Adoption: Our older girls (part 3)

Our older girls (part 1)

Our older girls (part 2)

On May 15th, 2007, our dossier left for Ethiopia.  The next thing we were waiting for was the news that our case had been submitted to the Ethiopian courts.  As we waited we were anxious to let our girls get a glimpse of our lives, and to visualize themselves here. So one of the things we did was print off a big picture of them, and then took pictures of our other kids holding the picture in various places around our house.

We had a great time making the pictures, and I think it helped all of us feel closer to each other during the waiting.  We were also fortunate to get pictures of the girls from other traveling families.  We treasured every scrap of contact that we got.  And I think they did too. Here the girls are holding things that we sent them.

In early June we got the wonderful news that our case had been submitted to Ethiopian court.  Our court date was June 29th.  There are times when cases have to be submitted to court several times, so we were not 100% certain that the girls would be ours after that point.  And there was still the little niggling fear that the courts would refuse us, and say a smaller, richer family would be better for the girls.   But we just had to wait on God at that point.  He’d already opened so many doors with this adoption.  We knew that He could open this one as well.

At the end of June we got the wonderful news that our case had passed court and the girls were legally ours.  Another week or two of waiting, and we also had a travel date.   We’d be leaving to get the girls at the end of July.  Now we had to figure out who was going.  I’d been to Ethiopia twice already, once with Erika and once with Jared, for our other daughters’ adoptions. But my husband had never been to Ethiopia.

We really wanted for him to be able to go this time, especially since it seemed that with older kids, the more parental involvement in the whole process, the better.  Problem was, our youngest daughters were only 2 and 5, and we just didn’t feel good about leaving both of them for more than a week.  Finally after going round and round discussing every possibility,  we decided that both John and I would travel, and bring our little girls with us.  So, 2 kids on a 30 hour trip TO Ethiopia, and FOUR kids on the way back.

It was going to be an adventure.


  1. Thanks for sharing your story!

  2. I love that picture idea!! How creative! I’ll bet they loved it too! I hope they weren’t worried that they’d be legless in America, though. Haha!

  3. and I remember it very well! I had been following you for a little while at that point, found you when you were writing for We left the end of July to bring home our (infant)son. I’m so glad you’re telling the story!

  4. LOVE this! So cute!

  5. You littlest is so cute in the porch picture. Love the story about your girls.

  6. I am really enjoying hearing this story unfold! Have you written stories about each of the adoptions?

  7. Thanks for sharing your story. We’re in the very beginning stages…still working on our 1st application…of adopting from Ethiopia. We’re hoping for a sibling group. Since we already have 4 boys we’re almost at the new cut-off…hoping they don’t make anymore changes.

  8. Mary–that’s almost unbelievable! Your dossier went out mid-may and you traveled to bring the girls home in early July!?!?!?


    Thanks for sharing the story. I’m loving it.

    • Ali, We traveled late July, with an embassy date of August 1st, I think. But yes, even back in 2007 it was an amazingly fast process. And of course now times have slowed a lot….

  9. Thanks for sharing this, Mary. I’ve been reading for about a year now, but I don’t think I’ve commented before. My husband and I are adopting for Ethiopia. We are waiting for a referral, and it is helpful and encouraging to hear your girls’ story.

  10. Oooo I so love reading adoption stories. 🙂

  11. I remember, too. I read your blog then, but lost it along the way. So glad to have found you again today.

  12. i can’t believe this was in 2007. gosh time flies…i love your blog so much!! xo

  13. I here in Birmingham while David and Arianna are at Lake Tahoe to take wedding pictures of someone they knew at Furman. The girls are
    doing well. Annabelle got her knee stuck between the crib rails yesterday and we had trouble get it out. The word “soap” came to mind so I went looking for a bar of soap and ending up putting dishwasher soap on my hand and rubbing it directly to her knee. And
    she immediately slid her knee out.

    The fall has been busy so it’s nice to get away for a few days. David had you website where I found it easily. Israel is elated
    at the opportunity to take pictures at the Boise State football game tonight.

    I got on the computer to e-mail David and Arianna that the girls and I are fine. Also, I need to see when the game is on tonight and figure out if we can pick it up on national television. Once
    before he took pictures of a South Carolina team that I picked up on national television and it was a great game with a late game upset to a nationally rated team. Then people were wanting the pictures he took.

    Best wishes to your family.


  1. […] (Part One | Part Two | Part Three.) […]