Saturday, October 31, 2009

Some more not so great news

We have heard from another adoptive family (who is adopting independently, not from an agency) that the courts in Rwanda will be closed for the month of December. I have not heard this from our agency or been aware of this closing. If we do not get our referral soon and a court date in November, we will not travel until 2010.

Great...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Quick Update

Our agency had the Rwanda program's monthly conference call today. Really no "new" information. Just that it is taking the Minister longer to process all of the paperwork because of a small staff, technological difficulties and because there is so many referrals. Our agency could not give us a new timeline on when the referrals may come through.

So we have absolutely NO idea when our referral will come, when we will travel, or who our child is. For this planning girl, that is hard. My new hope is to have our child home by Spring Break of 2010. I know it is 5 months away but at least that gives them ample time to complete the process AND I can't be disappointed if it doesn't come before then.

If the process does not get moving, we will have to redo our Home Study in January and several of other documents that will soon expire. Most of these documents are only good for 1 year and we shipped off our dossier to AWAA in mid-February so we are right on that timeline. So I guess that will keep us busy too.

Still optimistic here, just trying to be realistic as well.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Adoption

This blog has become a type of therapy for me. I bet you've noticed the roller coaster of emotions that I seem to blog about. In real life, I am not good expressing my feelings. But for some reason, this blog allows me to talk about things that I would never usually talk about. This has been very therapeutic for me. It has allowed me to examine myself, my walk with Christ as well as my daily relationships.

So here is another therapy session about to take place. I grew up without a dad (he died when I was 13 months old). I do have a grandfather that was/is amazing. He was definitely my father figure growing up and I was blessed to be able to spend alot of time with him and my grandmother. However, it is not the same.

I remember as a child yearning for a father. I remember going to friend's houses and pretending to be a part of that family so that I could see what it might be like if I had a dad. I remember being jealous of my cousins because their dad called them nicknames. I remember feeling left out when friends talked about things that they did with their dads.

As I have grown, there are more things that I have not been able to experience. I wish that I would have had that relationship. I wish that I would have had those arms to fall into. I wish that I knew what that relationship is like. I look at the way Ryan is with our kids and think "oh, that is what it must be like."

Then I am reminded of something. Something so deep and powerful that it rocks my core. Even though I do not have an earthly father, I do have my Heavenly Father. He loves me more than anyone ever has. He ADOPTED me into his family regardless of my sins. He has the ultimate arms to fall into. And even though I am fatherless here on earth, I have a Father who is waiting for the right time to call me home.



Saturday, October 24, 2009

Daily Bread

This is my daily bread. Trusting God. Trusting God to reveal His plan for my family. Trusting God to reveal His plan for my family in His time.

Daily, I am reminded of how this adoption process has been a journey of faith. Whether it is in conversations I have, songs that evoke powerful emotions, pictures that make my heart ache, words of my children that make my heart smile, it happens every day. Every single day.

Without notice my mind will shoot to our child in Rwanda. Are they happy, sad, hungry, tired, lonely, sleeping, laughing? Then I come back to reality of two children and a husband that need me here. How I long for all of us to be together. Trust and faith...my daily bread.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Didn't get my wish

Well, my birthday is just about over and no call from our social worker or information from our agency. I am bummed at this point. I am sad, frustrated, want to yell at someone to give me some info. But then what good would that do? None. So I am just going to bottle up these negative feelings and try to enjoy the weekend with my sweet kiddos (and eat cake!). Ryan is out of town until Sunday so we have lots of time to fill!

I do want to say something to my readers. I am thankful for you. I am thankful for my friends (both blog andy real life). I am thankful for my church family. I am thankful for my regular family. You all have rallied around us during our process. Many of you have offered support to me during my emotional waiting times. Many of you have given encouraging words. Thank you for this. Thank you for loving the four of us and for loving our child who is waiting for us. We love you all and know this process would have been a lot tougher without you!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wishing

Today is my 33rd birthday. Can you guess what present I would like for my birthday? Only time will tell if Veronique will give me this gift today. I am not getting my hopes up though...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

No call anytime soon

Well, it has been confirmed by our agency that the Minister does indeed have the referrals. However, another source said that the Minister said that she is going to go through all of the referrals (there were 12) then send out the referral information. The Minister also said that this could take awhile. So who knows how long "awhile" is and when the call will come.

This is disappointing because I really thought that they would stick to their "approximately 2 months" for the referral process. We waited 5 months for our approval that was supposed to be 2-4 months then changed mid-wait to 3-5 months. Guess that is what I get for thinking positively.

So I am sad today as I prepare for another wait of who knows how long. I just want to know who our child is! I hate not knowing when all of this stuff is going to happen. Breaks a momma's heart.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Emotions

Well, the last 2 weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions, from the expectant to the relaxed. Early last week I really thought that we would hear of our referral. Monday was 2 months since our approval date. The Minister had said that the referral process would take "approximately 2 months." Then news of the Minister having swine flu hit the blog world and so the emotions went back to relaxed. I do feel that I have been much more relaxed during this wait as compared to the approval wait.

Monday has come and gone. I know that we will hear nothing today. Excitement starts to build when I think that tomorrow could be THE DAY! However, I have to calm myself because we just don't know when the call will come. I find myself hoping that Amber's, our social worker, phone number pops up on my cell phone every time that I hear it ring. Then I have to deal with the disappointment when I look to see that it is not her. Even today Ryan said that he was ready, ready to know who our little one is.

I sit here and ask myself why I have the feelings that I do. Why I can't control my thoughts better. This is what I have come up with. Yesterday was the year anniversary of our family starting the adoption process. The day that we said yes! we want to be parents again. It was during these first few days in 2008 that I started loving this child. The love has just continued to build and my heart overflows with love for this child. It is so hard to explain but I so desperately want to know who they are. I want to call them by their name. I want to picture their little face. I want to see their little face staring back at me from the back seat.

I know that this is a part of our story; the waiting, the wondering, the believing. God has scripted a beautiful story for our life. Though it looks messy sometimes, when I look back on our last year, this journey has just been amazing. I feel that my faith has deepened and my love for Christ has grown. From the outside this is a story about our family expanding, but from the inside, it is about me becoming a better believer. About me being broken down then letting Him build me back up. About me falling deeper in love with my Savior.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

House Party

Our House Party was a great success! It ended up going from an afternoon to an entire week. I loved having everyone over and being able to share about the products and the people that the sale benefits. $3800 was raised for communities in Africa. If you are interested in the items that I had, here is a list with the websites so you can learn more about the non-profit organizations and then help support them by purchasing items (just click on the links below). Thanks to all who came to the House Party!





Thursday, October 15, 2009

Shots, Round 2

(I have a tank top on under my black shirt, just in case you were wondering...)

The kids and I went for our final round of shots yesterday. They each got 2 and I got 5 - WOW! All of our arms are a bit sore this go around. Must be the typhoid or the meningitis. The pharmacist even treated us to ice cream afterwards! Now if we could just get that referral call we would be just about ready to go!


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A little bit longer...

Well, I was hoping that this would be the week that our family finds out who are sweet child is. Word on the blog street is that it will be at least another week. It is rumored that the Minister has the swine flu and is out of the office. The head nun at the Home of Hope has made an appointment for Friday. So hopefully on Friday the referrals will be given to the Minister and hopefully soon thereafter the Minister will approval the referrals and our case workers will be notified. I am so ready to know who our little one is!

Thanks for going through this journey with us. We appreciate you and your prayers!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Hopefully the home stretch

So on August 20th, we received our approval letter from Rwanda saying that we could adopt a child. This letter was dated 8-12-09. The letter also stated that we should receive our approval in "approximately 2 months." Depending on how you count (8 weeks vs 2 months), tomorrow - October 7 - is our 8 week date. Next Monday - October 12 - is our 2 month mark. So hopefully, HOPEFULLY, we will hear something in the next week.

Ryan and I are off to Catalyst in Atlanta, GA. I am so excited. It is the 10th Anniversary and I have heard some big things are planned! I would love to get the news while we are with 30 of our closest church friends~

Hopefully, my next post will be the big exciting news (who, how old, what kind!).

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Call and Obedience


Today's Oprah show was a great voice for adoption! I do not agree with all of Oprah's opinions/shows. However, today was a great one for the adoption community and any who are thinking about adopting. Here is an excerpt of the adoption story that has brought home 44, yes 44, children home from Liberia...it really is amazing to see God working in people. I stand amazed at the powerful call of adoption and the obedience it takes to take this walk.




Liberian Orphans Find Homes in North Carolina

Over the past 23 seasons, Oprah has met hundreds of families and heard many heartwarming stories, but she says this is one of her all-time favorites.

In 2003, Lysa, a North Carolina mom, and two of her daughters attended a performance by a boys' choir from an orphanage in Liberia, a West African country ravaged by 14 years of civil war. As they sang, Lysa says she felt God speak to her heart. "[He said,] 'Lysa, two of those boys are yours,'" she says. "I did not go there for a major life change. I went to hear this concert, but God had different plans."

After the concert, Lysa and her girls met two of the boys. "They wrapped their arms around me and gave me a big hug and they just called me Mom," she says.

Lysa called her husband, Art, and told him about the teenage boys who were calling her Mom. Although Art says he was initially "shell-shocked," the couple decided to welcome the boys into their home.

At first, Lysa says her four best friends were skeptical about her decision to adopt…until they went to a choir performance and met the boys. "As they started to sing, something happened," says Genia, Lysa's friend. "I just realized that there is a strength in them that resonated with me."

Genia and her husband, Rob, already had two adopted children, but after some thought and discussion, they decided to welcome Robert, another Liberian orphan, into their home. Lysa's three other friends also decided to adopt—including empty-nesters Debbie and David, who adopted six kids!

That fateful concert was just part of the miracle that was about to happen. By January 2007, 14 families from the same North Carolina community had adopted 33 children from the same orphanage.

"We're not famous. We're not wealthy. We're just ordinary people," Lysa says. "Yet when these boys were in front of us, it was no longer a remote social issue. When you see this child in front of you that has real tears and real hopes and real prayers for a mommy and a daddy, we just couldn't walk away."

In the two years since Oprah first heard their story, eight more families in the community opened their homes to 11 more children—a total of 44 children, with more on the way!

The Schwag-Heart family is the largest family of the bunch. They have a total of 10 children and are waiting for their 11th child, a Liberian boy, to arrive. "I have always desired to have a large family," says Sonya, the mother of this blended family. "I think from a very young age, God instilled in my heart that adoption would be part of that large family."

When Bob and his wife, Elizabeth, decided to adopt in 2008, they traveled to Liberia to meet their two children for the first time. There, Bob says he was struck by how much they had in common. "I was overwhelmed first by a sense of, 'Wait a minute. This is not different at all. These are people that are just like me.' They happen to be living in a post-conflict country, but we play the same," he says. "We like the same things. We can talk about the same things."

The families all say they've gone through an adjustment period, but the Liberian children are thriving. In June 2009, 10 of the adopted teens graduated from high school. Many plan to attend college, while others continue to work in the community.

"You all continue to inspire a nation—our country and everybody else who's watching—about what it means to extend your heart in kindness and graciousness and open up to a new family," Oprah says.