Thursday, March 17, 2011

Please Pray our Children Home

So this post is partly an update on what's going on with our adoption for those of you who have been following along and partly a post to participate in praying for those out there who are in the middle of the process as we are. I'm linking up with Linny over at A Place Called Simplicity to take part in a day of prayer. Please consider hopping over there and reading about other families who tell their stories and praying for them as well.

We are close to finishing up our homestudy. As you may remember our agency was kind enough to rearrange the order of things so that we could get DH's interviews done before he left. Well, we got all the interviews done with the exception of my alone interview and we were waiting for the rest of the stuff to get caught up to that point. We just received our clearances back (clear) so now our application will be officially accepted and I have scheduled my last interview for the 29th. Yay!

After that we will be officially approved for our country and have the complete homestudy done. Again: Yay! But there's been some other stuff brewing that I'd really like prayers for. As you may or may not know, I've had a particular sibling group of 5 be very heavy on my heart for about 1 1/2 years now. For some reason, I feel really connected to this group. My wonderful DH, however, does not. And lest you think I hold that against him, I completely see where he is coming from. If we were to adopt them, we'd have 8 kids between the ages of 4-9. He is the one responsible for paying the bills and having money to put food on the table. He is responsible for this family, no matter how large it is. Sometimes, I think it's much easier for me since I don't really think about that stuff. Anyway, we've been following them and they still have not been placed.

The short version is that we reached out to an organization that brings orphaned kids to the US to stay with host families for 5 weeks during the summer. The host family is responsible for showing them the love of a family during that time as well as introducing them to as many people as possible in hopes that something clicks and they find their forever family. We are praying that this organization will work it out that we can host these particular kids for the summer. We are fully committed to finding them their family and hopefully the experience will clarify whether or not that is us. This is the best meet-in-the-middle arrangement that we can come up with. DH gets the reassurance that he needs about providing for family while I get to help these kids that are so very heavy on my heart. However, that is not how this organization works normally. We have yet to hear back from them. Please pray with us that God works this all out for us to have these kids for the summer. We need the hearts of those in this organization as well as the SW's and counselors at the orphanage as well as approval of the government in their country to all come together on this for it to happen.

The other issue that we are having is pressure from our families. Both my mom and my DH's parents are really at odds with our decision. Please pray that they can find peace over this and not be such an obstacle for our adoption as they currently are.

Also (and I think this is common with most adoptive families), we are concerned about finances. God has provided for us every time we have been in a crunch spot so far. I am confident that He will continue to provide, but please pray for that as well. We don't have the money we need to complete this adoption... or even the next step. Please pray that the funds will be there when we need them.

Thank you all for praying for us as we go through this process. We so very much appreciate your prayers. Please consider praying for the others on Linny's blog as well.

Thank you, Linny, for doing this. Thank you for caring about the fatherless so much that it encourages and inspires all of us to fight for the little ones. Thank your for being so open and honest about your life so that we feel we can know you and be strengthened to follow our hearts.

Monday, March 7, 2011

MBM-Our Homestudy

I've been meaning to share this one for a while now; I guess time has a way of getting away from me. I remember back between Thanksgiving and Christmas, DH and I were having a discussion about gifting. There were several things that I had been wanting for a while and I had thought about asking for them for Christmas. My love does his very best to provide for all my desires, but the problem is: I have a lot of desires. And they aren't the cute, romantic, inexpensive desires either. I'd like and ipod touch or a new sofa set for the family room, amongst other things. As you may or may not know, we've being doing Fin*ncial Pe*ce University for almost two years now. We had made some really poor decisions earlier in our marriage. Really bad decisions, really bad habits, really undisciplined behaviors. We are still paying (and praying) to right those decisions. It's really quite embarassing. But I share this so that others who might be where we were two years ago will know that there's hope. There is a way.

Anyway, back to the story. I knew that there wasn't a whole lot of money for Christmas and that I'd rather spend it on the kids. We found some great stuff on craigslist for them and I was very excited. I was trying to come up with some ideas to put on my list that were much more reasonable, pricewise, than an ipod touch. I wasn't having any luck until I realized that what I really, really wanted wasn't something tangible. We'd been fooling around with that paperwork for our stinkin homestudy for 6 months or more... I just wanted it done. I just wanted to move on to the next step. I looked at my love and said, "All I want for Christmas is to get this paperwork done and sent in."

Well, it didn't happen. It was already January. I knew that he was leaving on Feb. 23 for his depl*yment. I knew that we were running out of time. I did NOT want to WAIT untill JUNE for this homestudy. Yet, I knew that he had to be here for the interviews. I brought it up with him. He was very hesitant. He looked at me and said, "We don't have the money to pay for it. I don't think we can get it done before I leave. We just don't have the money." You see, it costs $44oo to get the homestudy done. You have to pay that prior to your first interview. I love our agency, but they don't mess around. I knew that they do not make allowances in procedures or payments. They mean business. Bummer. So if we submitted paperwork and they sent the clearances off, we could run into trouble. The clearances expire after 90 days. You have to COMPLETE the homestudy in those 90 days. He was going to be gone for 84. So I said, "What about the tax return. That's enough to pay for it, right?" "Yes but they don't have all the updates done and they won't be ready for us to file until the 14th of Febuary. Then we have to wait to get paid. Then we have to pay the agency. Then we have to do all the interviews. I just don't see any way to make this happen. Call and talk about the timing situation with T** and see if it can happen with the short timing. See what she says." He was leaving on the 23rd. You do the math.




But you know that I serve a God who is bigger than the IRS, right?

I serve a God who wants to see all the orphans in loving homes.

I serve a God who hears me when I call.

So what did I do?

I prayed.

and prayed...

and prayed...

And then I called and discussed it with T** and she said that she would look into things and see if we could get it done. She told me to mail the packet and she wouldn't send off for the clearances until we knew what we could do. Typically, they want the clearances to come back before they do the interviews.

I knew there was a way. I knew it had to happen. I just knew.

So, on Feb 7th, I marched myself down the hall and booted up the family computer... the one that the taxes are on. I said a prayer while I waited for the logon to come up. I searched and found the tax software and opened it up. Do you know what it said to me? It said, "There are updates available for this program." I clicked on that link and updated it. Then I called my DH and said, "Come file these taxes!"

So, then. What happens next. We're two weeks away from his leaving. We still don't actually have the money. What to do? What to do? Well, I didn't DO anything. I went to bed praying and waited to see what was going to happen. I got up the next morning and nothing had happened. I couldn't wait anymore, I was too excited. We were too close. I didn't want to miss our shot. I called DH at work and said, "So... ummm.... what are we doin' about this homestudy." "Send the paperwork in. See what T** says. We may not have the time. I still don't know what we're gonna do about the money."

I got the boys ready in record time and we were




to the post office.

Paperwork in the mail.

Now what?

But of course!

Pray some more...

The next day I get this email from T** at our agency... you know, the one that follows the regulations, doesn't make allowances, and expects to be paid when they tell you to pay them. Here's the email:

I spoke to our social workers and provided that your schedule is flexible in the next two weeks, we will be able to expedite your process so that we can complete your home study visits before [DH] is depl*yed. We will be rearranging some of the steps to do this, so your actual approval will still be pending the return of all your clearance forms. You will also need to pay your Adoption Study fee ($4400) at this time. The fee is usually due before you can begin the home study, but in this case we will make an exception and you can just pay for it before your visits are completed. J** H**, our social worker will contact you as soon as possible to schedule your visits.

How do you like them apples?

Not only are they going to be able to squeeze us in the interview schedule but they are overlooking the fact that we haven't even sent out for the clearances yet, let alone got them back.

Get this, though:

I never asked her about the money. I never said anything about not making the payment until the taxes came back. Is that how the real world works? Nah. I fully expected to read on: "You will need to pay your adoption study fee at this time. We cannot schedule the interviews until we receive that payment." The postponed the payment due date with me ever even asking.

Only God.

only. God.

So, that's the story of how we got it all in.

Have faith and talk to your Father.

He knows all about our troubles.

Thanks for hanging in to the end. Please keep my DH safety in your prayers as well as patience for me. I have a difficult time without him. Also, there is something MAJOR going on with our adoption plans right now. Please, please pray that God softens the hearts of those who are about to make decisions in a particular organization, and the C*l*mbian government. Please pray that those decisions are what we have asked for. Please pray that this works out the way we hope.