Friday, December 24, 2010

OMG

I never realized

that smiling

AND

looking at the camera

was so difficult


for girls from Rwanda


finally....

Monday, December 20, 2010

Yesterday

Yesterday we signed off on our homestudy. Yep, our training is done and our homestudy is done. Wow, in just 6 weeks we are done.

So, now we wait....
1) Our homestudy will be turned into our adoption worker.
2) Our adoption resource file will be opened and approved.
3) Our worker will have a monthly meeting to see if we are a good fit for a child available for adoption.
4) If so, then we will be contacted and the referral will be reviewed.

This process has taken 6 week so far. It seems pretty quick but this next part could take a while. What I like is that I am done with my part. I have filled out all the paperwork, gotten signatures, and signed on the dotted line. I have done all that I can do. Now we wait and pray that there is a little one out there who belongs in our family!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pink ballet shoes

Parent night at dance is a favorite of mine. For years, I loved going to see my little girl in her leo, tights and ballet shoes. My little girl is now 9 but I still feel such joy when I watch her dance. She is not perfect but she is her. I see confidence, I see pride, I see love.
Tonight I also saw joy. I saw joy on the face of a 3 year old who one year ago was getting off a plane and into a new life. I saw little pink tights and tiny ballet shoes on a girl who's smile is good for your soul. Her teacher told me that today. "She is good for my soul." What words that I will always treasure. What a perfect way to sum up our Grace, she is good for our soul.
What dreams I have for these girls. What absolute joy bubbles up in my heart as tears fill my eyes as I watch them dance and grow and love. I am so proud to be their mom. I am so glad that God chose me.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Homestudy Meeting #1 for adoption #2

Today we had our first home study meeting. It took 3 hours but we were able to get our lives down on paper. It is interesting to look back into your childhood, your parents upbringing and your grandparents lives. Your history jotted down in a sketch book helps you see how your life has been shaped. Generations before you made decisions that still affect you on a daily basis. This makes me want to make better decisions, be a better wife, be a better mother. I hope that I am doing this not for me but for the generations to come...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Adoption #2 Update

In the last 6 weeks we have made a lot of progress on our second adoption. Here is what we have accomplished:
1) applied to the program
2) have completed 7 out of 9 training courses
3) been fingerprinted
4) home assessment

This is what we have upcoming:
1) homestudy, 2 meetings
2) paperchase: drivers license copies, ss card copies, financial information, medical information, etc.

Then we are done. This go round is much more relaxed. This time is not as much preparation as the last (read: notaries, state authentications). It is the same basic information but not as approved on all of those different levels (personal, state, us dept, rwanda embassy, rwanda government).

I am not sure how long it will be before a child is matched with us. I learned with Grace not to be overly optimistic on timelines. We are proceeding cautiously but with the same yearning as the last.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Butterflies

Tonight while talking to Kaylee, I began to get nervous. My heart began to beat a bit faster and my breathing is more apparent. Last night, this feeling was a bit more distant and not as real.

Ryan and I are attending the required dhs training for our adoption. All of the classes so far have been over pretty basic stuff, at least to us. When adopting Grace, we had to do a lot of reading, a lot of training online, and my master's degree just happens to be in this same field (family relations and child development). So we haven't necessarily learned a ton. That being said, last night was different.

The topic for the evening was siblings and the importance of keeping them together when possible (both for fostering and adoptive families). Our teachers did some reading out of our workbook and we watched a video. The video followed 3 families that had siblings placed together and some that the siblings where adopted to different homes. There were the smart researcher guys, who talked of the affect the separation has on siblings and how their lives are forever changed in good ways and bad simply in the placement of the siblings, either together or apart. During the video, I looked at Ryan and joked "we could get more than 1." His eyes widened and he threw his head back. It was a funny thought. Not a realistic one though.

When talking to my eldest, I told her what we learned in our class and the importance of sibling placement. I asked her "what if our child has a sibling? what would we do?" Without any hesitation, she described a perfectly doable room situation. She also said "I would love another sister."

I put her to bed and then the butterflies and anxiety overtook my body and mind. Oh my. What if God has 2 kids for us. What if a boy who is a perfect match for us has a older/younger brother or sister? What would we do?

I have never envisioned myself as the mother of 5 children. To be honest, I never saw myself with more than 2 but you are watching how that is turning out.

We felt called to adopt. I knew from the bottom of my soul that God had a child out there for us. I knew that our family was to grow and we followed His lead. We felt that call again and are on the road to add #4 to our family. But what if there is a #5.

I am nervous. I am scared. I am praying.

I know that our home is big enough. I know that the resources will come. I know that my heart has enough love. I don't know whether it will be 1 or 2. Only He does.