Thursday, July 30, 2009

Still Waiting...

We were suppose to have our final home study this week, and well we're coming on to Friday tomorrow, and I have a feeling we're not going to get it.
I'm bummed about it.
I'm ready to move on to the next stage.
The home study update has taken quite a bit longer than I had originally anticipated.
I did get my passport in the mail though - I'm so very excited about that!

We have had a couple weddings in the last few weeks, and a few photo shoots, plus another wedding tomorrow.
I've also been building a website for Olive, and a website for a local adoption and family services agency.
I've also got about 5 or 6 pairs of longies and shorties that I'm trying to work on too.
It's been pretty busy.

I also had my birthday a couple days ago.
It went by with out much fuss.

I can't believe it's already going in to August.
I really want to travel in October to get Olive.
But, if fundraising keeps going this slow, and our paperwork keeps moving like molasses - we're not going to make it.
I pray to God that we do.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Tonight's one of those nights that I'm keenly aware that our family is one member short...
We have family in town, and so we're all up really late.
Karl and I, along with the kids, are about to cozy down together in our bed to watch a late night movie and I really wish Olive could be here.
I can literally envision her laying in-between all of us giggling with excitement of the rare treat that is sleeping in mom and dad's bed (for the first part of the night anyway)...
I know that instead of being snuggled with us she's laying alone in a crib that's probably not very comfy, and certainly not filled with people who love her.
I really wish (well, pray really) that God will do something really big and awesome (something GODish) to bring her home quickly.
I do not want to wait one more second that I don't have to.

I'm praying for comfort and content-ness in the process of waiting.
And for finances, and very speedy paperwork processing.
I really don't like knowing that all that stands between my daughter and I is money and bureaucracy, but that's how it is...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Down syndrome play group - Grand Rapids

We have been going to a play group for people who have children with Down syndrome two wednesdays a month here in Grand Rapids...
It is such a wonderful group.
We are so blessed to be a part of it.
Every time we go, we are greeted and embraced by people who are genuinely supportive and interested in our adoption process.
It's so lovely, and such a blessing.
Every time we go, we are less and less afraid of the thought,
"what are we getting ourselves in to!?"
Remember we didn't choose to adopt a little girl with Down syndrome - God showed us, and we followed...
It can be intimidating sometimes.
But, after 3.5 books (and a dozen to go!) - and spending time with these people's gorgeous, wonderful, little children - we are realizing that kids with DS are soooo much more like 'typical/normal' children that you'd ever realize.
And we're realizing just how blessed we are to have been picked, and trusted to parent one of these angels.
Every time we go, it is bitter sweet.
We go to see a glimpse of our future, and we get to see our daughter's face in their kids.. and it's also hard because it makes me miss Olive so much.
It makes me yearn to hold her and kiss her chubby little hands, and big cheeks.
But, every time we go, we leave feeling refreshed.
It confirms in us that this is what God has for us, and we are thrilled, excited, and eager to be a part of this community of families with children who have DS.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

She's screwy...

My living room smells like awful fish food thanks to baby Evelyn learning how to unscrew caps! I'm excited for her - but not for my living-room floor.

Monday, July 20, 2009

It's here!

We have the rough draft :)
Soooo excited!
We have to fill in some blanks, and change a few tid-bits here and there - but I should have that done tomorrow!
Then it's off to our facilitator for review, and USCIS here we come!

We also got our first donation in a while today,
I wish that there was some way for me to explain how much we REALLY appreciate it.
I wish that there was a way to explain how we are touched, and how we are seeing and experiencing God through those of you who sacrifice and give...
I just have to keep saying Thank you over and over again.

I can't believe that we only have $6k to go!
That's about 6 weddings
or about 50 family pictures
or 197 pairs of shorties (wool diaper covers I make)
or 23 garage sales (at the average we've made)
When you put it that way - it sounds pretty scary! lol.
But, I am so amazed that we've gotten this far - I have total faith in God to help us provide the rest.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

She's standing!

Evelyn stood up for the first time on Thursday!
She pops her butt up and then stands up for just a few seconds.
Then she would fall down and laugh as if it were just 'sooo funny'

Don't mind the crazy outfit! Her Aunt Julie just got the tutu for her so we were trying it on... and we were folding laundry in the middle of the floor - so don't mind that either.


Look how BIG my kids are getting! It's not even right!
No really, I love every stage. I was scared when I had Ethan as a newborn that I wouldn't know what to do with him as he got bigger - I've always been a baby person (still am!)... but every stage is just so awesome!
Here are my two enormous kids!


alright - so Evelyn still takes a bottle and doesn't walk, so she's still pretty 'baby' but she just seems so big!


she makes the funniest faces when the camera comes out.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Satan Attacks...

We have had someone call CPS on us for some wild allegations that someone manipulated from information shared on my blog.
I consider it a full out attack from Satan on our lives, and it's caused us heartache and frustration.
Thankfully the CPS worker found no reason for concern, and it was a waste of everyone's time.
But, because we're foster parents, we have had to deal with our agency and their procedures revolving situations like that too.
Again, luckily after an hour and a half meeting, explaining our goals, who we are, why we wanted to foster, and why we want to adopt, clearing up the asinine allegations, and explaining where we're at in our lives - things are done.

We've been under serious attack over here - and it's been hard to wade through all the crap Satan's been throwing on us in attempt to throw us off track.
It's been hard at times to stay above surface, and continue to seek God's will.

You think that once you agree to follow God's plan for your life that everything will be all lovely and easy...
but it's not.
Satan doesn't waste his time attacking those that he has already won to complacency, selfishness, and ignorance to their own ineffectiveness to the Kingdom of God.
He attacks the people who are actually letting God move them, and choose to seek Him and do His will first.
He attacks people who are actually doing something FOR God, and not seeking for God to do something for THEM.

I have had to keep reading scripture and sermons, and watch my lovely Joyce Meyer to keep me motivated to persevere and not retreat into the mindset of 'screw it, I'm living for me!' - like it seems a lot of people do.
It's been hard.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Whew! Getting things done!

So, I'm looking at our savings account for Olive, and our budget, and what we need to get done. And I'm pleasantly surprised!
We are going to have the funds to send in our USCIS paperwork, ship our Dossier, and pay for our Dossier translation by this coming Monday!

We are going to be sending in our USCIS application with out our homestudy, but it should be following shortly after. 
And we'll send our Dossier with out our USCIS approval - but it's my understanding that we can just bring that with us when we travel. 

A few requirements we still need for our Dossier (all of which are near attained or easily attained):
1. formal letter stating reasons behind adopting a child - written, waiting for proof reading, and printing
2. Written biography - written, waiting for proof reading, and printing
3. Our Home Study - being written right now
4. State Clearance - waiting to hear if our USCIS fingerprints covers this, or if we need additional (3rd set!) fingerprinting
5. A bank statement - can be printed anytime
6. Deed to our home - looking for it
7. Photographs of our family and home - need printed

Once we get our Home Study, USCIS approval, and Dossier shipped/translated that's it for paperwork until we leave!

Very precise Cardiology Report

Here is the information about Olive's heart:

Olive has Atrial Septal Defect with moderately significant LD shunt.

No medications were suggested.

No heart surgery was planned.

The next exam is scheduled for 11/13/2009.

That's all the information we've received.

I'm not sure what it means yet - but I'll be researching today :)

A little update about our progress:

We applied for my passport - it should arrive in 3-6 weeks.

We are waiting on our home study report for revision, and finalization.

We are sending in our USCIS paperwork next week.

We're finishing up the last few pieces of paperwork for our Dossier.

We have weddings we're shooting this weekend that are going to keep us very busy.

But we're thankful for them because all profits from them are going towards Olive's adoption.

We are going to be having another garage sale next weekend too.

We are going to be pulling the stuff out every weekend we don't have other obligations in hopes to sell it ALL and make as much money for Olive as we can.

We'd really like to raise all our funds this summer to be able to travel to get her as soon as her country will allow.