Life Lately...

Lots and Lots of Softball... :)  UW Huskies hosted Regionals and now SUPER Regionals right here in Seattle
... So, we have become HUSKY SUPER Fans!! :) 

Me and my softball buddy, JUNE! :)

Kinzi, Kara (June's daughter) and Harry, the Husky!!

UW Softball is fun! ...but, we are also packing our days filled with 
12U Northwest Lady Shark Softball! *GO SHARKS* :)

Madison is not a FAN of Softball... (playing it or watching it) ha! SO, she is filling her days spending time with her GROUP LIFE Friends (LIFE LONG Friends) from Overlake Christian Church!  WOW! I wish I would have been connected to a CHURCH and a group with FANTASTIC group leaders and peers to make my HIGH SCHOOL years better... and more importantly, CHRIST centered!

...As busy as our CRAAAAAZZZY schedule is.... getting Kinz to softball practices, Madison to Group Life and Friends houses... ALWAYS on the forefront of our MINDS and in our HEARTS we are thinking and praying about our Adoption and our sweet Babies that God already has planned for our family! We are sharing our adoption experiences with friends, family and even strangers...  :) Hoping and Praying that 
God may tug on someone else's heart to consider adoption.

It's like... HURRY UP and WAIT! :)

Waiting... has probably got to be one of the hardest things to do...  It seems like I'm always trying to get somewhere fast, eating fast food, doing drive thru banking, running from one place to another...

Thankfully, Jesus Christ teaches me that there is a precise purpose in those few minutes, long hours, days or even years of waiting. 

"And not only so, but let us have joy in our troubles: in the knowledge that trouble gives us the power of waiting. And waiting gives experience; and experience, hope: and hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Romans 5:4-5

"I am waiting for the Lord, my soul is waiting for Him, and my hope is in His Word." Psalms 130:5  

"Now may the God who gives comfort and strength in waiting make you of the same mind with one another in harmony with Christ Jesus…" Romans 15Love is never tired of waiting."1 Corinthians 13:4

I can say, it feels GOOD to wait right now!  ...and to be on the WAIT LIST at AGCI... means SO much more than just waiting in a line.

The decision to adopt (to be added to this LIST) ;) - How God placed this on our hearts (and everyone else's hearts on this LIST)... how we want to passionately and obediently SERVE Him, Glorify Him, Honor Him, Praise Him... long for what he longs for... love, a home, a family, hope... for the orphans.  

Then the process to get on the LIST was AMAZING! From, notarizing documents, submitting financial statements, tax returns, letters from our accountant, Verifying funds in our bank, local criminal checks, FBI criminal checks, Connecticut Criminal Checks, Medical Checks, Vet Checks, Home Study evaluation and visits, Letters of recommendation, guardianship letters... all for the purpose to verify that we are a suitable family to be ABLE to adopt... It is INSURANCE that research has been done on our family and our Agency finds us a family that will be able to take care of our Ethiopian baby(s) beautifully financially, physically, emotionally and spiritually!!!

Being put on a WAIT LIST with other families who are also on this journey is an honor and a HUGE blessing!! It is SO cool to listen to God, follow Him, and know that he has got a PERFECT plan just for us!!

After reading so many BLOGS - I felt like I understood the Wait List better when I read about it HERE Thanks for the insight Vanessa! :)

"Why is there a waitlist?"

"Well the first thing is that the transitional home (the home where children go once they are taken out of the massive government run orphanages to be adopted out) only holds so many children. Then both the adoption agency and the Ethiopian government want to make sure the child has not been kidnapped or illegally abandoned (aka child-trafficking)- therefore it takes time to get the proper paperwork on the child (background checks on the child, any living birth family interviews, research into abandonment cases, etc). Then CDC wants to know about the health of the child so they require screenings and tests. Once it has been proven that the child is a legitimate orphan, they match the child with a family on the waitlist. Once that family accepts their referral, they must go through the Ethiopian court system. A court date is given where all paperwork will be reviewed and they require any living relative to be present in court for questioning. If all paperwork is good and any birth family members have answered the questions correctly, you then pass court and the child is legally yours. However, you now wait for a travel date to pick up the child as your approved paperwork is sent to the Embassy for Visas etc. At the same time the US government wants to look over all the paperwork and make sure they get a chance to approve it before you bring a child home." 

...As many times as I FED EX'd my documents or RAN to the bank for a Notary or DROVE to Olympia to re-do a State Certification! ...It was ALL on God's time!  Nothing was going to get there and get done any faster than He wanted it to!  :)

Thank you so much Dear Jesus that I don't have to WORRY about when something is going to happen, where it will happen, or why it happens and the way it happens.  I am SO glad that YOU have control over all these things!! Please help me to always remember that and always put you first and give you the control. :)




What a GREAT phone call from Brandi!!! :) She has been SO awesome! 
SUPER EXCITED! Praise God! :)


WOWIE... It is AMAZING how on Thursday, we were SUPER Happy, EXTREMELY excited to turn in our completed DOSSIER!!! We took pictures, documented the day, and were over FLOWING with POSITIVE energy and enthusiasm to have completed a large chapter in our Ethiopian adoption! :)

Then... on Friday, we got a call from AGCI letting us know there is a 'little' list of documents to correct. Oh Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaan! It was a quick Ziiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip down the roller coaster of emotions.  I think I wanted to cry.  But, the weekend was filled with Kinzi's softball, Madison and her friends, church, fellowship, food, fun... that I was able to take my mind of the 'little list' until today! :)

...I am working diligently to complete the list and my goal is to have it all to AGCI by the end of the week. 

Deuteronomy 31:8
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

Thank you dear JESUS for giving me So many reasons to stay positive and for leading the way... I am completely LOST without you!!

Dossier is on its way...

WOWIE! What a DAY!

Erik was home bidding on jobs today and I was doing the accounting thing.  We left the house around 2:00 to go get the girls from school.  We got to the bottom of our hill and the mail lady was there.  I told Erik, just let me check and see if she has the Finalized Home Study.  I TOTALLY wasn't expecting it until FRIDAY! :) ...BUT, SHE HAD IT!!!!! YAHOOOOOO! Soooooo.... I drove the car back up the hill, got all the other paperwork, had Erik google on his phone where the closest UPS store is in Bellevue (Since that is where we were headed).  We found one just blocks away from the girls school!

It was the most exciting time I've ever had at a UPS store!  I think I scared pretty much everyone in there! :) ha ha ha! Erik was taking pictures, I was doing cartwheels and I probably wasn't using my 'library voice'!!  :)  We had to have the UPS Lady (I really should have got her name - she was SO kind to us) notarize our Application letter to the Ministry of Women's Affairs so that our parameters in the letter matched our parameters in our Home Study.  Then we made copies, put it all together, sealed it up... and added some final touches by decorating it a little for Brandi! :)

Praying we have good news today from AGCI... when they receives our Dossier around 10:30 today... Hoping we don't have to make too many corrections. We'll see...

Me and the UPS Store!!! :)

Admiring the STACK! :) can kinda see the SUPER nice UPS lady...
She's the one with the red hair! :)

Looking at it all together one last time 
before they seal it up
and send it out! :)

A little over 5 MONTHS of tracking down all the necessary paperwork, notarizing, re-notarizing, a few tears, a lot of prayers, waiting, waiting...

...I know that this is a huge MILTESTONE  and that there will be a lot more ups and downs, highs and lows and definitely a lot more waiting... But, I LOVE how God is helping me to develop my patience.  I am learning and growing from this whole process.... Closer to our AMAZING Father!  

Romans 5

Developing Patience
 1-2By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that's not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. 

 3-5There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

 6-8Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn't, and doesn't, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn't been so weak, we wouldn't have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.

 9-11Now that we are set right with God by means of this sacrificial death, the consummate blood sacrifice, there is no longer a question of being at odds with God in any way. If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of his Son, now that we're at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of his resurrection life! Now that we have actually received this amazing friendship with God, we are no longer content to simply say it in plodding prose. We sing and shout our praises to God through Jesus, the Messiah!

...was going to add just a verse on patience, but as I continued to read the rest of the chapter each Word had SO MUCH significance and meaning and was SO profound! What an AWESOME GOD we have! I am SINGING and SHOUTING today and EVERYDAY for the countless blessings He has given me and how COMPLETELY undeserving I am. Thank YOU dear JESUS for breaking my heart for what breaks yours and placing the desire, drive, determination and the compassion and passion to help the orphans!

Home Study Finally.... FINALIZED! :)

YEAH!!!  A complete Packet and a Finalized Home Study!!  We are just waiting for our Social Worker, Diane to make the necessary copies, get it notarized and in the mail! ...Soooooo we can add it to our pretty packet of Dossier Documents, send it and some mooooolah to AGCI... soooooo we can get on the Waitlist!!  :) Yipppppeeeeeeee!

I feel like this is such a milestone and a BIG step closer in the growth of our family, in an AWESOME,  beautiful gift from God and one (or two) less babies without a Mommy or Daddy!!

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

James 2:17

17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

...In my DAUGHTER'S eyes....

In my daughter's eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I wanna be
In my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light and the
world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me gives me
strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe
In my daughter's eyes

And when she wraps her hand
around my finger
Oh it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about

It's hangin' on when your heart
has had enough
It's giving more when you feel like giving up
I've seen the light
It's in my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes I can see the future
A reflection of who I am and what will be
Though she'll grow and someday leave
Maybe raise a family
When I'm gone I hope you see how happy
she made me
For I'll be there
In my daughter's eyes
~Martina McBride

Thank you DEAR Jesus, for letting me take care of these two little girls - and choosing me to be their MOMMY!  I LOVE them SO much!!! I feel SO blessed that they are in my life! I am dreaming about the day I get to be a Mommy to another child of yours.

HAPPY MOTHER'S Day! ...To my friends with children and those waiting for theirs! :)

...Calling Connecticut, I got a little 'antsy' about where Erik's Criminal check from Connecticut was and 'googled' Child Abuse Checks in Connecticut.  ..... I actually found a phone number and decided to pick up the phone and give DCF - Department of Children and Families in the State of Connecticut... a CALL! :)

I spoke to a TOTALLY nice lady named Terri - who told me Erik passed the check and on April 30th, they sent the check to AGCI. :)  (Wowie... we could never pick up the phone and call the FBI - this was such a little piece of mind).

...In the meantime Mindy sent our Home Study back to Diane for some revisions, she made the revisions, sent it to me, it all looked goooood - so I sent it back to her... and my guess is, it's back in the hands of AGCI! :) Wowie... that sounds soooo crazy! :)

...since I don't want to call and bother anyone else, I am going to ask God for an extra special dose of patience. :)  I know that it is just a matter of time till we get to add that finalized Home Study to our Dossier and send that little packet off!!  

...It really was refreshing to be able to find out where one little document was along the paperwork trail. :)

Oh Conneticut...

 Okay... lately it feels like we have been a little stagnant in the paperwork process... :(  We have a completed Home Study!!! YEAH!!  It is out of Diane's sweet hands and into the hands of AGCI... working on final approval. We are still waiting on that Child abuse Check from the state of Connecticut... I tracked the document down and noticed that they received the form on April 26, 2010... Hopefully, Connecticut is a little quicker with their paperwork than the FBI! :)

Since my last post... I met up with a couple SUPER AGCI families (The Rossi and the Voss Families).  We had a nice time getting to know each other - talking adoption and eating really YUMMY food!!  It is Sooooooooooo cool to find other families who are going through this process and to be able to share things with each other. I am totally looking forward to the next get together!! :) We also joined the AGCI - Ethiopia Yahoo Group (listserve)!!  ...another connection, I know we are going to totally enjoy... especially once we are on that crazy waitlist! :)  ...I Can't Wait!!