Monday, July 27, 2015

Article 5 and Vacation

On June 25, 2015, we got our Article 5 letter from the US, which gives us the final step in US clearance to adopt our little Princess. OMG! So super excited!

The best part? We got the letter while driving down for our vacation-it was the BEST start to vacation ever in the history of the world.

At this point everything is done on the US side and we just have the India side to wait on now-ARC, NOC and then Court-and TRAVEL!!

So close!

For vacation we went on another Disney cruise and it was fabulous and amazing. We felt guilty doing it, since it cost so much money, BUT, we had it all booked and paid for back in March, and because we are cheap we didn't get the travel insurance, so when our call to continue adoption came in May, well, it was a little too late to get the money back.

But, overall, I'm so glad we couldn't. Bill and I both needed vacations from our stressful jobs (speaking of which a crisis broke out with mine right before we left; I have so much gray hair now from it! lol So glad vacation was waiting after that!)

And it was such a wonderful WONDERFUL time to spend as a family of 5, going out and doing things, enjoying relaxing, and being together undistracted away from work and adoption stuff. Our boys loved it, and so did we. I'm so glad it worked out that the cruise was planned and paid for before we knew about our girl coming home, otherwise we wouldn't have done it and we really did need the time to relax together. I loved it so much. Best time ever. I can't wait to go in a few years again with our little girl along for the ride!

AND we got a lovely princess dress for our little angel. I can't wait to see her in it.

New guidelines for CARA have recently come out, saying it should be 60 days after NOC to be logged into court and ready to travel. Can you believe how awesome that would be?! I'm so hoping this does indeed speed up the process. I'm so crazy excited to get over to India and love on our lovely little girl. I can't wait to share her photo here too; she is so lovely and adorable.

So, come on ARC/NOC I'm ready to go get our girl!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Blessings Abundant

It has been awhile since I've written about our family life-partly because things have gotten busy, and partly because we've had unexpected, wonderful news pop up!

Busy to the 10th power has happen here-all without me quite relizing how. Suddenly, my older boys are BIG boys, off playing sports, playing music, and running round the neighborhood on their bikes.

We go from sport season to sport season, loving every minute as we watch the kids be a part of something they love.

We drag teeth a little with Little Dude to practice piano, but he has learned so much so quickly I push him for now to stick with it. JR plays Cello and I have to say, I thought he would quit after awhile, but he is loving in and quite in his element with the music class kids.

As a past band geek myself, my hear soars to see him with his own little band.

Champ is a KID now, not a toddler, and is officially signed up for preschool next fall.

Ya'll, I'm going to be a MESS when I drop him off. The thought of sending him off away from me has me in tears already. What is wrong with me? haha!

School keeps us also busy-it seems the few hours from after school to bedtime fly by in a rush to get home work done, run and play a bit, get dinner done, do sports and then sigh-sit-and spend a little down time together before bedtime prayers. The days are long but indeed flying by quickly. This year has been really short.

And speaking of time flying, it has been FOREVER since I updated this blog! So now that you are caught up on our family times, let me fill you in on our adoption times.

After we got (and quickly-like the next day-lost) the referral for the little girl that ended up being a twin, we waited until November to get another referral. This one was a sweet little girl in the same state as R, and we were thrilled. But, upon getting her medicals reviewed by two heart specialists here, we discovered her heart condition also affected her lungs-and more importantly, her lungs ability to get oxygen rich blood-and as of now, there is nothing that can be surgically done to repair her problem. So, eventually, she will grow big and old enough that her body won't be able to continue living because of a lack of oxygen. We were told by both specialists she would likely not make it out of her young teen years, and that near the end she would be having a rough time; likely faint a lot and look bluer and bluer as her body outgrew its oxygen supply.

That hit us in the gut pretty badly. Not only had we lost the little girl we'd originally tried to adopt and grieved about that, but we then got the twins and couldn't have them, and then go this little girl and had to decide if we were cut out to bring home a child and watch her die.

And we decided, through many tears, that we just weren't.

Almost immediately, our agency sent us yet another referral, and my husband didn't even want to see it. And while I was so desperate to meet a child that COULD be our daughter, looking back, I understand how he felt. And I think I was grieving and emotionally broken from everything as well, and the time just wasn't right.

So with many tears and much heartache, we decided to pass on the referral and leave the adoption program.

Ya'll, it hurt SO BADLY to tell our agency we were stopping and passing on the last referral. That we didn't even look at it and just couldn't do any more disappointments in this process.

This was all in November 2014. The holidays were a bit sad for us; as we got decorations out of the attic we came across all the gifts I'd gotten for our girl for each year she hadn't been with us. 4 gifts all wrapped and ready. I was pretty depressed, but sent her gifts to a sweet friend how had just come home with her second daughter so the dolls would be loved on.

At times we talked about what it would have been like to have a girl running around, and sometimes mentioned regret for not looking at the last referral in more detail, but we also felt a huge weight of stress was gone, and that was nice.

But then, fast forward to April 28, 2015 and guess who calls me? OUR AGENCY. And guess what they say?
THE LITTLE GIRL'S COUNTRY NEVER UN-MATCHED US. And they had just sent all the approvals for our match to her.

So, our agency wanted to know, did we want to think about it again, before they went in person to un-match us?

I'm telling you, I felt a huge flood of peace and panic wash over me. It was like I could hear God saying, "I'm giving you another chance to say Yes. I want you to say Yes, please look again at this child".

OMG guys. OMG.

So I cried on the phone with Bill about what had happened, and he shocked me by saying he wanted to look at her file (I really thought he would stay strong in his no!) So, we looked over her stuff, talked to our awesome local specialist about her special need, and prayed.

I told Bill I would respect his choice, since he had been the one adamant to stop the process last year, and he shocked me again by saying He felt God speaking to him that this girl was ours and we were getting a second chance to say yes.

OMG you GUYS!!!

So, on May 1, 2015, we got all our referral paper work signed, notarized, appostilled and MAILED back to our agency. She is going to be ours!!

Our dossier and referral papers should be on their way to Ind*a today or tomorrow. I'm currently working on our I-800A document for immigration.

AND then we await Article 5 and NOC. WHAT WHAT!!!

We are SO THRILLED to finally have a referral and can not WAIT to have our dear beloved daughter home with us.

Blessings abundant, indeed!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Coming Back To Blogging

I'm coming back to blogging. It has been quite a bit of time since my last post, and while it still hurts to realize adoption from India just wasn't in the stars for us, it has been exciting to see where our journey took us.

I have made so many friends in the adoption "world" and love every one of them so much. We also became sponsors for three little girls in India! I don't have any photos in a format I can add to the blog at the moment, but I'll get some going. The oldest I'll call Grace ,and she is 9, then there is Princess, who we now partially sponsor again since we are no longer adopting her and she is now 5 (CRAZY), and then I'll call the youngest Faith, who is 2.

I have their photos in the hallway of our home, and the boys have been helping lead prayers for them. We have permission to write N letters, so I will be having the boys do that. I'm very excited to watch our girls grow and see how the little extra we have can change their lives. It is exciting and humbling.

We moved! We had long talked about wishing for this and that and this and that at our old house, but for the 3 years of adoption limbo, we couldn't move, and then when we decided to step away, it suddenly hit us that we could, indeed move and that suddenly we had extra funds now that we no longer had to save every penny for adoption legal fees.

We are loving our new home. We are in a much bigger home with all the features (like extra bathrooms! and a garage!) that we had been wishing for in our old home. We are also on a cul-de-sac at the back of a neighborhood, so we have no traffic ever and there are 7 or 8 boys all my boys ages that live right on our street. Needless to say, it is AWESOME and has been such a great change for us.

Our old house we turned into an investment home and now rent to a sweet young family. We are doing well with that investment,and are quite pleased to realize our second rental home is creating a little pocket of income for us, too!

JR is playing the cello and Little Dude is playing piano. It is wonderful to hear and I love it so so SO much. They are enjoying it a lot too, and that makes my heart so super happy. I hope I can get Champ to also to play music in a few years. I would love for them all to be able to read and enjoy music, even if they don't stick with it in any serious way.

In fun news, I found out I'll be an Aunt soon, and I am thrilled at the thought of a little baby to hold. He or she will be here in October, so I CAN NOT WAIT!

In other fun news, we are officially trying to have another baby and I have to admit, it is super fun to be off birth control and just wait to see what is planned. We will see!

So, for now, that is all the update I can do, but I will be back soon.