Our social worker spent the morning with us for our final home study visit! We are approaching a really big milestone – completion of the home study (HS).
Here’s my best understanding of what comes next:
The social worker will finish up the first draft of our HS. She will make sure that it meets requirements for both our HS agency and our placing agency. We will be given a chance to review it, and then we will send it “to the state” for approval (not sure which office actually handles that piece).
Once we receive that approval, we will be able to apply to USCIS (immigration) for an important form that needs to be included in our dossier (the official application to Ladybug’s country). At some point after we apply to USCIS, we will have to go for a biometrics (fingerprinting) appointment. And then, I think, we will be able to notarize nearly every document in the dossier, and then send it to the Colorado Secretary of State (I think?) for apostilles. An apostille is the state’s way of verifying the authenticity of the notary.
Once our dossier is all prepared, we will be able to send it off!
Please pray us through these next steps. Because I’m not super duper familiar with the timeline, I suspect I will have a hard time waiting for each mini-step. Pray that all involved in this process are able to work efficiently and quickly – ourselves included!
This process is definitely reaching the summit of one mountain only to find a taller mountain in the distance!
“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” -Romans 5:3-5
I dreamed of you last night. It was so amazing to see you and hold you in my arms. And now that I’ve heard your sweet voice through a video update, I also was able to dream that we talked.
I remember my sweet German host sisters excitedly announcing the first night they dreamed in English. It was such a big achievement in their English language development that English was so “in” their minds that they could take that with them into dreamland. Maybe that’s why it feels so amazing to have been able to dream about you, sweet girl. You’ve been in my heart for a very long time now, but now my mind knows how to take me to you while I sleep.
I know it’s a little silly – I mean, we also dream pretty ridiculous dreams sometimes! – but I cherished that dream!
Hugs, sweet one.
July is our little Ladybug’s birth month!
To celebrate, we thought we’d kick off our next fundraising appeal:
$2 for 2!
Because Ladybug is turning two this month, we would like to ask friends, family, and supporters to make a donation to our Reece’s Rainbow account as a gift to the little lady. We think it’d be so fun for gifts to be $2.00, $22.00, or $222.00!
Once you’ve donated, please leave a comment on this blog post, and we’ll add your name to her birthday card! She won’t be able to receive this card for her birthday, but we’d love to add it to her memory box so she can see how much she is loved!
This appeal will run the rest of this month. Thanks folks!
Give here: http://reecesrainbow.org/76470/sponsorladybug.
We are so grateful!
Our donation garage sale was a smashing success! We worked hard and raised roughly 25% of our next big fee that we’ll owe to our placing agency when we submit our dossier in a few months.
We chose to have a Friday/Saturday sale, and we planned to start each day at 8:00 AM. Bright and early Friday morning, just as we were starting to set up, we had customers start trickling in as early as 6:30 AM! And, they didn’t stop for several hours. We stayed consistently busy through the morning. We closed up shop on Friday around 5:00 PM but were back at it early the next morning. Saturday customers fizzled earlier in the day, and we had the whole garage sale packed up and put away by about 6:00 or 6:30 PM. Phew!
Unloading more donations!
It was a lot of work to collect and sort donations and then work the sale, but well worth it for sure. We’re very grateful to so many people who helped us make this fundraiser a success!
The baby wasn’t for sale :)
Thank you to my mama for coming to help during the sale, especially by helping attend to the girls. Thank you to our church for donating tables for us to use! Thank you to my uncle and dad who helped us figure out how to price a few items that we weren’t as familiar with. Thank you to my friend Jamie for coming to spend a few hours sorting clothes and giving me a pep talk. Thank you to my parents for lending us their pickup and trailer.
Our full garage, part of the way through the sorting process!
And a huge thank you to everyone who donated their unneeded items:
Katrina and family
Charles and Michelle
Kim and Marcie
Jerry and Peg
Jay and Sharon
Kyle and Jamie
Ron and Lori
Poncho and Chanelle
Steve and Amanda
Ben and Rachel
Chris and Ashley
Chris and Anna
Kristina and family
Monte and Linda
Linly and Sherell
Jay and Tara
All the donations we received totaled to roughly 128 bags of stuff! When we first advertised our sale, we promised that donors would receive an entry into winning a cash prize! Our winners have been determined (thanks random.org): Poncho and Chanelle!
Taking a break from our busy Friday to celebrate Independence Day!
We are just so blessed by the support that everyone has provided us so far on our journey to bring Ladybug home. We are antsy to finish this long race and one day tell our sweet girl just how loved she is.
If you’ve followed our adoption decision at all, you likely know the role that Reece’s Rainbow has had in growing our love for sweet kiddos all over the world who need families. And even though we did not “find” Ladybug on Reece’s Rainbow, we were delighted to learn that we could still be a part of the RR family by creating a Family Sponsorship Page on their website.
Reece’s Rainbow advocates for waiting children and families pursuing adoption in many ways. One big way is their grant-making ministry. They build grants for each child through donations to help families be able to afford the costs of international adoptions. Generally speaking, the larger a child’s grant becomes, the easier it may be for a family to bring that child home forever.
Aside from raising grants for waiting children, they also allow families in the adoption process (like us!) to create Family Sponsorship Pages where friends, relatives, and even strangers passionate about helping children find forever homes can make tax deductible donations to raise a grant that the family can use for adoption expenses! They’re the bee’s knees, if you ask me.
Our FSP went live on our 4th anniversary, and it was just a really special moment to me. It’s probably quite silly, and I don’t know if anyone can understand, but… Sigh.
So if you’d like to join with us in bringing home our sweet girl, please consider a gift to our FSP! Even better if you can mail a check to RR designated for us so that we can avoid the 3% Paypal fees.
Here’s the page! Thanks folks.
Ladybug for Chris and Kami
One of the coolest things about this process so far is to see how many others have loved and prayed for Ladybug as she awaited a family. I’ve gotten a few comments and messages and notes from others who are cheering us along in her adoption. They don’t know us, but they love her. It’s so cool to see the connections that God has in store!
One fellow adoptive mama in particular contacted me to share a way that Ladybug lovers everywhere could help to bring her home! She sells sugar scrub, lip balm, and body balm. And if you write “Ladybug” in the note to seller, she’ll donate a portion of her earnings to our adoption!
Check it out here.
I don’t mean it to be cliche, but God’s got it all under control. He used beloved friends of ours to meet an impressive financial deadline two days before it was due. I hadn’t been concerned about meeting the deadline, but I have to admit my lack of concern was less about trusting in His provision and more about distraction and other less noble emotions and assumptions. But, He took care of us and met a real need, whether we perceived it as such or not.
We’re making real, good progress on the home study, but I’ll never feel content at the pace, I suppose. On one hand, I understand the paperwork; but mostly I just hate that Ladybug needs a family, and our family needs a Ladybug. And yet we’re separated by thousands of miles and too many months.
We have completed three of our four home study visits. We’ve secured our birth and marriage certificates; gotten letters from the pediatrician testifying to the health of Poppy and Bumblebee; met with our nurse practitioner to have our own health verified; submitted financial documents and requested a letter from our bank to verify our fiscal health; discussed with our social worker where Ladybug might sleep, and whether or not we have fire extinguishers, and what kinds of expectations we hold for bringing Ladybug home.
We have also completed our first of three in-person adoption trainings. We, along with two other prospective adoptive families, met for several hours to discuss the ins and outs of becoming adoptive families. We discussed big and tough things like gains and losses for all involved in an adoption – spelling out what we gain and lose, what Ladybug will gain and lose, what her birth parents might have gained and lost, and so on.
So, I guess you could say that things are moving along relatively well at this point. We’re making progress on nearly every adoption-related front. Yay!
Please pray for these things specifically:
- that Ladybug would know her worth and that she is loved, that she would have her needs met during this time of waiting;
- that God would continue to provide financially for this adoption, and praises to Him for his faithfulness!
- that we would be encouraged through the days and weeks and months of working hard to complete the process
- that God would shut every door that the enemy tries to use to bring us down
- that we would grow as a family and in our faith, ever-ready for where He calls us
Thank you dear ones!