Friday, July 27, 2012

Almost finished with the home study...

The process has continued to progress, and we really are almost finished with our home study. We met with our social worker twice last weekend, and both visits went very well. This social worker is a wonderful woman who truly cares about the children who are being adopted, and she couldn't have been any kinder or more encouraging. It is always a treat to see her. Greg and Matthias have already had their medical visits, and their forms are filled out. My visit is today, and the other three children have appointments for Wednesday. We replaced the fire extinguisher and took down the old smoke detector, so as soon as we can get the fire inspector back to our house, our fire inspection will be done. Our background checks and Child Abuse Clearances are in process, and we are just waiting for results on those. We even got both employment letters, so we are praising God for that. As I mentioned before, mine tends to be more complicated because I am self-employed, but we did find a CPA who was willing to write it, and that step is done now.

In our last update, we shared that our Agency Fee was due at this time, and that we owed them nearly $7000. We still do not have the money to pay that, and we are feeling a bit discouraged. The agency has been very kind, and they have agreed to break the fee into two parts. We can pay $3300 now, and the rest of it when we submit our dossier. This is helpful, but we don't have enough money for even this part of the fee. The agency will not be able to approve our home study until we pay this fee, so if we don't have the money that we need by the time our social worker is done writing our narrative, Isabelle's adoption will be completely halted while we wait for that money to come in. Our prayer from the beginning has been that God will not allow her adoption to be delayed even a single day because of lack of funds, and up until this point, He has answered that prayer. We know that He can still send the money that we need in time for her process to continue without delay, but He will have to send it quickly. That is still our prayer. We cannot proceed with immigration approval, dossier submission, or grant applications until we have the home study. That piece is key for everything that comes later in the process. Please join us in praying that God will send this money quickly so that we can continue working to bring Isabelle home. We know that we serve a mighty and loving God, and we are looking forward to watching Him work in this situation.

On a lighter note, Gabriela and Mikaela both have birthdays next month, and we are very excited about that. Mikaela came to us just before her first birthday, and it is hard to believe how much she has changed in two years. At that point, she was a sickly baby who didn't take much interest in anything. Now, she has chosen her own birthday decorations (from three choices) and picked her own birthday meal. It is such a privilege to be a part of her transformation, and we can't wait to watch Isabelle blossom in some of the same ways. Mikaela wants Hello Kitty decorations (I really expected her to pick My Little Pony, but she was emphatic that she preferred Hello Kitty) and hamburgers for dinner. We will make sure that we post some pictures of her celebration.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A quick update

Hello Everyone,

Sorry that it has been so long since our last update. Things have continued to progress, but everything moves more slowly than we would like it to. No Longer Alone, the orphan-awareness event that the Shepherd's Crook Ministries held on June 22, was a huge success, and we were very thankful to have been able to participate in that. Since that point, we have been throwing pretty much all of our time and energy into the home study for Isabelle's adoption. We are finally beginning to see the light at the end of that tunnel. We mailed a big bundle of papers for that this morning, and we had our fire inspection this afternoon. Everything looks good, except that we need a new fire extinguisher, because ours is over a year old, and we have to take down an old smoke detector that no longer works. We will fix those things this weekend, and then the inspector will come back early next week and sign off on our form. Greg and I both have our home study physicals next week as well. Our only big obstacle left with the home study is our employment letters. Greg's will be easy, because my dad writes it, but mine is much more challenging, because I am self-employed. We would appreciate prayers as we try to figure out exactly what to do about that.

Funds have continued to come in for Isabelle's adoption, and we thank and praise God for that. We now have enough money for the home study, and almost everything we need for our USCIS approval. God continues to provide things as we need it. We are hoping to see his abundant provision in this area very soon, as we now need to send around $7000 to our agency. We don't have any idea how He is going to send this money, but we trust Him, and we know that He is good. We would appreciate prayers in this area as well.

Thank you for all of your support and encouragement.