Monday, July 28, 2008

1st Meeting with our Caseworker

Yesterday was our first meeting with our case worker, she is great. She has two adopted children and it is evident she has a passion for adoption. She made us feel very comfortable. The first meeting as well as the second meeting will be in Denver and the third and final meeting will be at our house. She asked pretty basic questions this time and she said they get harder as we progress. She said she thinks we can get this all done in about a month and a half. Now I have a deadline for getting our dossier (package for Ethiopia) completed. My goal is to have both of them finished at the same time. Once these are done, our agency will start looking for a match. This whole process could move along rather quickly if everything falls into place. It is all very exciting but scary at the same time. I am a HUGE planner and I have to accept the fact that I won't be able to plan too far ahead on this one. It is much different than having a know the due date and can plan everything around that. I am pretty nervous about how my leave from work will go...but I know that God has a plan and will take care of it for me. Simon has started looking at plane looks like that will be his duty in our travel plans. Bella's dad still has not giving us permission to take her. We (and her) will be heartbroken if he does not agree and we have to leave her behind. We are racking our brains for ways to convince him, my last attempt was to write him a letter. I have not heard from him so I am not sure it was received very well. If you all have any ideas...let us know!!!
I would say I am about 80% done with all of the paperwork. I have been very committed and hopefully it will pay off. I hope to be ready to send all of our documents to be certified by the states (Montana & Colorado) in the next two weeks.
I will be going to Breckenridge, CO for a week for leadership training. I will post when I return!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Our last week

Well, we did it...we bought a new car. We have been talking about it for about 2 years...what kind of car we would get when Simon got out of school. It took Simon about 6 months to convince me we should get a mini van. I know, all of you who have known me for awhile know I swore I would never drive a mini van. Well, lets just say 2 kids with one more coming and 2 dogs convinced me. Also those long trips to Montana to see my family and Nebraska to see Simon's family seemed a lot more comfortable in a van.

We had decided on either a Honda Odyssey, or a Toyota Sienna and started looking awhile ago. We had a horrible experience with the Toyota dealer this weekend and decided to drive an Odyssey. Well, we fell in love with the Honda. It is fabulous!!! I can't believe how much room it has and how nice it drives. The dealership was great and gave us free oil changes for as long as we own the car! We are now loyal Honda owners. We still like our Toyota...but the Honda is great. It did not come with a DVD player so we still need to get that installed, but we love it.

Bella will be coming home this Saturday. She was too homesick at her Dad's and wanted to come home a couple of weeks early. We are so excited to see her. She has been bugging us to buy a van for awhile now. She actually thinks they are cool (I am sure that will change in a few years) and Simon said he will call it "Bella's Van". He is so sweet.

We have our first appointment with our caseworker for the Home study on Sunday. We are excited to meet her and start this part of the process.

More exciting news...we have now reached
visitors to our Blog!! We are thankful for you all and happy you are sharing this journey with us.

I will post more after our meeting on Sunday with the caseworker...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Paper, Paper, Paper

The update for this week is PAPER. I am sure we will kill at least a few trees in this adoption process. I received all of the paperwork for the home study and the list of things we need to start doing for the dossier. Admittedly, and this is coming from a linear thinking accountant who lives for organization and process, all of this is a "tad" overwhelming. I am pretty sure this part of the process weeds out the weak of heart. I think I have put a dent in the home study stuff. I am attempting to do both (home study & dossier) simultaneously to speed up the process. I often think of myself as a "sprinter" when I actually need to be a "distance runner" and pace myself. Simon has drill for the Guard this weekend, in my mind it is the perfect time to work on it while he is gone.

I will send off the package to our adoption agency on Monday, along with our finger print cards to the state for the background checks. We will be writing a check to the agency for $3,510 ($1,360 for the home study and $2,150 for the first half of the agency fee). We will also have small fees ($10 here and there) for ordering copies of birth certificates etc. God continues to provide for us financially through this adoption!!

One Life!!

I love reading Lisa's blog, she posted this and I thought I would share it.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Exciting News!!

Well, we have decided it is time to officially start the adoption. We have not reached our original savings goal, but feel the time is right. We have saved enough to pay the first half of the agency fee and for the home study. These are the first things on the list and it will take us about three months to get those things done before we have to pay for anything else. With Simon working now, we will be able to save very quickly. We have been tempted by many things, including a new car (Simon's Toyota is a 1992!) and other luxuries we have done without while Simon was in school. We decided we needed to start now to commit ourselves to saving and sacrificing. We will then have some deadlines to meet financially. God has supported our decision and will continue to provide for us financially as we move along with the process.

First step: Our application with our agency International Adoption Network along with our application fee ($250) will go in the mail tomorrow.

I guess after they receive it, we will be approved and the incredible paper chase will begin. I will be sharing the costs of everything as I am hoping it will help some of you reading this plan your own adoption. The cost seemed very overwhelming to us when we made this decision, but after much research (and prayer) we now realize it is obtainable for most people.

We are very excited to get our baby home. We originally thought we would request a boy specifically, but now feel God is leading us to specify "either". We feel strongly God has already chosen our child for us and we need to leave the door open for him to bring our baby home!!

Now unto Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us
Ephesians 3:20

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Adoption Inspiration

We are so blessed by our church, Christ Community. We belong to a small group focused on adoption. The group includes people who have been through adoption as well as ones in the process. Every time we meet, I am motived and God confirms we are on the right path with the adoption. We meet once a month on Saturday nights. We spend some of our time on a book study, we are currently reading Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew. This is a great book, offering much incite to how adopted children feel and the loss they experience, even if they are adopted as an infant. I never would have thought a three day old baby would experience loss and grief. Much of the book is based on thoughts and feelings of adult adoptees. This book will help us be better parents to our baby boy from Ethiopia!

We also had a luncheon this weekend featuring a testimony. The lady sharing has gone though the challenges of infertility, leading the international adoption. The adopted two beautiful kids from Haiti. I am very thankful for her story and willingness to share with honesty. God continues to provide these inspiring moments.