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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Our Big Announcements... Finally!

Sorry to keep you on the edge of your seats!!  Life has been crazy busy and I just haven't had the time to sit down and start this blog post yet!

I'll start with our first big announcement, and then I'll go back and explain why this announcement has all of a sudden become so important/urgent.

We bought a lot and are starting on plans to build a fully accessible house!

We are SO excited!

It has always been our dream to build a fully accessible house for our girls and it really seems like the time is right.  Our house is up quite a bit from where we bought it at, we have lots of equity in our house, my dad is a general contractor and wants to build the house for us, and David is (well, at least he was.... this last week has been pretty rough on him) doing amazing at work, so it just seems the time is now.

Our date nights have started to look like this....

.... and we have an architect working on our plans as we speak.  We are also working hard to get our house on the market so we can sell it and pull the equity out to help us with building.  Along with everything else we have going on, it feels a little crazy, but we are excited.
I'll jump back now and talk about our next announcement, and why this has become an urgency for us.
Back in May of 2013 I wrote this post about trying to adopt again.  We started our homestudies and started perusing our second India adoption to be able to adopt Ramya's friend, Deena****, from India, who has ostegenisis imperfect., aka brittle bone disease,  Then life fell apart.  David was struggling hugely at work, I was afraid he was going to lose his job (though he wasn't afraid he would), he was struggling emotionally more than I have ever seen him struggle before, and things just felt so yucky.  We were in survival mode.  We started counseling and began working through everything that was going on.  For his sanity, we decided to pause our adoption.  It was a terribly hard decision and I never had peace about it.   That is where a whole different huge story comes in, so bear with me....
In October or November, I honestly don't even remember now because it's such a blur, I broke down in our neighborhood church group and shared how I never had peace about pausing our adoption.  I shared that it just all felt so wrong and I felt we weren't trusting God that we would pull through our storm.  I cried and let it all out, which is something I reallllllly am not fond of doing, especially in public ;).  My friend asked what would need to happen for me to have peace, and I said Deena would need to have another family so it was very clear we were not meant to be her family.  Well, I go home that night, open up my computer, and read that Vathsalya, her orphanage, was closing and ALL of the children had found families.
Wow.  I didn't even know what to think.  I cried even more, thinking I was wrong the whole time and we were never meant to be her family.  I tried to get in touch with our adoption agency and they tried to get in touch with Vathsalya so we could figure out what was going on.  At that time, David and I also talked and prayed, then talked and prayed some more, and then decided that if she had not been adopted to another family yet, it was time to start our homestudies back up and try to adopt her again.  Long story short, about a month goes by and we finally hear back that she had not found a family yet and that we could still adopt her, but because they were closing the way we would have to go about it looked different and it was unclear as to how we could get her in the system so that WACAP could match us with her.  Our adoption counselor at WACAP was actually headed to India in December and said that she would talk to Mary Paul, the director of Vathsalya, herself and try to see what we needed to do to adopt her.  There's more long story, more back and forth, and finally in about February we still didn't have any clear answers.  We finally decided that the best thing we could do was finish our homestudies so that if/when India found out how we could adopt her, we would be ready.  It didn't take us much to finish them as we only had to meet with Oasis, our homestudy agency, one last time.  Then we waited for a bit to get all of our new letters of recommendations and things like that in and we waited as the report was written up.  When everything was finally ready it was submitted to the state of Arizona for approval. 
With of all of the back and forth with the adoption previously, as well as all of the unknowns, we didn't publically share that we were trying to start the adoption process again with very many people.  We just kind of kept it to ourselves, shared with family and close friends, and kept on chugging along to get approved. 
As of right now, our homestudy is still sitting on the desk of a judge somewhere, and we are still not approved.  Though it's hard to go back and announce it all again, especially because things are very unclear as to whether or not we will even be able to adopt Deena, we feel it's time to let people know because the fact is that we need prayer to get our paperwork moving again.  If we don't share, people don't know how to pray for us, and that doesn't do any good.  We know we need your prayers!
So back to the house....
We have a big beautiful house, but it only has 3 bedrooms and an office (but David works from home and needs the office to work from and I homeschool from the living room since I need a nook to homeschool from).  We cannot have bunk beds, since our girls cannot climb up the ladder, so we have to have a room that we can physically fit 3 girls and 3 beds in, as well as wheelchairs.  We also need a bathroom that can be accessible for the girls, but the bathroom in this house is very narrow and will not work well.  We prayed and told God we would step out in faith to adopt Deena, but that He was going to have to help us figure out where she would sleep, since we just physically don't have the room for one more bed (she will sleep in our room for a while, but to adopt you have to have a bed for the child in a room shared only by other siblings of the same gender).  Now that we are working towards adopting again, we were, once again, trying to figure out how to physically fit another bed in our house.  It became clear that it was just time to try and find a new house so that the girls would have the room they needed.  We also really want them to have an accessible bathroom so they have more freedom and independence.  We looked at multiple houses in many different price ranges and found that there was just nothing that was going to work for our unique situation, unless we poured a ton of money in to a house, which would end up costing us more than just building.  Finding a single-story house that can be made to fit 3 girls in wheelchairs is, well, a challenge we discovered.  That's when we decided to try and pursue building. 
So there you have it.... our two big announcements are that we are building and adopting, all at once, because we are just nuts like that.  Oh, and we will be looking for a new car soon too, because my mini van just won't fit 4 kids and 3 wheelchairs.  Life feels a bit crazy right now with all the changes we have coming up, but we do have a lot of peace about the direction we are headed and we know it is what we are meant to do, no matter how crazy it feels.  We would really appreciate your prayers through this whole process and appreciate each and every one of you!  Please also pray for Ramya and our family as we are going through some tough things with her right now and could really use your prayers.

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