Sunday, November 30, 2008

Crazy Love

In our Lifegroup we are reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Ryan and I have both previously read this book before but it is nice to read it with a new set of eyes.  We highly recommend this book to anyone!  It really makes you look at your priorities in your life and see how most of us have it all backwards.  I will gladly send you a copy (free) of this book, just leave a comment and we will get it to you.

So, I was reading today and Francis challenges the reader to take some time and think about this truth:

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet of nations.  Jeremiah 1:4-5

Have you thought about this?  God has known us and what our lives hold since before ever....He has called us to be "prophets of nations." What does that mean to you?  Does that make you want to change the way the world works? Change the way you live your life?  It gives me an overwhelming sense of determination to do what He wants me to do.  

Francis goes on in the next paragraph saying:
"Ephesians 2:10, which tells us that we were created "to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  That verse is meant for me and all others who have been "saved by grace through faith."  My existence was not random, nor was it an accident. God knew who He was creating, and He designed me for a specific work."

This is exactly how I feel right now.  God has a plan for me and my family.  God knows what we are supposed to do.  I am saved by grace through faith.  My existence has a purpose.  Now, it is figuring out that purpose.  I do believe that my purpose is to be a mother. To be a mother to my biological children as well as my Rwandan child.  I would have never thought that this was to be so.  However, I am overjoyed to be able to do this.  My heart is overflowing and my cup is full. What an honor it is to be able to show God's love in this manner. To the child that is mine as well as to all those who know us and see us.    

If you are struggling with what your purpose is, there is one simple answer. PRAY. Pray for God to show you HIS purpose for your life. Pray that God use you in whatever way HE sees fit. It probably will not line up with what you think your purpose is but His way is the right way. It is overwhelming to see this unfold right before your eyes.  Have faith that He will show you....because He will. It may not be in your time, it will be in HIS time.   

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

We are thankful

We are thankful that we have begun this journey. We are thankful for supportive friends and family. We are thankful that God has chosen us to be parents once again.  We are thankful for the little soul that waits for us an ocean away.  We are thankful for encouraging words. We are thankful for the Trinity. We are thankful...









Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another great meeting

This afternoon we had our home study #2.  It went great!   Amber interviewed Ryan and I separately and also interviewed the kids.  The kinds of questions were: describe your strengths & weaknesses, describe your spouses' strengths & weaknesses, talk about your childhood, how do you cope with stress, etc.  She asked the kids the adoption: how did they feel about the adoption, what things did they think would change one the adoption occurred, how they felt about having a sibling that may not look like them, etc.  The kids answered honestly...I was trying to eavesdrop from the other room :).  

We will meet again next week to give her the rest of our paperwork, have a couples interview and then Ry needs to finish his individual interview. Boy is he a talker!  I got my interview done in 20 minutes, he went for 30 and is only 1/3 of the way done :). I am sure that there will be diagrams and pie charts by the end of this... (those that know him well are laughing right now!)
He says that he is just a better communicator than me...we all have our good qualities, right!

Our homework for this Thanksgiving is to finish up our autobiographies, financial statements and get copies of our passports and marriage license.  

We are thankful for all of your prayers during this process. Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

They did it!

The kids had their physicals today and they did great!  Thanks to a little bribing from mom (aka a surprise from Walmart) they didn't cry when they got their TB test.  I was very surprised that they did so well.  Now, they did hide under the table until the nurse came in but quickly got up when she came in the room.  Cannon did say that it just felt like a mosquito bite.  Kaylee said that it did hurt but she still did great.  It was a little stingy when I got mine so I wasn't sure how they would react.  I am very proud of them!  Tomorrow we have another home study visit to do our individual interviews.  

Over the last few weeks, we have been contacted by several families who are in the adoption process from Rwanda or have adopted from there.  Be sure and take a look at the blogs that I have links too to see these precious families.  What an amazing story it is to see God's love in the face of these children (both the biological and adopted kiddos).  Their lives have been changed, their eternity changed.  Isn't that inspiring?  

In my quiet time on Friday, I was reading Proverbs 3.  Verses 5-6 say:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you, which path to take."
These versus mean so much to me, especially in this season of my life. Ryan and I have changed so much emotionally and spiritually in these last few years.   We are learning to depend on and trust God with everything that we have and everything that we do.  We don't know God's will. We just have to trust that He will take care of us. And He will just as He has since before we were born.   

More to come tomorrow....




Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thoughts on the meeting today

Our first home study meeting is complete!  We met with Amber for almost two hours going over all the information. There is so much that we need to do and alot of it has to be done at certain times. We gave her probably half of the paperwork and we will work on the other half.  She explained the difference between the home study packet and the dossier packet. The home study is a snapshot of us that she uses to complete the home study report that she will include in the dossier. The dossier is all of the information that the Rwandan government will need from us.  

We also did the home tour.  That was very non-eventful. She just looked in the rooms and that was about it!  I think it is more to ensure that we have enough space for a child.  

Next Tuesday we will meet to have our individual interviews as well as interview with the kids. She talks to the kids about their thoughts on this process. So that will be interesting to hear how they vocalize to her what they are feeling about the adoption.

Another thing Ryan and I are working on is deciding whether to get one child or two. We were talking about getting a sibling group.  Amber helped us think through this process.  We will just need to be broad in our requests. She said that this will make the matching process go faster as well.  So we have specific wording that we will need to use in our dossier.  Since we will be broad in our request, we really don't know who we will get.  One or two, boy or girl, then ages (3 months to 3 years).  So it will be so exciting to see who God bring us. I envision the day that we find out who we are matched with to be like finding out the sex of our babies in the ultrasound room.  We will see how many and what kind!  That would be so neat even if it was twins!  Amber did say that AWAA has had a few twin sets come through but they are rare.  

Today was a great day!  I feel so at peace with this process which is totally not like me since I am kind of a planner :).  I know God is with us and I love the calmness that I am experiencing!  

Please be in prayer for our little one(s), for his/her parents and for the individuals caring for them.  

Monday, November 17, 2008

Home Study

We start our home study in less than 48 hours!  Wednesday at 9:30 we will begin this process! I have organized our mound of paperwork into two accordion folders with tabs (are you surprised?).  I have read it all and signed where I am supposed to sign and have handed it over to Ryan to do the same.  

I asked Amber what all we need to have complete by our appointment and she said whatever you can.  So I will be going back through to see what else I need to do for then.  I started my autobiography last night.  We have a guide of what we are supposed to discuss but man is it hard.  Who knew writing about myself would be difficult.  It is hard to decide how much detail to put into it.  I don't want to note everything little thing but also want it to be enough.  I will see what Ryan puts in his then may revamp mine :).

Another fun note, I don't have TB!  Boy was I worried (hee hee).  We will see if Ryan comes up positive or negative tomorrow. He goes in for his physical then. The kids will go on Thursday. 


Well, I will let you know how Wednesday goes! 


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Appointments & Family Coordinator

We have scheduled lots of important appointments this last week!  We are having our first home study visit next Wednesday, November 19. That is so exciting to me to be able to really begin the process...so far we have just signed our names and sent $ :).  

Then the entire family as times to go get our physicals and blood work done. Mine is tomorrow morning :) The rest are next week.  I can only eat until midnight tonight (my appt is at 9:30) so after this I am off for a snack!

We also were assigned our Family Coordinator today.  This is our main contact at AWAA and should be with us through our dossier process.  Her name is Duni and she is actually from Africa. She is over the Africa program currently at AWAA. We are excited to have her.  She has already shown much knowledge in our questions! 

Some other exciting news..our friends Rande and Casey (see blog roll) got their state notarized dossier back today. So now they just need to send it to AWAA then it is off to Ethiopia. Congrats you guys! 

Be praying for us over this next week as we start completing lots of documents, meeting with Amber (our home study person) and going to our appointments!  Pray for our child too....  

Now I am off to get something to eat...there is probably a cookie around here somewhere! 

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Background Checks, Physicals & Home Study, OH MY!

Happy Saturday!  We have had an eventful end of the week with our adoption. I have mailed off our background checks which will take approximately 4 weeks to be returned.  According to Amber, our homestudy person, this is the document that takes the longest.

We have also scheduled our first home study visit.  Nov 19 will be our initial meeting with Amber.  We have lots of paperwork to fill out before then!  I printed off the packet and was like "wow"!   We will meet 4 times over the next 6 weeks. AWAA likes for us to do our dossier at the same time as our homestudy so hopefully both will be complete before Christmas.  

The entire family has to get physicals.  We also all have to get TB test.  I had that in high school and remember it burning. Like fire to be exact. The kids will not be excited about that at all!  I am debating whether to tell them ahead of time.  I am wondering if they could do it simultaneously on the kids.  I know when one starts screaming the other will run towards the hills!  

Please pray for our child.  That they have clean water to drink and food in their bellies.  Please pray for their mother, father, family. We don't know if they are even born yet.  This process has me in AWE!  It smacks me right in my face with FAITH.  I bought a sign today at Hobby Lobby. It says "Faith is not believing that God can, it is knowing He will." 



Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lifewater

We have more exciting news at our house. Ryan has been accepted to become a trainer for Lifewater!

Can you imagine not having clean water to drink, bathe or wash your clothes in? Or a working toilet? There are millions of people across our world that do not have this luxury. Unsafe water makes people and childern sick. 6,000 children die every day from the results of unclean water. 6,000 babies people! That makes my heart ache...

This is what Lifewater does..they train people to educate, implement and fix. Teams go to Africa, Asia and South America. They educate the people on the hazards of unclean water. What good is a well if the people contaminate it? I had never thought of that before. Then they teach them how to maintain the wells that will be or have been drilled for them.

This is an amazing program and I am so proud of Ryan for becoming involved. At our church, we are encouraged, no expected, to GO. GO show the people of these nations that God loves them and cares for them. GO spread the word of Jesus Christ. GO help people that need it. GO LIVE SACRIFICIALLY FOR THE MISSION. We are all capable of this, we just need to make the choice.

Click here for more information about Lifewater. You can sign up, donate, educate yourself.

I hope my child has clean water....

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Paperwork & Books

We got our email this  morning with all of the first round of paperwork that we will fill out. Most of it consists of our rights as adoptive parents, how we will treat the child, AWAA policies and procedures, etc. There is also an online training course that we will take.  We plan to do that tonight after the kiddos go to bed!  We will mail the paperwork off tomorrow morning then our home study can begin.  

I was looking in Kaylee's backpack this evening.  She has checked out a book from school that is titled "Rwanda: A Question & Answer Book."  This made me smile as I pulled it out of her bag. She says that she checked it out because she really wanted to know about her new brother or sister's culture.  Such a sweet girl. I think she is excited as we are!  

Monday, November 3, 2008

Approved!

AWAA called just a bit ago to tell us that we are approved! We will receive emails tomorrow that will have our paperwork to start on.  Yeah!

Waiting

I called Bethany at AWAA this morning at let her know our decision. Now we are waiting for a call back to let us know we are onto the next step. She said that would either  be later today or tomorrow.  Then we will start the paperwork!  I will post when we get the call.

Some facts:
Households below the poverty line: 59%
Religions: Christian 80%, traditional African 10%, Muslim 10%
Official Languages: Kinyarwanda, French, English
HIV/AIDS: 13%