USCIS

A little update from us… 

Our home study is just about finished. Well, actually we’re all done with the meetings and paper work. Our social worker is just finishing the actual writing of the home study. We hope to have a rough draft in the next couple days that we can look over, make any adjustments needed and finalize! 

After we get that finalized, we start working on getting approval from the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). Funny story, Matt and I were watching The Proposal yesterday and when they showed Margaret and Andrew (Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds) going to get the fiance visa they showed a sign for the USCIS. I had never noticed it before, but I sure do now! We have to fill out this form called an I-600 (Petition for Orphan Request) and send it in and also get another set of fingerprints done that will be run through several more checks. 

While that is going on, we have been getting the rest of our documents ready for our dossier. If you decide to adopt, a notary will become your very best friend… I’m blessed because one of my very best friends is a notary! Liz to the rescue! 

And one more thing if you should feel God calling you to adopt… I know it’s scary to think about the money. I know that feeling so well. But we have seen God provide every single penny we have needed, and I know He will continue to provide as we move forward! Please don’t let the high cost of adoption be the reason you tell God no. He will provide! And if you ever need someone to talk to, please contact me! I would love to talk with you and pray for you! 

Wrapping up our Home Study

We are just about finished with our home study. We are waiting on our background checks to come in from Alabama (apparently, they are slower than Mississippi & Tennessee and you have to have background checks done in every state you’ve lived in for the past 10 years). We’ve completed both our physicals and we’re just waiting for those to be notarized and then the home study is complete! Yippee!!! 

Next, we start compiling additional documents for our dossier. Almost all of these documents have to be notarized so notaries are becoming our best friends :) Because of the length of time for our adoption (around 2 years from Ethiopia) all notaries have to not expire for at least two years. That complicates things a little! 

I had a hard week last week. I’d like to blame it on pregnancy hormones, but in reality, I’m sure the culprit was that little demon called control. I was having a hard time just trying to figure out the finances of everything. Paying for a hospital delivery, maternity leave and trying to raise the funds to submit our dossier this summer. Even though I KNEW I was grasping for control when I needed to trust, I just couldn’t let go. Faith is a journey, not a destination. 

The BIG sale!

WOW! I am still having a hard time finding the words to describe how God provided through this garage sale. First, I just have to make some public thank yous because these people are our cheerleaders, our encouragers, the ones who keep us going on the hard days… 

To Beets & KayKay- (aka Matt’s mom and step-dad) thank you for ALL your help and support with the sale. Thank you for treating us to yummy meals when we were too tired to cook. Thank you for giving L a fun weekend while we were busy with the sale. Thank you for the entire U-haul full of furniture PLUS another trailer :) And thank you for your unending support & encouragement. 

To Stephen & Jess- there just aren’t words. You’ve given in every way possible and I’m not sure we would be on this journey today if it weren’t for your story of the beauty of adoption. Thank you for giving up your house, your garage, your weekend, for buying lunch and paying a ridiculous amount for that little Mickey Mouse toy ;) Our family is forever changed because of your friendship. 

To Brian & Robyn- you will never know what an impact your donation of furniture and boxes and boxes of other stuff meant to our sale, but when you meet our baby one day I hope you will know that you were a very big part of bringing him or her home. 

To Doc & GranJan- (aka Matt’s dad & step-mom) thank you for the generous donations and clearing out the storage unit for us to sell! Thank you for loving us and encouraging us along this journey. 

To Paul & Heather- thank you for unloading and reloading and unloading and reloading so many times. Thank you, H, for tagging one million items and for praying over the armoire :) 

To Rob & Amber- thank you for also unloading tons of furniture and for tagging, for selling and for praying :) What a cool thing we got to experience when we saw God answer our prayers within seconds of praying. 

To Matt & Mary Jane- thank you for braving the doctor’s office to go notarize my physical! and for all your help with garage sale both before hand and on the day of. 

To Liz & Ryan- thank you for your donations of furniture and to Lizzie… thank you for answering my teary calls and reminding me that God didn’t bring us this far to leave us now. And thank you for understanding all my pregnancy hormones and emotions ;) 

To Eric & Karen- thank you for all your help beforehand and for your sweet email of encouragement Saturday morning. 

To Heath & Shannon, Jacob & Jana, Ryan & Lauren, Drew & Melody, Beth, Kelly, Van & Megan (hopefully, I’m not forgetting anyone) THANK YOU FOR YOUR DONATIONS! We had SO much stuff to sell, and that’s all because of your generosity!

So, you probably want to know the total, huh? Well, God certainly provided in a BIG way! Saturday, through selling stuff and donations from generous people (some family and friends, some total strangers) we received…

$3,697.75 towards our adoption!!!!! We were overwhelmed!!!

When Stephen brought me the calculator with a figure over 3K on it, I just started crying. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to every single person who helped us get ready, who came to help us sell and who came by and bought stuff. We need $7,700 to be able to submit our dossier this summer and this garage sale got us half-way there!!! 

When I was doing my priority time this morning, I was reading John 8 where the Jews basically call Jesus a liar because they don’t believe He is the Son of God. And it occurred to me… when I doubt that God can do what He’s told me He will do, I am in essence calling Him a liar. Why is it so much easier to worry than it is to trust? Because worry places the control with me whereas trusting places the control with God. I just encourage you that if God has called you to do something but you are worried about the financial aspect of it, consider this… it ALL belongs to Him. Every single bit of it. And like my best friend Liz has to remind me of over and over… He didn’t bring us this far to leave us now. This is His calling and His mission that He has let us be a part of. And it’s all for His glory and His alone. He has provided every step of the way, and I know He will continue. 

One last God story… Saturday morning the crowds were thinning out and we had ONE piece of furniture left… and it was a BIG one. This huge armoire that was in great condition but it just hadn’t gotten a lot of lookers at the sale. Amber, Heather and I decided that we were going to pray specifically for that piece to sell. Amber asked Heather what she would do if the next person who drove up walked straight over to the armoire and Heather said, “I’ll wave my hands like this.” {Insert a very comical rendition of a very tired Heather at a gospel worship service :)}

Seriously, less than 60 seconds later a truck drove up and a lady got out and headed STRAIGHT towards the armoire. She opened the right door, then the left. Paul, our top salesman, headed over to talk to her. She said she was interested in the armoire and a couple other pieces. She said she needed to go talk to her husband in the car. While she was gone, Paul told us what he was going to offer her all the pieces for, but he didn’t even get to make his offer because when she walked back up she said she would take it all for a certain price that was MORE than Paul was going to ask!

God provides!!!