Finally…

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Yesterday we got the phone call we have been waiting for since we resubmitted our home study to be reviewed again. On December 12th the committee in Colombia reviewed our complete dossier and was happy with everything and yesterday they APPROVED us!

So, now the waiting clock officially starts! We were told a 6-12 month wait, but as of now only one family has actually waited a full 6 months to be matched with their child. We of course are hoping to not have to wait a long time, but we know that God is in control and His timing is absolutely perfect. It is such a relief to have all of the paper work and redoing of things behind us and now we wait for that phone call saying we have been matched. Once we have been matched, we quickly get everything together, have an international adoption pediatrician review her medical file, get our adoption visas from Colombia, submit for US immigration and book our travel! It will be a quick whirlwind of about 2 months and then we travel.

Once we have been matched our final payment is due and its around $14,000.00. If you want donate towards it, Click Here We are also going to have some really cool fundraisers coming up, so check back here for more info on them!

My mothers heart has been struggling lately. I am absolutely beyond blessed to have been able to have Easton and consider him to be our miracle baby. I know that our little Ellie is going to be another miracle in our lives, but I recently found out that two people who are close to me were pregnant and did not have to try very hard to become pregnant and when I found out it was bittersweet. I want my baby in my arms, I would love to be able to get pregnant again and have another child. I want Ellie home with me, not in an orphanage. Adoption is beautiful thing and mirrors the gospel and I 100% believe that we have been given this opportunity because we are the family God has chosen for Ellie and she is the daughter God has planned for us to have, but at the same time I am feeling a loss of the other children that we could have had. If you could pray for peace for us and especially me during this time.

We so appreciate each of y’all who are standing beside us in this journey, praying for us, encouraging us and supporting us. We love y’all!

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No New News

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On October 10th the committee in Colombia reviewed our file. We were expecting to hear that we were approved that evening. I got a call a few days later from our agency and they said that we wouldn’t hear back from the committee until the end of the month because they had an adoption conference. So we waited. On November 7th I got a call from our agency and it was not the news we wanted. The committee in Colombia had reviewed our home study and they wanted every single “special needs” that we are accepting and are approved for from a six page list added to our home study. It was disappointing to have yet again another set back, but we are so very thankful that they didn’t just reject us, because a 2nd chance at adopting from Colombia is almost impossible. We have been going back and forth updating the home study since July. It has been updated now and it arrived in Austin today, so we are hoping to have it back next week and it can be sent to Colombia. We are hoping and praying that this is the last time and we will finally get our approval. I keep telling myself that this will be all worth it in the end, when our baby girl is in our arms all this stress will be a distant memory.

Since it is Thanksgiving week, I am reflecting on our blessings and what I am thankful for. I am so very thankful for the opportunity to adopt. This process has not been easy at all, but it has taught me patience and to trust God in all the little things. I am thankful for Cody who sees me at my worst and loves me anyway. I am thankful for Easton, he made me a mother and he truly is our miracle baby. I am so thankful I was able to get pregnant and have my Easton. I am thankful for my Mom and Dad and Cody’s mom and stepdad. Their financial support of this adoption has been an enormous blessing. I am thankful for all of you who have supported us in this adoption. So many of y’all have donated, purchased things in our fundraiser and cheered us on! We appreciate y’all! Thank you!

We are doing a candle fundraiser with Candles by Carol, who is a local small business and she has the absolute best candles. If you want to order some, the orders must be in by November 30 to ensure Christmas delivery! I can ship them to you as well if you cover shipping costs. Here are the scents:

Crème Brûlée (cream color)- A sweet, rich scent. Smells like a delicious cake in the oven, Our best seller ever!

Vanilla Spice (tan color)- The perfect mix of sweet vanilla and bold spice.

Heirloom Gardenia (white color)- Fresh sweet gardenia with a hint of bergamot, lily, sandalwood, and a splash of orange blossom.

Sweet Lemon (pale  yellow color)- The perfect combination of fresh, clean, juicy lemon, and sweet creamy vanilla.

Eucalyptus Mint (White Color)- An Uplifting spa scent! Vaporizing eucalyptus with fresh mint.

Cinnamon Apple (Red Color)- Sweet Mcintosh apple with spicy red hot cinnamon.

Creamy Pumpkin (Creamy Orange Color)- Pumpkin and cinnamon with a sweet vanilla bean and a splash of caramel.

Traditional Christmas (Red Color)- Sweet mandarin orange and spicy cinnamon- a Christmas favorite!

Christmas Cookie (Butter Color)- Delicious buttery cookies with creamy vanilla and a touch of cinnamon.

Here are the sizes:

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If you are looking for an end of the year tax deduction and would like to donate directly to our adoption fund, you can do that HERE.

Hopefully, we will have some good news our next update, until then we wait.

Review

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All of our paper work in complete, all the i’s are dotted, all the t’s crossed and all the authentication seals have been given. On Monday, October 10th the orphanage where Ellie is or will be is going to review our file, our photo book and all of our recommendation letters and make a decision to approve us for adoption. We will know Monday evening their decision. Please be praying for favor, for the committee to approve us. I am trying not to worry, not to be anxious, and reminding myself that God is in control and He set this in motion and He has His hand on the entire process.

In this time of waiting I have been reflecting on the faithfulness of God. He really has orchestrated this journey. When we committed to the decision to adopt a baby in February, we did not know how everything would work out, how we would afford it, what Easton would think, etc. Everything has worked out amazingly, we were able to make each of our required payments, a HUGE thanks to my parents, Cody’s mom and stepdad and so many of y’all who have contributed to us. We really really could not have done this without y’all. Thank you for buying t-shirts, donating to our garage sale, buying candles, eating at Joe Willy’s, shopping at our jewelry party, etc…We really are so blessed to have such a wonderful support system. Easton is so excited to have a sister, he already saves a seat for her, asks to wear his Ellie shirt, points to Colombia on the map and asks about her and prays for her every night. He recently started asking when Ellie will come home. I love his tender heart and how caring he already is at such a young age.

Our spring garage sale was such a huge success, we are having another garage sale on October 15th, if you have been cleaning out things and want to get rid of things, we would love to have them for our garage sale. I will come pick them up!

Please be praying for us and for the committee at the orphanage and especially be praying for Ellie. Pray that God will prepare her heart for adoption, prepare her to meet us and accept us as her parents, and that He will protect her. Please pray for us, pray that our hearts will have peace during this waiting season. We love and appreciate y’all so much!

 

 

mini update

 

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I haven’t updated in over a month. Really, because there is not much to update…

Thankfully we got our new immigration letter last week and it is in Austin right now getting apostilled. Hopefully, we will get it back this week and it will go to Colombia and then our file will go to the orphanage and be reviewed. So, the end is in sight, we just have to wait a few more days.

We have been busy getting ready for our big fall garage sale. The one in the spring was a huge success, we are hoping this one is just as awesome. So many wonderful people have donated items and offered to help, we are so grateful! If you are cleaning out excess stuff and want to donate them to the garage sale, let me know, I will come pick it up.

We also have new t-shirts! The last shirts were awesome and so soft, we decided to do another design in a darker color. If you want to get a shirt, CLICK HERE. We think they are super cool! They should be here by the garage sale, so wear yours if you come shopping!

A lot of people have donated on our adoption link, seriously thank you so much! It doesn’t give me names of people when they donate, so sometimes I don’t see it for weeks at a time. But really, we thank you so very much! It is amazing to see how many people who support us and want to help us bring Ellie home. We feel so blessed by each of you. If you want to donate, CLICK HERE no amount is too small! Every dollar adds up.

Again, thank you so much to each of you who have made this adoption possible! We so appreciate it!

 

1 step forward, 2 steps back.

Cody and I got to go on a wonderful vacation to Cancun, Mexico while Nonni and Pops took Easton to Colorado for an adventure. We had a wonderful time just being a couple and spending time together and with our former exchange student, Rasmus, his girlfriend Amelia, Cody’s mom, Judy, and stepdad, Michael.

While we were in Mexico we got our immigration approval letter from the US government (BIG YAY!), and the same day, we got a call from our agency telling us that Colombia needed some wording changed on our home study before they could review our file to match us with our baby (BIG BOO!). So, I contacted our social worker while we were in Mexico, she was awesome and changed the wording that day and sent it in to be approved by the agency. Once we get the new changed home study in the mail we have to reapply for another immigration approval letter and spend another $364.00 (Booooo!), get the home study apostilled and then send it and the new immigration approval letter all to Colombia again.

It is a struggle to not get frustrated with delays, setbacks and changes,  but another adoptive mama reminded me that maybe our baby girl isn’t paperwork ready yet and this delay is necessary so we are both ready at the same time and we will able to be matched.

We had to go over the special needs check list again this week. We knew that our Ellie will have some sort of “special need”, but we do not know what yet. Going through the list and saying which specials needs we are capable of caring for was very difficult. It isn’t something people get to do with their biological children and in a way it seems unfair to do with an adoptive child. It is part of the process and a requirement from Colombia and we have to be approved in our Home Study for the special needs we selected. It is kinda overwhelming.

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Tonight we were watching the Olympic’s opening ceremony and when the Colombian athletes came our waving their flag I got tears in my eyes and said a prayer for our little girl. We will be cheering for Colombia and USA these next 17 days!

The prayer requests we have right now are: Immigration to send us our new approval letter asap, that God would help prepare us for whatever special needs Ellie will have, safety for Ellie and provision for her and peace for us during this process.

Thank you all for following our blog and our journey. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation towards our adoption Click Here

 

the waiting game

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It is funny that we are now in the waiting time of the adoption process. We hurried up to wait! Our dossier is being translated now, We are hoping that it will be completed in the next couple of weeks. Two weeks ago, we did our biometric hand scans for Homeland Security to get immigration approval for bringing Ellie home. We are hoping to get our approval letter from immigration next month. Once we have the approval letter and the dossier is translated, everything will be submitted to the orphanage to be reviewed and hopefully we will be matched with our baby girl and get our referral soonish after that! It is an exciting time, knowing we are on the home stretch, but can be frustrating to wait and not have a real timeline.

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Easton turned 2 last week and he is eagerly awaiting his sisters arrival! We have a world map in his playroom and everyday he points to Colombia and says “Sissy Ellie, here” We have been doing our best to prepare him to have a little sister. He now asks to pray for her every night before bed. It is very sweet. At his birthday party he saw a baby doll and called it “Sissy” and offered her a bottle. I love seeing his tender heart and I know he will be a wonderful brother.

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We have had some wonderful small business owners and consultants for companies offer to do fundraisers for us and we have been so very blessed to be given money towards our adoption. We have some more fundraisers coming up, keep watching for them!

We appreciate all of the prayers and support we have received! If you want to make a tax deductible donation that goes directly to our agency,  CLICK HERE.

Thanks for following our journey!

 

doss e aye

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When we first started the adoption process the whole dossier process seemed so daunting. I couldn’t even imagine having it all finished. Well, today we submitted our 300+ pages and our 42 page family book. The book turned out wonderful! Thank you to everyone who sent us pictures to add to it. We really think it accurately portrays our family, friends and our life.

Of course, it wouldn’t be authentically me, if I didn’t forget a thing or two. As I was packaging up the envelope and triple checking the check list, I realized I forgot to notarize and apostille one page. Thankfully I am able to send it to Austin to be apostilled and then  send it in with our immigration forms when they are approved.

So many people are asking “So what happens next” So here is the process. The dossier was sent to our agency, they will make sure it is all perfect and they will send it down to Colombia where it will be translated into Spanish. In the meantime we are waiting for immigration to be approved and we have to get another (our 3rd) set of fingerprinting done. Once we have all the immigration approval and fingerprinting done, it will all go to Colombia and then it is all submitted to the Orphanage where they will review it all and then match us with our precious little girl, then they will send us her file and photo!

In pregnancy terms, this is like the end of the first trimester. I didn’t have any morning sickness, but I got 3 paper cuts yesterday and a case of writers cramp. It has been a wonderful first trimester, we are ready for the 2nd one now.

Thank you all for following our journey, supporting us, praying for us and loving our little girl! If you want to make a tax deductible donation towards Ellie’s adoption, click CLICK HERE it goes straight to our agency.

We appreciate y’all!