May 20, 2009

Paperwork, Paperwork, and more.....Paperwork!!

Things have been quiet for quite a while, and then the flood gates opened again! We are in the process of gathering our Dossier paperwork. The Dossier is a collection of documents that will be sent to Thailand. Included are certified marriage and birth certificates, certified copies of tax returns, bank statements, employment letters, etc. We also have to include letters of recommendation, and pictures of the house and our family. I'm just about finished gathering everything! Once we send the Dossier to Thailand, they will then be able to update *W*s file and send the updates back to our adoption agency. We will then sign more paperwork and return it to Thailand. Thailand will then send us an invitation to travel. I'm praying it's before the end of this year!We're still working on raising money for the rest of the adoption expenses. We are feeling led to take the boys with us to Thailand. Both Chris and struggled with this at first. We had concerns for JC's health, but we have a peace about taking him with us. We will just be extra careful and take precautions to help him stay health. Our other concern is finances. God knows what we'll need to make this work, and He's in charge! We feel that *W*s adjustment will be much easier if she meets her brothers right away. She is used to being with children, so it should be easier for her. I think it will be much easier for the boys too. When we approached them about going, Nick was SO EXCITED! JC was much more reserved. He's been much quieter and more reserved throughout the whole process. He's a lot like his daddy. He stands back and observes, and doesn't show much emotion either way. I'm really at peace now that we've decided to take the boys with us. We are a family and this is a family process. I think they really need to be a part from the very beginning. There's also the value of experiencing a different culture. I think it help the boys connect with their new sister if they see where she has lived for the first 6 years of her life. Please continue to pray for us as we journey towards becoming a family of 5!

Mar 5, 2009

Our Home Study is DONE!

Our home study is complete! It's a miracle! Endless hours of paperwork and interviews have finally come to an end! Well, at least for right now. I had to read and proof the home study last night. It took over 2 hours. I'm glad I didn't have to write it, that's for sure. WACAP will now proof the study and advise us of any changes they wont made. The study will then be notarized and our daughter will officially be placed on "hold". We will then apply to immigration, which takes 6-12 weeks. Then we gather MORE paperwork and send that along with the home study and immigration approval to Thailand. Next we wait.... Thailand will send us an invitation to travel! We're praying for a summer travel date, but God is ultimately in control. He has the entire process in his hands.

In the meantime, JC is doing much better! No tummy pain at all today! He's been his happy, crazy, energetic self all day long. Adjectives are throwing the boys for a bit of a loop. JC is really struggling with the whole concept. So much so, that it seems he has forgotten what a subject and verb are too! Today was a long day for all of us! Hurbie was a happy camper though. He hasn't been able to go outside and play ball for days because of the snow and ice. (Yes, 4 inches of snow, in GEORGIA, in MARCH! Global warming is hard at work:o). Hurbie was raised in Florida, so he'd never seen snow. Let's just say that he could have gone his entire life without seeing snow. He was "high steppin" and not happy. He has a need to run after a ball every day. The rest of us also have this need because he will drive us nuts if he doesn't get some exercise! Chris's favorite line about Hurbie is "That's not proper guide dog behavior". I think he's absolutely adorable! Well, most of the time anyway....

Mar 3, 2009

Amazing Grace

On Thursday evening, JC came to me complaining of a tummy ache. I didn't think too much of it as we were recently exposed to the stomach bug that's going around. So, I prepared for what I thought was going to be a long night of the dreaded stomach bug. Well, the symptoms never came. By Friday afternoon, he was in more pain and couldn't even walk upright anymore. We rushed him to Barrow County Hospital E/R. They did an x-ray and saw a blockage in the small intestine. He was rushed to Children's at Emory by ambulance at 3:30 A.M. Chris was with JC and I was home with Nick. Chris and I were on the phone together throughout the night.

Once at Children's, JC's treatment moved very slowly. He did not receive his first dose of oral medication until 11:00 P.M. Needless to say, we were very frustrated with the very slow treatment he was receiving. The medication that they ordered for JC was supposed to add water to the intestines allowing the blockage to pass. This sounds great in theory, but the medication smells awful and tastes worse. We called it stinky skunk juice. JC could not keep the medication down. This caused us more frustration because the resident was completely incompatent. I had to insist that they prescribe an anti nausea medication to help him keep the medication down. We were really concerned that JC would need surgery.

When JC was born he had an intestinal blockage. He had surgery when he was less than 24 hours old. At one year of age, he had a repeat blockage and was very ill. It was one of the worst times in our lives. JC couldn't eat or drink, and they placed a tube through his nose down into his stomach (NG tube). He was so sick and sad. The blessing in all of it is that he was so young, he doesn't remember.

JC is now 11, so we haven't had a bowel issue for 10 years. When we found that he had another obstruction, we just couldn't stand the thought of him having to go through all that again. We pleaded with God to have mercy on JC, and He did! The obstruction had passed by Sunday morning! His x-ray was totally clear and he went "' #2" 3 times! He hates that his going potty has become public news, but we can't keep silent about what God has done!

Chris and I were in Ron Riley's Sunday school class for several years. One of the things that Ron impressed upon us was that we are never to rob God of His glory. So, we praise God for our son has had a healing touch from the Great Physician!

As JC continues to battle CF, God will continue to be faithful. When JC was born, my dad was given a verse that we have claimed as JC's life verse. Psalm 34: Many are the afflictions of the righteous, BUT the Lord DELIVERS them out of them ALL! God has truly shown his amazing grace to us and we are truly blessed. JC came home from the hospital on Sunday afternoon, just in time to play in the snow! God is so good.

Feb 26, 2009

Where Frustration and Faith meet.......

I'd love to report that our Home Study is complete, but alas, we're still waiting. The last few days have been very discouraging and frustrating. Our social worker has been dragging her feet a bit. Based on our converstion yesterday, I think she honestly believes that *W* would be better off left in Thailand! This is so unbelievable to me! Our social worker is unsaved, so much of how we live as a family is foreign to her. We speak freely and openly of God and His direction and guidance in our lives, and she just doesn't get it. She truely believes that I am incapable of contributing anything to our family and that Chris is forced to do everything. She keeps asking how he (meaning Chris) is going to handle everything. She keeps suggesting that this is too much for him. He forgot some papers that he was going to fax to her yesterday. So, she took that opportunity to go into a whole discussion about how Chris forgetting the papwers is a sign that we should reconsider. She insisted that families do quit during or after the home study. HE JUST FORGOT THE PAPERS!!! He left them on the counter in the kitchen. Sorry, this is my vent session. I believe that God is going to show Himself strong in this process. I also believe that Donna must see Christ in us, so I've been quiet and not said much. We just calmly restate our intentions to adopt *W* and try to move on as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that we are paying for this process. Fortunately, the home study is guided by laws and therefor she can't really say anything in the study itself. It's not guided by her opinions. I just wonder who she thinks has raised these boys, taught them to read, and takes care of them when their dad is working. I never want to take anything away from Chris. He is a wonderful husband and father. God could not have done better than Chris, when He chose my husband. However, I do contribute to our marriage and parenting. I think I'm resenting her attitude towards me, and I'm really praying for God to help me through that. He is my avenger. We are believing that our social worker will walk away from our after placement visits with a smile. She will see God's hand and the miracle that our little *W* is at peace and very content. Hopefully, my next post will be that our home study has been approved!

Feb 10, 2009

Infinity and beyond!

How long does an international adoption take? Well, it seems like FOREVER, and we've only just begun! Our Home Study is finished in the sense that Chris and I have done everything we are responsible to do. We are now waiting for our social worker to submit a rough draft to WACAP for their approval. The adoption process seems to be filled with a lot of hurry up and wait. We are using this time to get prepared for her to arrive. We are having fun picking out little girl stuff. So far, we have found a castle bed, princess sheets, princess comforter, and lots of other pink stuff! Even the boys are getting into the spirit of it (despite the fact that they dislike all things pink).

I've struggled a bit during this Home Study process. Our social worker seems to have a very hard time understanding how I function day to day. She doesn't appear to have much experience with the visually impaired. So, naturally, she assumes that I am completely helpless and contribute nothing whatsoever to raising the boys, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, and the list goes on. So, imagining that I do absolutely nothing, she can't understand whywe want to adopt a child. Yet alone, a child with a disability. First of all, let me say that I never want to discount or take away from anything that Chris does. He has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders. He gladly helps me around the house and never utters a word of complaint. He goes above and beyond any other husband I know. He is a wonderful father who spends tons of time with the boys. They adore their dad, and he really enjoys them. I do however, struggle with her perception of me. I'm tempted to go on a rant and list all my accomplishments and abilities, but I'm really not responsible for any of it. God is. His grace is sufficient for me in all situations. So, we've spokend truthfully to our social worker, and we're believing God to take care of the rest. God has called us to this adoption, and He'll make the way clear. We're praying that as we share our story, others will come to know Christ. That's our ultimate goal, and we are blessed to be chosen for this special job.