Wednesday, March 2, 2011
The article about our adoption came out in our local paper-http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20110302/COMMUNITIES/103020385/Baby-girl-adjusting-
Baby girl adjusting to life in U.S.
Silverton family adopts the Ethiopian infant after waiting for two years
The Stutzman household has changed during the past couple of months.
For one, its inhabitants are getting less sleep. They can't remember what life was like before. They can't imagine life any other way.
It's been a long journey to get to this point, but the end result has been well worth the wait.
On Jan. 7, Seble Alaine Stutzman was introduced to her new life in Silverton.
Silverton couple Adam and Amber Stutzman adopted the 8-month-old baby girl from Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. Seble was abandoned at a church when she was just days old and was sick and malnourished when Ethiopian police named her and took her to a government orphanage.
Eventually, she ended up at Hannah's Hope, an Ethiopian orphanage operated by All God's Children International, a nonprofit Christian adoption agency in Portland.
Long before Seble was even born, a family in Silverton was waiting for her.
In January 2009, Adam and Amber applied to adopt a baby girl through All God's Children. The couple have five biological children: Jacob, 12, Cassidy and Zachary, 9, Noah, 7, and Logan, 5.
Adam, a native of Silverton, and Amber, who is from Salem, met in high school and started dating. Even then, when they talked about their future together, adoption was part of the conversation; Amber's sister, who was adopted, has always been her inspiration.
The Stutzmans married in 1994 and struggled with fertility problems. After having Jacob, they decided to file an application to adopt, but then had twins and withdrew their application.
After Logan was born, they knew they were finished having biological children and with a little encouragement from their kids, they decided to adopt.
"We have room, we have food, we have love, why not adopt?" Amber said.
When they applied, they were the 44th family in line for a girl.
While they waited, the family raised money for the many costs associated with adoption — traveling expenses, government fees and background checks. In all, the process has cost them about $25,000 to $30,000. They sold Christmas trees, did a pop can drive, held a silent auction and washed cars.
Finally, they were next in line.
In November, Amber, Adam and Jacob traveled to Ethiopia to meet Seble for the first time.
Jacob said he had butterflies in his stomach as he walked into Hannah's Hope.
"It was exciting," he said. "She looked a lot different than the pictures. She kept grabbing my glasses."
While they were there, the family witnessed the extreme poverty of Ethiopia, which has one of the largest populations of orphans in the world — an estimated 4.6 million children, according to the United Nations Children's Fund.
A recent policy change required the Stutzmans to make two trips, the second being an appointment with the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia to receive Seble's final paperwork, and so the trio returned to Silverton without the baby girl.
Amber and Adam were supposed to leave Christmas Eve to bring their daughter home, but there were complications and the trip was canceled. Finally, a call from the embassy came a week later and the couple left for Ethiopia.
On Jan. 7, after an exhausting and emotional trip, Adam and Adam arrived in Portland with their new daughter.
Cassidy said she couldn't believe her sister had finally come home.
"The first thing I did was ask if I could hold her," she said.
The first couple of nights were hard, the Stutzmans said. Seble was upset and confused, and she cried through the night.
But now, a month later, the baby is happy and at home. On a recent afternoon, she gurgled, hiccuped, smiled and shrieked as she was passed from one family member to the next.
Cassidy said she loves feeding and dressing her little sister and Jacob can't wait to teach Seble to play soccer when she's older.
When asked if they plan to adopt more children in the future, Adam and Amber's older children didn't give them the chance to answer.
"Say yes!" they whispered. "Say yes!"
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Our Airport Homecoming for our 2nd Adoption~
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Seble's Referral Video
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"Although it may not always be obvious to us, there seems to be one distinct moment when God begins a new story in each of our lives. He writes words on our hearts that long to be spoken and strain to be lived out. Then with His own great hand, He begins to write the script. Experience by experience through seemingly ordinary days, He supernaturally orders our lives. Only when we look back and reflect on what appeared to have been the ordinary events of life does it become clear what a miracle the Lord has performed." Jan Beazely