Sunday, February 27, 2011

Where to even start today??

I really need to blog and just talk through my thoughts prayers and emotions... sigh. I'm tired, inspired overwhelmed, heartbroken, and joyful all at the same time. I knew this would be emotional and difficult, but it's been really hard recently. It takes some serious stamina.

Well, lets start with the second home study. Yay! That went well. Our social worker asked us questions this time about ourselves, describing our personality, interests, upbrining, education and whatever else, I don't remember it all. I really like our social worker, just as a side note. She is professional and encouraging at the same time. She compiled her report and sent it to us. We and our consultant are proofing it and then it will get sent through the Pinal County Court (unfortantely she said this county can takes its time... oh well )
Anyway, that should take about a month if we make good time, and then the big push for Dossier paperwork. where EVERYTHING has to be notarized.

We've been taking courses on adoption, including specifics of African adoptions, attachment and bonding and transition issues, temporary delays resulting from orphanage care and abandonment. It's been REALLY helpful to take these classes, as we now more than ever realize how important it is to purposefully bond with our child and intervene early in order to reteach and help our baby become healthy emotionally relationally physically and whatever else "lly".

One interesting piece of information (and I don't know why i remember this now more than anything in the african countries course) is that Ethiopia does not record birthdays, so it is highly unlikely that our child will know their birthday. My answer is to celebrate the meeting day, adoption day, and estimated birthmonth. Who would have thought to add this to the mix of everything else?

Anyway, what I'm really thinking about today is my child's birthmother. During church I was completely overcome with thinking about her and my heart feeling very heavy and grieving for how she must be feeling or will feel in the near future. Whatever life events will bring her to the point of being unable to care for the child she desperately loves is unspeakably hearbreaking. I am convined that today, February 27, 2011 is a big day in her life and my child's life in some way. I don't know what it is, but in the middle of singing on stage in church, all I could pray was "God, please don't let her die". I have been wondering how it will happen that my child will come to me, what will happen that will cause this to happen, and God showed me that I can and NEED to pray for her. Maybe no one else is. I feel this attachment to her and had this image of her as I was running later, of this tall, strong high cheek boned woman, with a really tired face, but still strong on the inside, full of pride. I just imagined meeting her and what I could possibly say to her. As I was running, I was trying to pray words, and found I was at a loss for what to say. So i just prayed over and over "God, please keep Noah's mother safe". I can't even express how heavy my heart is for her. Thinking of her, the amount of responsibility and importance for our child is even greater. I am beginning to understand how urgently and desperately i will love my child, as I see my sister with her new baby girl.
So John and I have decided to fast for our child and the birth mother. i have never really fasted before and am excited to fast for the first time for something so important and meaningful.

So, there are lots of prayer requests. First our child and the birthmother. Next, for us, that God will guide us and mold us to become specifically who He wants us to be for our child and that we make the right decisions along the way.
Next, that our paperwork will go smoothly and hopefully without hiccups or confusion or delays... I know the REAL waiting hasn't really even started yet.
Next, for finances. As soon as our homestudy goes through, we will be applying for grants, loans, etc., and this is a VERY big leap of faith. preference is given to older children and special needs children (and rightfully so). As it is neither in our case, it is even less likey for this to be an possible opportunity. Not impossible, but without significant aid, we will not have the funds to cover the remainder of the cost.

So, here are my thoughts. I would like to end this blog with a REALLY encouraging affirmation I had from the Lord. About 2 weeks ago, I was really emotionally struggling, and feel asleep praying to God that He would affirm what we are doing, that He has this plan in mind. I had my Bible next to me as I feel asleep. When I woke up, it was like I woke up praying, my first thought and prayer was "Lord guide me, answer me, is this ever going to happen?" I opened my Bible randomly, without even thinking of flipping anywhere. The first verse I read said "I will bring your treasures home to you from Ethiopia"....... Yes, this is no joke and I had NO IDEA what I was opening my Bible up to or that this verse even existed. Well, if I ever doubted God's plan, I sure don't now. God is good, isn't He? :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

homestudy #1 visit... :)

We had our first homestudy visit from our social worker!! It is so exciting to f-i-n-a-l-l-y say this! It is a major milemarker for us. I rushed home to meet the social worker at 3:30 and the meeting lasted about 2 hrs. She asked us everything under the sun, including how we met, religious preference and how we will or will not include it in child rearing (we will!), discipline plan, day care plan (no day care is the plan), how John and I delegate tasks, guardianship, life insurance, health insurance for our child, multiracial family awareness, our knowledge of Ethiopian culture, how we will integrate that into the home, family support or lack thereof (our family is super supportive), how John and I resolve the list goes on, my brain is fried. It went really well, and there is a follow up visit on Feb 16th for final review. To make today even more interesting, I had my first observation in student teaching, which went well :) What a day!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


We have the first visit from our social worker on Thursday at 3:30..... SOOO exciting and scary.... Really, I am overwhelmed with excitement.. AAAA!! Ok, so we are really in the midst of it now, between coursework, social worker visits, notarizing and certifying and authenticating every blessed paper in our house almost.

We are taking HAGUE accreditted coursework now, which is great as we are studying about attachment, and how to make significant connections to hardwire our baby's brain and increase sensory integration, which would inevitably be lacking in even the most loving orphanage. John really likes these classes as well, which I LOVE. We are taking a "because they waited" course and "adopting from African countries". I am really engcouraged and empowered by the accountability of the material covered in our classes. I am beginning to truly appreciate the fact that these courses are required. We will be SO much more prepared as parents, even as scary and big as the process is.

I had a great long conversation with our CHI consultant, who is a wonderful Christian woman, who has adopted 3 times herself. I love connecting with this world of people. They are so understanding, balanced, hold me accountable, give me details that can be hard to swallow, but I know I need to hear in order to be prepared. Thank God for CHI and His hands and feet there.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE where God is leading our MacKenzie family. As always, God is good.