Thursday, January 17, 2008
Something New on the Horizon
It's been a little while since I talked adoption here. It's a subject that is never far from my thoughts, and has a permanent place in my heart. However, the business of running a home with 5 kids seems to take over a lot of the time. A little while back, I chose to scale back on my participation on the various adoption Yahoo groups. It was just taking too much of my time away from the kids that are right here in my house. As much as I care for all of the waiting children and families, my family deserves my all. With that said, I did not completely disengage. I still follow many blogs, receive digest messages from the AHOPE and SoCal Yahoo groups, and receive the Holt International newletter. I could never completely walk away.
This brings me to the point of this post. A few months ago I learned that Holt International was working on establishing an adoption program in Ethiopia. I was thrilled! You see, Holt was our first contact with international adoption. We went to church with two different families that were in the process of adopting from China through Holt. While we knew we were definitely called to adopt from somewhere in Africa, there was not a placing agency in our state. That left us with the task of finding an agency to do our pre and post-placement work for our adoption. With a few kind words from our friends, Holt was more than happy to take on the job. And what a job they did!
The main California office, in Sacramento, was extremely efficient. Our social worker was an absolute dream. Our first meeting was two days post sinus surgery for me. He was not the least bit put off by my swollen nose, slightly black eyes or somewhat drugged speech. He was always extremely professional, but personable as well. He kept a very flexible schedule, and even drove an hour south when we moved and needed to ammend our homestudy. Our post-placement work went just as smooth. I could not give Holt a better recommendation. What a great convenience they will provide to California families that want to adopt from Ethiopia. To my knowledge, there is no other placing agency in our state. It would surely be nice thing to be able to complete the entire adoption process with one agency.
Please understand, this does not change our opinion of AAI in any way. Our process to bring Grace home, through them, could not have been smoother. The staff is kind, professional and attentive. The children at Layla House are extremely well cared for. Due to their long presence in Ethiopia, they have connections that most other agencies do not. When the the time comes for us to adopt again in the future, you can bet that AAI will be on the top of our list. Merrily Ripley and company will always be up high on my list of people that I am grateful to have had dealings with. They are the cream of the crop!
Anyway, for those of you that made it this far into my post and have an interest, the following is a little blurb from the monthly Holt newsletter....
Ethiopia Adoption Opens
Officially registered as an adoption agency with the Ethiopian government since early January, Holt International is now accepting applications from families ready to begin the adoption process from this African nation. Families are needed for both boys and girls of varying ages. Holt's program is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital city, with humanitarian aid projects focused on serving the southern region of Ethiopia.
To learn more about Holt, and its' history, please click here. It is a fascinating story, and without their founders' work, International Adoption might not have been possible for the rest of us.