Sunday, February 19, 2012

Monday January 23 – Friday January 27, 2012

On Monday we sent in our homestudy application and autobiographies. We also met with the elders at our church.  A couple of them already knew about the adoption, but we told them the whole story and asked if we could make an announcement the following Sunday during the main service.

The following day we heard back from the social worker about the homestudy. Originally she had told us that we would probably have to wait a couple of weeks for an interview, but it just so happened that we were able to meet with her two days later. She was only available during the work day. Since this is a very busy time at work for me, I felt compelled to tell my co-workers a little earlier than originally intended as I wanted them to know the reason I would need to leave early that Thursday.

First thing Wednesday morning, I told my boss about Maria, and he was so supportive. Perhaps I should have mentioned sooner that it’s a common theme in our lives that so many people around us have either had babies in the past year or are currently pregnant – lots of couples at each of our jobs as well as lots of couple within our little church. At my work, we’re constantly trying to guess who the next couple will be to get pregnant. I had been itching for the past week to tell my co-workers about Maria. Not only were we having a “baby,” we were getting a 6-year-old. Once Maria is here, I will be the parent with the oldest child in my office. Daniel and I liked to say, “We’re having a baby, a BIG baby! A 40-pounder!” After talking with my boss, I sent an email to the rest of my office, and it was so good to get to chat with everyone about it. I seriously have some of the best co-workers!

We spent our evenings that week calling close friends and family members to tell them about Maria. We also filled out and sent applications for the various documents we would need for a dossier (packet of info that we will send to Russia). The dossier includes items such as background checks, copies of our passports, marriage license, and so much more…

Before our homestudy interview we looked into what we should expect. From comments people made on the internet, it sounded like a lot of people really stressed about their homestudy. Fortunately, Daniel and I did not, and praise the Lord the first interview went well. It was very informative and conversational. I guess that makes sense as we will be spending a lot of time with the social worker. Even after Maria gets here, the social worker will still have to meet with us several times over about a three year period.

As Daniel and I were sitting in the living room one night, he pulled up the song “Lead Me” by Sanctus Real. That song has been powerful in my life, but now it is even more powerful as we pray that the Lord will lead us and help us to lead as well!

One more exciting thing that happened that week – shortly after we told Mike and Martha about Maria, they told us how Mike’s mom, Kathy, had been telling them to adopt Maria. Like others, she too had fallen in love with Maria before we even knew about her. I had prayed that the Lord would provide an opportunity for me to tell Kathy in person instead of having her find out at the church-wide announcement. On Friday of that week, Kathy sent me a quick email asking if I could host a Ladies’ Social at my house this summer. Instead of requesting that I simply email her back, she specifically included her phone number and asked me to call. I took that as a sign – so exciting! I called and we chatted about the Ladies' Social, then I told her that Daniel and I were going to be adopting “Dana” (this was the only name that Kathy knew her by as this was her Reece’s Rainbow alias). I could tell she was at work because she started shouting in a whispering voice, “Are you serious?! Are you serious?!” She proceeded to tell me how she had specifically prayed that the Lord would place Maria in a family nearby just so that she could meet her. Well didn’t He answer that prayer in a big way?! J

Sunday January 22, 2012

After church on Sunday, we had lunch at Daniel’s mom’s house with his grandma, siblings, and our niece. They were all very eager to find out what was going on. So finally after lunch, Daniel told them the whole story and we gave them some pictures we had printed out. Aubrey, our niece, was very excited, and continued to ask over the next few days when “her friend” was going to be here. We tried to explain to her that it would probably be during summer, when it will be warm outside. That was especially hard for her to understand considering it has been in the 70’s around here lately. I think it was pretty relieving for Daniel’s family to find out that we were not going on the mission field; although, we both know they would be very supportive if we did. Remember how Daniel asked them to pray for us a week earlier because we felt that God was calling us to go somewhere and do something. So not only did they find out that we were not moving away (at least not now), but they are getting an additional family member! J

Saturday January 21, 2012

This was one of the big days we had been waiting for! We left the house around 10:30 and drove to South Carolina to tell my family in person what the Lord had laid on our hearts. We were able to tell my parents, siblings, grandparents, and close cousin. I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen my parents so excited! They were so interested and had lots of questions. It was also so, so reassuring to hear their perspectives about adopted vs. biological relatives. We definitely caught them off guard when we told them we were going to adopt a six year old, but they are so excited to meet her! Since my little brother and sister, Kyle and Keslea, weren’t able to meet with everyone else, Daniel and I went with my parents to take them to dinner. They are in college at a school about an hour from my parents’ home. We passed out pictures of Maria to everyone before leaving. We also asked them not to tell anyone else yet since we were planning to send out an email to all of our friends and relatives after making an announcement at church on Sunday.

Immediately after we told my parents about Maria, they informed me that my cousins, Billy and Diane, had just adopted a little boy. I had no idea that they were even planning to adopt! I had been trying to get in touch with Diane for a while, since she is the one mentioned in the Prior to Wednesday January 11, 2012 Post, as I wanted to get involved with helping victims of human trafficking. Now I had even more reasons to talk to her! On top of that, Billy has spent some time in Russia and really has a heart for the people there.