Friday, June 28, 2013

Dossier and Homestudy Process- Jumping Through Hoops

I haven't been updating much because what we're working on is pretty boring stuff. :) We are currently gathering documents for our dossier, which is a packet of documents about us and our eligibility for a Chinese adoption that have to be notarized, county sealed, and state sealed and sent off to our agency, who then sends them to be translated and sent to China, so we can be approved by the Chinese government to adopt one of their children. It is boring, yes, but also very important. There are too many rules to list here... and I'm not sure we even understand all of them. We just do what we do, get told it is wrong and needs fixed, and fix it. :) Seriously. That's how our dossier is going.

A very important part of our dossier is our homestudy, which is also a long detailed process. We have not had a home visit yet. First, we must complete even more paperwork, and have a lot of people in lives fill out paperwork also. The good news about this part is that it has been pretty straight forward and we are making progress. We have had our psych evals and should have our letters from the psychiatrist by mid next week. Most of medical letters are now signed, I have to go to one more appointment next week with another doctor to have one more document written up and we are still waiting for Gracie and Liam's medical check lists to be signed. Sadie has her appointment next week also, and the following Monday, the fire inspector is scheduled to come out. Our references have all been identified and forms have been mailed to them, so those should be coming in soon, and our child abuse checks from our many states have also been requested and should start coming in. After all of those things are received, that should finish up the paper work we are relying on others for.

Jared and I must complete GIGANTIC personal profiles, which are close to 50 pages and include questions about pretty much everything. Those are in progress, but close to being finished. And then we have to complete about 16 hours of online education. This seems like a crazy lot of stuff left to do. But, as I said, it's coming along, and we hope to be done by our fire inspection on July 8! If we can get all of our homestudy 'pre-requisites' turned in after the inspection, then we can schedule our first official home visit!

So that's it. It's not exactly fun, but it's been pretty straightforward and doable. And we really don't mind it. Yesterday, I grumped a little bit on our way to Cincinnati for our psych evals, and Jared reminded me, "But we're doing this for our baby". Yes, we are doing this for our baby. There is nothing I wouldn't have done for Gracie and Liam. If, while I was pregnant, someone had taken me hostage and told me that to save my baby, I had to order a birth certificate for myself dated within the past 6 months, and forced me to write out and prove my net worth, and asked for a notarized letter from my doctor stating the medication I'm no doesn't prevent me from parenting, I would have gladly done it. So it's the same with the baby growing in our hearts. Just tell me how to find the hoop. I'll jump right through it.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

So Exciting and Humbling!

Very quick this morning- It seems like the blessings have been pouring in over these past couple weeks (which is coincidentally, the time we got Jared's furlough notice also). I have been posting the little blankets I made for fundraising everywhere I can think of, and I've actually sold some! That alone is very encouraging. But this next part is amazing.

A couple weeks ago, I posted the blankets on a Craigslist type site, and a kind lady responded and said she did not need a blanket but would like to donate money to our adoption. I was shocked and unsure how to respond. After talking to Jared, I sent her a reply, letting her know how grateful we were for her offer and shared with her a little bit of our adoption story, but for the sake of being honest, we are just spending out of our savings account right now and have no way to make her donation tax deductible or special account to show her that we are legit. I figured that was the end, since she had no way to make sure we are not scamming her. But today, I checked the mail, and was very surprised to find a card and $100 towards our adoption from that person!

I am so humbled that someone who doesn't even know us would be moved to donate to us, and donate such a large amount. We are very grateful and encouraged. Every dollar of money provided for the adoption, by donation, by saving, by the work we are doing, is a wonderful assurance to us that God is behind this and that He is going to provide a way!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Busy Summer Days

Just a general update. :) Summer hasn't even officially begun, but we are already managing to stay plenty busy over here.

One of our evening family activities has been training for the upcoming half marathon. We sold our hated sit n stand stroller and purchased a used double jogger. We usually pack a snack to keep the kids busy so Jared and I can run about 3 miles. Liam is content to sit in the stroller and eat or nap, but Gracie likes getting out and running along with me. She is doing great and can run about a half mile before she needs a break. I'm having a hard time believing I'm going to get myself up to 13 miles, but I have 16 weeks to prepare, so hopefully that will do it. :)

Gracie and Liam can't get enough of the park! They get crazy excited about going and it never gets old. Gracie loves to ride her tricycle in our driveway, splash in her little plastic pool, color on the porch with sidewalk chalk, and practice with her new rollerskates. Liam likes to push his walker around outside, occasionally riding on it, and chasing bubbles in the backyard. Gracie is on a soccer team, and Liam loves to practice too. They also both love their little t-ball set.

Jared received notice that he'll be taking an unpaid day off each week this summer, courtesy of our great government. He's planning house projects to stay busy. Hopefully by the end of the summer, the old peeling paint on our garage will be gone and a beautiful new coat will on!

On the adoption front, we are pretty overwhelmed but plugging along. :) We are officially contracted with an agency and are in the midst of gathering paperwork for our dossier and home study. Our first appointment with our social worker for our home study is Friday and we have an appointment tomorrow with our case worker for the China program. Hopefully, after talking to both of them, we will feel less overwhelmed and have a better idea of how to go about getting all of these documents correctly. We're happy to be doing something instead of waiting right now. :)