Thursday, December 30, 2010

No News is Good News

Many people have asked if we’ve had any updates on Denver and his Malaria.  We have not.  According to our adoption agency, no news is probably good news.  She did say she was going to check and see if she could find anything out for us.  Until then all we can do is continue to pray for him.

Here are some facts on Malaria:

Malaria is a disease which can be transmitted to people of all ages. It is caused by parasites of the species plasmodium that are spread from person to person through the bites of infected mosquitoes. If not treated promptly with effective medicines, malaria can often be fatal.

About 3.3 billion people - half of the world's population - are at risk of malaria. Every year, this leads to about 250 million malaria cases and nearly one million deaths. People living in the poorest countries are the most vulnerable.

One in five (20%) of all childhood deaths in Africa are due to malaria. It is estimated that an African child has on average between 1.6 and 5.4 episodes of malaria fever each year. Every 30 seconds a child dies from malaria in Africa.

Early diagnosis and prompt treatment are two basic elements of malaria control. Early and effective treatment of malaria can shorten the duration of the infection and prevent further complications including the great majority of deaths.

Pregnant women are at high risk not only of dying from the complications of severe malaria, but also spontaneous abortion, premature delivery or stillbirth. Malaria is also a cause of severe maternal anemia and is responsible for about one third of preventable low birth weight babies. It contributes to the deaths of an estimated 10 000 pregnant women and up to 200 000 infants each year in Africa alone.

Malaria causes an average loss of 1.3% of annual economic growth in countries with intense transmission. It traps families and communities in a downward spiral of poverty, disproportionately affecting marginalized and poor people who cannot afford treatment or who have limited access to health care. Malaria has lifelong effects through increased poverty and impaired learning. It cuts attendance at schools and workplaces. However, it is preventable and curable.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ethiopian Food?

This is Grant writing this post.  I actually write all of the post.  But with this post it is important to know that this is me writing.  We have never been out of the country.  One of my biggest concerns with leaving the country is the food.  For those that know me, I'm a little bit of a picky eater.  Vanessa on the other hand can handle anything.  There's a good chance that I'll lose some weight on our trips to Ethiopia.  I'm not sure what Ethiopian food is, but I'm pretty sure I'm not a fan.  I did a Google image search for Ethiopian food and most pictures looked like the one below. 

Someone at work has been telling me that I need to go to an Ethiopian restaurant here in Oklahoma City called Queen of Sheba.  She said the only person she has met that didn't like it was an 11 year boy who was picky.  So we are going to go give it a try this coming week.  We will be posting our reviews after our visit.  Wish me luck.  I'll need it. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Good News, Not So Good News

Ok, where to start.  I'll start with the not so good news.  We heard from Brett, the Ethiopian Coordinator from our adoption agency, today.  She just returned from her trip to Ethiopia.  While she was over there they found out Denver has Malaria.  As if that wasn't bad enough, for some reason they have "shelved" the Malaria medication over there.  Meaning they couldn't get him the medication he needed.  So Brett got in touch with a doctor from Georgia who happened to be in Ethiopia picking up his adopted child.  He was able to get in contact with his wife who had to stay home for some reason.  She was able to get the right medication.  She in turn sent the medication to a couple in California who was about to leave for Ethiopia.  That couple was able to take the medication over and they were able to get it to Denver.  So now he'll have to be on that medication for a week.  After that he shouldn't need anymore medication.  However, once you have Malaria, you always have Malaria.  From what we've read and what we've been told, the biggest problem with Malaria is you will occasionally come down with flu like symptoms.  It's just something you have to learn to live with.  Brett did say that he was as happy as could be and you wouldn't even know he was sick.  For more information on Malaria you can read about it on this website  We are just thankful for the couples that helped get him the medicine he needed.  It's sad to think that not everyone is as blessed.  So for now, if you could, keep him in your prayers.  And hopefully we'll have him home soon.

Speaking of getting him home soon. Now it's time for the good news.  WE HAVE A COURT DATE!!!  February 9th we will be in Ethiopia!  We will be there for approximately one week.  During this time we will be able to spend time with Denver from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm everyday.  So let the trip planning begin. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Getting the Room Ready

Well we have no new updates.  We are still waiting on our court date.  Until then all we can do is wait.  Well wait and start getting Denver's Room ready.  Here are some pictures of a cabinet and a dresser Vanessa refinished/painted.

This first one is a cabinet that my grandad made a while back and has been passed along through the family.  When we received it, it was completely white.  So Vanessa stripped the paint then repainted it and added some designs to it.

This is the inside.

This is a dresser that was given to us.  It was originally an ugly white wicker dresser and I just wanted to throw it away.  But Vanessa was determined to make it nice.  So after some spray painting, it now looks good.

We had to put Denver's name on the cabinet because for some reason Bell thought it was hers.

We still have more work to do, but it's a start.  At this rate we seem to have plenty of time. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Where did all the pictures go?

In case you didn’t notice, all the pictures are gone from our blog.  We were informed today by someone else that is adopting from Ethiopia that we are not allowed to post pictures in a public forum until after we have our court date.  We can email pictures to people; we just can’t post them for public viewing yet.  So until we go to our court date we’ll have to email any pictures we want to share.  We realize that the only reason people view this blog was to see pictures of Denver.  Sorry.  You’ll have to wait.  Until then, you’ll have to suffer through our updates without pictures. 

But until then we can post pictures of the children we already have.  So here you go.

Little do they know they will soon be replaced.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

We finally have our blog!

Welcome to our adoption blog.  It's taken a while for us to get it started because neither one of us are very computer savvy.  We may be one of the few people in the world that do not have a myspace/facebook page (which ever one it is that people have now).  So please forgive us if our blog is very basic.  We will try to keep this updated as we continue through the remainder of our adoption process.   

I will attempt to give a brief summary of how we've arrived at this point in our adoption.  In September 2008 we began the paper work to adopt a child from the West African country The Gambia.  This country was new to having adoptions processed through the United States.  In fact we were going to be the second couple from the US to adopt from there.  We quickly processed our paper work and began waiting.  However, the first couple that adopted from there ran into many problems while they were in the country.  After waiting about a year, it became clear our adoption was never going to be processed.  So our agency recommended we switch countries.  The Gambia program has been put on hold since then.  So we began from scratch adopting from Ethiopia.  After finishing our paper work again, Ethiopia's paper work was much harder, we were put back on a waiting list.  Almost a year after beginning the paper work, Vanessa began looking at a waiting child list and realized there are many children in Africa that are not being adopted because they are HIV+.  After we researched it, we decided there is no reason we shouldn't adopt a child because they are HIV+.  So we told our agency we wanted to accept an HIV+ child.  We immediately received a referral for an 8 month old boy.  Shortly after accepting the referral we were told more tests were performed and it turns out he is not HIV+.  So to make a long story short, we have a baby boy!!!  We do not know yet when we will be traveling to Ethiopia.  We are still waiting on a court date.  We just received our monthly update.  His health is good and he is developing as normal.  They also attached the following photos.  And yes, they have him dressed in girl's clothes.  I guess when you live in an orphanage you wear whatever they give you.

Oh, by the way, some of you may have known we were having some trouble coming up with a middle name.  We originally had the name Denver Alan Morgan.  But it was brought to our attention what his initials would be.  So we had a contest to see who could come up with the best middle name.  We had many good suggestions, but there was one we liked the best.  Grandma Joy won the contest.  His full name is going to be Denver Kaleb Morgan.  Kaleb is an Ethiopian name that means heart, faithful or bold.