Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Last Two Weeks . . .

Like my creative post title??? Yup, took me days to think of that one . . . feel free to borrow it for your blog :o)

Okay, so it's been two weeks since my last update. In that time, we received Joe's passport and some other needed documents - some reference letters and Joe's employment letter - for our dossier. I was also able to get things - hopefully - cleared up and corrected on our medical forms . . . just waiting on our Family Coordinator - Terra - at the adoption agency to approve them. Long and crazy road to getting medical forms filled out completely and correctly!! I also found out that a friend of ours is a notary, so that will make it a lot easier (and cheaper) to get all of our needed forms notarized.

We were also able to finally set our last meeting for our home study to be completed. That is on the 9th, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll be able to have our completed home study "in hand" within the next few weeks. Assuming we're approved, once we have that, we can send our I-600a application in (for immigration, visa's, etc. for the child(ren)) and begin the 6-12 week waiting process for our approved form. Also, with the completed home study, we are then eligible to apply for several grants as well as our agency's Eternal Family Fund (more about that in a future post!). So, all in all, pretty excited to get the home study completed!

We're going to be very busy this week getting ready for our "Adoption Liquidation Sale" on June 5-6. Basically a huge yard sale, but we are calling this an "Adoption Liquidation Sale" because we are not just selling our unused, unwanteds, and cast-offs. We are trying to liquidate anything and everything we can in order to raise money for our adoption expenses. So there are many nice items available as well as many donated items from friends. I plan to post this on Craigslist soon. Our sale is also coinciding w/ our neighborhood yard sale. If you're in the area, you're welcome to stop by and see if there's anything you need. If not, we'd appreciate so much your prayers for nice weather and good sales!

As we've been looking over our budget the last several months, and recently as we've been talking and planning for this yard sale, I've been reminded so many times that all of our things - no matter how sentimental they may seem - are just stuff. They are temporary! I've been so rebuked at how consumed I can be with making my life more comfortable. As Joe likes to say as of late "it's all gonna' burn up!" We laugh, but it's so true! But what time, energy and finances God allows us to invest in the lives of people will last for eternity!

Thank you so much for taking the time to be updated on what God is doing in and through our lives and for your prayers on our behalf!

"Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
your judgments are like the great deep;
man and beast you save, O LORD.
How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light do we see light."
Psalm 36:5-9

Saturday, May 16, 2009

"Picture Pages"

Okay, so one of the documents that we have to put together for our dossier are some picture pages. Since I was born in the late 70's, every time I read or hear someone say "picture pages", the theme song to Bill Cosby's Picture Pages runs through my head. And everytime I say it myself, I have this uncontrollable urge to sing it . . . unfortunately, I don't think Joe ever saw that fun little show, so he just looks at my like I'm insane!

Anyway, some of these pictures I've posted before, but in case you're curious, here are the photos we've included on our picture pages (and YES, I'm singing the theme song in my head right now!!). The requirements are 2 posed pictures of the entire family, 4 family life photos, 1 of the outside of the house and 1 of one room inside the house.

Probably the biggest accomplishment in our adoption process this week was that we were able to complete the rest of the paperwork for our homestudy in time for Joe's meeting w/ our social worker on Friday. We now have a couple's questionnaire to fill out (very long, detailed questionnaire) and submit to our homestudy agency. When our social worker has some of the paperwork through on her part, we will then be able to set our final meeting.

We were able to get our financial statement for our dossier completed (pending notarization), but are still waiting on Joe's passport and a few other documents. We were able to get our medical forms from the doctor early in the week, but . . . I scan and email all dossier documents to our family coordinator at our adoption agency for her to review and "okay" for our dossier. Apparently there were quite a few errors made by the doctors office on the forms, which were notarized (and we had to pay an extra fee for the notary) - not the least of which was that the date of the dr.'s signature did not match the date of the notary . . . to clarify, the entire purpose of getting it notarized is that the notary is witness to the doctor's signature and that is what is notarized. One of the more interesting mistakes is that the doctor dated my form in the year 2008! Most were just a failure to actually completely fill out the form. So, this was all late Friday afternoon and a bit discouraging - especially since there's nothing I can do to clear this up until Monday. But God has not lost control! And, even though I don't like waiting, I am thankful that He's given me a few days "off" to pray and contemplate and, hopefully, react on Monday in a way that is honoring to Him.

"Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired
His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary."
Isaiah 40:28-31

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Change of Scenery

I am trying to put an update on here at least every week, so we'll see how it goes. Some weeks are more eventful than others, although all are mostly going to be about paperwork for a while. I know, exciting stuff!

This week we received our certificates of completion for the 8 hours of online adoption training that we finished a few weeks ago. We're still waiting on Joe's passport. We also talked with our doctor's office this week and we should be able to pick up all of our medical paperwork sometime next week.

Thursday I received a call from a local marketing research firm. I've been on their call list for probably about 5 years now and I always take their calls and surveys, but have only qualified to participate in one of their focus groups one time - and ended up I couldn't do that one because of scheduling conflicts. Anyway, on Thursday the girl told me that I qualified for this group, but that the slots for my age group were full, so she'd have to talk w/ her manager to see if they would fit me in and then call me back the next day. She said if she didn't call, then they didn't need me. And, she explained the process. This group actually has 3 meetings, for a total of about 5 hours, and a total payment of $285. She didn't call yesterday, so I figured it was a "no go", but she called me this morning and said they'd like me to participate! Yay! I know it is just a "drop in the bucket" in the grand scheme of adoption expenses, but what an amazing God we serve! For so long I've been on their list and taken their surveys, but never qualified when I could do it . . . until now! And most jobs pay $75-100, and this one could pay a lot more! I will have my first meeting this week for which they will pay me $100. Then if they want me to continue w/ the remaining two meetings, they will pay me the remainder of the total.

We've got some paperwork to finish up this week before our second homestudy meeting on Friday. Then we will be given more paperwork to complete. We are also still working on needed documents for our dossier. And, only two more weeks left of school!

So to conclude this week's update, the post title is simply because I changed the look of the blog. I really liked the previous background but I think it was causing difficulty in being able to pull up the blog. So, hopefully this background will make things a little easier.

This verse has been a tremendous encouragement to me this week:
"For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him."
Psalm 62:5