Monday, June 30, 2008

AWAA Update

10 referrals of children ranging from 0-10 were made in the month of June.

The family who recently received an infant girl referral had a DTE (Dossier to Ethiopia) of October 15 2008.
The family who recently received an infant boy referral had a DTE (Dossier to Ethiopia) of November 21 2008.

Based on the new referrals the wait time for an infant girl and infant boy as well as toddlers is currently 7-9 months.

32 children have come home with their adoptive families in 2008. America World families have received 35 referrals since January of this year. 7 of these children were from the Waiting Children list.

Where does that leave the Laughner Family? As far as we know we are number four in line. The families in the #1 and #2 spot waiting for referrals are waiting for girls, the #3 family is waiting for young siblings, then our family for a request of either sex under 24 months. As far as I know we are next in line for a little boy. Ten referrals in one month is so exciting. Let us all keep praying for the referrals and court dates. The Ethiopian court will be closing from August 7th to October 7th. We will probably need to wait until fall to pick up our little one. I will post as soon as we get our referral. Thanks for checking in on us.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tom Here...

Hi. I'm busting in on Lori's blog to post a short message.

I'm not sure why, but I've been hesitant throughout this process to ask for financial help on this adoption. I've never been one to ask others for money. I also felt that if we were going to make this commitment, we should figure out how to take on the responsibility for the finances.

With airfare increasing so much over the past year, I reluctantly agreed to do some fundraising. If there was a product people were getting, it wouldn't seem like we were going to people with our hands out. We started selling the t-shirts and bags and have been grateful to the folks who have purchased them. Some of the folks I work with suggested we sell Lori's incredible peppermint patties. The response to those has been tremendous.

Because of the peppermint patty deliveries around campus (I work at Smith College), word has really been getting around on our adoption. There have been lots of words of encouragement and support. People have also helped us make connections to other families here in the valley that have adopted from Ethiopia as well as other countries.

I have to say, though, one of the most touching moments for me came last week. A man in another department whom I know, but don't work with on a daily basis stopped me on the quad. He told me that he'd heard about our adoption and that we were selling peppermint patties to raise money for travel. He went on to tell me that he had two adopted children of his own and really supported what we were doing. In addition, although he didn't need any peppermint patties, would he mind if he made a donation for our travel expenses.

I hesitated for a moment before telling him it would be okay. but realized that the people around here really want to support us in this effort. I am deeply touched by everything the other members of our community are doing. It is truly a humbling experience.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Long Weekend of Fun!

This was full fun weekend starting on Thursday going to Monday. We had lots of different activities. I am starting with Monday and going backwards to Thursday. I hope you enjoy all the pictures.
On Monday we took the train to New York City. We visited the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Time Square. This is Benjamin posing as the Statue of Liberty with his new souvenirs. He is proud of his decorated crown. He decorated it on the train on the way home.

This is Sara and Allison riding the ferris wheel at Toys R Us in Time Square. They really wanted the My Little Pony Car.
Here is our car. I got to ride with Michael and Benjamin. They wanted the M&M or Monopoly car. They had fun on this 4 story ferris wheel inside the store.

Here we are on the ferry headed to the Statue of Liberty. What a feeling seeing the statue come into view.
Here are the kids posing next to to a replica of the foot from the statue. michael was impressed that the toenail was bigger than his whole hand.
Here we are our family at the viewing area at the top of the base of the Statue of Liberty.
This is the ferry ride to New York City from the visiting the statue. The kids rode on trains, subways, ferrys, what a fun day. Here is the undecorated crown. Benjamin walked around for hours posing and smiling.

On Sunday we had a pool party for Allison's 11th birthday and Michaels 8th birthday.

This was taken at Ellis Island. We had lunch in the cafeteria.

On Saturday we went to New Hampshire to visit with the Steiger family. We spent more time with their daughter from Ethiopia (no she doesn't want me close to her). She loves to smile and tease me. She just doesn't want me to get to close to her. Maybe someday...

We have done a learn a to read treasure hunt with all for of our kids. Benjamin is the youngest to complete all 50 days. He got to celebrate Friday night with 3 other friends and his siblings by minature golfing, dinner and icecream.

On Thursday Benjamin went to school for Kindergarten Screening. Yes my baby is going to all day kindergarten in the fall. When asked by the assistan principal what he was looking forward to he said "recess and riding the bus".
As everyone keeps asking if we ahve heard anything from our adoption.... We are moving up the list. I think we are around #3 for a boy. I hope and pray for our referral call soon. We promise to update and let everyone know as soon as we hear anything. Have a great week and love to all. Thank you for your prayers.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

New Bikes!

This was a busy but fun weekend! We had a nice day celebrating Father's Day with Tom.

Here are three of our kids wearing our adoption shirts, "They Are Precious In His Sight".
They love wearing them and carrying their bags.

Here are Benjamin, Michael, and Allison being silly in a tree. They were having a good time together.

Allison was part of the pit band for a "School House Rock JR." play at her school. She played 6 of the 12 songs on the piano. The band sounded great. They had three performances.

Here is Benjamin on his new bike. (Michael got a new bike for his birthday so Benjamin got Micheal's too small bike)
Michael will be eight years old tomorrow. This is his birthday present! He is proud of the gears and hand brakes. He loves how fast it goes.
Allison will be eleven in 13 more days. She also got a new bike for her birthday. They really had fun riding them. We have 2 1/2 days of school left the kids are ready to start summer break. Michael finished soccer, Allison is finished with her play and band, and Sara has a few more finals. Allison and Michael just started flag football on Saturday. Michael got drafted for the Cardinals and Allison got drafted for the Redskins. It should be a fun season.

Happy Fathers Day to all the Dads out there!
Please pray for the families getting ready to travel, the ones with court days this week, the ones waiting for court dates, and lots of referrals.... Please pray for all the people in Ethiopia.
and Have a Great Week!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Praying for a wonderful week full of miracles.

There are 5 families in Ethiopia this week. They are excited about meeting their children for the first time and bringing them home. The Kidd Family, Cordell Family, West Family, Gardner Family, and Schaetz Family are all in Ethiopia. you can follow 4 of the family's blogs by clicking on their family name under America World Family Links. You will find this by scrolling down on the left side of the page. These families will be updating about their trip from Ethiopia. Please be praying for these families.

There are 3 families with court dates this week, on June 10th. The Gibson Family, The Raymer Family, and the Ord Family. Please pray for successful court dates for these families. So they can can schedule their travel to pick up their little ones.

There are seven families that are waiting for court dates to be scheduled. Wow, many great things are happening with America World. We are praying for many more referrals this week. Our family is in the top ten waiting for a referral. We are excited about hearing the news soon about our new addition to our family. We are feeling a little nervous about how long it could take to get a court date after our referral since the Ethiopian courts will be closing from August until October, for the rainy season. Please pray for many more referrals.

Please pray for all the children in Ethiopia and their families. Please pray for rain. There is a severe drought and because of that many power outages.

Thank you for stopping by to see us. Please leave us a message to say hello. We would love to hear from you. Thank you to all the family and friends who have supported us with prayers and by purchasing shirts, bags, and peppermint patties form us. Every contribution helps with the travel expenses of picking up our little one. If you are interested in our shirts or bags you can click on the link to the left. If you are local and are interested in peppermint patties please let me know.
Thank you and have a great week!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

New Shower Curtain for Kids Bathroom....

Look at our new shower curtain for the kids bathroom! I love it. We bought it at Kohls. The kids each have their own color of bath towel. They match the colors on the curtain (Sara pink, Allison blue, Michael green, Benjamin yellow, and the new little one has an orange towel). I thought this curtain was a lot of fun.

Butterflies Hatched!

For Benjamin's 5th birthday he got a gift card from the McClellan Family in IN. He chose a butterfly kit. We ordered the caterpillars a couple of weeks ago. We watched the caterpillars eat and grow. They then turned into chrysalises, and today 4 of the 5 butterflies came out. They are painted lady butterflies. Two were already out when we woke up. We watched one come out at breakfast, one came out while we were gone, and there is still one chrysalis left to hatch. We released the 4 butterflies today. Here are some pictures of our butterflies.

Benjamin was really proud of his butterfly. Thank you McClellan Family.
Michael thought that holding it on flowers was good enough!
Our butterfly house.