It's been a while since our last blog post, which means we have a lot to catch up on. For starters, I hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas. Our home was full of family on both occasions, which served as a reminder that we have much to be thankful for, as well as much to look forward to.
The sale of "Noel, A Collection of Christmas Melodies" is complete. Thanks to all who supported us in this endeavor. We sold 196 copies and raised $1,488.43!!! We thoroughly enjoyed creating this album and we pray that it will be a blessing to all who purchased it.
In the midst of the holidays and our Noel fundraiser, we managed to reach a milestone in our adoption journey. We are proud to say that we have completed all of the (American) paperwork for our Gladney file!!! This was a process that took about 3 months to complete. I'm sure the first question entering your mind at this moment is, "why did it take so long?" followed by the second question, "what does this mean?" To answer your first question, the process was time consuming because it involved information from many different people. Some of the documents we had to acquire were: a physicians report, stating that we were in good health; employment and salary verification, entailing a notarized letter from our employer; insurance verification, entailing a letter from our insurance provider stating the amount/time of coverage for our children; fingerprinting and background checks for all states of residence since the age of 18; 5 reference letters; photos of our family and home; copies of our birth certificates and marriage license; and a detailed description of our finances, just to name a few! Needless to say, it took some time to collect all of this information.
So, what does this mean? Well, it means we're about 1/3 of the way the through the paperwork! Next on the agenda is the homestudy. A caseworker from the Gladeny agency will come to our home and spend the day interviewing us (separately and together) and ensuring that our home is suitable for the age and amount of children we'd like to adopt. While the homestudy is being "ordered" (arranged) we will be working on our I-800 A (application to the U.S. government for determination of suitability to adopt a child from a foreign country) and pysch. evaluation. Once these items and the homestudy are completed, we will begin our foreign dossier (all documents required by Colombia to complete the adoption). We expect that it will take about 3 months to complete the foreign dossier. Once the dossier is complete, it must be approved by Colombia. Upon our Colombia approval, we will then await our referral (this will contain all of the information available on the children: age, name, place of birth, etc.) There is no exact timeline for the arrival of the referral, it could be 2 weeks after our Colombia approval, or it could be 6 months. However, because we are willing to adopt siblings as well as older children, it is very likely that we will be matched quickly. Although there is no exact science to adoption, and the estimated wait time is never accurate, the earliest we expect to travel to bring our children home is mid-late summer. We will have a better feel for this timeline as we proceed with the paperwork.
Next week, we will be traveling to Fort Worth, TX for Gladney's Pathway's Training. This training is for parents adopting older children. We are looking forward to this time as we will be able to meet our Gladney caseworkers as well as other families adopting from Colombia. Pray for us as we travel, that God would keep us safe and continue to encourage us in our journey.
Blaine and I would especially ask that you pray for our encouragement. Unfortunately, I am presently in a season of doubt and discouragement. I am beginning to feel very overwhelmed by the finances required to complete this adoption. Several nights in a row, I have awakened full of worry and convinced of the impossibility of this feat. Although my heart knows all of God's promises, my mind begins to convince me otherwise. I struggled with whether or not I should share this with you. But, rather than paint a pretty picture, I would rather you know the truth. The truth being that it is often HARD to follow the Lord. I believe, at times, He intends for it to be so. Otherwise, we would never experience the POWER of His unfailing arms. Pray for THAT POWER to envelope us. Pray that He would REMIND us of HIS PURPOSE. Pray that He would ENERGIZE us for HIS CAUSE and impart to us HIS STRENGTH to continue. We covet your prayers.
We look forward to the day when we will look into our children's eyes and in that moment KNOW, without a shadow of doubt, that it was all WORTH IT.... that THEY were WORTH it.
for more information about our financial need, click here