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Monday, September 26, 2011

Feeling at Peace and Utterly Exhauted

Exhaustion.  That pretty much sums it up.  The last few days, I have felt physically and mentally exhausted.  For the first time in a long time, though, I've also felt at peace and not distracted.  I think all of the stress and lack of sleep these past few months has caught up with me and that's why I'm so exhausted, but my mind is still clearer than it has been in quite a while. 

I know we still have a LONG adoption road ahead of us, but I do not feel like we are stuck anymore.  I feel like we finally can move forward.  All the loose ends I had to tie up before we went on vacation are finished and the adoption is finally approved in Arizona.  I can finally just relax without feeling the weight of my "to do" list.  I am finally catching up on rest and it feels pretty awesome.  For once, I'm away from it all, and I can just relax and fully enjoy my time with my family.  It is a wonderful feeling and this vacation was JUST what I needed! 

Friday, September 23, 2011

My confusion and a HUGE prayer request!

My amazing friend, Amanda, brought caths to India for us.  She gave them to a friend who brought them to Ramya's orphanage for us.  We had called ahead to make sure it was ok to send them, and they said it was fine.  The caths got there and.....

They said Ramya is to little to get cathed and refused them!


When we first started the process, we were told she was getting frequent UTIs from cathing and that it was effecting her kidneys.  It's one of the reasons they put her on the "I really need to get adopted now" list that they send out.  When we had read the initial information about her, it said she was cathed every 2 hours around the clock.  On the recent paperwork, though, there was no mention about cathing at all.  I thought it was strange but didn't give it a second thought.  Even on her wacap photo and information page, the photo and information is different.  It's still her, it's just updated (although her name on there is different as well, but I think they change names to protect their identity). 

So, for now, I am very stumped.  I really do not get it.  I suppose it truly is just a game of "wait and see"!  If her UTIs have stopped, that would be AMAZING news, so I really pray that she is getting better there.

Now on to the huge prayer request.  Ramya is having surgery in just a few days.  She has renal reflux, like Madi does, except hers is on the right side and Madi is on the left.  She will have surgery to fix it, and then they said she will be cathed, and will have to be cathed forever.  I'm not really sure what surgery they are doing, because with "traditional" surgery to fix reflux, that does not mean you have to cath for the rest of your life.  With a different surgery where they attach the bladder to another organ to help it grow (we haven't crossed that bridge yet, so please excuse my really terrible, and possibly not-quite-accurate description), then you do have to be cathed for the rest of your life if you get it.  I'm not really sure what surgery she is getting.

I cannot imagine being in pain and being in a strange place all alone.  That has to be terrifying for her.  I am so sad they are doing the surgery, and that I cannot be there with her.  Please pray for peace and protection for her.  Pray that she will be calm and not scared.  Pray that she will heal quickly and that she will be given adequate medicine to handle the pain.  Pray that there will be no complications and that the surgery will be successful.  Pray that she will feel God's love and protection around her at all times. 

Thank you for praying for our little girl!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

To Big Not to Share (Even at 12:26 am)!

Today we left for California to start our vacation.  We left pretty late, at about 3:30 pm, and at just about 3:45, I got a call.  It was from Amy, the liaison helping us figure out what is delaying our adoption approval.  She said had an update for us and had just spoken with Commissioner Clark, who is in charge of our paperwork (though I was told it was transferred, so I'm not sure what happened there).  After months of hearing nothing, I am sure you can imagine how excited we were!

Amy said that our paperwork was signed TODAY and as of today WE ARE APPROVED!

Wait, let me repeat that last part.  WE ARE APPROVED!!

Did you see me just do a happy dance, cry some happy tears, and say a very thankful prayer? 

It is only in the state of Arizona, meaning we still need to get approved in India, but we are so excited!  It is a big step forward, and now nothing will be holding our adoption up (well, until our paperwork gets to India, that is ;)).  We won't get the "official" paper approval for a week or two, since it still needs to go to another department, but I was told we are approved! 

Thank you for being here to pray for us, pray for our (soon-to-be) little girl, support us, and love us.  We are so very thankful to have so many people on our side rooting for us!  God is good..... WE ARE APPROVED!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

An Adoption Un-Update and Our Upcoming Vacation

Today I heard back from Amy, the liaison helping us figure out what is going on with our adoption paperwork and approval.  She was in a training today and low and behold, there was Commissioner Clark, the judge in charge of our adoption!  She called me for our case number and was having the judge look it up to give her some information on it.  Basically, the judge was trying to say it was probably our adoption agency's fault, but I've talked to our agency many, many, many (did I say many??) times, and I know they have been on top of things.  I hope Amy can help us get to the bottom of everything!

In other news, we have a vacation coming up next week and we couldn't be more excited.  I really, really, really struggled with whether or not we should go on vacation this year.  I am finding there is a really fine line between living and enjoying our lives right now and planning for the adoption and the future with another child with a disability.  I always feel torn on what we should do.  I had planned to not go on vacation this year, but then re-thought the idea when my mom told me that they had gotten a two-bedroom timeshare in California and that we would be able to stay there for free.  Then I thought about how long it would be until we could take a vacation if we waited until after the adoption went through and we went to bring home Ramya.  That could very easily be 18- 24 months out still.  So, there's that 18-24 months, plus all the time after we bring her home where we need to lay low.  I'm a vacation girl, so that seems like a very long time to me. 

The plan is to drive up to Anaheim, stay for a few nights and go to Disney, then head over and stay with my parents in their timeshare.  The timeshare and our hotel in Anaheim will have kitchens, so I will be able to cook and save some money on the food side of it.  We will drive which saves some money as well.  Plus we are not paying to stay with my parents for that week.  Disney, of course, is not cheap.  That's the part I struggled with the most.  I decided to go, though, because I remember reading in The Connected Child that you should keep newly adopted children away from noisy places, especially like amusement parks and fairs and other places that would be very overwhelming and overstimulating for them ( a child in an orphanage is used to a sterile, white, quiet environment).  That would mean probably not going for a year or so after the adoption as well, if even that soon.  So, basically, I caved :).

Kyla is coming along with us for part of the trip.  She has not been to Disney since she was 4 years old, and is SO excited about the trip.  I'm even more excited just seeing how excited she is :).  Of course, there is Conner and Madi too, who ask me every day if we are going to Disney that day. 

I have a lot going on right now with trying to finish up Dossier paperwork and church curriculum, plus do what we need to for vacation, so I'm a bit stressed out, but I know it will all work out in the end :).

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Step in the Right Direction, I Hope!!

Well, Senator Bundgaard wasn't joking when he said he was going to see what his office could do to help us out.  Today I got a call from a lady named Amy who is the legislative liaison with the supreme court.  She is working with someone else to try and figure out who can help us speed up the adoption and exactly what they can do.  She has a call in with the judge in charge of our adoption here in Arizona and is going to 1) request that our 90 day maximum waiting period (each time you change or update paperwork, they can re-set the 90 days they have to respond to you) is not extended from sending in photos to a different department like they requested and 2) try to get a timeline on when we can expect to hear back on whether we are approved. 

While we still have no concrete answers, I'm excited to at least be moving int he right direction!  YEAH for that! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My quick 10 minute update :)

My amazing Aunt, whom I love very much, e-mails back and forth with me (she lives in Hawaii so as much as I'd LOVE to chat in person this often, it's just not feasible).  She is a great support and I can tell her anything knowing that she "gets it".  She's such a huge blessing in my life!  Anyhow, she always makes sure to send me quick 10 minute updates, as she calls them, so that I know she is thinking of us and is keeping up with us, which is uplifting and encouraging.  Today it's my turn for a 10 minute update, which I will share with all of you :).

I had e-mailed our district senator, as well as the state senator, about our adoption and the time it is taking to get an approval.  I was very encouraged to hear back from our district senator today.  He said that the adoption seemed like a wonderful opportunity for our family and that he is going to see what his office can do.  It might not have been a concrete answer, but it is for sure a step in the right direction! YEAH!

I also just had to share what my friend Sue did for us, because it touched me so immensely.  This weekend while we were at my parent's cabin, I got an e-mail from her saying that she has been in prayer for us and our adoption.  She also said that felt God laying it on her heart to e-mail our Governor as well as Senator McCain about our adoption approval situation.  Isn't that amazing?!?!?!  I am so touched that she would take the time out of her day to advocate for our family.  What an amazing woman she is!  I am blessed to have her as a friend!

I pray that we will have more good news to update you with in the near future, but for now, I am thankful to have a renewed sense of encouragement and hope! 

Before I run (man am I EXHAUSTED), here are a few pictures from the county fair in Flagstaff that we went to over labor day weekend.

My sweet girl in the Ergo

Conner and our newly adopted third child, as we like to call her,  Kyla

Conner on the kid's roller coaster.  He kept throwing his hands up in the air and smiling... adorable! 

Madi and her papa.  Madi sure does love her papa, and she talks about him all the time!

Papa and Conner on the Ferris wheel.... Conner's first Ferris wheel ride ever!

Madi and my mom on the train... sadly the only ride Madi was big enough for, besides the carousal!

We had a blessed and wonderful weekend with family!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dear Ramya,

I must say, it is hard to wait for you.  It is hard to pray for you and look at your sweet face, but not know if you will be ours.  I feel so useless and stuck because I just simply cannot make this happen any faster.  I am trying, oh trust me, I am, but the phone calls and e-mails just have not done the trick so far.  I feel like I should be fundraising and doing something more productive right now, but on the other hand, I feel like we need to wait until we are approved in Arizona, at the very least, until we start too heavily in to that.  For now, I am thinking and gathering ideas, but I want to be doing more.

I am told that the wait is harder on us than it is for you, because you do not know that we are here waiting for you.  I am sure in some ways that is true; You do not feel the same urgency and concern that we do.  On the other hand, though, I cannot imagine the angst of waiting your entire life wanting nothing more than a family, and feeling like you will never get one.  I remember reading that one of your social workers said that not having a family, yet wanting one so badly, was taking a toll on you.  And that was over a year ago.  I cannot even begin to imagine how you feel now.  I wish there was a way for me to tell you that we are here, that we are praying for you, that we WANT you, and that we are trying our best to get you here as fast as we can.  I wish you knew how much we love you already. 

Your brother, sister, father, and I are waiting for you.  We pray that one day soon we will get to tell you how much we love you as we hold you close to our hearts.  We pray that one day soon we will be able to come bring you home.  

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My boring but productive day, our little blessing, and a HUGE prayer request

First I want to start off with the prayer request.  If you pray, I need you on this!  Baby Evangeline was due to be born in a few days.  She has spina bifida.  Today, her mother was in a car accident that was caused by a drunk driver.  I am not sure how they are doing, and they need your prayers.  You can follow Evangeline's story on her mother's blog at .

Today I decided I needed to get some adoption paperwork out of the way and be productive.  It helps me feel like I'm "doing something" for the adoption.  In case you do not remember, our adoption agency sent us our dossier paperwork even though we aren't officially approved, since our approval in Arizona is taking so long.  Yesterday I sent away for certified copies of our birth certificates and pulled out the certified copy I have of our marriage certificate.  Today I decided I would tackle the bank, which ended up being a 1 1/2 hour trip.

India requires that you deposit $1,000 in to an account in the name of the child you are trying to adopt.  That poses an interesting problem, though, as you cannot open an account for someone that is not a US citizen, does not have a social security number, is not in your care, and has no last name.  They also want financial statements from your bank with all of your balances, your average yearly balance, and all of that converted to rupees.  Fun, fun!  I went to the bank today with the information on what we needed and prayed for the best.  The man who helped us was really a blessing.  He had two friends adopt internationally and knew pretty well all the hoops they had to jump through to be able to do so.  He was willing to jump through hoops to help us figure out how to handle the paperwork and account information we needed.  He was really amazing. 

He got us the information we needed, converted to rupees, and got it notarized for us.  Then he helped us tackle the account problem.  Basically we ended up opening a checking account (fee-free) in my name, with Rama as the secondary.  We used our last name as her last name and her estimated birth date for her birth date.  Then we filled out some paperwork that they use to get people accounts that do not have a social security number.  After that, he typed up a letter stating we had deposited the money in to an account for her and had that notarized as well.

The whole process took about 1 1/2 hours, which was not fun, especially with the kids in-tow, but I'm thankful to have it done.  The kids did really, really well, which was great.  One of the tellers gave them a sucker and later brought them crayons and coloring paper to help keep them busy.  I rewarded them with some sorbet at Yogurtology when we left because they did such a great job.   

We still have no news, but it did feel good to get some things out of the way.  I don't know what God has up his sleeve, and I realllly wish he'd let me peek, but I do find peace in knowing His plan is perfect.

OH!  I also wrote a letter to our senator today asking for help with getting our adoption approval pushed through.  Hey, can't hurt!