Thursday, October 28, 2010

Good news?

After contacting our dossier prep team with Reece's Rainbow, we have a phone number to contact to check on the status of our immigration permission.  I called it and she said she would contact our file officer to explain the urgency and the new deadline.  Yeah!

We also have a friend who has a friend that knows someone (how's that for complicated?  How many times did you have to read that to get it straight?) that can contact the file officer to explain the urgency and the new deadline.  I've decided to start praying for the officer.  She's gonna have pressure from 2 different sources now.  Hopefully, she will help us out.

So, while we know nothing solid I do feel a small amount of relief knowing that things seem to be moving in the right direction.

I'm still praying and begging before the Lord that the timing will work for us to get submitted next week.  Thank you for all your prayers and thoughts.  It helps so much to know we are not going through this alone.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Not Today

I watched as the mail truck came.  My heart started to beat faster.  Is today the day?  I watched it drive off.  I sat.  It won't change anything if I run out to the mailbox or wait a moment or two.  I sat.  I breathed in and out.  I decided if it was in the in the mailbox I needed to know so we could rush to Austin.  I sat.  I breathed in and out.  I walked barefoot out to the mailbox.

2 pieces of junk mail.  1 note from a friend that said she's praying for me-which made me cry.  I've been doing a lot of that this week.

It wasn't here today.  I've started praying it will be here tomorrow. 

Not Yet

Just a quick note...the immigration permission did NOT come in the mail yesterday.  I am praying it will today.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In Christ Alone my hope is found

Thank you for your prayers.  I have been before the throne myself.  If you need to build your faith, I suggest adopting!  My goodness!

I was a mess last night.  But, God's mercies are new every morning.  I spent serious time in prayer both last night and this morning. 

Several things I know:

1)I want God's timing.  If he is saying that waiting until Spring to get Alice Faith is best, that's what I want.  I want what he wants.  He will give me the desires of my heart, sometimes he changes those desires first.  He only does what's best.

2)I had to get my eyes off Alice Faith and onto Christ.  When I look at her, my heart breaks and I feel crushed by the weight of my baby being so far away.  But, when I look at Christ, all of that seems easy, manageable, and even holy.  He is everything.  He is my light, my strength, my song.  In Christ alone, my hope is found.

3)I feel a bit like David after the birth of his first son with Bathsheba.  I am going to beg, plead and approach the Lord to super-naturally bring all of this together this week.  But, if on Tuesday he didn't work it out that way, I am going to get up, dust off and go about life with joyful worship.

4)This is not like a miscarriage, a death, or a failed adoption.  This is but a pause.  This is easy compared with the other.  I praise the Lord for this trial.  (James 1:2)  I am grateful that he is shaping me. Who am I that he would spend such time and care?

Thank you for coming along side us in this and praying for us.  This morning I am joyful, grateful and hopeful.  I am very full.  I have the Ancient of Days on my side.  What else could I want?

This song has been swirling through my head all morning.  Here are the words and I'm adding a video of the song as well.  I hope you are as blessed by it as I have been.

In Christ alone, my hope is found

He is my light, my strength, my song

This cornerstone, this solid ground

Firm through the fiercest drought and storm

What heights of love, what depths of peace

When fears are stilled, when strivings cease

My comforter, my all-in-all

Here in the love of Christ I stand

There in the ground His body lay

Light of the world by darkness slain

Then bursting forth in glorious day

Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory

Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine

Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me

From life’s first cry to final breath

Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell, no scheme of man

Can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home

Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand

Monday, October 25, 2010

Please Pray-emergency need!

I just received word today that the government body that deals with adoptions in Alice's country will stop accepting dossiers on Nov 1!  We have to have ours submitted by next Monday or wait until Febuary 2011.  Besides all of our paperwork expiring before then, our little girl will have to spend that much longer in a orphanage. 

We have everything else ready, just waiting for the United States immigration to give us an approval letter to bring her home.  I have contacted our congressman and asked for help.  He told me he would contact me when he knew anything and it could take 30-60 days.  It will be too late by then.  I also emailed the immigration office and asked for a time line. 

Please, please approach the throne and ask, on our behalf, that our approval comes this week.  Even as I type this I doubt it will happen.  I need to be ok with God's timing and not my own.  I prayed this morning for his will to be done-on Earth as it is in heaven. 

I guess, please pray for me too.  This is breaking my heart.

PS-as I sit here crying and typing, 6 year old Tom came in and hugged me and said, "It's ok, Mom, she'll be home soon."  He doesn't even know why I'm crying.  I haven't told them yet.  I guess I sit at the computer and cry and type often.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dear Alice,

Dear Alice,

Another week has gone by with what seems like little is getting done.  We're working.  But, we know that God has a perfect timing for all of this.  We want his perfect timing for our trip.

I saw a little girl at church that reminded me of you so much it took my breath away!  She was bigger than I imagine you to be right now, but she had the same shocking blond hair that you have in your picture.  And she had bright blue eyes like you do.  I kept staring at her imagining what it will be like to hold you in my lap. 

As I tucked your big brothers and sisters into bed last night, I wondered what your current nighttime routine looked like.  I bet they have a set time or bedtime could be a mad house!  We have a bedtime here as well.  Sometimes, though, our life gets busy or crazy or fellowship-full and bedtime is more of a guideline.  Do they read to you?  Probably not.  We like to give baths to those that didn't get one during the day.  Then all the children crawl into momma's bed.  Sometimes it takes a while for everyone to get comfortable.  I usually hold H because he won't be still.  Then I read a chapter, or two if we're all enjoying the story too much, of a book.  When you get here, I bet we'll fight over who gets to hold you.  Then the bigs go back downstairs to finish whatever it was they were working on.  Daddy and I tuck all the littles into bed.  Daddy prays for everyone in turn.  It's a really sweet time in our house.  I'm excited for you to be a part of it.

We faxed a copy of our dossier last night.  This isn't going to the government and is not official, yet.  This went to a Reece's Rainbow team in your country.  They're going to check it to see if we need anything else or if we need to redo something.  I hope neither one!!!  I thought I would feel like a weight had been lifted.  I didn't.  I just fee l nervous.  I have spent so much time and effort on the dossier.  I hope it's good enough.  I've been praying it will be seen favorably.  We are still waiting on our immigration permission.  We contacted our congressman to help us.  Can you believe a congressman is helping you come home?  That's quite an honor, I think.

T still prays for you everyday.  He wants you to be taken care of and loved until we can do that ourselves.  He's very excited to have you.  I wondered how H would handle being a big brother.  But, I've been watching him with babies and he's pretty sweet with other babies.  I think he's going to be sweet with you too.

My sweet girl.  Momma's working hard to get you home.  We'll be there as soon as the Lord allows.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Giving and Receiving

It's better to give than to receive.  That's because receiving will knock the air out of you and send you straight to your knees!

I received a card yesterday in the mail.  It was a sweet card about welcoming a new daughter into the family.  I thought, how nice is that!  When I opened the card there was a check for $500!  Now, understand, these people are starting a new business, raising 6 kids, and giving to us!  I gasped so loudly the children ran into the room to see what had happened.  It took me a minute to start breathing again.  My first thought was to call them, say thank you so very much but we can't accept this; you're in no position to give that much.  Another part of me, I must confess, was so grateful and started tallying where we are money wise.  I actually have done nothing.  A thank you card seems so small compared to what they've done.  A phone call seems too impersonal.  Doing nothing is awful, I admit. 

We are raising funds by having almost daily auctions on facebook.  These are really amazing and a lot of fun!  People, some friends some strangers, have donated handmade items or items they sell for us to auction off for Alice.  And when I say "we", I mean a sweet woman from church that has 3 little kiddos is helping to organize this.  It was her idea and she's the one that got most of the items donated.  So far we've sold bows, gift cards for pre-made meals, blankets, an apron, handmade signs, birthday crowns and hair clips. We've sold Avon baskets and Mary Kay lip gloss. We have at least another week to go with items still being donated.  We've still got more blankets, bags embroidered with "Faith", handmade jewelery and a photo session worth $125.  I'm just in awe.  I have been on facebook more than usual checking to see where each item is in the bidding.  It's been fun to watch.  I'm not sure just how much we've raised.  But, you know me, I like to wait until it's all said and done before I count.

I'm humbled at how many people want to help us. The body of Christ is something altogether amazing.  People who aren't able to give a lot are helping in small ways or giving ideas of what else we can do.  They are reaching out to their friends.  These small ways are adding up big.  Can I say amazing one more time?  I can't think of another word.  Amazing!

It seems like I'll have to share Alice Faith with an awful lot of people.  I'm ok with that.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


This morning, my beloved 37th birthday, we left early to make it to the Immigration office for our fingerprints.  I almost had a panic attack at how late we were.  We only got there 5 minutes early!  I like to be 20-30 minutes early to important appointments like this.  But, traffic was slow.

There was a line of people waiting at the door.  We were to only ones there who spoke English as a first language.  We were only in line for about 5 minutes before they came out and told us to have our appointment form and a picture id.  Then we were asked to completely turn off our cell phones and throw away any cups or food.  We were handed a clipboard and another form to fill out.  We filled it out as we stood in another line.  When we got to the front, the women behind the desk looked at the 2 forms and then asked to see our hands.  They looked quickly and then sent us to wait in the waiting room.  When our number was called we got our picture taken and our fingerprints done.  We were done in less than 30 minutes!

I also had to re-re-re-redo a form for the dossier.  Yes, you read that right.  I have redone it 4 times.  This time the doctor signed it in black ink and it must be signed in blue ink.  I know, I know.  These are the hoops.  So, this morning after the fingerprint appointment I bought a dozen donuts and went back into the doctor's office.  I'm not kidding you, when I walked in they all looked a little scared.  I showed my peace offering and explained the form, again.  The office manager offered to get it done right then and there!  She even made an extra copy, just in case ya know.  It looked good to me.  I just have to re-re-notarized it.  Then the paperwork for the dossier is done. 

I will fax the dossier to Eastern Europe to be fact checked while we are waiting on the immigration permission.  This way if we need to redo a form we will know BEFORE it's submitted to the foreign government.

It's going to be hard to mail the dossier.  It's about an inch thick.  Right now it IS Alice to me. It is all the hard work we've put into adopting her in the past 2 months.  I don't like the idea of letting it out of my sight.  But, if I don't mail it, I'm holding on to a sad substitute.  It may seem like it's Alice, but it's not.  I can hold the paperwork, but it's still just paperwork.  She's real.  And she's waiting for me.

Mondays in our home

Life with 5 children is not boring!  Just a quick note for those followers that aren't on facebook...

Quick background.  We are in the middle of a kitchen remodel.  We started the remodel by getting a new range and oven.  Then we decided to adopt and stopped working on the kitchen.  So, we use our double ovens as storage since they don't work well and I lost all my storage when we put in the new range.  Ok, so the rest of the story...

My 9 year old daughter, C, cleaned out the microwave oven yesterday (as she does every Tuesday because it's her Tuesday chore).  She left the chair in front of it.  My almost 2 year old son, H, got up on the chair and was playing with the knobs of the oven.  C told him to get down and she put away the chair.  About 10 minutes later thick black smoke was pouring out of the oven!  I opened the oven and remembered that we store a plastic cutting board above the heating element.  H had turned on the broiler.  So, it not only melted the cutting board, but at this point had caught on fire!  I grabbed the fire extinguisher, but couldn't figure out how to use it.  Erin came in, he had been upstairs getting ready for work, and took over that part.  I herded the children outside. 

What my oven looks like after a fire and fire extinguisher got done with it.
We got the fire out, but the house was toxic!  So, covering our faces we opened all the windows, grabbed what school was close, the diaper bag and my knitting.  I know the knitting wasn't essential, but I didn't want the wool to get smelly.  I did find it interesting that when the house was filled with smoke, my knitting was the first thing I thought about.  Um.  Then we left and spent the day at grandma's house.

Although I had tons of things to do at home, it was a nice time to rest.  I didn't worry about the paperwork that needs to be done.  I just enjoyed not having to do it and cable TV.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dear Alice

Dear Alice,

I wanted to start a series of letters to you that we'll read to you when you get home.  Friday was your birthday.  We were working hard at a garage sale in your honor.  I started the morning by telling everyone it was your birthday.  But, then my heart would hurt because you weren't here.  What did you do on your first birthday?

When you are here with us, this is what we do for birthdays:  You get to choose your breakfast.  Your older brothers and sisters will try to influence you to pick their favorite breakfasts or to choose a "junk food" that Momma usually doesn't allow.  We hang a homemade "birthday banner" in the dining room.  You usually get to open a present at breakfast, because, well, it's fun (and because Momma can't stand the wait).  We try to do something as a family during the day.  Also during the day, your Grandma and Grandpa and all of your aunts and uncles from out of town call you on the phone just to wish you a happy birthday.  Then for supper you get to choose the menu again.  And again, everyone tries to sway your vote.  We have family over for dinner and sometimes friends.  You will get to open presents again, have cake and blow out candles while we sing to you. 

I think of you so much all day.  It's amazing how much I love you already.  I only have a few pictures of you, but you are mine.  I know you have no idea what is going on over here.  I'm grateful for that.  I'm glad you don't miss me, yet.  I'm thankful that you know no different than the orphanage, yet.  Soon, my sweet babe, soon you'll know.  You'll know what it's like to have a big family that loves you so much.  You'll know what it's like to have holidays with lots of cousins and grandparents that think you're the most wonderful child. Soon, you'll miss me when I go to the store without you (although I won't go anywhere without you for a long time).  Soon, you'll have a church family that loves you almost as much as we do.  A church family that will help Mommy and Daddy as we bring you up to love the Lord.  Soon, you'll be hugged and kissed all day.  Soon, you'll be held at night.

I wanted to write this series letters to you so that you would know the things that are in my heart.  I'm working so hard to get you.  Once I have you, you'll know how hard a momma bear will work for her little cub.  I'll never let you go.

I love you,

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Immigration Update

I spoke with our social worker this morning.  She said the immigration is always updating their requirements for approval.  She is going to write an addendum based on the exact wording they need.  We should have it in our grubby little hands by Friday!  I will then ship it to the USCIS for approval.  Getting exciting and soooo close.  Little girl, hang on.  Momma's comin'.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Immigration Update

We got the dreaded pink slip today.  Immigration found our home study lacking some information.  I don't understand that because the home study has what they said it didn't.  Maybe I didn't send in the right copy.  Who knows.  So, tomorrow I will overnight another copy and double check it has all the needed info. 

I'm sort of excited because it means they are working on our paper work.  I'll take all the good news I can get, even in the form of bad news.

I'm always surprised

The garage sale is over.  I can't tell you what a relief it is to be done with it.  I hope that someday I can find my house again under all the clutter that has built up the last 2 weeks!

I know you are reading this right now to find the amount raised.  I asked the Lord for $400.  I thought that sounded like a lot of money and we didn't have the same amount as last time.

He gave us $2400!!!  He keeps reminding us that He has a plan for us.  We are just about half way.  An amazing feat, if you ask me.  We started with $0. 

We had a lot of donations in the jar.  We would tell people about why we were doing the sale and they would give.  An older gentleman, who spoke  no English, was so sweet.  Through his daughter I explained what we were doing and why.  He decided to go back and buy more!  Then he told me I was very kind for adopting.  We also had lots of people talk to us about adoption and had wonderful stories.  It just made me want to hug them.

My mother-in-law came and was what I called "The House Mom".  She took care of Henry and me each day.  She made sure I ate because I'm not good at remembering to eat when I'm that busy.  She brought ice and lunch for the kids every day.

I am blessed with the most amazing friends in the world!  Some friends were able to work one day. Some were able to do it 2 times this week.  That was such a blessing.  Then there were the ones that came every day.  They got up while it was still dark for 3 days in a row.  They helped us ALL day.  Bought lunch.  Helped load up the garage at the end of everyday.  Organized, organized, and organized yet again.  You are the most amazing women I've ever met.  I am humbled and honored to call you friends.  As we sat around counting the gift the Lord had given us it came to $2397.05.  They dipped into their pockets and dug to the bottom of their purses to find the other $2.95 to make it an even $2400.

Then we bowed our heads and praised the Lord for His harvest.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day 2...take 2

Day 2 of the 2nd garage sale is done.  I'm feeling great!!  I don't think I looked great, though.  A friend helping me asked, "Do you drink coffee?" "No," I answered.  "Maybe you should go lay down while we work this for you."  hmmm  I think I'll wear make-up tomorrow.

The garage is still full, but this time with only one layer of boxes instead of 2 or 3.  We put everything in boxes every afternoon so that it's easier to bring out in the morning.  We simply have too much to do it any other way.

Tomorrow, everything is priced at donations.  Meaning that whatever you want to donate is the price.  I'm looking forward to no haggling and seeing the clothes clear.  It'll be fun!