Adoption... Not For the Weak or Weary!

So many setbacks.  So much frustration.  Many questions.
I had become so frustrated with the way our adoption had been progressing.  Why?  Why has the process been so slow for us and relatively fast for others?  God knew.  He always knows and knew before it ever happened.
Our adoption was placed on hold in March.  (Doesn't God know I'm not getting any younger???)
We relocated from Northern California to the Seattle area in September.  We've been told that because we have moved out of state and many of our documents have now expired, we have to start ALL over!
I asked God if this was a sign.  Do You still want us to do this??
Yes.  God tells me to trust Him. 
One of my daughters told me she had a "happy" dream last night.  We were in Ethiopia picking up our son. 

Lesson of the Day

God has an amazing plan through all of this paperwork. He already has a plan for our entire adoption process. He is in control and I am not. Everything will happen according to his time, not mine. (Sometimes it's hard for me to remember.)

It's Been Awhile

Happy New Year! Can you believe it's already the middle of January!!! We spent the holidays in Chicago which was good and crazy! (Yes, another exclamation point!) Peter and I are both from Chicago = many people to see in a short amount of time. The weather was "interesting". The day we arrived it was -28 with the wind chill. Over the next few days... It snowed. It rained. It was in the mid 50's. There were flash flood warnings. There were tornado warnings. There was ice. It made California weather look quite boring. One of the girls ended up catching something yucky for a few days- New places, new people, new germs. Saying all of that, we were so greatful for the opportunity to catch up with family and friends. Thank you for all your hospitality! We love you!

We met with our "Buddy Family" last Friday. Our local agency, that's doing our homestudy, had us meet with a family that had adopted from Ethiopia. In all honesty, I was thinking, "not another meeting..." What an amazing blessing it was! This couple adopted a boy and girl over 10+ years ago. They are both in highschool now. What a beautiful family! God knew it was just what we needed. The mom is from Elmhurst- Peter and I bought our first home there and her sister still lives there. The dad is from Mishawaka, IN- Our oldest daughter was born there. That evening, they so graciously shared their story and lives with us. We will be forever greatful to them for sharing in and being a part of "our" adoption. Their children, on a Friday night, stayed home to talk with us about their family. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! There was another couple there, also in the process of adopting from Ethiopia, that we met at one of our first meetings back in August? It was so good to see them again! We look forward to getting to know both of these couples more in the future.

Something exciting happening- We've decided to sell Ethiopian adoption t-shirts. We first found information about this from another couple that adopted from our agency, America World. This couple has a company called, Mission Threads, that specializes in t-shirts that raise money for adoptions, mission trips, church groups, etc. We're so excited to have something that will help our family and friends share in, and be a part of, our adoption journey. (Hopefully, while also raising some funds to offset some of our adoption costs) We'll let you know more when they come in. We picked a design & verse that spoke to our hearts. I know you won't be able to sleep with the anticipation of it all...we'll have them soon, we hope.

Lastly, I feel the need to confess, I've been crabby! Crabby about paperwork. Crabby about things I have no control over. Crabby about paperwork I still have to do. (Did I mention there was alot of paperwork? Did I mention I was crabby?) Anyhow, I was SO blessed tonight by a story Elizabeth, our youngest daughter, wrote in school last week. I saw her teacher, whom I love, after she wrote it. She warned me of the story and to be prepared when it came home in her "Wednesday" folder today.

Here it is:
I am getting a baby boy from Ethiopia. We are adopting him. He is going to be two or less. I am going to push him on the swing. I am going to play with him. I am going to love him because his mom can't take care of him. I don't love him because his mom can't take care of him. I love him because he is going to be my brother.

The tears are still flowing as I read it again. Thank you Jesus, for not only touching Peter's heart and my heart for this adoption, but our entire family. He knew just what I needed to hear today.


There is so much to be thankful for! Thank you to our friends and family that have offered their support, love and prayers. We are truly blessed!

On the adoption front... Peter and I each completed our self studies this week. Both of them came out to be about 16 pages long! (That's answering a large number of thought provoking questions!) We are patiently waiting for all of our homestudy agency's paperwork to be processed. When that is complete, they assign a social worker to us who prepares our homestudy. This is then sent off with all our "official" paperwork to Ethiopia.

We recently found out that one of the pastors at our church is also adopting a child from Ethiopia with the same agency as us! They are farther along in the process than we are. I was thinking what a perfect opportunity it would be for them to offer advice and pointers to the Coffaro "novice" adopters. (They just don't know it yet!) I am really looking forward to meeting them. How is it that you haven't formally met them yet, you may ask. There are currently about 10,000 members in our church!

Thank you again to our friends and family. We are so thankful for all of you and want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving! We're praying that this time next year, we'll have an extra little blessing at home to thank God for.

Why, When, Where & How?

First, I need to say thank you to my wonderful husband for setting up this blog for me. Thank you! I love you! The entire thing was giving me sweaty palms. I would label myself as "computer challenged". (I'm surprised I just figured out how to make a post on it- Yay me!)
For our friends and family that don't live near us, which is most of them, we'd love for you to be able to follow us along.

So, to answer a few questions:

Why? Peter had talked with me about wanting to adopt for a few years. I was sure I didn't want to and was pretty set on the idea that it wasn't going to happen. I promised him I would pray about it. My conversations with God would go something like this... If it's something you want for us to do, please give me a clear sign. Something would clearly happen and I'd say, give me another one. (So much for listening to God's words!) This past July, I received some information that was so in my face. It was clearly God's plan for our family to add another special someone into our life and home. Of course, I cried. I am so thankful for Peter and God's persistence! Since then, every decision has seemed to just fall into place.

Why Ethiopia? It was definitely a "God thing" once again. It felt right, where we were supposed to find our little one. I think we also felt like we would be making a difference. The information about the orphans... estimated 4.3 million in a country about twice the size of Texas! Current average life expectancy is 45 years old. They estimate Ethiopia to have 3 medical doctors for every 100,000 people. In saying this, Yes, there are orphans all over the world that need homes and to be adopted. This is just where we felt we were being led to do it from.

When? We submitted our application and received approval this past July from America World Adoption. They don't have a local branch where we live, so we also have an agency in Sacramento in charge of doing our homestudy, Family Connections Christian Adoptions. So far, our adoption has looked like this: Paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork. It has been slightly overwhelming at times. Keep your eye on the prize! Whenever I'm complaining (me, never), Peter has been so encouraging. I think the process is expected to take about 12-24 months. This includes: Completing all our paperwork, attending classes, having our homestudy completed, and receiving our visa application/clearance/approval. All of this is notarized, certified and then authenticated at the embassy and then to Ethiopia. All this paperwork is called a "Dossier". After it's sent, Dossier to Ethiopia (DTE), it's translated and then you wait for a referral. The referral is expected to include a picture, social and medical history. You then have the option of accepting or declining. Upon accepting, our agency will handle our travel arrangements and Peter and I will travel to the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, to pick him up. We will be in-country for about a week and return home with our new bundle of love!
More details: We've requested a boy, 0-2years.

Are we excited???? We can hardly stand it! The girls are soooooo excited. Elizabeth's only concern so far: "Mom, Why do you have to go to Ethiopia for a baby? Can't you get a baby that speaks Californian? How is he going to understand me?" However, she's also quite happy that he'll look "just like her" because they'll both have curly hair. Every night we pray for him, his birth mom and the people taking care of him. I also hear, "Mom, is he borned yet?" We don't know so many of the details yet, but we are confident that God has that special little someone already picked out and planned to be part of the Coffaro family.

One of my favorite verses from the bible is Psalm 139:13-16

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Peter reminds me that this isn't about us, it's about being faithful to God and his plan for us. We can not even grasp, at this moment, what a blessing this new little boy will be! God is good!
Please keep us in your prayers as we go on this incredible journey. We love all of you and appreciate your support.


Ethiopia is the only African country that was not colonized as various European nations scrambled to divide and rule Africa. With the brief exception of the Italian occupation from 1936-1941, Ethiopia has remained an independent nation.
With a population of nearly 75 million people, there is an assorted collection of food, languages, customs and people groups. Ethiopia also contains a diverse landscape, including parts of the Nile River and the Great Rift Valley. As an East African landlocked country, Ethiopia is bordered by Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, Eritrea and Djibouti.
Ethiopia, an ancient Christian nation, has deep-rooted Ethiopian Orthodox customs and practices. The Judaic-Christian roots of Ethiopia can be found in both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures. Today, about half the population of Ethiopia is Christian.
Unfortunately, this country that is about twice the size of Texas has an estimated 4.3 million orphans. The children are primarily orphaned due to poverty, and live in both government-run and privately established orphanages.

Source: America World Adoption


Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.

Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge.

Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail.

Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high, a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men, one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.

And, after all these things are his, give him, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously.

Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true strength. Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, 'I have not lived in vain.'