Isaiah 1.17

"Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows."

Friday, December 10, 2010

One Life - One Legacy: Calling All Men - It's Time for War

I stumbled across this post from a man who has a great passion for orphans. He has 10 kids some of his own but it looks like most of them are adopted. This really hit home for me and seriously boosted my level of encouragement. Read his post and he talks about how women have risen to the challenged to defend the cause of the orphans but where are the men in this picture? I must applaud all the women out there who are doing this in the name of Jesus including my amazing wife. We both had a desire to adopt but her desire far out shot mine. She powered through all the annoying paperwork and set up all the needed appointments because she felt the urgency to obey Jesus' command of defending the cause of the fatherless. She has kept me going and now that all our paperwork is finished my adrenaline levels are starting to spike. I just want to encourage all the men out there that are contemplating adoption and thinking can I love another child that isn't my own or how will we pay for this? All I can say is Listen to God and He will take care of all your worries. Men we need to catch up and run right along our wives and lead the charge to defend the MILLIONS of orphans! Like this man wrote below....I'm not so sure this will be the last child we adopt. It's all in God's hands but right now I'm pretty fired up!
One Life - One Legacy: Calling All Men - It's Time for War

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dossier is Done!

What a week! Our I-171h came on Monday evening. On Tuesday we had an extra 2 year old boy with us for the day so I did not allow myself to even try to look at what needed to be done to finish the dossier. Wednesday, my dad came down to help me drive with the kids to downtown LA to get two papers state certified. This took MUCH longer than expected and I wasn't allowed to use my phone so I couldn't really check on my dad with the kids. I think I was in that building about 2 hours and I came out to the street to find sweet Grandad changing a #2 diaper of his 3 year old granddaughter through the window of my car. Picture this, the high rises, the street people, the buses, and my dad taking care of business! Thanks Dad! I know you didn't sign up for that :)

Wednesday evening, after the kids were in bed and after a late trip to kinkos to make 3 sets of copies I was busily doing this....

While Ben was working on this... Our "Family photo pages" intended to show Ethiopia how great our family is- 2 formal family photos, picture of the outside and inside of our house and 4 candid shots. Nice work Ben!

Later that night I discover I needed another paper notarized. So, Thursday morning I pack lots of snacks for the kids and head out to AAA to meet with the notary, back to kinkos to make more copies and then back home to organize everything again. I get an email from our agency with more instructions to find out I put everything in the wrong order. I hurry up and put the kids to nap super early (this was not my finest moment as a mother and I had to ask the kids to forgive me for being so tense with them) then I try to reorganize my papers. I discover I am missing yet another paper... not sure if it is totally important so after a few phone calls with my social worker and emails with our agency we get it straightened out and I get the go ahead to FedEx the Dossier. The kids got up from their nap and I drag them out again- by now I have run out of both cheerios and "circle crackers" and those who know us will know this is a big deal. I have enough "veggie sticks" (not to be confused with real vegetables) and bring those along trying to ignore my guilt of feeding them so many snacks in the same day! Here we are at FedEx around 4:00pm. I asked them at the desk when the cutoff was to send packages to East Coast...4:15! So I quickly package everything while the kids were being such troopers by now! (Or the Veggie Sticks were just too delish to be complaining). There was a line but we made it!

I asked the FedEx man to take a picture of us with our package explaining to him it contained 7 months of hard work for an adoption. Please excuse Maddie's frizzy hair. Poor girl didn't get her hair done that day!

I almost cried as I walked out of FedEx with the kids- I am not sure if it was from sheer relief to be finished or just excitement. It was probably a mix of both. We ended our night with a family dinner at home with Ben and celebrated this moment together.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I-171H is here!

We received our USCIS approval in the mail today! By now, most families have all the paperwork ready to mail off but we kind of got behind during this week of Thanksgiving. The pressure it on to get this finished and we are beyond excited! This form (the I-171H ) came just a little over 2 weeks after we did our biometrics appointment. That is super fast!

There isn't anything I wouldn't do for "Opi" these days. I was actually getting really emotional about it while driving to my biometric (fingerprinting) appointment with USCIS a couple weeks ago. My dad had come down to watch the kids and I was explaining to him how this is our 4th time being fingerprinted and for the mere cost of 836.00. My dad seemed taken back by the high cost of this fingerprinting process and I was amazed how my feelings have changed over these past months. $836 seems like nothing now! I feel like I could give up a lot more to be able to go and get our son and become a family to him. I already have a love growing inside me that is indescribable. Other adoptive families have written about it on their blogs and I would read it and think,'Oh thats so nice" but now it is happening to us! How can we love someone we have never met? How can we give up all our savings for this dear little person? Easy, he will be our son. Just as I would do anything for Maddie and Hudson, I would do it for Opi. If Maddie or Hudson were starving and in a dire situation, what else would I do to bring them back home?

Thanks for checking in! Please pray for us to get our paperwork finished- that we can work with fervor and joy as we wrap this up!

Update from the little FIshers:
One of Maddie's latest favorite words, "Ah Ka Ka" (Africa) and "Opi-Opia" for Ethiopia. Then, Hudson just repeats exactly what Maddie says. She is teaching him a lot of interesting words these days. Maddie can recognize the silhouette of the continent of Africa and will point it out and talk about Opi. Today she told me he is growing in her tummy. We talked the other day how Opi will have grown in another mommy's tummy. Maybe Maddie thought I was talking about her....

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Orphan Sunday

Today is Orphan Sunday. Let's ask God how we as Christians can make a difference for the hurting and the fatherless.

True Religion from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Nov. 12th...

Nov 12th is the day that is USCIS gave us an appointment to go get fingerprinted! Thankfully, we only have to go to Oxnard for this as I have read about other families having to drive hours to their assigned destination. After we are printed again, we just wait for our approval paper from USCIS and that should be the last paper we need to be DTE! In the meantime, Ben will be going to get another birth certificate of his, we need to take a couple papers to our county government center to get a second level of certification so that we can later then take those papers to the Secretary of State's office in LA to get them state certified. Oh, and finish up our family photo pages too.. really though, we are so close! Hopefully we will get a DTE date early December!

God continues to prepare us to love our new son. We think about him every day and pray for him and his family. Please pray with us that he knows love and feels the love around him now, that his needs are being met.

Thanks for checking in with us!

And, since posts are really no fun without pictures, here's us at the pumpkin patch! Can't believe there will (God willing) be another head poking out of that wagon next year!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Isaiah's Story

Just came across this posted on another blog. If you have a few minutes, it is a powerful story. I think its about 5 minutes long.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mailed the I-600A!

Friday morning I took the kids outside and checked in the mailbox and found a big packet from our adoption agency. Our completed homestudy! This is the last piece we needed before we could apply to USCIS. I quickly texted Ben the good news and tried to keep myself from just jumping on the next step of compiling all the documents. (You need to get permission from our government to bring home an internationally adopted child) I have found that working on adoption stuff while the kids are awake is not fair to anyone involved so I waited until naptime. Thankfully we were already having a friend come over for a playdate so that helped with the wait. Once the kids were in bed, I started making sure I had all the documents ready. I looked over the I-600A application and realized I needed to download and print out one more form. However, after working on it for 1 hour, I still could not print that one page. I called another friend in town to see if she could download it- she also had a Mac and it didn't work for her either. I tried a second friend- she was able to download it but didn't have any paper. Not a problem, I had paper and once the kids woke up, I went straight to her house, and my friend graciously gave up her free time during her kid's nap to print out this paper. Thank you Erica! (and Katie too).

Not that I am going to outright imply things, but it does seem like anytime I have adoption stuff to work on, the computer doesn't work right, the fax won't fax, scanner won't scan...etc.. then, the kids wake up and chaos occurs. Everything takes so much longer than it should and it is easy to get discouraged and frustrated. I have read about a lot of other families getting hit with many difficult trials (sickness, family emergencies, car troubles and more) during this adoption process. So, electronic malfunction is very small trial to overcome but it seems to be my main thorn so far during this process.

Anyway, the kids and I took the I-600A to the post office, got a nice sturdy packet to mail everything in and handed it over! Now we need to wait to hear back from USCIS for our biometrics appointment. Thanks for checking in.

"I Saw What I Saw"

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mega Yard Sale

The week prior to this sale we kept picking up donations from our friend's houses and while others dropped stuff off at our house. We soon had a fine collection of treasures stuffed in our garage, our side yard and our backyard. I felt like a mega hoarder! Here we are the night before the big sale.

Ben and I woke up a little after 5am and with the help of my parents, we drug everything out front until it looked like this! I wish I had more shots of the sale but of course we were running around crazy the entire morning. I started doing "fill a bag for 5 dollars" for the clothing which seemed to motivate a few brave people to sift through the clothes that were no longer sorted and just heaped up on the big tarp.

Katie = super helper! Came the day before and through bribes of cookies and pizza stayed through dinner helping me sort stuff in the garage. She braved the heat and stuffy garage while being pregnant with her 2nd child. She earned those cookies! Thank you so much Katie!

I meant to take pictures of all the people we knew who stopped by to support us but only managed to take one. So here's Amy and Andrew! Thank you to everyone who stopped by. Some of you translated Spanish, helped with sales, hung out to keep us company, and even bought stuff! Thank you for all your help and support. We are so grateful to everyone who helped by donating their things to make this sale a success.

Grand total = $750 !!!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

So where are we in the process now?

We just wrapped up our last meeting with our social worker (also did livescan fingerprinting for the THIRD time... just writing this for our memories as this probably doesn't make sense to the general reader). We should have that homestudy report soon and will be applying to USCIS (our country's immigration) to be able to bring home an orphan. We will get another fingerprinting appointment from USCIS to do yet another background check and then should receive our approval from USCIS and then send all our paperwork (our dossier) on towards Ethiopia. At that point we will be considered "DTE" or "Dossier To Ethiopia" and wait 4-6 months for a referral of a child. Our official referral age will be between 4-15 months old. At that point we would accept the referral and be ready to travel to Ethiopia as soon as 2 weeks later to attend court there and meet our son! So, this could potentially be happening this spring sometime unless we get held up at some point along the way.

Soon to be middle child...

Don't want to leave out our sweet son! Here is is allowing Maddie to show him how to feed her doll. He is going to be a great big bro!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Progress... Livescans complete!

For those who didn't know, we have been waiting for our homestudy agency to get a certain
"number" that they use to run their background checks on us. We tried the route of getting our backgrounds done independently but discovered that won't work and all we could do is wait. We were notified last week that they got their "number" and we went in and did a second Livescan and we are headed towards being finished with our homestudy now. One more meeting next week and we should have that golden report necessary for progressing to the next steps! Rejoicing in this!

Taking good care of her "Opi" doll

Maddie talks about "Opi" every day these days. She tells us how she is going to rock him and hold him and that he is "soo cute and soo little" Here are a couple pictures of her pretending with her doll. We hope she won't be too disappointed if he turns out to be quite larger than her doll!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Thank you!

The tupperware fundraiser was yesterday and it went really well. Thank you again to everyone that was involved in putting it on and to everyone who bought tupperware! I hope you all enjoy your products and we are grateful to each of you for supporting our adoption through this.
Love, The Fishers

Friday, July 30, 2010

Tupperware Fundraiser!

Our good friend is a tupperware consultant and she, along with another good friend, are helping throw a fundraiser for our family. It will be held on Sunday August 22nd at our church following the second service. Lunch will be served and it will be a fun time to learn about the great products from tupperware as well as an opportunity for us to share about adoption. If you are unable to attend the event but would still like to check out tupperware products you can click here (Fisher Tuperware Fundraiser) to go to our fundraiser page through tupperware. This link will be active for you to order products (no pressure though :) ) until the 22nd!

Monday, July 5, 2010

3 Year Old's Drawing of a World Map

We have a huge world map on the wall in our house and have been talking to our kids about where their new brother will come from. On Father's day our 3 year old got a hold of the envelop that had Ben's Father's day card in it (hence why it says "Daddy" in the middle of it) and drew her own map- all on her own. She was telling us, "Opi lives way over here, Maddie lives here, and Emma, Samuel and Luca live right here." So, Ben added in the labels and she now has her own world map. Note for our other family members: we are working on teaching her where all of you live and someday she will get all of you on her map! Anyway, we thought it was pretty cool and hope that the wall map in our house will continue to show our children how big this world really is and how it's filled with so many different people.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Some challenging thoughts by Francis Chan

Along the way of our adoption process our goal is to put things on our blog that have inspired us and challenged us along the way. This short video clip was something that helped us fully commit to adopting now and not when things were even more comfortable in our life. Since we released our grip and stood up on this balance beam everything has felt so right even though we feel like we could fall off any minute. Before we started thinking about adoption we really were wrestling with how we were living our lives and what else we could be doing for the kingdom. We saw this video and we saw ourselves heading down this path of the American dream.....comfortable home, comfortable family life, comfortable church, comfortable job, no major disruptions, etc. Since God has called us to adopt the word comfortable has disappeared. After awhile it probably will come back into our lives and we will have to have remember to stop hugging the balance beam and let go of the comforts of this world. For now it's feels pretty good to be walking the balance beam knowing that the only way we are standing up is because of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is nothing profound yet it's easy to forget at least for us.

Friday, June 4, 2010

First Home Study Visit

Our first home study visit went great! Thank you to all who prayed for us. We really felt at peace during the whole visit and were able to be ourselves. Our social worker is a really neat woman who has also adopted herself and is really encouraging and supportive. We basically just sat and talked with her for over 2 hours answering her questions and her in turn answering ours. We ended with an exchange of the paperwork we have gotten through this far as well as instructions on how to complete more paperwork. She also checked out our home- I think we passed that part!

She brought up some thought provoking questions such as how we will feel about the possibility of meeting the birth parents/family (which is likely because now we are both required to appear in court in Ethiopia) and also how we would feel about the birth parents in general- thankful, judgmental, resentful, etc. and how that could in turn affect our child as he grows up. We talked about how we will have a transracial family and how it is important that our son have friends who look like him and that we are proactive in promoting friendships with families of different races. We also talked about ways in which we can celebrate our son's Ethiopian heritage as he grows up.

We also went through a serious conversation about possible issues that our adopted son could have and that we have to realize we are knowingly deciding to parent a child that can have a lot more challenges than our biological children. We talked about different medical issues and mental/emotional issues he could have. On the flip side, we also talked about the awesome privilege we will have of raising him and that how each child (no matter what challenges arise) is a true blessing from the Lord.

We have a few more meetings with our social worker during the home study process which includes individual interviews with her where I assume we get a lot more personal than we did during this first meeting. It is a bit weird to have our lives under scrutiny but we feel that it is so worth it and also understand the importance of making sure adoptive families are fit to parent.

Next steps- fingerprinting, applying to USCIS (our country's immigration department), police background checks, and more paperwork!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

One paper at a time!

We are so sorry we haven't been posting here lately. We have been very busy with the "paper chase" and things are coming along slowly but surely. Yesterday, we had our first major paper notarized at our doctor's office so we are encouraged. Melissa called a list of traveling notaries she found online and the one who was available turned out to be an adoptive parent herself! She adopted a daughter from Russia some time ago and was really excited for us. She later called Melissa's cell phone after the appointment to share more of her excitement for us and said that adopting her daughter was the greatest thing she has done in her life (her daughter is now 20). We have already seen God bringing people into our lives at the perfect time to keep us encouraged and solidify that is truly what He wants us to do.

Our next step in the process is to begin our home study with our social worker on Wednesday June 2. She will come to our home and conduct an initial interview with us and answer any questions we have. We have a few more paperwork items to finish up this weekend before she comes to visit (as well has hopefully finishing up some long-in-progress house projects!) Please pray for us on June 2nd!

Everyday it seems like our 3 year old daughter is understanding more about adopting a little brother from Ethiopia. This morning while we were eating breakfast she asked if she could pray for "Opi" which is the name she made up for him. It brings us great joy to think about how God is working in the hearts our children and preparing them for the acceptance of a new sibling. God continues to supply everything we need for this adoption! We hope to be more faithful in posting and sharing things that God has used in our lives to remain faithful to this pursuit of adoption. Thank you for being patient with us.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


We officially completed our first of garage of who knows how many! This was a trial run for us and we were very pleased with the results. We were able to sell roughly 180 dollars worth of things donated from family members and things we had around the house. We posted a sign on our house saying where all the proceeds would go to and we were able to strike up conversation with those who were interested. Our neighbor asked if we were adopting a dog but was pleasantly surprised when we told him we were adopting a child from Ethiopia. We tried a few times to tell people we were saving this money for an adoption but they still wouldn't budge on 25 cents. We ended up giving them the deal and had a good chuckle later. We do hope to have more garage sales in the future so if you have anything at home that you do not want anymore and would like to donate we would be most appreciative. We will keep you posted on our next sale! The 180 dollars we received today will go towards our Hague Adoption Training courses that we need to sign up for asap. The total cost for the training is 175 dollars so WE PRAISE GOD!! We want to give a BIG THANK YOU to M's sisters, who traveled in from out of state to help out with this garage sale! We couldn't have done it with out you girls!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


We recently came across this translation of Proverbs 24:12 that is written, "Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." These words pretty much sum up our motivation to pursue an adoption from Ethiopia. We know adoption has been on our hearts and we cannot continue to close our eyes on what God has allowed us to see.

Why are we adopting?
Adoption is something we had agreed we would be open to before we were married. As we approach our 5th anniversary of marriage and feel the blessings of 2 wonderful children, we stopped to think for a moment about where God wanted us to go next. We knew we wanted another child but what did God want for us? We both knew there was the calling of adoption in our hearts and the calling seemed to get stronger as we both thought and prayed. We both felt that if we didn't step out now, we probably would find an excuse to not do it. We are very excited to join God in this journey! God has adopted us into his family so we look to Him for his example of how he rescued and loved us. God desires all the nations to come together to worship Him and we look forward to seeing how God is going to make this more real in our family. Honestly we are a little nervous, but it's just a reminder to us that we cannot do this alone. We are following God, and we are trusting in his provisions spiritually, emotionally, and financially.

Why Ethiopia?
There is a number of reasons why we feel called to adopt from Ethiopia that range from practicality to something within our hearts. Ben went on a couple trips to Africa during and after college and was really impacted by what he saw and learned. While Melissa has felt a strong purpose to adopt since childhood, Ben has more recently become excited about the idea as it would forever tie our family's heart to the continent of Africa. Currently, there are not many countries in Africa that allow international adoption. Ethiopia is one of the countries that DOES allow adoption and also is one that we as a couple (our age and length of marriage) fit the criteria of eligibility. Ethiopia is a country of great need. Here are some stats:

• 1 in 10 children die before their first birthday • 1 in 6 children die before their fifth birthday
• 60 percent of children in Ethiopia are stunted because of malnutrition
• 1.5 million people in Ethiopia are infected with HIV (sixth highest country in the world)
• 720,000 children have been orphaned by AIDS alone, and there are 4.6 million orphans
• Half the children in Ethiopia will never attend school. 88 percent will never attend secondary school
• Ethiopia’s doctor to children ratio is 1 to 24,000.

These stats are overwhelming yet they encourage us to keep moving forward. We know the one child we choose to adopt is a drop in the bucket compared to 4.6 million orphans in Ethiopia, but it's something we want to be a part of. Who knows, God may use us to encourage others to adopt along the way. If 7% of 2.1 billion Christians helped an orphan there would NO more orphans. With this stat in mind the urgency for us to move forward has never been stronger. We are trusting in God and his provisions.

So, as we write our first adoption blog we ask for your prayers as we embark on this journey. We want each of you to be a part of this journey we are on. We want to be a blessing to you and we want to encourage you to step forward and obey whatever calling God has for you and your family. Thank you for being a blessing and encouragement to us already!!