Thursday, December 23, 2010

Check. Check. Check.

Okay, so I know my last post went off course, but isn't that the absolute beauty of God? We have plans, He changes them. Truly, He is the one who charts the course. When I let Him.

My mom very graciously agreed to keep our kids from Sunday to Tuesday so JD and I could tackle a bunch of adoption stuff. He had taken Monday off because our physicals were scheduled for that morning and we were supposed to meet with our social worker afterward. We had originally booked a sitter, but when my mom came through to keep the kids it freed up the whole day for us! Yee-haw! What a blessing!

Remember those trainings I mentioned? Well, because we hadn't even started them (!), our social worker said it'd be best to postpone our appointment until we had some of it under our belt. So we had a new plan for our day. And wouldn't you know, it was a better plan.

Our physicals went well. We were poked and prodded, but left with HIV consent forms signed and TB tests administered (with the requirement that we go back on Wednesday to have the results read).

Since we'd fasted for our physicals, we headed straight for brunch after we were done -- sans kids! It really doesn't matter if it's breakfast, lunch, dinner, caviar or mush...a meal without children is a true treat. We thoroughly enjoyed the seamless conversation. Yes, we love our children, but let's just be honest...virtually nothing can be discussed in the presence of four children 8 and under.

We left brunch and headed to the county police to get our fingerprinting done for the FBI check and Child Protective Services check. That took about an hour. Not too bad.

To our bank we went to get four money orders to submit to our social worker with the fingerprints to pay for the background checks. Do you know that banks charge several dollars per money order? Even to their members/customers! That's ridiculous. So off we went to a grocery store to get them for 50 cents each. Sheesh. We may've only saved ten dollars, but it's the principle!

We then ran to our social worker's office to drop everything off to her. How nice it is to 'dump' paperwork in her lap that's been a monkey on our backs for weeks! In addition to unloading that stuff, JD had emailed her his autobiography (all 6 pages of it!) to her a week or so ago and two of the three required personal references have come in! Whoo-hoo!




After that, we were headed home to begin our 15 hours of on-line training. This is the true hold up to completing our home study. Our plan was to sit in front of the TV (if we could get the laptop to feed through the TV) and wrap gifts. By the time we got home (after an impromptu visit with a dear neighbor whose a widower -- when we have the kids with us, we really struggle to capitalize on these opportunities), we had only an hour or so before we had to meet friends for dinner. And listen to how that came about...

In true God-always-comes-through fashion, just that morning I'd sent an email to friends who have adopted seven children -- with their eighth on his way (if you're in the Richmond adoption community, it's likely you know exactly who I'm talking about!) -- to see if she and her husband might be spontaneously available to meet us for dinner that night. I think I mentioned in an earlier post that we found out from our placement agency (Wide Horizons) that because we're likely adopting children over the age of two, in addition to completing the routine requirements, we have to interview two families who have adopted older children. I made contact with two couples that we've gotten to know over the last year or two and both very graciously agreed to meet with us. But when? Christmas was only two weeks away at this point and, frankly, I was pulling the plug on a lot of this adoption stuff until after the holidays. We just thought it would have to wait until the new year. But a spontaneous thought led to us being able to meet with these wonderful friends that very night.

We so enjoyed our time with them. They are a wealth of information! It warms our hearts to see how God is bringing forth those who have gone before us. We are learning so much about what this process is like and what it will be like to bring children home. The ups and downs and the realities and blessings. What a wonderful evening! God was so good to us to align our schedules on the fly.


One of the greatest blessings from chatting with these friends is that I hadn't realized that two of their children were adopted from Ethiopia. Wow. This made me all the more excited! They had the most wonderful things to say about their Ethiopian adoption experience including what wonderful people their daughters are. I just feel like that's where we're headed. But we'll go wherever God wants us to.

Later Monday night, we went home after dinner, watched two of our trainings and got all our Christmas gifts wrapped! Whoo-hoo! For a couple whose often up til the wee hours of Christmas morning getting things done, this is huge for us.



On Tuesday, on my way to my parents', I dropped off two of our three reference sheets for our Abba Fund application. It's time to get that application in because our home study is near finished. I figured it might take our references a couple of weeks to get them in the mail. But I got an email on Wednesday from our pastor saying that he was putting the his reference in the mail today (Thursday!). Wow. That's incredible -- especially the week before Christmas! God's clearly moving things along and, well, I'm pumped.


We're truckin' along and may actually have our home study done in early January! That's pretty darn cool considering my original goal was Christmas. I feel like God said, 'Relax, Heather.' And then that obedience was rewarded. I love Him.

May the true Spirit of Christmas fill your hearts and homes these next 48 hours!

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