Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Post Wherein I Disclose Some Plans

It is a smoggy, busy day in Addis Ababa. From our guest house's rooftop balcony, we have watched three buildings rise a little into the sky each day. The men carry bags of concrete mix over one shoulder, a bucket of water in one hand, a shovel in the other. They climb five to six stories on scaffolding made of tree limbs.

These are not OSHA approved situations, I assure you.

But, they work. Constantly. They start early in the morning and the sounds of hammers and saws and loud shouting in Amharic go on long after the sun has set behind the hazy clouds and mountains west of the city. It seems like just a few hours before the mosques on that far mountain are broadcasting the mournful morning prayers.

I've had many hours of laying quietly in the bed, looking across the night stand at Adam and listening to him breathe the relaxed breaths of sleep. I've had many hours to think and ponder some of the things that God's done in my heart during this adoption process.

The first plan that I'm disclosing is the idea of blogging weekly regarding about 27 things that I look at differently since going through this process. So, there's plan 1!

The second plan is not so warm and's just hard and practical. However, I anticipate that it may hurt some feelings. This is not my goal. Please don't let it hurt your feelings. This is a way that you can help and support us during a major transition in our lives and home.

Perhaps I should start off by apologizing.

I feel like we haven’t done a good job preparing you all for what will happen when we get Adam home.

Children that come from hard places are often in need of a long transition time, in which attachment to the adoptive parents is the ultimate goal.

One of the most effective ways of reaching that goal is a method called “Cocooning.” This just means that we are going to “lay low” for a while. We are going to spend the summer doing things as a family, with our family.

Our main goal is going to be getting our family into a predictable, comfortable schedule, providing consistency and comfort to a young man whose entire existence is radically changing.

So, for a while, even though we will certainly want to, we won’t be going to parties or events. Even harder, we won’t be having any visitors (other than our families). It stinks, I know. However, it will be best for all 7 Daigles as we settle in.

He’s excited to come to Texas and meet everyone. You are more than welcomed to come meet us in the airport and say, “Howdy.” We cannot wait to get home and to see everyone!

But, starting the next day, we are going into hunker-down-mode…not because it sounds like a blast, but because it is what is best.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:
·      He doesn’t know you! You have been kept up to date with Facebook and emails, and you know a lot. But, he doesn’t know you. Act like you are meeting someone for the first time.
·      We are trying to establish that Larry and Colleen Daigle are Dad and Mom. Please don’t give him anything. He is learning that we are his caregivers/providers/parents. He’s been cared for by a string of people in the last few years. It will take a long time for him to completely understand that we are his parents and we are going to care for him and provide for him. If you want him to have something, you may give it to one of us and we can give it to him at an appropriate time.
·      His English is quite a bit farther along than we expected. He understands a lot! So, please, be careful about what you choose to say around him.
·      We still need your prayer and support! This has been a hard few weeks, as Adam and I have been thrown together in a sink-or-swim type of situation. We are doing great…sometimes beautiful strokes…sometimes desperate dog-paddling…but, we are doing well. Pray for Larry, the boys and I as we all get ready to jump into life together.

I applaud those of you who’ve read all the way through. You love us, and I know it.

We love you, too!

Colleen and Guys

(Larry, Joseph, Gideon, Jeremiah, Caleb and Adam Dagnachew Daigle)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Post Wherein We Reschedule the Fundraiser

DaigleDodgeball is rescheduled to May 31st, 2014. It will still take place from 10am-12Noon in the Gym at First Baptist Church of Conroe.

We are so very excited about the reason why we need to reschedule.

While we would love to be playing dodgeball on the 24th, we are even more happy to be traveling to Ethiopia that weekend!!!

We have a court date in Addis Ababa on May 27th, where we will become the proud parents of an 8 year old boy.

Larry will travel back home and be here in Conroe with the boys.

I will stay in Addis with the newest Daigle until all of the paperwork is completed and the US Embassy issues a visa for him. We expect this to take 4-6 weeks.

Here's what happens after our court date.

  • As soon as we have a copy of the court decree, the in-country staff of our adoption agency begins the process of getting him a new birth certificate with the last name of Daigle.
  • Once the birth certificate is obtained, an application is made for his Ethiopian passport.
  • Once the passport is received, we see an embassy approved doctor for a quick check-up.
  • After the check-up, the agency will submit all of the documentation to US Embassy Adoption Unit for approval.
  • Once the embassy reviews the case, we will receive an email from the embassy requesting an appointment. Since I will still be in Ethiopia, I can be there as soon as possible...without having to arrange flights, accommodations, etc. 
  • After the embassy appointment, it typically takes 2 days to have the visa issued.
  • When we receive the visa, we go to airport, we fly home. Then the major adjustment, transition, and the rest of real life begins.
We know that this is not a fairy tale. We know that our little guy has been through a lot and will go through a lot in this completely altering process. We know that there will be some profoundly tough days ahead.

Please pray for us. We are happy, excited, nervous and chomping at the bit. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Post Wherein we have a fundraiser!

Who's ready for some dodgeball?

Here's some info:

Who: Anyone, whether you would like to play or not...Any age, there will be a kids bracket and a teens/adult bracket.

Where: First Baptist Church of downtown Conroe, near Montgomery County courthouse. Go east on Hwy 105 (East Davis) and turn left onto Main St. The church will be right in front of you. Park in the west parking lot and enter into the Gym doors. We will have some signs out.

How much: $10 per player...There will be some other opportunities to support, but it's just $10 to play.

What to expect: There will be some teams that are short players. So, if you don't have a team, don't worry, we can match you up with one. We will have a very casual bracket...this is not professional dodgeball. We are going to have fun and play and be happy. Feel free to call out and challenge another group!

Cool Stuff: We've begun to have donations given for door prizes and give-aways. So far, we have passes to The Grand Theatre on League Line, dinner for 2 at The Cracker Barrel, free dessert from Montgomery Bakehouse. More to come!!! (And, if you have any suggestions/connections for giveaways, let me know!!!)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Post Wherein We Start Getting Super Excited!!!

Dear one,

I know that you have no idea what's going on in this process.

You know who we are.
You know that we are adopting you.
You have received our care packages.
You probably don't know that we've applied for your file to be reviewed by United States Citizenship & Immigration Services for pre-approval.
You probably don't know that the application has gone through MUCH faster than we were told that it would.
You probably don't know that other families that are just a few weeks ahead of us are starting to get court dates and make travel plans to meet their new children.
You probably don't know that we are starting to consider ways to scratch together those last minute travel costs.
We pray that you know that we love you.
We pray that you know that we are coming.
We pray that the Lord continues to guard over you and comfort you until we are there to wrap our arms around you.
We pray for you.

We love you. And, we are coming as soon as possible!

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." John 14:18

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Post Wherein We Send a Package

Dear one,

I have to tell you that I’m nervous. I sent a package recently to another family that is adopting through our agency. They have agreed to deliver it to the in-country staff when they travel to Addis Ababa to pick up their new daughter. The in-country staff will then deliver this package to you!

I received word this morning that this sweet family has received clearance from the embassy and will be travelling right away.

Honestly, I’m a wreck.

The first time that your new brothers actually saw me and your new daddy, it was in a hospital room through eyes smeared with an antibiotic ointment.

I was a wreck then as well. My sweaty face was framed with damp, frizzy hair, pulled back into a ponytail. Through the process of each of their births, that ponytail worked its way off to one side. I know that I roll around a lot in my sleep, and the side ponytail proves the habit comes also in labor.

With you, this first tangible interaction will be so very different. You are older. You will remember this package.

We prayed, as we have every step of this long process, over what to put in the package. It is not a lot, for we needed to respect the family that is so graciously delivering it. They have baggage weight/space constraints.

Among other things, it had

  • A small photo album…
  • A picture of you…Have you ever seen a picture of yourself?
  • Pictures of each of the brothers, with their names…
  • Pictures of myself and your daddy…
  • Pictures of your new grandparents…
  • Pictures of our home…
  • A Houston Texans baseball cap, which I am now wishing I had replaced with a Houston Dynamo one. You, like the rest of the non-American world, prefer soccer. Next package, I promise…
  • A card game that requires no English and no reading…I bought one for us at home, too…Will you feel comfortable seeing something that you might have played while at the orphanage or Transition Home?
  • Hot Wheels cars…You will certainly have a chance to play with similar ones here. Your Pa, my father, likes to pick Hot Wheels cars for each of the boys’ stockings at Christmas.

In fact, choosing those items was a bit like stuffing a Christmas stocking. You don’t know what a stocking is, but you will. And, you already have one. It has hung on our mantle for three Christmas seasons.

The nerves that I feel come with the realization that this is my first time to interact with you. And, there is no blur of eye ointment this time. There is no buffer of years too early to remember.

Sweet boy, I’m praying that you receive that package and that you are not disappointed. I’m praying that the time between now and our first hug is short. I’m praying that all of the paperwork and clearances and appointments go smoothly. I’m praying for wisdom. I’m praying for patience and protection. I’m praying for grace and mercy in this process.

I’m praying for you. I’m praying for us.

I love you,