I have not looked where we are on the list recently. I decided to take a peek the other day and to my surprise we are currently number 33 for a baby girl 15-18 months old and number 16 for a baby girl 18-24 months! According to recent trends with our agency, we could possibly get her referral sometime between september and march. But, we also know that adoption is never a science so who really knows! could be sooner than that or much later. But we are getting closer to her. And we can not believe that shimi has already been home 6 months.



The Otts

Here we go again…



Shimelis has been home almost 4 months now. And, as many of you know we have been on the wait list with AWAA since 9/16/2011 for a little girl. We just had our home study updated last week and are officially changing our request to a little girl 18-36 months old.
We are anticipating at least another year before we receive a referral, most likely longer. 
So, here we are again, asking that you all keep her in your prayers as we wait

The Otts


Much needed update


In 2 days we will be celebrating 3 months of Shimi being home. October 10, 2012 our plane landed in Austin and we were home and finally a whole family. These last three months have been joyful, overwhelming, terrifying and totally filled with love all at the same time.
We are all adjusting and growing together as a family. Shimelis loves his brother and sister and they are totally crazy about him. He is such a good big brother, especially to cash and has really taken on pushing cash to be better and helping him when he needs it. Cash finally rides a bike now thanks to his big brother! We have good days and we have hard days. We take 2 steps forward and sometimes 3 steps back. But our family is together, covered by grace and supported by the most amazing God given community and for that we are blessed.

just for a little FYI, shimelis currently loves the following things
1. burgers and french fries
2. riding his bike
3. dressing up like super hero’s
4. being tickled until he cries mercy
6. Chronicles of Narnia

Above are some pictures of him since he has been home and below is the video i made of his homecoming. enjoy!
The Otts

BTW: We are currently #19 for a little sister on the wait list! we are still growing and I will continue to update the process of bringing her home


Going home tomorrow empty handed, but hearts still full of hope…



We got a call yesterday that we never expected, the birth relative was no where to be found and they were due at Embassy this morning. That interview is one required in order for Shimelis to be cleared to come home with us.
Right now we wait while they try and locate the birth relative and or find an alternative person to interview. This could take one day? one week? months?, we just don’t know. What we do know is that we will not be boarding a plane to Ethiopia tomorrow to get our son and bring him home.

this is is crushing.
my heart is broken.
my spirit is hanging on by a thread.

But….somehow i have peace, a peace i am honestly almost trying to fight, because i want to be angry, but i can’t be. My heart is on autopilot right now and thank God that i’m not the one driving my emotions. The Lord is leading me by compassion for the birth relative, compassion for the brokenness of the situation, heart ache for my son, longing for my family to be whole, and full trust in Him that he will be victorious in His plan (whatever it may be) and that we are in GOOD & loving hands.

Thankful for these lyrics this morning

“Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful”

The Otts

Just a little eye candy while we wait…

Well, we are hopefully 7 days away from traveling to Ethiopia to get Shimelis and finally BRING. HIM. HOME!
Here are some recent photos we have received of him. Have we mentioned that he loves to take pictures?

A slight detour…


So, there has been some delays in our Embassy case. The final thing needed for us to be cleared to travel was the Birth Parent Interview. Our agency emailed embassy 3 times requesting an interview date of 7/24 and then 7/31,  Unfortunately there was a glitch in the system and the emails were not received. After more follow up they finally received the request, and they are booked until the 15th of August. We have an official birth parent interview date of August 16 at 730am. Right now is the rainy season in Ethiopia, which makes it tough for people to travel. Our agency feels that since they have 2 weeks to make sure she is there, it shouldn’t be a problem for her to make it. This was really hard for me this morning when i found out…we are just so ready to go and bring him home. But, we decided to wait the time out in New Jersey with my family, so that way my kids can stay with them while we are gone. We are going to book a changeable flight out of Newark on the 17th, are hoping to have Embassy pick our date between 20,21,22 and then we would leave on the 23rd. This plan would have us in Austin on the 24th of August at 9pm!

This boy is coming home!
The Otts

We are on our way to “bring him home”!



Tomorrow we start the journey of finally bringing Shimelis home! I fly out to my parents home in New Jersey and Brad and the kids will meet me there on Monday the 30th. Right now we have a flight booked to Ethiopia, out of Newark on August 5th. We don’t have an actual Embassy date yet, but by trend i think we will be fine to go by then. If not we will all just hang out in Jersey until we get our clearance. When Brad and I leave, Cash and Maddie-Rose get to hang out with my parents until we get home. If all goes as planned we will all arrive home to
Austin on the 12th of August!

Waiting on Embassy
The Otts
(Party of 5)



so much has happened since my last post ages ago. We got our court date only 2 weeks after we submitted our dossier. We left 16 days after the phone call and finally got to meet our son! It was an amazing trip and after we passed court on the 21st of June, we were able to share his sweet face and name with everyone. We got to spend 6 days with Shimelis, and are now waiting on our Embassy clearance to go back and bring him home…forever!

This is by far my shortest post, but I really feel that the pictures of our beautiful boy say more than my words ever can. We were blessed to have an amazing photographer, Kristin Laughin, with us one day and she made a wonderful sideshow of our time with him here.

The Otts
(part of 5)