Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Home study paperwork submitted!

Today I am happy to report that I turned in all the paperwork to our home study agency, Nebraska Christian Services! My goal was to get it all finished before we went on our vacation, and we succeeded. What paperwork was included in that packet, you ask? Here is the list of things that we had to get/complete that I can remember from memory:

Application for home study
Physical exam forms for both
Abuse registry releases for both
Release of information form
Family histories for both
Contract with NCS
Reference list (5 references)
Autobiographies for both
Self study questions for both (about 40 questions)
Fingerprint cards to Lincoln so a criminal background can be requested
Certified copy of our marriage license
Certified copies of our birth certificates
A copy of our most recent IRS tax form
A monthly income and expense form
An agency post placement commitment
Ethiopia homes study guidelines

Homestudy agency agreement

While we are gone on vacation, NCS will be processing those forms, sending letters to those we have chosen to be references, etc. Hopefully they will have most of the information that they need back so that when we come home we can start our home study visits. We will have 4 home study visits, but 2 of them can be done in one day. I think NCS will interview us together the first time, then separately the 2nd and 3rd times (which can occur in the same visit), and then together again the 4th time. As long as all those are fine, we will move on to the next step...which I will share about later. Now I can relax during our vacation and trust that things are moving forward back here in cold, snowy Nebraska. :-)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ethiopian Restaurant

On Sunday, January 31, 2010, Garth and I went with our friend Tammy to the Ethiopian restaurant in Omaha. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and before we knew it we had been there almost 2 hours! The decor was simple, yet pretty. They had a TV on the wall where they showed Ethiopian videos which was fun to watch. They also had posters and wall hangings for decoration, and on the tables they had pretty white tablecloths and the cups were covered with little hand-made napkins with little pink flowers that I thought was really neat. The menu consisted of about 10 items, but a couple things they said they didn't have. The owner was our server and he was very nice and explained all the menu options to us.

We ended up getting the vegetable platter that also came with a lamb shank as well as a chicken leg that was soaked in a kind of gravy. They also served injera bread which we really enjoyed. It is like a spongy pancake. The vegetable platter had about 5 different vegetables and sauces that you would dip your injera bread in, and then the lamb shank was in the middle. The chicken leg came in a metal dish that was like a bowl with a long stem. The gravy that the chicken was in was quite spicy, as were some of the other sauces. My favorite was probably the greens...they were tasteful and not spicy. I also enjoyed a vegetable that looked like corn but wasn't. He told us all what the names were but I have since forgotten. To drink we had the mango juice which was delicious.

Eating was an experience in itself because they brought out the one big platter that was the vegetable platter and the bowl with the chicken in it, and all three of us just dug in with our fingers. There was no silverware, but the owner did say he could get us some if we wanted it. I figured that since I was eating Ethiopian food, I should eat it their way. We all tried everything and there wasn't anything that we didn't like.

After eating, there was a bowl of sesame candies on the counter on our way out of the restaurant and into the grocery store that we all tried and really loved. We then looked around the grocery store at all the products. The majority was Ethiopian ingredients, but there was a good mixture of "American" stuff too. I ended up getting a bag of the sesame candy, some more mango juice, as well as some papaya juice.

Overall, I would encourage anyone to go to the restaurant. We did see the wife off and on, but she was mostly in the back cooking, I assume. The prices were very reasonable for the amount of food that you get. We will definitely go back again.

Today I Kissed an Angel

Today I kissed an angel. I knew it from the start. The first time my angel smiled at me; I gave away my heart.

Today I kissed an angel; This angel child of mine. Though not of my creation, My child by God's design.

Today I kissed an angel. My heart is dancing wild; Our family, by a miracle; Blessed by our angel child.

All I Really Want by Steven Curtis Chapman