Posts filed under Paperwork

autobiographies

this weekend we sent in our application to our adoption agency. can we all just breathe a slight sigh of relief about this news?

we just about didn't finish. in order to turn complete this step of the paperwork we each had to write our autobiography. this may seem weird. i mean, i'm a writer. i live for writing. and to be honest, i may have seen this step and thought, "simple. i can do that - no problem."

within minutes of me writing, tears were falling. i got up to "take a break" about five or six times. and when i got toward the end - where russ and i meet, i seriously had to lock myself in the prayer room, turn on gungor's beautiful things, and cry big, fat ugly tears in realization of how God has rescued me.

kinda intense for a simple paperwork requirement. oh wait. nothing about this process is simple. 

so when i left the apartment that afternoon because i just wanted everything to be done and russ was still struggling through his own autobiography and i felt crazy cabin fever and all this anger was welling up inside from out of nowhere....i just had to take a few deep breaths and remember.

God wasn’t attracted to you and didn’t choose you because you were big and important - the fact is, there was almost nothing to you. He did it out of sheer love, keeping the promise he made to your ancestors. God stepped in and mightily brought you back out of that world of slavery, freed you from the iron grip of Pharaoh King of Egypt. Know this: God, your God, is God indeed, a God you can depend on. He keeps his covenant of loyal love with those who love him and observe his commandments for a thousand generations {Deuteronomy 7:7-9}.

don't be fooled. it got ugly before it got better.

we had to take a break from paperwork when i got home. we shut our laptops, hopped on his scooter, and traveled to target to laugh at the crazies battling black friday. we talked about future christmas traditions, shared favorite lines from the cosby show we hope to use on our kids, and ate mediocre italian food. when we came home, we saw everything through new eyes. russ finished his autobiography. i let loose my perfection muddled glasses. and in the morning, we printed everything out and mailed off our first envelope stuffed with information getting us one step closer to our child.

and even though this process may have been the most difficult out of everything we've done so far, there was nothing as satisfying as seeing us check one more thing off our to-do and realizing once again just how far God has brought us this year.

Posted on November 27, 2011 and filed under Paperwork.

the beginning.

it was about a year ago that i started having thoughts about where God wanted us. in september, i read the gospel according to Jesus Christ and felt an urgent need to really start praying for our future family. i started having mom-dreams. one of my closest friends called me and said even she had a dream of us bringing home baby - and promptly asked when we were going to start the adoption process. around november, i couldn't take it anymore and finally opened my mouth - letting russ know what had been weighing on my heart for some time. it was the moment i needed to lay down my fear and embrace this mom-heart.

ethiopia seemed like the natural answer. we were drawn there for reasons we couldn't explain outside of africa dirt still finding it's way into our blood. we always imagined adopting from africa, and since the ethiopia program was so solid and others were shaky at best, we started the process.

i always had a question in the back of my mind though: what about the babies here? and i'm not "that" type of person - my heart for africa goes deep and wide and give me an opportunity to step foot on her soil again and i'll fight my way on to the plane. i couldn't shake the feeling though that international adoption was on its last leg and that the purpose of the local church would drastically change. i started thinking thoughts like "how can i know for sure if my baby is truly adoptable" and "why does it cost so much money? really? why thousands of dollars and where does it go?"

it didn't help that as soon as we signed up for the program, ethiopia's adoption policies changed drastically.

like....adding months and then years to the process drastically.

i kept quiet for awhile. a long while. i prayed and felt the ache and knew we were getting closer to our baby. my arms just wanted to hold him or her. i wanted to skip this whole process - forget the paperwork and the misgivings - and just jump to the day where we looked our baby in the eyes and knew we made it. 

i also was scared. i didn't want to admit it, but i was almost struck numb with the hoops we had to jump through in order to complete the process. i felt overwhelmed, depressed, and confused. i didn't understand how i could resist the process so much but ache for my baby. i didn't understand the discrepancy between my fear of being a mom and the urge to mother.

but then january came, and God gave us a word to cling to: jubilee.

i had no idea the road He was about to lead us through - no idea the obstacles. staring back at these six months, it's only by His grace we've made it this far.

and it's only by His grace we're still clinging to jubilee & still fighting for our baby.

Posted on August 2, 2011 and filed under Faith, Paperwork.

be one?

A couple weeks ago, I sat down on the ground in our living room and organized papers for three hours. Sitting there, amidst all of the papers and forms and outlines and fee sheets, it became really really overwhelming. But I know it never happens unless you start, and according to Steven Pressfield, regardless of what you're doing, you need to start before you're ready.

So uh, here we are...unready.

Our goal is to have our dossier in Ethiopia by August. This is going to take a whole lotta work - and a whole lotta help.

Gladney separates paperwork into three sections. Right now, Russ and I are diving in to group one. This includes the application, criminal background, medical exams and the home study.

This will cost us about $11,000.

Physically, this number is impossible to reach. But I've been reminded lately that our God dwells in the impossible - and often asks us to do the same. I would love to have this amount by the end of May. This would place us with about 25,000 more dollars to raise {because we're uh...raising enough money for two kids} and well on our way to the amount needed for our dossier to be in Ethiopia by August.

Right now, we're looking for 100 people to donate 100 dollars. All it takes is one - and even if you can't give a hundred dollars, any bit helps.

These past few months have been huge for us in terms of our hearts' preparation for our children waiting for us. More than ever before we feel called to Ethiopia, and more than ever before we feel longing for our children to be with us. And we know we can't do it alone.

Will you join?

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me!

 

Posted on May 6, 2011 and filed under Fundraising, Paperwork.

made beautiful.

there have been a couple instances this past week where i'm suddenly hit with this realization of holy cow...we're adopting. one was yesterday when we received the application from Gladney. i printed off both manuals for our dossier & application. looking at the stack of 150+ sheets of paper, it's very easy to get overwhelmed. because of this, i was incredibly thankful for the groupings in which the africa team instructed us to organize our paperwork. makes it manageable looking at a checklist of sixteen steps as opposed to a checklist of well...a lot. i texted a friend the picture of me nearly buried under the paper and she responded, "shout hallelujah with each page turned - your hope rests in the jubilation coming." i could only smile at her text - and fight back the tears because of the reminder - our jubilation is indeed on its way.

and then this morning, on my way to work, i listened to the gungor album. as beautiful things played, i cried. suddenly, the realization that our baby will experience redemption at a level we could never even dream hit me square in the chest. i envisioned what him or her may face in these months/years to come and my heart broke - with everything inside of me i wanted to be on a plane headed towards ethiopia. i wanted to hold my baby in my arms, kissing his/her small head.

i'm here. i won't leave. it's okay.

and then i realized, i can envision this redemption. i've lived it. my own life was dust - my own clothes ragged. Christ, in His goodness & faithfulness, held me, adopted me as His own and promised me He'd never leave.

He made me new.

i've thought a lot about our baby today. for all we know, there's a woman in ethiopia right now, praying for a way out of her situation. have faith, my sister. Rescue is coming...your ashes will turn into beauty.

and because of your courage,  Rescue is showing us more of Himself and His heart everyday.

Gungor's beautiful things. if you haven't heard the song, i highly suggest you take a moment and listen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyPBtExE4W0

Posted on December 8, 2010 and filed under Adoption, Paperwork.