Kinzi's 12U NW Lady Shark Softball team earned a National Berth to Indiana! WOW!  
Congratulations to my little Shark! :)

It's Time to start COOKING! :)

YES! ...a New reason to start COOKING! :)  Thanks Andrea, Babe of My Heart, for sharing this AMAZING resource! :)  ....I'm excited to get mine, and shock the socks of my family... and cook a little something FABULOUS... 
and supporting something worth every penny and more! :)

Beautifully bound with a cushioned hard-cover, Serve One Another is stocked with yummy recipes as well as amazing stories from the heart of WIPHAN…the widows and children.

PINK (cont'd) :)

...just wanted to give a big SHOUT OUT to This AWESOME Family for creating a Pretty in Pink Adoption T-SHIRT! ...wearing mine right now!  :) ♥ Love it! ♥

And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me. Matthew 18:5 

Battleground, WA

This last weekend, Kinz, Erik and I drove about 3 and some hours to Battleground, WA.  Erik was a groomsman in our friends wedding.  The location was beautiful... sitting on top of a mountain somewhere out in the middle of nowhere - we took the opportunity to take a few pics! :)
(Not Pictured: Our Miss Madison was at a concert with her friends) :)



 This will probably be the one and ONLY time I ever see Erik in HOT PINK! ha!  :) 

...Since Kinz had a Softball Tournament the next morning and we had to be at the fields at 7:00 a.m. we stayed for a little bit of the reception and then we were back on our 3+ hour drive home.

On the drive home, I took the opportunity to learn a little bit about the Old Apostolic Lutheran church (since the wedding ceremony was different than what we normally see)  ...'Gooogling' it on my phone to understand their beliefs.  What I learned was sad.  It really is AMAZING how some religions can take the HOLY BIBLE - the amazing, precious, POWERFUL WORD of GOD and change/disfigure/alter it to deceive people with their own interpretations.

"Go in through the narrow gate, because the gate to hell is wide and the road that leads to it is easy, and there are many who travel it. But the gate to life is narrow and the way that leads to it is hard,and there are few people who find it. " (Lk 13.24)

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."  (Romans 12:1-2)


...Another Beautiful Family share their CELEBRATION after being home ONE AMAZING year after their GOTCHYA day bringing their sweet daughter home from ETHIOPIA!  This little one touched our hearts when we saw her GOTCHYA DAY video and stirred even more excitement and passion for adoption AND lead us to our Adoption Agency - All God's Children International! :)
(to fully enjoy the video - just turn my music off at the end of this page) :)

...another one, you will definitely need your Kleenex for...


This video is AMAZING and makes me SO excited for our GOTCHYA DAY!  I don't know if there is anyone who can watch this with a dry eye.  It really is BEAUTIFUL!  ...Watch this  Wonderful Family  bring home their baby girl from Ethiopia! ♥ 
(to fully enjoy the video - just turn my music off at the end of this page) :) 

Understanding USCIS

....Whenever I hear USCIS,  it always sounds like a a show I like to watch on TV! :)  Ha!  I didn't really understand who USCIS was and how exactly they process adoption/immigration.  In SO many ways in this AMAZING adoption journey... I find it's kind of a 'LEARN AS YOU GO' kinda thing.  So... a couple of days ago I sent the USCIS a letter requesting a fingerprint appointment, our 1-600A form, our birth certificates, marriage certificate and a notarized home study.

Now... I think I wait to hear from the USCIS for a fingerprint appointment, get our fingerprints, and then they perform their background checks (kinda like the FBI did) and we wait for them to send us a Favorable Determination Letter (FDL).  ...not quite sure how long this whole process takes... but, I'm glad that we have started it. :)

We are adopting from a Non-Hague country - ETHIOPIA!! :)  I also think that since the Ethiopian Adoption Process has changed to include two trips that we are able to bring our sweetie home with an IR-3 VISA! :) YAHOO!

Still Learning and Experiencing some pretty incredible stuff! ...already looking forward to hearing from the USCIS! :)

USCIS is Responsible For:

  • Determining the eligibility and suitability of the Prospective Adoptive Parents (Individuals) looking to adopt.
  • Determining the eligibility of the child to immigrate to the United States.

Before Your Child Immigrates to the United States

If the child you adopted or intend to adopt in the United States is residing abroad, the child will need an immigrant visa to enter the United States. Visas are issued by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) at the Embassy or Consulate in the foreign country where your child resides.
The type of visa your child is issued will determine what steps you will need to take for the child to acquire U.S. citizenship.

Visa types for Orphan (Non-Hague) Adoptions

  • IR-3 visa:  Issued when a full and final adoption is completed abroad.

    • Requires that the parent(s) physically see the child prior to or during the adoption proceedings. (This one is what we will be doing)
  • IR-4 visa:  Issued to a child that…

    • is coming to the United States to be adopted.
    • was adopted abroad by only one parent (if married).
    • was not seen by the parent(s) prior to or during the adoption

Child Citizenship

For IR-3 and IH-3 cases, we will automatically send your child’s Certificate of Citizenship to your U.S. address without requiring additional forms or fees.
Children with IR-4 and IH-4 visas:
  • do not acquire automatic citizenship upon entry to the U.S., but instead become permanent residents.
  • will automatically receive a permanent resident card (green card).
  • will automatically acquire citizenship on the date of their adoption in United States, if the adoption occurs before the child’s 18th birthday.

Orphan Process

You May Immigrate an Adopted Child Through the Orphan Process if:

  • You Are a U.S. citizen.

    • If you are married, your spouse must also sign Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative and must also adopt the child.
    • If you are not married, you must be at least 25 years old when you file the Form I-600 petition.
  • You establish that you will provide proper parental care to the child.
  • You establish that the child whom you have adopted or plan to adopt is an “orphan” as defined in U.S. immigration law.
  • You establish that either:

    (we will be doing this one)
    • You (and your spouse, if married) have adopted the child abroad, and that each of you saw the child in person before or during the adoption proceeding
    • You will adopt the child in the United States after the child arrives in the United States (you must have permission to bring the child out of his or her own country and to the United States for adoption).

Who is an Orphan? 

Under U.S. immigration law, an orphan is a foreign-born child who:
  • does not have any parents because of the death or disappearance of, abandonment or desertion by, or separation or loss from, both parents
  • has a sole or surviving parent who is unable to care for the child, consistent with the local standards of the foreign sending country, and who has, in writing, irrevocably released the child for emigration and adoption.
You must file an orphan petition before the child’s 16th birthday, or before the child’s 18th birthday if the child is a birth sibling of another child whom you have also adopted and who immigrated (or will immigrate) as:
  • an orphan based on a Form I-600 petition filed before the sibling’s 16th birthday
  • an “adopted child” as defined in Section 101(b)(1)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provided the actual adoption took place before that sibling’s 16th birthday.

Overseas Investigation

As part of the processing of your case, USCIS (or, in some cases, the Department of State) will conduct an investigation overseas to verify that the child is an orphan. The purpose of the investigation is to:
  • Confirm that the child is an orphan as defined in the U.S. immigration law.
  • Verify that you have obtained a valid adoption or grant of custody; the child does not have an illness or disability that is not described in the orphan petition.
  • Determine whether the child has any special needs that were not fully addressed in your home study.
  • Determine whether there are any facts showing that the child does not qualify for immigration as your adopted child. 
Home Study:  (Submitted one) :)
Establishing Proper Parental Care. To establish your ability to provide proper parental care, you must submit a home study completed by someone authorized to complete an adoption home study in your home State (or anywhere in the United States, if you adopt the child while residing abroad).
The home study preparer must complete the home study according to the standards established in DHS regulations.  For more information on home study requirements see the “Orphan Home Study Guidelines" link to the left under “Home Study Information.”

Advance Processing:   (YES! We did this! ) :)You may also begin the orphan process before you identify a particular child for adoption. You do so by filing Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition. Submit the home study with the Form I-600A. If USCIS approves your Form I-600A, the finding that you are suitable as an adoptive parent will make it unnecessary to address this issue again, when you file a Form I-600 for a particular child. Once a particular child has been identified, you would then file a Form I-600 for that child.
If you do not file Form I-600A, then you must complete all requirements of the I-600A when filing Form I-600. (see forms on the right).

PSALM 82:3
Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy

Social Worker!


Our Amazing Social Worker, Diane, (I really, honestly, never ever thought I would say, "I HAVE A SOCIAL WORKER" :) Well... Diane emailed me a while ago to let me know about her NEW Blog!  I finally had a chance to spend some time reading it and I think it's an AWESOME resource... and I wanted to share with you.

Just to give ya a little bit of background on how we got connected with Diane - I think she does most of the home studies here in the Seattle area and she works directly with AGCI! Yeah!! :) ....Diane did all of our adoption interviews with me and Erik and the girls. I never, ever felt like she was looking for something 'wrong' with our family or 'judging' us for who we are. Instead, she was very helpful to share all kinds of information that we would never have though about...  each time we met we learned a lit bit more about how to help our family prepare for this AWESOME adoption journey we have set out on.  It was also nice to talk to someone who has a huge heart for Christ and has been through the adoption process herself! :)

Let me introduce you to "OUR" social worker...

Diane Lostrangio, MSW, LICSW
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker providing home study and post placement services, birth parent counseling and time limited, solution focused counseling and consultation related to adoption, adjustment to parenting, improving parent-child relationships and family life. I have 20 years of experience preparing adoptive home studies and providing post placement services to adoptive families, preparation and court reports for step parent adoptions and facilitating court seminars and parenting groups for divorcing parents.

My goal in working with parents is to help them achieve more satisfying and meaningful relationships with their children. Specifically, I provide consultation that will help parents make family work for them. This includes navigating times of transition in the family in ways that build on their existing strengths and help them make changes that enable them to create the family life they desire. I am committed to helping parents recognize, understand and effectively manage their own responses to change.

My experience is that how we feel about ourselves as parents has a strong influence on the way we respond to our children and their behaviors and needs. Satisfying relationships with our children, require us to be reflective, conscious and intentional. My work with parents gives them a safe place to reflect, learn and become more attuned to  their children and to go beyond simply responding to behavior.

Just click HERE to check out her BLOG called, "Making Family Work."



Thanks SO, SO, SO Much to JEN with ART OF LIVING for SPICING up our CRAZY Blog!

I never imagined I would TOTALLY dig the 'BLOG World' - But this has become such a an awesome network for me to connect with other adopting families!

Plus, I LOVE reading other people updates, progresses, court dates, thoughts, referrals and be able to partner with them in PRAYER! It is pretty dang AWESOME to follow someone's journey and  then to see those long awaited pictures with their child or children... their NEW and IMPROVED families! :)

JUNE Numbers...

...A little movement this month! YEAH! - Went from #59 to...

On the GIRLS list! :)

and stayed at...
On the Siblings List.


I have been seeing a lot of posts from our AWESOME AGCI families with Trip Details,  Referrals, Gotchya Videos that send me into tears of HAPPINESS...
I am SO EXCITED for these FAMILIES! 
...In the midst of ALL the exciting EMAILS, POSTS, PICTURES, VIDEOS, Etc... 
I  just can't help but imagine how AMAZING it's going to be when it's our turn! :)  
I feel like I am Learning SO much about Adoption, what to expect through all the CRAZY stages, Books to read, Health Questions, Travel Tips... 
It's endless, awesome INFO! :)
It feels SO good to know I have a GREAT, BIG Support Group with other AGCI Families!
 ♥ I feel INCREDIBLY BLESSED to be able to share in their journey's...
and for them to share in mine! ♥
We have really been feeling a BIG tug on our 's to LOVE on a couple...
ETHIOPIAN Daughters/Sisters.
(Yep, that's PLURAL) :)
Our parameters are girls ages 0 to 4 years old. :) 
Getting excited to hear JUNE #'s! :)

T-Shirt Frenzzzzzzzzzzy!

...Just wanna say how much I absolutely LOVE supporting other adoptions and ministries who are the orphans biggest cheerleaders, contributors, providers, prayer warriors...  I have recently purchased and received my T-Shirts from...



Embracing the Least of These Blog


...Just wanted to give a HUGE shout out to THE GREAT BIG statements on these T-Shirts and for the God - loving, thoughtful, selfless people who created them! I felt AWESOME purchasing them and I feel even better wearing them!  I LOVE it when it STRIKES strangers, friends and family as a SERIOUS problem!!  I hope just by wearing these AMAZING T-Shirts our AWESOME God allows someone else to think about these problems and hopefully increases the AWARENESS of the amount of SWEET, BEAUTIFUL children in this world who need a home, a family, a meal, an education and a WHOLE lot of LOVE... ...TODAY!

Oh ya... I also got this for Erik for Father's Day... 
...Hope he's doesn't check in on the blog before June 13th! :) 


...A long time ago a girlfriend told me WORRYING is a SIN!  I used to be THE biggest worry wart - (I worried about the kids getting hurt, driving in someone else's car, staying the night at someone's house... their friends...)  Looking back on those worries and probably soooo many more - I see that I was worshiping a very SMALL God who can only control so many things and I can do the rest! Eeeeks! Thankfully, I know a God now that CONTROLS the entire UNIVERSE! :) YEAH!   I know that whatever happens in my life and my children's lives is how He has planned it.  I am SO happy to give it to GOD!  I know that I still worry and think at times that I have some sort of control over things - probably just part of being human...

...Well, I am now trying a lot more these days to remind myself NOT to worry and to put it ALL in GOD's hands... put Him first.  I am now a Mommy to a TEENAGE Driver! :)   Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh! :) I have to say I honestly believe 15 years old and a proud carrier of a driving permit just seems too young.  I feel like the age limit should be more like 18!! :)  Really, don't you think when the driving age was created it was centered around farmers, less traffic, less roads, no cell phones...etc. :)   DRIVING is complicated and scary sometimes- even for an ol lady like me! :)

Madison is a smart girl and very responsible.  I just need to remember to be a GOOD example and help her behind the wheel.   WOW!  I never knew how hard this was going to be.  (How in the world did my PARENTS do this! ha ha! - I have to give my DAD huge credit for the amount of patience he had with ME!) :) ...I need to work on being more patient, trusting, and choosing my words and tone carefully (A little tricky when you think you're about ready to drive off the road- where is that BREAK pedal on the passenger side!?  I neeeeeeed one! :))  I know that with Madison driving it will be really helpful in the long run -  especially when we come home from Ethiopia with her siblings. 

Dear Jesus!  Help me to be MORE like you... Help me to put you first the second I wake up till the moment I close my eyes to go to sleep.  Help me to ALWAYS remember that you are in CONTROL.