Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Homestudy.... CHECK!

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

202 pages of paperwork

21 hours of adoption education

16 checks written

10 kinds of lab work

8 reference letters

6 months of working

5 interviews

2 TB tests

1 chest x-ray

... and a partridge in a pear tree! 

*IT IS FINISHED!* Our adoption homestudy is officially done (well, our part at least!) I turned in all the paperwork TODAY! I swear I checked that massive stack of papers at least 5 times, and drove with it on my lap all the way to the adoption agency! It felt amazing to put that envelope in our social worker's hands and to know that a HUGE part of our process is finished! THANK YOU to everyone who wrote reference letters, answered questions, prayed, encouraged us, pushed us to keep going (you know who you are!), and understood when we were anti-social because we were buried in mountains of paperwork. It's been exhausting but we got it done!

My view for the past few weeks...

Our next step is our dossier. I am not looking forward to all the hoops we'll have to jump through for that... it is sure to be challenging. But I keep reminding myself that it's just one more (giant) round of (intense) paperwork and then it all goes to Thailand! 

Wednesday we will start working on our dossier. But tonight... TONIGHT we will celebrate this accomplishment with a little sparkling cider.

We're one step closer to our baby girl!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Stocking for Kate

5 years ago, on our very first Christmas as a married couple, we bought 2 stockings - a red one for Rusty and a silver one for me. They were the perfect stockings... shiny, shimmery, and with little snowflakes embroidered along the top. This year I wanted to hang a matching one for Kate, and was heartbroken to find out that they don't make them anymore. I have searched everywhere! I even went as far as to post online asking for help finding one. I knew it was highly unlikely (especially since we bought our stockings in Michigan and now live in Alabama.) So imagine my surprise when a perfect stranger sent a silver stocking that was a PERFECT MATCH to us in the mail today!! I still can't believe it! What a gift! 

It was so special to hang 3 stockings "by the chimney with care." When I finally saw them all - hanging up there together - I couldn't hold back the tears. You may think that's silly... after all, it's just a stocking! But to me, it's so much more than that.

You see, sometimes it seems like our adoption paperwork will never be done... like our "gotcha day" will never get here...like we will never hold our little girl. Sometimes, Kate seems like a far away dream that may never come true. So when I can do something tangible - like hang a stocking for our daughter - it's an act of faith. This little stocking reminds me that our daughter is a promise from God that WILL be fulfilled. It represents all our future Christmases with our little girl...all the memories yet to be made. It reminds me to pray for her, to trust God with her, and to keep fighting for her everyday.

~* Merry Christmas baby girl! We can't wait to meet you! *~