We've had a lot of snow here in Kentucky over the last month. The good thing about being snowed in is that we have had lots of time for working on stacks of adoption paperwork! The photo above is from one of our smaller snow storms, where K and the girls made their first igloo. Our next snow was much bigger (about 11 inches) and we got a second and bigger igloo then! Today, we have bout 12+ inches with more falling. I am curious to see what will spring up in our yard later today. The girls are ready for daddy to take them out to play! H has plans for a fort and I am pretty sure M expects to build Elsa's castle in the backyard!
So where are we in our adoption? Right now, we are finished with our homestudy and waiting for it to be written up and approved! We should get news on that front next week. Everything looks good, so approval should happen! We also signed with our agency (FAC)!! When we signed with FAC, they sent us a packet of things that included five applications for agencies they generally work with. Talk about a mountain of paper! I went through an ink cartridge printing it all. K says that we should plant a few trees in honor of our new baby this Spring! Because we are working with a consulting agency, they network with other agencies to match. We don't know which agency we will be matched with, but by filling these applications out ahead of time, we will have them "ready to go" should we be selected to present to a birth mom. I feel like I've been writing the same information over and over! When I get tired, I think that each word, each paper, brings us one step closer to the little one that needs us and I keep going!
We've also been working on our profile book this week. It's so hard to cram everything you'd want a birth mother to know about your family in a twenty page book! We were charged to avoid being "wordy" (hard for an English major) and to keep the photos to no more than 3 per page. That's hard for a scrapbooker too! Thankfully, we had some great samples to look at and I have been able to follow their model. We'll be sending a rough draft to our consultant later tonight. I'm praying that the changes are few and minor!
Because our homestudy required so many documents, we don't need to gather too many other items for FAC. Sometimes I have to chuckle at the things we are asked to provide. This time I had a good laugh over needing the shot records for our dogs. Now, I understand why this is important, but it just seems so funny to me as well.
Another fun thing that we did regarding adoption was a fundraiser on February 13th and 14th. Our dear friends the "C" family are also in the process of adopting domestically and had the idea to do a fundraiser where we would offer babysitting, at our church, for Valentines Day weekend. We had lots of volunteers from our church and probably around 80 kids total attended over the two nights. We did games, snacks, and crafts! K also did some juggling, yo-yo tricks and balloon animals for the kids. It was a great success and we made about $1200 to divide between our two families. I am just in awe and so thankful to the "C" family and to all our friends and family members that helped out! Our church is amazing in how they show the love of Christ to one another through service, and this was no exception. Here are some photos from those nights:
A small sample of some of K's balloon animals!
K doing the chinese yo-yo for the kids
My mom singing with the kids!
Mr. P doing some games with the threes and fours!
I have lots of sweet photos but I didn't want to post any faces here for privacy reasons. I am sure this little one's scrapbook will feature some of these precious pictures!
So, what's next? Well, once we get this other stack of paper work finished and our profile book is edited (and printed), we will be listed as "active" and our profile can be presented to birthmoms! We could be selected quickly or could have a wait. We could be chosen by a mom ready to give birth or who has already given birth or by a mom who has a few weeks or months to go! There are so many unknown factors, but God is sovereign and we know He has a plan for us and this little one we have yet to meet.
We also hope to be able to start applying for grants and loans as soon as our homestudy is approved. We are looking to provide a way for friends and family to donate tax-free money as well. Our biggest financial challenge coming up will be having the fees ready at the time of match. This could be up to 1/2 of our total adoption cost (we think we will hover around the $35,000 mark total), so that could be around $17,500. We need to make sure we have funds and loans ready so that we can be matched when the time comes. So, we'll probably be kicking off another fundraiser this week.
How you can help:
-Pray for our birthmom and baby, as well as our family as we navigate this process. Pray that we can love big no matter the outcome!
-Pray for wisdom in dealing with the financial aspects of adoption
-We'll be having a yard sale as soon as the weather warms up, so if you have items you would like to donate that we can sell, that would be a huge help! I can pick items up if you let me know!
-If you feel so called, a donation would be a great blessing. You can donate directly to us or (coming soon) make a tax-free donation to our fund (we won't have direct access to the funds but the organization would pay our expenses directly through those funds. I will update on this as soon as it is finalized! We have to have homestudy approval before we can complete the form).
Thank you so much for your prayers and support! We feel very loved and we know that love will spill over to this precious little one!