Today we got a bunkbed for the girls' room. We also did some rearranging of furniture. While helping Adam carry down a bookcase, one of the shelves slipped out and landed on my foot! It was excruciating pain but I think I will be okay.
Caleb, Adam, Anna, and Dad put the bed together. It was a group effort! Yeah--- one more thing done!
Yesterday I sent off our immigration! Next week I will begin gathering all of the necessary paperwork for our dossier. As I glanced over this blog, I noticed how it does not have a blog list. If you are in the process of adopting or have adopted, please leave me your link so that I can add it to my blogroll. It is always nice to have links about adoption on an adoption blog--- at least I think so!
We got our homestudy in the mail today-- times four! That is how many copies we will most likely need. Last year we only got three, but this time it was four because the process has changed a bit. Instead of mailing off our I-600A form to our local USCIS office-- all applications are now mailed to Dallas, Texas. We do the mailing-- not our homestudy agency. Not sure if this will delay the process, but no rush. I spent tonight filling out forms and gathering paperwork. John is making a few copies for me in the morning and then I will be sending off our immigration request! Woo-hoo!
Also, the process for Ukraine has changed too. Instead of waiting until our whole dossier is complete and then sending it over for translation and then submission, we now can send over only our homestudy. Of course I still need to notarize and apostille it, but then it will get mailed to our Ukrainian facilitator who will translate it and then register it for an actual submission date to follow-- hopefully not sooner than when the rest of our dossier gets there. The whole thing is now a bit of a juggling act-- everything has to be timed perfectly. If it does-- the process should be fairly easy, quick, and painless.
Things are moving along. We should get our completed homestudy in a few days. Then off to immigration-- this time it goes to Texas due to some changes in the process. I heard it is taking three months-- plenty of time to complete our dossier.
Yesterday we applied for Rachel and Caleb's passports. Afterwards, I took them and the little boys out to Wendy's for lunch. We all ate off the dollar menu which made for an inexpensive lunch for five and I spent most of the time trying to explain Ukrainian food to Caleb-- specifically their version of fast food restaurants. It brought back memories describing a couple of the places we ate at in Ukraine this past summer like the Potato Bar--- and I was surprised at how game Caleb sounded. He is a very picky eater in general, so I am curious to see how he is going to respond to the new tastes, smells, and overall difference in foods. Rachel is so excited at the thought of going back to her homeland---- and can't wait to eat all of the food!
Our homestudy is done-- just waiting on it to be finalized. As soon as I send it off to immigration I will begin the paper chase to gather our documents for our dossier.
There have been definite changes in our house. All to the glory of God. Not that our kids were that disobedient to begin with, but there was definite room for improvement beginning with me. John and I are faithful that keeping our family in the Word and sharing with them whenever time allows (which is more than we all want to admit) is the key to their hearts and inner compass down a meaningful road. This has proven fruitful in a most miraculous way. I had the opportunity to talk with Caleb for a long time this past Wednesday when he had his routine orthodontist visit. We even went out to lunch afterwards. Gosh do I love this guys inner heart.
Fast forward to today.
Caleb and Rachel were getting ready to leave to walk to school. They opened the front door to see that the ground was wet from raining. He looked back at me with an optimistic look to see if I would take them to school. I told him that today was the one day I was not taking anyone to school-- so sorry.
"Besides Caleb, you need to get used to walking in the rain! You'll most likely be doing lots of it this summer when we go!"
Can you guess where Caleb has decided to go this summer? :) It is an answer to prayer.
According to our homestudy, we have been approved to adopt a child between the ages of 7-13.
So why an older child, you may be wondering? A few years back I answered it in this post.
The very first time we decided to adopt back in January 2005, there was no question that we wanted an older child. Sure, it was mainly due to us already having six biological children and not desiring to have another baby, but also partly due to the fact that older children have even less of a chance of being adopted. Because there were no diapers involved with an older child, that appealed to us too.
Now that we actually have our daughters home, life with them now is even better than I had imagined it. Had we adopted our daughters when they were younger, I am not sure we would have been blessed with learning as much as we have about them. A baby can only remember so much, and yes that's good because maybe they won't remember what happened to put them in the orphanage to begin with, but it has been such a Godly experience to have our girls open up to us and learn to trust us at their most vulnerable times in their lives, that I know I would not have gotten these special moments had they been younger.
They each, have such amazing stories, it is hard to not be affected by each detail they share. I have often felt like I was there with them as they relive the pain and the sadness through what they tell me. I am in awe, how strong and how willing each of them came into our home, trusting that life has more to offer than what they had been previously handed. I am honored that they have basically handed me their lives and asked me to fix them. My girls have cried in my arms as they bared their soles, and they have yelled at me in sheer frustration. My girls have questioned my authority finding it hard to believe that an adult can be trusted and my girls have snuggled in my arms free to be a little girl again. They probably think that they are the lucky ones to have a loving family, but it is I who is grateful that I am now a part of their lives. I am so blessed to be their mom.
I want to encourage anyone out there that is thinking about adopting an older child, specifically a daughter, to take that leap of faith and follow your heart.
With that said, I know it may seem ironic that we are now in the process of adopting a much younger, little boy. In addition to the many reasons that my husband shares in his one and only post , I can only add that this is what God has laid upon our hearts at this time. The key again, is following wherever God leads you.