an adoption update

I’m ever so grateful for the time this summer has afforded me to focus on moving through the steps toward our adoption of our sweet little baby #4! Over this past month and a half, God has been slowly guiding us forward, one step at a time, in every area.

On June 10 our home study was approved by WACAP! I picked up that precious stack of papers from our social worker and overnighted an official, signed, and notarized copy to WACAP for them to file our I800A application with US Citizenship and Immigration Services. In the adoption world, this form is always just referred to as the “I800A,” but its true full name is “I800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country.” Even though this step is supposed to be something of a formality – your agency and social worker should know whether you’re going to encounter issues or not – every time I see that official label, I feel a twinge of intimidation – what if they determine we’re not suitable?  But on July 8, our officer approved us, and we received the official approval notice on the 14th!

We took a family trip to Jefferson City the next morning to get the rest of our Missouri documents state certified – and, of course, stop for ice cream at Central Dairy, because if you’re that close, how could you pass up that opportunity?!?

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And now we’re just waiting for our one Illinois document to come back from its Secretary of State office. That in and of itself is very frustrating for me – we have had many document issues this time around. We’ve had 2 documents declined at the Secretary of State level, because the notary signed them with a signature that looked nothing like her signature on file with the Secretary of State’s office. One person used a signature stamp instead of actually signing their name (I didn’t even know that was a thing!). A notary forgot to sign their name on one document. Multiple documents had non-matching dates between the signature and the notary. And when this one Illinois document had to be re-done, we had issue after issue after issue in getting the document actually re-done and signed, and now it’s waiting to be certified at the slowest and least sympathetic Secretary of State’s office of which I’ve heard.

But while all of that is frustrating, ultimately we trust in a sovereign, good God, and we press on. Every adoption hits hurdles and delays, and we can’t control any of that, we can only press on in our work. We have all the rest of our dossier documents at our agency or on their way, waiting to be sent to China once the dossier is complete, and tomorrow I’ll put together all the forms for document authentication, so we can send our remaining documents off to Chicago for authentication as soon as we get this one last document back – and that’s the last step before they go to our agency for our dossier to be sent to China 🙂

And meanwhile, I have also been applying for grants. The financial aspect of adoption always involves a leap of faith for me. In neither adoption have we started with all of the money in hand – but we’ve started with a sense of God’s calling to us to adopt, all the savings we could pull together, and a commitment to live frugally so as to be able to come up with as much money as possible ourselves. Thus far we’ve had a grant from our agency cover some costs, and we’ve paid a lot of the costs we’ll incur, primarily in home study fees, placing agency fees, immigration fees, document fees, and postage, and we’ve had every penny we needed on the date we needed it! From a financial standpoint, so far we’ve paid about 40% of the costs we expect to incur in total, with approximately 60% still to come, and we’re trusting that God will provide those funds as needed, as well, both through our savings and earnings (including Matt’s artwork sales) and grants and generous gifts of friends and family, which we so, so appreciate.

And all the while, as we are walking our way through the process on this side of the ocean, our little girl is living life and growing and developing in China! I mentioned recently that she’d broken her femur while playing, which was so sad 🙁 We’re hoping she can stay break-free for a long time now, but we know that’s often not the reality of life with osteogenesis imperfecta, and we’re thankful she’s getting the best care available in China. We can see from the pictures her foster home has been posting that she now has her cast off and is back to sitting independently, eating cucumbers, and modeling different hair bows! We can’t wait to smother her in hugs and kisses – metaphorically of course 🙂 I’m hopeful for December or January travel!

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