Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Turn of Events... Maybe...

From day one of this adoption journey almost 2 years ago we have been open to any way God would build our family.  We started our dossier preparations for Ethiopia (yeah) and are were (are) hoping to turn it in January 1.  There have also been a few situations present themselves here in the US as well.  As many of you know, we want our family to be similar racially, so an African baby makes sense.  So does a bi-racial or African-American baby.  What you may not know is that these babies are considered "special needs" in the US because they are hard to place.  The exact type of baby we would love to add to our family would have a difficult time finding a home here.  Obviously, this tugs at my heart strings just writing it.  So this has brought us to the crossroads of domestic and international adoption.  We have not made any decisions other than to look into a few agencies here in the US.  There are pros and cons of each for sure between cost, travel time, paperwork, emotion and somewhere in there we know God will make his voice clear to us. There is one thing we have been thinking about a lot.   We think we want to do the "tiny baby thing".  Andrew and Annabelle were small when they came home at 4 months for sure (13 and 8 pounds respectively).  But they made great strides soon after coming home and we caught up in no time.  I grieved for every minute of their lives I was not there to hold them and comfort them.  As all adoptive parents do.  This was only 4 months mind you!  I really have a desire for a baby in a snuggly.  You know, wrap that baby up close to my body and carry them everywhere.  Now, Annabelle was so little she was in a snuggly until she was 18 mos old and her long legs reached almost to my knees.  So be sure, I will have my baby in the snuggly regardless of how big the baby is...  HA!  Now with the new regulations in Ethiopia, it looks like the youngest baby we could bring home would be 6 to 8 months, and that is super young.  So we will be missing out on more of the baby's life.  Everyone told us, "you are so lucky to get to miss out on those first few months, not fun!", and "look how easy it was, your kids are so responsive already, little babies just lay there".  Well meaning, for sure, but these people had no idea how that grieved my heart.  We missed an entire chunk of these sweet babies lives.   Again, it's a trade off...  We would not trade ANY of it for the amazing experience God brought us through to get to Ethiopia and back.  And we know that God will reconcile any thoughts we have about either type of adoption as we go to Him with this.  If Ethiopia is God's will for us, then we will embrace it wholeheartedly and move on with turning in our dossier.  But if it isn't we want to be open to that too.  Please join us in praying for clarity and wisdom in how to proceed at this point.  We want to be sure to follow God's leading in bringing home baby #3.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hooray!- Home Study Done!!!!

Last night we had our home study visit!  We answered a bunch of questions, turned in our MOUNTAIN of paperwork and a smallish (compared to what's to come) check.  Now we are waiting for our home study to be written by the agency, they then submit it to the court and then we will know if we are certified to adopt another baby.  We aren't really worried about not being approved, but every little step leads to another!  Once we get the okay from the courts we will be able to submit for a few grants to help pay for the adoption and a REALLY important piece of international paperwork (I-600A).  So again, we wait.  These are a few pics from our home study.

Picking up paperwork at my dr.'s office.  Is this receptionist the cutest or what?  This had to be notarized so my "traveling notary" came with me and then we went out to lunch!  Thanks Aunt Shari!!

Here is our big mountain of paperwork... Notice the folder is now EMPTY!!!!

Did you hear me?  EMPTY!!!!!

All that remains is our checklist and our receipt!!

If you know me at all, you know I of course have a binder for everything!!!  This is the binder we have using for the last few months preparing our home study documents and keeping everything organized.  I also started collecting info in here almost a year ago when I first started getting organized, having NO IDEA when we would have the opportunity to start our home study.  Just another reminder of God's faithfulness!  So last night, we ceremoniously went from this notebook to this one...

And here we are with the NEW binder.  Again, if you know me, you also know this binder has been ready for a few months too, but we just didn't have anything to do with it.  UNTIL NOW!!!

So now we begin the paperwork that is a dossier.  Lots and lots of notarized documents- 23 to be exact, all notarized in triplicate.  That is 69 documents.  Oh, and the measly amount needed to turn in the dossier to our agency...  $9500.  Sounds daunting, but we know our God is good...  all the time!  Please continue to pray with us for God's provision for the adoption and for the safety of our baby wherever he or she may be.  

Friday, September 10, 2010

Today's Task-Fingerprints

We went to get fingerprints done today (after Dance Class and Sports Class of course).  We stopped and had lunch at Basha's ( lunch for all of us for $6 can I get a woot woot?!) and did some shopping.  We were with our friends T and B all day and their mommy agreed to tag along for this too.  Yes, they are in carts and yes, we are no longer in Basha's but at the UPS store.  In case you are wondering, no- they do not have carts at the UPS store...  When we walked in with those 2 huge carts, the ladies looked at us like we had 3 heads.  I simply said, "trust me, you would rather have them here in carts than running a muck in your store".  I'm sure after the first verse of "B-I-N-G-O" they agreed.  Thanks to Erin for taking these pics!  So here we are adding one more check mark to our adoption list of to do's!

Annabelle, B, Andrew and T

I know, kind of ghetto- but cute too!

Doesn't the "fingerprint lady" look thrilled?  She is probably thinking, "seriously, you want another one?"