Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hands for Africa Pendant!

This custom pendant features a unique design created by Jim Goodell. The design consists a child's hand print drawn over the earth, with the cutout of Africa in the center and a heart over Ethiopia.

The pendant is created by using a 1 1/2 inch wooden circle. The design is printed on high quality arlon vinyl then decoupaged onto the circle. Finally topped with a thick layer of resin for the tough, glassy like finish. The necklace is complete with various ribbon. This necklace makes for a great gift for anyone passionate about Africa. Also makes a great gift for Families who are in the adoption process or who have completed an adoption from Africa.

You will cherish this little treasure of your child's birth land. 100% of the proceeds will go towards the Humanitarian aid work in our daughter's village of Aleta Wondo.

You can view and order it here at my etsy web site:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Our adoption journey has been amazing from the day we started and we continue to be blessed everyday with its reward. Images of the poverty, famine and war stricken country have forever been imprinted in our hearts and minds. It was a life-changing trip with many tears, but I wouldn’t have missed one single moment of it.

It's been almost a year since we have been home with Fasika! She is amazing as always, loves school, loves her brother & sister, clothes, shoes, music, food and bugs!! We are planning a trip back to Africa this November. We returning on a humanitarian aid mission and to reconnect with Fasika's birth family. We have opened a shop on where we are selling a few fundraising items. 100% of the proceeds of all sales will go directly to Fasika's birth village of Aleta Wondo.

Our custom design, created by Jim Goodell, features a child's hand print over the earth with a cutout of Africa in the center and a heart over Ethiopia. The quote "As one person I cannot change the world, but I can change the world of one person" by Paul Shane Spear is written around the outside. We have t-shirts, car decals and more! Please check it out!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Our Time-line

JUST the beginning of our amazing adoption journey.....

10/11/07 Registered with Wide Horizons for Children in Waltham, MA
10/23/07 Received application A
10/24/07 Completed and mailed application A, and a check for Part I
11/6/07 physical appointment for me and Brock
11/7/07 Requested info packet on a 'waiting child' -- Fasika, it was love at first sight =)
11/7/07 Montpelier police dept. 1st set of finger-prints
11/08/07 First home study & mail VT clearances
11/10/07 decided on Ethiopia
11/17/07 passport and family photos taken
11/18/07 Kids physical paperwork finished
11/19/07 2nd Home study- individual interviews
11/20/07 mailed completed application B and a check for filing fees
11/22/07 mailed Immigration paperwork to CIS and a check for filing fees
11/27/07 received approval from CIS and fingerprint appointment
11/27/07 received profile for Fasika (2 years old) She's beautiful!
12/3/07 Mailed check for part II and Home study
12/5/07 Dossier paperwork notarized
12/6/07 sent Dossier paperwork to be certified by Secretary of State in VT
12/7/07 Dossier is complete and waiting to be sent1
12/12/07 CIS biometrics appointment in St. Albans
12/19/07 3rd and final home study visit
12/28/07 Approved and finalized home study documents
1/1/08 Currently waiting for VT clearances to come in
1/16/08 After 10 weeks (72 long-ass days) of waiting we find out VT has lost our documents, but has managed to cash our checks--
1/17/08 Amazingly VT (after a call to the Secretary of States office ) finds our document and approves us immediately. I loooooove the state of VT Public Safety Department
1/18/08 sent dossier to WHFC in Waltham, MA to be forwarded to the Ethiopian Government.1/20/08 official dossier receipt confirmation from Waltham office.
1/23/08 Home study sent to CIS in St. Albans (yet another VT agency to deal with)
1/29/08 Notice of Favorable Determination (Immigration approval, CIS)
1/29/08 FINALLY officially requested a match with Fasika! We'll know by Friday if Fasika is going to be our daughter ** Meeting cancelled, rescheduled for Monday, 3 other families have requested to be considered.
2/4/08 Matching meeting RESCHEDULED yet again, due to an illness at the orphanage. Wednesday the 6th is the new scheduled date for the meeting-- we'll see.
2/4/08 We have a daughter!! Fasika Teferra Parrott. The matching meeting was held by surprise this afternoon. We were shocked when our social worker called us with the news. I had to have her repeat it several times just to be sure I was hearing her right We are in love!
2/5/08 Officially accepted the referral of Fasika!!! 3 months, 3 weeks & 3 days after we signed with agency!
2/5/08 Mailed acceptance paperwork & paid last and final payment to WHFC
2/7/08 Just got this email update:
Brock and Valerie:
Hi there. I spoke w/Debbie Mansfield today who is in Ethiopia. She wanted me to pass along this update....
Debbie and Emily Greising (who is in Ethiopia as well) have nicknamed Fasika "chatty cathy". She likes to talk and talk!
She is described as being "the show" at Horizon House. Quite the entertainer.
he is the happiest kiddo and just laughs all day long.
They love sweet little Fasika and say that she is just an amazing kiddo.
Erica L. Pelaccia, MSW
Ethiopia Program Coordinator
2/8/08 Applied for passports at Barre Town office
2/12/08 Officially waiting a travel date!!!!!
2/13/08 Referral paperwork accepted by WHFC
2/13/08 Filled out and mailed immunization paperwork
2/13/08 got a call from Amanda at WHFC with a medical update on Fasika. All is well!
2/20/08 Registered with Susan Parr Travel, ready to make flight arrangements.
2/21/08 2 new pics of Fasika
2/21/08 First set of immunizations! Thanks Kellie!!
2/22/08 Fasika finds out there is a family in the US who loves her!! Today Fasika got our package. We sent her a photo album of our family with pictures of our house, her room, brother and sister, cousins and aunt and grandparents, and all of our pets. Autumn drew a couple pictures for her too. We also sent her a baby doll, crayons and a coloring book, bubbles, stickers and a little teddy bear :)
2/26/08 Our passports came in the mail today!!
2/27/08 Our last immunization appointment!! Thank GOD!
2/27/08 Just got 27, yep 27 new photos of Fasika!!!!! OMG, she is amazing!!! I can't wait to bring her home!! : )
3/5/08 3 weeks waiting for our travel call
3/11/08 New UPDATE!!! Valerie-............ I also wanted to pass along an update that Erica wrote about Fasika...."She is hilarious! She has a personality that fills up an entire room.Wow. her laughter and happiness is contagious. You can't help but to be happy just by being around her. She pretty much runs HH. She talks nonstop and laughs non stop. she is a one woman show. "Enjoy and have a great day!!
Emily Greising, MSW
Ethiopia Program Coordinator
3/13/08 Another UPDATE!!!! We are so spoiled =)
I just came back from Addis and I spoke to Sister Tirhas, the nurse at the older child home about Fasika, really casually to get some anecdotal notes for you.
¨ Fasika: Loves to play. Known for her laughter. Is "boyfriend/girlfriend" with ****, because the two of them played a lot together and T**** gets jealous when she plays with other kids. I believe the family of the other child is open to communicating with you and having the kids meet up if possible if you are.
Mariamawit Sileshi
Ethiopia Program Coordinator
3/14/08 Adoption training
3/17/08 New pictures of Fasika-- She's so adorable =)
3/18/08 We have been waiting 5 months and 1 week to bring our daughter home from Ethiopia/ officially 5 weeks waiting for travel.
3/25/08 6 weeks waiting for our travel call--
3/31/08 2 new pics of Fasika
4/1/08 7 weeks, still waiting
4/1/08 Travel Group 61 announced today, we are NOT in it... GRRRRR, NOT happy.
4/5/08 Trans racial Adoption meeting
4/6/08 Sent a package to Maureen for Fasika
4/8/08 8 weeks of waiting for travel.
4/8/08 Ethiopian Govt. implements new regulations for CIS (Citizenship and Immigration services). Our homestudy needs to be resubmitted to CIS, forwarded on to NVC (National Visa Center) and finally sent to the Ethiopian Govt. This new regulation will set us back at least 2 weeks.
4/9/08 Overnighted, thanks to Tracie, our re-cable request to Waltham office to be forwarded to CIS, ASAP
4/10/08 Our I-171 was re-submitted to CIS in St. Albans
4/11/08 Group 61 leaves for Ethiopia - Maureen is headed to pick up her son Biniyam =) and to deliver a package to Fasika
4/12/08 What an amazing surprise this a.m.!!! Today at about 9 a.m. I got a call from an unknown number. After quickly debating weather or not to answer I picked up. I was shocked to hear Maureen (a friend who is in Ethiopia now) on the other end. At a rate of $8.00 a minute I surely wasn't expecting to hear from her while she was gone. Anyway, she says "Valerie, I have someone here who wants to say hello to you" Instant tears of course, I knew it was Fasika-- I could barely speak!! I heard her chatting with the nannies and laughing. Maureen kept saying "VALERIE, talk to her!!" Finally after a minute or two I was able to get my composure and tell her that i love her and that we'd be there soon to get her. It was amazing to hear her little voice and listen to her giggle-- I couldn't have asked for a better start to this sunny day!!
4/14/08 TRAVEL TO ETHIOPIA EMAIL!!! We leave May 2nd!!
4/14/08 Booked our flight to Ethiopia. We leave from Burlington stop in Washington DC, stop in Italy (!!!!!), then finally to Ethiopia!!!
4/14/08 Booked our room at the Horizon House in Ethiopia
4/21/08 10 days and we meet our little girl!!!!!
4/23/08 Travel meeting!!!We will be leaving to pick up Fasika on Friday, May 2nd and returning on Saturday May 10th!! We will be traveling with 9 other families from the U.S. who will also be picking up their adoptive children. While we are in Ethiopia we will be spending much of our time at the orphanage with the children. We also have the opportunity to travel South to Fasika's birth village to meet her birth mom and brothers and sister. -- I'm sure it will be an emotional visit we wont ever forget. Autumn and Thomas are very excited to meet their new little sister and can't wait to bring her to Santa's Village!!We would like to thank everyone who has helped us in any way through this amazing time in our lives! Also, thanks to everyone who has donated items for us to bring to the orphanage, this was a HUGE help and we are very grateful!

Ok so that's how it ALL started..... here we are a year later and it keeps getting better and better.....