Monday, April 23, 2012

Another Q&A

I thought I would cover another Q&A (click here for more) since we have been getting some of the same questions again (somehow this is a long one, so I do apologize for that!). Don't be afraid to ask us more though, and we aren't really sensitive about what you ask either, we love to share our story and love to talk about it just like any proud soon to be parent :)

How long is the wait? How many people are ahead of you?
One of the hardest questions we get! We try to tell most people that we plan to wait up to two years, but it could be as early as 6 months? We really don't know. We try to keep asking (the people at Bethany are pretty good sports!), but we can't seem to get an answer on where we are on the list. I think there are 5-7 families who are waiting at the same time as us at Los Pisingos, but we don't know how many are ahead of us and we don't know how many children are waiting. We are pretty much on pins and needles at the time, so waiting is exhausting!

Will you have any idea you are about to get a referral?
Probably not. I think someone told us that they were asked to make sure their background clearances, etc. are up to date right before they got a referral, but I don't think we can plan on that. Basically we are just planning on one of these days getting a phone call or email that we have a referral! And then I will probably cry and be a wreck and have to take the rest of the day off from work :)

What do you mean by referral?
A referral is when the adoption house has matched us to a child (we are so thankful for Los Pisingos, they pray over every match they make!). They will send our agency a picture as well as some history and medical information, and then they will pass that information on to us. We could say no, but we highly doubt we could do that, we believe God will send the referral that He wants for us! And again: we are expecting boy/girl and one year/less.

Why does it take so long to get a referral?
Good question, and I am not sure if I have the most accurate answer. I know that they want a child to be adopted locally first/make sure there are no other family members able to care for them, and then there are other people waiting ahead of us, and there are a lot of legal policies to follow. It just takes time. We want to be sensitive to that since this is a child we are talking about, we definitely want to make sure things are handled right and not rushed.

So you get your referral and then what? How long between referral and travel?
We will send our letter of acceptance to the adoption house within one week of the referral and then we are running around like crazy people getting everything ready since my goal is to travel within about 4 weeks after we get our referral (I think this is pretty quick to do, but I am going for a Bethany record).
There are multiple forms we need to have updated such as medical letters, FBI approvals, & employee letters, as well as moving ahead with immigration approvals and paperwork. And then we also need to get visas, flights, hotels, arrange transportation, prepare for 6 weeks abroad, finish required "training", finish baby/nursery prep, buy all the clothes for the baby, give notices and prepare our jobs for our absences, etc. etc. oh yah- and work and sleep and eat and maybe shower.
I think the big things we wait on are the necessary approvals to be completed for immigration (for the child- we are filing for them to immigrate back to the U.S. with us- most of the paperwork is done ahead of time so that they become citizens as soon as their feet touch US soil) and then we wait for Colombia to give us a "presentation" date (which is the day after we arrive in Colombia usually and get to meet our baby!).

What are you plans for when it comes time to travel?
Preparing for roughly six weeks in a foreign country: I can't wait. Especially when we will meet our child the day or two after we arrive there :)
Nate will be in Colombia for roughly the first two weeks on "vacation". He has to be there in the beginning and then he is allowed to leave (he signs something saying that I am the supreme being in the family and he is ok with whatever I do, just joking, it is something like that though). We are hoping to spend those two weeks doing a little traveling (we just aren't allowed to leave Colombia, but can go anywhere) and bonding as a new family!
Once he leaves, my mom is going to be hanging out with me, so I won't be alone :) Other family members have expressed interest in coming to visit as well, but there are obviously a lot of factors for that so we will wait and see!

How are you guys doing? What are you doing while you wait?
We really are doing great! There are a lot of ups and downs though-you go from nervous, to excited, to anxious, to sad, to impatient, to overwhelmed, to excited again- but mostly excited (and a little impatient). 
We are just trying to enjoy things as they are while we wait. Knowing that we only have months left of it being just the two of us makes these times bitter-sweet. We are so excited for the next chapter but know we need to make sure to enjoy the moment!
We are pretty much trying to pinch every penny we can (just trying to feel as financially stable as we can for when the time comes!) while still trying to have a little fun and being able to relax- but I can tell you that knowing what an amazing reward it will be in the end, right now my wants are so far from getting the latest bathing suit for summer or going to the latest movie or out for a fancy dinner .. when all you want is to hold that child in your arms and experience all the blessings they will bring into our lives, I want to give it all up :) Whoa, is that what parenthood feels like?! :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Just for fun

Whoa. Buying stuff makes it real: a baby, is actually going to depend on us and needs us to buy it things- crazy! :)   In all seriousness though, we are really excited! I am determined to be ready as much as physically possible by the time we get the referral (1-because buying baby stuff is f.u.n, and 2-getting everything for a baby in just the few weeks we would have sounds very stressful). Which means we get to do fun stuff like get the basics for a nursery!
We actually bought a crib already and I made Nate put it together right away- he is such a good sport. (Thankfully we have figured out that we are not one of those couples who should build things together since I am told I question ever little thing Nate does, so for me, getting to sit quietly in the corner to watch was a big step!)

I also just bought some fabric online for a crib skirt, curtains, etc. Keeping in mind that we don't know the gender- I decided to go neutral for the core pieces and want to add girl/boy elements when the time comes. So just for fun, here is a hint of some of the fabrics I just bought!
Hopefully, I'll like them when I actually see them in person (I just couldn't find the styles I wanted in local stores- what a bummer). Thankfully, so far any sewing required will be rectangles, so I can continue to practice straight lines :) When we get the room set up pretty much to the point where it is "done" for awhile, ill take some final pictures to share!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

No Reservations

I typically am not a fan of food shows but obviously found this one interesting because of it's perspective on Colombia :) if you have time, it is interesting!