Sunday, May 21, 2017

I serve a Mighty God

It is about 8:15 on Sunday May 21, 2017.

I should be getting ready for church. We have a big day today with our First Responder Appreciate Day and the kids are going to have a blast. BBQ lunch and Fire Trucks will accompany us today.

I just want to take a second and say that I serve a Mighty and Powerful God. This week has been a real test of my patience and understanding. I've been nervous this week. We've had a fall out with our Social Worker of the many mistakes she has made through our process. The lack of communication and her ability to just drag all things out. I've said some truly unkind words and maybe even said I was going to mail her some of our chicken's poop.

I did not know what we were going to do. Thankfully I calmed down and took a deep breathe and just went in the direction I felt God was telling me to go and its been in our favor. We have ceased working with her and found a new, awesome Social Worker who has managed to fix every wrong doing in the course of one day.  Incredible!

More details to follow. I really do need to get ready!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

I received an email today...

... that told me we are USCIS approved!!!

This is huge. I thought for sure it would take a couple more weeks to receive this, but Officer Krost in the Adoption Department of the U.S. Immigration service assures me our approval letters are in the mail by tomorrow. So here is our timeline for those interested in where USCIS currently stands:

Application and Home Study received 4/13/2017
Finger printed 5/8/2017
Officially Approve 5/15/2017

I'm thrilled that this leg is over! Once the hard approvals are received I will send them to Tallahassee with a few other documents to be apostilled and I will send them to the next family traveling to Ukraine and we will wait to be submitted to the court. A couple weeks after submission we should receive travel dates for our appointment at DAP.

It is officially crunch time. There is no other way to describe it. I need to raise an additional $8,000 in roughly 2 months or close to. Pray for me. I'm really going to need it. :)

Saturday, May 6, 2017

FaceBook Auction and USCIS

Hello Everyone! So excited to be back with somewhat of an update for you.

The last week of April we held an online auction and all money is going towards our adoption fees. We had some amazing donations from our friends in the adoption community along with several GENEROUS Etsy store owners. In all sincerity, without these donors we would not have had much to work with and our gratitude can never be expressed. I'd like to give these folks a little shout out so if you have time please check them all out and support them if you're in a shopping mood.

Reborn Furnishings
Country Tags
Stitching Families Together (find her on FaceBook)
The Village Gifts
Beyond Paper Flowers
Madison Street Leather
In A Different Package

A huge, "THANK YOU" to these stores and their generosity. I am very sure these small shops are bombarded with requests, often fake ones, and they took the time to check out our blog and story and saw that we are very real.

That being said, after bids and a little extra in donations (before taking out shipping costs) we made just under $1400.00. That is fantastic! Much more then I anticipated. Thank you to all our bidders! Your support is very appreciated.

We are still plugging away on fundraising and saving towards the remaining funds we need. At this point we need right around $8,000 more to be fully funded. It sounds like a lot, and it is, but honestly, we can do this. Look how much we have raised in such a short amount of time anyway. Remember, we do have our tax free account where donations can be made. You can click the "Donate" button our blog to be taken directly to the site. :)

Great news!! We have our Immigration fingerprint appointment on Monday morning at 8 am. We are praying for a quick turn around with no requests for additional information. I tried to be very proactive in sending everything they could possibly ask for. Fingers crossed!

We want to just say, Thank you again to everyone for all your love and support along the way.

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!