Tuesday, September 21, 2010

DTE - 9/24/10

Mark and I received an email today from our Family Coordinator with AWAA that our dossier has been approved.  It will be sent to Ethiopia on September 24th, this Friday!  YEA!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Kinko's Trip!

Today we copied all of our dossier documents three times, put them in order and prepared for tomorrow's mailing!  Mark will take the dossier to FedEx at 8am and it will be off to Virginia to be approved by America World.  I can't wait to get the call that we are finally DTE (Dossier to Ethiopia)!
Right now, the wait for a male infant is approximately 4-6 months.  We hope to receive a referral for Zane by February, travel for our Court date in March/April, and go pick him up in April/May.  It's so exciting!

First we double checked (really I don't remember how many times I've checked) all the paperwork at home.
Then we headed to our local Kinko's/FedEx Office.

This is Mark documenting how much money the copies are costing us.  He is a VERY trusty accountant!  :)
putting all the copies in order...

getting a little overwhelmed at the amount of paperwork...

Mark's version of helping... He's so faking it. :)

getting closer to the finish line....

My "baby bump!"

Manly "baby on the way" pose.

It's official.  I'm going to be an ehmyay, "mama!"

Saturday, September 18, 2010


I am so excited I could cry.  We just received our I-171H in the mail today!  We will be sending our dossier to AWAA on Monday.  Hopefully we will have our dossier in Ethiopia by Friday!!!!  YEA!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I'm becoming a mail stalker.  Yes, that was M-A-I-L, not M-A-L-E.  We're expecting our I-171H forms (Immigration) to come in the mail...we think.  We got a call from USCIS with a question about Mark "making his appointment" and I called her back to leave her a message that "yes, he did 'make his appointment.'"  I did not hear back about what this means or if further discussion was needed.  I even brought my phone to work to receive the call between 10 and 11 a.m. (the only hours she returns calls.)  I have not heard one word back from USCIS about this voice message I got two weeks ago.  For days I thought she had figured out the answer to her question and she didn't need me anymore.  I just figured I would see the forms in the mail in the next couple of days.  After a week of checking the mail box and not finding it there, I'm starting to have doubts.  What if she put me at the end of a big long list of "people to call back between 10 and 11 a.m." because I failed to answer her call?  If that's the case, I won't be hearing from her for quite a while I'm sure.  This would further delay our sending of our dossier to Ethiopia, and in turn, delay our referral for our waiting little boy, which would delay our court date to make the little boy ours, and then delay our travel date where we bring our little boy home.  So this is really NO BIG DEAL.  REALLY.  I'm totally fine with checking the mail EVERY day to see more junk mail, bills, and coupons to Bed Bath and Beyond (you know what I'm saying?  How many coupons can they give out!)
All that aside, when I step back and try to see the broader picture, I remember that there are MANY things God is lining up across the world at this very moment.  There is a mother who is deciding what she will do with her unborn or recently born child.  There is a counselor or advisor who is crossing her path to encourage her to choose life and health for her baby.  There is an orphanage that is making room for another baby among the dozens of cribs in their baby room.  There is a volunteer that is donating more formula to the orphanage so the baby can be fed and cared for.  There is an agency that is preparing to advocate for our family.  There is a judge who needs a heart filled with compassion.  And there is a family who needs to understand God's wisdom and love.  No plan is ever standing still in God's Kingdom.  There are thousands of moments that must happen in the lives of hundreds of people before Zane is ready to come home.  Even if we can't see any movement, there is always action going on in the Heavenly realms.  If any of these moments are missed, the plan fails...and God promises His plans NEVER fail.  I'm so glad that I can rest in that.  There is nothing going on right now that isn't part of the greater picture.  I can and I will wait for the Lord.  His timing is ALWAYS perfect.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

How to Save A Life

Ethiopian Orphans from Simon Scionka on Vimeo.

It's hot.  So hot I can't bear to move for fear that I might start sweating.  The sun's beating down at about 100 degrees and the heat index has been reaching up to 110.  To add to the heat, New Orleans is privileged to be surrounded by steaming marshes, creeks, and canals whose waters evaporate into the blazing hot air causing us all to barely be able to breath.  The Mississippi River looks like something out of a horror film.  Steam and fog move mysteriously across the water like ghosts choking residents with it's thick moist consistency.
About the only thing I want to do these days is jump in a pool full of ice and enjoy the refreshing feeling of freezing to death.  If only the 1940's insulation in my walls would contain the air conditioning that has been constantly flowing out of vents in my home 24/7!  There have been many days I've thought of buying a new house with beautiful double-paned windows that actually seal when they close, updated insulation that fills the walls with protection from outside elements, and a ventilation system that keeps our attic cool.  I've thought about a covered deck out back surrounding an underground pool with chilly waters and a relaxing rock fountain.  Add to that an outdoor ice machine, cold drinks, and a pool raft, and I'd have it made.
Six months ago, I would have started saving for exactly those things.  "Why shouldn't I have what many, if not most, homes in America have?"  "It's hot, I work hard, I make money, I deserve these things."  "Life is too short to not enjoy it!"  "I'll feel less stressed and more comfortable with some place to relax."  The explanations and rationalizations I created for spending money were countless.  Afterall, they are all based in some sort of truth...a self-centered truth.
I believe it's these so called "truths" that keep many of us self-absorbed, dissatisfied, and depressed.  The "truth" is there is nothing on earth that will satisfy our deepest needs.  All efforts to de-stress, de-toxify, de-brief, de-whatever are futile if there is nothing better, nobler, wiser to replace it.  The TRUTH is, the only thing that satisfies us is knowing God and making Him known throughout the world.
In adoption, I have found that there is nothing closer to God's heart.  Just as God has adopted us as heirs of His promise, given us full rights as sons, and blessed us with a glorious inheritance, Mark and I are now in turn offering a reflection of God's adoption of us to a baby boy in Ethiopia.
I'm ashamed I ever thought of spending my money, my time, my resources on anything less than a human life.  How much we have in America!  Yet we are content to write checks to charities to avoid getting our "hands dirty."  There is no amount of money saves lives.  God saves lives.  And he uses His people to bring salvation to the "ends of the earth."  One of the ways He does that is through Christian men and women adopting children as sons and daughters who have the full rights and full inheritance of biological children.
I am beside myself when I think of the reality of circumstances in this video.  I can't go on.  I feel like crumbling to the floor in anguish.  I will never be the same.  No discomfort and no sacrifice  is too difficult if it means the rescue of these children.  "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." 2 Corinthians 4:17

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Another prayer answered...Another one requested.

I have been putting off a new entry and rationalizing my procrastination for days now.  While procrastination is never a good idea, there are many good reasons for my delay in writing this entry.
Top Ten:
10.  Football season started.
9.  School is keeping me very busy.
8.  I've been planning a bridal luncheon for my sweet cousin, Amber's wedding on September 5th.
7.  Sometimes, I feel like being lazy and just watching TV.
6.  The dishes are overflowing out of my sink and need to be washed.
5.  I've been reading some great adoption books, Adopted for Life by Russel Moore and There is No Me Without You by Melissa Faye Green
4.  I've been reading countless updates on our adoption Yahoo Group.
3.  Adoption blog-stalking is very time consuming.
2.  I can't stand blogs that just COMPLAIN and I don't want to be "that blogger."
1.  I'm tired of talking about adoption paperwork and that's about all there is to talk about right now.

So...with that said, here is the most mundane post I hope to ever write, written entirely out of my own personal guilt over procrastinating for so long.  I must break free.  Here goes...

Monday, August 23rd (Mark's birthday), Mark and I headed to the local USCIS office to be fingerprinted for our Biometrics appointment at 8:00 a.m.  It was to be a quick fingerprinting, followed by a fast drive to work so I could make it for my first class.  We arrived a few minutes early, entered the office, and approached a metal detector much like the airport security scanners.  As I entered, I was told I could not bring in my coffee...understandable.  I set it down on the ground in the hallway outside the office, so I could grab it on the way out.  Big mistake.  Apparently, drinks have to be taken all the way back down to your car even though the USCIS office is in a regular office building where many people gather in the hallways and elevators with a steaming hot mug of delicious coffee.  No problem.  I took it back to the car.  When I came back up, we went through security easily and got in line with our appointment papers.  When I approached the counter the girl said we did not have the appropriate paperwork.  Mark's appointment was verified, but I did not have an appointment sheet.  I felt like throwing up.  After waiting 5 months to have this moment, the last piece of our dossier completed, I was about to freak out.  I stepped away from the window, turned toward a chair, and sat down.  Immediately, Mark said, "You can just sit there and pray and don't worry about it."  He knew I was on the verge of a meltdown.  He said it right in time because I was just about to explode.  I did exactly as he suggested and prayed with all my heart that the women would find my paperwork quickly and that there would be NO ISSUES with it.  About 15 minutes passed and I was quoting the last verse I knew from the bible about peace and patience in my head when the woman yelled my name to approach the window.  I darted to toward her as she non-nonchalantly placed the paperwork under the window for me to grab.  What a miracle.  USCIS had found my paperwork and no extra calls, raised voices, or sudden freak-outs were required.
It was a mere 15 minute wait after that, and I was in the fingerprinting area getting my immigration fingerprints made!  It was an emotional roller-coaster, but all is well that ends well. :)
Now we are waiting for the USCIS fingerprints to be processed and for an I-171H form, stating we've been cleared, to be sent to our home.  Seems simple, right?
Wednesday, September 1st, the day I expected to possibly receive the forms, I got a call from a USCIS adoption officer.  She wanted to know if "Mark made his appointment..."  I still don't know what that means because when I called back at 4:00 on Wed. afternoon, the voicemail said the office was closed for a government holiday.  No need to look up and re-read, folks.  You're right.  It was WEDNESDAY.  I thought Labor Day was Monday????  I guess the government got off Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.  Wow!  Why don't I work for USCIS???
Today is Tuesday, September 7th, the day after Labor Day.  When I called the office today, the voicemail said, "I only return calls between 10 am and 11 am."  At this point, Mark and I were laughing out loud.  This has got to be the funniest work schedule I've ever heard of!  As of now, we still have not touched base with USCIS to see what was meant by "Did Mark make his appointment?"
USCIS saga to be continued...