Hey Everyone - Just wanted to give you a little update on where we are with our adoption process. We were able to make some good process last week and that did my soul good! But was also very emotional! Since our last update we have had two big things -
1- we had an awesome fundraiser (our online adoption auction)
2- we had our home study visits (and almost a completed home study)
1- Our online auctions was so fun. We hosted it via our facebook page through an album with all the items and bids were made via picture comments. We were blown away by the donations that were given by friends and complete strangers (aka new friends)! In the end through the auction and selling some more tshirts we were able to raise just over $1000!!!!! We are so very excited and truly thankful for that! The funds we raised went to 2 things - 1: we had to complete some online training and it cost $200 for a couple, so it helped us pay for that. 2: we had a $2200 fee for our home study and the rest of the money went to help with that! Again we say thank you - thanks to those that donated, those that bid, those of you that gave us extra money towards our fundraising, and those of you that prayed for our fundraiser. We pray that you will be blessed back for your givings! Our plan is to do this auction annually, that it will be something our friends and followers look forward to and we can use future funds to help other families adopting (if we aren't in the process). Again thank you!
2- Our home study visits were a mix of crazy, emotional, and good! The idea of a home study is stressful in itself thinking that someone is going to decide if we are fit to add to our family via adoption. The reasons a home study is necessary makes sense, you don't want people who have evil plans to adopt children, but for the "rest of us" just weird people it feels odd and invasive. Thankfully we work with a Christian agency and therefor our social worker is also a Christian. Our first visit was the family visit that fell on the same day as Eliana's 5th birthday party (talk about craziness). We kicked our party goers out and she arrived 20 minutes later. I was really nervous but all went well, it was like having my grandma over for a visit. The kids of coarse didn't "perform" as I would have liked, especially when the social worker was asking the kids what they thought their brother or sister would look like and Eliana's response in a "duh voice" was - "well they will be black, they are from Africa!" (goodness) But when do kids ever do what we want in situations like that!
I was nervous for our first visit, but even more nervous for our second visit. We had to do our second visit individually - she spoke to Todd and then to me and asked some tougher questions. But the real reason I was so nervous was that I needed to talk to her in depth about my past of abuse and battle with an eating disorder. Its one thing to tell someone your testimony but to talk about these things in a way to make sure you are fit as a parent was a whole different ball game. Of coarse the visit went well and our social worker did not feel my past hurts would leave us not allowed to adopt but would help us to be better parents (we agree)!!! But regardless of the visit going well it still left me emotionally wiped out. Most of last week I felt emotionally and physically exhausted, the experience left me feeling similar to when I was pregnant :) (kind of ironic I thought) After a weekend of sunshine and 70 degree temps I am feeling much better!
So now we are waiting for our social worker to finish up our home study paperwork. She will get it to us this week, we will read it and review it, and then send it to the agency for final approval. We hope to be done with that all for sure by the end of the month. After that we continue to finalize our Dossier (documents that will be sent to Ethiopia including our home study), we just have a few more things for that to do which is so nice to almost have it done. One big thing we have is to finalize our USCIS that will cost us $900 to file and get more officially "fingerprinted". After that we will have our Dossier Submission and second program fee of $7700! Whew scary to type that number! We are trusting the Lord for this money and working on some new fundraisers as well! If you would feel led to give you can email us and we can send you the directions to submit to our agency!
So ya.... exciting to be moving forward, and working to Hurry Up and Wait!!! Hurry up and finish our paperwork so we can WAIT and WAIT and WAIT!!! But all good things are hard work and God never said we would just live this life comfortably!! So here we are Lord, walking behind you, taking this journey, and trusting YOU!
Prayers and Blessings to you all -