Friday, December 21, 2012

Not Much

I was really, REALLY hoping to post some exciting news here today.

But, today was not the day for that. There isn't much new to report. We are still waiting to receive our I600a approval. Our fingerprints were on the 10th and if our case follows a similar timeline to others that we know our approval should be here very soon. But, Christmas happens next week which throws a wrench into the mix. I'll stalk the mailbox again tomorrow!!!

I was also really, really hoping to post some news from our attorney. I was really, really hoping to have pictures for Christmas. To know something, anything about our kids. But, that isn't looking likely. I'm bummed but in the grand scheme of things I know the timing will all work out perfectly. We're still short on what we need to make our referral payment. It's all in God's hands & in His timing. I know that and I will trust in that.

So, all that to say there really isn't much new to report. Hopefully in the new year we will have exciting news and many, many updates. Please continue to pray for us, our kids (all of them!), our hearts & theirs to be open and ready and as prepared as we can be for this big change. Please also continue to pray for provision. We have many, many funds to raise in a very, very, very short amount of time. We believe it will happen & we are doing what we can to make it happen.

If I don't make it back to this space before Christmas or New Year's I hope that everyone has a wonderful and blessed holiday!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012


December 10 we made the trek to Des Moines to have our fingerprints taken as part of our I600a process. It was a lot of driving for the 5 minutes it took to scan our fingerprints and stamp our papers. But, it's done! And now we wait and pray and hope our approval comes back quickly!

A quick picture we snapped before leaving :)

We are anxiously waiting for our referral and praying for a speedy process. Having our I600a approval is a big, big step torward that. As always we are praying for the funds to come together to accept our referrals. Right after that step we will turn around and have to pay for our court costs. Since things will most likely (and hopefully) move quickly these payments will have to happen very closely together. We hope, pray and anticipate travel to pick up our kids to be anywhere from 4-9 months after referral. Most other families going the route we are have traveled in 4-5 months. That is both exciting and terrifying! Exciting in that our children won't have to be without their family for long but terrifying in that we have a lot of fundraising ahead of us!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


*(This was written November 14 but not posted until today)*

November 14, 2012 we finally picked up our completed and notarized homestudy. Holy hallelujah. Those that know me well know I am not necessarily a patient person so it was torture to wait 3.5 months to get this process finished. It's likely I'm going to need a lot of prayers in the months waiting to go pick up our children. It was even more torturous knowing that it was done the 13th but their notary was out of the office that afternoon so we couldn't pick it up. I had actually dressed the girls and myself up and was planning to mail it after picking E up from school. Instead I had to fight back the bitterness at waiting yet another day. See, I told you....patience is not my thing ;)

But my husband was able to express mail (he knows how to keep me happy & deal with impatience - good man) our precious envelope of information. It will arrive in Texas by 3pm November 15th. When they start processing it he will receive a text message and I will receive an e-mail. Even the fine folks at USCIS know how to soothe us anxious and impatient adoptive parents. For a short while at least.

So, now what? What does it actually mean to have submitted our I600A?

In a couple weeks we hope to receive a notification of an appointment for our biometrics. That's a big fancy word to say we'll be headed to Des Moines to have our fingerprints done. Once they run those and determine we're not criminals or extreme menaces to society they'll issue our approval. The I600A is an advanced processing of an orphan petition. This will give us 'permission and approval' to adopt. Later, after we have received a referral, gone through the court process and are ready for the US Embassy in Kinshasa to do their thing we'll file an I600 which is a petition to classify an orphan as an immediate relative. That will give us permission to bring them HOME to the United States as our children.

The I-171H is what we'll receive from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service when our I600A is approved. That will be the last piece of our dossier and will mean we are officially paper ready to receive a referral. Yay!

I know that was a lot of 'technical' jargon and numbers and letters and it may not make a ton of sense - I'm still trying to completely understand every single step myself. But the short of it is this is really good news. It's a big, big positive step forward.

Now, pray our approval comes back FAST. Like under 6 weeks fast. I want our approval letter for my Christmas present. How awesome would THAT be?!?

Monday, November 12, 2012


If you are reading this you have no doubt received our letter or seen our links on Facebook. We would like to welcome you to this slice of cyberspace where we plan to document our journey to bringing home our children.

This journey started in early 2012 when I (Erin) felt adoption really being laid on my heart. I kept pushing it away saying "we just made the decision to be DONE having more kids!" We were at peace and settled with that decision. But, adoption was still there in the back of my mind just fighting with all my other thoughts to get to the front of the line. Eventually I poured out my thoughts in written form to Petey. He resisted the idea at first, too. We tabled further discussion until we both had a chance to pray about it and really think it over. When we approached the subject again we were both 100% on board and ready to move forward. Without much discussion we both agreed we would be pursuing an international adoption. The where was a little tougher to figure out. Due to our age, the number of children we already have and the limited time we can spend in country we were automatically disqualified from several countries. Initially we were drawn to Ethiopia and nearly submitted applications but something just wasn't right and we held back. We just weren't at peace with pursuing an adoption for an infant who wouldn't even be conceived for another 2+ years. So, we researched more. Knowing some families from our former church had pursued an adoption from the Democratic Republic of Congo piqued our interest. When we started learning the facts about life for many of that country's orphans we knew this was where our children were waiting for us. Our eyes were opened and we could not turn away knowing what we knew. So, the researching for a new agency got underway. We joined message boards and connected with many other adoptive families. This was how we learned of DRC Adoption Services. I had been in contact with a couple other agencies we were seriously considering but after speaking with Amy I was convinced we had finally found the path to connect us with our kids. So, we jumped in. We submitted our homestudy in mid-August and finished it mid-November. We are very anxiously and excitedly waiting for the next steps that will bring our children HOME to us. Adoptions from the Democratic Republic of Congo generally move very fast compared to many other countries. We will hopefully have many frequent updates about our process and our fundraising efforts. We hope and pray that you will join us in this journey - celebrating our big news and praying us through the hard days.