Thursday, May 31, 2012

I-800A Approval

For once we didn't have to wait long!  Less than a week ago we had our fingerprints taken for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for our I-800A application which deems us suitable to adopt a child.  Today we recieved our official approval letter.  It basically just states we are suitable to adopt a child from Thailand, specifically a female child from 0-3 years of age.  The fingerprints and approval will expire in Aug of 2013.  I can't help but hope we could have her home by then, if not we will have to file an extension.  Once we have accepted our referral we will have to file the I-800 which will list the specifics of our daughter.  But, again, I can't help but be excited that we have one more thing to check off the list.

It will be June tomorrow, another referral month.  We are praying for a LARGE group!  I learned in March, the most recent referral month and our first, that this is a difficult month for all in the process.  It is one of high anticipation, excitement...and questions, frustrations, and doubts.  Please pray for us and all the families who are in the process along side us.

Monday, May 28, 2012

One Step Closer

It seems like a lot has happened it the last few weeks, and we have just been so busy I haven't had a chance to write.  We have spent the last couple weeks spending a lot of time with family, which has been fabulous, some time at the lake, and just enjoying a few days of summer before summer programs start. 

On Friday we went to St Louis for our fingerprinting appointment with the Department of Homeland Security, USCIS.  Our appointment was at 8 a.m. and we were so worried we'd get stuck in rush hour that we left our house at 530 a.m.  Fortunately we did not get stuck but we were there at seven!  They had a cafeteria and after we passed the security check, we were able to snatch a bite to eat while we waited for the office to open.  It took all of five minutes and we were done!  Another step to check off, and we get to, guess what... WAIT ...surprise surprise.... to officially hear from the USCIS regarding our application.

Now for the best piece of news...back tracking just a little, the week before our USCIS appointment, we went camping.  On our little hiatus I took a book my mom had given me, The Circle Maker.  It is very difficult to put into words the impact it has had on me, but I can tell you this I am filled with a renewed sense of purpose.  As I was reading the book I was "circling" things in prayer, and spending some quiet moments with the Master. ( You see even when people tell you that everything is going to be okay, or in relation to the adoption that it will all happen in His timing/that He will provide, until you have that peace for yourself doubt lingers in your heart.)  I found a peace those few days, a peace God has continued to strengthen with each day.  On Tuesday, when we arrived home, I began to go through our pile of mail and my heart leapt a little when I found a letter from ShowHope, a foundation that offers assistance to families going through the adoption process.  They receive lots of applications and are very clear that they can assist a limited number of families.  We mailed our application in March and hadn't heard anything except for confirmation that they had recieved it.  Okay, okay I know you are saying, get to the point already.  They are blessing us with a $4000 grant!!!!!!!!!!!  We are thrilled and so thankful.  I am so humbled.  God already knew that letter was in the mail when I was circling his promise for the provision we needed to bring our daughter home.

After conferring with our agency, the monies will be written to Holt,  we were informed that once we have traveled and taken Cherish into custody they will act on our grant.   Due to this timing, we plan on using those funds to cover travel and post placement expenses.  We are able to see the amounts on our funds needed list decrease, but we will still have to have the country fees, two weeks after we accept our referral.  I know without any doubt that,in the words of ShowHope, God is going to continue to prove himself faithful and provide the finances we need from various sources.  Because he is that big and he can!  After all he owns the cattle on a thousand hills and it will be for his glory as he reveals how much he cares and loves the child a thousand miles away from us. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mom's Day

   Mom's Day, as my boy's call it, has been a wonderful day filled with family.  I woke this morning to my husband whispering, "Happy Mother's Day" in my ear.  My heart filled to overflowing at how much I love him, and how blessed I am to have his love and support.  Pitter patters of feet signaled my youngest was awake and came straight into my arms for his morning cuddles, as he sleepily wished me a happy Mom's Day.  My Peyton, hugged me more times than I can count today, and told me over and over, "Love you, Mom".  I wish I could bottle up their hugs to have with me always, truly the best gift of the day was their hugs and kisses. 
   We spent lunch and dinner with our Mom's and sibilings, nephew's/nieces and Dad's, and all the craziness that comes with.  I am reminded again how very much like my own mom I have become, and how much I love her.  She's pretty amazing. 
   My boys are the joy of my world...I don't ever get tired of being their mom, they are mine! and how I love them...

   I have a very full heart tonight, having tucked the boys into bed and settled down for the evening, my thoughts go to my little girl half way around the world.  I read a blog of a friend who met her little girl for the first time today.  She also met the foster mom and family who has loved and cared for her these first few years of her life.  I believe somewhere someone is loving and caring for our Cherish and I am so thankful for that foster mom.  I'm sending our little girl hugs and kisses in my prayers as I pray God's protection over all three of my children and that God will help me to be the Mom they all need.