Friday, October 28, 2011

Let the Home Study Begin!

We received our home study packet on Monday.  This, my friends, THIS is where the adoption process really starts.  The home study is essentially a paper chase to gather every last bit of info into our lives in an effort to prove to the U.S. government that we're suitable to bring a child into our home.  We are also required to log 10 hours of parent training.

Funny, they didn't do this when I was pregnant with my first, second or third child.  =)

As exhaustive as the home study may be, I see the necessity for it too.  Oh, but I found out some relatively good news.  Considering that Russia is a huge country with a large number of adoptions completed each year, I just assumed that it was part of the Hague Convention (a convention that many countries joined in an agreement to safeguard intercountry adoptions).  Well, it's not.  This means that our home study, which I priced at $2500, is actually only $2000.

But don't worry folks.  We'll find plenty of unexpected ways to spend that money, such as our need to purchase seven certified copies of our marriage license.  SEVEN!   


Well, and there's that other $40,000 that we need to save up.  =)



Thursday, October 20, 2011

Our Application is IN...

Forgive the blurry photo...we were in route to the agency when it was taken.  Which, yes, that means that our application has been officially handed over!  I thought it was decently thick, but I know the home study will be thicker, and still nothing rivals the dossier (I know thanks to my friend Sarah's dossier).

We had fully intended on taking this in on Monday, but I wasn't able to pick up the family photos (we needed two pictures of each family member) until Monday night.  Then Tuesday flew by, with the packet hanging out with us in the living room.  Everything was complete EXCEPT my updated passport, however I was simply turning in a copy of my current passport with a note that said my new one would be arriving any day and we'd get them a copy when it did.  So, would you believe it if I told you it came in the mail on Wednesday, just as we were heading out to go deliver our application?  Talk about relief!  So we zapped a copy of it and replaced it with the old copy and took it over.

I'd be lying if I said I was 100% excited about this.  I am thrilled, yes, but you guys, the reality is I am also SCARED TO DEATH.  I told Stuart recently that I didn't realize how little faith I had until I was forced to live in it.  =(   Thankfully I'm also extremely blessed because I've learned that God loves to push us out into the unknown only to meet us exactly where we're at.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Officially beginning...



Can you guess what that is?  It shouldn't be too hard.  =)

Yes, it is Stuart's VALID passport and our agency application.  The application is nearly ready to go - just have to dig out a wee bit more necessary info.  But we'll be turning it in at the beginning of next week.

NEXT WEEK GUYS!!  That's like 4 days away!  Phew!

So please say a quick prayer for us, specifically for application acceptance (though not too worried about that), timing, the financial aspect of the adoption, and peace to reign in our home.

Also, if you'd like to learn more about the steps we have to take and support us on a financial level (in exchange for a delicious dinner!), please consider RSVPing to our Benefit Dinner on November 4th.  We've received a few more auction donations and are well into the planning.  We just need people to come!  As of right now we have about 40 more seats so RSVP soon!!  All who submit their info via this blog will be entered into the door prize drawing (hint hint). =)

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Blessed.

I was at a women's retreat this past weekend (which was totally awesome!) and we were given the opportunity to make our own jewelry/key hangers.  It was a really really cute idea, but it involved painting.  Then waiting for said paint to dry.  And, if you're like me, sometimes it involved waiting for the paint to dry TWICE (right - because I'm not satisfied with just one layer of paint; I required TWO layers).  While we were sitting around staring at our projects, someone piped up and said, "it's like waiting for paint to dry..."

That's how I feel about this adoption process. We're working on it, but it mostly involves waiting.  Thankfully God doesn't stop the flow of blessings when we sit and wait.  How do I know this?

Almost two years ago a few families from our church started a small Bible study group.  There are currently three families in our group (our family being one of them), and yet, within those two other families one wife is an amazing cook and has offered to help run the kitchen for our benefit dinner, and the other wife recently put on a birthday dinner the size we're hoping to put on for our benefit.  She is very wise and talented when it comes to decorating and orchestrating the evening, and has offered to take over that area.  I am literally in awe that God would see fit to surround me with the friendship and encouragement of these women, especially as we head into planning our benefit dinner.  Those of you who can make it WILL be blessed!

Also, while I was away at my church's women's retreat, another check came in the mail from an amazing young lady whom we had the opportunity to have on our missions trip 6 years ago.  You know who you are and we send our biggest thanks to you.

my jewelry hanger with an appropriate reminder  =)