Ridiculous Peace

Guess what we're doing right now??  We're waiting.  Again.  Our dossier is in Costa Rica, and has been for awhile...I actually haven't counted the days, which for me, is a pretty big deal!  The translator down there has been working hard on getting everything from English to Spanish.  We had to redo one of the documents 3 times because of changing requirements.  So, PANI (the Costarican central authority over international adoption) doesn't have our dossier in their powerful hands yet.  Which I should be freaking out about.  At least the old me would be freaking out about this.  But God has done such a work in my heart over the past 2 years...And I just trust Him.  He's given me a ridiculous peace.  And I know it's because so many awesome people are going to the Father and interceding on our family's behalf, and people, we feel those prayers!  Everyday.  So keep them coming!

And while you're at it, praying for us and all, pray for our finances!  We still need quite a bit, and we are trusting the Lord to provide it or to show us what to do if the money doesn't come in.  He owns the cattle on a thousand hills.  And He's already provided in such amazing ways that we would never have expected or thought to ask for!  So, again, we trust Him.  And most of the time, I have ridiculous peace even about the $20,000+ we still need...but I do have moments of mild panic.  :)

Friends and family keep asking me, "What's next??"  So basically, this is how things should go down:
1. Our translator finishes and submits our dossier to PANI.
2. PANI reviews and approves our dossier (and us).  We don't really know how long this will take. We are adopting waiting children, and PANI already knows who we are because of a letter we wrote to them...so we're praying God's favor over it and that we don't wait the 2 months that are kind of standard for the approval of the dossier.
3. PANI matches us with the kids!  Which for our friends, happened 1 week after their dossier was approved.  Because they already know what kids we want, it could happen even quicker.  Again, praying favor!
4. We apply to USCIS  (US immigration) for the 2nd time on behalf of these kiddos to make them US citizens so that we can bring them home.   This approval takes 20-30 days.
5. We wait for travel approval!  If I remember right, this doesn't take long at all once the USCIS stuff is in.
6. We go get our kids!

So, we feel like with what God is speaking to us, that we will go this summer.  And since the winter, God has been saying that something will happen in June.  At this point, we probably can't travel in June.  Our paperwork would have to move at warp speeds!!  But God can do this impossible!  ;)  But I believe that something big is going to happen soon!  Keep praying with us!

Paperwork on the Move!

Our paperwork has left the country!!!  I have no idea where it is at the moment, but I do know that it left for Costa Rica sometime on Friday afternoon!  And we were told that our dossier will arrive in CR sometime between today and Wednesday!  

So what does this mean??  This is the big packet of documents that defines our entire lives, which Costa Rica has been waiting for pretty much since we wrote our letter to them about the kids in December.  So, we don't know exactly what our timeline is from here.  They could approve our dossier and match us right away!  Or it could take a couple months!

So, now we wait...again.  But this is good waiting!  And we have a LOT of work to do in the meantime!!!  So, please pray for us as we prepare our home and our hearts...and our finances!!


bittersweet

I have one word to describe this Mother's Day: bittersweet.  This is very likely (and I have to say "very likely" because nothing is certain in adoption until it's done and we're home...but at the same time, I believe wholeheartedly in what God has spoken to us about the time frame of all of this) my last Mother's Day as just the mom of these 2 kids who look just like me. Being their mom has brought such great joy and purpose to my life!   And despite the craziness of our schedules right now--between homeschooling, church stuff, adoption paperwork and appointments, and the rest of life,  I have it pretty easy with these 2 kiddos.  And even when things aren't easy, I have been intimately involved in every tiny detail of their little lives up until this point, and I can usually figure out where they're coming from when something isn't "right" with them.  I know how to be this mom.  I'm an expert on the lives of these 2 kids.  But my role is about to become very different in ways that I can't even begin to fully understand.  And the comfortable routine that we've established over the past 8 years is going to change drastically.  And I'm so excited for this journey that we're on, but once we become a family of 7, everything will change. Literally everything. 

I remember feeling a little bit like this when I was pregnant with Asher.  I could not wait for him to be born!!  I wanted to see his cute little face and play with his tiny fingers and toes, and I also wanted his 10-pound body to quit squashing my bladder and sending shooting pains across my lower back!  But there was a part of me that was a little bit sad that my time with Landyn as my first and only child was coming to an end...and everything would change.  It was bittersweet, but I wasn't anxious.  Because we knew exactly what we were getting ourselves into!  And although Asher wasn't out and about in the world yet, he was safe in my huge belly where I could feel him and see him moving around.  

In adoption, we don't have that luxury.  These babies aren't growing in my belly.  While we wait for them to join our family, I can't look down and know that they're safe and sound.  They are walking around living life without a family in another part of the world.  And when they finally come home, I won't know all of the intimate details of their lives thus far.  I will only know the parts that someone has typed up into a few pages that are supposed to summarize their entire lives. And the little I will and do know is painful to me--and immeasurably more painful for them.  I won't look like them, or they like me.  I can only speak their language enough to get by--definitely not enough to be able to understand and help them work through every hurt that adoption brings.   I don't know how to be this mom.  Not yet anyway...  Everything will change.   I will change.

So, this Mother's Day has been bittersweet for me.  It's the last Mother's Day of this chapter in our family.  And I will not be the same mother next year that I am now.  And even thought I don't know how to be that mom yet, someone told me just last weekend that I don't need to be afraid of that because God is going to give me grace for each day.  So I'm holding onto that as this journey gets bumpier...

Immigration Approval!!!

My fingers are literally tingling as I type this....WE GOT OUR IMMIGRATION APPROVAL TODAY!!!!!  We are officially cleared by the US government to adopt 3 children from Costa Rica!  Normally, USCIS says that it takes 90 days to get this approval.  Many families who have applied to immigration recently have received their approval at around 6 weeks.  We asked our friends and families to pray that we got ours in under 6 weeks...and we received our approval in exactly 5 weeks and 1 day from our application date!  God is so good!

While we've been waiting for this approval, we've been putting together TONS of paperwork for our dossier.  And we keep hearing that PANI (Costa Rica's central authority for adoption) is eagerly anticipating the arrival of this tedious paperwork!!  As of today, we only need 1 more document!!  Then we have to get it notarized and send it all to Costa Rica!  I am praying that we can send our dossier out next week!

Because we are adopting waiting children, and because PANI is anxious to get our dossier, we are hoping that they process our paperwork and officially match us with our kiddos right away!  Then we will apply to immigration AGAIN on behalf of the kids.  The US government has to give official permission for the kids to get visas and become US citizens.  That approval generally takes 20-30 days.  

So, our timeline is getting shorter!  It's all moving very quickly now, and it's exciting and a little overwhelming!  We still have about $20,000 to come up with!  We have 5 loft/bunk beds to build.  We need to find someone who can build us a square table for 8 people.  We need to find a whole lot of suitcases.  So much to do!!!

We appreciate your prayers so much!!
Here's how you can pray for us right now:

1. Pray that our last document (our psychological report) will be done and in our hands ASAP.
2. Pray for our dossier to get into the right hands at exactly the right time.
3. Pray for PANI to work super quickly to officially match us.
4. Pray for our funds to come in!
5. Pray for lots of energy for us!!!