We just want to let you know that we did not go back to Columbus today. I called the Warren County Probate Court and explained the situation, and asked if they could redo the form. The woman was very nice, but explained that the judge was out today, and they would be closed Monday and Tuesday, so the earliest I could get the form would be Wednesday, and it was very likely that I couldn't have it until Thursday. We were disappointed, but also a little relieved to have this completely taken out of our hands and know that we can just relax and enjoy Christmas. I got a call at the very end of the day from the Probate Court, and the woman told me that to her very great surprise, the form was already done, and I could pick it up whenever I wanted to on Wednesday. That is perfect, because I have to drive right past the court office for another errand on Wednesday morning, and Greg and I have to drive right through Columbus to visit his family on Thursday. Please pray that the form will be perfect this time, and that everything will work out. If it does, it won't add more than about half an hour to our trip.
We had a wonderful and relaxing day today with our kids, and we are very thankful for that. We even got a few presents wrapped. We did learn today that HANDinHAND has not received any donations yet for our matching grant. That is a bit disappointing, but we are still trusting that God will bring it all in His perfect time.
Friday, December 21, 2012
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Thank you all for your prayers and support as we have worked to gather the documents for our dossier. As many of you know, we have had most of the pieces for over a week now, and we have been hoping to go to Columbus to get the state certifications that we need as our next step. We thought we were going to be able to go up last Friday, but then discovered that our medical forms had to be redone again. Fortunately, our doctor's office was very understanding and willing to help us, and both doctors patiently filled out the forms three different times so that they met all of the requirements for China. We are very thankful to them! We were finally able to pick those up yesterday, so we planned to get their county certifications this morning, and then go up to Columbus this afternoon. Then, as we were getting ready to leave this morning, Greg noticed that our local police checks had our names written as Greg and Kristen Goodwin instead of Godwin. I can't believe I missed that! I read over those forms several times and thought that I had checked everything. I called the woman at the sheriff's department, and she agreed to fix the mistake and print them out again for us right away. So we left our house about 9:45 this morning, and headed nearly an hour south east to get the county certifications for our medical forms. Then we drove back up to Hamilton to pick up our police checks, and Greg took the kids to my parents' house while I got the county certifications for those (They were from a different county than the medical forms, so they had to be done in a different office). Once the kids were settled in, he came back and picked me up, we grabbed lunch, and set off for Columbus. I started this post while we were sitting in the Secretary of State's office, waiting while they processed all our forms. I was in the process of explaining that, if there are no mistakes, we would send these documents off tomorrow to a courier service that will get the federal certifications and the certifications from the Chinese Embassy. As I was typing all of that, the man at the Secretary of State's office came out to tell us that they had successfully processed thirteen of our fourteen documents. We couldn't believe it! Our marriage license has to be redone! Certified copies of marriage licenses (at least in Ohio) are signed by the Deputy Clerk at the judge's office. But now, the Secretary of State will not attach the necessary certification unless they are signed by the judge himself. This is a new rule, and we didn't have any idea. We are going to call tomorrow and find out if the judge will be available to sign our form in the morning, and if he is, we will go back to Columbus tomorrow afternoon and try again. We were very, very discouraged at first, but feel calm and peaceful now. We know that God will bring our daughters home to us in His perfect timing, and we are content to trust Him. We would appreciate your prayers during the day tomorrow.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
As most of you know, we had a large fundraising event last Saturday, and although the turn-out was smaller than we had hoped, it was still a time of great encouragement for us and our friends. Some friends of ours are having a Christmas party tonight, and they have offered to let us continue the fundraiser there and try to auction off some of the items that did not sell the first time around. In addition, we are selling many of the craft items online through facebook. We have decided to sell them for low prices rather than holding an online auction, partly because we think people might want to use these for Christmas presents, and since it is getting so close to Christmas, we want them to be able to order them and get them right away without waiting a week or so to find out if they have the winning bid. We have the items in several different albums - Dog coats, hats, and misc. craft items. Check them out, and please share the link with anyone you think might be interested. All proceeds will be split between our adoption and the Brewer's adoption. Thanks!
www.facebook.com/BrewerGodwinAdoptions - For some reason I cannot get this to work as a link. If you copy and paste it to your browser, it does take you to the right place. I will keep working on it, but in the meantime, that will at least allow you to see the items we have for sale if you are interested.
Friday, December 14, 2012
We were obviously disappointed about this news, but we know that God is good and wise and sovereign, and that even this apparent setback is part of His plan for our adoptions. We want to get our papers done as quickly as possible so that our girls don't have to stay in their orphanages one day longer than is absolutely necessary, but the truth is that we couldn't have submitted our dossier today, anyway. My birth certificate is still in Pennsylvania receiving its state certification, and I won't have that in-hand until Monday or Tuesday. And, we don't have the money that we need to submit our dossier. So, even if we had made it up to Columbus today, we'd still be waiting on those other two pieces to fall into place. I don't know exactly what God's plan is in all of this, but I do know that He works all things together for the good of those that love Him (Rom. 8:28), and He has graciously encouraged us this past week that He is indeed planning to bring Isabelle and Hallie home to us. Why He wants us to wait a few more days at this point, I don't know, but I suspect that it's something similar to what kids experience when their parents tell them to wait. Most mornings, our kids start creeping into the kitchen while I'm working on breakfast. Matthias often tries to scale the side of his chair, Mikaela grabs hold of her seat and starts trying to buckle the straps (without her being in the chair!), and Josiah and/or Gabriela come out and say not-so-subtle things like, "What are we having for breakfast?" to let me know that they're hungry. It's especially confusing for them if they can see food on their plates and their juice cups ready, but if there's something else that I need to do to finish getting breakfast ready, then they have to trust that I know what I'm doing (at least in that specific area) and wait for my timing. The analogy isn't perfect, but I suspect that God is doing something similar here. I'm not saying that He has something better in store than what we're expecting; we would be thrilled if He would enable us to send our dossier off one week from today. Even that would require some serious work of His. But we are trying to stay peaceful as we look to Him, remind ourselves that He is good, and wait for His timing.
Good night everyone, and have a blessed weekend and Sabbath.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
It always seems like the more we have going on in our adoption, and the more we need prayer from everyone, the less time we have for blogging or emailing about it. Of course that makes sense, but it can also be a bit frustrating.
Last week was a time of intense trial and attack. As many of you know, we spent the last two weeks of November at my parents' house watching their children while they were in China adopting two more children. It was a wonderful time of reconnecting with the kids, but it was also very draining as we tried to balance the needs of the Rosenow kids with the needs of our own kids. Several of the younger Rosenows have neurological complications that make it difficult for them to cope during any time that deviates from their normal routine. It took a lot of my time and attention to help them feel safe and stable during this time without their parents, and my own children, especially Mikaela, had a hard time accepting that so much of my time and attention were consumed by others. We did find a balance that worked very well for everyone, and made some really fun memories, and I am thankful for the experience.
The trip, however, ended on a very challenging note. Five or six of the Rosenow children came down with a stomach bug right at the end, and they were pretty miserable. During the last couple of days of our stay at their house, I learned that my background checks (for my employment, not for the adoption) had never made it to the proper department, and if I couldn't track them down, I would be in danger of losing my job. We came home exhausted and frustrated by the confusion with my background checks. Last week, we all came down with the stomach bug, and I continued to fight to find my background checks. I made phone call after phone call trying to get in touch with the right person. Josiah and I were both running fever, and I had terrible body aches and chills the whole time. Everything just felt black and grim, and it was so clear that there was a spiritual component to the whole thing. Then, on top of everything else, our Jeep stopped running again. We have taken it in to the mechanic three times in the last six months, and we could not afford one more mechanic bill. We also can not function with only one vehicle. We just didn't have any idea what to do. Then suddenly, and unexpectedly, everything turned around starting Thursday afternoon and throughout the weekend. Some young friends made a small donation to Isabelle and Hallie's adoption. The mechanic agreed to fix the Jeep without charging us, because he felt like he should have caught this problem the last time he repaired it. They found my background checks, and everything is completely fine with my job now. We were awarded a $4000 matching grant!!! (More on that in a minute). Our 797 came in the mail!! Two more people made donations to our adoption! After a full week of wondering where God was and why He wouldn't rescue us, He began pouring blessings in faster than we could even process them. It seemed like we were still in the middle of thanking Him for one blessing when He sent the next one.
Now that we have our 797, we are in the process of putting our dossier all together. We have all the pieces of it except for one reference letter that we are going to pick up tomorrow, and all except for three pieces have their county certifications. We are going to try to get the state certifications on Friday, and then we will be able to mail it off to the agency. We won't be able to send it to China until we finish paying them the agency fee, but we are going to send it out and trust God to send those funds quickly. If we are able to raise the full $4000 for the matching grant, that will give us $8000 of the approximately $10,000 that we need, so we would be pretty close. That is our prayer right now. I am going to do a separate post about exactly how the matching grant will work, so it is clear and concise.
We are thanking and praising God for all of His blessings, and praying that He will sustain us through this very difficult week of intense dossier preparation. Please join us in praying that He will supply everything we need to submit our dossier. We know that He is good, and He will do this think in His perfect timing.
Monday, December 3, 2012
First of all, my parents are back from China. They had a safe trip and my new brother and sister are doing quite well all things considered. They still have some adjusting to do, but really are wonderful children, and we are all enjoying them very much. The last two weeks were even crazier than we thought they might be, but everyone did really well, and their weren't any major crises. Nothing worse than a vicious stomach bug, anyway. :-(
Now we are back home and getting all geared up for Saturday's fundraiser. We do have a facebook page with all the details at Dessert & Silent Auction Fundraiser. It even has pictures of many of the items that we have for sale. The event will be held in Fairfield Township, Ohio at 6:30 pm. Bob Evans is donating dessert, and Starbucks is donating the coffee. If you are free, we would love to see you there.
We are also still working hard on our dossier. We have had a few disappointing set-backs, and we are trying to remember that it will all happen in God's time. We picked up our medical forms today, and it turns out that both of them will have to be re-done, so we are trying to find a time to get everyone back together for that. We are still having difficulty with my employment letter. The CPA we used last time confirmed that he definitely cannot do them, and the second accountant that we talked to said he would love to help us, but he is a corporate accountant, not a CPA. We are praying that we will find a CPA who is able to write it for us, because this piece MUST be in our dossier. On a more positive note, all three of our reference letters are done (Many, many thanks to Dan, Jamie, and Abby) and the agency liaison said that they all look good.
We have a had encouragement from a few other unexpected sources, but I will save those for another blog post. For now, I will close with a few prayer requests.
#1. Please pray that we will find a CPA quickly.
#2. Please pray for Saturday's fundraiser. Pray that we will be able to trust God completely with the results of that, and that He will be glorified.
#3. Three grant organizations are supposed to make their decisions this month, so please pray that God will grant us favor with them. We hope to have our dossier completed by the end of the month, but we will not be able to submit it until we pay the agency fee, which is around $10,000.