Thursday, May 27, 2010

Quick Survey!

For those of you who have already completed your adoption (hooray) or are closing in on uniting with your child permanently, I was wondering if you take a few seconds to vote?   Since I have such a "planner" personality, it's been hard to have an abstract time frame and no real sense of what to expect time- wise.  We've told family/friends that it will probably take a year to bring our child (or children) home, but now I'm beginning to wonder if that's realistic?   Most of the other blogs I've seen, it looks like 18 seems to be the average.   We intend to go as fast as possible, but I know many variables are beyond our control.  Could you share how long it took (or you expect it to take)?   I'm praying for patience and trusting that God will bring us to our child (or children) at the exact moment he ordains, so I know I just need to trust and relax!  Any insight you could offer I would appreciate greatly. 

**The poll located in the right margin** :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Look What Came!:)

Hooray for the mail.:)  The agency agreement arrived today!  It has been years of praying, months of research,  and weeks of lining things up to finally start this journey....and now it's really happening!   Jim and I have both tried to make double, triple sure that there are no apprehensions because now we start the check-writing phase,  and want to make sure we are ready for the road ahead.   It is a little bit scary to be honest, but it's a beautiful kind of scary because it allows us to lean on the Lord and trust His providence with all of the unknowns ahead. 

We are still praying about the dynamic of our family and trying to decide if we should adopt one child, or a sibling unit.   The practical side of me is scared to adopt more than one child, because we already have three little boys to provide for.  I want to be good stewards for our family and not get in over our heads.  Still, in our hearts,  Jim and I both feel open to siblings, and we believe we could make it work, it just might not be as easy at first.   For those of you who wrestled with the question of one child or more,  how did you decide?    Also, I am curious to know what your system is for keeping track of the adoption papers, to-do lists, forms, etc.   Jim is the organized one between us, and he takes pride in having things orderly when it comes to files.  Right now we are just writing everything down in a notebook (and I really mean everything, from the dates we sent things in, to questions we have, etc).   Still, I know we should probably develop an efficient system for the long-term.  If you have any tips, I would love to hear about what worked for you. 

P.S. Have you seen this story/video?  Oh boy, it's a definite tissue alert!  I found it from Danielle Bean on Faith and Family Live.

"University of Georgia football coach Mark Richt's  family adopted two orphans from Ukraine, one of whom has special needs and was considered “un-adoptable”.   This clip from ESPN tells the inspiring story. "

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Good "Beginner" Book

I had a nice visit with my friend, Dr. Ray Guarendi over the weekend.  He is the adopted dad of ...geat ready...10!   He and his heroic wife have inspired thousands with their story,  and thankfully, he's generous about sharing the wisdom he's learned.    One of his books that has been helpful to us is "Adoption:  Choosing It, Living It, Loving It"

I would say the book is for couples who may still be considering adoption, or who have just started the process.  Although I do feel any adoptive parent would benefit because it does so much to "debunk" fears and misconceptions, as well as to educate and prepare for life with your adopted child (or children).   It's also a great resource for grant's,  loans, different legal links, etc.    You can find out more and order the book here.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Adoption Hormones

When you are expecting a baby, you experience "pregnancy hormones".  I believe there is a similar parallel with adoption!:)   I'm just more emotional and sensitive to things lately, and it reminds me of how I felt when I was physically carrying a child.     I remember one instance when I was pregnant with our youngest son, a woman came up to me at the mall (seeing I had two other little guys) and said "are you hoping for a girl this time"?    Bless her heart.  That is a logical, innocent question, I know.:)  However, after 3 miscarriages and 6 months of surging hormones, I felt offended.  I said "no, not necessarily, we are just hoping for a healthy baby!".     That poor woman.  She was the recipient of my knee-jerk reaction of  frustration.  

 Well, I've noticed that old, defensive instinct kick in again this week.   As we have announced the news to family and friends that we are adopting from Poland, some comments have surprised us.  While the vast majority have been supportive and loving, some have not been.  This week I've received the following comments:  "Why aren't you adopting from the U.S."?   "Have you considered adopting an African American child?  They really have the greatest need right now".  "Do you feel like you will be able to handle an adopted child with your three boys"?

 Although it's hurtful,  I think the Lord has blessed me this time around with dose of blissful indifference,  but it has also opened my eyes to some of the negative thoughts about adoption.   I feel like some people are all for adoption, as long as it fits their terms of what a family should look like, or whom they think  we should adopt.   I believe, in a similar way that God knits together a child in the womb, he also knits together families in only a fashion that He could've ordained.   Oprhans are crying out from all corners of the Earth for a loving family.  The Lord just happened to lead us to Poland, and that is the short answer.     I'm trying to be more gracious this time around than I was with the poor lady at the mall.  I realize though, that these "hormones" are just part of the process, and I believe they are validated.     I wonder if I'll get "adoption cravings" too?      I could go for some Paczki (Poonchkies)!:)

Pre-Planning and Passports

This has been a busy week!   We are in the process of getting the "all clear" to start our home study and move forward with the agency agreement.   So, I am trying to reach the balance of lining things up we can do now, but not getting too far ahead of ourselves (because I've learned everything has a sequence).   One order of business we are working on though, are the boys passports.  My mom told me the rates were going up 35%!  She thought it took effect June 1,  so we were rushing to get the documents sent in, but from what I've found online, it looks like they may have already increased (as of April).    At any rate, today we realized it will be a longer process than we anticipated.   We have to attach certified birth certificates to each application, and even something as simple as that has turned into a day long rabbit trail!  The boys were all born in different states (during Army service, after, and now our permanent home in OH).   So we have to send requests and checks to each state and then....wait.:)   After that we can submit the paperwork for the passports and then....wait.:)  A common theme in this process I know!:)     We are also working on getting extra certified copies of our marriage and birth certificates too, just so we have them on-hand when we need them.   Needless to say, I am glad we decided to work on that because it feels like we are at least doing something, even if it's baby steps.   After reading other wonderful blogs, I have learned so much about what to expect, but days like today still make it feel a bit overwhelming because I know we haven't even really begun!  Still, I think about the child (or children) that we are doing this for, and lift up a prayer for perseverance because I know it will all be worth it!

Welcome to Our Journey!

I am excited to enter the first post in what promises to be an exciting, emotional, beautiful adventure.    I am a wife and mom of three amazing boys.  As a family, we are praying for the child (or children) who we are yet to be united with,  as a "forever family".    

The seed of adoption was planted in our hearts a while ago, but due to our busy lives and all the "unknowns" we initially decided to put it on the back burner indefinitely.   That was, until we felt clearly called by the Holy Spirit to act!    Part of that prompting happened after we attended a movie premiere at Mt. Vernon with Newt Gingrich about the movie "Nine Days that Changed the World".    It is about Pope John Paul II's historic visit to Poland in 1979.  After that, events began to happen that we felt were clearly orchestrated by the Lord, and His plan for our family. 

We are now in the beginning stages and it is becoming real!    It's exciting and overwhelming at the same time.   It's been such a blessing to connect with other families, read  blogs and observe the beautiful stories that have inspired us already.   I am in the process of compiling a blog roll and getting my bearings.  We are anticipating having "joy in the journey" as we inch closer to our child (or children)!:)