Saturday, December 8, 2012

inching closer.....

We are coming little one, we promise....

I get asked all the time whats taking so long!  Ugh, I know, it's frustrating.  I wish adoption didn't take so long or cost so much, but the fact is it just does.  It's a long process with a big price tag.  Lots of court fees, lawyer fees, the agency you pay to work on your case, flights, medicals, child care.   The list goes on.   Now when we had our 3 children naturally the medical bill was enormous as well, but we were able to pay it off over time. Adoption does not give you that option.  I feel so so blessed to be financially able to adopt, I really do.  But it stinks that there are so many families who would be great families for these children but don't feel they are able to financially.  I want to encourage everyone to not let money stop you from doing something you feel called to do.  The money will come.  It will.  There are also many loans and grants out there for adoptive families.  And God just has a way of providing what you need!

Ok, I had no intention on talking about money in this post:)  I really just wanted to update everyone on where we are at.  So Last week we got our i600 approval which is a HUGE step in the final process.  So not only is he our son in Congo, the US recognizes him as our son now too.  Whew, cuz I really didn't want to have to live in    Congo(-:  Seriously one thing I have learned through this process is just when you celebrate finishing one huge step, there is another step waiting right around the corner.  Its one thing after another.  Lots and lots of ups and downs.  I am happy to say that in a process of about 50 steps though we are now down to the last 2.  Up next is our embassy date.  OH wait, I mean up next is waiting to hear "when" our embassy date will be.  then once we have that date, we can get the visas.  This could all happen in a matter of 2 weeks.  We could be on a plane in two weeks holding our sweet boy.  BUT.....EVERYTHING IS CLOSED!  Yeah, not too excited about that but what can we do.  It's looking like we are going to have to wait for our little man a little longer.  Once things open back up the first of the year we will be on our way to baby J!!  I cant wait to hold him in my arms.  What an amazing day that will be.....

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

So close yet so far away.....

We are happy to say that the final paperwork has been filed and now we are just waiting for approval to go ahead and get visas!  It's a very important and exciting step filing the i600, and its a step we have been patiently waiting for.  Yet for some reason instead of being overjoyed I just feel so far from having him in our arms.  Somedays I feel like he is slipping away, like he's not even ours anymore.  I think I am feeling this way because we thougth for sure he would be here by now.  According to our agency we could have him anywhere from Sept -Nov.  Now its hard to admit but he may not even be home before Christmas.  This is hard as we have family who really wanted to meet him and will likely not be able to for a while now.  I know we are SOOOO close and I need to just trust God and his amazing timing.  If he is not home before Christmas we will most likely be traveling the first of the year.  thats not too far away:)  If you can pray specifically for our process pray that our i600 gets approved next week and can travel a few weeks after that. 

Another prayer request.....there is conflict going on in Congo that could start another war.  Its absolutely horrible what they are doing to the innocent people in this country.  Our son is in a safe place as of right now but with the risk of a war who knows how that will affect everything.  My heart hurts for these people and wish there was more we could do.  I will include an article below.

On another note the Gillette Summer of Hope program is in its beginning stages right now and if there is anyone who would like to know more about it please contact me!  We did a presentation at our church this weekend and had a good response to the program.  We will be having an informational meeting the on December 1st 2pm at High Plains Community Church.  Come and see what it is all about and how you can be involved.  Its an amazing ministry!

Ill keep ya posted on our travel time!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Introducing the newest member of our family!!!

Our mandatory 30 day wait is UP!  He is OURS!  Introducing Gray # 6!  Oh I love this little boy! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

You grew in my heart - not in my belly....

The title of this post says it all!  Its amazing how much I already love this litttle boy I have yet to meet!  My heart aches for him, my mind is going crazy with worry, Im a bit more moody (look out:-), Ive put on a few extra pounds (no stretch marks yet), Ive gone through every cabinet, drawer, closet, and toy box, and anyone who enters my house leaves with an armload of "stuff" they probably never wanted in the first place!  Ive painted J's room, filled his closet  and dresser with tons of clothes, and find myself staring at his room in anticipation of seeing my son in his own room and with our family.  Anyone with children know what I am talking bout?  This whole nesting thing is just as present as it was with my three bio children!  It's different, yes, but it's 100% there.  No, I dont get the opportunity to hear his heart beet,  feel those sweet feet kicking my belly, or feel him hickup inside me (LOVE) but I do get to see pictures of his sweet face and see him smile (by the way I plan on sharing his photo next blog so stay tuned!)  I know that doesnt seem like alot but somehow it is enough to make me head over heels in love with him, just as I was so in love with my three children that grew in my belly.   He is growing more and more in my heart:-)

Alot of postive things have happened since we passed court.  J was transfered to a new "transition home" in a new city where we will be picking him up.  This is HUGE!  HUGE!  For one, the place he was in was in a very remote location where necessities were limited.  The region he was in was also very scary and unsafe.  While many adoptive parents get to see more photos and even hire people to visit their kiddos we could not as his region was too unsafe to enter:-(  BUT, now he is in a different home getting the care he should be, and this home is much safer and even has security guards.  So glad to know my litttle boy is SAFE!  We will be getting more frequent updates as well as communication is much better with this home.  There are families who are there picking up their own kiddos as well so we should be receiving information and photos from them too.  The best part of this move is that this is the END part in this whole process!  This is where the kids whos parents are very close to the finish line are at!  I CANT WAIT!!!!  Even though I am so happy for J to be in better care I am full of mixed emotion.  This poor little guy had been in one orphanage since birth.  Im sure leaving it was just as hard as taking a two year old away from his parents.  That is the only home he has ever known and the caregivers were "his Mommas".  And not to mention he most likely had NEVER driven in a car and definatly not in an airplane!  I wonder if he was scared while he was thousands of feet in the air?  I wonder if he cried?  I wonder who was with him?  Does he understand this is for the better? (doubt it) How confusing this must all be for this child. I cant even imagine what he must be going through. Did they let him say his goodbyes to his foster mommas?  How could we ever thank his foster moms enough for doing the best they could caring for my son for over two years?    We will never know who they are.  Sadly neither will J. 
Once again I ask for your prayers.  Please pray that J can understand to the best of his ability that this is all for the better.  Please pray that The Lord prepares his heart for us, and that the Lord prepares our own hearts and minds for the arrival of our son as we know it is not all going to be easy.  However, this is a challenge I CAN NOT WAIT TO TAKE ON!!!!
God Bless!  Haley

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

We have judgement!!!!!

Praise the Lord!!!  FINALLY we have heard those words we have been longing to hear!  The judge has given us written judgement!   We still have 30 days to wait before we can shout to the world that "J" is legally our son but we are one big step closer!  The 30 days is there to give any family members the chance to step forward and request custody of him.  However, we have been informed that this is very unlikely especially in "J's" case as he was abandoned at birth and there are no known relatives.  Iv'e always wondered why this step isnt taken before judgement, but it is what it is and we are thrilled that we are one huge step closer to bringing home our son!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Happy Birthday "J"!!!

Its been a long time since I have posted anything.  For one its hard to find time to sit down in peace and quiet and blog and another is that nothing has really happened.  Our dossier was submitted to court and has been sitting there since late June early July.  We thought we would hear that we passed court (J is legally ours) by the end of July.  Well its almost September and we have heard NOTHING!  So anyone that is reading this will you please pray that the Judge may look over our case and grant us custody of our son!  I am longing to hear those words so badly! 

On August 20th out sweet son turned TWO!  How bittersweet this day was for me.  I am so thankful that his birth Mommy gave him life and left him somewhere safe but so sad that we can not be with him to let him know how special he is and how much he is loved.  I doubt he was even aware it was a special day for him:(  We did eat some cake and ice cream in his honor so when he is older he can see that his second birthday WAS special and his family did celebrate his life.

"Happy birthday buddy!"

I still am overwhelmed at the amount of orphans in this world.  Seems like every week I see pictures of some new children who have become parentless.  It is so hard to see these faces, some with the most precious smiles I have ever seen, some with tears in their eyes, some who look so confused.  Honestly if Jeff felt as strongly as I do about these children we would be pursuing another adoption along with our current one.  Its not that I enjoy being crazy busy, stressed, overwhelmed, but I feel led to help these orphans!  But for now I will pray for these children to find their forever families before it is too late.  So many children have passed away waiting, some outgrow the system waiting and are left to face the world with out the love and guidance of a family. 

I am currently working on an organization who brings older orphans to the states for a hosting program to expand here in Gillette, WY.  It is called Summer of Hope out of Bozeman, MT.  It has been proven to be very sucessful in finding the older children families.  Children who would likely not be adopted because they are over 6 years of age would come to the states and live with a family for about 4-5 weeks over the summer.  These children do now know they are potentially going to be adopted but rather think of it as a summer vacation.  The family then can pursue the adoption when the 5 weeks is up.  It is an amazing program and I can't wait to get it running here in our community and help find these still so young children loving families! 

"Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do.  God, who weighs on our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know, and holds us responsible to act." Prov. 24:12

This is a great video on adoption...please take a moment to watch!


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Waiting SUX!

Yeah this waiting is taking a toll on me. To start with we thought we were a week or two away from our court date to now findong out that our dossier was just now submitted. (we thought this was submitted on the 26th of may). So to make a long story short we are one month behind schedule than we thought we were. Also things have now just slowed down almost to a standstill these last few months in our region in Congo. So we thouht we would be holding our son in our arms in October but now we are hoping for November and in the back of my mind i keep thinking please please at least have my son here for Christmas. This all just sux! We have two different photos of him from the same day that are almost a year old. So many others have so much more information and updates /photos of their child than what we do. Yes i am complaining yes i am feeling sorry for our situation right now as i am in a slump! I know! It could be worse! And while i sit here and complain in my 4000 sq ft air conditioned house while drinking my coffee a little boy across the world waits. Waits in an orphange with no running water or electricity and no family to call his own. Yet i am feeling sorry for myself. Ugh. Since we have started this adoption i have heard of at least 4 families who have lost their child to malnutrition, malaria, or unknown while just months away from bringing them home. These are families i know of. I know there are countless more who i do not. That is why i so badly want him home. That is why i almost feel guilty for only adopting one child. That is why i feel those people who have been called to adopt and havent should. If God has put adoption on your heart there is a reason he has. I read somewhere that of all the Christians in the world like 30% have said they want to adopt but only 1% have actually done it. Also if every Christian in the world would open their life to adopting an orphan it would end the orphan crisis. All of these children would have a family. Adoption is not for everyone but i feel it is for many more familys than what are doing it. I have heard from many families that if there were a child who they knew needed a family they would adopt them in a heartbeat. Let me tell u there are children all over needing a family. They are not going to land on your doorstep. They need you to advocate for them. They cant do it without you. I obviously went off subject a little in this post but i have a heavy heart right now!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

We have a referal!!!

It is official!  We have a referal of a 20 month old little boy!  He is as cute as can be and we can't wait to bring him home!  It is so exciting to see his pictures and know that we now have a face, a face of a precious child who will soon be embraced in the arms of Jeff and I and who will soon be running around our house with Avery Bayley and Cash!  It is so amazing to watch God's plan unfold! 

I had so much more I wanted to say in this post, however, it is getting late and really I just wanted to share our exciting news for now:~) Haley

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Why Why Why

I have had many questions about our adoption in the last few weeks so I am going to try and answer many of them here.  By the way I appreciate any questions and interest in our adoption!

Let's start with WHY do you choose to adopt when you can have children of your own?   This one is pretty easy for me to answer.  I have always thought of my children as "God's" children and not "my" children.  I am their chosen "mommy" and am so thankful for that opportunity!  I tell them all the time that I am so happy that God has chosen me to be their mommy.  What an amazing gift, really WOW!  I truly feel in my heart that I have another child out there who does not have a mommy of his own and that I am meant to be his.  God has clearly put adoption on my heart and I am following his direction.  We have the desire, we have the room, and most of all we have the love to share!

Is Jeff ready? Adoption is not one of those things that most men think about or desire. It is usually the wife that plants the thought of adoption in their minds and the Lord who plants it in their hearts. I have heard many people say that it took a long time for their husbands to come around adopting but once they decided it was time they were just as excited as the wives. Jeff however, has always been open to the idea since we first discussed it on like our 3rd date:) He just didn't know when. Well, I'm not sure what happened in that heart of his but he IS on board to start this roller coaster! He also realized that he would rather have our children closer now then have a big gap btw them and starting all over. I think God did a great job matching us up because he keeps me grounded and realistic, while I keep him moving and dreaming.

WHY now?  Why adopt while your children are so young?  Well it's just so plain and simple for me but I can see where people may wonder why.  Like I have said before I have always known I am going to adopt.  Right now I am a stay at home mom and to us that just makes sense since we plan on adopting a younger child.  We like having our children close and I really want our next child to grow up with his siblings.  Also, I hate to say but we are not getting any younger:)  In a few years Jeff will be the big 40!  Crazy! (sorry for sharing Jeff:)  I always look at these families out there and think "oh they are in the same place we are, or oh I wonder if we graduated around the same time"?  Then only to find out they are like in their 20's!  Am I the only one this happens to?  I swear it happens every day!  The last 8 years have seriously just flown by!  Another great thing about bringing in our next child now vs later is that my children are so used to sharing mommy and daddy anyways that I don't think it will be as much of a shock as if we waited until they were older.  I have heard it many times that going from 2 to 3 children is the hardest but after that it's no big deal!  We will soon find out if that holds true:)

Why not adopt domestically?   This is a great question and I think every family and every situation is different.  For starters we would like our next child not to be older than our oldest child Avery.  I have always pondered the idea of domestic adoption but what I have found out is that unless you want to adopt an infant there really are not many toddler or preschool age children out there up for adoption.  I do not feel right about adopting an infant especially when there are many loving families out there who can not have children of their own and are waiting for a baby.  We have had the wonderful opportunity to raise three babies already. 
So that left international adoption.  I have always been drawn to Africa.  The statistics that I will share over time is so heartbreaking.  There are soooo many orphans.  One in five children die before their 5th birthday.  5.4 million people have died in Congo as a result of war, with 2.7 of them being children.  I could go on and on but I will share more facts in a later blog.
A friend of mine who has a heart of gold shared a website called Reece's Rainbow months back.  Most all of these children have down syndrome and live in "baby houses".  Unfortunately after they turn a certain age (usually 5 or 6) they are then transferred to adult mental institutions.  Yes ADULT INSTITUTIONS!  This made me sick to think about.  Over the months I would check back and wonder if maybe our child was one of them.  Even though I was favoring the thought of adopting from Africa I had their sweet faces stuck in my mind, in my heart. I began to imagine how wonderful it would be to share our hearts with one of these children.  I found myself in my head naming them, rearranging our bedrooms, our schedules for them. How could they do that to them?  Many of these children were healthy happy little kids that should be starting kindergarten not thrown into an institution.  I used to work with down syndrome individuals and they have amazing spirits and were such a joy to those around them.  Well after months of this I prayed, visited with Jeff, and even started inquiring about one of the children.  Turns out I am not eligible to adopt from the countries that these angels were from because I am on anxiety medicine.  There are so many countries that won't even consider you if you are on any form of antidepressant or anxiety medicine.  They must think if you are on any of these meds you are crazy or something, I don't know!  I guess I am a little crazy but it's only since I became a mom that I went a little nuts:)  For example when we first had Avery my family put up an "It's a Girl!" sign up in our front yard.  Well, I was worried someone might see that and know there was a new born inside and try and steal her!  So of course I took it down!  Then I would find myself checking the windows and doors every night because I didn't want anyone coming in and kidnapping my babies.  Or loosing sleep because I was afraid a fire might break out upstairs where they sleep.  That one still keeps me up sometimes:)  I  guess I am crazy but it's only because I love them so much! 
Needless to say the doors to adopting one of the children on Reece's Rainbow closed.  However, Africa's doors were still open and after talking more and more with Jeff on the issue he was much more open to Africa anyways.  It felt like God was backing that decision and made it clear that that is where our child is.

Why Congo?  It really didn't matter to us where we adopted from in Africa at first.  As I began researching though I came across a picture of a waiting child from Congo.  He was 4 years old and adorable.  I inquired about him and soon after got a call from his agency.  Well we became very interested in him and began to research a little more on Congo.  This little guy did find his forever home but I am so glad we came across him as we are now aware of the significant need in Congo and  are working with the same agency that placed him.  I also came across this video clip of Congo.  It is very sad but is one of the first videos I seen of Congo so it really struck me hard. 

thanx for reading:)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It's time for number 4!

Ok, so after 7 years of hearing me randomly talk about adoption Jeff and I are starting the process!  He has made me keep quiet about it until we knew for sure and was even going to make me wait until we had a referral (photo of our child).  However, for anyone that really knows me knows that I have a little, ok a lot, of problems keeping exciting news from friends and family, sometimes even complete strangers:)  Each time I found out I was pregnant I was immediately sharing the wonderful news so this is no different!!  I have to say other than feeling sick that is how I feel.....pregnant.  I'm so overcome with excitement and joy knowing we have a child out there who is meant to be in our family and I can't wait to meet him/her and get him home! 
So here are the details we have so far!  We are adopting from Congo.  If you are not familiar with Congo google it.  It is heartbreaking and we are positive now that that is where our child is.  The average wait time for Congo is 7-10 months. Not bad but we have to be ready to expect anything and I know it's going to be so hard once we see his face to not immediately want him here.  We have been accepted by the agency and are officially on the waiting list.  We will be starting our home study as soon as all of the background checks etc. are in.   This is totally out of our control so pray that goes smooth and quickly.  We put on our application that we would prefer a boy 18months to 4.  We have our reasons and theories as to why we feel a boy is right for our family but really that all depends on what God has in mind! 
So right now we are just preparing our hearts and preparing our finances.  International adoption is an emotional roller coaster so I've heard from everyone who has experienced it.  Even if it all goes smoothly, which is highly unlikely, it is still hard.  So please pray for us, for our child that we can soon call our own, and all the orphans that so desperately and deservingly need a family to call their own.  Also, as most of you know I sell lia sophia jewelry.  Well now I have a new motivation:)  To earn money for this adoption!  So if anyone would like to do a party for me and receive lots of FREE jewelry for yourself I would LOVE to get you on the books!  ALL proceeds from my parties from now until we get our little guy will go straight to a savings account to help with the costs.
Thank you for reading and hopefully soon we will be able to post a picture of our newest family member!