Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Back on track.

We are still not finished getting everything ready for the dossier but we are getting much closer. We only have a few things left to do. Then we wait and wait and wait for USCIS approval.

 Trying to get the last few papers filled out for the dossier.

I started out with one folder for our paperwork but quickly realized I needed something MUCH bigger. There are well over 200 papers in this file holder all for the adoption :)

My sweet hubby filling out paperwork. I made him use my girly pen :)
Even though our day did not go as planned last week it has not made me want to stop but move faster. It is so strange to me that I can miss someone that I have never met but I miss Baby A so much and I often dream of going to visit him. Even though the adoption process is hard at times it is so worth it. The best way I can describe it is like this... If someone took your child across the world and told you you had to do X,Y and Z to get your child back you would do everything they said and more to get to bring your child back home. It wouldn't seem like a burden to fill out paperwork but a joy knowing you would soon get to see your child. It is my joy to do above and beyond what is required to get to bring Baby A home.

I hope you will all continue to lift us up in prayer, we still have a long way to go but he is so so worth it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Today did not go as planned.

This picture of Kenya pretty much sums up how I felt today.

I was sooooo excited when I opened the mail today and found out we have received our appointment date and time for our USCIS fingerprints. We will be going in a week and a half and I can't wait. I feel like we are getting so much closer but I know we are still so far away.

Our physicals were scheduled for next month but since we are getting our fingerprints done so soon I wanted to bump them up. I spent what seemed like hours on the phone today trying to get our appotiments moved up with no luck. Finally I called a doctors office and they were able to get us in TODAY! I was so excited!

Once Jason got home from work we loaded up the kids and took them to my Mom's she said they could stay the night which is always a nice treat for all of us :) Kenya was so excited to be staying the night at Momo's.

Before we did anything we had to pick up our car at the shop so we did that then headed to our local police station to get our police clearances for our dossier. I have been to the police station before (to get clearances for our home study) and I was convinced  I knew where it was at but after driving around in circles for about 15 minutes we decided we had better head to our doctors appointments. We got there right on time and started filling out all the paperwork which of course took awhile. I grabbed one of their cards after I turned in our paperwork and stuck it in my wallet, it was at that time I realized my credit card was gone. I called the auto shop that we had taken the car to and of course I had left it there. We canceled the card and ordered a new one because I wouldn't be able to go pick it up today. Jason asked me what the name of the office was and I had no clue so I pulled out the card and realized  our doctor was a D.O. not a MD. We had to see a MD for our dossier physicals. I was so embarrassed but I went up and told them what happened and they were so sweet but still my dream of getting it done today was crushed.

We left there and headed home to drop off our other car (we were in two cars since we picked up one from the shop). Then we loaded back up and headed back to the police station it was so easy to find and we had just passed it the first time. They asked who they needed to make it out to and I had no clue. I called our adoption agency but they were already closed so I just guessed and I will find out tomorrow if I was right or not after I talk to our agency. The lady who did them for us was SUPER nice in fact she had been reading Patrice's blog for over two years and she knew who we were. We talked for a little while then headed home.

Jason and I got home and we couldn't believe how many things went wrong today. We were just thankful nothing went wrong with dropping the kids off at my Mom's. Once the movie was over my Mom called to say Kenya wasn't feeling well and she wanted to come home so I went and got the kids. I am telling you NOTHING went right today but I am comforted knowing that the heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps! Proverbs 16:9 My day might not have gone as I planned it but none of this surprised the Lord so I can rest in His sovereignty!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Baby A and Judah's room :)

My friend Andrea gave us a crib for Baby A and I could not wait to put it up. Thank you Andrea! Kenya and I had so much fun putting the crib together and rearranging the room.

 Words could never describe how excited I get when I walk in their room and see TWO cribs.

Some good friends of our from church kicked us out of our house in August for 6 days and remodeled our house for us. Judah's room is one of my favorites. Papa T and Wita (Jason's parents) got the bedding and cute rug for us and we love it. Thank you guys!

Judah's bed.

Baby A's bed. LOVE LOVE LOVE this!

I met Lisa when I was staying with the William's family she is one of Jonah's therapists and she is one of the sweetest people I have ever met. She answered a ton of questions I had about Baby A's medical condition and she even wrote a letter for our home study saying what we had talked about. A few weeks ago I posted an adoption creed I found on Etsy  and she messaged me and told me she wanted to get it for us as a gift. I was soooooo excited and I could not wait to put it up once we got it. 

It says "Not flesh of my flesh 
nor bone of my bone
 but still MIRACULOUSLY my own.
Never forget for a single minute,
 you didn't grow under my heart but in it."

Thank you so much Lisa we LOVE it!

 I can't wait for the day I get to post pictures of Judah and Baby A in their room until then let's keep praying for the Lord's will and resting in His sovereignty! 

I hope you all have a great week!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming

We are just as busy as ever getting everything together for the adoption. The kids and I mailed in our FBI background checks last week and I have been working like crazy trying to get everything together for the dossier.

I called the USCIS office last week to get a better idea of the process the lady I spoke with was so nice and I am praying that she will be able to be our USCIS officer once it is time for us to have one. She said it could take up to 75 days to get approved but if there is a reason to expedite it they most likely would do that. I called back this week to see if we had an officer yet and we don't but I plan on calling back next week to see how things are coming along. I am praying they will be able to get our paperwork going quickly. From what I understand it will most likely take about 2 months to get approved. Then we will get all of our paperwork appostilled and mail it off to our agency. Once our agency gets it they have to fill out paperwork and get some things from their state all of which will take about a month. After that our dossier will be ready to send to Eastern Europe and be translated which will also take about a month. We might not be able to travel for the first time until September depending on long all of this takes. That makes me kinda nervous because we are not officially committed to Baby A in Eastern Europe until we travel for the first time and sign paperwork. There is nothing we can do about that part but pray that the Lord would work out all of the timing :)

I am super excited to let you all know that  Debby has extended the Thirty- One Gifts Fundraiser for Baby A's adoption until the 29th of this month. If you haven't gotten to order anything yet now is your chance. Click HERE and see all the great stuff they have to offer! Thank you so much Debby this is truly a gift to our family!

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Exciting Stuff!!!

Today was a big day in our adoption journey, we mailed off our USCIS (immigration) paperwork. I am so super excited about this because once we get our clearance back and get all of our dossier paperwork done we can take it all to get appostilled and then will be ready to send it to our agency for a final check then it will be off to Eastern Europe.   We still wont really know a time line until after our paperwork gets to Eastern Europe and we get a travel date. We could be traveling as soon as August but we wont know for sure for awhile. I miss that sweet boy more and more each day and I can not wait to hold him and love on him!

Me about to mail our USCIS paperwork off! Sorry for the extreme close up but I zoomed in so you wouldn't see our address :)

Two of my kiddos and I on Mother's Day. I can't wait until next year when I can take a picture with three of my children. It just blows me away to think next year will be Baby A's first Mother's Day ever that he will (officially) have a mom and I get to be that mom! I am so thankful for his nanny though because she is his momma right now. It really does break my heart to think about taking him away from her. They love each other so much. Maybe, Lord willing, we can still keep in touch after we adopt him.

 Laura from Laurel Creek Designs  made the most beautiful necklace and earrings for Baby A's other adoption fundraising blog. The necklace and earrings were inspired by Melody, Madison and Baby A's stories. I fell in love with this jewelry and I really wanted it. I was so thankful that she made them to bid off to bring our boy home and I was trying to be excited for whoever won :) Well it turns out that her mother won the bid so I thought that was really neat. You will never believe what happened next. She sent me the necklace and earrings as a Mother's Day gift, I couldn't believe it! I was so super excited! They came in the most beautiful shadow box with a beautifully written note talking about why she wanted me to have them and the story behind the jewelry. I am really still blown away that she did this. I love them so much and I think of Melody, Madison and Baby A every time I wear them! Thank you again Laura, I really do love them!  

The kids were also super excited, but not about the necklace, but about what it was packed in. 

They had an all out war with the paper from inside the box
 (just so you know my kids don't normally dress like this ha) 

Judah getting ready to nail Kenya.

She is such a good big sister and is making it a little easier for him.

He got her! 

I'm pretty sure pay back was sweet!

He is laughing so hard right here he looks like he is crying.

And the after math... 
Don't forget about the Thirty- One Gifts fundraiser that is going on for Baby A it will only last for 5 more days. Click here for details!

I hope you all had a great Mother's Day!

 I will try to keep y'all posted on the progress but for now I will just be getting everything ready for the dossier so if this blog is quiet for awhile just know I am filling out paper after paper after paper after paper :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

update and a letter to Baby A #2

I am so excited to say we got our completed home study in the mail on Saturday and I will be mailing that and our USCIS paper work off first thing Monday morning! I will spend the next two weeks getting everything together for our dossier. I am hoping to get it all done this week but I know sometimes my goals are a little crazy so we shall see. Those are the only updates I have for today.
And now a letter to my sweet boy.

Dear Baby A, 
 Today is Mother's Day. It is a day where we celebrate Mother's. Sometimes I get a little crazy and want Jason to go all out for Mother's Day but not this year I just wanted to chill with my family. Jason made today very special by letting me decide what I wanted to to today. He took care of the kids and cleaned the house so I could rest. I really enjoyed today but I will admit the whole day I felt like I was missing a few of my kids.

One thing you don't know quite yet but you will soon is you have a family all the way on the other side of the world who can't wait to bring you home. You have a big sister Kenya and she talks about you all the time. If we have friends come over she loves to tell them we have 5 kids in our family then she names them all Kenya, Melody, Madison, Judah and Baby A. She tells them all about you and how she is going to touch you gently. She can't wait for you to come home. You also have two big sisters Melody and Madison they were born on November 11th 2008. They were the most beautiful twin girls but God chose to bring them home to heaven after they had lived on this Earth for an hour. We know that God was glorified through their lives and we are so glad God chose us to be their parents. In fact God used their lives to change our hearts and cause us to long to care for a child with a special medical need. So you can kinda say part of the reason we found you is because God allowed us to be their parents first. You also have a brother who is around the same age as you. He is too little to understand that you are coming home to us but we show him your picture and he says "Bubba" it is so cute! We are teaching him to touch things gently so that when you get here he will be careful with his Bubba. You have lots of amazing Grandparents and Aunt's, Uncle's and cousins who can't wait to meet you! 

Today was a great day but it made me miss you a lot. I can't wait for the day I can whisper in you ear I am your Momma and I love you and I wanted you from the second I saw you. You are loved sweet boy I can't wait to tell you how loved you are. 

We are getting closer to being about to come see you. We wont know for sure when we will meet for the first time for a few more months but I can't wait for that day! Your Daddy is also very excited about meeting you. We talk about you all the time! 

I can't wait to tell you about our great God and savior. And how He is the one who formed you in your Mother's womb. I can't wait to tell you that you are fearfully and wonderfully made and God can use your life for His glory if you will trust in Him. Your life might not always be easy sweet boy but I will tell you God is amazingly faithful.

 I can't wait to sing to you and read books to you. I can't wait until you can go on family walks with us. I can't wait to kiss your sweet face everyday and tell you how loved you are! I can't wait to see Jason hold you for the first time! I can't wait until we step foot on the airplane and know that you are really really going home with us and I can't wait for you to meet Judah and Kenya.

You are very very loved sweet boy! 

I am so thankful for how well you are being taken care of! It is so hard to be away from you but knowing you are in such good hands makes it a little easier. 

Baby A I LOVE YOU and we will be coming for you as soon as we can! 

 Your Mommy! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Patrice is one of ten finalists for Mother of the Year and I need your help!/ UPDATE

Patrice won Mother of the year!!!! 
Let me start out by saying I am so excited Patrice (Jonah's Mom... I stayed with them for 8 days and learned all things EB)  is one of ten finalists for Mother of the Year for Triad Moms on Main. I am going to write a SUPER long post about how much I love her and why I think she should win but for those of you who just want to trust me in saying that Patrice deserves to win this Mom of the year award and 1500 dollars in prizes just go vote for Patrice Williams HERE.

For the rest of you who want me to convince you as to why she should win and what this has to do with Baby A's adoption please read on :)

I have been following Patrice's blog since about 2008. Patrice's and I shared a common bond that not many people get to or really want to for that matter. Patrice and I both have babies living with Jesus. I started following her blog around the time I delivered Melody and Madison and I had checked in off and on since then.

Patrice and Matt's second born son Jonah surprised them all when he was born with a rare skin condition called EB. Most of you know what EB is but if you don't check out this link. Patrice and Matt were shocked to say the least but they have spent the past 2 years taking care of him and learning new and better ways to care for his EB.

Patrice found out about Baby A and fell in love with him. She was determined to help find him a home and to help raise funds for his adoption. I found out about Baby A on my friend Kristy's FB page and she found out about him from Patrice so in a round about way God used Patrice to lead us to Baby A.

When we started the process to adopt him we were told we wouldn't be able to go forward with the adoption process because we didn't have any experience with EB and there was no way a judge would give us Baby A with out experience. I loved him so much and when I told Patrice what we were told she encouraged me to keep going and fight for him if I thought he was supposed to be our son. So I went out on a limb and asked Patrice if I could stay with them for a week and learn all things EB. Without thinking twice she said yes and plans were made for me to go stay with them.

From the moment I arrived Patrice took me under her wing and included me in every aspect of Jonah's life. I learned so much the 8 days I stayed with them but I think the neatest part of it all was getting to watch Patrice be Jonah's Mom. She is AMAZING! She does not stop from the time she wakes up until Jonah goes to sleep at night. Matt is a huge help to her when he is home but while he is at work she handles it all (she does have help for his dressing changes because that is a 2 person job).

So now I will show you a day in the life of Patrice

This is the day we found out Jason and I were officially committed to Baby A's adoption (Kristy this picture is for you). Jonah (in the background) is being fed through a G-Tube that Patrice has to push his food through every 1 minute and 40 seconds to keep him from throwing up. If is was me I have a feeling I would just sit there the whole time (over and hour) and not really do a whole lot but not Patrice she uses every second of that 1 minute and 40 seconds to get things done for Jonah for the rest of the day. Like prepare his other meals, clean his supplies or wash his clothes.

After his breakfast she heads upstairs and changes out his bedding (it is normally pretty bloody from Jonah rolling over in his sleep and rubbing his skin off). 

She adds layers and layers of super soft pillow cases and blankets to try to protect his skin and so it's easier to change if they get super dirty.

Then she prepares his bath. She gets super soft blankets to put over his bath chair and makes sure the water is just right. 

These are his soft towels for after his bath.

I told y'all this was a day in the life of Patrice and it was going to be long.
 If you want to vote now CLICK HERE :)

Then she undress him...

Then takes most of his bandages off.

Some of the spots have to soak off in the water.

Then she carefully puts him into the tub making sure not to rub his skin against hers 
so his skin doesn't shear off.

Then she bathes him as gently as she can. 

Then wraps him in a soft towel to dry him and protect his skin.

Tries to get some of the extra water out of his arm and leg bandages.

And starts dressing change. She unwraps one limb at a time, washes it, checks for blisters, pops blisters, puts medicine on blisters, rubs aquaphor all over, puts transfer on, then conco (soft gauze), then tubifast. She does this on his arms and legs and does the same thing for his back and tummy only she doesn't have to wash him since she did that in the tub.

Washing his arm.

Washing his hand.

Taking time to calm him down.

putting transfer on

putting conco on
  She does this everyday.

Matt and Patrice get all of Johan's dressing change supplies ready the night before.

cutting the transfer
 Everything ready to go.

Patrice spends a lot of time caring for Jonah's medical needs but the thing I love about her most is she takes time to play with and love on her boy. Matt and Patrice give Jonah as normal of a life as possible. They wrestle with him, build blocks, play cars, let him swing, really most anything a "normal" two year old can do so can Jonah.

One memory that stick out to me from my trip is when we had to take Jonah for his two year old check up. He flipped out once we walked in there because he knew whatever they did was going to hurt. I was crying knowing how scared he was and I don't cry... well not a lot anyway.

Patrice just sang to him and talked to him until he calmed down. He LOVES it when she sings to him!

 This is right after she was able to calm him down.

He was all giggles once he know it was going to be okay.

I love and miss him so much!
And that was a day in the life of Patrice, only she does so much more than I posted.

I love this picture of Patrice and I in fact it is hanging on my fridge.

 Your love for the Lord and passion to see His name made great is a beautiful thing. The fact that you would welcome me, a complete stranger, into your home and show me everything you know about caring for EB is one of the greatest gifts I have ever been given. 
 Jonah and Gabe are both very blessed to have you as their Mom. I know you are not getting to raise Gabe because he is with Jesus but I know you love him more than words could express. Thank you for sharing his life with me. 
 The love and support you have for Jonah is amazing and I know that he can do anything he wants to with you behind him (even be THE best basketball player on the street)! 
 I will never forget our mornings of bacon, bagels, diet cherry coke and zebra cakes :)  
 Even if you don't win this Triad Moms of the Year award you will always be Mom of the Year in my book! 
 I love you more then you will ever know. I pray God would continue to use your life for his glory! 

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Proverbs 31:30

If you haven't already please go vote for Patrice to be "Triad Moms on Main" Mother of the Year.