Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Baby steps......literally

Last week we submitted our first round of paper work.

And waited for the call to set up our first Homestudy.  Of course I had to accidentally get to the post office on President's day (insert forehead hit DOH!) so it took a few more days than usual.

Well this morning we had our first homestudy via phone interview and it went great!  It lasted over 2 hours and was filled with tons of information (4 pages of notes) and we got asked tons of questions.  It was great because it also gave us the opportunity to return with all of our questions that we had.  We were given a basic timeline and it is amazing to think that by next summer, if not sooner, we will have another little one running through our house:)  I would like to say we passed with flying colors and hope our social worker feels that same too!

Here is our basic timeline for those of you not familiar with the process.

We will begin the official Homestudy process on March 17th with an in-home interview.  They will tour our house to make sure it is a safe environment and that we are ready!  This will be followed by 3 more homestudies (one on one and some education training on adoption).  All the while we will be completing a TON of paperwork, getting our fingerprints (multiple times), writing autobiographies, getting physical & mental checkups, etc.  This entire process take about 3-4 months.

Once our homestudy is complete our SW (social worker) will take about a month to write her report.  This is when we will apply for our I800A application which is basically us applying to adopt.  This acceptance takes a few weeks and will go in our Dossier along with all of our other paperwork that is submitted to China for approval. (Dossier = fancy word for paperwork packet)

Once our Dossier is submitted we wait for China to send our LID- Log In Date and wait for our LOA- Letter of Acceptance.

side note......I was especially grateful for this phone call to figure out what all of these acronyms were that I had seen over and I know...anyway....

Then the real "patience game" comes into play as at the end of every month the shared list is published and that is when matches are made.  There are various ways that matches are made but this shared list is the most common. Once you receive a referral, you will have 48 hours to make your decision. Brett and I have decided to adopt what they call a "special needs" child with a minor/correctable need (there is much more detail about this that I may write about at another time) This could be anywhere from a heart defect to an orthopedic need or even a cleft palette. This will be a crucial crunch time as we will have 2 days to review their medical file and consult our doctors to ask any questions.  Luckily, because of Brax, we have great relationships with all sorts of specialists and most of them know that we are adopting and have been more than willing to be on standby for an file review needed.

If a match is made we then submit an LOI- Letter of Intent and then proceed with applying for our I800 which is our application to adopt a specific child, or OUR CHILD!!!  At this point we will have to have a name picked out as well....whooo hoo!  Once this is approved we will then get TA- travel approval and will plan to travel to China within a few weeks to get her.

And then when we enter a restaurant from this point on we say....

  "Munkel, party of FIVE!"

There are many more detailed steps in between but this is the basics!!!
So, thank you all for your prayers thus far and thank you in advance all for the future prayers over the next months/years as we go on this journey!

I will keep you all posted:)

Bless you all!  God is good!!

Friday, February 14, 2014

All you need is love.....

It's Valentine's Day...... is all you need.

Oh how I love and hate this day at the same time!

To me it's a fun day to get all mushy and celebrate your love for one another but at the same time is is so "expected".  Expected that we celebrate and give the typical gifts of chocolate and flowers. Expected that we might not really love each other unless we search for the perfect cheesy card and dine out with everyone in the city.

Expected by who?

I don't know, some crazies that made this up years ago.  Anyway....We don't really celebrate it around here. I will probably just stick with our normal Friday night fun of Pizza/Movie night in the living room with ALL of my boys:)  Maybe throw in some red and pink m&m's in the popcorn just to say, there....we did it!

But what I do have fun in is getting all crafty with what my kiddos are going to give.  I have BIG ideas and get really excited to have this cute little package for ready for their friends.

Well this year is a bit different......scaling the aisles of Target last week we came across the Valentine's boxes....Batman, Captain America, Spider-man, Princesses, Pirates,etc.
And then we saw it.....Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and they were so excited! How could I say NO???

So I thought about it for a hot second and said, "YES!"

Why was I going to get all worked up about creating the "perfect" valentine when this is what they really wanted.

So I present to you my not so creative idea:

I mean, watch our Martha!!!

But to tell you the truth, I was struggling with allowing this to happen....allowing my kids bring in some off the shelf cartoon character piece of cardstock with a matching eraser that my kids kept asking if they could eat....GASP, am I really doing this?????

So I pledged to myself that I would not let myself down on their Teacher Gifts.
It would come from me.....the CRAFTY ME!

And then CLUSTERFLAKE 2014 happened (again) and we were locked in for a few the time I got out yesterday it was too late to be too "Kelli" crafty and to be honest my mind was a bit foggy from the cabin fever chaos that had been happening for the past 48 hours.

So I was half creative and basically used the same idea I did last year.......I mean, all of these teachers are new to us how would they know?
Oh wait, Brax had Hannah last year (sorry Hannah for not meeting the creative expectations that I set for myself....please forgive me)

So I present to you Brownie Points:

I basically bought some brownie bites (you could make these yourself if you are a better baker than me)
 and conversation hearts (which I secretly love....I know, I am a candy fanatic) 
picked some cute tissue paper, made cute tags and VOILA!

So celebrate as you wish, give as you can and love like you do because all you need is love!

xoxo- Kelli

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Country Selected

Last week we submitted a formal application with
 an agency to adopt a little girl from China. 
 Today we received what I am going to call our "acceptance" email along with 
the 130+ page China Adoption, let the paper work begin!

I am very happy with our decision and how thorough we have been thus far in the process to make this decision.  We have carefully looked at this in all aspects of adoption and have researched each country and their processes in addition to travel times.  We felt that this was the best country for our family.

I can't help but think about our girl....Has she already been born?  What does she look like?  Could she even imagine how excited we are to meet her?  Does she know that we are praying for her? My stomach fills with butterflies just thinking about this journey and how God will bring her to us.

There is also sadness when I think of her.  Sadness for her birth mother.  Sadness that "she" could be making a gut wrenching decision at this very moment.  A decision that on one hand I can't fathom ever having to make and then on the other hand, a decision I will be forever grateful for.

Although adoption is a beautiful thing, it comes out of a very dark place.
A very tragic moment.
A moment filled with desperation & sadness.

So today I am asking you to pray for her.  Pray for peace in her heart. Pray that she feels God as she makes her decision and that He shows her that we will take care of her little girl and love her will all our hearts.