I feel like I just asked someone to come on down for the Price is Right.
Where shall I begin? How about May?
We officially completed all of the paperwork that we could for our dossier (quite eager and motivated). The hardest thing about being eager and motivated, however, is that not everyone is on the same track as you. This led us to a lot of waiting. Waiting for our home study to be complete, waiting for United States Immigration to approve us, waiting for paperwork, signatures, notaries, stamps, seals, envelopes...basically everything you can think of in the first 3 rows of Office Depot.
Our home study was finally "officially" completed and we received our biometrics appointments for fingerprints for USCIS...for July...for when we would be out of town.
So, we rescheduled, took another dose of "patience" medicine, and settled into what would soon become a very familiar waiting game.
However, this waiting game was also filled with some great distractions like a trip to Kauai, a trip to Texas for a beautiful wedding, Vacation Bible School, a camping trip, and lots of fun photo shoots!
Our physical, spiritual, and emotionally beings were all wrapped around our High School Youth Group trip to Tennessee for CHIC. I'm pretty sure that God knew we weren't able to handle much else. We received our fingerprinting appointments for 2 days after we returned from our trip and that was about the most exciting adoption thing that happened all of July.
As I look back on it...I'm so thankful for that.
We did, with the help of a very talented high school student (shout out to Derek Mari! Holla!), create something super special and super amazing that will be shared with you all so very soon. Please stay tuned for further details...shh...
You know those movies that are really good, but somewhere in the middle they hit a slow spot and you are about to fall asleep and then BAM! Something exciting happens and your adrenaline starts pumping and you remember that you are really enjoying that film? That is August.
The beginning of August brought us our Immigration approval, our trip to Sacramento for State Sealing our documents (way less intimidating than expected), our submission of our Dossier and our submission of 4 Grant Applications! Look who got there stride back?
WE WERE BUSY, PEOPLE!!!
All that mixed in with a trip back east to see Erik's family, our college friends, and my family, the end of Summer Ministry and the Kickoff of Fall Ministry! I needed a nap.
So now we are here. September. It is so hard to believe that it has already been 8 months since this process began. We have discussed how crazy it is when people talk about their adoption experiences taking 2-3 years. Because honestly, these 8 months have gone by so fast. 2-3 years sounds understandable. Do-able even.
When we submitted our Dossier (WAY back in August), we were required to make a payment of $6,000. As of Sunday, we were $1,000 short.
When we started this journey, we committed to our family and to God, that we would not do this process through debt. We committed to walk this journey by paying in cash...which in this world...isn't easy.
Easy would be taking out our credit card and putting the remaining $1000 down until I got paid for the wedding I shot at the end of August. Easy would mean not trusting in God but trusting in us. Easy would mean instant gratification.
Easy isn't what we signed up for.
So, we decided to wait. The paperwork just sitting on someone's desk in Michigan until we turned in our money. A kid potentially just waiting in an orphanage to be called someone's child. Our child. That is hard business.
Enter in Sunday morning...
I decided early on Sunday morning during our ministry fair at church that I was going to write a blog update, because I had a lot of people asking what the status was on our adoption. I knew what I would have to say that our papers were turned in to our Adoption Agency, but not going anywhere anytime soon. Lame answer.
Well, I didn't even really get a chance to say that because 2 hours into the morning, we were told that someone wanted to anonymously give us $1000 for our adoption. Yes. You heard that correctly. $1000.
That would be before anyone knew how much we needed to complete our Dossier.
That would be before I even had the chance to let people know that we were waiting on that money so that our Dossier could be sent on to be Authenticated.
That would be other people not taking the easy way and graciously giving their own money to us.
That would be 2 very humbled people in awe and shock.
That would be a God who knows exactly what we need when we need it.
Yesterday I hit the payment button, leaving .37 cents left in our adoption account. Our Dossier will be sent out to the United States Ethiopian Embassy for Authentication this week and hopefully on to Ethiopia within the next 4 weeks.
That would be where we are. Today.
God is good.