Thursday, February 25, 2010

Meeting Adovtive Parents

Last night was the second time we attended our church's monthly family pasta night for people who have adopted, are in the process of adopting or are thinking about adopting. It was a great time. I had had a hard week with all the paperwork for 2 agencies (tip: If you are using an international adoption agency that is out of state and therefore have to contract an agency locally to do your home study... compare "to do" lists- it will save you duplicating your work... I didn't do this and spent the week retracing all my steps from the week before to get the same info but on different agency letterhead.). This meeting was great for my spirits. It was neat to hear from some of the parents who have already adopted and see the joy in their hearts when they spoke about their kids. I also got to meet another family who is adopting from Rwanda. They have done all their stuff and are just waiting for a referral (a referral is when Rwanda basically finds a child match for them and send them the child's information to agree to adopt). They have been waiting 4 months. We had great conversation with a few other moms who already have their kids, one has 3 from Rwanda, the other has a teenager from China. We were learning all about name changes, making up birthdays and other things you don't think about. I know this group will be a great support throughout the coming years and look forward to the bonds that form.

Meanwhile... back to more paperwork! :) I think we have all the paperwork for all 3 of us for physicals and the cat's too! Next week I'll be working on all the financial paperwork like copying taxes, bank statements, credit card statements, and submitting our monthly budget information. Yuck! Lots of brain power required :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

New to Blogging

I finally am getting this blog going! I'm excited about posting our journey to expand our family with a child from Rwanda. Our decision to adopt was easy, it's something we always said we would do if we decided to have more kids. We figured, if the point is to have more kids then why have more ourselves when there are plenty of children already alive around the world that need a family. The hard part was God's timing. For a long time we didn't want any more kids after having Gaven. He almost died at birth. That was so hard for us we couldn't even think of having more kids. We thanked God for Gaven's life and poured everything we had into raising him. Once Gaven started school, I started entertaining the idea of more kids... but my husband was ok with just the three of us. I never wanted my husband to feel any pressure from me to have more kids. I needed all his support to raise a family and if we were going to have more kids it had to be a choice from his heart's longing not my pressure. I talked with God a lot about my longing for more kids and had accepted the idea that Gaven might be my only child. Then.. I'm not sure when or why Max's heart started to soften to the idea but it did. We both knew we wanted to adopt but weren't sure when or from where. After doing a bible study on orphans with some friends from church, my husband knew NOW was the time and Rwanda was the location. We decided on Rwanda because our church is very involved with the county in many ways, including caring for orphans (not only encouraging international adoption but more importantly helping local church's in Rwanda learn about the importance of their families adopting Rwandan children). I had been to Africa a few times on mission trips and loved the people. It seemed like a good fit. We knew we would have a great support system through our church and family and friends and because of our church's involvement we knew it would be easier to stay connected to our future child's country (even a few other children adopted from Rwanda attend our church).

We officially started the process the end of last year. We turned in our first "inquiry" application to an international adoption agency in November 2009. Now we are in the middle of mounds of paperwork to complete our home study. A home study is required by US and Rwanda governments. It basically looks at all aspects of your life to get a picture of who you are and approving you for adoption. It's a lot of work and a lot of time and demands a lot of detail and organization! I hope you follow us on our journey- we welcome your prayers and encouragement and thank you for the friendship... and if you have any tips on blogging let me know :)