We received notice that our homestudy was approved by the State of Colorado. Next step: moving onto USCIS approval! What is USCIS you might ask? US Citizen Immigration Services. And then... once they give us the thumbs up we will be placed on the list for a toddler boy 12-36 months and the sibling list 0-48 months.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
I am a nanny. I am experienced in caring for kids, my house is not. Both of the parents in the family I work for were sick with the flu today. Two of the three kids had also gotten sick. So today I brought the youngest, and only one to escape the sickness so far, to my house. He is precious and so full of energy. However, I learned that my house is not as "kid friendly" as I thought.
There will be plenty of time to prepare before our sweet boy comes home, but it was definitely something to consider beginning. It isn't like I have swords in the kitchen corner or broken glass in the family room; but goodness I've got to move some stuff around!
I love my job and will love being a mother but am seriously wondering when one finds time to clean. I guess it would be in the evening (when I'm blogging... but, I cleaned before I even logged on.) Everyone says that kids change EVERY.thing. I will have to work on time management, and pray for beautiful naps.
I can't wait for life to change and my house to transform into a toddler's home.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Here it is! I had this idea to make a shirt after seeing so many great t-shirts that other adopting families had, i.e. the Fulmer's and the Helms'.
Let me know if you are interested in purchasing one to support our adoption. We'd love to see our shirt represented in every state.
$12.50 for kids 2-4, 6-8, 10-12
If you'd like a shirt please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what size you'd like.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Yesterday we finished our 24 hour international adoption course in Denver. Just as it was last Thursday and Friday, Saturday was packed full of information. I am glad that we aren't going into this completely naive and blind.
No amount of education or preparation can fully prepare us for the future, but I am thankful that we've been provided with a lot of information. Honestly some of the topics and discussion were difficult to swallow. Adoption is a life long journey. It is filled with ups and downs, losses and gains.
The majority of Saturday's class focused on transracial
adoption. Of course I have thought about the obvious. We are white, our kids will not be. In my mind I didn't/don't see it as a big deal.... and it won't be in our home. We will do the best we can with what God has given us to raise our kids up to feel secure about who they are as individuals and made in His image.
At the same time we cannot shelter them from the rest of the world. I am saddened that racism still exists, and baffled by the ignorance of people, even some Christians. God is our creator. Father of ALL. He doesn't love one people group more than another.
Embrace humanity, the uniqueness of people, and God's creation.
Friday, September 24, 2010
I have mentioned the dossier several times in previous posts. Of course, those of you adoptive families already know what that is... and you have survived or are working through it too. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with what it is here is the definition:
dos·si·er - noun
[dos-ee-ey, -ee-er, daw-see-ey, -see-er; Fr. daw-syey]
a collection or file of documents on the same subject, esp. a complete file containing detailed information about a person or topic.
This is all of the required paperwork that we compile to send to Ethiopia. I am thrilled to say it has not been nearly as stressful as I'd thought it might be and we are almost done.
I am headed to bed now and excited for tomorrow as we head back to Denver to complete the adoption training from last week and get to connect with the other families.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Honestly todays events regarding the adoption process aren't spilling out of my fingers as I type this. A rather uneventful day, though some progress was made. I got my medical form signed by my doctor and got more passport size photos taken at Costco to attach to our dossier documents.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
It is still early afternoon and today has already been full of ups and downs. It is my day off, definitely and UP for attempting to make progress with the dossier. I spent the morning with a mom I met at Chipotle a few weeks ago. I introduced myself to her because I was certain that the beautiful little girl with her was Ethiopian... I was right. She also order a veggie bowl, so I of course loved her immediately. Today we got to talk about adoption, Ethiopia, and life over a cup of Ethiopian coffee. I was encouraged by her experience and knowing that this is a journey and in the end, we will have the beginning of a lifetime of parenting the love of our lives.
Downer number one came when I spoke with our caseworker at AGCI about the current estimated wait times. We were told a few months ago that at the completion of our paperwork we'd wait 1-6 months for a referral. We have been planning and anticipating being home as a family in the spring of 2011. Today my world flipped for a minute when she said it is safest to say 12-18 months. WHAT?!?! I am still trying to wrap my mind around it all... and honestly my heart broke a bit. Ethiopia is going to great lengths to investigate abandonment and relinquishment to ensure that all children being adopted are legitimately orphaned. This actually is a good thing... but hard to swallow. I have known from the beginning, and need to be reminded daily that this is God's timeline, He is in control and each step WILL lead us to the child He has chosen to put in our family. We will rejoice in the wait. It just hit me kind of hard at first. God has a lot for us to learn and patience is certainly something we all could use a little more of.
The conversation with our caseworker also had an UP, when she said our homestudy is officially approved. Now it is on the way to be state approved, what a process.
Second DOWN was when I shared my desire to stay in country between court dates and do work with Compassion International. She told me not to, and strongly advised that we are only there for court appearances and then must leave. I asked if I had to return to the US or just leave ET... apparently I can go anywhere as long as I leave. I would like to at least stay in Africa and find another mission to be a part of.
The roller coaster called .LiFe. continues. It is a journey and I am learning to embrace it all. God is at work, we are His hands and feet.
~my prayer today, lead me Lord.
Monday, September 20, 2010
I have been reading Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft by Mary Hopkins-Best. Definitely a great read for anyone considering adopting a toddler. In the first chapter of the book the author, an international adoptive mother of a toddler writes about what she felt her son (an any adopted toddler) might say if they could.
"Please learn as much as you can about me before you decide to be my mom or dad, so you won't be surprised about me. Don't think of me as a helpless infant, even though I may not yet be able to do all the things most kids my age can do. Don't treat me as if I'm older than I really am just because I act as if I don't need you to take care of me, however. When I push you away it is when I need you to hold me and tell me that you will never let me go. I had to learn to do many things for myself before you came into my life, and it's hard for me to learn to depend on you as much as I should. Please recognize and help me with my special needs, but remember that I am still a lot more like other kids than I am different. See me first as your child, not as your adopted child or a child with special needs.
Sometimes I feel sad and really mad. Don't pretend that I don't have these feelings, and don't get discouraged when I take out my strong feelings on you. Most of the time I am not really mad at you, but you're the one who's here now and the one I can safely show my feelings to. I know in my heart that you didn't do anything to hurt me, but I get all mixed up.
My memories of other moms and places where I've lived are all in my mind, but they're stored in pictures, sounds, feelings, and even smells. I don't have the words to talk about these things. I can't figure out why that other mom disappeared, and I'm worried that you might go away, too. I often have to test you because it's hard for me to believe that you won't leave me, too. In fact, it's pretty scary for me to love you and trust you, so I might have to test your love
the most when you start to be important to me.
Sometimes I just want to curl up in a ball and be a little baby again so someone will take care of me. Other times I want to do everything by myself and I feel like running away from you. Please be patient. We have a long time together. After all, the really worthwhile things in life usually aren't very easy and they don't happen overnight."
If you've made it to the bottom of this post and read that excerpt then I'd like to tell you how it evoked serious emotion in me. I keep returning to those pages and re-reading it. I feel so privileged that God has chosen us for this. We get to be parents and are so excited and dedicated to loving them for the rest of our lives.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
We ate at
It was David's first time trying Ethiopian food. He didn't take to it as well as I did the first time, but we will have plenty of time to get used to it. It was a wonderful date as we reflected on the class and looked toward the future with great anticipation of meeting our child(ren).
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
After meeting with the lawyer I headed to the neighborhood law enforcement station. I filled out the forms requesting a local background investigation for both David and I. Though we have FBI clearance we apparently need EL Paso county to give us the go ahead too. Another step, luckily this one only cost $12.
Seriously, I will try and be better at keeping this updated...
Friday, September 10, 2010
My sister in law and dear friend is here visiting. We are a little overly excited about decorating a room for the little one. Today we bought some fabric for making pillows and few other things. I will post pictures upon completion!
Monday, September 6, 2010
So here's an update. We are done with the online education and the workbook. All education has been approved and I am trying to find time in my schedule to work on the dossier. Our social worker emailed and said our homestudy is finally complete and ready for approval. She will be bringing it over on Thursday for us to review. Can't wait!
I spent about a week in Seattle with my brother for his wedding. While I was there I thought I should take advantage of the Ethiopian restaurants.
This neighborhood was full of all things Ethiopian.
My delicious vegetarian food. I was thrilled to find a huge selection of vegetarian choices.
Injera (the bread used to scoop up all the food, there aren't utensils)
This was the owner of Lalibela, he was excited about the adoption and shared some information on the country and culture as well as his families contact info for when I travel!