Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you may go. Joshua 1:9

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Few Key Things I Wasn't Told Before Starting The Adoption Process....

Ya'll, International Adoption is no joke! This is a crazy, long, hard process which frequently has you wanting bang your head on walls because of all the red-tape, numerous documents needing notarized or apostilled, or the never-ending Hurry Up and Wait. 

But here are some key things that I'm jotting down for you and myself if we do this again in the future!

1. As soon as you begin the process, send in the appropriate requests for Vital Records, especially birth certificates from states you no longer reside in, and NUMERO UNO, the State Department. 

Just so happens I was born abroad, which means I have to request a new copy directly from the State Department...a process that takes 4-6 weeks. What I DIDN'T know until after I'd sent in the request was that you can (and in most cases absolutely HAVE to) request that an Apostille be attached at the same time and of course make sure they know what country you're adopting from (since this only applies to those within the Hague Convention). 

When I finally received my certificate right at that 6 week mark, I immediately overnighted it to a courier, who then notified me that it wasn't going to work and then sent it back. Couriers cannot walk in apostille requests on birth certificates for those born abroad. I now need to mail it to Vital records where it will take at minimum 7-10 business days for them to process it and attach the apostille. Dragging this all out to nearly 2 months just on one document. 

2. Schedule the Dr visits!
I saved this till towards the end of my homestudy for some now unknown to me reason. Of course, when I did go to schedule them, I discovered our Dr.'s offices were booked at least a month out for well-visits! Doh! Maybe not a big deal if you're taking your time on things, but we're trying to bring a waiting child home as quickly as possible and this was a frustrating thing to find...and just hadn't considered it would take so long to get in for a simple check-up. 

3. Make sure if there are any special or medical needs to be noted for your Dossier, that it is spelled out clearly on the form, and the Dr only has to sign and notarize. You would not believe the amount of back and forth we had to do to make sure this was all done, t's crossed and i's dotted. Save yourself the hassle and have your homestudy social worker write it all up. 

4. When it comes time to get your dossier documents apostilled, some states have branches where you can just walk it in! You can also get a courier service to do this and save a lot of time waiting on processing and mail! We live 3 hours from the nearest branch, but it was still worth it to us to make a day trip of it and have it done, rather than mess with the mailing and courier service. Call your Secretary of State office for all the details!

5. Just breathe. 
Seriously, do what you can, call and triple check what you need to do, but in the end. The timing is not in our hands, and it does no one any good to stress out about any part of the process. 

Anything you think I should add? Or that might be helpful for others just starting this journey?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

We're adopting!

Wow, how much life has happened in the last 3 years since I last posted.

In that time we bought a house, then it flooded and we had to live with family for 3 months. Then back into the house, started foster parenting classes,then struggled with business, realized fostering wasn't the path we're supposed to take then, started a new business, watched it flourish and thrive and now here we are.

So, after many years of prayers, and waiting for the peace that the time is now, we're adopting!

A little backstory....
We contacted Childrens House International in May of 2016 and they added us to their Facebook Group of currently waiting children they're advocating for.
In that group I found a video of the most precious little boy with brown hair and a contagious laugh and I fell in love. The name on his file was Wesley and he was in Poland.

I heard his laugh and immediately my heart said, "he's mine".

So we interviewed with the agency and received his file to review. And oh boy was there a lot to review!
Little Man had a very rough start with many issues at birth including 3 heart defects that required 2 surgeries.
After consulting with the International Adoption Medicine clinic at Childrens Medical in Dallas, a lot of prayer,  we felt confident in moving forward with his adoption and signed papers to begin in July! This included signing on with our agency and sending a letter to Poland letting them know we're working on everything with the purpose of bringing Wesley home.

We immediately started the Homestudy process and were able to begin checking documents off our list in pretty good order.
We had 3 visits from our social worker during that time and fell in love with her! Miss Heather felt like she immediately became our friend and has been so wonderful during this whole process.

Early September we were wrapping up the Homestudy when we got an email from our agency that started with "So we've never had this happen before...."
Evidently, somehow, the media had learned about our little man and had run a story on him. How long he's waited for a family, and even though his foster family loves him very much, they just want to see him settled in a family.
Talk about pulling my heart strings! I wanted to scream... "That's OUR little man! He HAS a home and we're coming for him!"

Our agency contacted Poland and let them know again that we're working towards bringing him home and we'd get our dossier done just as quickly as possible. So for the last 3 weeks it's been a flurry of paper work getting all the documents for Poland in order. Even making a quick day trip to Austin this to get everything apostilled and not have to waste mail time on it.

We are just waiting on my birth certificate to arrive from the Department of State and the USCIS approval then everything is done!

It's already felt like such a long wait and so much work has already gone into preparing for him...but I know it's also only just begun! We don't know exactly when we'll be traveling to pick him up, but possibly in early spring...maybe even right around his 3rd birthday!
Can't wait to add his face to this family!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Our Home is for sale!

We are selling our 5th wheel so please pass this link on! It's bittersweet to be selling, but being stationary in a home is where God is leading right now. Would love to see this home of ours go to a great family!

Click here to go to the Craigslist ad

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Forty to Forever and Lina

In my blogroll this morning, I came across a blogger and immediately recognized the beautiful face in the picture. It was "my" Lina! She is the guest of honor at Forty Days to Forever. This group is working to raise $20,000 for 40 children/families who are in desperate need of a home. Working to ransom the lives of these precious children.
Please join them during lent (or anytime really!) and let's make sure money is not an obstacle in getting these babies home!
Forty to Forever

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


I don't remember when I first saw a picture of Lina, but it was love at first sight. She's a beautiful baby now languishing in an orphanage. She has so many medical needs, but what she needs more than anything is a Momma to cradle her, a Daddy to kiss her, and a family to shower her with love and the attention she needs. It breaks my heart to know she's in the situation she is. 
Please get the word out for her!
Please donate to her fund to make it easier for someone to adopt her!

To donate, go to Reece's Rainbow and search for Lina 3F or the link below should take you there!

Monday, December 31, 2012

The closing of the year...

I sit here typing as my Bee prepares me "cupcakes" and using an 18 inch long pencil to eat with. We've rocked her babies, played horses, wrestled, made breakfast, lunch and two snacks. 
These days are so fleeting.
The other night she didn't want to get in the cart at Target.
She wanted to walk.'t.cry.
When did my little baby girl grow up?

This year has found me experiencing such a range of emotions. From traveling the world and going where we wanted, when we wanted. 
To being reliant on others.
Not knowing where our next paycheck was coming from.
Not knowing where we would live.
Not even knowing what the next week might hold.
And feeling pulled.
Like my heart is tugged.
To make a difference.
To change my heart.
And to show love and kindness to those around me.
I know many like to make new years resolutions, or a have a "word" to focus on and define the coming new year.
I would like to make a purpose.
A purpose to show love to those around me.
To find joy in every moment.
To be present with my daughter and cherish this time with her.
To welcome whatever God sends our way this coming year.

May God bless you and keep, make His face to shine on you and give you peace!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Dreaming of our future....and wondering what it will be...
And then being reminded by my 3 year old to live in the moment. Where I am right now. 
What we are doing here, and what needs to be done today. 
Thankful we do have a roof over our heads. 
We have food on the table. 
We have each other. 

And wherever God leads, we'll go together. 
And it will be His timing for His plan.