Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Woo-Hoo! We're Official

Okay, all you veteran adoptive parents, laugh at me if you want. But I feel we have finally made it to the first mile marker in a decathalon...I mean that as an accomplishment. The boys and I went by the local adoption agency (our home study agency) and turned in a lengthy application complete with autobiographies and our first check of many. We have already scheduled our first visit from the agency. Now I begin collecting birth certificates, marriage certificates, references, tax returns, medical forms, proof of insurances, background checks, fingerprints, etc., etc., etc. Right now as we begin, I am bound and determined to do this as quickly as I am able while not getting frustrated when we are delayed by others who do not feel my sense of urgency. : )

I have received the official application from the placing agency, and we'll be working through that over the Thanksgiving break.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tree of Life

Last night we had a wonderful phone call/meeting with Kay from Tree of Life adoption agency. They are going to be our placing agency. This was our chance to "meet" her, get information, and ask questions before officially committing to this agency. We came away from that call feeling VERY comfortable with her and their Bulgarian program. Kay, herself, has 3 children from Bulgaria, so I feel that she has a very personal interest in this program.

I think Tim and I both got a boost in our excitement and committment to moving forward. He is going to try to finish those last items today or tomorrow so we can get everything notarized Monday and maybe turned in Tuesday or so. There is so much to do, and with his Christmas break coming up soon, that will be a great time to try to tackle as much as we can at one time.

After the phone call, we continued our discussion over a wonderful dinner for just the two of us at Red Lobster. I LOVE seafood, but I don't get it often because it is expensive. But my wonderfully talented husband was able to pack 11 large marshmellows in his mouth at a recent Sunday School party and won a gift card to Red Lobster. We won't dwell on the fact that he got a marshmellow for every question we didn't answer or the fact that there were 11 questions asked.

As for the kids, I've started talking to them a little more about how they feel about the adoption. I figure I need to prepare them a little for any questions they have to answer during the home study. One of the things agencies point out for us to make sure WE are ready for is the fact that we are adopting transracially. These kids will be Roma (or gypsy) with darker skin and black hair. (Kay said people have asked her children why they don't speak Spanish. She said often others think her kids are from Guatemala.) When I asked Colton if he was okay with their skin being a little darker than ours, he looked up suddenly at me with a confused look on his face and said "sure". But he looked at me as though I had asked one of the dumbest questions he'd ever heard. He is WAY more concerned over the fact that they will be girls. He and Eli aren't sure how they feel about finding pink stuff or dolls left in their room. That's my boys!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ready to Apply

Thanks to everyone who gave me feedback on my last post. It was very helpful. I've actually sat down several times to update my blog, but things have just been so busy. So, hold on...here we go.

Costa Rica is now off of our consideration list. They are requiring a 6-week stay. We simply can't do that. The two little girls from India appear to still be available, but the agency will not respond to my emails. So the girls and that agency are off of our consideration list. We are back to Bulgaria.

We have also made a 99% commitment to choosing Tree of Life as our placing agency. We previously were going to go with Christian World Adoption (and I still feel good about them), but Tree of Life has a bit of an edge in their experience with Bulgaria. They also come with glowing reports from their referral list.

Last night we attended another informational meeting at Heaven Sent Children (HSC). We went to one a long time ago, but we felt is was a good time to go again to meet the staff and get a few more questions answered. Tim is about 98% finished with his autobiography, and I have redone the rest of the application to update it. So, when his is completely finished, we just need to have everything signed and notarized to send it in to HSC and get our homestudy officially started. At the same time, I will send the pre-application to TOL (Tree of Life) to get started with them. TOL says that we should work on both at the same time and strive to finish everything at the same time. My head is already swimming a little trying to figure out what do to first.

In fundraising news, we have finally had our final 2009 yard sale. Our total last weekend was $533.65. That brings our yard sale total for 2009 to $1524.77. Since we began fundraising 2 years ago we have raised $2110.47 just on yard sales! Not bad. Of course, if anyone out there would like to send us a check for $20,000, I would not mind forgetting future yard sales. ; )

As always please pray for us during this process. We want to make sure our boys are prepared, and I don't want Tim stressed more than he already is with work for school.

And (as always) I am open to any fundraising ideas you may have. Better still any income ideas you may have would be helpful. Fundraising is great for now, but more income would help much longer.