The Journey of a Lifetime

Ryan and I have decided to pursue our forth adoption and add another beautiful baby to our family. We couldn't be happier and are thrilled! Join us in our journey in adopting baby Schlenner!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Oh yeah!! Travel Date is official!!!

It's almost surreal....can't believe it's really happening. I got the last OFFICAL call from our specialist today from the agency. The roller coaster ride is DONE!!!!!!!!!!! Let me just say the waiting, more waiting, and endless WAITING is done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a sweet relief!!!!!!

Our specialist from the adoption agency said "...This is IT! Here's the words you've been waiting to hear! You're going to Ethiopia in 20 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" This was at 12:40 p.m.!!!!!!!!!!So........ excited as I was...I had to quick take a picture of me taking to her on the phone about travel plans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bad picture....good memory!!!!!!!!! Where's my blonde travel friend?

Okay, so Kirstie and I leave for Ethiopia, Africa on Wednesday, May 13th at 10:25 a.m. We're flying NWA/KLM!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks to our wonderful husbands for transferring their frequent flier miles to us so we'll be able to fly first class both ways and have that extra leg room for us (Kirstie mostly!) and more space for baby Ahnya on the way home!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We'll arrive in Addis Ababa 26 hours later on Thursday, May 14th in the evening. Kirstie and I will spend 7 nights and 8 days in beautiful Ethiopia, and leave Thursday, May 21st in the evening to depart for home! Our flight arrives in Minneapolis @4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 22nd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All our dear friends and family are invited to join us at the airport for the arrival of baby Ahnya! I'll post more about this later, but something to start thinking about now. We'd love to see you and introduce you to our new baby in person before hibernating with Ahnya at home and adjusting together as a family!

We're finalizing fight tickets now!!!!!!!!!!!!!! More to follow soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

"Tentative" Travel Date!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yippie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm thrilled to say that we have a "tentative" travel date of Wednesday, May 13th!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's "tentative" right now because we're just (again) waiting on our agency as they are making final arrangements for our group to travel. We'll know in 1-2 days for confirmation. But, it's pretty sure a go! We have to wait to book flights until we get the confirmation from our agency....but other than that....this is the news we have been waiting for. FINALLY, I'm able to plan, prepare, and organize around TRAVEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't begin to explain what a relief it is to KNOW when I get to travel and see Ahnya. Now, I'm able to visualize and really "see" myself leaving for the airport, walking into the orphanage and seeing her in the nursery for the first time, etc, etc, etc!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I haven't let my mind go there because it just was too far away for me.

So this is wonderful news and pretty much the last step before I get on that plane! The roller coaster ride of the WAIT is almost done. It's been 23 months of this ride...and I'm so tired of it!Now, I'll wait to hear back from the agency in a couple days and then we book flights!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Until then I'm filled with peace, joy, and the realization that it's really happening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Finally have her Birth Certificate...

We finally got it!!!!!!!! We got Ahnya's Birth Certificate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Amen!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now we'll know in 1-2 days when we travel. Tentatively looking at May 6th for a possible travel date...and that's 19 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm pooping my pants and so excited to be only ONE STEP AWAY before getting on a plane.

Please pray that we get a quick travel date and are able to bring Ahnya home sooooooonnnn. I'm tired from this 23 month journey...and just want our baby home with daddy and the little girls. I hope to be able to announce when we travel Friday or next Monday, April 20th. Keep Ahnya and our speedy travel in your prayers.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Travel Webinar

On Wednesday, April 15th Kirstie and I viewed the Travel Webinar that's manditory for anyone who is traveling to ET and planning on meeting birth family. This was a great piece of info and especially the pictures what we could show our kids, too! Much of the information we already knew, but as always it's nice to have that "refresher" too!

Of course, anyone who knows us will vouch that when we get nervous, anxious or excited we tend to get giddy and obnoxious! So, we had some laughs and brushed off the stress with giddiness! "Friends that Laugh Together, Stay Together" is our motto. Thanks for watching to webinar with me doll, I love ya!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My other lovies

Ryan and I are so blessed to have the most wonderful friends and family to support us through this whole adoption. I know they would do anything for us and we would do the same for them. Their children are our children and we have a very close unique bond that it very special. So here are some pics of our "lovies". You mean the world to us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Terese and Angie you girls are not only the cutest but definately my best friends! I love you!! Terese, Angie and Kirstie are the 3 god momma's to Ahnya!

My mom you're my rock! The girls call her "Foxy Nana!" I love you mom!!!!!!!!!!

Kirstie is my other beautiful best friend and god mother to Ahnya. Who else would go 1/2 way around the world to help their friend adopt their baby???? I love you!

Paul, Nate, and Carl are the most wonderful husbands around, and great friends!! They've been known to get wild and crazy on occasion, but mostly the sweetest daddys and hubbies to my girlfriends!!!! Paul, Nate and Carl are all Ahnya's god fathers!!!!!!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Here Comes the Easter Bunny

We had a fun, relaxing and enjoyable Easter at the lake. Grandpa Bob and Grandma Peggy were there to celebrate with us, too! The girls went on a huge Easter Egg Hunt at one of the parks in Glenwood! There were so many kids, and so many eggs. The girls loved the hunt and spending time at the lake, while Ryan and I enjoyed some much deserved relaxation. It's always fun spending time at the lake with Grandpa Bob and Grandma Peg!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Here she is........Our daughter Ahnya Leigh Meretech

This is the referral picture that we received when she was 4 months old!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Look at those amazing eyes and her sweet face!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She is a doll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here's Ahnya at 6 months

Here's a pic of Ahnya at 6 months old!!!!!!!!!!! This is one of the many pictures we received in our Social Report last Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You can tell that she's happier, smilier, and oh so sweet! I can't wait to smooch on her and hold her. I don't think I'll ever put her down. She really is a sweetie!!!!!
Now we wait to receive her birth certificate and then we can arrange flights and prepare for travel. So hopefully, in 3-4 weeks we will be traveling to Ethiopia, Africa to meet and bring home Ahnya!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh it seems like we are so close now. We hopefully will have the birth certificate at the end of next week and then we'll know when we're leaving.
Thank you everyone for your prayers and support!!!!!! Our family and friends are amazing and I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We Passed Court!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We did it!!!!!! We passed court!!!!!!!!!! Yep, we found out at 10:40 a.m. and it's legal...Ahnya Leigh Meretech is offically ours. Ryan and I are legally her forever adoptive parents and we welcome her to our family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are over the moon and so excited!!!! Thank you God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'll post pictures later today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Report from the Orphanage

On Friday, April 3rd @ 3:15 p.m. I received Ahnya's social report and many many pictures from the orphanage in Hosanna, Ethiopia! I was expecting this all day and was about to lose my mind when it FINALLY came!!!!!

Oh my goodness....Ryan and I are totally amazed at Ahnya's overall health, cuteness, beautiful brown eyes and long lashes, and the thorough information we received. We have a 14 page Social Report complete with color pictures and explicit description of her physical, emotional, social development and also her feeding, bathing, sleeping schedules! By looking at the packet of information it's obvious that Ahnya is very well cared for in this orphanage!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It makes my heart relieved that she is going to be completely cared for until I get to Ethiopia.

I can't post pictures, YET! Sorry. Ethiopia law states, that until families pass court, the children can not have their pictures on the web. So for now, you'll just have to believe me that she is doing very well and really is a beauty!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Prayers for Our Court Hearing on Monday, April 6th

The time as finally come and we anxiously await our court hearing on Monday. Ethiopia time is 8 hours ahead of us. So somewhere between 1:00 a.m and 7:00 a.m. Monday morning on April 6th, our case will be presented to the judge in Ethiopia where he/she will rule whether the adoption is final and Ahnya is legally ours forever!!!!!!!!!

Our agency has all the paperwork in order to present to the judge and we are hoping and praying that this judge approves the adoption and Ahnya Leigh Meretech is no longer an orphan, but a Schlenner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I shouldn't worry as almost everyone passes court.....but I'm on pins and needles and feel like I have butterflies in my tummy! Please pray that we pass court on Monday and baby Ahnya is legally ours. Pray that the birth certificate and visa paperwork are processed quickly so I can travel and safely bring her home this month. Pray that Ahnya's birth mother is finding peace and strength in her decision and that she and her family are safe and well.

Positively speaking...when we pass court and we receive the "good news" THEN I will FINALLY be able to post pictures of our baby girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel like I'm at the part of the roller coaster that's going up, up, up, slowly to the very top of the, click, click, and then the short pause before sailing down the coaster!!!!!!!!!!!! Right now, everything is in pause..........................and we're stuck at the top with sweaty palms, butterflies in our tummies, and a huge lump in our throats! Hang on for the rest of the ride because it's gonna be an exciting one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a great weekend everyone!