Sunday, March 15, 2009

Hero Status

My dear husband made a 14 hour trip to New Jersey yesterday with Nicole to pick up our sweet grandsons and daughter-in-law, Britt, for a 3 week visit. He said as he pulled up to their condo, three year old Kaiden ran into his arms. Kaid has been excited for 2 weeks, since he found out his beloved PaPa was coming to get him. It was a Kodak moment, for sure.

Since my hubby is traveling, I have been "man of the house" since 3 am Saturday morning. I don't really like the job. I am great with the mom role and I think I do it really well most of the time. And I love the fact that Mike is great at the dad role. But when he's gone, wow, what a difference a day makes!!

Mere woke up at two o'clock this morning with a leg ache. We are used to that around here. It may be her vitamin levels are off again, due to her short-bowel syndrome, or it's those darn growing pains (although we aren't seeing any evidence of that!!)It usually means daddy gets up, trudges to the kitchen, gets the tylenol and a cup of milk, and heats up the bean bag to soothe her aches until the meds kick in. But daddy was in Jersey. So, I knew the routine, and took care of it all. Just as Mere was drifting back to sleep, she told me she thought her leg would hurt forever since daddy was gone. It seems the kids are used to our roles, too.

Hopefully, today will fly past as the crew travels back from Jersey, expected arrival, 2 am Monday morning. I am braving taking six of the kids to church alone this morning. Well, actually, 2 of them have already left with our friend, Dana. So, it's really just the 4 youngest that I will have to get there. With daddy gone, and his expert assistance, I feel more alone in the task and it's a bit overwhelming, even with 3 of the kids gone!

So, after church we will get back to cleaning the house and getting ready for our company. I am looking forward to having Britt here and getting some time to talk about her pregancy. Baby number three on the way. She had her ultrasound yesterday and at 10 weeks along, it already looks like a miniature baby!! She is the most excited about our Ethiopian adoption and she will dream along with me.

It's time for the day to get rolling. Now that everyone is ready for church and things are running smoothly (oops, did I just jinx it??)I can honestly say I know who our Hero is. And he's going to be home in about 13 hours.....(yes, I am counting!!)


Friday, March 13, 2009

The Dossier

Today we recieved our email dossier packet. It is a full 26 pages of forms for filling out, signing, authenticating with the State and sending to our agency. MORE paperwork in the path of our international adoption!!

It's an exciting week. After sending our application and contract to the agency we chose, getting the "infamous" dossier is a milestone. Our homestudy paperwork is almost complete, and we will send all that out after we get our physicals and doctors paperwork. Then we will be able to do our 12 hour training and have the social worker come visit. After 7 domestic adoptions, none of that is daunting.

But, then I read through the dossier. This appears to be the paperwork that separates the weak hearted from the determined!! So may forms, so much information, and soooo much to do!!But this is the next step to building the "walls" of our home, and the middle part of the international adoption plan.

With all that, I am excited to be at this phase. I know the next several weeks will be stressful and confusing, but I will stay the course. At the end will be the blessing of a child, or children that are waiting for us now.

So, dossier, here we come. Baby Cameron, dear child of our heart, we are working hard to bring you home. Nothing will stop us from the plan that God has placed in our hearts. Stay safe. Sweet dreams.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Adoption Paperwork

When my adopted kids ask me "Where do babies come from?", for the last 7 years we havetold them "Babies come from the agency." That was: 'as in foster agency.'

Now we are on our official track for an International Adoption so we can say, with excitement, Ethiopia!!

We view pictures, read blogs from other Ethiopian Adoption families, and we listen to music from their country. We admire their beautiful skin, dark eyes, and gentle smiles. Our youngest children scan each picture, asking, "Is that our baby?", or, "Will that little one come to live with us?"

I lay in bed at night wondering what type of child the Ethiopian government will refer to us. Will it be a baby girl, a toddler, an older child? Will she speak any of our language, or will he be shy or outgoing? Will he want my hugs and kisses, or will it take alot of time to break through the barrier of his painful past?

The paperwork is intense. It examines every thought I have ever had on adoption, and challenges every answer I write down. I feel my heart wrapping around this unknown-to-me child, and I wonder how long the wait will be. I am impatient to finish the process, as impatient as I was to finally begin it!! I recognize the opportunity, and I sense the deep responsibility. I know I can love this child without reserve, and I hope that she will be able to love us the same way, some day.

We are ready for the first notarized copy to be mailed off tomorrow. As I collect important papers for copying, filing forms and creating our complete history, I understand the importance of what is ahead. I know there will be trials, painful waiting periods, and even disappointments. I realize there is nothing I can do to speed up the whole process, but I faithfully fill out form upon form in the hopes that the sooner I get this part done, the closer we will be to meeting the child or children God has waiting for us in a country far away from here.

Waiting. This is the pregnancy of adoption. This is the long haul before the realization of our prayers and desires. This is the growing stage, the morning sickness stage, the tired-before-I-really-get-worn-out phase. Waiting.

As I connect with others in the adoption process, I share in the joy of their referrals and court dates. I am amazed even more every day of how God brings the homeless into warm and loving homes, even from so very far away. My mind and heart are stirred into action, and I finish the final draft of what seems to be taking us forever to finish!! But mostly, I wonder about the child who is patiently waiting for us. And I smile inside as I realize we are another step closer to bringing him or her home. Soon, baby. Soon. Don't give up waiting for us. We will keep waiting for you until God has our hands entwined, just as our hearts have become as we wait for you.