Can barely believe it! The email from the orphanage said to buy our airline tickets... Our agency says to wait. The passport should be in within a week. Of course a week to us here isn't always like a week in India.
So of course we wait some more.
And hope his passport arrives very soon as flying so close to Christmas is mucho dinero!
Still waiting for our court order to arrive at the orphanage. I woke this morning, checked through 18 (Black Friday) emails, none from India or our agency. So we wait some more - maybe we will hear something next month (two more days until December, ha!). We do need to square away the last bit of travel information and I am hopeful we will receive it from our agency soon. I've been waiting since March for it! This weekend I plan to work on MORE paperwork. I just thought we were done. ;) I've got two documents to complete - one is a TB waiver and the other is for immunizations. These documents just prove we will have our son immunized for the shots he may not have received and if he should have TB, we will have him treated. It sounds simple enough but one document is nine pages long! We did find out that our adoption is full and final so we will not have to readopt him here in the U.S. Thankful for that!
While it isn't our turn to travel to India yet, I do know four beautiful Indian children that are finally with their forever families! I've been blog-stalking them all week.
I was pondering all the ways we have been blessed through this adoption by countless friends and family members. There are many people who may not feel called to adopt personally so they choose to bless others that are doing so. I think that is so very cool!
Here are some of the ways we've been blessed:
Prayers - I would estimate thousands of prayers have been offered up for our family, our son and our entire adoption journey. The easiest way to help someone adopting is to pray for them - and tell them you're praying for them. We are so very thankful for friends and family who have walked this road with us, supported us, loved on us, cared for us and prayed for us.
Financially - we have been blessed with the generosity of so many wonderful friends and family members. I am blown away whenever I think about how far we've come and how God has provided these amazing people to come along side us and help. Our amazing friends and family have purchased dozens of photo sessions to help pay for adoption fees, they've made donations to our adoption fund, they have helped us raise money for our matching funds grant and one talented friend recorded a music cd and donated half the proceeds to our adoption fund and the other half to another family. Yes, this really happened!! Check out his work here - Jeremy Crook
Garage Sale Donations - Several awesome friends donated items for our garage sale which was a huge fundraiser for us. These sweet friends could have kept their junk and sold it themselves but they didn't. That says so much about how they love Ryan (even though we didn't even know him then) and how much they love us.
Donation of frequent flyer miles - one precious friend is donating sky miles to help pay for a portion of our travel expenses. This is an enormous blessing because international airfare for just two people is crazy expensive and since we may be traveling around Christmas or New Year's Day this will drive the prices up even more PLUS we will make travel plans just days before we need to leave. It won't be cheap!
Hand made gifts - I've had talented friends craft, stitch, and sew the most incredible little items for Ryan's room. I hired someone to make bedding for his crib and she did it free of charge. Such a sweet blessing! She has some neat stuff here Aimee Doodles
Pressure washed house and carpet cleaning - our fabulous neighbors own a cleaning business and they have cleaned all the carpet in our home for free AND they pressure washed the entire outside of our house and drive way as a gift to us. We were blown away! If you're local, check out their business Veterans Carpet Cleaning They do fantastic work!
Dog grooming - A sweet friend from church is giving our schnauzer, Nugget, free hair cuts until Ryan is home. Such an incredible gift!
Sick leave donations - A few co-workers have donated sick leave days so I can still be paid part of the time I am home with Ryan. This will help with the financial burden of unpaid maternity leave.
T-shirt purchases - our t-shirts are being worn all over the country from Hawaii to Florida. One sweet friend wore hers to Africa on a mission trip and shared about adoption with several people along the way. That's what it's all about! Spreading the love of adoption so MORE children find forever families.
I am working on a fabulous thank you card that I intend to send out once our boy is home so watch for that soon. In the meantime...
Saying Thank You seems so inadequate. We appreciate each and everyone of you for being a part of Ryan's story.
“We want you to know that adoption is beautiful, and a thousand times we’ve looked at each other and said, “What if we would’ve said no?” God invited us into something monumental and lovely, and we would’ve missed endless moments of glory had we walked away. We need you during these difficult months of waiting and transitioning, but we also hope you see that we serve a faithful God who heals and actually sets the lonely in families, just like He said He would. And even through the tears and tantrums (ours), we look at our children and marvel that God counted us worthy to raise them. We are humbled. We’ve been gifted with a very holy task, and when you help us rise to the occasion, you have an inheritance in their story; your name will be counted in their legacy...
Thank you for being the village. You are so important"
We received word bright and early this morning via email that the judge approved our petition for guardianship. This is a huge step! We were told it will take six weeks for the written order and then the orphanage will be ready to apply for his passport. These are the worst case scenarios so we *should* be in India by the New Year but we would be thrilled to be surprised with traveling sooner. I am so elated my heart could burst!
In my kindergarten class this week we have been learning about India, comparing and contrasting how different their homes and schools look compared to ours and how they are the same. We will eat some Indian treats and do a project with different spices. I have told them a little about Ryan on very simple terms since they're only 5. These kids are so excited to meet him. It's the sweetest thing I've seen! To go along with our unit we made these little Tshirts and just happened to wear them today!
Thank you all so much for the fervent prayers, messages, emails, hugs and love during this step. God has used so many of his people to sustain us during this time and we are praising Him for that!
Boo. We heard from a friend that the judge is on leave this week so our case will not be heard. Maybe next week but since Diwali is Sunday, that may not be likely. Our agency has emailed the orphanage to get an update...
.....we wait some more to find out when we will be awarded guardianship of our little guy and we pray for peace through this agonizing wait, pray for mercy from the committee that will decide our son's fate, pray for quick decisions and turnarounds regarding our case and others that are also waiting along with us, pray our son is happy, fed, loved, and cared for until we get there, pray that God will continue to prepare both his heart and ours for the time when our worlds will collide.
This week has been filled with ups and downs and downs and ups. A few weeks ago I woke up with some weird sensations in my face, blurry vision, felt very foggy and unlike myself. I knew it was stress related but Scott insisted on taking me to the doctor who scheduled an MRI for a few days later. I went to the neurologist this week to discuss the results. As I was waiting to see the doctor, I got a message from a fellow adoptive Mama that has a little one in the same orphanage as Ryan. For some reason I felt totally overwhelmed at that very moment with adoption stress. I started to tear up in the waiting room and by the time I went to sit across the desk from the doctor in his office, I was sobbing and blubbering "international adoption ... (sniff, sniff)....no, not Russia....(sob)... India... (sniff)... my son (sob some more)...." I am most certain he was probably thinking, Lady I am not a psychiatrist, I'm a neurologist! He grabbed me some paper towels so I could wipe the snot from my face and after a few minutes I composed myself and we talked more about the results. He wasn't concerned at all about my pituitary gland and said we would monitor it yearly unless I had other symptoms creep up. The doctor totally agreed that the numbness in my face is most likely stress related and felt it all should subside once we have Ryan home. I continued to cry off and on all day... I was a mess!
I need to remember :: Psalm 46:10 ::
Be still and know that I am God.
Know that He is working on our behalf even when I don't see it, feel it, hear it. He is always there working with us to bring our boy home - In the good times and the hard times. He is there.
The day of this debacle I asked our case worker if she had heard anything about our court hearing. She sent me an email the next day saying we FINALLY have a court hearing for OCTOBER 28! PRAISE GOD! Of course there are still a lot of unknowns. We aren't sure how many hearings they will conduct. I have heard anywhere from 1-5. Our case worker says usually two but I'm bracing myself for several. From what I've read they usually take place consecutively (weekly) but there are a lot of Indian holidays in November so we may not finish the court process until the end of November, possibly longer. Once we receive the verbal approvals, the written one will be prepared. We were told it can take 1.5-2 months for the written approval to arrive at the orphanage. I inquired about this from a group of ladies I know that have adopted from India and was told it's possible the pages upon pages of documents are all typed up. On a typewriter. Which explains the 2 month wait! Of course once we get the written approvals we will still have to wait for his passport but that step is only taking about 2 weeks, which should give us some time to tie up loose ends before we travel. It still looks like January before we head to India but at least we finally know something and we have a date to pray over. Please join us in prayer. <3
Over the summer we inquired about the number of children at Ryan's orphanage because we wanted to send them all a small care package. After 3 months we finally heard back about the details of the children and my sweet mother in law and I collected 30 stuffed animals, lots of candy, and 30 toothbrushes plus another photo book for Ryan. Today it arrived and the sister at the orphanage was SO excited! I was glad it arrived (since I sent it to the wrong address - yikes!) and overjoyed at how happy they were to receive such small tokens. Everything came from the dollar store but they were just thrilled - with so little. We plan to bring more goodies for them when we go to India. :)
Here's a small sample of what we stuffed in the box. I went back for more candy and toothbrushes. You can never have too much candy which means you definitely need toothbrushes, right?
In the past week I was surprised to receive several emails from people interested in adoption and/or currently adopting from India so people do read what I write. Cool!
Yesterday was Ryan's referral-versary. Nine months ago we were matched with an adorable 10 month old baby boy. He's now almost 20 months old, no longer a baby but a toddler. I know I say the waiting is SO hard. I know I say it a lot. Maybe I say it too much. We haven't been waiting nearly as long as some people I know adopting from India. In fact, our case has moved quickly compared to typical India adoption timelines. For that I'm grateful but my arms still long to hold him, my heart longs to have him home where he is loved, cared for, prayed over, hugged, kissed, fed, bathed, tickled, read to, chased - that's a lot of verbs cause that's a lot of love to dish out! So ready!
We are still waiting to find out if we have cleared court and been awarded guardianship. We haven't been given any court dates so we have no idea if our case has already gone to court or if we are still waiting to enter that phase. Our case worker checked last week and the orphanage did not answer her questions about court - only asked for more passport photos of Scott and I. Typical India fashion - it doesn't even surprise me anymore. :)
In other news, last week Scott got his typhoid immunization and yesterday I got mine. The last shot I need for India! Yeah! And our visas should be here any day now. SOOO ........ WE ARE READY TO TRAVEL....Hint, hint India!! :)