DATES!!!!!

We have our dates! We have our airline tickets! We have our apartment! We have a paper chain countdown! We have a carseat! We have beds! We are not packed…

We leave January 6! I am over the moon excited to finally meet our sweet girl! I can not wait to hug her, touch her, look into her beautiful blue eyes, hear her sweet voice in person, snuggle her in my carrier, play with her, read to her, sing to her, show her HER Mommy’s love….so many things to look forward to!

Little Moose is SO excited, I think every person he has come in contact with has heard how many days until we leave to get his sister. I mean everyone! His Awana leaders, Sunday School teachers, random people at church, Walmart employees, the cashier who gave him ice cream at the mall, all the employees at Build A Bear when we made Ruthie’s Christmas gift, I think he’s even told our cat! This little boy can not contain his joy and everyone catches it!

This weekend we will buy the paint for Ruthie’s bedroom and get started with that project! It’s going to be SO cute and girly!

I get to celebrate this weekend with some friends! I love all things baby shower related, and am so blessed by dear friends who want to shower Ruthie with love too!

We are very close to being fully funded! Our FSP needs to be at about $16,000 to be FF. We have a few fundraisers still open, they are listed here. We are hoping to finish this out before Christmas. And remember, all donations to our Reece’s Rainbow FSP are tax deductible!

 

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MATCHED!!

Ok, so this is a bit late. And how I don’t know because really it is the greatest news so far!

About two weeks ago we asked for prayer because our Dossier had been submitted and we were hoping for a quick response. Well, God answered FAST! Little Mouse woke up at 4:30 AM on Sep 7. I remember because when I looked at my phone to check the time there was an email from our fantastic adoption facilitator letting us know that we would not be needing our 30 day count down. We had been granted our match request!

We are now waiting for all the official paperwork from our little girls country so that we may submit our next application to USCIS. This will grant her permission to immigrate to the US as our child.

So, are new prayer request is for these papers to come quickly!

While we wait I have a few fundraisers going. The Tastefully Simple fundraiser will go through September 30, we still have Eggs available, and I am preparing for one last rummage sale.

Dossier Submitted!

Wahoo!!!

Our Dossier has been submitted!!

We have been working for MONTHS to gather all the necessary paperwork, get it all notarized, and finally have each piece apostilled. The Dossier consists of medical reports for both of us and the boys, our home study, financial statement, birth certificates and marriage license, and our application letter among a bunch of other paperwork.

This news has brought a tremendous amount of relief. We have worked so hard to get to this point. We are now at the place where it is out of our hands. The wait for our official referral is up to 30 days. We are praying and hoping that it does not take that long. Mommy and Daddy are both anxious to get updates on our sweet girl.

I have a 30 day countdown on my kitchen marker board. Everyday I can wipe a number off and hopefully we don’t have to wipe off all 30 numbers before we get our referral!

In the meantime we will continue fundraising! My next post will be about upcoming fundraisers and how you can be involved.

For now please pray with us for favor from the officials who receive our Dossier, that they would see us as the right family for our girl and give us our referral quickly so we can move to the next step.

Apostilles and Big Cities

So much has happened this past week! With our home study being approved we jumped head first into finishing paperwork for our Dossier as well USCIS.

Our I800a was mailed last week and we received notice that it has been logged for processing! This is the application to request permission from US immigration to adopt a foreign child. We have to be finger printed again and than wait for the approval letter. The whole process is supposed to take 4-6 weeks.

The boys and I went to Madison to pick up our Apostilled Wisconsin documents. I did not google the address for the Secretary of State’s office. I thought it was near the lake. Nope! Right on the square! 😦 Now, I love the capital building! I think it’s a beautiful building and have always enjoyed walking through and around it. Just not with two small children by myself. We arrived on the square right at lunch time. It was crazy! We made a few laps before finding parking on a side street. The meter used all my change. It’s about 90 outside, Mouse is trying to sleep, and Moose is tired. I hauled the boys (with the help of GPS) to the right building, up to the 10th floor, to find out they are closed for an hour. I didn’t have enough change to cover that long in the meter so we had to leave. The boys were happy with the McDonald’s chicken nuggets they got as a special treat though.

When we got back to the square I had to find a parking garage because I was out of change. That meant a longer walk for a sleepy Moose. With the help of GPS we found the building again, got our paperwork, and headed back. Only this time we got lost. Thankfully, people in Madison tend to be friendly. After some help we found our way back to the car and headed for home.

I thought that was an adventure. Until we went to Chicago to get Illinois Apostilles!

SO grateful that was Jason and I and not me with the boys! The Secretary of State’s office is in the heart of Chicago, near Macy’s and Trump Tower. Finding a parking garage was a feat. And then it ended up costing $32! For less than two hours! We got our form filled out to Apostille 15 documents only to find out they no longer take credit cards. We had to go find an ATM. We got back with cash to find out Illinois didn’t like how two of our forms were filled out and wouldn’t apostille them. Since we had driven two hours for this they said they would wait for us to go get them re-notarized and come back. Again, SO glad Jason was with! They gave us a map and sent us on our way. I was so lost! I have no idea where we went or how we got back. Now we are praying and hoping that these new notaries will be acceptable as they are NOT what our adoption agency gave us to use.

All that to say, our Dossier should have arrived at our adoption agency this afternoon. And if everything is ok with the new notary will soon be on it’s way to be translated for submission to the LCA.

You may have seen that our finance page jumped a LOT this weekend. We paid $890 in fees to USCIS last week with our I800a application. We had to pre-pay our home study agency for our Post Placement visits. We had already paid for four visits with our initial fees, but our daughter’s country requires seven. Those three extra visits were another $900. And also $9,228 to our agency for fees due with our Dossier.

And that will lead me into my next post about our Trike/Bike-a-Thon Fundraiser. 🙂

Oh, Happy Day!

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!!

I have been working with an aide from Senator Stadelman’s office trying to get our Home Study out of DCFS. When I called this morning for an update (there was supposed to have been a meeting last Wednesday) his aide did not sound very optimistic. He did assure me they were doing everything they could and would update in a day or so. To say the least, I was very disappointed. Again.

I talked to our adoption coordinator to see if she thought we had a chance of marking our home study as urgent as Ruthie is quite small for her age. She was more than willing to try. We had a conference call with our social worker. I feel bad for our social worker. You could tell she was at a loss of how to help and she’s getting calls from upset families wanting her to do something. Basically after the DCFS meeting last week they were told to just wait it out. I know she is doing what she can and I appreciate that. The only real hope she could offer though was that it seems getting a Senator involved is only thing working.

So I left that call crying. Wow, this is an emotional roller coaster! And I don’t do roller coasters! I like the teacups and those swings that go up and around. But you find me in line for the Batman at Six Flags, tried it, it didn’t end well.

And than Sen Stadelman’s aide called back…

Are you ready?

DCFS approved our Home Study and the letter is in the mail!!! Thank you Jesus! The answer to so many prayers from SO many people!

I was finally able to call Jason with good news, the best news for now really.

Hopefully by the end of the week the notarized home study and approval letter will be in our hands. As soon as that happens the boys and I will be headed to the post office to overnight that to USCIS for immigration approval. I’m pretty sure I will be stalking the mailman this week. 🙂

While making dinner for the boys I received a call from DCFS. The man said he was newly appointed to oversee the home studies. He received the complaints I had sent to the Governor and thought he should probably call and make sure I knew our home study was approved and in the mail. I have been thinking no one was seeing my emails, letters, or phone call messages. I’m happy to hear I was wrong!

I know at least three other families who are still waiting. Please prayer for these families and that their Home Studies come this week as well. Since I don’t have permission to share their names, please remember the D, S, and C families who want their children home.

Petition is on it’s Way!

I have a mug of cards with verses on them. Every few days I pull out a new card and put it on the cupboard by the kitchen sink so I can see it and memorize Scripture while in the kitchen. The card I pulled out this week is James 5:16 The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

Will you please join us in prayer, earnest prayer, about these home studies?

I mailed the petition to Governor Rauner today. There were 113 signatures when I printed it. I can not tell you how encouraged and uplifted we were by the support of so many friends, family, and strangers. Hopefully this petition will get the Governor’s attentions and hopefully he will understand the importance of this bill and it’s affect on so many children’s lives.

We are confident the bill will be signed. We are praying it is soon (like in the next week or two). If it is signed soon and home studies are released it will still be a possibility for Ruthie to come home this year.

Praise God this bill, HB 3079, has passed the House and Senate!

Praise God that the adoption process will be a bit easier for Illinois families in the future.

Praise God we are day by day getting closer to having our little girl in our arms.

Pray that the petition reaches the right people at the right time.

Pray that the Governor is understanding and willing to do what he can for Illinois’ waiting families.

Pray that those home studies are released soon (like I said, we are praying for this week or next).

Pray for us as well as the other families who are waiting and working so very hard to bring our little ones home.