Thursday, December 2, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Enjoy this video! (Be sure to pause our music player at the bottom of our blog.)
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Watch this video & please pray for orphans worldwide this Sunday! And, our continuing request, please pray for our baby-boy-to-be that's somewhere in Ethiopia waiting for us to bring him home! (be sure to put our music player at the bottom of our blog on "pause" before starting this video)
Why Love Orphans? from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.
Friday, September 24, 2010
During our adoption journey so far, we've encountered many ups, downs, highs & lows -- as to be expected. We continue to turn our hearts to God for answers during uncertain times. Many times, we've wondered, where is He sending us? What is His plan for us in this journey? Who is this child He's chosen for us? Many times the questions go unanswered, but we can always find answers/direction in His Word -- the B-I-B-L-E (as my 5 year old would say).
My 5 year old's words reminded me of His words: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." Psalm 119:105
Thanks Kaitlyn for putting it all back into perspective! :)
Monday, September 20, 2010
• Completed and submitted new application for Ethiopia adoption program
• Accepted to AWAA's Ethiopia program as a transfer from their Rwanda program
• Assigned a new family coordinator with our adoption agency. (Basically, she's the one to hold our hand along the paper pregnancy trail so that we don't get lost along the way!) Yeah!
• Given a NEW stack of paperwork to review and sign -- 96 pages to be exact! (These will be merged with our original 128 page stack from Rwanda, so that we can maybe not really start from scratch this time.)
• And, my favorite item (although it really doesn't get us to Ethiopia any quicker) -- we redesigned our blog thanks to Becky at Adopt Africa Digital Designs (http://adoptafrica.blogspot.com/) -- love her!
I think the redesign of the blog is a fresh start for a fresh new "paper pregnancy".
So, here we go! We hope you enjoy this journey with us! And, this time, we hope it only takes 40 weeks or less (like a "regular" pregnancy). :)
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Ethiopian Orphans from Simon Scionka on Vimeo.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
We have not yet submitted our dossier, but had planned to get it to Rwanda before the end of the year. The dossier is basically the entire binder of paperwork about our family along with certifications from our gov't to their gov't that we are eligible for adopting from Rwanda. So, if this news is confirmed from Rwanda, the "downside" for us is that they may not accept our dossier when we're ready to submit it. The "upside" is that they may be integrating the Hague Convention safeguards which ensure that their adoptions take place in the best interest of the child with respect to his/her rights as recognized in international law.
With this news, although disappointing because it could slow down our process a bit, we are still optimistic and continue our "paper pregnancy." We'll keep you all posted and ask that you continue to pray for Rwandan adoptions since there are so many children just waiting to be taken to their new homes!
"But they they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)
Thursday, August 19, 2010
So here's the latest . . . we had our first meeting with our social worker on Friday night to begin our home study. It was so nice to finally meet her face-to-face and she really put us at ease about the whole process. We met for 3 hours and had our orientation to the whole home study process. We reviewed the ins/out, ups/downs, tears & joys that come with this journey. After this meeting the ball's back in our court. We still have two more meetings with her before our home study can be complete, but basically need to complete about 99% of our paperwork before meeting with her again. It was such a positive experience to open our meeting with Bible verses and prayers! We love that we're working with a Christian adoption agency and ultimately know that God will see us through this and keep our baby safe in the meantime.
The good news is that I have 3 full days a week now that I can concentrate whole-heartedly on the paperwork/process. Our 5 year old daughter started kindergarten this week/3 full days a week which frees up much of my time. She is thrilled to be in Kindergarten and I've realized that my "little baby" is now a school girl!! Which really makes me even more motivated to bring another sweet baby into our lives, and she keeps asking "Mommy, when is my brother Xan getting here?" Thus, more pressure from her too -- I'm happy to report that she's simply thrilled with the idea of adopting. When we initially started our adoption process last November, we felt she was a bit too young to discuss it at that point. But now, she totally gets it and says "Mommy, we need to hurry because Xan needs a new family and clean water too." So sweet! BTW, the story on "Xan". We've already named our baby-to-be Alexander AKA Xan. This has made life a lot easier when we refer to our baby-to-be with a name rather than the little baby from Rwanda who'll soon join our family. We're not sure if this name will "stick" once we meet him, but for now that's what we call him. :)
This week, Jim & I are writing our autobiographies for our home study. Step-by-step, and little-by-little, we're one day closer to our little baby boy. We love you Xan & pray for you every day!!!
Thursday, May 13, 2010
It's seems like since we've been together, God has had us on the 5 year plan! We started dating in college & married 5 years later. Then on our 5th anniversary, we bought our first home in Santa Monica. Then at our 10th anniversary, I was pregnant with our darling daughter, Kaitlyn. And now at 15 years, God has us starting a new adventure into the blessings (and challenges) of adoption. I think He must know that we're always ready for something new in our lives!
We are so thrilled as we are hearing the stories of many families from our adoption agency either traveling to Rwanda to finalize their adoptions or just recently getting back. The stories fill our hearts with joy & tears. Many of our friends and family keep asking us, when are you brining home your precious baby boy??? Well, here's our latest "timeline" which I understand can change on a daily basis. We've just begun the "paper pregnancy" or "paper chase" which takes about 3 - 10 months depending on how quickly we finish the paperwork. After the paper chase officially becomes our dossier, it then goes to the government of Rwanda. From there, it takes approximately 7 to 9 months to receive our "referral" for our little baby boy, and then we can make plans to travel.
So, here we sit with mounds of paperwork, but are encouraged weekly by our new family coordinator and our social worker. We also plan to have our first home study visit with our social worker when we return from vacation in early June (yeah!).
So the answer to the question "when will he be here?" is difficult to say, but Lord willing, by this time next year!!!!! But with international adoption that can change on a daily basis, so we'll keep you posted!
So today I'll close with some favorite verses that have become our daily affirmation: "Rejoice in the Lord always I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. " Philippians 4:4-7
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Between fun travels, relatives & friends visiting us, and a mix of holidays thrown in . . . TODAY we finally submitted our first "round" of paperwork to our adoption agency. We were officially accepted into the Rwandan adoption program around Thanksgiving, but it's taken us this long to get our act together to review the first round of paperwork. So off to FedEx I went today to send in our official agreements with our agency, first payment, as well as our certificates of completion for a 12 hour training course. We really enjoyed the training course (online), but it took us longer to complete than we anticipated since it was full of vital information regarding international adoption. I realized while taking it that adoption is not for the faint of heart and this training prepared us for any obstacles that we might encounter along the way. In the end we were so glad to have taken this course and to have this important information at our fingertips.
So, today, I cleared my desk of the first round of paperwork (and I FedExed our tax documents to our accountant as well). :) Next steps, we wait for approximately 10 days to hear back from our agency. At that time they'll assign us a family coordinator to help and support us every step of the way. They will also assign us our social worker for the "dreaded" home study, which actually sounds worse than it really is (or at least we hope).
We are OFFICIALLY on our way with our first steps to our precious little boy. Please keep him & us in your prayers. :)
More to come . . .
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Friday, January 1, 2010
Happy New Year!!! 2010 is HERE and we are thrilled to start this new chapter in our family life. We feel so fortunate as we count our many blessings from this past year and are excited to share these with a child who is less fortunate.
We’ve spent the last month announcing our adoption plans to friends and family and now we are ready to start the infamous paperwork of adoption. It’s been a rollercoaster ride already in getting everyone’s reactions to our decision. Some are thrilled and are cheering us on, others see this as part of God’s plan for our family, and others are very wary of the idea of intercountry adoption. Needless to say, we’ve been given lots of advice, shared stories of adoption, and many prayers for our family. With prayerful hearts and much support from many of you, we are ready for the journey before us!
Let the Paperwork Begin:
To get the ball rolling, we were sent about 10 documents from our adoption agency that we need to review and sign and return with our first installment payment of $1,500 (you’ll hear us talk about his more, since no adoption is inexpensive). While reviewing these documents, we are also completing a mandatory 10-hour Hague Intercountry Adoption training course that was prepared by the National Council for Adoption. The training course has answered many of our questions and educated us on the ups, downs, ins and outs of intercountry adoption.
We hope to complete our initial documents and the training course by the end of next week to send back to our agency. Once the agency has received this information from us, we will then be assigned a family coordinator to help us through the process and a social worker to complete our home study.
Lots to do before this adoption becomes a reality, but we are thrilled and hopeful for the coming months ahead!!!!
Next Update – why we chose Rwanda!
Next Update – why we chose Rwanda!