Friday, August 31, 2007

FSOTD: Maggoty Bread!

So it's time for me to post another Funny Story of the Day (FSOTD). First, you have to know that we are big Lord of the Rings fans. Jeremy has finished reading "The Hobbit" and has begun "The Fellowship of the Ring," but the children are too young to have seen the movies. Susan and I are gearing up to see them again this holiday weekend. What the children know better is the Veggie Tales version called "Lord of the Beans." It has many similar lines and themes as the Rings movies. "Scary-man" instead of "Sauron," "Sporks" (half spoon, half fork) instead of "Orcs," etc...

One prominent thing that carries over from one of the Rings movies word-for-word is the Sporks/Orcs saying "We ain't had nothing to eat but maggoty bread for three stinkin' days." It cracks me up every time!

Well, one day this week, the girls (3 and 6) are playing in my office (a.k.a. the play room), and they are working in the play kitchen making --- maggoty bread!

--"Hello Sarah, would you like some maggoty bread?"
--"Oh! Yes, I love maggoty bread!"

--"What's for dinner mama? "
--"Maggoty bread"
--"Yum! Yum! Maggoty bread!"

They had me totally cracking up!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Progress Update #15

If you've read our blog lately, you know that we've been looking for our letter for our fingerprinting appointment for some time now. Twelve weeks, but who's counting?

Yesterday, I emailed USCIS/Department of Homeland Security to very delicately ask them (so not to tick them off) when our fingerprinting appointment would be since we were concerned that we hadn't received notification yet.

This morning, I had an answer complete with all of the information and paperwork that we are to bring with us to Charlotte. Our appointment is Tuesday, September 11, 2007 @ 2:30 PM which is 6 Pagumen 1999, the Ethiopian New Year's Eve and Millennium celebration! (Here is a cool site about the Ethiopian Millennium and calendar:

Also, today at our homeschool co-op, I met another mom whose family is adopting from Ethiopia with AWAA also! I had no idea she existed since she wasn't on the group's email loop. What a blessing that our child will have friends from his birth-country nearby!

Two families from AWAA met their children in Ethiopia this week. I love reading their blogs and am enjoying their journeys. Congratuations, Dudas and Cavitts!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Progress Update #14

We are still waiting for that fingerprinting appointment. I was trying to wait to post an update until we got our letter, but maybe, it will come tomorrow...

Last week, we popped by the credit union to have our financial statement and our letter to the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs requesting our child notarized.

Also, after communicating with our social worker and our family coordinator, I filled out our new medical forms, drafted letters explaining our conditions, and dropped them off at the doctor's office with another letter explaining what we need for her to do. FINALLY, on Monday (8/27/07), we got a call that our forms were finished and that we could meet her with our new notary that we found at a mortgage company in the doctor's building. Bottom line is -WE'VE GOT OUR MEDICAL PAPERS! HALLELUJAH!

Soon, we're going to take the 17 documents that have been notarized in NC to the NC Secretary of State to get them authenticated. For just $10 per document, we can drop them off downtown by 10 AM and pick them up the same day since we have fewer than 30 documents. We'll see how that goes.

Our homestudy will be finished soon! Our social worker received our medical papers via FedEx today so that she can finish it up! YAY!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ethiopian Food at HOME!

Our paper pregnancy has had both William and I craving Ethiopian food! Although, we our very blessed to live near an excellent Ethiopian restaurant, we can't afford to eat there (or out anywhere!) very often.

Our friend Heidi gave us enough berbere to get us going and told us about a middle-eastern market nearby that sells fresh injera (or "enjera" as the package says). We found split red lentils at our Harris Teeter, but also found them in bigger bags for less money at the middle-eastern market.

We searched for the simplest recipe with ingredients that we had and threw together "kik wat," a red lentil stew. Recipe follows:


  • 2 cups split lentils
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 5 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons berbere powder (or more)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups water

    In a big ol' pot cook onion, garlic, and berbere in oil until onion is translucent.
    Add lentils and water and cook on low with lid on stirring occasionally for 20-40 minutes or until lentils are tender.

    Eat hot with injera or rice.

    OUR KIDS LOVED IT!!!! Jeremy said it was "The best Ethiopian food I've ever had." Annika and Marissa got tired of eating the injera and ate small bowls of the lentils with spoons. YUM!

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Tie-Dye Results are in!

As promised, here are our tie-dye shirts from the homeschool kick-off party on Saturday! Although, I helped Marissa fold hers and William folded Annika's, they dyed them all by themselves! Pretty cool! William even did his own!

I'm thinking about selling some tie-dye in Ethiopian flag colors to raise money for our adoption... We'll see!

Speaking of fund raising, our friend Joanna and a group of other lovely people from her church are going on a mission trip to Mozambique to build a library with "Global Missions South Africa." Joanna, a fellow homeschool mom of 5, is a talented artist and photographer and is raising funds for the project by selling her work on her family farm site: I especially love the beautiful faces of Africa and the animals. Go check them out and help out by decorating your home! Please, pray for the group and God's work there also. They leave September 5, 2007.

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Progress Update #13

William's birth certificate with a corrected authentication for the Ohio Secretary of State arrived safely home on Saturday, August 11.

We had our physical exams with our doctor back in June, and somehow, the doctor was told (I'm not going to mention any names.) that we didn't need our medical forms until the end of August. But we need them NOW for our homestudy to wrap up. So, I found a notary who works in the same building as our doctor and, she was kind enough to agree to come down to the doctor's office to notarize the forms on Friday. However, the medical information is not complete, and the nice notary's commission ends October 8, 2007 -before the papers will be likely to even leave our hands. UGH. That's all I have to say about that right now.

We are still waiting for the letter telling us when our fingerprinting appointment will be.

In other news:

William was summoned to report on to U.S. District court and selected to serve and sat on a jury Thursday and Friday, August 9 & 10. The case is over, and he is safe from being called for federal jury for four years and ate "free" pizza. At least it didn't conflict with our fingerprinting appointment!

We had our homeschool kick-off hoe down today! It was fun! There were farm animals, butter making, corn grinding, chicken feeding, a zip line, bubbles, square dancing, pot-luck dinner, and tie-dying. Stay tuned for the tie-dye creations! Thank-you, Joanna & Jason and the Best Nest Farm crew!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Is there a baby under all that paper?

This summer has been such a whirlwind of paperwork, appointments, and payments that we often have to stop and focus on the fact that God has another child for us!

In addition to praying for trivial papers that we're dealing with, we must remember to pray...

  • That our child will have the food, medicine, and love that he needs to grow healthy and strong.
  • For his parents and family that are mourning the loss of this precious little one from their lives, for the hardships that they're enduring, and that they will know God and experience His love and comfort.
  • For the nannies and orphanage workers who are caring for him -that they will be blessed.
Each time somebody from our agency shares the wonderful news of a referral, has a court date, and shares a photograph, our hearts swell with the excitement to see these families finding the children that God has for them, and we REMEMBER that someday, eventually we'll be there too!

It will be such a joyful and surreal experience for us to travel to Ethiopia, AFRICA to meet our son! (There will be much prayer for that part later!!!!)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Photo Pages Part 1 "Our Family"

Here are the photos that we have included with our dossier. I have broken them up into three sections: Our Family, Our Home, and Family Life. I have put 6 photos on each page with captions, but have left out the captions for the blog.

"Our Family"

Photo Pages Part 2 "Our Home"

Photo Pages Part 3 "Family Life"

So, if you saw yourself on these pages, the people in Ethiopia will be seeing you also!
I'll send our update next week since there is not much to report...

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

"When will you get your baby?"

This question is becoming more and more common, and we love to be asked this and about how our adoption is moving along! It means a lot to know that people care and are excited about us expecting another child!

Here is our best guess as to when we will have our newest Schmidt...

Our I-600A orphan petition was received and stamped by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on June 12, 2007. At the moment, it is taking 4 months from when an application is received until it is processed. (I used this site to figure that out: So, our best guess is that we will get our I-171H approval by mid to late October.

By the time we receive this paper that we need from USCIS, we will have had collected everything else that we need. We will take our pile of papers that were notarized in NC to the NC Secretary of State to have them authenticated. I'm think that will go quickly since we will be taking them personally.

After we make lots of copies of our dossier, it will be ready to FedEx to America World (AWAA) in VA, near DC. They will walk our papers to the US Secretary of State for authentication and then to the Ethiopian Embassy. We are guessing that all of this will be completed in November or December.

After this , our papers are ready to go to Ethiopia to the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs where our family will be matched with a child who is waiting for a family. I'm afraid to guess on this part. When we signed with AWAA, the minimum wait for a referral was supposedly 4 months, but nobody has waited that long yet. So far, AWAA has only completed 4 adoptions in Ethiopia, and we are down the list a bit. I would guess that we could wait the 2-4 months (but it could be less, could be more!). That would put us into the February-April range so that William and I would be travelling between March and June.

THIS IS ALL AN ESTIMATE! :-) We realize that everything will happen in God's perfect timing, and we appreciate your prayers for our family and for our little one in Ethiopia. Keep checking our blog!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Progress Update #12

Our birth certificates came home safely with their gold seal from the Ohio Secretary of State. ***8/4/07 William's BC is going back to OH because the authentication letter has an error.***

We are still waiting for our doctor to finish our medical forms and our postcard from immigration with our fingerprinting appointment to arrive. We're praying that our appointment and William's jury duty don't conflict. We've just about done all that we can do to complete our dossier, the collection of papers that go to Ethiopia.

We had nice visits with William's cousin Aaron, Trisha, and Mallory last week and William's brother, David and Liz with their 4 kids over the weekend. (Sorry, I didn't get a photo! Please, email me some, Dave & Liz.)