Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hoping and praying

Time for another update. I really wish there were more exciting updates spaced closely together but we'll take every piece of good news and savor it whenever it comes!! 

So, our son was supposed to have a visa appointment Nov. 20. That didn't happen. I was completely and totally ANGRY. I was angry at our attorney, at our agency, at the government, at myself, at the world......you get the picture. Really in the grand scheme of things this wasn't the huge deal I made it out to be in my head. But I was irrationally upset when I received the email from the embassy telling us our appointment had been missed and none of our documents had been dropped off. Thank God my husband is much more level headed than I am. He has forbidden me from sending any more angry emails to our attorney, our agency or anyone else regarding our adoption. He's a smart one ;)

So, that day didn't start as well as I thought it was going to. I had been up at 2am praying for the interview that didn't happen. I was a hot mess at MOPS that morning trying to communicate with people halfway around the world and figure out what in the heck was going on. The moms there who don't know me probably think I am actually a total and complete hot mess since at the meeting before that we had learned about his visa interview. This adoption has kind of made me a hot mess but I think any mom who is unwillingly separated from her children would be.......

THEN to top it off I got THE email for our daughter. Whoa...perspective. I did not in any way, shape or form want to admit it that day but everything really was being worked out and it was going to be ok. Now, both of our kids have an appointment scheduled together on the same day at the same time for their US Visas. 

This is absolutely amazing and a total answer to prayer. Our I600 was approved on Sept. 6 but not into the system until September 13. And two months later we had visa appointments scheduled. Going off of the wait many other people were having I was shocked to have BOTH of our kids make it through the investigation process so quickly. We were settling ourselves in for a long, long wait.

But, making it through this part of the process so quickly now puts us in the awful, AWFUL position of having everything our kids need to come home except the exit letter. Once visas are issued we will be missing two little pieces of precious paper allowing our kids to leave with us. This suspension could last up to a year. 

Thinking about that makes me hyperventilate. 

We LOVE these kids. No, we haven't met them YET but we love them. We are committed to doing whatever we are able to do to help them heal, to make them a part of our family and to give them a loving home. We aren't going anywhere and we will see this process through until the end and bring these kids home to a family who is anxiously waiting to welcome them. If I could tell the DGM one thing it would be that. I truly do believe they are doing a disservice to MY kids. Yes, I will agree that there are probably parts of the process that need to be refined and fixed but punishing my kids and my family by keeping us apart is cruel and wrong and I wish they could see that. Just because some families had documents dated before a certain date does not make them more qualified to bring their kids home than ME. 

We have been anticipating bringing these kids home for months. And, we've come to a place where we can't wait any longer. We should be making a trip to bring them home at the end of this month. We are still hoping we are able to bring them home as soon as possible and we are asking for others to pray for that as well. But until we can bring them home we will settle for a visit to their country and we will continue hoping and praying for the day we are able to bring them home and complete our family.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Good news - hoping more is on the way!


It has been too long yet again since my last post on our blog.  Erin is much better at keeping things updated than I, but most of her thoughts get recorded elsewhere now, so this space is left to me.  Sorry for my lack of consistent posts.

I think it is high time I start with a few piece of great news.  First off, we finally got Espoir moved out of the orphanage and into foster care.  We didn't think this was going to be a big deal, but it took months for persistent emails and finally having someone who works for our agency in country personally walking the documents through each step.  It was great to get new update pictures with his fun-loving personality shining through again.  Even better news is that he is now int he same foster family as his sister and one other little one, so they are bonding before we get to meet them both.  I hope he is happy there until we can pick him up.

We also got a great email today - we have a visa appointment for Espoir!  We don't have to be there for this as our lawyer can represent us, but this interview is the last major hurdle before the US Embassy can issue his visa to come home.

More good news is that we still have donations coming in.  This is great, as we are finally approaching the point where the amount left doesn't seem so insurmountable a number anymore.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow - and trust that he will provide what is needed, when it is needed.

Unfortunately, good news always seems to be paired with more waiting and more bad news.  We are still waiting for a visa appointment for Maicha and hoping that we can make one trip to bring them both home.  The DGM (basically the Congolese equivalent of USCIS) has still not resumed issuing exit letters, which also complicates/extends the process for bringing the kids to the US.  Basically until this changes or until they decide which cases can be "grandfathered" in prior to them stopping the exit process, we won't be able to leave the country with our own children. Sad but true.

If you are still considering donating to our adoption process, we really could use the help.  Even though we are excited and extremely grateful for the help we have received, we still need ~$10,000 more to complete the process (and even more if we have to make two trips instead of one).

Please continue to pray for us as a family - all of us.  As the process were's on, Erin and I are becoming more worn and stressed, and this affects life at home as well.  Please pray for us to have peace and continue trusting that his plan is the best.  Please pray for our two kids which we desperately want to hold and care for but can't do it yet.  Please pray that the DRC government allows people to bring kids who are adopted home.

Friday, September 27, 2013


Tonight just keeps getting better and better!  After an extremely long week at work for me (and at home for my wife) I got home to find out that we have an issue with our plumbing and proceeded to dig up the lids for our septic tank and our septic tank cleanout.  The plumber comes tomorrow - please let it be something which is easy to fix.

By now you are probably wondering how any of that relates to our adoption - well it doesn't; but, to top off this week we got news from both our adoption agency and the US government about a new problem in the DRC.  The DGM (General Director of Migration) has stopped issuing exit letters to children being adopted from the Congo internationally.  This basically means that they are not letting people who are ready to take their kids home leave the country, or allowing any more internationally adopted children to leave the country for some unknown period of time.

Why?  That was the first question I asked.  That is easy to answer - once again an adoptive couple has tried to circumvent the DRC rules for adoption and has caused this unnecessary delay for every other person adopting from that country.  Honestly - why can't people just follow the rules so that it doesn't backfire and collapse the process for more than just you!  It makes me angry that people think it is OK to gamble time with my children for their adoption process.  If you don't meet the adoption criteria, don't apply to adopt from that country!  This country might be more lenient than most about the stretching of some of their rules, but some they are quite adamant about keeping - why would another couple try and break the same rule that caused the DGM to shut down in May?

Bottom line: I am upset. I am upset because no one knows how long the lock down will last - maybe a week, maybe a year.  I am upset because I completely understand why they are locking down the exit process and it was caused by something which was completely avoidable.

Please pray for the decision makers in Congo to realize that they should not punish the parents or the children who are waiting eagerly to be united and come home.  Pray that no other couple thinking about adoption breaks the rules and causes the country to rethink whether international adoption of their children is such a good idea.  Pray this shutdown is short and that our investigation process is short so we can quit worrying about other people keeping us from our kids.

Reference: http://adoption.state.gov/country_information/country_specific_alerts_notices.php?alert_notice_type=alerts&alert_notice_file=democratic_republic_of_congo_3

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Finally - The Home Stretch

It has been quite awhile since the last post; sometimes it was just too depressing to think about how much still stood between us and our kids.  However, the end is finally "in sight", although we still do not know when it will be.

We recently received news that our I600 application (petition to the US government to request the children be qualified as our immediate family) was approved.  This was the first step in what I would call the last phase in our journey.  Now we have to wait for the US Embassy in Kinshasa (DRC) to do an investigation verifying the veracity of the documents we submitted and the stories of our children.  Although the investigation itself doesn't take much time, there is a significant wait period prior to it being our turn: they estimate 3-6 months.  After the conclusion of the investigation, we will travel for our visa appointment and to pick up our kids and bring them home.

My parents will be sharing a brief view of our journey in their church tomorrow.  This really can't come at a better time as we are needing a big final push in our fundraising to reach the amount needed for the last payment to our lawyer and travel expenses.  If you know anyone with a heart for adoption, please pass along our information and our need.
Speaking of homes - ours recently changed.  About a month and a half ago, Erin and I decided that our current home, which we loved, was not going to be a good layout for our family when G and O (the new kiddos) come home.  Thus, we decided to sell our house and find a new one.  This went very quickly (our house was only on the market for two days) and then we visited 25+ houses before finding our new home.  As we unpack boxes and reset up rooms, we look forward to the day when all the rooms are full.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Checking in

Hello everyone!!

I realized it had been a month since our last post!! There is not much new to report. We have passed court and our CONA period which means according to the government of our children's birth country we are legally their parents. We are incredibly excited. Unfortunately we are still playing the waiting game and probably will be for many more months. To be honest I can't swell on it too much or it just gets depressing. We desperately want to have our children in our arms. But, we wait for the proper government and paperwork legalities to be worked out. We are waiting for some documents to be corrected - some simply typos could potentially hold us up later so we feel it is best to wait now and have them fixed. Then we file I600. Once approved it is forwarded to the embassy. Then we settle in to the excruciating (every part of waiting is excruciating) embassy investigation period. We are holding out hope we won't have to wait the entire 6 months while also reminding ourselves to be realistic and prayerfully patient.

So, that's the latest. More waiting. We are praying for an ethical and expeditious process. I don't believe those have to be mutually exclusive of each other. We are hoping and praying our children are being cared for by people who truly care about them and that they are experiencing, even a little, what it feels like to live within a family. Their brother and sisters are anxiously waiting for them to come home and always ask when they will be coming home. We have their pictures up in our house and when the little girls run by their pictures on the fridge they shout out their new brother's name. It really is precious. I cannot wait until he is home and they are shouting at him to stop chasing them ;)

In our life news we have accepted an offer on our house and hope to be moving into a new home this fall. We felt confident that our house would sell but we did not expect it to happen in 3 days. Nevertheless it is one thing to cross off our list of things to think about. Now the fun of finding a home to fit all 8 of us! And a garage that will house our ginormous van!!!!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Prayer Does Stuff

Only a few days have passed since my last posting and our adoption situation has completely changed.  On Tuesday of this week (June 25) we were notified that we had passed court!  This means that according to DRC law, we are officially recognized as the parents of our kids (assuming we have also passed the 30-day appeal period as well).  Now we will move on to dealing with the US Government...hurray...

I believe that this was a reminder to me from God, that when you are in a situation that is draining you and you can't do anything to change it, you should be praying.  Not only should you be praying, you should be asking others to pray for you.  This is always something I have been bad at doing - to ask someone else to pray for you, you first have to be comfortable expressing your situation to them and asking for their help.

It amazes me that we can wait so long and then three days after people start praying for this specific piece of the process to be done, it is.  So, when you are in that place where you can't see the end of the journey because you have sunk so far down in the mud, remember (that as we used to say at camp) PRAYER DOES STUFF.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Slump

I have hit it - the adoption slump.

I suppose I should first apologize to everyone following our story only through this blog as Erin and I have become somewhat lax in updating it lately.  To be fair, I should say that the reason this hasn't been updated lately is because we really haven't made much progress.

Since we received the referrals of our two new kids in early April, our in country lawyer has been doing most of the work to keep the adoption moving forward.  All the hearings and court documents were collected for both kiddos between when we got their referrals and May 9 - when we were officially submitted to court!  That was a good day, as it was the beginning of the court process to make the kids legally ours.  

We were hoping this would be a quick process - like 4-5 weeks (not uncommon).  It has been 6.5 and we are growing steadily more impatient.  It is very hard for us to sit in the "holding pattern" for this long and not start to feel some discouragement that no progress is being made, especially when we know that this wait will most likely be minuscule in comparison to waiting for the US government to complete their "investigation" of our case (3-6 months after they have approved our paperwork).

Please pray for our patience and our attitudes as this process continues to weigh down on us.  It is very hard to see the light at the end of this tunnel some times, and waiting that much longer to meet and hold our new kids is a heavy load.  Also, please pray for the workers at the US embassy in Kinshasa and the DRC government, that they may be ethical, thorough, and expedient in their work.

One more thing to pray for - please pray that we pass court before the 27th.  It is a birthday present that would make my wife's day special and memorable.

PS Fundraising Update
People ask me fairly often how our fundraising efforts are coming.  I would be remiss if I didn't thank one very generous family member who loaned us a large sum of money to cover an invoice which helped get our case into court.  I would also like to thank everyone else who has been supportive of our adoption financially.  However, there are still some rather large payments which will have to be made, and plenty of opportunity for anyone to help us out (direct donation, puzzle fundraiser, through a 31 party with Erin, etc...).  Please - if you know of anyone with a heart for adoption that would be interested in helping two more kids get to their forever families, pass this page or one of our fundraising cards to them.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Yesterday was an odd mix of emotions for me.

I am over the moon happy and excited that we have accepted our referrals. That we have pictures to look at and specific kids to pray for. Picking out names, talking about room situations, reading books and educating ourselves on what is to come in our family - all of it is an amazing experience.

And then there is a little bit of sadness that creeps in. While we are excited and happy here our kids lives are being turned upside down. They're being moved in with foster families instead of living in an orphanage. This is awesome in the long run as they are able to experience family life, be fed, dressed and have attention. But, how confusing must that be? I will be forever grateful for my kids' foster family and I hope to be able to give them a hug and expressed my gratitude in person. So, yes, I'm happy for my kids that they will be living with a family but sad that they are experiencing another disturbance in their little lives. Another unknown, another new place, another new situation.

I keep reminding myself that in the midst of my excitement they may be filled with confusion. I hope the transition to a new home is smooth and I hope they are able to be happy and thrive there. I hope the family is able to love them unconditionally while we wait.

And while I'm excited there is also a longing. A longing to hug them, squeeze them, love them and have them know that *I* am their Mommy. That our home and our family will be the LAST new home they have to come to and adjust to. I want so badly for them to have that knowledge, to know they are loved and prayed for. Every day that passes is another day that I miss out on being their Mommy, another day that I miss out on seeing the daily changes in our daughter in these early stages of her life, another day that we don't get to experience as a whole and complete family. Every day we wait for more paperwork and progress on our case is another day they become attached to other people. People that we will eventually take them away from and the fact that we will cause hurt to them when we do that hurts me.

Adoption can be so beautiful but it doesn't come without loss. Adoption can be redeeming but it certainly isn't without pain. Adoption can be so romanticized sometimes but it is also hard. It comes with a mix of emotions for both us and for our kids we will bring home. So, today I'm praying and hoping for an expedient and ethical process. That we are able to bring home our kids as soon as possible. I'm praying for a loving and caring home and family for E & M to live with while we all wait for their government and ours to finish the necessary steps in this process.

Friday, April 12, 2013


Well, I think it is time to get these thoughts out of my head and down in writing.  This is more about something that has been on my heart than specifically about our adoption, but to me the two are married.

At Sandy Hook Elementary on December 14, 2012 a young man entered an elementary school and opened fire killing 20 children and 6 adults.  The media showed the country what had happened and we were outraged.  How could one man ever justify this kind of action? How was he able to do it?  What can we do to stop it from happening again?  The school locked down, the cops became more alert, and the politicians legislated.  I am not going to comment on whether I think the actions being taken are the right ones - just that this outrageous occurrence spurred people into action.  People from across the country looked at this event and it struck their hearts with sorrow, anger, and fear.  They hated that it happened, they sympathized with the pain the families who lost loved ones were feeling, and parents everywhere felt a little less safe sending their kids to school the next day.  At least that's how I felt.

As horrible as this was, it pointed out one thing very clearly to me: I am blessed to live in a country where the death of children outrages everyone.  Now here's the part I don't understand - why is it that the murder of 20 American children stirs nationwide outrage while the millions of children that die worldwide go unnoticed?  Since I know the most about the DRC statistics, let's just talk about that for a minute. According to USAID, there are 460,000 children under the age of 5 that die every year.  To put that in perspective - that is equivalent to the number of deaths due to the Sandy Hook shooting happening every 22 minutes all year long. And that is just the DRC.  What makes this even more concerning is that unlike our inability to stop every nut with a gun or other instrument of death, most of these deaths are preventable.

Why is it that we care so much for 20 American kids and not for all the kids dying around the world?  Is it the fact that it is happening so quickly that we have become callous to the situation?  Or maybe that the problem is so enormous that we don't think our caring about it matters? Or maybe it is because there are so many other people that care, we don't need to do anything personally?

Here is what I think is outrageous: every American has heard these words "We hold these truths to be self- evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness..." and so few of take them to heart.  If you believe EVERY man is created equal, then why do we care more for one American we don't know than for one foreigner who is equally unknown?  How do we justify the belief that all men have the right to life when there are so many dying from things we can help prevent?  How do we justify the belief that all men have the right to liberty when so many are oppressed by situation or by government?  How do we justify the belief that all men have the right to pursue happiness when there are so many that don't even have food to eat or clothes to wear?  How can we say we believe these things and then do nothing?

I am not saying we can fix the World - I am only saying you shouldn't give up trying to help people indiscriminately. Don't be callous to things just because you don't want to believe they are happening.  Let those little people who you hear about suffering and dying break your heart just like the death of the kids at Sandy Hook did.  Let it make you angry that there are children who can't even get one meal a day.  Let it be outrageous to you and move you to action.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Adoption UPDATE!!

As I'm sitting down to type this I have the "Announcement Song" from my camp days stuck in my head. As a staff we sang it every morning during breakfast when we had morning announcements about the day. Such a fun (and random) memory.

We do have a BIG announcement though so maybe that song is actually appropriate right now....

Awhile back my husband mentioned kids our attorney was hoping to refer to us. Long story short (very short) that didn't work out. There are many details but none that can or will be shared in a public forum. Suffice it to say we are confident God allowed us to be in the waiting season that long for a reason.

Now, for the BIG news.....(drumroll please!)

We have not one but TWO referrals! 

Here's the story:

In early March a few people from our agency were in country visiting kids, orphanages and foster homes. At this time we were so, SO hopeful we would see the first pictures of the kids we were originally hoping to be referred. We even sent a care package for them. Anyway, one of the many orphanages they visited had several kids waiting and available for adoption. I saw the pictures and one little kiddo totally grabbed my heart right away but I kept pushing that back telling myself 'No, we are planning to adopt these other two kids'. I showed the picture to my husband who was thinking the same thing as me. In the back of my head I was trying to rationalize the cost and craziness of bringing THREE kids into our family. It didn't take long for that to get squashed.

Fast forward a couple weeks and I had continued to look at the picture every.single.day. All the while waiting and hoping to hear that our other case was ready to move forward. I even requested MORE pictures from our agency. Then the crazy thoughts of three kids really got going - haha.

In the end our first case was not able to move forward. Both Mike and I were 100% ready to move forward and say YES to this precious little BOY! Yes, folks, Elliot will finally have a brother. E is around 3 years old and everyone who has met him tells us he is such a joy and so much fun. I cannot wait!

So, that was referral #1. The referral day I had read about and thought about so much for over a year ended up being nothing like I thought it would! We had not seen ourselves adopting an "older" child which means we have paperwork to update but, now that we've said yes I can not imagine not doing this. Does that make sense?

So, we had our first referral. We were over the moon excited. Now, the waiting for referral #2 started. I thought I had been a compulsive e-mail checker before but nothing compared to the way I was in the week between Referral #1 & Referral #2.

Monday (4/8) I had a random burst of motivation to really clean my one of my kid's rooms. Since this seldom happens I decided I better take advantage of it. I had Pandora turned on on my phone & plugged into our speakers we have in the kitchen. The kids love to dance & I figured it would keep them busy. So, I missed two phone calls from our agency. When I finally emerged from the now immaculate cleaner room and saw that I immediately called back. Most of our communication is through email so I figured it had to be BIG if I was getting called twice!

Sure enough, Referral #2 was waiting for us in our inbox. I had so many emotions running through me but all I could do was cry. And it was the ugly cry - overwhelming excitement, love, anxiety, etc.

I loaded all the girls up and picked Mike up at work so we could see this picture together for the first time.

We opened up the email and waited very impatiently while the photo loaded. Our little GIRL is absolutely precious! *cue more tears from me* She is 5 DAYS old in her picture. We never expected a referral for a baby THAT little. Little M has a full head of hair I'm going to need to learn how to style!

It has been an emotional roller coaster the past two weeks. We are buckled up and ready for the next steps! So, ready for this process to move along and already so excited and anxious to bring these precious kids into our family. Hopefully this means many more exciting update posts to come on this blog SOON!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Are You A Piece of Our Puzzle????

What can you buy with $5:
A combo meal at some fast food restaurants
A large starbucks coffee
A large bag of candy
A gallon of gas
A 12 pack of soda
1/2 of a movie ticket
1/8th of your cable bill for a month (maybe)

Here is another option for $5 - help bring our kids home. We are super psyched about our latest fundraiser! It will be such an awesome tangible way for our kids to see how many people helped to bring them home.

Here's the deal.....

I am going to ask every single person I know for $5 AND I want them to ask everyone they know for $5 (share the blog, share on FB, share the postcards we sent, word of mouth, etc.)

Here is how this will work:

We bought two 1000 piece puzzles

We are "selling" each piece for $5

For every $5 we collect your name (or your family's name, your dogs name, any name you want) will go on the back of the puzzle piece

When all 2000 pieces are "sold" or sponsored we'll frame the puzzles in a double sided glass frame. That way we can look at the cool puzzle on one side and flip it over to see everyone who has helped us bring our kids home. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Where does the money go?

I would like to begin this post with a big "Thank You" to all the people who have given so generously to help us bring our kids home.  The donations we have received are very appreciated and have already been put to good use.

I get asked frequently about where the money all goes and when it is needed, so I am going to give you an abbreviated break down and the approximate time frames we hope each of these will be paid:

Homestudy: $1800 (already paid)
I600A: $900 (already paid)
Consultancy Fees: $2700 (mostly paid)
Document Translations: $300 (already paid)
Lawyer Fees: $20000 (3 sections, 1 now, 1 in 1 month, 1 in 3-5 months)
In-Country Foster Care: $8000 (~1 month)
Travel Expenses:$6600 (near the end of the process, ~3-5 months)
Readoption Fees: $2000 (after the kids come home, ~6-8 months)
Post Placement Visits: $500 (after the kids come home, ~6-8 months)

Two important notes: Lawyer fees cover all the expenses of the in-country adoption process (gifts to the orphanage, paperwork, court costs, passport, visa, Lawyer's time and expenses, etc...); Foster care is not government funded in the DRC - if you don't pay for your child to live in a hospitable environment, then they are left in the institutions.  Also, keep in mind that the time frames that I listed are what we want - this generally means when we would be paying these fees if there are not big delays in our process.

For those of you who were unfamiliar with the expenses of the adoption process, I hope this helps explain why ours costs what it costs.  This fee breakdown is unique to our adoption (2 children being adopted internationally through a specific lawyer), so don't be surprised if you see someone else's and it is different.  There is one thing I can pretty much guarantee will be the same - it will not be a small amount of money by the time the process is finished.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A little bit of progress...

We got our I-600A approval in the mail last Friday!  Basically it is a letter from the US government stating that we are pre-approved to be adoptive parents to some international children.  It is only a small step forward, but it helps us feel like progress is being made.  It was also the last piece of our dossier (what is delivered for review to the court in the DRC) which was missing, so that was nice to have done and being sent off for translation (into French, the official language).

Unfortunately, we are still waiting for information on the kids they keep telling us about.  It is very hard to not become discouraged or depressed when you keep expecting to hear about your kids and the information never comes.  It is kind of like we were supposed to have that 20 week ultrasound - where you get a good look at your kids for the first time - back in November, and it just keeps getting pushed off.

I am pretty sure adoption is another example of how social media, namely facebook, is both a blessing and a curse.  We are able to share in the journeys of many adoptive families as they happen.  It is incredible to share in the joy of children finding families, and so hard to watch everyone else get news about their kids and not get any yourself. It is amazing to have the support of so many going through the same process as you, but easy to become envious of those whose process is progressing faster and easier than your own.

This is another time when we must remember that every journey is different and trust that God's plan for our adoption journey is better than the way we want it to be.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A bad week....

Last week was a bad week.

We were excited, and maybe that was part of why last week was as bad as it was. We were anticipating good news, progress, explanation...and instead received bad news, delays, and answers simply consisting of "Wait."

We mailed our I600A application November 14 and were given our biometrics appointments on December 10. Based on other  people's timelines, this meant we would be receiving our approval letter in early January.  We had hoped it would be waiting for us when we got back from Christmas vacation - it wasn't. We hoped it would be in the mail one of the days in the next week - it wasn't. Finally we got a letter from the Department of Homeland Security. Hurray! Our approval had finally come...except it wasn't our approval.  It was a letter stating that they wanted a new copy of our homestudy before the middle of February.  Why?  Because the dates of our criminal background checks were not included in the first homestudy. Apparently, the presence of these dates in the homestudy is currently up for debate between the agencies and the US government (since we don't use an agency, that information is coming directly from our homestudy provider). I don't really care who is right - but it seems foolish to not have the required information layed out somewhere and for both parties to abide by it until it is changed.  When this doesn't happen, we end up where we are today - with adoptive parents stuck in the middle of the debate waiting for approval from one party that says the dates have to be there and the other party saying they stopped putting them on because of requests further down the road. What does it mean for us - we get delayed. Bad News.

Our attorney in country told us in November that there were kids which she wanted to refer to us. We were excited and wanted to know more. We have been waiting for news, waiting for the actual referral packet of information.  Instead of getting that, we have been told to wait. How long? Another month. I want everything to be done correctly just like everyone else involved, but how long does it take? Just more bad news that we won't know any more about our kids until a month from now, when they once again could say "Wait" or even worse "These kids are not adoptable".

To top off our wonderful week, we went and had our appointment with the travel doctor. Nothing too dramatic, but shots never make it onto my list of things included in a "Good" week. The good news about the shots is that neither Erin or I have seen major side effects of the vaccinations.

We knew there would be bumps in the road, but the potholes never look as deep when they are farther away. Although we may not know his plan for us, and we may not appreciate his timing now, we are comforted in knowing that God's plan is better than our own. For that reason, we are still trusting His plan.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Adoption Pictures

At the end of October we had a local photographer take some pictures for us to use in our announcements. My kids are no strangers to having their pictures taken and they had been to this particular house and photographer many, many times and still it was nearly a disaster. Rachel is a trooper though and has some amazing skills when it comes to capturing my kids. Even when I think a photo shoot has been a complete bust she manages to get images that make my heart melt and breathe a sigh of relief that I did not waste my money!! My four munchkins made her work for it this time and I'm sure she thought we had completely lost our minds for wanting to add two more to the mix of crazy that came to her house that night!

So, for your viewing pleasure.......

Photo Credit: Reflections by Rachel (rbrfoto.com)