Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Homestudy beginnings

So, since our last update we've done a few more things. Joe and I both had our physicals last week - SO fun! And had some blood work done to go along with that. We received our state clearance letters and fingerprints, which was a surprise because that was much sooner than they said. We're still waiting on Joe's passport.

Last weekend our family friends, Mike and Babs Hull, had the kids over to do some "yard work" (picking up sticks) to earn some money to put toward adoption expenses. Of course the kids had a great time, and it was such a great opportunity to talk with the kids again about why we are doing this and for them to invest and be involved in the process. We love Mike and Babs and are so thankful that they thought of doing this for the kids!

We had our first meeting (of 3) for our homestudy today. I was a little nervous as I didn't know what kind of questions she'd be asking, but also so very excited to get this part of the process going! She just did a quick walk-through of our home (yes, our house is cleaner than it's been in a long time!) to basically check for space requirements and any safety concerns. She sat down with the kids to ask them a few questions and then for a longer period of time to interview me. That part was a little more difficult than I expected - I usually don't have any trouble dominating a conversation ;o) Joe will go to their offices in the near future to be interviewed. In the mean time, we have a little more paperwork to complete for the home study. After Joe's interview, there will be more paperwork, followed by a third visit at our home. Then she will write up the info. and send it to us and our adoption agency for review before the final draft. This process should take about 6 weeks . . . we'll see!

I know I keep saying it, but thank you to all of you who are getting involved with us in this process by praying for us!

"And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you." Psalm 39:7

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Paper trail . . .

So, as we continue in this "paper chase" phase, we are working on obtaining documents, information, etc. as we can. Joe and I both applied for our passports a couple of weeks ago. Mine came in the mail yesterday, so we're expecting Joe's soon. I'm working on gathering some needed photos. We've all had our TB tests done, except Joe who has to wait to get his at the dr. b/c he can't get to the health dept. during their testing hours. We've got the kids medical forms completed that are required for the homestudy, and Joe and I both have physicals this week (yay) for our homestudy and our dossier. And a lot of other paperwork, references, etc. in the works.

We spent the afternoon in downtown Indy last Friday. The kids and I spent some time reading and looking at books at Borders while Joe got some more copies of his birth certificate.

Then we walked a few blocks to the government center to submit the paperwork for police clearance letters and be fingerprinted. I thought that part was actually pretty interesting. I met a lady who was being finger printed when we got there - she is in the process of adopting two children from Haiti! Anyway, we should get that paperwork back in a few weeks. Over this past week, we've both been working on our 8+ hours of required online adoption training.

This is the kids waiting for us to be done at the government building - don't they look thrilled to be there? ;o)

The kids watching Joe getting fingerprinted.

Next week we officially begin our homestudy with an in-home meeting where I will be interviewed as well as Joey and Gracie. Joe will be interviewed at a separate meeting at their offices.

For those of you who are praying for us, first of all, we appreciate it so very much! It is so evident to me personally by the peace that God gives in the middle of desire, anticipation and business. It is still struggle to quiet my mind and rest in God, some days harder than others, but it is so clear that people are praying and that He is working. He continues to provide financially as we need it, and we are so grateful! As far as the prayer request in my last post, we have not reached a decision in that area yet. We are praying, as always, for wisdom, faith, and patience! I am also praying that I won't be so consumed with the things going on in my own life that I fail to see the people and the opportunities that God puts around me everyday!

Psalm 62:5-8
"For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
Trust in Him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Prayer Request

When we filled out our application to the adoption agency, we marked that our desire is to adopt two siblings. There was also an option to mark if you were willing to adopt two unrelated children. We decided that we were open to that option as well. However, I talked with our family coordinator yesterday and she informed me that they do not place two unrelated children in one home in the age range that we fit into (Ethiopia's requirement is that the adopted child be at least 12 mos. younger than the youngest child currently in the home). Not a huge deal, but, from a human standpoint, this does lessen the chances that we will be able to adopt 2 children - sibling groups are more rare in that age range. So, still knowing that God is in complete control and that if He wants us to adopt siblings they will be there, in working with our adoption agency and the country of Ethiopia, we do have to set up parameters of what we are looking for. There are a lot of "sub" issues of how specific to get in our preferences, but the big one is deciding if siblings are not immediately available, do we wait for siblings (and how long) or do we go ahead and adopt a single child? So if you are praying for us, besides all of the obvious and ongoing requests of wisdom and financial provision, we would appreciate your prayers for specific wisdom in this area - and that as we pray and seek God's wisdom that He will graciously allow us to be of the same mind.

"But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him."
James 1:5

Thursday, April 9, 2009

What's been going on?

Okay, so I'm not really sure if/when people check here for updates, what they want to know. A lot is going on, but probably not too exciting for most of you. Over the last week we have set up doctors appointments (need physicals for our homestudy and our dossier), set up our first meeting for our homestudy, gotten lots of paperwork started/ordered, etc. Feels kinda' like we've thrown a bunch of balls in the air and are waiting for them all to come back down. Along with a lot of paperwork comes a lot of questions on my part - wanting to make sure everything is done right to avoid problems in the future - so I'm sure our family coordinator is getting sick of hearing from me!

I have been excited to see how God is providing for us so far. All along the way there are costs to keep things moving - forms, fees, etc. God has allowed for no unexpected big costs to arise over the last few months, has allowed me to keep under budget in groceries, etc., and little things like finding good bargains and deals on things we need - all "little" things that add up to being able to pay all costs that we've needed to so far. I know He will always provide for our needs when He KNOWS we need them - not when I THINK we do! Our God is so good!!

On a personal note, probably my biggest struggle right now is anxiety - big surprise ;o) Not necessarily right now for the adoption to be completed, but since I tend to be task-oriented, I find myself getting anxious to get these steps and paperwork completed to get our dossier ready. I guess feeling like I have some kind of control over how fast this part of the process goes makes me forget so easily that I am NOT the one in control. It's funny, on a human level you'd think that being in control (or thinking you are) would give you some sense of security, but it's just the opposite.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7

Thursday, April 2, 2009

"Paper Chase"

We just spoke to our family coordinator (our representative at the adoption agency) for the first time today. She sent a lot of paperwork describing the mountain of paperwork, etc. that we're going to be having to do over the next several months - talk about overwhelming! The paperwork portion should take about 4-6 months, at which point we submit all of our documents (dossier) to Ethiopia. The agency calls this paperwork stage the paper chase - hence the title of the post :o)