Dear family and friends:
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I hope this letter finds you all doing well. I haven’t sent a Christmas letter for a while but the most interesting things have happened this past year.
I am working for Methodist Health Systems as a medical transcriptionist, being able to work from home, which I love. Methodist has been a very good company to work for and I am blessed to have a job that has flexible hours and I can work in my pajamas sometimes.
Garth continues to work for Smeal Fire Apparatus in Snyder, Nebraska full time in addition to work that he gets occasionally from his former employer in New Jersey and some other people around town. He has recently started a business with Numis Network which deals with gold and silver coins.
Garth and I attend church in Omaha at LifeGate Church, formerly Trinity. We both love attending there and have made some good friends. This past fall, I was able to work on my childcare skills by working in the 1 to 2-year-old room twice a week during a women’s Bible study called Hearts, and Moms and Little Ones (an alternative to MOPS). It was so much fun!
In February of this year, my mom (Linelle), Rita (a very dear friend), Garth, and I went on a 2+ week trip to Australia to visit our wonderful friend, Betty Shepherd. Betty comes to Nebraska every fall for a women’s retreat called Friends Forever that Mom, Rita, and I attend, among other women. She has been doing this for as long as I can remember (over 20 years, I think) and she has wanted someone to come to Australia. Well, we finally did it! One of my dreams was to go to Australia so Garth and I started saving our air miles from the time we got married so we could go using those. We flew out of Omaha on February 13 and arrived back in Nebraska on March 1. While there, we spent time in Sydney, Newcastle (which is where Betty lives), Lemontree Passage (where Betty has a house right on Port Stephens), Alice Springs (in the Outback), and got to see Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock). I have attached some pictures at the end of this letter of Australia. It was a wonderful trip…and one I hope to make again someday. I wrote a daily diary of our trip so if anyone would like to read it, let me know and I’d be happy to share.
As wonderful as that trip was, even more exciting has been our adoption journey. Last December we applied to America World’s Ethiopia program and were accepted on December 10. About a month later, we received our dossier information packet from our family coordinator, Caitlin, and the paper pregnancy began. We were finally DTE (dossier to Ethiopia) on September 3, 2010. We had requested either a sibling group of two from ages 0-5 or two unrelated children with one being 0-2 and the other being 5. On November 5, 2010, we received a referral for two brothers, J*** who is 4 and S*** who turned 3 on Thanksgiving. I WISH I could show you their picture and tell you their names, but until we pass court we can’t post that information on the internet anywhere. I can tell you that we have decided to change J***’s name to Jeremiah. S***’s name is fairly common in the US so we will keep his the same. Jeremiah will have his Ethiopian name as a middle name, so it will be Jeremiah J***-Ned Druckenmiller and S**** will be S*** Theodore Druckenmiller. For those who don’t know us personally, we chose those names because I always wanted to incorporate the grandparent’s names into our children’s names. My dad’s name is Ned and Garth’s dad’s name is Theodore.
We are currently waiting to hear when our court date is and we are praying that we will find out SOON. Once we know when that all-important date is, we will make arrangements to travel to Ethiopia to meet them and go to court. After the court date week, we will do one of two things. Our first option is to fly back to the US to wait until our Embassy appointment has been assigned and then I would fly back for that appointment and then bring the boys back home with me. The 2nd option (which is what I am hoping to do) is to stay in Ethiopia between the court dates. I would stay in a guest home with our boys for the 5-12 weeks until an Embassy appointment has been assigned, and then travel back to the United States together. I would prefer this choice because for one, it’s going to be simply excruciating to leave them there and come home without them. Putting that aside, however, if I can stay I would be able to start bonding with J*** and S*** so it will be easier on them when I do bring them home. They will begin to learn that I will take care of them, meet their needs, hold them when they are sad, feed them, love them, etc. Also, my hope is that we will be able to speak to Garth through Skype several times a week so they will get to know him more than if we both came back to the United States. When we do come back home, if you would like to meet J*** and S*** right away, you are more than welcome to meet us at the airport. Just let us know that you would like to do that and we will send you the details when we know them. We are not going to be able to have a lot of people over at our house right away because the boys will need time to adjust, learn the rules, learn that we are their primary caregivers, etc. We will also have some adjustments to make!
If you aren’t already and would like to follow our journey, you may do so on our blog at www.DruckenmillerFamily.blogspot.com. There is also a place on there that you can sign up to receive our blog updates by e-mail. On our blog you can see our timeline, our fundraisers, and every week we also feature other adoptive families from America World. I also have an adoption fundraiser blog that showcases different fundraisers for many different families, so check that out at www.OneStopAdoptionShop.blogspot.com. There are some really great things on there and every purchase will help families bring their child(ren) home.
I hope you had a great 2010 and we look forward to having a FABULOUS 2011!
Garth and Carmen Druckenmiller
|Our new friends!|
|Cass Howden and Betty Shepherd...the best hosts ever!|
|Sydney Opera House|
|Mom (Linelle), Cass, me, Garth, Rita, and Betty with Sydney Harbor Bridge|
|Garth and me on the beach|
|The view from Betty's house on Port Stephens|
|On a date at Scratchleys on the Wharf in Newcastle, Australia|
|Garth feeding a rock wallaby|
|Rita in front of Uluru|
|Rita and Mom outside the Cultural Center at Uluru|
|Cass feeding kangaroos at Oakvale Farm and Fauna|
|I think this kangaroo is about to kiss Mom!|
|Mom petting Matilda the koala at Oakvale|
|Me, Mom, Betty, Cass, and Rita in Sydney|
|Garth petting a koala|
|Mom feeding a rock wallaby|