Sunday, June 5, 2016

Godspeed please!

We finally received our translated referral last week (the official "match" from Colombia that basically says they have approved us to be Eimy's family).
The translation took longer than normal because apparently (for one example) one of the documents that is usually one page, was eighteen. (doh)

When we finally got that, I was able to start the paperwork to get Eimy's immigration to the US started (along with update our medical reports, get FBI approvals/fingerprinting, get final grant approvals, fill out placement agency paperwork, write big checks, and many other forms)

Oh, and since we are in the middle of buying a house, we have to do some extra paperwork, and I have to send it to our agency first to review instead of sending it directly to USCIS (immigration).

Each tiny step seems to be delayed a few days : which is driving me crazy because each delayed day adds up.

I have spent the last week with my head buried in paperwork, checking my email obsessively, and running around to do things like a chicken with my head cut off.

I am praying. praying. praying. that the paperwork I overnighted to the agency on Friday is ok, and that we can get the I-800 out in the next few days. And then I am praying some more that, by some miracle only capable of God's direct intervention, that our paperwork lands on the right person's desk who will be able to handle our craziness.
Please God, I really pray that our whoever opens that overflowing envelope has inhuman capabilities that day (and that they have a light load so are able to get to our file quick!)

Realistically, once the I-800 goes out, I believe it takes about 6 (maybe 4) weeks until we will be in country :(
I guess it takes time to get pre-immigration approved (which we need in order to apply for and get visas for us) and then for things to be prepped for us in Colombia.

To all who touch our journey : Godspeed everyone, Godspeed!
We have a pretty special little girl we can't wait to meet :)




Monday, May 23, 2016

This. Is. Happening.

So - we are going to have another daughter!

Her name is Eimy, and she just turned 3 :)
A quick re-cap of the last few months:

Tuesday, March 22 : I had a scheduled call with our agency about what to do about our wait.
We were beyond frustrated, and were looking into what other possible options we could pursue with Colombia to help get matched with a child.

When our case worker called me, I was beyond shocked to hear her say :
I have an unofficial referral for you.
I don't remember much more of the conversation, or that day, but my heart was in my stomach when I hung up with her and looked for the email with "the pictures".
I just wanted to see her.
And suddenly they were there: grainy photocopied pictures.
I cried. And with wide eyes, uttered the words "oh.. my.. God..." a few times (in amazement, praise, and thankfulness! :)

I texted Nate frantically and repeatedly to call me. After I told him, he made up some my-wife-is-crazy-excuse to come home a little early from work to sit in shock with me.

Since then, we have been filing more paperwork to get the "official referral".

We found out on Wednesday, May 18 (eimy's third birthday) that the official referral was on it's way. It just has to be translated (which takes a few days).
Don't worry, I am checking my email about every other minute looking for that one.

When do we travel to get her? We are estimating in about six weeks.
Shortly after we arrive, we will meet Eimy - and she will stay with us until the adoption is finalized in Colombia! (about 4-6 weeks in country?)
Nate will be able to stay the first two weeks (as that is all the vacation he has a year), then will have to come home to work. Elle and my mom will stay the rest of the time.

We waited 4.5 years since we submitted our paperwork to our first agency, until we got that call. And I don't regret a single minute of it.

Colombia, here we come!



Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Wait List Update

Latest update number ... 559.
We are excited that it is progress, but humble as we know we have a long way to go.

It is not unheard of for a family to be "#1" and still wait 6+months. The scenerios I have heard of this happening is when a family's file is sent to a region along with a couple other families, but there isn't a match for that family in that region at that time, so their paperwork is sent back to ICBF. Governments and paperwork aren't a speedy process, or does it always make sense!

If everything went perfect, and based on the progress since our last update, we can estimate that we have about 16 more months to wait - but we are very cautious that this is a very very rough estimate and fully expect things to possibly take longer.

Please pray with us to remember to let go, and let God

Thursday, May 7, 2015

God is bigger than the NUMBER

Recently we learned we were #776 on the wait list (we were #927 on July 3). 
There is an estimate that we have another two years to wait for our Colombian bundle- but my soul argues that God is bigger than wait list numbers. 

The last few weeks have been especially heavy on my heart  for some reason. 

Being in a hurry for an international adoption is cause for concern (as children available too quickly should raise red flags & I don't want to take a child out of their environment/country/etc unless they truly need it) but I think my soul is growing weary. I started praying for this almost 5 years ago. And it has been a roller coaster - just as we had been warned might happen :) 

It is hard to know just how much a heart can take, and yet I know that no matter the wait, with Jesus in my heart I will be able to do it. I have faith in his timing, as so far looking back, he has blessed us far more through this journey already, than we could imagine (and we haven't even gotten to the best part yet!).

And yet, as I said before, I think that God is bigger than our "estimates" and "wait lists".
That there is a child that is meant to fill the hole in our family.
I don't want to ask for prayers for the wait to move quickly (because that means that that there are too many children who are in orphanages waiting for families), but for that hole to be filled much sooner because just the right child needs us (as we need them).
(It probably doesn't help that a few days ago Elle started asking about a "little brudder". Bless her heart!)

This prayer of Jesus, while his circumstances were far worse, gives me courage to still pray boldly for this wait to be over...
"My father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." 


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Waiting, Waiting

How often can you give an update that "we are still waiting" :)

We recently completed an updated home study (our 4th), paid some more fees (I am not even bothering to keep track anymore), finalized our transfer to our new agency, updated immigration paperwork, got fingerprinted for the 4th time, and Nate renewed his passport since it was set to expire this year.

I will just share my thoughts on part of a conversation with someone at our new agency:
"Now that you have your daughter, have your feelings about adoption changed, and are you still dedicated to it?"
I wanted to scream in to the phone how the idea of this adoption hurts more than ever and my heart aches to hold,comfort,love, and hopefully be loved, by this new child.
That the wait is agonizing.
That experiencing the birth and bond with our daughter made me realize how much a birthmother is sacrificing.
That after realizing how quickly we bonded, the idea of someone else raising my daughter made me crumble. The idea of how traumatized she would be wondering where her mom was: and yet knowing that our adoptive child would have gone through exactly that.
That at every stage of our daughter's life, I have compared and thought about another child going through their life with no family, hitting those milestones with nobody there who really appreciated and loved them.
That on the many nights I sneak in to my daughter's room and watch her sleep, a part of me slips away to an orphanage somewhere: imaging a child sleeping with nobody bothering to check on them.
That every time she has cried for me when I left the room, I could tell her that I was coming back: and literally every time I spoke those words of assurance, I would grieve for the child whose parent didn't come back.

The blessing of our daughter is so much more than just the joy of having her in our family: it has given me a whole new perspective of adoption. So now, more than ever, do I want to wrap my arms around a little one and be able to tell them "mama's here".


please pray that our adoption will continue to move along - our new agency is warning us that there is a possibility that colombia may yet make us go on hold (we were supposed to when our daughter was born, and didn't even though we reported it) if we do not go on hold : there is a chance we could see a referral this year. God, may it be, but may we have patience to wait if that is your plan.

Friday, October 10, 2014

For Colombia, we wait.

We are sticking the course.
To our future family in Colombia: we aren't giving up yet. Why? God hasn't told us to yet.

I know that there are people who are screaming at their computer: just give up already! Maybe this isn't meant to be. Just do something else..
I have been in your shoes, I have made my own judgements/assumptions when I thought I knew better how someone should be living their life, or the choices they should make. But the honest truth is, we don't know. I don't know how God is working your life, so whatever decisions you make: I have to trust that you are doing them with God's guidance.
And I can tell you with honest excitement that God is asking us to wait. We honestly feel like God hasn't told us to stop, and the cues we have gotten so far leading up to this have told us that this is where we need to be. So until there is a real roadblock, we will trust in God's timing.

So we are continuing: Filling out more paperwork with a new agency, updating homestudies, fingerprints, and all the other meaningless paperwork the governments ask us to do (seriously: my fingerprints haven't changed from the last 4 times we did this...)

Here is my biggest prayer request to go along with this update: pray for patience (this is my biggest struggle) as we are approaching 4-DIGIT wait list days.
Pray that we can try every day to take our hands off the steering wheel and let God take control. When we did this in the beginning of this journey, we saw some powerful stuff. The longer we wait the harder it is to try to not take control. I don't want to miss God's ending: He does some of the most amazing work :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Transition

We are in a time of adoption transition.
Bethany will no longer be conducting adoptions in Colombia. (They are partnering with another agency, and we can transfer to that agency and continue on)

This comes at a time where we are also considering what our adoption process is supposed to look like now. There are less infants available for adoption in Colombia than there was when we started this process, and the wait for us (if Colombia continues to stay open) will likely be years..

It is hard to say that you are considering "jumping ship". We knew there would be ups and downs, delays, but we honestly were not expecting this long. Our desires for adoption have not changed, if we decide to leave Colombia, it will be for another program. The hard part is, do we trust God's timing and continue to follow the path we felt called to in the beginning of this process, or do we fulfill our desires for another child and pursue an avenue that might bring us one sooner.

I don't want to leave Colombia. The culture, the connections, the call we first felt there... I am not sure we will leave. But the wait is hard. I honestly think the hardest thing I have ever done. I thought that a year would be hard, and now we have been waiting for three, with more to go.

And today, I am looking at the waiting children profiles, and my heart is melting. Seriously friends, if you could just see their faces: you would be signing up for a home study without caring if your case worker will see your bed unmade.

So this is a plea for prayers so we know what God wants us to do, and a plea for anyone considering adoption or foster care : fill out the preliminary application and see these children's faces, you will not regret it :)