Thursday, January 9, 2014

Where We're At.....First Official Steps

         Two years ago this month we were taking the first steps towards adopting from Russia.  Last year at this time we were making our final trip to bring our son home!  Here we are again in January taking the first steps towards adopting from U.  If you would have told me these things several years ago, I would have thought it to be far fetched and unrealistic.  God is certainly a God of surprises, excitement, and plans beyond our wildest imagination. 

 "But as the Scriptures say, No eye has ever seen and no ear has ever heard and it has never occurred to the human heart all the things God prepared for those who love Him."
1 Corinthians 2:9

         I'm excited to be taking our first official steps in this process.  We sent our first payment to the facilitator we're working with, had our first meeting with our social worker, and have begun getting paperwork together.  This time around it's familiar, and I think for that reason I am able to enjoy the process a little long as I don't fall into the all too familiar trap of wanting everything done yesterday! 

        I get asked often where we're at, since we've been praying/talking about this for several months basically we're updating our home study which is crucial to completing any other step of the process.  We'll have one more meeting with our social worker next week and once the home study is complete we will apply to USCIS.  When we receive our approval letter, we can submit these two documents, along with several others required by U, to our facilitator.  Then we simply wait for our SDA appointment.  We will travel to U, to our appointment, not knowing specifically who we will be adopting.  We will be approved for up to two girls ages 0-12, however, who we will be presented at our meeting is unknown until that day.  We are trusting that God has this covered and are praying for clarity and wisdom in any decisions we may need to make on the spot.  We are also praying for peace about where this process leads.....whether we come home with one, two, or no children (yes this is possible)....we know fully that God has called us to this. 

       Aside from the legal aspect of the whole process, there's also been quite a bit of preparation going on for us in other ways.  If we had any hesitation that God was calling us to adopt girls, I think that has fully faded...........

       Over a dozen bins of beautiful girls clothing sits in my attic.  An incredibly generous friend has wanted for us to have the clothes that her girls have outgrown, and we are so thankful!

      During our move we took all of my old barbies, dolls etc. out of our attic and into the new house.  While setting up the playroom it seemed foolish not to put all of the doll stuff in there now before every inch was taken up with Caleb and Levi's toys.  It seemed so far off when I used to say that I wanted to save them for my future daughter(s).....and here we are!  I sure hope they like them!

      We have a fourth bedroom upstairs in our new home that we've referred to as "the girls room" since day one.  For a while it remained unfinished.....white primed walls without color, a hole where the eventual light fixture would go.....sort of a catch all room.  I often wondered if we should just wait until we met our girls to bother with the room.  After all, this is an uncertain process and what if......?  Then one day it hit me how weak that mindset lacking in faith I was.  And so we painted the room, bought some fun bedding and I painted a shelving unit we already had to match the new room.  Once we got started, amazing things happened.  Like a family from church giving us their bunk bed set.  Oh and the same parent's neighbors offering two twin mattresses to us.  Really?!  And God just continues to blow me away.  

Still a work in progress, but getting there!

       The boys wanted to help put the bed together of course.......

       Oh and the build a bear animals you see on the beds?  Caleb chose the pony and Levi the bunny.  We took them on New Year's Eve to have them made.  So meet Black Beauty (the white pony) and Bookie (Caleb's name for ever animal, character in a story, creature etc.).  Each made with love by a brother to a sister.  Initially it was a gift to each of them for Christmas to go to build a bear....their experiential gift (if you read the Christmas post you know what I'm talking about).  But the more I thought about it, the more I felt like it was silly for them to make another.  They each have one, and a million other stuffed animals.  And this was way more exciting anyway....Caleb loves anything having to do with sisters, and Levi.....well Levi just loves to do everything, especially if Caleb is doing it.  

       To say we're excited is an understatement.  While we know that this is going to be a major change for all of us, and may bring some new and difficult challenges to our lives, we are eager.  And I love how excited the boys are....that they've already been a part of preparing for their sisters.  Caleb is at an age where he's really started to get some aspects, although I don't think there's any real way to prepare him for such a huge change.  He'll randomly declare that he's going to share everything he has with his sisters, asks when they're coming, whines that it's taking so long, plans to give them some of his very own stuffed animals, and explains to me that they're going to talk all crazy like blahliudgalkdjgkl. : )  We'd have missed out on so very much if God hadn't allowed us to be a part of this world of adoption!!!

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