Thursday, December 30, 2010

Another step forward

I think with all of my updates, trying to string them all together has become rather confusing. So I am going to do a little summary before giving you an update.

13.33 years ago - I spent a couple hours at a Romanian orphanage and my desire to adopt started.

13 years ago - I meet my husband, a man whose heart would be open to the idea of adoption.

11.5 years ago - I married my true love.

Initially - We planned on adopting from Russia. I spent a year there and my parents are currently missionaries there, so it seemed to make sense.

The past few years - Adoption from Russia has become more difficult. It began to feel like we needed to consider other countries. During this same time frame, the idea of having 4 kids starting coming up in my mind more and more often.

7.5 months ago (Mother's Day 2010 to be exact) - We finally started the process by putting our adoption agency (WACAP) application in the mail. At this point we started working on our homestudy. Ultimately our homestudy would be written approving us for up to 4 children and children who are up to age 12.

3 months ago - Our homestudy was completed and we were moved from the homestudy department to the Ethiopia program department within our agency. We received a call to discuss the Ethiopia program. During that call we did not feel that they were very supportive of our hopes to adopt 4 siblings at once. In fact I felt torn after that call. As a result I contacted a woman that I had found via the blog world. This woman had adopted 4 at once from Ethiopia and so I looked to her for advice and prayer. She suggested that I look at This lead to us change agencies, to Hopscotch Adoptions. But changing agencies means more paperwork! :)

3 weeks ago - I submitted the last of the needed paperwork needed to change agencies.

Today - I got the email that our application was accepted by Hopscotch. As my mom said: "a mother sized step forward".

Next - Now that our application has been accepted, our homestudy can be amended. Why does it need to be amended? Because it was written for Ethiopia. Every country has slightly different requirements.

Once the homestudy is amended - Then we can submit our i-600 (request to US immigration for permission to immigrate children).

At some point in the near-ish future - We will be contacted with an appointment date and time to get fingerprinted for our i-600.

Once our i-600 is approved - Then we can file our dossier. (Maybe we can do this simultaneously with the i-600. I'm not entirely sure just yet.)

Once we have a referral (names & faces) and approval on the i-600 (which takes approximately 2 months) and our dossier submitted - Then we request a court date.

Once a court date is requested - We wait. I have heard that the timeframe for this varies greatly. I believe that 3 months is an approximation.

Once we have a court date - We fly to Ghana where we will meet our children and go to court. I think at that point we legally become parents to our children.

Approximately 2 weeks after arriving in Ghana - We will leave.... without our children. I'm not sure how we are going to explain this to them. I do dread this part already.

At some point during all of this - We request visas for our children.

Once the US Embassy issues visas for our children (I think approximately 1 month after leaving Ghana) - We return to Ghana.

Approximately 1 week later - We bring our children home!

It's a long journey. Based on my experience so far, I think the adoption process involves 1% of the time spent on paperwork and 99% of the time spent waiting. One step at a time; we keep moving forward towards meeting our children, hugging our children, and bringing our children home.

If you are asking how you can pray for us, let me answer that question. I will admit that I struggle with feeling anxious. It's not so much that I am in a hurry. It is more that I worry about not being in the right place at the right time in order for our children to find their way to us and for us to find our way to them. That might sound silly. It is really difficult to explain. So there are 2 things you can pray for:
  1. That God will bring our children to us. That He will guide the adoption agency staff to find our children and connect us with them.
  2. That I might be able to let go and trust Him. The closer we get to being connected with our children, the more I struggle with this.

Thank you for your love and support that you demonstrate by walking beside us in the process.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

11 Days in Paradise

I am currently sitting in the lobby of the Riu Pacifico Palace in Puerto Vallarta Mexico. We have checked out of our room and leave for the airport in about an hour. We have spent the past 11 days and 10 nights relaxing in paradise. We arrived on Thursday and had a couple of days by ourselves before my parents showed up on Saturday. Then my aunt and uncle showed up on Sunday.

Unfortunately, late Saturday night is when I got hit with the flu. I got so sick that I drug my pillows into the bathroom and just slept on the floor. I bounced back pretty quickly for the most part but then Josh got hit with it 2 days later. He was a little slower to recover. But I have never been sick in such a nice place. At least I didn't have to do any cooking or cleaning while feeling so awful.

In spite of getting so sick, we still had a great time. We sat on the pool deck looking out towards the ocean everyday. I spent my time sleeping late (very late), chatting, eating, relaxing, thinking, and praying. It was a great trip but I am also looking forward to getting home. Back to the real world.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Right around the first of November, my boss announced that he had accepted another position within the company. So of course I applied for his old job. Over the course of the past month I had 4 interviews. The last interview was this past Tuesday. I was told that I was the last person and that they would be making a decision later Tuesday or early Wednesday.

So of course, being the patient person that I am, I was waiting hopefully all day Wednesday for news. Thursday rolled around and I knew that there was no guarantee that I would hear that day either, but I also knew that if I didn't hear until Friday there was a serious increase in the risk of me having a heart attack.

Early Thursday, a coworker's boyfriend misdialed and got my number instead. I don't get many calls at works so when the phone ran I got excited only to hear the wrong voice when I answered the call. Thankfully I got the call that I was hoping for later that day. Not only did I get the call but I got the answer I wanted, I got the job!

When I found out that I would not be graduating on time I was disappointed. In the back of my mind I knew that I would still graduate but just a couple months later than planned, but I knew that if I didn't get this job that the opportunity was not going to come again anytime soon. And I definitely do not want anything to sidetrack our adoption. I had 3 major things going on at the same time. And sometimes you can't have everything you want exactly when you want it. So if I had to be disappointed, it definitely came in the right category. This promotion is something that I have wanted for a long time and the raise that comes along with it will help with our plans for Josh to become a stay at home dad. We were prepared for him to stay home either way but this will just make it that much easier.

Life just continues to be exciting!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Why don't I cry?

We just finished a movie. I won't tell you which movie because I don't want to spoil it for you. But the movie took place in New York. The movie starts with getting to know the characters, then the problem develops, and then comes resolution. A pretty typical movie. In the last ten minutes of the movie, the main character was looking out the window of a sky scrapper. And then there was a reference to Tuesday, September 11th, 2001. Immediately I starting saying to myself "please don't show it, please don't show it, please". They didn't. But I still cried. Cried for real. The memory of that day is still so disturbing. 2,998 people died that day. (I refuse to include the 19 terrorists in that number.) Its been 9 years, 2 months, and 23 days... and I still cry.

We all watched the news coverage on the trapped miners in Chile. We were on pins and needles waiting to see if those 33 lives could be saved. Multiple websites report that the BBC spent 100,000 British Pounds (aka $157,00 USD) on reporting the events in Chile. The rescue effort cost somewhere between $10-20million.

Malaria kills 2,000 children every day. Why don't I cry for these lives lost?

Just $18 provides insecticide treated bed nets for an entire family. These bed nets can be used for approximately 4 years!

13,000 children die from malnutrition related causes every day. Why don't I cry for these lives lost?

$17 provides seeds to a family, allowing them to eat not just today but tomorrow and the day after.

It is estimated that 17 million children have been orphaned due to AIDS... and the number keeps rising. Adoption is wonderful for children who need a mommy and daddy. But never losing their birth parents in the first place is so much better. AIDS and HIV is preventable. It's stoppable. This doesn't have to happen.

Is there a price on human life? They say that a life is priceless.... is it? Are some lives worth less than others? If all life is priceless, why do people die every day from completely preventable causes? Why isn't this on the news everyday? And why don't I cry for them?