Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers
Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Homestudy Received!

We got the rough draft of our homestudy this morning. Definitely an awesome belated Christmas Present! I've reviewed everything and made the corrections. The next step is sending it to TOL to make sure everything is there for Bulgaria to accept it. After that it's the enfamous USCIS approval that I'm sure we'll be waiting until march to get back. Getting our homestudy is such a major step I feel like because it's one of the final things we have to have for the US, everything else is for Bulgaria. We are hopefully only a few months from being registered with the MOJ. My goal for March is looking a little unreachable, but we're still hoping, because we've got a great God who can make anything happen miraculously fast!

In the mean time we had a wonderful Christmas. Mom bought Makenna her first uk t-shirt and of course a cabbage patch doll that comes with adoption papers. Fortunately there aren't as many adoption papers as there are for an International adoption! I'm so excited to see the support and love that is already pouring out from our family's and friends. We have been so blessed this weekend, not only because of Christmas but also because we are seeing God working in the lives of people around us. We have been so encouraged by members of our congregation, not only by prayer, but even financially. God truely is in this process and we couldn't be more amazed by with the way He's been working. It is our deepest prayer that this adoption will change the life of a little bulgarian girl, and also our own lives, as well as many lives around us.

Hope you all had a merry Christmas!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Little update

Well just for a little update.... Our homestudy is drafted and we were missing a few things like a letter from my Dr. and an employment verification. However I've already gotten those too our social worker and we are hoping to have our homestudy rough draft by early next week!

As Christmas is approaching it makes me so excited to think about life when there is 3 instead of 2 of us. Just the thought of being able to share Christ's love with a small child who has never known it before is such a blessing. We continue to bring things home to decorate her room just to keep our minds off of how long it's going to take once the wait begins.

We are also getting better educated on several Special Needs that we feel our family could manage. So we are updating our special needs list daily it seems like. This really is a good thing because it just opens the door to so many more children who deserve a great life!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The results are in!

Well Dustin and I found out today we are free of disease (not that it was in question)! One closer step to adopting our Bulgarian Child. Our bloodwork came back good so now we just have to get it notarized by our physicians and check one more thing off of our Dossier checklist. In the mean time we are following a couple other blogs, waiting on our homestudy to get typed up, and continuing to fundraise. I feel myself becoming less anxious as this process goes along which is definitely a good thing. Prayers are really helping! Sorry this one is short!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Well that went Fabulous!

SHEEEW what a relief...not that we were THAT worried! Our homestudy is over and it went so well! Our SW is so great and made us feel so comfortable! Even better she's hoping to have it typed up and ready to proof read by end of next week. That's great news because that means we can go ahead and send off our USCIS paperwork!

I'm going to make this pretty short since dustin is trying to sleep right now! We ask that you all just keep praying for a speedy process! Our first fundraiser is going great by the way. We have passed out baby bottles to family and friends and asked them to fill it with their spare change! We've gotten over $150.00 in just 2 weeks! We truely are so blessed!

On a side note, Dustin's dad just bought a house 10 minutes from us! Looks like we got ourselves a babysitter! We REALLY are blessed!!!!

Well goodnight, and I'll keep you updated when the next big event comes our way!

Homestudy Time!

Well today is our homestudy and we are excited, a little anxious, but most definitely ready for it to be here. Once our home visit is over and approved we can send our USCIS approval off and start applying for grants to help fund the second part of our expenses. I have been working on our dossier paperwork on the side, and have mostly everything except the stuff pertaining to our homestudy and of course our FBI and USCIS approvals. Once we have those it's off to the Secretary of State to have everything apostilled. The final step will be sending everything to Bulgaria. We've set a goal for ourselves of having everything on its way to Bulgaria by March 1st! That gives us plenty of time but I like setting goals that I have the potential to meet early!!

This past weekend Dustin and I spent cleaning and rearranging our bedrooms. We moved the guest bed into the office and cleared out the guest room for all of Makenna's stuff. We've started a pile in the corner and it just keeps growing! We've also been taking pictures of family, friends, our house, schools, the yard, and our pets because we have to send all of those things to bulgaria with our dossier.

I'm hoping to come back tomorrow or maybe even tonight with a really good report from our Home Visit! Please keep us in your prayers!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Let the Madness Begin!

Well we have received our Dossier Package and to say it's overwhelming is an understatement. It doesn't seem too bad upon first look but once you get into the details, well lets just say it's a good thing I'm a little OCD about the paperwork. We are going to get fingerprinted today for our FBI clearance which should take about 12 weeks to get back. Dustin and I have set a goal of March 1st to have our paperwork officially in Bulgaria for translation. If that is the case and assuming there are no flaws found we should have a referral around summer 2013 and flying to get our daughter december 2013 (just in time for christmas)!! It seems like an awfully long time to wait, but we are sooo willing! We are going next week to get a bunch of blood work done for our second physical paper work. Then it's thanksgiving, and we have sooo much to be thankful for! Beginning with the blessing of being a part of this incredible journey. There will be a lot of updating the next few months, then a looong period of waiting. Fortunately that will be the time when we do all of our fundraising and start applying for grants to complete the cost of the adoption. I'm going to try my best to keep everyone updated. Right now most of our paperwork is waiting on my new passport, since I had to get a new one because my last name changed. After that comes in in about 4 weeks we'll be getting everything apostilled and notarized and then we wait on FBI to clear us and our USCIS approval. The next biggest appointment we have is December 1st when Meredith will be coming to do our Home Study Visit. She estimated it being done by the end of December. At this point we can send off our USCIS approval and start applying for grants.

Thanks to everyone who is following and keeping up! Please continue to keep us and our daughter in your prayers!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

First Homestudy Interview

Well we had our first interview and I would say it went very well! Our SW was wonderful and made us feel so comfortable, not to mention she had the cutest kids EVER! She basically let us know what we should expect with this whole process, what she'd be looking for at our Home visit, and what to expect post-adoption. It was really simple actually and we are looking forward to the Home visit which we've scheduled for December 1st! I would love to have our homestudy completed by the end of December, but with the holidays we'll see how that goes!

Dustin and I become more and more anxious daily it seems. We went to mom and dads to dig out some old stuff for when I was little to bring to the house for our daughters room. We are also in high hopes that since the age group we are listing as our preference goes up to the age of 4 years our referral might come a little sooner than the typical healthy 2 yr old referral.

As I'm writing this blog, I'm thinking of all the people we haven't told yet. Adoption is so exciting but at the same time a little scary. You really just never know what the reaction is going to be, not that the reaction would prevent us going through with this, but you'd like to keep negativity away as long as possible. I'm sure we'll be telling our church family soon, at least those who don't already know. Considering this month is National Adoption Month it only seems fitting that we would let most people know. It's just so early in the process I'm not sure how to answer a lot of questions and who knows how long it will take to actually have our daughter home. Regardless, we certainly need the prayers and where better to find that than from your church family. We are so thankful for all the support we've gotten so far and wish we could just fastforward a year or two so our beautiful girls was already home with us to celebrate Christmas!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

First Few Toys

Is it strange that we have just began and are already buying our daughter toys. Well we just couldn't resist. Most people that know us, knows dustins love for baseball. Well Makenna's (yes we already know what we'll name her) first little toy is a hot pink baseball glove and ball! It is the most adorable thing ever. We also got her a princess backpack with a blanket inside for the plain ride home. OK call us crazy, but it's like she's already ours and we've never met her. You know how you hear in church that Christ loved us before He even knew us...For the first time I understand how that is possible. We love her, we pray for her, we even feel a void because she's not here with us. We've also started a scrapbook to document this journey. Dustin and I feel completely blessed and overwhelmed with excitement! Not sure how we'll make this 1-2 yr wait but hopefully it won't be toooo bad!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Awareness Interview

Well it's Halloween and we've had a wonderful evening with all of the trick-or-treaters and not to mention the "Awareness Interview" with our Placing Agency, Tree of Life. It was such a wonderful conversation with the agency that made Dustin and I feel so comfortable. They basically reviewed everything from fees, to expectations, the children, post adoption issues, and the Dossier process. We heard some emotional stories about children after leaving the orphanage and some encouraging words from Kay. Every day we get more and more excited about this process. We just can't believe we are blessed enough to be a part of the adoption world. Our next biggest thing will be our Homestudy Interview on November 8th which we are anxiously awaiting. We continue to work on our paperwork for the Homestudy Agency and will be starting our Agreement with our placing agency soon! The paperwork almost seems to drown you but I just keep reminding myself what it will bring our family! We pray for our daughter every night and all other families going through this process. You never truly know the attachment you can have to a child you've never even met until you begin this process. It's such an incredible feeling!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

How We Got Here

So it's pretty obvious that we are starting this blog a few weeks into this process. Hopefully this post will help you get up to date with everything that's happened so far!

As Dustin and I began to pray about what country and agency we would use, we easily narrowed down our options because we were only qualified for a couple of countries because of our age and how long we had been married (every country has different restrictions). Our hearts initially settled on Ukraine. We were smitten with the beautiful children and just knew this country was for us. We were at our church service on Sunday October 9th and Dustin and I both felt we needed to really just ask God for clear direction. So we did that, and boy did He answer immediately. That following day I called the agency which I believed would be our placing agency only to find out Ukraine had passed a new law that children had to be 5 years old before they could be adopted internationally. We had asked for clear direction and God provided it. We immediately knew Ukraine was not the country God had for us. After some prayer God started giving us a heart for the children of Bulgaria. This would turn out to be the country we chose. Choosing an agency was a little bit more difficult. Initially it seemed pretty easy and we chose with no problems. Unfortunately there were a few unnerving things that made our spirits uneasy and we decided to look elsewhere for another agency. After searching online and doing some research we settled with Tree of Life, Inc in Oregon. My favorite part was that Kay our consultant had three Bulgarian children of her own, and really seemed to know so much about the process.

So here we are, We have an Awareness Interview scheduled for tomorrow which covers any questions we may have and all risks associated with the adoption process. We also are working on the paperwork for our homestudy. Our first Homestudy Interview is November 8th and we are excited about that also! God is just giving confirmation one right after another.

A dear sister in our church even dreamed that she was holding a sweet baby girl that was ours. She shared this with me last sunday and the best part was she had no idea about the adoption. Only our immediate family did! It is wonderful how God is using other people to reassure us about this adoption.

We feel so blessed to be on this journey and are looking forward to the end when we can bring our beautiful Bulgarian baby girl home!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

God's Calling

From the very beginning Dustin and I knew children would be in our future. As we began teaching a Sunday School class of 6-9 year old children in our church, the passion for kids grew and grew. Dustin and I both have a heart for international missions and shortly after we were married God began to transform that into a heart for international adoption. A lot of prayer, talking about our future family, and speaking with close friends lead to our decision to begin this crazy but incredible adoption process. We welcome our family and friends to follow along with us for what I'm sure will be a roller coaster ride over the next few years. All of your prayers, encouragement, and even questions are welcomed! We have both been so blessed with such incredible people and family in our lives and we are thrilled at the opportunity to provide that for one of God's orphaned children.