"Every child deserves a home." --Harry Holt

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Request for Prayer, Positive Thoughts and Warm Fuzzies

My sister-in-law is about 23.5 weeks along with twin girls. This morning her water broke. Every minute counts that those tiny babies stay warm and continue to grow inside. Just asking for prayers that Jess, Terry, the babies and their sweet 6 year old stay as calm and as healthy as possible. Please and thank you...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Countdown to Fingerprints

We will be in Des Moines bright and early on Friday to get our fingerprints done at Homeland Security. Once the prints and our application are processed, we will (hopefully) receive our approval (I171-H), and that will be our last piece of paperwork until we receive our referral. Can I get an, "OH YEAH?!" 
 We think our wait list number is at the very least #37 (unofficially). Holla! I received the cutest text message this week from a friend that said, "I can't wait until you are #1 on the list!" I want that too, but I'd rather not be on the list at all! :) I am going to try this new thing I heard about, I think it was referred to as patience. Sounds like an interesting concept. :)

A note about T-shirts. I still have a few left, so if you would still like one, let me know! Thanks a million to all those who have already purchased one! 

I am ready for a great week, and I hope you are too! xoxo
Maui in '09-- dreaming about my happy place...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

An Update to Say, "There is No Update"

The title is a little mis-leading. Life is back to a solid routine around here whether I like it or not (I kind of do, and I kind of don't). I am working on getting myself to fall asleep instead of just tossing and turning so that I don't show up at work with dark circles, but a routine generally means that I am more productive with my free time. This is the first time since starting the adoption process, where we don't actually have paperwork to fill out. We have our fingerprinting appointment figured out (we think), and we will be done with them before Labor Day Weekend! Then, we just WAIT for the I-171H approval (immigration) to come in the mail saying our application is accepted. That is our last piece to the pre-referral puzzle (we are getting so close!) 

I do have happy news to report! We have reached our $500 goal in T-shirt sales!!!!!! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Even better, we still have t-shirts left to sell in each size. I can't wait to help support these children in Ethiopia with everyone's generous giving, and I can't wait to show all of you what you did!

Until next time! 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

What Do I Have In Common With Amy Poehler?

I know your first instinct was to say that Amy Poehler is HILARIOUS and so am I. Well, let's just take this escapade one step further. What do the things below have in common with each other and with me?

So, what do I have in common with Amy Poehler, the state of Colorado and former President Gerald Ford? Well, Ms. Poehler is 38, Colorado is the 38th state in the union and Gerald Ford was the 38th President of the United States. Guess that makes us #38 on the waiting list!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAPPY DANCE!
 The mental goal is to not put too much stock in the number, because what it means is that 37 families submitted their completed paperwork to the agency ahead of us and have not been matched with a child yet (called a referral). Those families could be requesting different genders and ages, and many of us could be open to accepting different special needs within our family. HOWEVER, I have to say--we feel pretty great about knowing we have come to the point where we are truly in the wait! We have one more piece of paperwork to accomplish, and that is our immigration approval. Let's just say, that a few hours after we found out our number and felt oh so great about it, we got our fingerprinting appointments (also very exciting). We have to drive to Des Moines to get them taken care of (not really a big deal), BUT they gave Kevin and I appointments on different days! Well, getting a hold of someone at a government bureaucracy who has the willingness and capability to help me out shouldn't be too difficult, right? (said with lots of foreboding and sarcasm). Have an awesome weekend!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

This One Goes Out To My Sister

Is it weird to dedicate a blog post to my sister? Oh well, I just did. I just got back from my last little adventure for the summer. Kevin and I went to Chicago for a couple of days with my little sister and her boyfriend (Kara & Ben). We had a blast! The quick rundown: Navy Pier, boat cruise, Chicago stuffed pizza, Shedd Aquarium (a 2 hour wait to get in, mind you), dinner at Ed Debevic's with a sassy server :), White Sox/Twins game (TWINS WIN!)-- we missed a couple of planned things, but there is always next time!!!! 
To keep this blog/post adoption journey related, we got an e-mail while in Chicago about our Dossier. We had sent it in last week, BUT we weren't technically suppose to. The process has slightly changed. The "old" way, families sent in their completed dossier as soon as the home study was state certified, and families simultaneously filed I-600A forms to immigration. Once the dossier was received, families would be put on the official waiting list and given a number. Not much can happen without the immigration approval, but it feels so good to be on the waiting list while completing the last step of the paperwork/paper chase. The "new" way, families do not send in the dossier until immigration approval is received (the approval can be lengthy because you WAIT for a fingerprinting appointment, then WAIT until your appointment date has arrived, then you WAIT until the fingerprints and application are processed (and of course, sometimes there are issues, so you re-submit different things and WAIT some more for approval). All that time, in the "new" way families are not technically on the list (but the process isn't actually lengthened any, if this confuses you, just ask if you really want me to explain it, otherwise...just go with me on this one.)
To make a long story longer...the cut-off from the "old" way to the "new" way was getting your stuff submitted by August 1st. Well, due to our home study being sent to the wrong address and other fun things, we didn't receive our state certification for the home study until August 3rd. Yup, we missed being on the waiting list by 2 days. Well, Kevin and I decided to try to "sneak one by the goalie" as I like to call it. We then talked to the agency, and they said they would not submit our paperwork to the US Embassy in Ethiopia until we received our immigration approval since we missed the deadline. Oh well, worth a shot, right? YES IT WAS! BECAUSE, while we were in Chicago, we got an e-mail stating that due to the "grace period" they did comb through our paperwork and everything was in order. We will be given our waiting list # at the end of this week! CAN I GET AN "OH YEAH?!" (to borrow a line from my sister). Just made me smile. Each little piece helps us to feel like this is becoming a reality and it is so exciting! Thanks for all of the prayers and well wishes!  
I will leave this one with some Chicago pics...

Kara and I sporting our sweet, pink glasses for the 4-D, "Happy Feet" movie at the aquarium

Kara was afraid that one of the seagulls flying around Navy Pier would poop on her. You can't see it well and this was post some clean up measures, but one of those suckers got her right on the eyebrow! She didn't think it was too funny, but I sure did! :)

If I HAD to pick my favorite MLB team, I would say the TWINS, but I am not a die-hard by any means! So, I sported a White Sox shirt to the game, because I am not prepared to go to battle for wearing a Twins shirt at a White Sox home game. Though, the Twins sure did come to play...I've never witnessed so many home runs.

Kara is more of a Twins fan, but she showed her White Sox support for her boyfriend, Ben. It is his favorite team. I'm so glad he got to go to a game at US Cellular Field. I am sorry we didn't tell the team he was there, so they could have had a better game, but I think we ALL had a good time!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Beautiful Heart Wrapped in a Beautiful T-shirt

You know how I know going back to work might be good for me? I have spent too much time this week trying to refrain from writing 80 million different blogs. I want this adoption journey to be an open one, and I want people to feel comfortable asking us questions, but trust me...you don't want to be privy to my every thought about this process. One word: Neurotic (smile).
Alas, it is Saturday night (almost Sunday morning) and I am writing this particular entry because I happened to check out Facebook on my phone before bedtime. I came across something that made my heart leap and I just had to share. 
This is Hannah W. She is the daughter of one of my co-workers, and the way I hear it, she begged for this shirt because she wanted to help Orphans in Africa. I LOVE KIDS. I think she is striking this pose because she is showcasing her new T-shirt, but in my mind, it is more like that thing little kids do when you say, "SO BIG" because clearly, her heart is "so big." Thanks for being such a caring kid, Hannah and wanting to help support the cause! We LOVE YOU!

I try really hard to not get caught up in all of the statistics, because behind all of the numbers we are really talking about human lives, but I came across one that I will share, here. The Human Development Report said in 2008 that 78% of the population of Ethiopia lived on less than $2 per day. The shirts we are selling (top right of the page) cost $20. We had an original goal of $500 raised so that we could make a donation to the orphanage so that they may continue their blessed work. We are only a couple of shirts away from our goal! You can e-mail me using the button below, or just order via paypal if you are interested. We have decided to not stop at a mere $500. We would like to "pay it forward" and help other families (if we can) to meet their financial commitments in the adoption process. In either case, it is all about the children having their needs met. Just one more factoid: (but I can't quote where I read this), $15 will feed a family of 5 for about a month in Ethiopia, and there are many in need! TOTAL. MIND. BLOWER.

Well, now I really must get to bed. My soap box is asking me to give it a rest...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Soul Sister on a Sole Mission

My habit this summer (when we are actually home), is to get on and scan for any updated posts from some of my blogs. There were 4 or 5 this morning (which is like a dream come true!) Just an FYI, my mornings have gone a little something like this: Alarm, Snooze, Alarm, Snooze, Alarm, Snooze, Alarm...ALRIGHT I'M UP! Let Diogee out, take blackberry with me and catch up on late night messages and facebook goings on. Go to living room, open laptop, check out blog-world. Don't judge, I have summer break, and with adoption...I consider the blog world to be my Ultrasound experience, Birthing Class, etc. I'm allowed (smile). So, once I finish up there...I get on with the rest of the day. Yes, I realize next summer I won't be hitting a snooze button, there will hopefully be little cries and giggles from a little one, so I am soaking up the selfishness that I have allowed myself this summer.  I digress, (if you know me...I go off topic...A LOT). So, I was going to do a silly picture, and these are going to be of people in my family and some of my close friends. BUT, I came across the sweetest blog this morning!!!!! Sami is an 11-year old girl. Her family is adopting a 4-year old little boy from Ethiopia. She has been working hard to learn about the culture and people of Ethiopia. One of the things she has discovered is the problem of poverty. You know what I love about Sami? She didn't just say, "Oh, that's too bad. Someone should do something to fix that." Sami IS helping. She is making really cute bottle cap necklaces and selling them to buy SHOES for children in Ethiopia. I LOVE SHOES and I LOVE ETHIOPIA! I bought a necklace immediately! They are $5 with $1 shipping and handling. $5+$1=$6. She is up to 39 pairs of shoes and isn't quitting! Please check out her blog by clicking here: http://littlegoody2-shoes.blogspot.com/ The name of her page is: Little Goody 2 Shoes. Get it? I hope she had help with that name, because she is just too smart and sweet!  Enjoy!

I didn't have a picture to actually accompany this blog, but I can't get enough of this shot with my siblings and I. Yes, we are all that FUN!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Waiting for an Appointment to Get "Inked"

"Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow-- that is patience." --Unknown

You realize that quote is more for me than for you, right? We are all waiting for something though, so here's a Bible verse that I came across about patience. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.-- Galations 6:9

We are just over here trying to keep the faith and patience. We are far from sitting down and giving up, but once in a while we feel a little irritable in the waiting game. If I had to describe the adoption process so far, I would say this: It is small little bursts of extreme gratification, purpose and excitement. Those 3 things sustain us through the days/weeks/months of checking the mail, hoping that the next burst of excitement has arrived. We have met great people in blogland, and have felt the love from friends and family that are so supportive of this process. We know that as soon as we have our baby in our arms we will forget about all of the waiting days. We hope that we can convey to our baby how much our anticipation translates into our love and excitement for him/her.
The waiting also translates into time to think and pray on the process. I have given this some thought before, and I can't even recall what made this hit me, but it truly sank in the other day how this process is so full of controversial feelings. We are so excited at the thought of being parents and all that comes with it, but in adoption, we are becoming parents while a birth family is making a plan, and part of that plan includes saying, "Good-bye." It is hard to fathom and comprehend the amount of love and courage carrying out an adoption plan takes. We pray that our birth mom/family knows we are here, that we are preparing our hearts, minds and home, and we pray that God takes care of them and provides them all peace and strength. 
 My head is swimming with adoption thoughts today and I could go on (and on and on), but I'm going to leave it here (or right after this). We are now in the wait to get our fingerprinting appointment with immigration. (Yes, we have already done fingerprints, but we need to do round 2 which goes with petitioning for a Visa for our baby). We hope the appointment information comes fairly quick. Our best guess is that we will be getting our fingers "inked" at the beginning of September. Geez, is it August already???? 
This is Diogee with our paperwork that was sent out today. Isn't his excitement palpable?


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