Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Yesterday was such an eventful day -  first of all it was the first day of school. I sent Katie on to 11th grade and Braden to 6th. I have a junior in high school and one beginning his last year of elementary school - it happened in a blink I tell ya. Just a blink - BAM they're 17 and almost 12. Anyhow, I made my way to kindergarten bright and early at 6:45a.m. It was a day filled with so much anticipation and excitement, especially after the phone call I received from our case worker. She and I have had some monumental phone conversations in my "office" at school. Ok, it's really my bathroom but I like to pretend it's my office. She called to inform us that the orphanage had received word from CARA that our NOC (no objection certificate) had been issued. This means no one in all of India objects to us adopting Ryan and everything was done ethically on all ends. The sister said, for the second time, that Ryan carries his photo book we made for him around all the time and kisses our pictures. So thankful the orphanage is fostering this relationship and love for us across many oceans. ALSO, Ryan turned 18 months old yesterday, too. Well technically it was today but with the time change by early afternoon here, it's already tomorrow there so it all happened on the same day. For some reason, I like to keep track of time like that.

I'm weird. I know. And I don't try to hide it.

So THEN today I received an email with a copy of the original NOC. The Sister from the orphanage is preparing to send it on to the high court. This is a HUGE step! Praying for a quick court date, a miracle, whatever it takes to have this sweet boy home SOON!

Our coveted NOC -

Our annual Back to School Photo. Next year Ryan will be in this picture too!!! :) :) :)  

Thanking God and praising HIM for these milestones.

In everything give thanks
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Thursday, August 1, 2013

some say he's lucky

Often times we have well meaning people tell us how lucky Ryan is to be adopted by our family. It's a sweet sentiment but we're not sure we would call him lucky.

He was relinquished when he was 10 days old, from the only mother he knew. Not real lucky.

He spent many, many months in an orphanage, waiting to to be old enough to be placed for adoption. He didn't have a mama to hold or soothe him when he cried, or a daddy to tickle him, or brothers and sisters to play patty cake and peek-a-boo with. He still doesn't - yet. Not real lucky.

He was rejected by 3 Indian families. Not real lucky.

He's almost 18 months old and still living in an orphanage. Not real lucky.

He will be leaving behind the only life he's ever known and facing a great deal of loss; grief and loss he will keep with him for forever. Research has shown that even very young orphans have memory to recall being abandoned. Not only that he will carry this loss with him and have many unanswered questions about his first family for the rest of his life. Not real lucky.

All children belong in their rightful families, in their rightful culture. That is God's plan for families. All families should stay together. Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world and that doesn't always happen. Sometimes as Americans, we think our life, our culture, our opportunities are better than anothers but that isn't true. A family is a family no matter where they live or how they live. We aren't adopting Ryan to give him a better life. We are adopting because we were called to adopt. Because we have a heart for orphans. Because we love this little boy so so much. We wouldn't say he's lucky. It's quite the opposite. WE are the lucky ones! We are the ones that have been called to give this precious boy a new life, a new home, a new everything. Not better, just new - and filled with lots of love.

We are the lucky ones.

Now onto to some pretty awesome news!

A few weeks ago we checked with our agency about the grant from Hand in Hand and our case worker informed us that  the grant had been processed along with another one from National Christian Foundation. We quickly told her we didn't apply with that organization. She was insistent we received $4,000 from them so we called the office to find out about it. We were throughly confused at that point. What we found us blew us away - we received a $4,000 anonymous donation, by way of National Christian Foundation - still don't know a thing about them but we are VERY GRATEFUL and VERY THANKFUL whomever you are!

AND - we got word last Wednesday (July 24) that we received our coveted ARC approval (state level clearance). It's possible we received it a few weeks before then. Our agency has asked a several times and finally got  an answer that we did in fact receive it. THANK YOU JESUS! We waited 10 weeks (ALL summer) for this clearance. I know most families adopting from India wait many, many months for these approvals and we were so very relieved to know we made another little step in the right direction.

We are now waiting for the federal clearance - NOC (no objection certificate). Once this is received our case will go to court. From what we've been told, this is usually a quick process once we get the court date. When that is complete, we will be awarded guardianship and the orphanage will apply for Ryan's passport. We can make travel plans when the passport is received by the orphanage. WE CAN'T WAIT FOR THAT DAY!

There has been a hold up with the consulate in Atlanta for all cases with our agency awaiting NOC clearance from India. It's been terribly, terribly frustrating.  Please pray for a quick resolution - we, and several other families, have been waiting for this to be cleared up for a few weeks now. Satan will stop at nothing to keep these children in orphanages instead of their rightful homes...