Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dossier Turned In!! Paperwork finished!!

I am very proud to announce to you that we are officially done with the paper chase part of this adoption, we have fed exed our dossier. (dos- e- a for my non adoption friends) As soon as Holt approves it we will be officially waiting. Waiting for that phone call and email to see the beautiful face fo the child God has prepared us for also known as a referral. We really have no idea how long that might be. They are saying 7-9 months but some of the people who just received their referral in about 4-5 months. So your guess is as good as mine. I am praying for patience during this wait and to just enjoy family because I have been told that the wait between seeing the picture and going to court to hold them is very difficult and that the wait once we have seen them and had to leave them is even more difficult. So this is suppose to be the easy wait!!

Ok so I have had many questions about what is a dossier so I am going to list all of the things we have done so far. I know it is overwhelming but I would do it a 1000 times over if necessary!

First we had to do our home study. Here is what that involved.
- application
directions to our home
medical tests for Bryan and I (HIV, HEB B, TB and drugs)
medical exams for Cole and Averie
autobiographys (that was interesting)
family pictures, pictures of our house, and play area with swing set
monthly budget
marriage certificate and birth certificates
photos of passports
4 references who had to fill out questionare about us (4 pages)
CPA letter about finances since we are self employed
last year income tax papers
copy of drivers licenses and social security cards
floor plan of our home
fire arms safety sheet
child proof our house (needed to be done with Cole anyway)
fire extinguisher
practice fire drills
8 hours of questioning Bryan and I on EVERYTHING
30 min. of questioning Averie (our Social worker was in for a treat, if you know Averie you
Proof of will, life insurance, and health insurance
forms about our marriage (we each had to do one) and each others parenting abilities

Once we received our approved home study we were able to mail our papers for immigration. That involved our homestudy, birth certificates and marriage certificates. We then received fingerprint appointments and had that done in Dallas. We needed that approval to add to our dossier.

Our dossier included:
family summary form
a notarized letter from us to the Ministry of Women, Children, and Youth Affairs in Eth. telling
why we wanted to adopt
2 passport sized photos of each of us
our home study report that had to be certified in Austin at the Sec of States office
a power of attorney allowing a man in Ethiopia to act on our behalf (a little scary) certified also
Certified Birth Certificates and Marriage Certificates
Color copies of our passport notarized
2 more letters of recommedation notarized
Police clearance from our local law enforcement notarized
Medical Certificates on Bryan and I notarized
CPA letter notarized
Copy of income taxes notarized
Personal condition forms (4 yrs. of income taxes) notarized
Letter from our bank that we are in good standing notarized
Post Placement agreement notarized
copy of my immigration approval

Now you know why I am so relieved for this part to be over. Thanks for your prayers and support but keep it coming. We are going to need all we can get over this time. Please also pray for our Ethiopian angel and their birth family.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Well we are ALMOST finished. Finished with this part of the process. We were able to go in early to get our fingerprints done. They didn't even question us - yipee. It was a little nerve wracking for me because they told me that my prints on my left hand were rejected! However I called our case worker with USCIS last week and she told me that they passed. So now we are just waiting on that approval and we are DONE with the paperwork part of the process and will just wait and wait. I am not focusing on that right now I just want this dossier out of my hands. (more on what my dossier includes later for my non adoption friends) I actually have my entire dossier in an envelope waiting to be sent once my immigration approval comes. You all will definately know when that happens.

We had the opportunity this past weekend to volunteer at Winter Jam in Dallas. Winter Jam is where a lot of Christian bands (New Song, Newsboys, Sidewalk Prophets, David Crowder Band and others) partner with Holt International (our adoption agency) to share Jesus with the people ( a lot of youth groups) and to get sponsorships for the kids in Holt's care. They shared about the orphan crisis and about how it is our responsibility. Bryan and I worked and we got 16 kids sponsored between the 2 of us! I was so thankful. I got the first five kids folders and pics when I arrived and they were in my vest pocket that they had us wear. The entire time until that happened I just kept looking at those first 5 and prarying for them by name and that I could find a sponsor for them. I enjoyed the worship but my mind never strayed from the "kids in my pocket" I just prayed for all of the kids that were in need of a sponsor that night. Averie found a little boy from Ethiopia that was born the same year as her that she was drawn to. She first asked her daddy to find him a good sponsor and just kept looking at him. He was actually the same little boy that I saw on the website that was in urgent need of a sponsor. (kind of a cool God moment for me) so I told Averie that she could sponsor him but would have to work for half of his sponsorship herself. She was happy. I love that she is getting it. And since he is with Holt and in Ethiopia, Bryan and I will most likely get to meet him and give him a big hug when we go. $30 a month seriously changes a life in Africa.

Thanks for checking in on us!!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hurry up and wait - neat opportunities

There isn't a whole lot new here. We are still waiting for our fingerprint appointment. Our appointment isn't for another 2 weeks but we are going to go early and hope they will see us. There is no way to know if it will work. I have been told that it depends on the day and the moods of the people so I am thinking about taking a homemade dessert.......not really but I would in a second if I thought it would help. We were going to go last week but Cole was sick ALL week, like 3 trips to Dallas to the doctor sick, so that wasn't a good time to leave him. We were going to go on Tuesday but then the bad weather and ice hit and all of Dallas is pretty much shut down so we will wait and try again the beginning of next week.

On Monday, Averie and her 2 friends and their mom ( who is also a great friend of mine) all drove to Austin to get our homestudy and power of attorney certified at the Sec. of State office. We made a field trip out of it and toured the capitol and even got to watch Congress in session, which is rare because in Texas they only meet 140 days every other year. So that was kind of a treat. I needed to brush up on my Texas history for sure.

Bryan and I had the opportunity of sharing our adoption testimony at our church a week ago. Our pastor included us in the Sanctity of Life Sunday! What a joy that was to share with our church family all that God has done in our family and how far He has brought us. Our prayer is that God will use us to share His desires for Christians to care for HIS children, namely orphans. I pray for many more opportunitys to share. After all, before this last year I truly didn't know.... didn't know the statistics, the need, and the commands of Jesus.

Since it was extremely cold today, Bryan was home more than normal. We ate lunch in town and then went to a local coffee house that has a TON of stuff from Africa for sell. The sell only Fair Trade items. Anyway, while we were there we got to meet and visit at length with a young man from Kenya. He was sponsored through Compassion International as a child and it has made all of the difference for him. Praise God! He has a college degree from Kenya and is about to teach Physics in Memphis Tennessee to inner city, troubled children. I so hope that I can visit with him more before he leaves town. Sponsorship makes a HUGE difference.

At the same coffee house today, we met a family that are missionarys and have 3 adopted children... all domestic but all had different races. One Puerto Rican, one african american, and I do not remember the other one but we talked with them for a while too. The mom shared their funny times as a transracial family and gave me the name of a great book to read. Her oldest is 17 so she has lots of experience. Anyway another cool God moment.

I want to share with you a lady that is my hero. Her name is Katie Davis and she is 22. She is in Uganda working with children, educating them, sharing Jesus with them, and nursing dying babies back to health. Oh yea, she also took care of an older lady dying from TB and AIDS. She now has 14 kids!!!! All adopted there in Uganda. Anyway she is a true definition to me of Pure Religion. (James 1:27)

Check her out.
Also while you are at it look at Look at the blogs of these 2 women who run this organization. AMAZING also.

One last thing, if you are a follower and I don't know you would you please leave me a comment with something about you? Just curious about you, do you have a blog...... of course if you would like to share.

Stay warm!!