Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dear Precious Child of God...

My child,

I've been thinking and dreaming a lot about you. Who you are, where you are, what you look like... Are  you born, yet, or is God still perfecting you in your momma's tummy? Are you with your mommy still or are you alone? We think of you often and pray for you constantly.

We're also praying for your family, especially your Mommy or Daddy. If you're born and they're going through hard times, I can only imagine the pain they're going through, trying to decide what is best for you. We just pray that God will somehow comfort them and help them to know that there are lots of people who love you and will take care of you as best as possible. And that we will raise you knowing that you have a great mommy or daddy who were trying to do what's best for you, teach you about your original home of Ethiopia, along with raising you in a home that loves the Lord!

If you're alone, we're praying that God will hold you in His arms and love on you everyday until we're able to do it, too. Ilana and Aydan pray or you daily. They can't wait to meet their brother or sister! I can't wait for the moment I get to see your beautiful face.... until the moment I get to snuggle you in my arms... until I get to tell you about how many amazing people here who care for you so much that they're helping us bring YOU home.... until the moment where we get to tell the world that you are ours! That even though you were not formed in MY womb, God definitely formed you into my heart.

I love you, precious child...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Birthday Celebration and Update

Well, this weekend we celebrated my 25th birthday! It's just crazy to think that 6 months ago, when we were thinking of starting our adoption journey, we originally thought we wouldn't be able to start the process until now (Ethiopia's requirements are for both parents to be 25), but with God's help, we are now almost completely finished with our "paper pregnancy", as some adoptive parents call it! I just love how God has led every single step along this journey!

We had a great weekend and Michael and the kids spoiled me like crazy! :) It was a very special day and the only thing that would've made it even better was to get our I-171H (from our fingerprints) in the mail, but it didn't happen, and more than likely will be a couple more weeks. As soon as we receive that, along with a couple reference letters from some great friends, we'll be able to get everything notarized and then send everything to be state authenticated! We cannot wait!!

In the meantime, we started our new puzzle fundraiser (in case you didn't read about it earlier - you can read about it HERE). So far we've had 4 pieces sponsored! I can't wait until we begin to get more pieces sponsored and the puzzle really begins to come together! Hopefully we can get all pieces sponsored in the next couple of months, as I'm hoping and praying we'll be able to get  referral maybe by this summer! The money raised from this fundraiser will go towards the fees we owe once we accept that referral. Would you consider sponsoring a piece to help bring God's precious child to our family? Every piece that is sponsored will have the sponsors name or personal message written on the back. What will be so awesome is how many people will have helped to bring our child home and we will have that constant reminder on our wall!

We've had people ask if they can share our blog link and fundraisers, so I just wanted to let EVERYone know - of course you can! Please share away! :)

P.S. Have you checked the airplane graphic at the bottom of the page? We're out of the US! :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Biometrics are....

DONE!!! On Saturday (just 2 weeks and 2 days after sending out our I-600A form that I wrote about here), we got our biometrics (aka fingerprints) appointment letter in the mail. Scheduled appointment time was noon on April 14th, down in Fort Myers! Now, if you know me, you'd know that I could just not wait that long (yes, 11 days was too long for me! :-P)! So, I had read about people attempting walk-ins at various USCIS locations and all they did was take their appointment letter in and ask if they can get their fingerprints done early. Most had no problems doing it, as long as it was not busy...

So, I wanted to go on Monday, but unfortunately ran out of time and Michael was unable to get a break from work, so we planned to go the following afternoon (since I had a long doctor's appointment with Ilana all morning). Michael wanted to check and see if it was even doable, since I would have to drive almost an hour down there, so since he works in Fort Myers, he checked Tuesday morning before he went into work. She said that it would be no problem and to try coming in at 2, because they're usually not too busy then. On the way there, I prayed they wouldn't be too busy and that I wasn't making this hour long drive for nothing. Michael met me there right at two, and we walked in and lo and behold.... We were the ONLY ones there! No wait at all!!! I was so excited I wanted to dance around, haha!

Went back and got our fingerprints done by a really nice man. He said he was doing much better now that we were there and I said "Oh, yeah?" And he said "Yeah, I love when people come in wanting fingerprints because they're adopting.  I will be praying for you!" (How cool?!) Fingerprints were done via computer screen. It was a cool process and very quick! We were in and out in about 15 minutes!

So now... We wait for approval... Once we get that, we get all our documents notarized, then state certified, and then we send them to our agency to check over them and they send them via courier to Washington DC. From there, they go to Ethiopia and we're put on the waiting list!! YAY!!! We'll see how long it all takes! I'm just so excited that we're finally almost to the end of the paperwork! :)

Thankfully, we have saved and raised enough money to pay for the dossier and the dossier authentication fees ($4100) and our next step is saving up the money for our in country fees ($7200) that are due after we accept referral of the child. This could be in several months, but could be sooner than that - we're just not sure! If you didn't read about it earlier, we started a new fundraiser that you can read about HERE. All the proceeds from that fundraiser will go towards our in country fees!

Also, if you're on facebook, we created a page to keep quick little updates on our journey and fundraising efforts. Please "like" it and feel free to share with your friends and family!  

Orphan's Hope

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