Monday, January 26, 2015

Sad news

Our current adoption story does not have a happy ending.

We will not be adopting either one of the girls we set out to adopt. Adopting older children is very complex and filled with so many unknowns. So many things that we didn't know...we know now.

Had the choices all been ours, had we had the power to make the outcome what we wanted...it would not be ending this way.

I will not be going into all of the details here on my blog. It's one thing to be open about struggles you have with your own children, but these are not our children. They deserve to not have their personal issues discussed publicly.

I do understand that there are families considering adopting older children who could benefit from knowing some of the potential issues so they can make prepared decisions. I would be happy to share through e-mail if it could help someone.  My e-mail is sabrinablessedx9@gmail.com

We know that many will not understand this...we don't understand it either. We appreciate the ongoing support and prayers of many of our friends and family. God has held us up these difficult weeks.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

An update on us

We are in country and it has proven to be quite a crazy experience. We have had so many difficulties. I know that if I didn't have people dedicated to covering us in prayer, we wouldn't be able to keep moving.

We have had problems with the orphanage from the beginning. They do not understand why anyone would adopt an older child with DS and we have been set up to fail.

And in part, it has worked. We will not be adopting "Geneva". We are not sure what is going on with her, but our family is not the family who is able to adopt her.

The director has made things difficult for us and we have had challenges with the court. We have tried to be cooperative and do everything they ask, and at this point, I think, with the exception of the director, we have won everyone over.

We have been visiting "Dixie" in the orphanage to get to to know her better. She has learned some signs and yesterday, much to the surprise of the social worker, who said she could only say yes and no, she signed and said "dog" in English when she saw a dog.

This is so different from any other experience we have ever had, but God is teaching us to trust Him. It really is a minute by minute leading. It has been difficult that it hasn't all been positive with happy results, but we're doing the best we can and the Lord stays with us.

Here is a picture of us with "Dixie" on a walk that we took around the city with her. It was our first time seeing her somewhere other than the orphanage.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Travel Dates!

We're making plans to leave January 4th! We get to spend Christmas together at home and then we'll have a whole week to finish getting everything ready.

We can't wait to meet the girls and tell everyone all about them!

We appreciate prayers.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Finally Something to Update

Right before Thanksgiving, we received our referall for the girls. Now, we're just waiting for travel dates!

It's been a whirlwind fall...which is quickly slipping into winter. Waiting for a trip like this is crazy! I feel like our whole fall was busy getting ready for our trip. Preparations...waiting...more preparations...more waiting.

At this point, we don't know if we'll be home for Christmas. We had to quickly get our shopping done so we're ready for however things turn out.

Unlike Ally's adoption, we plan to bring our new girls home on this trip. That has added a lot to the preparations. We have to bring all of their things because we hope we'll have them during the trip and then they'll travel home with us.

Even though they'll be home, we still won't be able to share their pictures publicly until the adoption is complete. We'll be able to share what they're like and how they're doing, but their identity will still be private until everything is complete next year.

We appreciate those who still pray for us and our adoption. Being lifted up when things get crazy, is so helpful. The Lord is really the one getting us through each step and we're just doing our best to trust...so prayers are definitely needed.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Adoption/Ally update

Super busy lately, but I thought I'd drop in and give a little update.

I got an e-mail today that our dossier has been registered in our girls' country and that their files are being prepared. Yay! Progress! Our next step is getting referrals and then travel dates.

We're preparing for travel, and for our new girls...it's a little crazy. Since it seems our adoption trip will quickly be followed by the holidays...we're Christimas shopping and planning an early Thanksgiving with family. Crazy becomes crazier.

Ally's doing great. She had a wonderful summer and is enjoying fall. She's getting big and learning new things. She's still easy-going and super sweet...we can't imagine life without her.

Rachel took a couple of cute pictures of Ally-girl collecting leaves on the deck. So cute.






I'll update again soon if we any news. We appreciate those who continue to pray for us!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Another Update

I received an e-mail from our agency that our dossier has been mailed to our new girls' country!

We'll be waiting for it to be translated, and submitted, then wait for referrals and travel dates!

We appreciate your prayers!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Slowly But Surely

This adoption seems slow, although in reality it's going well so far.

We got the best news this week. Jeff called USCIS yesterday and talked to the officer assigned to our case. She told him that she approved us for 2 last Friday! We should get our approval letter any day and then we can get our dossier sent!

Great news and so happy for a little progress!

We had our busiest summer yet, but the weather was great and we're still enjoying summer temps while they're still here. We had our annual Lake Michigan visit and that was wonderful. I'll see if I have a picture or two to post soon.

Thanks for checking in and praying along with us!

Update: Our approval notice came in the mail today! Hopefully we can announce that our dossier is on it's way to EE soon!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Small Update

Things are moving along in our adoption. Our home study update is done and we sent off our application to U.S. Customs and Immigration today. Now we've got more weeks of waiting and we've got to finish putting our dossier together. We're still praying we'll be able to travel this fall!

Our summer has been beautiful with perfect, comfortable temperatures. We haven't had a lot of days off since we need to save our days for our adoption travels, but we've tried to make time to take walks and go to the park.

The kids have been enjoying warm, free days outside...riding bikes, playing with friends, picking flowers, and catching frogs and bugs.

Ally is doing so well.. Bringing her home from Bulgaria seems like some sort of distant dream and it seems as though she's always been here. She is such an easy-going child and is such a joy to all of us.






Please continue to pray for our adoption. Pray that we'll get approved for both girls. Pray for them as they wait, knowing nothing about us. Pray that the Lord will prepare their hearts to be part of our family. Pray that there will be no delays and that everything goes smoothly for us to travel this fall.  Thanks, friends....as always we appreciate your prayers and encouragement!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Wow!

This adoption has been so much different from our first one.

This adoption has been full of surprises. I feel that the Lord is going before us and calling us to continue following Him wherever He leads. When we do that, it makes life a real adventure.

Recently we learned that there is another girl in the same country, and most likely in the same orphanage as our new girl. The girls are almost the same age, both have DS, both are non-verbal and probably have grown up in the same environment. They may even know each other.

So, if all goes well....we will be bringing home 2 new girls! Wow!

Our newest, new girl is "Geneva" on Reece's Rainbow. She also has a grant for her adoption expenses, which means that we will be fully funded for our adoption.

So many people played a part in this story before we were even part of it. We'll never be able to personally thank the people who made it possible for us to adopt our girls, but we are truly thankful. It is heart-breaking that because some girls lost their chance to be adopted, our girls get a chance, but we'll keep praying that the other girls' chances are not lost forever.

Hopefully our homestudy update will be done this week and we'll be able to move on to the next step. Thanks for all of your prayers....they are needed and appreciated.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

"Dixie"

Now that everything is official, I can tell you that our new girl is listed as "Dixie" on Reece's Rainbow. That's where we found her. "Dixie" is just her Reece's Rainbow name. We won't find out her real name until right before we travel to meet her and we probably won't decide whether to keep her birth name or change it slightly until then.

As I mentioned before, her story is connected to the stories of 2 other girls. One of the girls we prayed for is adopted and one of the girls is sadly, stuck in a country that has closed their doors to Americans adopting. Our girl was gifted the grant that she had and that is what is making it possible for us to adopt her.

Lord willing, we will bring "Dixie" home and she will be a constant reminder for us to pray for the little girl who still lives day to day in an orphanage. A lot of people are praying for her country to open up and for adoptions to be allowed again. We'll keep praying that someday she'll have a home and a family too.

Because "Dixie" has a large grant through Reece's Rainbow, we were able to commit to adopt her. I know that a lot of families step out in faith without knowing where a single penny will come from, but honestly, we wouldn't have stepped out at this time. But God kept pointing us to her, and when we realized that a big chunk of the money was there and that she just needed a family to give her a chance before her time runs out...we knew that we were her family. We are so excited to meet her and hope that she will love having a family!

Her country requires 3 trips. We will have to rent an apartment and live there for a month, and then travel back 2 more times to finalize. Hopefully, she'll travel home with us on the first trip, and then she'll have to travel at least one more time back to finalize.

Thankfully, between her grant and the adoption assistance that Jeff gets at work, a lot of the expenses are covered. We have some of our tax refund money left that was going to go to fix and replace some things, but those things are nothing compared to someone's life. So when it's all said and done...we'll be about $5000 short. Most of what we need is airfare for the trips.

When we look at what He's done so far, we have no doubt that God will take care of this. We appreciate those who will support us through this adoption. Praying for the process, praying that God will provide for the travel expenses, and praying that there will be no delays so we meet the deadlines before she ages out.

We are just going to keep moving forward and rest in the fact that this is God's work. We're willing to do our part, but the story is being written by Him and we'll be looking forward in hope to see how it turns out.

Thank you to everyone who is part of this story...we truly appreciate your willingness to be part of it.