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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Oops

We sent our immigration packet off almost 4 weeks ago, with the knowledge that it would take around 8 weeks to get the approval back. We planned to use that 8 weeks to complete the rest of the paperwork for our dossier. Well....apparently they expect you to sign all the dotted lines....which we failed to do. OOPS! So we just got our packet back in the mail to sign. Now we have to resubmit it and wait another 8 weeks for approval! AHHHH!
After the emotional roller coaster of the past few weeks...I probably should have cried over this mistake. However, at this point, all I can do it laugh. I am tired of worrying and crying. I am ready to laugh, ride the ride, and enjoy the journey. This may set us back a few weeks...but that just means that our baby isn't going to be ready for an extra few weeks. Soooo, we will sign the portion we missed, resend it, and wait.
The good news is, everything else is almost completed! We are just waiting on Andrew's work to correct a letter they wrote as a referral. They have all theses policies about releasing info and have been a little difficult. But, it will all work out!!!!
I keep reminding myself that we will only get the baby we are suppose to get. I may make mistakes along the way, but God never does. He will provide us with the only child for us at the end of all of this. That makes me smile.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Beautifully Different

We are SO close to being done with our dossier, the paperwork for Ethiopia. Once it is completed, they will send it to Washington DC, and then off to Ethiopia! We will then OFFICIALLY be a "waiting familiy." It's so funny because I feel like all have been doing since March is "waiting," on things. But, this kind of waiting seems different. It's more like waiting at the end of an airport terminal. You know your person is coming soon. You will see them soon. You will watch them walk out of that terminal. You just don't know where in line the person is. All the previous waiting seemed so endless. There wasn't a light at the end of the tunnel. At least not one that was in sight. We knew there would be eventually, but now I feel like we can see it!!
I was talking to a good friend the other day who has also had biological children and chose adoption. We were laughing at some of the "waiting" similarities. I remember being pregnant for Maya and becoming so emotional about anything to do with children, babies, and even animals! All those sad commercials on t.v. would pull at my heart strings like they never had before. I blamed it on my raging hormones.:) I also, like most pregnant women, went through a nesting stage. I wanted everything ready and clean for Maya's arrival. I needed everything packed and in order. Planning was SO fun! And if you know me at all, you know I made endless amounts of LISTS! Every day we get closer to a referral and a child to hold, I feel some of these things starting again, and I have to admit, it's a good feeling. There are so many things that I was worried I would miss by not carrying my own child in my belly. (we carry our child in our heart instead.) But I have begun to be emotional about things again. I cannot hear a sad story or watch ANY of those horible infomercials on t.v. about abused pets or hungry children without sobbing. I am also feeling very protective of Maya, almost like I can feel that things are about to change for her and I am worried about how she will react. I want to protect her from any uncertainty. I can also feel that our time as we know it together is going to change as well. It will never be just the 3 of us again. On top of that, I feel nesting setting in. I have had this urge to cook and clean, and prepare again. Lists are everywhere!;) It's just funny to me how although my body is not necessarily preparing, my mind and heart have taken over to prepare me for another child.
I have begun to understand little by little that although this process is different, it is no less amazing and wonderous. Just because something is different than you are accustomed to, doesn't make it any less beautiful. Different is not always bad, just different. And different is beautiful too.
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Monday, November 7, 2011

Changes...

With change always comes uncertainty. We are in the process of making some big changes with our adoption journey. We are in the process of switching agencies...and we are feeling a little overwhelmed right now. We do not have anything bad to say about our previous agency and we are nothing but greatful to them for getting us to this point in our journey. However, we feel we are being lead in another direction. It's best described as one of those "God things."
A friend of mine, who has also adopted from Ethiopia, received an email from her agency asking for families who were desiring to adopt infant Ethiopian boys. They have a number of young children waiting, and no families to refer them to. Knowing that where we stood currently at our agency, we had an 8-14 month wait before we should expect a referral, she was very tentative to tell us about this. She didn't want to confuse us or add pressure. However, thankfully, she listened to her heart and felt God was telling her to pass the information along to us and let us decide what to do with it. I was immediately intrigued due to our long wait period. I want nothing more than to hold my baby boy in my arms...and if you dangle that possiblity in front of me...I am going take the bait. So we began looking into this other agency. There were some road blocks, as always, but overall, it seemed like the best decision for us at this time was to switch. Instead of an 8-14 month wait for a referral, we are being told we could have a referral in as little as 2-4 months!!
I have always been a believer that God has a plan for me. I have always felt that things happen for a reason. However, I have not, until recently in my life, actually known what this meant. Over the past couple of years, I have begun to understand. When I look at the timeline of my life and consider all of it's events, I am overwhelmed by gratefulness. I am so grateful that God knows my heart. He has placed people in my life at just the right moments and he has blessed me so much. I will never understand why everything happens, and I don't really want to. There is a sense of calm and peace in the knowledge that it is out of my hands. Some things in life just aren't up to me, and I love that. I have the peace of mind of knowing that things will turn out the way God intends them to, when he intends them to. No matter what decisions I make along the way, I will end up where I am supose to be. This is something that feeds my faith and my soul and keeps me going, even during the hardest of times.
So I am putting my faith in Him, again...as I will continue to do over and over again. I have faith that God blessed us with this information about waiting children for a reason. One of these children could be ours!!!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011



Maya Drew

All of my posts up till now have been all about our adoption journey...but I just have to add some about my little nut, Maya. I know we will be waiting for a long time for news about our son...and there won't be much to blog about. So this is dedicated to my Maya...and I'm sure there will be more to come.
I just simply can't believe how old she is getting...I know aging in inevitable...but it just happens so fast when they're little. Maya will be 21 months at the end of July. She just went potty on the toilet for the first time this week, which blew my mind! I had been letting her sit on it for about a month and a half, because she asked to, not because I wanted to start potty training her already. I thought, what they heck, it's a good idea just to get her acquainted and comfortable with the potty. Little did I know that she would start using it at 20 months! I guess I shouldn't have been surprised since she has been a little go getter since she was born. She NEVER wants to be left behind with anything. She walked early, talked early, got teeth early. HAHA, not that she had any control over the last one. She is just constantly trying new things, being a monkey, mimicking everyone, and being goofy. She makes me laugh about 6, 000 times a day. You would think I would have better abs by now.
I wish there was a way to document all of her life so I can always remember every little detail. I want to remember how she sticks her tongue out to the side of her mouth when she is really concentrating on something, how she says, "Mmmmmmmuah!" whenever she gives kisses, how she hops EVERYWHERE she goes instead of simply walking, how she is finally saying, "Yuv you." I want to remember how she uses her spoon so diligently to scoop the marshmallows out of her lucky charms and is very careful not to get the actual cereal on the spoon, and how she loves macaroni and cheese, and loves hot dogs, but if you mix them, she won't eat it, and how she asks for a "manana" (banana) about 15 times a day, and would actually eat 15 bananas if we let her, and how she gives everyone in the room a hug and a kiss goodnight before bed, even if she doesn't really know them. I even want to remember how she likes to do things she shouldn't, just to see my reaction. For instance, climbing onto the coffee table and jumping off of it onto the couch, or walking over to a very unsuspecting boxer just to rudely awaken her with a swift kick. Or when she gets onto the kitchen table and just as I see her, she grabs the closest cup of water from one of the childcare kids and dumps it all over the place. And how when I ask to change her diaper, she starts running away laughing as if she wants me to chase her down....which I always end up having to do.
I love that she is getting to be so full of her own personality. She is so goofy and fun, and so loving! She loves hanging out with "the big girls" during our smut nights where we watch The Bachelor, American Idol, or So You Think You Can Dance, or any other trashy show that the Lindseys and I can't get enough of. She thinks she is just one of the girls...and she is. She loves to dance, and sing too! She has liked music since she was a baby. I wonder if she will be more musically inclined than her dad and I. Neither of us cansomuch as read music. I can play Mary Had a Little lamb on the piano!
She is also sooo athletic! She LOVES going to gymnastics with her friend Karissa, and can run, kick a ball, and climb onto just about anything she can reach. She hangs and swings from the kitchen table. She can swim like a fish, as of last week. I know she doesn't probably remember the pool from last summer. She liked the pool the first time we got in it this summer, but was leary of letting go of mom or dad. She didn't want anyone else to hold her in the water either. But after a few times of being in it, she is now swimming on her own with just swimmies on! She will jump to me off the side of the pool, and will swim in off the steps all by herself. She's actually really good! She is using just her legs to get around now, but I'm working on getting her to doggie paddle with her arms as well. Maybe by the end of summer;)
I never knew the pride I would feel as a parent. You always think of the love, and responsibility you have....but don't think about the pride you feel. I am SO proud of my daughter. She is an amazing child and I feel so blessed God chose us to be her parents. I'm so glad we have Maya to keep us so busy and to focus on while we're on this adoption journey. I really want to focus on our time with her...she won't be an only child ever again...I want to enjoy this time with her. I think it will help the adoption wait not feel as much like waiting. Time will just pass naturally as the timeline of our life. Nobody really has complete control over when they will add to their family. It's all in God's hands, whether adopting, or trying to get pregnant.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Waiting for approval

Well it's been just over 3 weeks since our final home study meeting, which included the home inspection. It went great. The home inspection was very laid back. We pretty much just showed our case worker around our home and went over where our new son's room would be and things like that.
She let us know it would take up to 6 weeks to write up the homestudy. After it is written up, it will go through an approval process. Once it is approved by numerous members from Bethany's staff, we will officially be "waiting" for a refferal. I can't wait to know we are finally waiting. I know it will be quite a wait....our case worker told us to plan on anywhere from 8-12 months. Everything is, of course, subject to change and they cannot make any promises. We are just hoping and praying the wait goes by quickly and that our son will be happy and safe while he is also waiting.
I'm hoping to get word from our case worker in the next few weeks of our approval. We will be ready to celebrate when we hear the news!!!!:)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Home inspection

Well, our first 2 meetings with our case worker went very well. She is so kind and very easy going which made being open a lot less intimidating. As a case worker, her job is to really understand who we are as people, and as a family. In order to fully understand this, she has to dig deep and get very personal, which can sometimes be difficult. However, she made this process a positive experience for us overall. I feel great about what we were able to convey to her about who we are, why we want to adopt, and how we plan to move forward with the adoption process.

Today is our final meeting for the home study, as well as the home inspection. I'm a little nervous for this because once again, it feels a little invasive. But we have worked hard to make this house a home and I am proud of what we have. Our case worker keeps reassuring us that this is not a big deal and not to stress. There is no checklist or anything for us to reference so I hope everything is up to par today.:)

After todays meeting and inspection, our case worker will be writing up the actual home study. This can take 4-8 weeks, depending on her work load with other cases. We can then begin to gather the information and paper work for our dossier. This is the file we will need to bring with us to Ethiopia containing all the required paperwork and information. It all has to be notarized and is pretty specific. We will also have more training to do which can be done online and through special courses or seminars that Bethany offers. We plan to take this part of the adoption process step by step as we have everything thus far so that we do not get overwhelmed.

I am looking forward to learning more and waiting patiently for a referral!
<3

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The home study...

So our first meeting with our case worker is May 31. This will be the first meeting of our home study. I don't really know what to expect. I'm not exactly sure what the home study process entails. I am sure we will find all of that out at the end of this month when we meet our case worker.:)

I am hoping that she gets a good impression of who Andrew and I both are and what kind of parents we are. With only 18 months of experience with being parents, I hope we will be able to give her all the information she needs. Because I already have my childcare license, and needed home inspections done for that, I am hoping there isn't too much that needs to be done within our house.

I must admit I am a little nervous about all of this, but I am sure that once we get started, it won't be so bad. The whole idea of a home study just sounds intrusive...like we're being judged...which I guess we are in a way.;) But it's definitely something we're willing to do openly b/c we really feel passionate about this adoption. I am going to try to embrace every piece of the process and just take it all one step at a time.

Friday, April 29, 2011

On our way

Well, we have turned in the online portion of our formal application!! We are planning to turn in the rest of the paperwork this afternoon to complete the formal application which will officially start our adoption process! I am so excited! There are so many unknowns to come, but also, so much to look forward to! Andrew and I appreciate the support from our family and friends as we begin this journey. Please pray for a smooth process with as few bumps in the road as possible. Also pray for understanding and the ability to deal with any bumps that may come our way. I really feel like there is a child out there, who is probably already conceived, and maybe even already born, who is meant to be our child. I read this quote in the paper a few weeks ago from a parent who has recently adopted. She said, "In our hearts, he was always ours. We simply needed to take him home." This was so touching to me because we feel this way also and it's the perfect way to put our desire to go through this process. I am excited to be able to start posting more blogs soon to keep you all in the loop with where we are along the way.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

One Less

I just wanted to post this video b/c it's amazing! I am sooooo glad we are blessed enough to be able to be a part of something like adoption...I hope that in the next couple years there will be "one less" child waiting for a forever family. Check out the video, the link is below!

http://youtu.be/8SDwZL5zGL8

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

.........

Well, we are still working on our formal application. We are really hoping to have that turned in soon, hopefully this Friday. There is so much paperwork and so many forms that need to be filled out. It is harder to find the time than I thought it would be, especially for our medical forms/physical release. Andrew's schedule makes it hard to get him appointments. But he is going tomorrow, and I had mine last week. Sooooo, after that we should be ready to turn it all in!!! This is pretty exciting because that will start the actual adoption process. They are telling us that as of now, from the time you hand in your formal application until you actually are taking your child home, it could be anywhere from 12 months to 2 years. Everything is so up in the air though and it's always possible for those things to change since we are dealing directly with another country. We are praying that there isn't too much waiting...but we are ready to handle whatever comes our way. We know we may have to be flexible and patient, and are ready to do so. Please keep us in your prayers!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

So much to consider...

Well, I thought that coming to the decision to adopt was the hard part. I was wrong. Now that Andrew and I are considering adoption, there are soooo many choices that need to be made: When to adopt, where to adopt from, what agency to use, where to get the money, how will our families react, how do we adjust, what needs to change, and soooo much more! We are going crazy with all of the "what ifs." I just wish there were answers...but I suppose like most good things in life, only time will tell. We need to trust that this is all part of a bigger plan and we are not in control. It's a scary thing.

So, for now, we are trying to handle all of the decisions and the confusion one day at a time. I'm praying that God guides us, provides for us, and shows us the way we are suppose to go. We appreciate your prayers as well.:)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I am officially a blogger.....

Well, I am blogging...I have a lot in my head but not a lot to write down. Last night my husband, Andrew, and I went to an adoption seminar hosted by Bethany Christian Services. It was great and I'm so glad we went.

We are not exactly sure what our next step will be, or when we'll take it...but our lives have been changing every day for the past...well...forever, but mostly over the past 16 months. I think we're getting use to change and adapting to the hand hand God has dealt us. We both would like to grow our family, and I think that God has lead us to adoption as the way to do so.

Please pray for us that we gain guidance and a level of comfort as we begin a new journey together.