Friday, January 15, 2016


Today court opens back up in Uganda.  We expect we will hear next week when our court date is.  Once we have that date we will secure flights and living arrangements in Uganda.  It is then that we will know when we will meet our youngest child!

This adoption is different then our Guatemalan adoption.  It is different in that we have to be able to just let go and not plan.  We don't know each day what we will be doing or where we will be.  Things can change quickly and everything is then rearranged.  In Guatemala, we knew where we would be, who would be with us, and how things would go.  In Uganda, each case is different so we have to be able to just roll with it.  That is so so difficult for me to do!  I am not a roller!  Knowing that court is now open is driving me nuts!  No, I didn't expect to get a date today, but boy would that have been fantastic! :) 

So we wait.  And I ask questions.  Lots and Lots of questions!  In fact, there is a facebook page all about Ugandan adoptions and I think there are three pages at least with just questions from me!  This is when I begin to get antsy....

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Precious Paper...shipping the Dossier off!

I feel like I just sent my child off to camp! 

I have been working on this stack of papers since September!  I have been guarding it from the children, the dog, dust, and anything else that it may come into contact with.  I have checked and rechecked the dates, the number of copies, and the signatures over and over again.  Today I checked them for the final time and took them off to UPS.

I set them on the scale and the worker actually had to measure how high the pile of paperwork was before finding a box to fit it all!  I watched her tape it shut and affix the address label.  I checked one more time that it was the correct address and paid to have it shipped to my agency.

I actually did feel like I should have hugged the paperwork or waved good bye to send it on it's way.  Not because I am glad to have it out of the house (even though I am over joyed!), but because that pile of paperwork will determine our timeline for bringing our daughter home and if in fact we can bring her home or not!  That paperwork is worth so much more then it cost to ship it. (and it wasn't pennies!!)  It is very precious paperwork- so do me a favor and say a little prayer that it gets to the correct person on the correct day at the correct time.  When I hear it has arrived, that is when I will breath a sigh of relief!!!  One more step completed on our journey!
The completed dossier!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Good Letter from Homeland Security!

After getting the dreaded pink letter that we were missing words in our home study, yesterday we received a letter saying we have been approved to adopt! Woohoo!  

What does this mean?  It means that we now have all the paperwork needed to adopt from Uganda.  (At least I hope we have it all!  I have to do another check to be sure!). Sometimes people wait months to get this!  We are so blessed to have it before the holidays are here!

What's the next step? We now wait to get a referral.  When a child becomes available for adoption who fits with our family we will be notified and then there will be a full investigation done on the child. They look into the child's background and family and try to make 100% certain that he or she can not be cared for by relatives.

So now we wait..Adoption is all about patience.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Letters from Homeland Security

Adopting is stressful.  Just when you think you have a handle on everything and are ahead of the paperwork you receive a four page letter to tell you otherwise. 

We were warned this could happen.  Apparently, the offices of the government can change their requirements whenever they want to and they do not post these changes anywhere.  The way a person finds out about these changes is by submitting the paperwork and then getting a letter in the mail to tell you of all of the changes and until you meet those changes your application can not be processed!  Our letter was four pages long and on pink paper.  Maybe the pink was meant to soften the blow...  It really just made me want to puke.

We are lucky though.  The elements missing are just words in our home study.  I don't have to search out documents or track down people.  My home study agency just has to add more words.  Let's say a little prayer that they are not bogged down and can make the changes quickly and get the appropriate papers delivered as soon as possible!

This is the fifth letter I have received from Homeland Security in the past week!  I was so excited to get the other four.  (if neighbors saw our mail with that return address they may wonder what was going on over here! bet you didn't know that foreign adoption approval comes from Homeland Security!)  I'm not so excited today.

So all you future adoptive families who will use our home study agency or our placing agency - you are welcome because now you will not get a pink colored letter that will make you want to puke and make you wonder if you still are able to go in and get fingerprinted next week because it takes time to get these appointments and they only give you one specific day and time to do it.  You will not add on a month of waiting time with your documents like we just have!  You are welcome!


Friday, November 6, 2015

In the Meantime...

Working on paperwork for the dossier!
Between activities for the kids, meetings for the home study, getting papers signed for the adoption, gathering papers to renew our foster care license, planning birthday parties for the kids, working, and keeping house, we also accepted a six year old girl and then a three year old girl into our home for a bit!

It has been awhile since we have had a foster child for more then a weekend of respite.  I had forgotten some of what it was like, but it comes back pretty fast!  I love that the kids are trying to speak Spanish again!  With Jackson having a Spanish class it helps with some of the vocabulary I don't remember.  Although, I did tell him that he needed to tell his teacher he needed more useful everyday language like "turn off the light" or "throw your toilet paper in the toilet and not in the trash can" and forget about what the word for pencil sharpener is! (although I think that is my favorite word to say in Spanish!)  It is funny that all of us seem to be talking to the poor dog in Spanish too!  I don't know why we do that, but it seems to happen!  He looks confused sometimes, but with each new toddler he forgives us because he knows he can grab treats from them!

So today, while bringing the three year old with me, who is the cutest, smartest little thing ever, I was finally able to deliver our I-600A form to UPS where it will be sent with other documents to USCIS.  This is the part where our government decides if we are good candidates to adopt.  Once they approve us, we will have to be fingerprinted to be sure one last time that we are not criminals.  We will then get one more form which we need to include in the dossier.  I am crossing my fingers that once we get this form I will have all of the paperwork needed to turn everything in for our dossier!

We haven't gotten a referral yet, but I am confident it is because it just isn't the right time.  I was really anxious to be matched when we first signed up, but this way is nice too because I don't feel all of the anxiety that I have a little one waiting for me to bring her home and I am waiting on stupid paperwork!  It seems our paperwork will all be ready to go as soon as she is!

As we go into the weekend we will have a full house!  Tonight we will do respite for a 5 and 2 year old so add that to our three and our foster daughter who is three that we have now.  Should be fun! :)  I also have a stack of papers to notarize and then organize.  Baby steps...

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Get Ready for the Home Study!

Tonight we have our second home study meeting. 

What does this mean exactly?  It means I act like a maniac cleaning all day long and make sure everything is in its place and that I have paperwork ready to hand over!

The first visit was a week ago and I spent the day cleaning as well only to discover that we sat at the table for two hours!  I guess they did see our bathroom when they used it so good thing that was taken care of!

We spent that time just getting to know each other.  What lead us to adoption, signing papers, asking questions, what the process is like, and what they brought to the table as well.  We have two social workers coming because one is new so the other is supervising.   Usually for a home study you would just work with one social worker.

Our meeting tonight will be a bit different.  They will ask us more questions about goals and ourselves and question the kids.  Oh man... I tried asking the kids questions that I thought they may ask and boy do I have some sarcastic children who think they are super funny!  Wonder where that comes from!?  The children will give the social workers a tour of our house and who knows what will come out of their lovely mouths!  I have been told that Ry and I will not be involved in any of this so there will be no explaining or expanding on what they say.  Say a prayer for us! :)

I haven't written in awhile, but fall is just so busy!  That doesn't mean I haven't been collecting paperwork and getting more information about things.  My silence just means there is really nothing new to tell about the adoption and I am too busy with the other three children!  They are in football, flag football, soccer, piano, choir, and drums!  Some nights we don't get to sit down all together as a family to eat which is our habit so when we hit November I will be happy for the slow down!

As I was thinking about all of the awesome and welcomed chaos in our lives I'm sure that people ask why do we do this to ourselves?  Why add another child now?  I actually found this written on someone's page the other day and felt it fitting:  "Birthing or adopting children is almost never logical. As my sweet friend Sarah says, "There is always a better time." A time when we have more money, more time, less kids in the house, older kids...there is always a much more logical scenario I can dream up to do anything."

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Baby Steps...

Ryan always teases me because he says I move on "Amy Time".  I want things done when I want them done and it is usually at lightning speed!  But really, who doesn't want things accomplished in their time frame?

So dealing with adoption timelines are difficult for me- to say the least.  Maybe that is why they give you lists of paperwork that have to be signed multiple times and notarized.  It gives you something to do while you wait.

I really can't complain about waiting on things at this point in the game though.  (It's only been a week!)  I'm just preparing for the future months!  We were assigned a case worker after about 3 days of the agency receiving our application and deposit.  I'm excited about this because she will be working with us to complete our home study.  This is really what can take a huge bulk of time.  I have the check list in hand of what she will need to complete the paperwork so when we meet face to face for the first time, my hope is to hand it all over to her!

I'm also excited about the case worker herself.  Although I have not spoken to her, I know that she spent the summer in Uganda so she will be so very helpful to us when making our plans to travel to get our daughter!  Sometimes it's those small pieces of the puzzle that you never expected to fit or were looking for that are the pivotal pieces!