Friday, September 30, 2016

Concerning News About Adoption

We received a letter from our adoption agency today with some concerning news regarding some changes the Department of State is proposing for international adoption, one applying specifically to Ukraine, and other non-Hague families (see point number one below).  We have attached the letter below in hopes that you will join us in going to and signing the petition, letting lawmakers know that these proposals are NOT in the best interest of adoptive children and families.  You can also email your senators and representatives asking them to NOT support these proposals.  They will only create more expensive hoops to jump through before bringing families together.  At this time we are unsure of when these proposals could potentially be passed.  Please join us in praying they will not be put into effect (for us and future adoptive families), signing the petition, and asking others to do so as well.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Home Study Update

Whew! So much has happened since our last blog post over a month ago!  A little catch up on our crazy lives: A new school year started for both of us the beginning of September and along with that we closed on the sale of our house in Vancouver, and the purchase of our house in Longview during the first week of school.  The following Saturday we moved into our new family-sized home!  We were very blessed to have an amazing moving crew in our family and friends which made the day so smooth.  We were then in crunch time to get everything either unpacked or somewhat organized because our social worker would be doing our first home visit two weeks after we moved.  But to make the time crunch a little more exciting, a couple days after moving, Stephanie left for a week to go to outdoor school, immediately followed by a workshop in California.  Eric was able to take care of all of the bigger things that needed to be moved around and organized, but there was still so much to do this last week prior to the home visit.  We were thankful to have some help with some unpacking this week, but we still ended up running around until just a few minutes before the scheduled visit!

Which brings us to today when we met our social worker in person for the first time and had our first home visit and safety inspection.  Amidst all of the busyness in the last month we were able to secure all but one piece of paperwork needed for our home study, including our immigration paperwork to obtain an orphan visa for our child, so now our interviews and home visits with our social worker are the last things we need before our home study draft can be written up and submitted for approval by our adoption agency.  Our visit today was very simple.  We had already made sure that everything that needed to be out of reach of small children either was up high or in a child-proofed cabinet, we had fire extinguishers on both floors, first aid supplies, and an empty bedroom which will become the "little one's."  The only thing we were missing were fire ladders for the bedrooms on the second floor which we can get before her next visit.  She seemed pretty impressed that we already had everything else in its place considering we had just moved!  We then sat down for a couples interview and individual interviews which included basic questions about why we want to adopt, things about our relationship, what our experiences with children have been, plans for after the child comes home, etc.  We will have our final home visit in two weeks and after that we should have a draft of our home study ready to submit for approval by early November at the latest. 

Of course with submitting more paperwork comes another payment due.  We were very blessed this summer with the couple fundraisers we did and the extra work opportunities we had.  However, we are still needing to raise about $3,400 for our next payment within the next month or so.  We are running out of fundraiser ideas so if anyone has any suggestions we would love to hear about them!  We are still selling coffee through our Just Love Coffee link, as well as collecting donations through our YouCaring page (see top right side bar for links to both).  We also still have some of our adoption t-shirts available.  Once our home study has been approved we will also be able to start applying for grants, a few of which we have already started the applications for so they are ready to go when the time comes.  We are prayerful that something might come from those to help us with future payments.