Friday, April 14, 2017

7th Inning Stretch!

This morning I woke up to an email from Immigration that confirmed they have received our application. This is excellent! We will receive an appointment letter in the next 2 weeks to have more fingerprints taken in the upcoming weeks. After that we will wait to be assigned an officer and they will either ask for more information from us or they will approve us. This is possibly the longest process ever. It could take 6 weeks or 3 months. Let's pray for the smoothest, easiest process possible. I'm praying we have approval by June 1.

So receiving USCIS approval is our second to last step. After that approval our team will submit us to the courts to petition to adopt. That's it! Yay! This also means that time is quickly closing in for our fundraising efforts. We still have about $12,000 to raise/earn. That is a lot of money, but I'm holding on to our faith. We know God will provide, but it does get a little heavy thinking about it. Please continue to pray for us and share our need. We will continue our own saving and scrimping and fundraising, but now is the time that I ask you all to give if you can indeed spare a little. If you can not, we understand. Would you be willing to share our need with those you know? You never, ever know who is listening.

There is a direction donation link for us through Reece's Rainbow, which means all donations are tax free! Just click the pink donation button and you can easily give through PayPal.

Thanks to those hanging in there with us!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Welcome to Holland and other fundraisers


1. Welcome to Holland - Tee shirts in Adult and Children ( check out the back too!)

2. Chinchak Family Adoption Auction
Facebook auction scheduled for April 24-April 28
There is a closed group set up for this. Just search Chinchak Family Adoption Auction on Facebook and request to join. There will be some items from Mexico, Ukraine, China and some goodies from locally owned business'. If you'd like to donate an item just send me a message. :)

Welcome to Holland

"Welcome to Holland" is a poem written by a fellow special needs Mom in the late 1980's. When I read through this poem there are a lot of different emotions I feel and thoughts I think.

For one, the late 1980's... how so many things have changed since that time. We are still changing many common misconceptions here in 2017. As of this moment we are fighting like hell to stop the "R" word. We are just coming up with better technology and equipment for our kids.

I think of the traveling aspect. I consider myself a world traveler. I've mainly been through the US, Mexico and Europe, but I think that counts as a World Traveler. My eyes have been opened to different cultures and heritages and I feel I have a deep respect for them. My eyes have seen happiness and trauma in these places and I've seen things that I'll never be able to un-see. I think being a good traveler is having respect for your destinations.

For this Mom (and undoubtedly many others) Italy was the place to be. She had already learned the language and the sites she wanted to see. It is what any expecting Mother dreams of it being and then God threw her a curve ball and tossed her into Amsterdam. She was unprepared, hadn't done any research. Over time she came to find out that although Italy and Amsterdam are nothing alike, they are as equally as beautiful as another. The view is just a little different and at times, a curve ball is exactly what you need.

I feel inspired by this poem. I feel better when I read this poem. I signed up for special needs motherhood, but I still had no idea what the differences would be. I had to get into the trenches. It is challenging to have a child who can not speak. He can not tell me when he doesn't feel well. I just have to kind of figure it out. It's hard.

Traveling to Holland has been challenging and rewarding. Therapy appointments, Dr visits all begin to add up and it can feel exhausting, but I've never felt more privileged. I look at my kids and I just know that God led us to him for a reason. My view has never looked so beautiful!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Efforts and set backs

Hello Everyone-

Sometimes I am so stuck in social media updates that I completely forget this blog exists. Have I complained yet that they discontinued the Blogger app?

We have experienced a mild set back and made some really great progress in the last couple weeks. So about..... 10 days or so ago our Social Worker decided to call us about a change in our oversight company's fees. The short of it was that they had spontaneously tripled the fee. I'm more then sure my face was not pretty when she told me that and I am positive I thought some evil thoughts for several moments. None the less, she assured me we would work everything out and in the next coming days I was told some confusing things; one of which was, "we will pay for this unexpected bit" and "we will call around for other agency pricing". I assumed all was going to be well, they said they'd pay, they'll find someone surely. I gave it until last Thursday before I decided to check in; low and behold, nothing had been done. I got an email in response that I was not to happy with and ended in "I'm out of town until Monday". I was expectedly quite angry and decided to make a few phone calls of my own including one to the oversight agency originally in place. I spoke with a great lady who was able to explain some changes in law and explain the updated fee's and she assured me all would be alright and explained what I needed to do from there. I am quite happy to say that our Home Study report should be in hand this week and we can FINALLY get it to the immigration department. (At some point I'll post a timeframe of how things work)

Now on to the good stuff!! Our almost complete dossier is flying over the Atlantic as we speak! A wonderful, beautiful family graciously offered to carry it in their carry on and will hand deliver it to our team tomorrow. Prayers for safe travels for this family are so appreciated. Literally the only thing we need to complete our dossier is our Home Study report and Immigration approval. That's it! We are soooo close!

Our fundraising has picked up a little bit and I am excited for it. I was trying to keep it low key as to not scare people off but I've decided that just doesn't matter. On my social media in particular there are people I've known 20 years who don't say two words to me. I've had more strangers participate in our fundraisers then "friends" and that's ok. Some are drawn to adoption and its purpose and some aren't. Oh well, honestly I've figured out that if they want to be active they will and if they don't they won't. I'll post about our current and upcoming fundraisers in a separate post. :)

I'll be back with an update as it comes along!


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

It's possible!

Since we committed to Pasha for adoption in May 2015 I have met many, many people. Some I have met face to face and others just through Facebook contact. Since our commitment I have learned from each of these people. Some were already in the adoption community and some came along afterward. Some do not grasp the concept of adoption, specifically special needs adoption.

 I've bumped into folks who say things like, "Why are you adopting outside your own country?", "Why are you adopting a broken child?", "Why are you taking on someone else's burden?", "why would you do that to your children?", "How can you afford to adopt?"  Each time I hear one of these questions and countless others, I'm never sure how to answer. I try to keep in mind that many people have never really been educated about adoption let alone special needs adoption. When I was younger my vision of an adoption was two parents adopting a small, perfectly healthy, blue eyed baby. It's what you see in the movies, right? It is in reality so much more then that.

Adoption is long nights completing paperwork. It is months of crunching finances, saving nickels and painting on canvases that will hopefully sell even though there is not a touch of artistic talent in your DNA. It is time spent away from the children and husband you have at home because you are so desperately trying to figure out any way you can to make a little extra cash to go towards all the cost associated with your adoption fees. It is a year long (or more) roller coaster of emotion accompanied with thoughts like, "can I really do this?" and "how do we get the rest of the money?" Adoption is not knowing if your child is ill or if they are upset. You wonder about their safety when you know their country is currently at war. It is hard, it is exhausting, it's heartbreaking.

When I am asked those questions I can only answer for myself. I think so people have the idea that when you have adopted children you can suddenly speak for all adoptive parents. Truth is.... that just isn't true. Adoption is like pregnancy. No two are alike, they can not be compared to one another and no two children are the same. I do feel comfortable saying all orphans have experience some type of trauma in their lives. Birth parents have their reasons for leaving their children to be adopted. Some are pretty noble in my opinion even though they are said and should never be forced to make a decision so large. When I am asked these questions my answers are pretty steadfast. We adopted because we felt drawn to our son, not based on where he was. We did not adopt within the US because we felt God put us on a path to Pasha. Simple. There were times when I felt I could not take another step forward. I was so tired from everything. Was I doing the wrong to my family? I think everyone has moments of doubt- it is natural.

Special needs adoption was not something I knew of either. I basically stumbled up an organization called Reece's Rainbow. Their mission is to find homes for children in countries all over the world and those children have special needs that range from Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, hearing impairment, Celiac Disease and so forth. These children are blessing in so many ways. Some of them have never known simple things like hugs in the morning, kisses at bedtime and they never will.  The adoption of these children is essential. These children need families to thrive in. I don't know any other way to put it and it is because of organizations like Reece's Rainbow that it is even possible.

Monday, March 13, 2017

One step forward- Two steps back

Good Evening--

I have some news to update you all with, some good and some not so good.

We have just been skipping right along this time around and it is by the Glory of God without a doubt. So for the good news; our FBI clearance seals came back today and they look GLORIOUS (you should sing-song read that just like I typed it!) The rest of our documents are being apostilled tomorrow and then they will be on their way to Ukraine.

Semi bad news- Our Social Worker (SW) called Friday afternoon to tell me some very disturbing news. The oversight agency they use has decided to nearly more then triple their current cost for reviewing our Study. Suddenly, out of the blue what was once $400 is now $1500, and naturally they want us to pay that additional cost even though our Study was complete and only needed the review.

When I tell you that I had a near death panic attack..... that doesn't even come close to how I felt. An additional $1500??? After we have agreed on a price and the HS is done!! I thought for sure they had lost their minds. So our SW is calling a few other oversight agencies (an oversight is required because we are adopting from a Non Hague country, more on that in another post) to see if they will do it for cheaper. I don't know what our final number will be but please pray it is NOT an additional $1100. I'm leaving this in God's hands. I won't let $1100 stand in the way of our son having a family. NO WAY!

In the mean time I am focusing on fundraising and getting that thermometer up! Way up! I am anticipating submittal for our dossier mid May. That's a long way to go and not much time so please expect to see the fundraisers kick it up a notch, or three.


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Updates Galore

Hello Everyone!

I sat back this morning and realized it had been a hot minute since I updated everyone on our FANTASTIC progress. It was so much easier to update when Blogger had their app. Why did they take that away again???

Our HomeStudy should be in my hot little hand at some point next week. YES! Then off to the USCIS office it goes. Then at some point after they receive it we shall get our appointment for fingerprinting. Super official! Once our prints are done......we wait. Will we get a first time approval? I hope so. Pray it is so.

All of our dossier documents are signed. A large portion of them are on their way to the capital for their official seals. We will still need to get all of our Home Study copies sealed and a few scragglers but that's it. Once they are sealed they will make the long journey to Europe where my AMAZING team will put it all together in a beautiful packet for us.

So it is like 84% ok to say that all my paperwork is done. Handled. Signed. Almost sealed. Almost delivered. It is an amazing feeling. Depending on how long USCIS takes to approve us, we could be traveling several weeks earlier then anticipated. That's awesome!

So the last thing to do is raise that pesky $14,000 that we still need. I'm off to print grant applications and brainstorm fundraisers. If YOU want to join me in making that number a weeee bit smaller please feel free to hit that DONATE button. All donations to this account are tax free and much appreciated.
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