Yes! Yes! Yes! This is the child the Lord has always known about and how privileged we are to be his forever family!!
For many legal and safety reasons, we cannot share most of the details. Right now the legal process will begin in his country and in approximately 7 months, Daniel Aaron P**** will be home - we cannot wait!
PRAISE: God for every good and perfect gift comes from Him.
PRAY: For Danny, for his health, happiness, and safety. And please pray for the legal process and mounds of paperwork - that all would go swiftly and smoothly. We know this little boy will arrive home right on time, not one day early nor one day late.
|What a handsome lad!|
|And little brother's pretty cute too!|
|"I'm done now!"|
|Carving faces with Daddy|
|Police Officer Ryan and John as "The Flash"|
Then tonight I went and mailed our dossier documents to our agency. Mike was taking a little video and Ryan heard us. He came to join in the closing segments of the video which Mike than took a picture of!
|Don't you love Ryan's excited pose?|
So when the mail finally came, what should be there - our federal approval form, the I171-H!! This is the piece of paper we need in order to receive a referral from our agency!! WOW!!!
So even though our adoption agency's office was closed, I called and left a message ... now we'll see. The African stork could be landing at our house again very soon!!!
Oh, how lovely those words sounded three years ago today!! I got the call at work and because Mike was working third shift at the time and didn't hear the phone ring, I came home from work to wake him up so we could call our agency back and hear who our children were!! It was the longest drive home ever - and all i kept thinking was I need to not speed and get a speeding ticket because that will just get me home later.
Three years ago today we saw the first pictures of our boys:
John was so sick at the time and look at that smile on Ryan's face - doesn't it just say, "Look out! Here I come!"
And our world changed, so much for the better.
Now we wait for that last piece - the I-171H form. This will come in the mail from USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) and is approval by the federal government for us to adopt an orphan internationally. Next Friday will be two weeks since our finger print appointment and I will officially begin stalking the mailbox daily after that. Once that lovely piece of paper arrives, we call our international agency in Indianapolis and tell them it is here!! And after that ... they can match us with a child, which because the need is so great, we are expecting to happen shortly after!!
And so that means, our third child has been born and already needs or will shortly need a forever family. My heart has begun to cry out for him (or her). I ask God to watch over this precious child - to keep him safe, to shower him with a comfort and knowledge that he is loved by a heavenly Father. And I lift up his/her first family, for it is their sorrow that will be our joy. And I try to process all this as we wait and watch God's plan for our lives unfold. And I am thankful that in all things He works good for those who love Him.
It was a great and adventure filled summer: backyard camping, zoo trips, story time at the library, Backyard Bible Club (me teaching and the boys attending), children's concerts, trips to the beach, trips to the spray park, a over night trip to Sheboygen courtesy of my parents, free evening concerts, $1 movies, friends taking the boys and I to Great America, Green Bay getaway, outdoor theatre (they made it through both kids' movies!), Wisconsin State Fair, and the summer always ends with a neighborhood block party. I completely enjoyed my summer and kept the boys mostly to myself, not a lot of play dates, as the reality of John being gone the whole day at school drew closer.
So with that said, here's pictures of their first day of school - aren't they so handsome!
John is in first grade and LOVES his teacher. After attending the Back to School Night, I am excited for all the year has to offer too. Ryan is in afternoon kindergarten with the same teacher as John had last year. He is also LOVING going to school.
On the adoption front, things are moving faster than we expected - PRAISE GOD!! Our home study is done and has been approved by DCFS and our international agency. We have sent the paperwork in to the federal government (the I-600A form) requesting to adopt a child internationally and will wait for that approval as well as our fingerprinting appointment. While we wait we will be gathering the remainder of our documents for our dossier. Excitement is building!
My sincere hope would be to publish on the blog more often - I would relish any suggestions from busy Moms on when you all have time to add to your blogs!! Thanks in advance for your ideas.
|John with Henson (black cat) and Pretty (ginger cat)|
|Ryan with Pretty|
|sleeping on the couch after a day of playing|
I also think we can begin our training with our international agency. Since they are in Indiana, we will do most of it via Skype. They also require a written paper about our child's country which I am very excited to do!!
NEXT STEPS: Download Skype onto our computer so we can participate in the training and contact our international agency and see if we can begin their classes!
PRAISE: Almost everything is done for home study!!
PRAYER: That the FBI clearance would come as soon as possible (I really wanted to type yesterday!) or at least within the next 30 days. If it's after 30 days, a social worker has to come back and visit our house. And I'll take prayer that Skype would work on our computer too!!
We are off to a fun start of a summer (hopefully) filled with play dates, dollar movies, trips to the beach, playing outside, riding bikes, children's concerts, fabulous garage sale finds, lots of time to draw and color and paint, fires in the fire pit complete with cheese filled mini hot dogs and smores, camping (in the back yard, at my parent's house, and with our Yahoo Group friends!), fresh home grown green beans, running through the sprinkler or careening down the slip and slide, trips to the zoo and children's museums, Backyard Bible Club, the Wisconsin State Fair, Green Bay Packers training camp, and more!!!!
However, the following conversations both occurred with the boys the week school ended:
John: Don't I go to school on Wednesday?
Mommy: No, there's no school until August.
John: I can't wait until August!
Ryan (right before going to be): Do I go to preschool tomorrow?
Mommy: No, baby, you're done with preschool and don't start kindergarten until the fall.
Ryan: (very disappointed): aaaahhh!
|taking a safari|
We are getting ready to put all our step 1 documents in the mail to our international agency! Just some notarizations needed and approval that all looks good and we'll be able to check this first step off the list!! (Our adoption has been divided into 11 steps, with step number 9 being when our new son or daughter comes home. And just in case you're wondering what steps come after he/she comes home, they would be the readoption process and post placement requirements.)
We've also met with our new social worker and are being to sign papers and gather documents for the home study, which is part of step 2.
NEXT STEPS: Finish signing papers, take an online class called Journey of Attachment, and write our autobiographies - all for the home study process.
PRAISE: That we have been able to so easily schedule physicals for all in our family (we told the boys they were helping us get one step closer to new brother or sister, which was especially helpful when they needed to have blood taken!), that our doctor eagerly went to her bank to get our health letters notarized, that we love our social worker, that everyone is so excited and supportive, and that I am not feeling overwhelmed with completing all the paperwork while doing life at the same time - a VERY God thing!!
PRAYER: That completing the paperwork would go smoothly, that the Lord would continue to bless our fundraising efforts, and for the boys who would like brother or sister here now. (Ryan: Are they coming today? Mommy: No, not today. Ryan: How about tomorrow?)
So Happy Easter and Happy Spring!
NEXT STEPS: We'll be assigned a social worker. Then we'll be able to pass that info on the MLJ Adoptions, our international agency, and sign their service agreement.
PRAISE: That we are now able to begin the paperwork process! We are trusting God for His perfect timing and will.
PRAYER: That all would go fairly easy in scheduling times to meet with the social worker (our schedule's not quite as open as before the boys were here!) and please pray, throughout the adoption, for the little boy or girl who the Lord knows but we do not yet. Pray also for their first family.
We stood in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and watched a white van pull into our agency's younger children's transition house and inside that van were two little boys we had been waiting a lifetime to meet.
But then I saw these amazing cards at a vendor table when we attended the MLJ Adoptions Conference in Indianapolis last September (and believe me, the pictures do not due their cuteness justice!):
There are two sets - a kids set and an all occasion set. Each set contains 30 cards and matching envelopes along with a keepsake boxes. And each set is only $30.00, which includes shipping and handling! That's right, 30 cards for $30 which comes out to a dollar a card! These are the kind of embellished cards you'd pay 5 or 6 dollars for at the store.
I am very excited to announce these as our next fundraiser!! They will be available for viewing at our Cheesecake Tasting Open House on February 12th and I will be accepting orders from now until Sunday, February 19th. I will be placing the order on the 20th, and the cards will arrive at my house in about 2 weeks. Then I will deliver them to you or arrange a pick up time. Please let me know if you are interested!!
We will make approximately $10 a box and our goal is to sell enough boxes to cover the cost of our I600A application to USCIS - this is the form will fill out to request permission from the United States to adopt an orphan and the $720 fee that goes with it.