Sunday, April 7, 2013

We have BIG BIG news!!! We're Adopting!!!!


As many of you know at this point- we are beginning the process of adopting a baby girl from the China Special Need Program.  It is a decision that John and I made, along with the consulting the kids, over the past month or so after much praying, researching, talking, and soul-searching.  We are all VERY excited to embark on this journey.  We knew a long time ago that our family wasn't quite complete and we now know in our hearts that growing our family through adoption is the right decision for us.  I remember thinking after Jeffrey was born that I wanted to have 3 (biological) kids and then I wanted to adopt.  I have always had a deep sadness for orphans, and after learning about and researching the program in China, we realized that we had found the path God meant for our family,

We are grateful for all of the kind words of support and happiness that our family and friends have given us so far.  It has meant so much to us- as this has been a BIG decision and a leap into the unknown.  It helps tremendously to have the well wishes of the people we care the most about.  We are also so grateful for the friends and family that have eagerly and graciously agreed to write reference letters/answer agency questionnaires for us.  One of my friends told me:  "I am excited to be a part of this!" when I apologized for the hassle it would be to complete the reference questions.  Another friend expressed how touched they were to be asked.  This means the world to John and me.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I plan to use our blog to keep everyone updated on our progress and eventually as a way for you to meet our baby girl soon after we get the go ahead to share her picture.  It will be a long journey from what we understand(more than the usual 9 month pregnancies!) but please pray with us that it won't be too much longer than that.

Adoption always reminds me of this story, so I wanted to share it with you today:

Starfish Story
Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day.So he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn't dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean.As he got closer he called out, "Good morning! What are you doing?"The young man paused, looked up and replied, "Throwing starfish in the ocean." I then asked, "Why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?""The sun is up and the tide is going out. And if I don't throw them in they'll die.""But, young man, don't you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can't possibly make a difference!"The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the ocean, past the breaking waves and said - "It made a difference for that one."

The agency we selected to use for our local home study is Catholic Charities of North Dakota. And we just finished selecting our referral agency(the one that will help us find our daughter in China).  It has been a difficult decision and a long process- there are so many good ones to choose from!  We have decided to use Bay Area Adoption Services(BAAS)- we have read rave reviews about them online and their China coordinator is supposed to be one of the best!  We finally feel peace about moving forward with this particular agency and it is a huge weight lifted off of our shoulders!  And thanks to a generous donation towards our adoption fund from some close friends of ours we are able to proceed this month(lots of application fees!) as opposed to next month.  Our hearts are so grateful!  Words could never express how much that meant to us.  International adoption is VERY expensive and we plan to do some fundraising, put on a huge yard sale(hopefully including some donated items), apply for grants, and I hope to open an etsy store with some homemade crafts to help.  I have been scouring the internet for ideas from other families and for possible grants we can apply for.  If you have any ideas please feel free to send them our way!

So far we have completed our personality tests(yikes!), our autobiography(18 pages typed!!), our home study application, and our first round of fingerprinting.  I cannot accurately convey the amount of paperwork that goes into this process but believe me when I say that it is more than I ever thought imaginable.

AND... Friday afternoon we mailed off our application(with butterflies in my stomach!) to our referral agency and I finally feel like this is really happening!!
We cannot wait to meet our precious girl!!

When I told Mary Beth I needed some scotch tape to reinforce the back she brought me the pretty tapes instead(probably because we always use these on envelopes and also we are habitually out of scotch tape in this house).  I don't know if this is inappropriate or breaking any official adoption mailing etiquette but it's cute anyway!!  I like the colors she picked and it made me smile. :)

Please pray for our process to be as fast, easy, and positive as possible.

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