slide show

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pajama Day

My two cuties :-)

My two cuties being goofballs - a pretty normal occurrence in our house.
Confession: I snapped these a MONTH ago and am just now getting them on the blog, eeek! It seems like there just haven't been enough hours in the day recently ... I'm sure you can relate :-)
This was a Friday morning. Angel doesn't have school on Fridays, so it's somewhat habitual for us to just stay in our pajamas all darn day. It's pretty sweet. This is kind of like my Saturday, I adore it.

Drawing on huge McQueen paper. Angel got cool new markers and had a blast. We're sticking with just crayons for Lovebug though. And PS - he is SO left-handed :-)

We are well underway with gathering the millions of documents required for the Home Study. The Home Study is just one part of our dossier (what actually goes to China for approval). The Home Study is made up of 3 visits from a Social Worker and a HUGE compilation of documents ... examples are police clearances, sex abuse clearances, medical reports, rabies certificates for the dogs, fire inspection, birth certificates, marriage license, character references (thanks amazing friends for doing them!), driving records, W-2's & tax forms, Hague training certificates, etc., etc., etc. You get the point. It's A LOT of stuff. We have to gather all of the documents that then go to our Social Worker. She creates a 13-page document that is a summary of all the documents. We had our first visit from her (she's super nice!) and then will have 2 more visits after all of our paperwork is together. I think DH and I will be interviewed again - together and separately.

We are almost finished our Hague-required training - there are 12 hours total. These classes are required by China. They are online classes we are taking through Adoption Learning Partners - total cost would have been around $150 but we got a coupon from our adoption agency for a free class (woohoo!) - that puts us at about $130. We have about 4 more hours of training and then we will get information to start completing our dossier. I'm assuming we'll do that while simultaneously doing our Home Study.

Soooo ... we're slowly plugging through everything. It's been interesting trying to get our fingerprint cards (for the police clearances) - we actually need 3 cards but didn't know it at the time we got fingerprinted, so we'll be going to the police station again on Tuesday for the 3rd card. And unfortunately, DH already went a 2nd time last Thursday but got the wrong 3rd card (aaack!). The police clearances are one of the longest things to get back, so we REALLY need to get them submitted. Again, slowly but surely. LOL.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

We're adopting!


All of our family and some of our friends already know, but I wanted to make the announcement "official!" (This is NOT our little girl - we don't even know who she is yet - but I thought she was a perfect symbol of Chinese adoption)

We are about a year (give or take) out from being able to bring her home ... and obviously there are definitely no guarantees, but we are super excited! We had always assumed that Angel and Lovebug would finish off our family, but it looks like God had other plans :-)
When the Earthquake in Haiti hit, our hearts really ached for all of the little ones displaced ... no parents, no food, clothes or shelter ... it just made us so sad as I'm sure it did for you as well. We started talking about how we could help them and both kind of came to adoption at the same time. We thought about all of the blessings we have ... all of the love in our lives, our amazing kids ... we just knew it was something we wanted to do. Especially after being set on a family of four, we just felt that God was telling us adoption was meant for our family. Unfortunately though, adoption in Haiti is closed indefinitely. And when we really started talking about the possibility of adopting, we felt that China would be a better fit. Although the country is certainly not in shambles like Haiti, there are thousands of orphans there that don't have families because of China's family laws. There are plenty of little ones there that deserve a chance to be loved too.
The typical wait for a child in China is 3-4 years and it's exponentially growing. They have another program that is significantly faster also - it's called the Waiting Child Program - it takes about 12-18 months instead. It's for children with "special needs" ... these are medical conditions that are usually minor and easily correctable in the US (cleft lip/palate, club foot, hearing issues, heart problems, skin discolorations, etc.). Waiting Child moves much more quickly because these little ones are already logged into the system - so we will be pursuing this program :-) We decide which medical conditions we're comfortable with, so we'll be meeting with our pediatrician soon to discuss what everything means. I'm leaning more toward cleft lip/palate because it affects a large majority of the Waiting Child kids (about 25%), but we're open to other medical conditions as well. Our pediatrician will also review any of the medical files that we are interested in - he's had lots of experience with this, so we feel really comfortable that he'll catch anything that our untrained eyes won't see.
Sooo ... we're hoping we're about a year out :-) We *just* started the process ... we still have a 5-6 month journey to put our "dossier" together to be sent to China and then after that we'll get the chance to start looking at files and be matched with our daughter! We we originally hoping for a little girl around 12-18 months ... past the baby stage but still young enough to be easily assimilated into our family. But after thinking about caring for medical conditions, we realized that the earlier we could get out daughter here, the better off she'll be. So I think we're going search for a baby as young as we can bring home (which is about 7-9 months now I think). Once we're matched, DH and I will actually travel to China for about 2 weeks ... I'm excited to go but at the same time am totally dreading leaving Angel & Lovebug behind. We'll be leaning heavily on family to help out then :-):-):-)

So we are super SUPER excited and really can't wait to become a family of 5. Funny how your view on what you think your life is going to be can change so quickly. We sort of told Angel, but I honestly think she thinks it's kind of a game. She says she wants 10 sisters. Hehe. We're currently chasing down every certified document that ever existed for all of us, including the dogs (seriously). It seems like a full-time job almost! I'm underway though and am trying to take care of the documentation as early as possible.

PS - I copied ALL of these images from China Pictures. I want to make sure I give credit where it's due!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lovebug and Nana

/lovebug with his Nana on Easter morning at church :-) Can ya tell they love each other?!

Monday, April 5, 2010

A train & a hat

Yes, you are seeing this correctly - Lovebug put a train INSIDE his hat. LOL. :-P

My parents got Lovebug this cool hat and Thomas train ... don't know whether he's trying to protect his new gift or if he's just being goofy but when I saw he had done this, I just HAD to snap a few pics. He's getting better at "posing" for me. Hehe. He LOVES this hat and has been playing with the trains non-stop.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Sunday

Feeling pretty thankful today for all that Jesus did for us. I watched "Passion of the Christ" on Friday to kind of remind myself of everything He sacrificed. It's amazing that one man bore the burden of all the world's sin. Holy crap ... I mean if you actually really *think* about it ... WOW.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 ... This Bible verse is one of the best to sum up what God & Jesus did for us ... so true but so unbelievable at the same time. This is the definition of unconditional love.

Happy Easter to everyone. It's easy to get caught up in the Easter Bunny and candy and Easter egg hunts ... I try to keep in mind what this holiday is really about - all that one man was willing to endure and sacrifice.