Wednesday, April 30, 2008

reflections (or venting?) No, not Vente'...

I've been struggling a lot lately (it seems to be worse at certain times of the month =) with how many older children get 'left behind' in orphanages across the world. Currently I'm reading the phenomenal book "There is No Me Without You" by Melissa Faye Greene. It's my kind of book...tears, joy, deep heartache. I can't put it down, but I want to. In some ways it's so easy to forget how life is for so many others in different countries. In the US, we are so blessed. For the impoverished...there is Welfare, free clinics, shelters, WIC, free education for our children, free clothing, counseling, job assistance...there are JOBS, period. I'm not saying there aren't people in this country that aren't starving. I am saying that unless someone is suffering from severe mental illness and is living on the streets under a bridge, we all are one hundred times better off than the average person in the undeveloping countries. Well, actually, truth be told, even those who are living under bridges in America are better off than the vast majority in other countries. They can have access to some programs and if not anything else, the food found in garbage cans and dumpsters in the US alone would feed entire nations!
Anyway, getting back to the older children that are often times not adopted. I feel a deep guilt that I am not brave enough to be adopting these children. Instead, I am going with my selfish wants. Those wants of 90% of all adoptive parents...we want the adorable infants or young toddlers. I cringe each time I read a post (on a group I belong to on adoption) from someone who writes asking "how long is the wait for an infant" or "What agency has the most babies". If we are so arrogant to insist on only adopting infants, we cannot be angry when we have to wait four, six, twelve, sixteen months + for a referral! When a country shuts it's doors to intercountry adoptions, is it because there are too few babies to meet the demand? When the babies are all gone and the older children are left, what else is there to do? I have so much more to say on this but I won't now.
Each time someone has told Andrew and I that we are "saints" (and yes, this is the actual phrase) for "doing this" I cringe again. I reassure them that "No, we are not". We are selfishly wanting more children and if we were "saints" we would be sponsoring more, adopting the children with HIV/AIDS (we have the life saving medicines here that they may never live to see in their own country), TB, Amputee's, little ones with cleft palates (which we all know is a correctable surgery here in the states), OR, *gasp* eight year old energetic, ornery boys who may never have a family to call his own!

I've been praying that God will give me wisdom as well as peace knowing He is in charge and will direct the orphanage personnel to the children that God has chosen for us.

I should go read my book, huh? As I've said before, blogging is SO therapeutic! (So how come I don't feel any better?) =)


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Knockin' Em Out

When I received our dossier packet, I looked at it as a rewarding it should be. I knew that the 20 + things on that list were easy and short compared to the life changing experiences that lay ahead. Plus, reading about some adoptive parents struggles w/ their paperwork, I feel blessed that I can pretty much use each day to just knock out the paperwork one by one and get done in record time. (Fingers crossed!)
So, I used today to knock 'em out...This was my day (and it took up the entire 6 hours my kids were in school!) to get as much paperwork (paper chasing) done as possible! Here's what I did:
~Went to the credit union for some papers to be notarized as well as changing some money around.
~Then went to my other bank to have our financial letter typed up. This is a tricky document which a lot of banks don't want to do, esp. since it has to be done on their letterhead. Some sweet talk, a little diplomacy and then some threats that you'll close your account should do the trick. The manager was very helpful and said the documents (3 in all) would be ready by 2pm.
~Went to the local police station to have criminal clearance done...they redirected me to the sheriff's office, 25 minutes away. (Threats do not work well here, though). =D
~Drove to downtown Portland for my kids' birth certificates (I didn't realize I needed theirs too!)
~ Couldn't find parking ANYWHERE for a F350 long bed truck and ended up parking in no mans land.
~Walked (the 50 miles) to the vital record's office only to find out that they only take cash or debit! Had to walk back to no mans land and get the checkbook. (Glad I actually had it!)
~Went back (the 50 miles) to vital records, stood in line and then got the birth certs.
~From there I went to my "local" sheriff's office for the criminal clearance...But NO, they don't do that in my I had to go to the courthouse...glad it was close by. The lady there was very helpful and I was able to get my six copies (3 sets each, Andrew and I). Here they do not take checks, only debit or cash!
~Returned a swim suit I had bought for Chloe (ok, so that wasn't part of the paper chase), but was a good excuse to go to the mall. Sad, it was a quick job and I did not buy anything!!!
~Went back to BofA to retrieve letters that I had ordered earlier in the day. They were notarized and ready to go! Yea!!!
~2:45pm, just in time to pick up the kids after school.
My life is already starting to change...No restaurant lunch for me! And it was tempting. Andrea had called me in the morning asking what I was up to for the day. I wanted to say "meet me for lunch!"
Did I mention that for the dossier, we need 3 copies of everything...and everything has to be notarized. The notary's commission cannot expire before late 2009 or 2010 (to be safe) and it's imperative before having something notarized that we make sure of this. This is a challenge at times! If the only notary in a particular office commission expires too soon, then you have to go elsewhere. Not good if you're say, like at the doctors office and it's HIS signature that needs notarized! This actually happened to me on Monday. So, fortunately, I have an awesome doctor who is willing to take my documents to his bank to be notarized. Some documents need to be notarized AND authenticated. Don't know yet what the difference is!
Well, if you're still reading, you are one of our very loyal and supportive friends...OR you just have no life whatsoever! =)
Thanks for keeping up with us. As you can see, we are still full steam ahead!


Monday, April 21, 2008

Newsboys, Potluck & Babies!

The Newsboys were amazing as always!!! But more importantly, a new group opened for them by the name of NEWWORLDSON and they were excellent! The boys will always be my fave group but I've been listening to NWS since Friday night NON STOP! A little soul, a little roots...a great band that I hope we'll be seeing more of soon!! I'm hoping to add a couple of their songs to my blog for y'all to listen to soon.

Potluck, such a scary and intriguing idea all at the same time...isn't it? But it was all good on Saturday over in a little town called North Plains...never heard of the town until Saturday, either! Dove's annual potluck was held (indoors, fortunately) and there seemed to be a great turn out. There were little brown babies running all over the place! It was a great time to see children who will look like ours from Ethiopia. I loved seeing how all the children (no matter what age) mixed and enjoyed playing together. One little boy showed Chloe the love. He hugged her and grabbed her hand, leading her all around. He wanted her all to himself! But when it was time to leave, he didn't want anything to do with her. It was like he was saying "Well fine, if you're gonna leave, then get outta here!" He is about 3 I think, and is the son of one of the employees for Dove. Even Elliot, who is normally not much of a joiner was playing with everyone and thoroughly enjoying himself. We all enjoyed it very much. We gained a wealth of knowledge from other parents and are grateful for this community!


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Dossier Packet Arrives Today

Yea!! Our Dossier packet arrived this afternoon. Looks a bit daunting, but we are excited to get started. Andrew flies in late tonight and we hope to start some of it this weekend, but it is a crazy weekend for sure...We have six months to complete it and I personally hope to be done in 2 or less!
Starting off, the Newsboys are playing in town and we'll be at that (of course!) and then we have the Dove annual potluck on Saturday afternoon. It'll be fun meeting other families from around here that are adopting or have already adopted from Ethiopia. Chloe and Elliot are excited to see the children that have arrived recently! We've followed a few stories and it will be awesome to put faces to the names.
Then, at some point, Andrew has to fit in some work time on our floors! We're currently putting in laminate and it's ending up taking awhile since his schedule doesn't really allow a lot of big projects here at home!

I also plan on figuring out how to put pics on this blog and showing off some fun times...Maybe Newsboys concert pics! Yea!!!


Monday, April 14, 2008

Not much...

Since there's not much to tell about, I'll just update where we're at at this moment...
Over last weekend, I had a really awful flu of some sort. It really had me down for several days. I'm a bit better now, thank goodness for Imodium AD, if ya know what I mean! =)
Our daughter asks every week "where are we at in our adoption?" This morning this was my answer "We are still in the home study phase"...Mike is working with all the information we have turned in to him. There are only two missing documents. One reference from a friend is still out (hopefully will SOON be turned in =) =) =) And our doctors reports. But, since my doctors office called today cancelling my appointment for Wednesday, I guess it'll be a little while longer until Mike gets that, too.
We signed & notarized our Dove contract and got it back in the mail the same day. We start adoption classes online this week. We hope to receive our dossier packet within the next week.
And summer break is right around the corner!
The weather is so strange, it snowed and hailed many times a week ago. Saturday brought a beautiful day of 84 degree weather! Today it is hailing and pouring rain like crazy! It's not quite sunscreen weather yet!


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I'm sorry

I am sorry for being so impatient. I am ashamed of myself now. I just got the call I've been waiting for. It's all good! Of course. =D


Being Patient!

Today I am very impatient!!! I'm waiting on a call from our agency and it's not coming through when I think it should! We've been playing phone tag and I've been IT for a long time!!!
For the rest of my life, I know we/I will be tested in the patience area many times over. I always think we should be in the next phase of this journey and then it'll be ok. Ha! I do actually know better, too! =)

Last week we found out that a friend of ours is FINALLY going to bring home their daughter...they've been waiting for over two years! Patience!! What a concept. An interesting point is that they were actually requesting a boy and God has given them a two year old girl. God is full of suprises, isn't He?

Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1


Saturday, April 5, 2008

20 years's been twenty years since my husband graduated from highschool!!!!!!!! It doesn't seem possible, esp. since we've been dating for 20!
I wanted to share a few things about today at Alumni weekend at our old alma mater...
For one, it was a new experience seeing some classmates for the first time in 15 + years. A few look practically the same. A few, like us, have changed a lot. The best part is everyone has matured (except for maybe us =) and it was a nice visit for everyone. It was fun seeing other people's kids...most of them much younger than our own. It was also suprising for some to find out we have four children altogether. When we were asked about our kids, we simply said we have two that are home with us & we have two that are waiting for us in Ethiopia.

This time next year, we hope we will have those two home, too! And, it'll be interesting since I'll be with my class next year for my 20th reunion! YIKES. =}


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Beautiful text

Sing a new song of praise to him; play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy. For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does. He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth. Psalms 33:3-5


My heart is filled with JOY

Today when the kids and I got home, I had an email from someone who had read our blog (Thanks Holly!!!) who said she knows the family who is adopting little LULU! Remember waaay =D back in January, the little girl from China that God showed us? And then we couldn't have adopted her anyway since I'm "too fat"...Ha ha...well, anyway, Holly gave me the link to the website of Lu Feng Hong's new family...They have named her Cate. They have a beautiful christian family and love her SO much. She was brought to them by God, but along the way, He used her to help guide us towards adoption, too. HE is no dummy! I think Cate is destined for big things. She has already touched so many lives. I can't wait to hear more and follow her story as it continues to unfold. Praise the Lord!

I also added some background music to this bloggy thingy. I am still diddling around with it and adding or taking off things. I have a few things I'm not happy with and will 'tweak' as we go with the formatting. I'm trying to figure out how to make these messages wider so there is less green on the sides. I LOVE GREEN but I'd like to add a flower or tree or something in the huge wide green girth of this blog. (I'm rambling).

But anyhoo...those who know me KNOW I'm a Newsboys groupie. And, if you don't know who the Newsboys are...I'm soooooo sorry! =D We are going to the Portland concert on the 18th, it'll be our fifth NB's concert. Peter, Duncan, Jeff & Paul (we miss you too Joel!) are faithful servants for Christ and leading people to Him through music. When I hear the Newsboys, I get this certain's amazing. Listening to them is my "happy place"...(A perfect day would be a Newsboys concert on the beach in Kauai!)

My current favorite NB's song is "The Letter". I have dedicated it to our children in Ethiopia. "Child, You're like a star, set apart, set apart from the start of the world"!! I also love "Something Beautiful", which is the first song you will hear when you visit our blog.

Have a blessed night!

Welcome to our site! We hope you enjoy the information we share during our adoption journey. As we document this wild ride to bringing home our Ethiopian children, we hope you'll fall in love with this beautiful country as we have.

Washington State, USA

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Africa