Thursday, December 15, 2011

So much to be thankful for...

Since I let Thanksgiving pass before I did a post on Halloween, I decided that I needed to hurry and put up a Thanksgiving post before Christmas came and went!

I am so thankful for so many things this year, and this past Thanksgiving was one of them. I got to spend a week at home which was amazing! It was so great to get to see everyone, but as it always seems, it went by way too fast...

I got to spend one evening with some of my favorite girls and closest friends: Laura, Stacy, Jess and their husbands and kiddos! They're some of my best friends in the world, even if we don't see eachother often... I love them!

While I was home we also spent a lot of time hanging out, cooking, and eating. Heather, Des and I also went Black Friday shopping... Let's just say that the night shift nurse was the wimpiest of them all when it came to staying up all night! hehe. We also went to Christmas at the Zoo and it was beautiful and so much fun! Ainsley of course loved seeing all the lights and animals, and I loved my mug of unlimited hot chocolate, and of course just making fun memories with our family :)

2011 has not been an easy one for our family... but it seems as though it is ending well for most of us. We have much to be thankful for, and a good God who has given us all that we have. It is for Him, for His gift of Jesus, and for the hope we have in His resurrection that we are most thankful. But right under Him, is family... So here is a bunch of pictures of our Thanksgiving in Indy.

Christmas at the Indianapolis Zoo!

I hope your Thanksgiving was as full as wonderful memories as ours was!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Homestudy = Complete... Woo hoo!!

Well if the title of this post isn't self-explanatory enough... we got our homestudy back one week ago today!! Woo hoo!! The very next day we sent in our application (the I-600a: Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition) to USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). It was received by them yesterday and now we are waiting for them to let us know they are processing our paperwork, and when they are done they will send us an appointment for our biometric fingerprinting. Funny thing though, although we have to have an appointment to get fingerprinted, we don't actually have to go in on our appointment date and time, we can just walk in whenever. Weird, I know. Then after we get fingerprinted, they will process those and when all of this "processing" is finished they will send us a form called the I-171H, which is the paper that says that we can travel internationally to bring back our children for the purpose of adoption. Without this form we can not travel to go get our kids! When we get through this step with immigration we are FINALLY going to be on the waitlist!!

In the mean time we are starting to apply for grants. We are also in the process of setting up an account with Lifesong through our church that will allow us to receive tax deductible donations. We're not really sure how long it takes to hear back from these, but we do know that sometimes it can take a while... That seems to be the story with most things with this adoption.

Just a note as well. Please do not use our adoption experience as a litmus test for how most adoption processes go. As much as I complain about how long each step takes, the truth is that our process has FLOWN compared to most others we know. Uganda's process seems to be pretty straight forward for the most part. Our adoption agency has been amazing, our homestudy agency was amazing, our social worker was amazing. Basically, when it comes to the people who are actually facilitating this process we have hit the jackpot! We have friends who have been in the process for a year or more and who still are not even on the waitlist, and we know people who have been on waitlists for over a year. So our 3 1/2 months so far, is really nothing compared to the length of the journey many take. However, obviously everything about this is unpredictable, so we never know how long it may take when all is said and done.

Please continue to pray for us, and most importantly, for our sweet kids, all 3 of them!! Please pray that God would provide for this journey. We've already seen His hand in this and we know He has called us to this. I saw this picture on another sweet adoptive family's blog. I love this because it was my Daddy's favorite verse, plus it has provided a lot of comfort through this whole process, and is a reminder when I'm doubting. Maybe that's why he loved it too :)

Thanks for all your support and encouragement along the way!! Thank you to each of you who has donated to our adoption and prayed for us along the way! It means more than you know!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Oh, what's that you say?? It's December? Oh, and we've already had one major holiday since Halloween passed. Yeah... I know, I get it... But if there's anything in life I'm good at, it's procrastination. To be honest I just didn't realize I hadn't posted any pics yet of the cutest little "Buzz Buzz" (as she calls bees) you've ever seen... well I guess in this case it would be that you've NEVER seen. I'm all about helping other people and bettering society, and let me tell you... I would be doing the public a great disservice if I didn't post these pictures. Plus, I have to tell you how tough our little cookie was. It was 40 degrees out and raining and she refused to wear a jacket! Because, of course, then she couldn't wear her wings... and that was apparently unexceptable. So even though most bees don't have blue lips, ours did. (Please no hate mail about her catching pneumonia or cold or some other deadly disease.... People get sick from germs, not exposure to cold... check WebMD, they will validate my story!)

Our town opens up all the shops on Main Street on Halloween night and has trick or treating for all the kids, a fun tradition we didn't know about until this year! So for your viewing pleasure...I introduce to you, Buzz Buzz the incredibly cute Bee :)

Pretty darn cute, huh??

Yeah, I thought so too :)