and approved! Our meeting yesterday went just wonderfully. Our social worker asked us questions about our parenting style, why we wanted children, and how we run our household. Then, we did a walk through of the house and it was over! Yay! It will take about about a month for her to write up our home study, then we can send everything in!
Since we have an approved home study, there are so many things to get done this month so we can move are just a few:
  • Get another crib for Baby Ethiopia so we have pictures of her room to turn in with the dossier.
  • Turn in our USCIS documents
  • Turn in our application to Shaohannah's Hope for adoption grants
  • Send in our dossier paperwork!

Please be praying that each of these thing will get do with no major road blocks.

Thank you for all your prayers and encouragements....I love reading your comments!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


the number of miles between Denver, Colorado and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This distance feels smaller and smaller with each step of the process. Like I said earlier, tomorrow is our final home study meeting. The house is as clean as it can extinguishers installed, outlets covered...I feel so ready for this meeting. I'm not nervous like the first meeting, just excited...just picturing one step closer to being able to hear our daughter's name, find out her story, see her picture, hold her in our arms, and bring her home. It is so strange to worry about someone you have never even met. I worry about her, about her safety. Is she hungry? Scared? I pray for her safety and ask that thousands of angels will be placed around her. God has planned this for our family, we have seen the confirmation of this time and time again. I know He is taking care of her. I think of Zephaniah 3:17 (with my additions):
The LORD your God is with her,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in her,
he will quiet her with his love,
he will rejoice over her with singing.


Friday, September 28, 2007

Last Home Study Meeting

On Wednesday we will have our last home study meeting...our social worker will come to our home, meet our daughter, and just check things out. After that, she will write up the entire home study file on us. Once we have our approved home study, we can send in our USCIS (United States Custom and Immigration Services) paperwork saying that we are in the process of looking for a child to adopt in Ethiopia, and we can send in our dossier. What is a dossier? Here is the definition from the dictionary:
dos·si·er : a collection or file of documents on the same subject, esp. a complete file containing detailed information about a person or topic.

It is just all the paperwork that we have been gathering for the past months including our home study. We will send our dossier in to our agency and they will look over it and then it will be sent to the government. After it is approved, they will start looking for our daughter! We will keep you updated about how Wednesday goes. Thanks for all those prayers and encouraging words.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Here is a beautiful video from Sara may need some tissues.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Home Study...Whew.

We just got home from our home went really well and was much easier then I thought it would be. Things look good and we scheduled our last meeting for Oct. 3rd. After that, the home study will be written up and we will be on our way to the next step...the dossier.
For today, we are taking a deep breath and being excited that we are almost finished with this part of the process...yeah!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Home Study

We have our first home study meeting tomorrow morning. I am so excited and a bit nervous. Please be praying that our words, beliefs, goals, and values will be communicated clearly. I will update after our meetings!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Facts About Ethiopia

  • At slightly less than twice the size of the U.S. state of Texas, Ethiopia is the 10th largest country in Africa. Landlocked Ethiopia sits in the part of northeastern Africa known as the Horn of Africa. It shares frontiers with the Sudan to the north and west, Djibouti to the northeast, Somalia to the southeast, Kenya to the south, and since 1993, with Eritrea to the north.
  • The vast highland plateau of Ethiopia forms the heart of the country and is divided by the Great Rift Valley, which runs from north to south. The highlands, with sometimes erratic rainfall, have been the home of settled agriculture for many centuries. In the lower areas, tropical cereals, oil seeds, coffee and cotton are the dominant crops, while at the higher altitudes, temperate cereals, fruits and beans are produced.
  • More than 80 percent of the population is engaged in agricultural activities which are largely dependent on timely and sufficient rains. Irrigated crops account for only a very small portion of the total agricultural production.
  • Thirty-five percent of Ethiopia's total population over the age of 15 can read and write.
  • Only 25 percent of Ethiopia's population have access to safe drinking water.
  • Ethiopia is one of the world's poorest developing countries, with an annual per capita income of $100.
  • With a population of more than 60 million people, Ethiopia has among the highest infant and maternal mortality rates and among the lowest life expectancy in the world (43 years).
  • Sixteen percent of the population lives in urban areas.
  • About 80 languages are spoken in Ethiopia. The official language is Amharic, but English, Arabic and Italian are used in commerce.
  • Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest in the world -- at least 2,000 years.

Statistics taken from

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

There is No Me Without You

I read this book a few months ago when we were still going through the process of adopting from Zambia...this book takes place in Ethiopia. If you are looking for something to read, I highly recommend this book. You can also visit the website to read more about the author, see slide shows, and read excerpts from the book.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Thank you!

Thank you for everyone who visited our new blog....I have been busy researching our new country and am excited to share some information I found. Please continue to check back, I hope to be updating fairly often.

Sunday, September 2, 2007


Hello! We are the Dunn Family, Andy, Brittlee, and Blakeley. We are thrilled are very excited to be going through the process of adopting from Africa! We are excited to see where God takes us on this great adventure. We originally began adopting through Zambia, but we feel that it would be better for our family to prusue an other country (you can read our Zambia adoption blog at After much prayer and wisdom from those who have been there...we decided to continue our process in Ethiopia.
Why are we adopting? We believe that we are called by God to pursue adoption. There are so many children in the world that need and deserve a loving family. It was estimated that by 2010, there will be more than 25 million orphans in Afirca alone!!! We started talking about our interest in adopting before we were married! We have always been drawn to Africa. In 2003, Andy and I went to Kenya on a missions trip. We knew then, that Africa would always have a huge part in our lives.
What is this Blog for? This Blog was created so you can follow along in our adventure. We hope that you will add us in your prayers. We will post how the application process is going and any prayer requests we have.
What can I do to help? First of all, Pray! We are asking for prayers for a quick adoption process, prayers that the Lord will be preparing our hearts for this new adventure and prayers that our baby will be healthy. We would be happy to answer any other questions you have! Please email us at
Thank you !
The Dunn Family