Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas & Many Blessings in the New Year!

Meeting Update

It was my intention to update everyone on our last agency meeting sometime ago now....
And because I only have a minute, this will be short and sweet.

The meeting with our social worker (2 weeks ago) went well. We once
again feel like we have even more of an understanding of whats ahead.
We received an ok to apply for our I-600A (Immigration papers and Homeland security clearance to bring home a child(ren)).
We're also wading through our dossier packet (official papers to travel to Ethiopia, ahead of us)
It helps to have tangible things to do on our part. And I'm sure once these steps are completed, the waiting for a referal can become agonizing :(
Many steps now require additional fee's - some small, some not so small.
The I-600A cost $700+ $80 for each of us requiring fingerprints. (Just 2 of us, Thank God!)

We completed our joint interview, now we'll go back for our individual's.

There are days we really get excited for the journey ahead... we picture the little ones waiting for us, imagine them home with us, and this cant happen fast enough.
Other days have us feeling overwhelmed by all the details...left wondering HOW on earth???Don't get me wrong, we don't doubt God can do anything, we just occassionally find ourselves feeling inadequate in so many ways, for the journey.
We are praying for God to continue to fill us with His confidence & direction to stay strong...And for more days of clarity than doubt.
We thank you for your prayers.
We'll be back with updates

Monday, December 8, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree

Our family finally ventured out to cut down our Christmas tree this weekend. We found just the perfect one, at just the perfect price :)
Like most years we made it out to the tree farm with about 15 minutes of daylight left...but it was all we needed. Our tree is tall and narrow and fits perfect in the crook at the top of our stairs.
We had cider & cookies in the cabin at the tree farm and headed home.

And with a family effort our tree is up and decorated...not quite the way momma likes it but decorated. With a three year old in the house the ornaments are constantly being touched, moved, even thrown :) ... That little boy keeps us moving but also smiling!

Now all we need are some presents under the tree...OR MAYBE NOT!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Another birthday...

Our little J. turned six this weekend. It was his "Golden Birthday"....We celebrated with a handful of friends and some "pirate" fun. Daddy made him an amazing Pirate cake-complete with chocolate stubble :) We were all proud of the great job he did! (AHoy Mateys!!!)
Although our J.'s personality is reserved, he enjoyed almost the whole party...He became a little overwhelmed at Cake time. He did not want us to sing, he doesn't like frosting, and he did not want to blow out his candles. He had some assistance from a few friends. And as soon as that was done, he was back to enjoying the guests and his many new treasures. Thanks to all of you who attended. J. loved his time with you and his awesome new gifts!

We once again are at Awe at how quickly the time has gone with our third born. He is a creative, imaginative little boy and we thank God for blessing us with you! We love you Buddy!


Monday, December 1, 2008

Time Flies...

Happy December!

It amazes me how fast time goes by these days. Some say it has to do with me getting older...and I guess I might agree with that :-)
We celebrated Thanksgiving with family on Thursday. Everyone on DJ's side of the family was a counted for except one niece whose in the Air Force...We are praying for you Rachel. Hope to see you at Christmas!
My parents were in Arizona for the Holiday, but we gathered together on Sunday when they returned to celebrate mom's birthday....Happy Birthday Mom! My sister and family weren't able to make it Sunday though, because she wasn't feeling good. Hope you feel well soon Kate - Love ya!

On the "adoption" front...we have completed our first round of paper work! And to our surprise it wasn't as bad as we thought it might be. In fact, DJ actually ended up enjoying his "self study" (the autobiography portion of the paper work.) He liked looking at "life" more in depth. I was very impressed by his very thoughtful answers...he still has a way of making my heart flutter:-)
I had a harder time with the self study portion of our paper work...I have a way of over analysing things, so I found myself caught up sometimes on how it sounded verses what I was trying to say....??? Anyways, we finished up and sent it in...We are now scheduled to meet with our SW again next Wednesday. This is our second meeting of an upcoming 3-4 more meetings together. Wednesday's meeting should give us much more detail on Ethiopian adoption specifically and get us started on our dossier. Yeah!
We also celebrated the first of many birthday's last month...Our oldest daughter turned 12-and it seems like only yesterday she was born! And our baby turned 3....he loved all the attention he got on his special day only half the time! We love you both!

The last month has been a bit of a roller coaster ride for us...celebrating the many birthdays that come along this time of the year and now Christmas is sneaking up on us very fast...It can leave us feeling somewhat depleted and wondering how God is going to see the miracle of adoption through for our family...??? I am constantly praying for direction and confidence and courage to not give up, but stay encouraged for the journey ahead. It isn't always easy though-convincing yourself or one another that we can do this and we are crazy but not totally insane...! (Oh, hush...I heard that!) But Please keep our family in your prayers.
DJ and I had our annual Shopping date Friday. We love just getting out, being together, people watching, and getting a really good deal or two! And it was a blast! I think we are done!

I have started rambling....thinking too hard about being "real" without boring you to death with too many details. (Just for you, Kate;) )
We'll let you know how Wednesday goes and whats next. And again we appreciate your prayers for our family.
God's Blessings!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The paper chase begins...

DJ and I had our first meeting with our Social worker to begin our adoption journey. And though the meeting was good, the feeling is hard to put into words...
It was both exciting and overwhelming rolled into one (How's that for an explanation?) LOL!

DJ seemed to connect with our SW; they both identified themselves as introverts... Guess that leaves me odd one out :-) We are really looking forward to getting to know her more as we get rolling on the path set before us. It should be quite a ride :-)

We were given many forms and much information- just the beginning of the paper chase ahead of us. Many questions were answered. Although I have a tendency to jump the gun a bit, so some the questions asked can be more thoroughly addressed at future meetings.
I watched my introvert have some of his fear fall away and have it replaced with excitement and joyful anticipation. All in all the meeting helped us to feel a little more certain of what lies ahead.

In the meantime, we are holding on to God's promise..."I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Phillipians 4:13
We will keep you posted ...And we appreciate your prayers for our family's upcoming journey!

Another Month...

It is hard to believe another month has past by...We celebrate Harvest Time tomorrow; with friends, family, fun, games, and of course candy :) It should be a good time for all!

Then we slip into November and the start of the Holiday season...Taking time to reflect on all things we are thankful for and enjoying time with loved ones. Wanted to share some of the photos we took during our trip to the pumpkin patch this month.
Where does the time go? They are growing up so fast....:)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Family & Fall

This past weekend we enjoyed one another (well, mostly enjoyed..:) and all Gods Fall beauty. We took a road trip to Taylors Falls. We also stopped at a pumpkin patch on the way home, each of the kiddos hand picked their own unique pumpkin. It was a fun & glorious day!

Just the beginning...

It's been sometime since God prompted our hearts to consider growing our family through international adoption...
This past year we have prayed and talked, prayed and talked...And along the way, we have experienced excitment, fear, hope, doubt, trust, and back again:)
Together, we recently took our first step of faith and submitted our application to go forward. We have been given the green light to begin our homestudy and proceed in an Ethiopian adoption.
We covet your prayers. This journey is only possible with God, working through our ordinary, but willing family. It is our desire to completly trust Him and give Him all glory!