Thursday, November 22, 2012


It's Thanksgiving.  HAPPY THANKSGIVING (said in my best Oprah voice)!  As we all prepare for eating an inappropriately large amount of food, I'll be honest in saying that this Thanksgiving is bittersweet.  Probably more bitter than sweet. In our minds and according to all of our timelines, we were sure we'd be celebrating our first Thanksgiving with her.

While it may be very difficult to understand from our perspective, the Lord has other plans and so we redirect our prayers to Christmas.  Lord, please bless us with the chance to meet our little girl in December and bring her home before Christmas.  

As easy as it would be to have a pity party today, I'm not going to do that.  Instead, I'm going to reflect on all that I AM thankful for...well, probably not ALL, but a lot, especially in relation to the adoption and the last 12 months.  Here goes...

A real, personal relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who has given my life meaning and a purpose. (DUH)

For my wife, who I am so in love with and who is my favorite person in all the world and my best friend. (DUH) Without her, I am a disaster on two legs.

For incredibly supportive parents, siblings, in-laws, relatives, friends, colleagues, etc.  This doesn't begin to communicate how grateful I am for all of you...

For the opportunity to add a beautiful daughter to our family. What the heck, here's another picture for you, one of my favorites:

For the over 90 people that financially-contributed to making this adoption even possible.  Thank you for believing in the importance of adoption and believing in us as being equipped to parent our sweet little girl.  You all have reinforced my faith in God's ability to provide in miraculous ways. He's done just that. THANK YOU.

For the army of people praying us through this process and praying for her.  We are so comforted by your prayers and your words of support and encouragement.  We're in the home stretch, so please don't stop praying for a Christmas homecoming!!

For our agency - although we may get frustrated at times, we'd be lost without them.  Thank you ALBB for running an ethical shop and for the countless hours you put in connecting orphans with their forever families.  

For the workers that cared for her in her earliest days in the orphanage. Thank you for giving her what nourishment and love you were able to.

For the transition home and the workers there.  Thank you for doing your best to help her develop and grow as we wait for the time to bring her home.  Thank you for caring for her and loving her as if she was your own for the past 3 months.

For the friends God has connected us with that have been through this process or are going through it. Having a community that understands the challenges and dynamics in adoption is priceless.  

For the families that have been able to travel to DRC to bring their children home.  Thank you for spending a little time with our daughter and for sending us wonderful pictures and some information about her.

For the 46 pictures we have of her. I've stared at these pictures of her for what seems like forever for they are only connection to her.  We are so thankful we have pictures that will give her some connection to her first months of life.  

Maybe it's just because adoption is so important to us, but I'm thankful for the seemingly increased exposure adoption is getting - from TV shows (Parenthood - best show on TV, and others) to movies (The Odd Life of Timothy Green, What to Expect When You're Expecting, and others), not to mention the great books, blogs, and articles out there. They all highlight the beauty and privilege of adoption while not sugar-coating and overlooking the emotions, the challenges, and other realities that often come with adoption and/or infertility.

I am thankful that this process is almost over. While it is not on our time schedule, I'm thankful that we have a very big, very perfect God and I'm thankful I can rest in the fact that He'll get us to DRC in His perfect time.  This provides me peace today. Probably will need a reminder tomorrow, and the day after that...

Friday, November 16, 2012

Inching closer...

So our big news is that we finally were able to submit our I-600 to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services!!  This set of documents is what will allow our daughter to come to the US and was our last big set of paperwork.  They were just FedEx'd on Tuesday and the process of approval can take anywhere from 23 days to 3 months once they are received.  PLEASE pray for speedy processing and that we receive her approval quickly.

We need this approval to schedule a visa interview with the US Embassy in Kinshasa.  It sounds like they are scheduling interviews 2 weeks out at this point.  Then after the interview is complete, another 2-3 weeks to conclude the embassy's investigation into our daughter's orphan status. And then we travel!! Obviously, we are hoping that all this happens on the shorter side of the estimations.  We are praying for a miracle and that she is able to come home before the end of the year.  

Prayer requests:
1) That our I-600 paperwork is processed quickly and we are sent approval as soon as possible.  Holidays are coming up and we know that government offices (as well as our agency's) will be closed.

2) That the federal adoption tax credit will be extended and passed as a permanent measure.  The current credit is set to expire in December and starting in January, will be limited to special needs adoptions out of US foster care.  There are bills currently in the House and Senate that would make the tax credit permanent (not expiring every few years) and inclusive of international adoptions (like it is now) starting in 2013.  We, like thousands of other families, need this credit to help build our families!

3) For peace - We expected our daughter to be home last month so having this process drag on for a few more months is at times unbearable, especially around the holidays.  Our prayer is that we will have peace that surpasses all understanding and use this extra time wisely.

And now, the cuteness you've been waiting for...

PS Don't forget about our adoption t-shirts for sale on Etsy!