Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Court Date and more...

WOO HOO!!!!!
Here's some answers to some of the questions that come next:
What does this mean?
This means that our case will be presented in Ethiopian court by a local representative from our adoption agency. When we pass court (it is possible to not pass and be delayed, but we are not going there) we will legally be Micah's parents on his birth certificate.
When do we travel to get him?
We will travel approximately 5 weeks later. Yes, this means we could be saying Merry Christmas to our girls and stepping on an airplane.
Yesterday, the girls asked me if they could put Micah on their Christmas Lists. They also stopped what they were doing and prayed for Micah to have a good sleep, to be healthy and to be here by Christmas. This was very precious. It was heartwarming to hear them pray for him and to be genuinely excited to get their brother home. It was priceless today for them to wake up and see that their prayers were being answered. In their minds this will be the Christmas their brother came home.
Another cool thing about the timing is the change in our agencies Embassy dates. Our agency did have appointments scheduled every other Tuesday which would of put the December dates as the 1st, 15th and the 29th. Now the dates are moved to Thursday's. This puts the date we are most likely to get, pending no delays, as being Dec. 31st! What a way to start the New Year! Now, I am still praying for a miracle and praying for a Dec. 17th Embassy date. This would mean that several pieces of paperwork would have to get done quickly once we pass court and be ready by Dec. 3rd. None of this is in our control. It's all done in Ethiopia. If we were to get the sooner date we would be home for Christmas.
What's next?
Lots of prayer! We will also continue working to raise funds towards the paperwork fees to bring him home.
Fundraising opportunities:
We currently have an account with Kingdom Kids Adoption Ministries. This account allows people to make donations towards our adoption and receive a tax deductible receipt. If you would like to make a donation you can click on the link on the top right side of the blog and it will take you right there.
On November 21st our MOPS group at church is having a Boutique from 8am-12pm. We will have a booth at the boutique selling a variety of items. We will have strawberry jam, homemade marshmallows and mini pumpkin pies. There may also be some other items we are still deciding on. All of these items are great as gifts for teachers and friends. I'll post more about these items later. All the proceeds from this sale will also go towards the adoption.
Another HUGE accomplishment is that we have completed applications to 7 different agencies for financial assistance in some form whether it be a grant, loan or donations for tax deductions. These can be lengthy and detailed and require stamina to complete. Now we wait to see if any funds come in this way. Depending on the timeline of things we may be able to fill out some more but for now we are going to be happy with our accomplishment and take a break for a week or so while we prep for these other fundraising opportunities.
Prayer Request
-For us to pass court on Nov. 19th
-For health of Micah and all of us here.
-For the finances to come together through fundraising and grants.
-For all the logistics of traveling to another country and collecting all that we need to take with us.
God has been so incredibly awesome in this whole process. We are blessed beyond words by all we have seen Him do in the last 2-1/2 months. Thank you all for taking this journey with us.
*I had to add the *'s so it would leave spaces between the paragraphs.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Submitted to Court

This week our Dossier has been translated and submitted to Ethiopian court to receive a date. We are totally amazed how fast things are moving.Now we are waiting for for the courts to assign us a date. Once we pass court and we will travel approximately 5 weeks later. This puts us traveling as early as December. We could have a Christmas baby. We are very excited and working diligently towards completing all the details. Your prayers are appreciated for all of the above, our court date to come quickly, for us to pass the first time, for the funding to be provided for and an early December Embassy date.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

In translation

This morning I e-mailed with CCI in Florida and it was confirmed that our Dossier is in Ethiopia being translated. This usually takes about a week or so. Once this is done we can get a court date. Please continue to pray that everything keeps moving along for not only us but for all the Ethiopia cases. We greatly appreciate all your prayers and support!


Today we received our
in the mail!
YAY God!

Happy Anniversary (a couple days late)

Today marks the 2 Month Anniversary (plus 2 days) of starting the adoption process! Is this really happening?! It has gone so fast. We can't wait to see the rest of God's plan unfold over the next 2 months. I don't think I can even imagine what the next 2 months will look like. I'm just going to enjoy the ride.

Immigration Miracles

Today I received a call from Immigration. They had a question about our form and wanted to clarify some information. I was so excited about this because this meant a real live breathing person was processing our paperwork and it was not sitting in a "To-Do" pile on a desk. Praise God! So I immediately confirmed the correct information and e-mailed her back. I was appreciative in my response but did not want to be overly pushy about a timeline of when we could expect this coveted piece of paper. To my surprise she e-mailed back promptly that our paperwork was complete, copies were being sent to the correct people and our copy was put in the mail today! TODAY! Our coveted piece of paper is on it's way to US! Yay God!

While I was researching our answer I was talking to our Fresno Agency, CHI. The wonderful lady I was speaking with informed me of another "God Thing" that I may not realize. Right after, literally a day or two, she mailed our home study to the Fresno Immigration Office the rules changed. Now instead of mailing I-600 forms to the local office all forms must be sent to Texas and then sent back to the local office. This can add a decent amount of time the processing. Fortunately our paperwork was started and our home study was received just fine. CHI then learned that there was a 30 day grace period so we were covered. That however also confirmed God's fingerprints all over this adoption timeline. If we had not made schedule changes to accommodate our home study visits or moved quickly on the other paperwork we could of easily, EASILY missed the 30 day grace period.

So far the news today has left us in awe the most. First to see all our hard work and pushing through really did pay off. Second, we have the coveted I-171H on it's way to us. This is the last legal document we are waiting on. We can go as fast as Ethiopian Courts want us to. Wow! It's a surreal feeling to have that hurdle completed. We are closer than ever.

This week Ethiopian courts opened back up for business. Many families are waiting to hear the status of their cases. Pray that the courts will get going and start issuing court dates to all of us.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


We just received an e-mail from CCI that they have received our Dossier! Usually they turn the Dossier around the same day and send it to Ethiopia. I'm not sure if FedEx is open for them to do this. Either way, our Dossier will be heading to Ethiopia probably on Monday. Something else that is really cool is that on Monday Ethiopian courts open again after about a month long break. We have not lost any time in this process. We are so excited to be holding our son and it is getting so much closer. We are so blessed!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Immigration fingerprints and adoption hangover

This morning we went out to get our fingerprints. It went very smooth and we were the first to be seen for fingerprints. As we sat there we realized just how tired we were and decided that we were experiencing "Adoption Hangover". Everything has moved so fast and has been so intense we are lagging.

We are very tired. Randy is on-call this week and I feel like it's a week of every extra thing you can imagine. From school pictures, a wedding cake due this weekend, tons of financial assistance paperwork to complete and submit, mountains of laundry to catch up on, helping my parents, grocery shopping, delivering borrowed items, meeting to finish the last bible study lesson, you name it, I feel like it's on our plate this week. We are exhausted! Please pray for us to be able to get a bit of rest.

The news...

As we sat there I had just downed 2 cups of coffee when Josh called us.

**Disclaimer**Everything is okay, everything is going to be alright, I am not going to give details for confidentiality reasons. Please take the info for what it is and keep us all in your prayers. I'm including this info to show how God can orchestrate every detail of our day and so many people all for His good.

As I answered the phone I thought it would be weird to be getting a call from Josh on his and Stephanie's Anniversary. I then answered and this is how it went:

Me: "Hello"
Josh: "Has dad called you?"
Me: "No, what's going on?!"
Josh: "He had to take mom to the hospital per doctors orders" Mom is now home and much better.

Okay, now this is not the call you ever want to get. I took a deep breath and collected more details. As we were talking our food came. We were reassured that Josh and Steph were going to pick up our youngest from school and we should be home in time to pick up our oldest. FedExing our dossier was going to have to wait until we got back to Fresno.

As we drove back home I was able to work on various adoption papers and organize some things to be FedExed that afternoon. It was very productive and we were home by 12:30pm. Amazing.

Now for the fingerprints of the day. Here's a timeline per say of the events and how we could see God all over without a doubt.

-Originally my cousin was going to watch the girls. She was sick so we needed to find a plan B.
-Dad chose to stay home to help us and be home with my mom.
-Dad got girls off to school without incident and went home.
-Once home he called the Dr. and was instructed to get mom to the hospital. This had to happen by medical transport. Thankfully he was home, it happened early in the day so the girls did not witness this.
-Josh and Steph just happened to be off and was able to pick up our youngest.
-Our paperwork was done in under 10 minutes so we could leave quickly and head home.

Now, I had sent out a quick e-mail with a few prayer requests for this day. One of which was to pray for our immigration paperwork to move quickly.

-We arrived home, got our mail and inside the mail was a letter from the Immigration office. WHAT! This is starting to feel like our own family version of The Amazing Race. The next clue was the letter with our appointment for our fingerprints. We then read that the office would not be open until Tuesday, today. Do you realize this is totally an answer to many of your prayers for us! So cool.

-Randy then picked up our oldest from school while I finished collecting and organizing adoption papers to be mailed.

Next Randy camped out at a local FedEx Kinkos and copied, organized, stapled and shipped our Dossier out to DC and additional paperwork to Florida. Again, WHEW! It's done. DONE! God is so good to show us his fingerprints in all of this Awesome, uncertain and crazy events of the day.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Easy Peasy...as our youngest would say...

The long awaited day had arrived. Around 4:45 my dad came over to stay with the girls and get them off to school. We left for Sacramento at 5am on Monday morning. The trip was very smooth aside from a 15 minute delay due to a 3 car accident. We found where we were going without any problem and also found parking very easily as well. We arrived at the office at 8:20, just seconds, literally before another gentleman. We were instructed to fill out a form, which we did very quickly to be in front of this other man. The clerk came over looked at our two forms and then took them to process at his desk. We were prepared to have a 2 hour wait based on what other people experienced. So we sat for a minute and chatted with this other gentleman to find out he was there with his 17 documents for his families Russian adoption. Before we knew it our documents were ready and we were done. DONE. We were literally seconds ahead of a 2 hour wait. Whew. At 8:30 we were walking out of the Secretary of State office with our mission complete. Next business of the day was to find food. We had been up for 4 hours and had not eaten or drank anything yet. After a quick walk around the block for some fresh air we decided to drive to find some food. As we drove around we found a Denny's and decided to just stop there since we were now in the busy traffic of the morning. As we were waiting for our food we got a phone call from my brother, Josh with some news...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sacramento here we come!

Tomorrow morning we are traveling to Sacramento to have our Dossier authenticated. This is HUGE and exciting. It's still sinking in how HUGE this is. For those of you who do not know, a Dossier is a large number of documents that make up information on every area of your life. It's kind of like a book about your family with all your personal information in it. Once we have it authenticated we will then go and make the copies we need and FedEx it out to the Assistant Stork in Washington D.C. and send a packet of copies to our agency in Florida, Celebrate Children International. This now means it is out of our hands completely. There will be nothing we can do to speed anything along. We've done our job and now it is in the hands of others. WOW! We are excited to see what God has next for us.

Please pray for:
-Safe travel
-A good day for the girls and grandparents here at home.
-The safety of our Dossier as it passes through many hands and crosses many states.
-Immigration to get our request moving. (More on this later)
-Micah to continue to grow and develop, also that he can continue to be increasingly peaceful.

Once again, thank you all so much for your prayers and support! We feel them, see them and greatly appreciate them!

We got our home study! and Catching up

Okay, so this is a little late but none the less exciting! On September 30, 2009 we received our completed and signed home study! Yippee! and of course there is a great story of God's fingerprints all over it.

On September 28th we were able to finish paying for our home study with the money raised from the Yard Sale. Our agency then contacted our social worker to see when she could come and sign it with a notary. She did not have any plans to be in Fresno last week so the agency mailed it to her on Monday and she would take care of it where she was at. I had called to check in and learned of the need for it to be mailed, no big deal, just trying to plan our trip to Sacramento. We also learned that our social worker should get it Thursday, would have it signed, notarized and connect with Randy to deliver it. On Thursday we had our travel shots scheduled so Randy was going to only work a half day. This obviously could be cutting it close to coordinate if the mail came late and then coordinating the other factors of getting it signed and notarized. So I e-mailed our Social worker to let her know the schedule changes we had and that if we needed to drive and get it on Friday then we would. I also let her know that I would pray for early mail and I did. That afternoon I checked my e-mail and this is what I found:

"Girl…God is just working overtime for you! I just checked my mail (early) and the packet got here in one day and before my mail is usually delivered!!"

Ummm....Woo Hoo! That is more than I even expected. I was praying for early mail on Thursday! Randy came home with the home studies on Wednesday night! We then went out to celebrate by trying a new frozen yogurt place. Yummy!

Thursday afternoon we both got our travel shots...5 shots each and picked up 2 prescriptions each as well. We should be covered. Our biggest prayer was that we would not get sick from them. There is too much to do and even if one of us went down it would be bad let alone both of us. Praise God! Neither of us got sick. A BIG relief for us. We are feeling so blessed.