Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I received a copy of our completed home study this week! It's on the way to Lighthouse. Now that we have a completed home study I can start applying for grants.

I'm SOOOOO ready to be done with this dossier. Some of the requirements have changed so we have to redo some things we thought were already done. My goal is to have it all in the mail next Monday.

Apply for grants, complete dossier, complete our I-600A...all of this should be tricky with one mommy and three little boys who are trying to get over the flu.

We have the PBS video "Liberia: America's Stepchild" at our house right now. I haven't watched it yet, but would love some company for a movie night if anyone is interested.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

We are so close to having a completed home study. All the paper work has been turned in. We were waiting on our child abuse clearances, but those have been completed now as well. Now we will begin working on the immigration phase of all of this, beginning with the filing of our I-600A. I have a lot of questions about this phase, but Diana (from Lighthouse) is at the orphanage in Haiti this week, so most of my questions will have to wait. We have completed about 90% of our dossier paperwork as well. Little by little we keep moving forward on this really long road to our girls in Liberia.

I was able to spend time with my mom on Monday night. She took me out to dinner and we went to a movie. At dinner she listened well as I poured out all of my emotions about the adoption. My time with her was really a gift because she believes in us and in this dream. I don't know how to put all of my thoughts and feelings about the adoption into words right now, except to say that this is all so huge and overwhelming. Some days thinking about these girls and where they are right now is more that I can handle. I worry a lot right now about if I can trust the people that are in control of this process. I have spent a lot of time praying this week, trying to listen to what God has to say to our family. Over and over again He has told me to simply trust Him. Thank you for your prayers for our family.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Acres of Hope

Conditions in the previous video are the norm in Liberia. The availability of Fresh water is extremely limited. Here is a link to an agency who helped the orphanage we are adopting through build a well to provide safe drinking water.

life water

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I (eric) found this video while studying a bit more about Liberia. I met the songwriter this past fall and the footgage is from somewhere just outside of Monrovia... which is where our future girls live.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It's been another busy adoption week here.

--Riley and Trey had their adoption physicals. We love Dr. Turek and it's been great to talk with him about this adoption.

--Denise will be here tomorrow night at 6:30 for our final home study interview. I don't know how long it will take her after this interview to complete our home study. Hopefully not long because we need to a copy to Lighthouse quickly so that they can get moving on our immigration paper work.

--Saturday we have CPR training. Not my favorite way to spend a Saturday morning, but it has to be done.

--We had to read two books on adoption and international adoption for our home study. I finished them today. It was really good to spend time learning. When I was pregnant with Riley I read so much. That's the same way I feel now, like I have so much to learn about parenting these children. They will be my children in the same way that Riley, Trey and Evan are my children. But, they will come with their own set of issues as children who have been separated from their birth parents. If you are reading this and you have adopted internationally, please offer your suggestions on books to read. I'm ready to learn more.

In some ways I'm really ready to be done with this paperwork phase. But, in other ways I think it will be so much harder when all there is to do is wait. I don't wait well. I'm sure God has so much to teach me in this process.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The fire inspection is over. Mr. Inspector was intense, I'm not sure how many times I said "yes sir" in the twenty minutes he was here. I was a little surprised to learn that we are required to have monthly family fire drills until the children we adopt are 18 years old. We have two minutes to get all our kids to the library down the street. We're supposed to time it and record comments each month. I didn't argue with him, I just said "yes sir." He suggested that I do some of them in the middle of the night to practice evacuating the house while everyone is sleeping. I wonder if he has any children.

Our social worker just left. She was here for about two hours. She was extremely nice and gave us a lot of good advice. She talked with the kids first. They were SO well behaved and extremely cute. Riley answered all of her questions like a little man. He gave her direct eye contact the entire time and was very polite. Trey was adorable and did a great job answering her questions. Evan took some kind of super cute pill before she came and just sat by me on the couch saying "yeah" every time she asked one of the boys a question. He would throw his head back and laugh after each "yeah." Then Jen put the boys to bed and we talked with her about our thoughts on adoption, our values, and our parenting philosophy. It went really well. She did a walk through of the house before she left as well. She'll be calling us tomorrow to schedule our next interview and then she will complete our home study!

Monday, January 7, 2008

The first home study interview was supposed to be today, but it was moved to tomorrow night. Denise will be here around 6:30pm. If you know our family well, you know that this is not our best time of the day. But, it was the only option if we wanted to reschedule quickly, so we took it. We also have our fire inspection tomorrow morning as well. It will be a busy day. Some of the things we had to do to get ready for the fire inspection seem a little silly. Should fire ever happen to strike our home, we will be ready with fire evacuation plans posted on the wall. I guess this is just in case we forget where the nearest door or window is located in a moment of panic. But, we do now have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. As often as I let the kids bake and cook, it's probably a really good thing to have! We've been cleaning and baby proofing all weekend and all day today. Yes, I know this house should already be baby proof. It's not. I'm a completely irresponsible parent. Now all outlets have been covered and all cleaning supplies are behind locked cabinets. Should Denise want a snack, the refridgerator has been scrubbed. The kitchen cabinets have been polished, the bathrooms are shining, and the kids lockers and coat closets are nicely organized. I haven't cleaned the base boards, and probably won't have time! I know, I'm paranoid. I'll be so glad when this is over.

Other adoption updates...we are moving along quickly with our dossier and home study paper work. This would be a good time to thank Jen Leonard for her amazing help in this process. We would be a mess without her. She has our paper work so organized and keeps us right on track. We are on target to have it all done by the time Denise is finished preparing our home study. Eric and I have physicals this week and Riley and Trey have well childs next week. Evan is already done with his. Then Dr. Turek will have signed off on all of us and we'll be done with the medical paper work. I also had a good talk with Diana, our contact at Lighthouse. It was good to talk with her about my questions and concerns. Later this month we'll have infant CPR as well.

Finally, we are planning on rolling more coins. We'll probably work on it Friday night. Thank you all for donating your change. You would be amazed at how quickly it adds up. If you have been saving any for us, drop it off if you get a chance. We could also pick it up if that is easier for you. Then we can roll it and deposit it into our adoption savings account!

It's half time and the Bucks aren't looking very good...good night.