I know, I know…it’s been a while. I could spend the first paragraph of this post telling you all of the reasons why I haven’t updated lately, but the fact is I just don’t feel like it. And most of them are super boring – seriously – do you really want to hear about my busyness and sickness and lack of organization? I think not. So let’s pick up where we left off, okay?
I have a few bits of information since I last wrote, so I am going to start with the nuts and bolts. Ready? Go!
After a little extra questioning by our super fantastic adoption friendly state (you stop your laughing right now…) the longest home study in the history of adoption was FINALLY approved. Yep, Illinois thinks we’re cool. I had long since stopped running to the mail box and whittled my obsessive email checking down to like 35 times a day, so when the news arrived, I almost missed it because I didn’t recognize the phone number on my caller i.d. Obviously, I was VERY happy to get that phone call, but my reaction wasn’t really what I had expected. It was such a relief that it was almost anti-climactic to receive the news. I thought I would jump for joy, but really, it was more like a deep sigh and release – and then, I just felt really, really tired. The adrenaline just drained out of me and honestly, I wanted to take a nap. I know—you were expecting something more exciting—me too. Joel said he had the same reaction. We were so happy —but it was SO about time.
Until recently, the reality that once we bring these children into our home they are going to need some “stuff” had not really hit me. I have been so focused on the process of adoption and worrying about things like attachment and schooling and how four people who have never been a family are going to become a family, that the fact that these children will need clothing wasn’t even on my list of things to think about (I was, however, very concerned about bedding. Figure that one out.) And then our friends Becky and JoniKay asked if they could organize a gift card shower for us at our church. HOW AWESOME IS THAT!?!?!? Um….let me think about it for a millisecond…umm….YES! What a creative idea!
So one afternoon in April, we gathered for lunch with our sweet church friends and shared our story, prayed together, and were blessed. Thank you all SO much. Your presence meant so much – even more than the gifts – but we are very excited about the gifts as well. Everything was the perfect size!!! (And not once did I have to answer the question “What size are your boys – which was great because even if I knew how big they are, boys clothing sizes just confuse me).
I should note that I did have to ask my sister in law for suggestions as to where to request gift cards from. I had no idea where to purchase clothing for boys – because other than Gap Kids,(which I know about only because, well, it is attached to the Gap) and Target (with whom I may or may not have an unhealthy relationship) I really didn’t know where to go for boys clothing. She gave me ideas and then gently reminded me that I would need to purchase socks and underwear as well as the fun stuff – which, again, hadn’t even crossed my mind. Ah –motherhood. Sometimes you elude me.
Would you like to see a photo of the bedding? If you are friends with me on facebook, you have seen it. I am pretty excited about it actually (because apparently, I do not care of my children have clothing as long as they have great bedding). OH – and the FLAG below is a piece of art work made for us by our friend Katy. I absolutely LOVE it and it’s already hanging in the boys’ bedroom. Ukraine to U.S. baby! (By the way, if you wanted a super cool flag in the colors of your choice, I know Katy would be happy to make you one. She is currently raising money for their adoption!)
We received our USCIS biometrics appointment date in the mail late last week. It is May 21. Friends had told us that if we went in early, the immigration people would most likely be mean to us, but they might go ahead and do our fingerprints anyway, which would expedite our process. So we made the little trip to USCIS earlier today. And nobody yelled at us. In fact, the homeland security guy we spoke with was seriously SO nice –but they did NOT do our fingerprints. I would have preferred they just yell at us and then do the fingerprints anyway– but alas – it wasn’t to be. Apparently they had only one fingerprint guy working that day and 40 people who needed printed. So the answer was “No promises, but if you come back Wednesday, we could probably get you in.” Hmmph. It was kind of a wasted trip, but I made the best of it afterward and went across the street to one of the only three Chic-Fil-A’s in the Chicagoland area. Makin’ lemonade people. We’ll try again next week.
Last Saturday, friends and family joined us at a nearby forest preserve to raise funds for our adoption walk and pray not only for our boys, but for the orphan crisis worldwide, for other families who are adopting, for light to invade dark places that hold children captive, and for individuals ministries running into that darkness. We raised about $2500 toward bringing our boys home! We are grateful. Week by week we are inching closer and closer to the amount we need. We are just about half way there. Far to go, but OH so much closer than we once were. We are grateful for every.single.penny. After our time at the forest preserve, we reconvened at the home of a friend to eat, fellowship, and praise God for what He has done and will do.
Many of you have asked about the choices we will make regarding the schooling of our boys. Honestly, we thought we had that one tied up in a bow. Decision made and crossed off of the list….and now, we are re-evaluating our options. This is a big decision as the education of our children is extremely important to us, and we know that our M is very intelligent and places a high value on learning. We’re kind of feeling and praying our way through this right now and we don’t really have an answer yet (which makes me just a tiny bit crazy) but we’re waiting on the Lord for this one. If you pray for us, please add this one to your requests.
Many of you know about our great love for Project Hopeful. They advocated for our boy and continue to do incredible work around the world advocating for the neediest children who are the most unlikely to be adopted. They are also an incredible resource in helping families through the adoption process. Their integrity is unquestionable and every penny they make goes directly to help kids. Their staff is 100% volunteer. PH currently has an opportunity to win $50,000. There is no gimmick or catch or “fine print.” It’s public opinion as to whether they or another organization will win – people just have to vote. THAT’S IT! This is an organization that has done SO MUCH for the kingdom of God with almost nothing. Talk about loaves and fishes! Can you IMAGINE what can be done if they receive $50,000! SO please click this link and VOTE! Every.single.day.
I want to take a moment to say THANK YOU to those of you who have supported us both financially and emotionally. It is becoming more and more apparent to me that not only are we unable to do this alone, we are not meant to. God has and continues to show His faithfulness to us through YOU.
As tax-deductible PayPal donations are administered by an outside organization, we are not allowed to see who donates – but we do want you to know that we are SO VERY GRATEFUL to those of you who have. THANK YOU!!!