Posted by: Kristin W | October 5, 2011

FAQs – Part 1 (of what will be many)

We gotten a lot of questions about our referral, and I figured that I’d save some time and do one big post with all your questions answered.  (Actually, all your questions will not be answered, because we don’t have all the answers, which is why I’m naming this Part 1.)

When will you get them?

Excellent question.  Now that our paperwork has been submitted, we wait for a court date.  That could happen any time, but my best guess is January (based on dates that others have gotten).  It’s a little hard to judge right now, as the courts have been closed for the rainy season, and haven’t been giving out many dates.  I’m hoping when they reopen next week we will see some families who have been waiting longer get their dates, then we’ll know more.  Once we go on that first trip, and hopefully pass court, we will come home and wait again for an Embassy appointment.  That will be approximately eight weeks later.  At that time, we will return to Ethiopia, get the kids’ visas, and bring them home with us.  I would guess best-case-scenario they will be home in April, but it could be as long as July.

Where are the kids now?

The Awash National Park

Currently, they are in an orphanage in Afar.  They are from the Awash area, which from what I can tell actually has a small city.  The train runs through town and they have a post office.  There’s not much information available about that part of the country, but I’m still looking.  When we go to Ethiopia for our first trip, they will be moved to our agency’s care center in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, where they will remain until they come home with us.

See a little more about Awash here.  Afar is also the part of the country where Lucy was found.

Do they speak English?

No.  Not at all.  They speak Afar and Amharic.  S (age 10 and all-American) is teaching us Amharic using an app we found on the iPhone.  Therefore, I can only assume that communication will be limited for a while!

Are they healthy?

Yes, as best we can tell.  They have had a medical review and passed with flying colors.  The boy was slightly underweight, but not enough to be concerned, and gained 3.3 pounds in his first month at the orphanage, so that’s a good sign that he will catch up quickly.   Most kids who come home from Ethiopia have minor medical issues (giardia or other parasites, ringworm, etc.), but we’re hoping for nothing more serious.

Are you going to change their names?

Yikes…that’s a tough one.  Since the older one will be five by the time he comes home, it seems a little strange to change his name.  We will definitely give them both an American name of some sort, whether it’s as a first name, keeping their Ethiopian name as a middle name or the other way around.  I think we’ll have to wait and see once we meet them.

Can you send them anything?

No.  Sadly, we can’t send any care packages until we can take them ourselves.  And even then, we’ll focus on taking donations for the care center, not on specific items for our two kids.  They will each get a photo album with pictures of us, our kids, our house, and their schools, in order to help them understand where they are going.

What happened to their parents?

We have decided not to share the circumstances that led them to be available for adoption with anyone.  This is their story, and until they are old enough to understand it themselves, we will keep it private for them.  Andrew and I will have the opportunity to meet some of their birth family when we travel to Ethiopia the second time, and we look forward to meeting them and  learning more about them.

Can we throw you a baby shower?  What do you need?

I am overwhelmed and humbled by the number of you who have asked to do something for us.  Luckily, we are pretty set for both baby and pre-schoolers.  We have saved all of our baby equipment (crib, high chairs, stroller, etc.) and lots of clothes for both genders.  Plus, until we pass court, these kids aren’t really ours, so I don’t feel like it’s quite right to start collecting things for them.  At this point in time, what would be most helpful is donations for the care center and the orphanage.  At some point in the near future, I’ll try to post some things from the wish list in case you’d like to donate.  For now, we just appreciate you sharing our excitement.



  1. The Afar region looks so beautiful. I’m glad the kiddos are gaining weight. And I hope you get a court date before January!

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