Sunday, March 30, 2008

2 months ago

Amazing that January 30th, after seeing a sweet baby girl's face the night before, Buddy and I were discussing what international adoption means and the costs of it. The Bible says if you are willing and obedient, you'll eat the good of the land. We've been willing and obedient and He has done His part in caring for us well!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

It is finished! (almost)

We got news today that our CANIS report is in and our home study will be sent to our agency Monday!!! Now we can get our fingerprinting appt. done and get our dossier complete!!! Oh, how exciting! My parents came over to celebrate dad's 60th bday and we FINALLY got a family picture! Amazing how complicated that can be! When we sent pics to Hannah, we had not had one of Buddy and I since I was 8 months pregnant or all 5 of us since Caleb was 3 months.

Our car is up for sale, now, as a 5 passenger vehicle will not be sufficient! They don't look kindly on kids hanging out in the cargo area or on the luggage rack. Just teasing. Off to minivan land for me! We believe, as everything has for this journey, that it will be quickly sold so we can be ready for Hannah.

We're contemplating a garage sale to raise money. My hesitation is that we have never had a successful one and have given a lot of things away recently. So we're open to donations! We'll have to do it soon, so we'll be praying about when to do it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

More paper work!

Another road trip to meet Buddy for a notary visit. I got more things sent off to the Sec. of State today and hope we'll do this again soon! Again, we're so thankful for the Lord directing our paths on this. It's been His help that has kept us on track. We believe this will be a testimony to His goodness.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

More time with the notary!

Today was a day of some accomplishment. I found out more of what I need apostilled for the dossier ASAP, so I quick printed out what I could and when Buddy got home from work, off we went to the bank to visit the notary. One of the forms was done incorrectly, I found out after we got home. I forgot the dates are written differently in every other country, it seems. So, Hannah will be 3 May 6, not June 5 (05.06, 06.05). So it'll be a quick trip in the morning to meet Buddy to get that one notarized. We had hoped to get her by her birthday so we could celebrate with her. Robin said since we've been moving at warp speed through the process, we may still be with her! Sooner than we thought...

We really need wisdom on how to travel, one trip or two. The thought of being gone from Caleb that long really stinks, so 2 trips would be a lot easier on us. We'll know what to do.

I got our package for Hannah sent off to Martha today. It's pretty simple, but I hope she'll like it. More will come later.

Still no word on the CANIS report, but it's coming soon!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Friday, I wired money so our country could start with the formal referral process. I asked Robin at HA how long she thought it would take. She said a few weeks. Well, today we got an email with a document that was all Greek to me, but I'm sure it's what we've been waiting for so we could make some really big strides.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Good Monday!

I've been catching up this morning after a weekend spending time as a family in Branson. My parent shared our cabin and were a blessing to be with. Caleb thoroughly enjoyed Silver Dollar City! My camera battery died, so no great pictures to share. =(

While we were there, we got to celebrate Resurrection Sunday at our church away from home. It's so wonderful to know that Jesus is no longer on the cross or in the tomb. He's seated at the right hand of the Father- victorious, and because He lives, we have victory, too! We have a Helper, we have Hope, we have Provision for everything we need. Makes me want to cry to think of His goodness toward us. Oh, what a privalege having been adopted by the King!

Laundry has been more of a chore lately with 5 to wash for. Knowing # 6 is on the way has helped us realize our faithful washer and dryer need to be passed on to someone else who can be blessed with it. Ever since I heard about front loading w&d's, I've wanted one. It's been on my "vision list" for a few years. Well, today Buddy told me one of our friends is giving us about 1/2 what a new set will cost! Ok, the tears keep coming seeing God's blessings. It's kind of like- ok, Lord, what are you going to do today? Something GOOD is going to happen today! (Did I mention I'm an ORU alum?) But it's true, He keeps showing up for us.

I emailed OKDHS adoption division to see if we could get the ball rolling on our fingerprinting appt. However, they MUST have the homestudy in hand to set the appt. I'm really hopeful that will be this week. As things have progressed on this whole adoption, it'll go through quickly.

The kids were ready to go back to school. Catherine had learned 3 new sight word lists, which is about 36 new words, during spring break. Samuel just hung out and enjoyed reading for Game cube time. They both had a blast on the new swing set, even without the slide on yet! Caleb got the pleasure of green beans and avacados (thanks Denise for that tip). This morning he rolled from back to front, to back, to front. Which means we're really going to have to keep an eye on him!

Another family who are adopting from the same country are going back on Saturday. I'm thrilled to be able to send some things to Hannah! It has to be small and light. Hmmm. I'll have to be thinking and acting in a hurry! Thanks for being willing, Martha. You're a blessing.

Friday, March 21, 2008

More good news

Good news on 2 things! First, I checked email after I blogged last and found out we're only waiting on the CANIS report to have our homestudy complete! Then last night I got an email that our country is ready to make a match for us already! Of course, that means we need to send in a big chunk. Funny thing, our tax return was direct deposited this morning! Things are picking up speed and we're happy to be along for the ride.

I spoke with someone from a ministry we support and told him we're adopting. He said the sweetest thing to me- "I got a witness that there will be grace for the adoption process and for parenting. That's pure religion, not the false kind." Well, we believe it, after all, that's what Hannah means! So encouraging to hear these words as we keep trusting him.

Caleb has decided he likes green beans! He chowed down without any problems yesterday. I'd forgotten the wonders of multicolored spit up! I'm excited to see him doing so well. He's so happy and content most of the time.

We're off to Branson for the weekend with my parents. Lots of fun for all of us and Caleb travels like a pro.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

March 20

Ok, I'll admit it, I'm addicted to adoption blogs! I've not had internet access for the 3rd day now. Just got it back about 5 minutes ago (thank you SOOO much Amanda) and I'm so excited to find out how others are doing.

We have heard nothing on our adoption progress. But then again, I've not been able to get emails for 3 days, so I may be pleasantly surprised. I feel like we're in the 7 1/2 month spot in pregnancy when you know things are happening and you just have to be patient, knowing the end WILL come and it'll be so sweet to see your child. We have watched the new video several times and think it's so sweet to see her personality and her energy. Hannah will be a great addition to our family.

2 cute things Catherine said this week: we bought a new swing set and I was working on it Monday afternoon. The birds were singing and Catherine said- "Listen mommy, the birds are singing praises to God!" Yesterday, we were baking scones. She was helping me and said, "Mommy, do you remember when Caleb was this big?" (The size of a poppy seed. Each week I would tell them what was developing and how big he was as we went through the pregnancy.) Amazing to look at him now and see all the changes.

I now have a cord to download pictures from my camera. You'll be seeing more updated family pics, soon, but tonight I need to catch up on what's going on in the world!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

It's here!

Buddy's passport finally made it! We also got a letter from Homeland Security that they got our application and that it'll be a while before we have our appointment. Oh how I want to be able to push it up! Buddy reminded me today that we will be there at the right time and my dad reminded me that we may hit bumps, but God is with us. Great men to have in my life!

Where did the past 6 months go?

Imagine, 6 months ago yesterday, I looked like the top picture (I have no idea how to rotate the picture). At this time today, 6 months ago, my epidural was in and not functioning so well. But in just a little bit (100 minutes or so) we had the munchkin in the middle picture. Finally, in a few hours from now 6 months ago, we have our hands full with our sweet family (or so we thought!)

Little did we know, when I said very shortly after getting cleaned up, that I'd do it again and would have another baby, we were soon to be on the journey to complete our family in another fashion!

We're so blessed and are thankful to the Lord for His goodness to us.

By the way, in case anyone was concerned for Caleb, I was only feeding him about 2 tsps of cereal a day as we were learning the wonders of eating from a spoon. He's fine!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wednesday, March 12th

No news on the paperwork front. Somewhere, something is happening, we're just not sure what.

However, Catherine and I had a lovely evening tonight, reading books and painting our nails, imagining how fun it'll be when we will have 2 little girls to do this with. I told her we'll have to remember how badly we wanted Hannah to be with us, especially when we're not wanting to be nice. She said "Yeah, I remember when she was littler and I had to get used to her, but I did. I'll get used to her when she comes." (Referring to the videos and pictures we've seen.) She kept asking about Hannah changing when she'd watch the videos. I had to explain that Hannah will be bigger when we get her and will look a little different, just like she grows and changes. That made sense.

I think we've turned a corner with feeding Caleb! I didn't feed him cereal for a few days and just nursed. Well, yesterday he ate with no crying and tonight he was leading forward for the bites and ate more than he's eaten in the past! His pediatrician will be pleased. Amazing that 6 months ago I was doing yoga in the hospital, trying to get his head down! I was dilated to an 8, but he was NOT ready to see the bright lights! My, how time has flown...

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Lord comes through again

Yeah!!! The Lord is good and we see it once again. We weren't sure how we were going to pay for the dossier fee since Robin said we'd need it in just 2-3 weeks. Great news- our taxes were done tonight and our refund is almost the whole cost of the dossier fee!

Another great thing is that the last home study visit is complete. Now we just wait for the CANIS and the other background check to come in and that's done! Another couple the social worker is helping submitted theirs about the same time we did and they've gotten it back already!

The good news in NOT going to stop, so we'll happily provide it! =)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Moving right along

We had a bit of a flurry of activity this week. On Wednesday, Mary from Hopscotch called to ask me to overnight our partial dossier and payment. I was totally surprised, thinking we had until after our homestudy is done to have that in. So it was aquick trip to Fed Ex and the bank so I could wire the $, a first for me. Thursday I got an email that the partial dossier was on its way over! Sunday is our 2nd HS visit, which should be the last then we'll wait to hear about background checks. After that the full dossier goes over and we wait for the official referral. Woo Hoo!

One of the other families from the yahoo group (G.A.) is over getting their child. I'm hearing a lot of interesting stories about culture, travel and food. It'll be great to see it for myself.

We're still seeing how God is going before us and making the path smooth for us. Favor on every turn! Nothing is going to stop us, but this will bring Him glory.

I read one of the adoption books to Catherine's class today- "Borya and the Burps." I explained to the kids that life is not so grand in an orphanage and that we would be taking things when we go. Bless Mrs. Skalnik's heart- she asked if she could send a letter home to the parents explaining what we're doing and letting them know about the needs so they can contribute. Wow! She's been so sweet and excited for us. We have such a great school!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

More progress

The days have gone by quickly with some good developements. Last Thursday, I was able to mail off our I600-a application. I'm ready to get fingerprinted! I was planning on a trip to OKC to get some documents apostilled for our dossier and was going to get pictures taken. My friend Amanda gave us the sweetest toddler sleigh bed for Hannah. I got it home, scrounged around in the attic for the bedding we used for Catherine, Buddy brought the bed in when he got home, we got the bedding on ang the kids piled on the stuffed animals! They were so excited to get Hannah's bed ready! We took a bunch of pictures and then found out Friday we just need a picture of the room she'll be in.

Friday, Caleb and I had some road trip fun together. When we got to the SOS's office, I had a money order for a certain amount to get some of the documents taken care of. I found out first, I had the copy of the certificate of true copy, not the original, I had a cert. of true with both Buddy and my signatures on them for my passport- I only needed mine, and the fee per document was only $10 instead of $25! Every document I had correctly done was apostilled instead of having to bring some home and send in when more $ came in, plus we have $ left over from the money order to get several more documents done! That's the Lord for you!

Saturday, one of our friends came over and did a repair for us and is going to be able to get some of the putsy things Buddy doesn't have time to do in our remodeling efforts. I'm so thankful we will have help and things are being taken off Buddy's honey-do list.

Remember my tax appointment snaffoo? I went yesterday for my rescheduled appt. and found out I need to go back on Sunday because our CPA will be home and he can go over everything for us to make sure we've got it right! Isn't that like God, too? I messed up and He's merciful anyway.

We're making progress on our education. We're changing our thinking about the sleeping situation after Hannah's home- she may need to be in our room for a while and then after she's comfortable, move the girls in together. We'd leave Catherine with Samuel until then so she's not by herself. Caleb won't know any different! Any suggestions on that from those who have gone before us?

Speaking of Caleb, he was happily playing on his back yesterday, then started crying. I left him for a few minutes, finishing up what I was doing (he wasn't in distress, I promise!) and found him on his tummy! No one fessed up to moving him, so we now have a more mobile child on our hands. He's back to scooting around in his crib when he cries- I've found him totally turned around after a very short time. Time to keep those legos picked up!

I finally checked out the Operation Ukraine website. Evidently, Kelly is indirectly involved in us finding Hannah. The Lord has given me an idea to be able to use my business to be a blessing to the Ukranian orphans. I'm still trying to figure it out, but I think it'll be a really good thing. Funny that it's not for the orphans from Hannah's country. Maybe that will come later.

Charissa sent me an emai from a sweet lady telling the RR group about a sweet girl who needed a home. It was great to know we're that family! In the email, I found out more info about Hannah, which is cool. Anything we can learn will help her put the pieces of her past together when she's ready.