Friday, December 28, 2012

Year-End Update

Well, as the year comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on what has happened this past year. The beginning of the year started out with a bang. We finished our home study (despite all the “additional” information needed last minute) in the Spring and completed our Dossier/BigFatFile and even submitted our USCIS paperwork for approval by the end of the summer. Even with resubmitting our USCIS paperwork to change our age range from 0-4, we were optimistic that we would be on the wait-list by December.

Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened. On Christmas day, as we were driving to my Grandma’s house, tears slowly started rolling down my cheeks. This is the 3rd Christmas since we decided to adopt. It’s the 2nd Christmas since we actually started the process. I’m praying with everything in me that we don’t go another one without her. But that’s only a piece of our tough times this year.

KC started a new job (hallelujah!! PTL!!), but that created its own series of setbacks. You are only allowed one free update to your home study for USCIS (the immigration department). We used that free update early this fall to change our age range. Now, to update our “financial status”, we have to resubmit our file and pay the fee again. This is not a minimal fee of just a couple hundred dollars. This fee is just shy of $1,000. I found myself sobbing, er crying when we found this out. It’s like that first thousand was just thrown away. When you’re working your tushy off to raise and save $20,000+, that is a B-I-G deal. Luckily, my meltdown only lasted about 20 minutes before I received encouragement from a few different friends directly and indirectly (thank you Desiree, Tia, and Maddi). From each of them, the message was the same: Don’t give up. God is faithful despite our roadblocks. And I know with everything in me that they’re right.

I mean, what a fantastic reason to have to redo our home study: KC has a great, steady job doing something he really enjoys. We will be able to put more to the adoption than we did before! We’ll make it through, we always do.

I’ve talked to our social worker to find out exactly what we need to do. I am ready to get this ball rolling again! Effie’s out there. Waiting. She may not know this, but her journey has already started. She won’t know it until we come get her, but we are fighting tooth and nail to bring her home. I’m not giving up.

{From the ends of the earth, I cry to You for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for You are my safe refuge… -Psalms 61:2-3}


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My BIG Picture

Some days I need to remember the big picture. Even though some days are harder than others, we still have it a lot better than most.

When times are rough and things get tight, you begin to realize all of the things you can do without. Material things you thought you HAD to have. Silly little items that I don’t need.

It’s moments like last night when my oldest got in trouble for dumping out his entire lunch in the school trash because I made him leftover chicken tacos instead of a PB&J. When we told him there were children all over the world hungry, we realized it’s likely that the village where Effie is would likely be on that list.

We may have chicken tacos multiple nights, or are only able to make potato casserole for holiday meals (because potatoes are cheap and we’re watching every cent); but our rough times (as rough as they are to us) are times of plenty to many in the world.

I may not be working at my dream job (not many do), but I have a good job with a steady income. The van might only heat up the back half 100% of the time and the front 30% of the time, but at least the boys are warm and we have vehicle.

We might not have had the chance to go to the Christmas tree farm like I wanted and cut down our own tree, but we have a beautiful tree we got from the tree farm at the Gator Golf lot. We may not be able to go all out for Christmas for everyone or for our boys, but they will still have something under the tree.

As “tight” as things have been, I’ve never once gone without. I’ve never once wanted for a necessity. God has been incredibly gracious and faithful to our family. Our perspective has changed. Every thought surrounds how it will affect bringing Effie home.

If you were to make a list of the bad things that are going on in your life and then one of the good, I can almost guarantee that the good would be longer. We need to remember the good, the blessings. Even the tiniest things – like being let out on a busy street by a polite driver – can turn your day around. Look at the big picture. There truly are more good things than bad in our lives and in the world. It’s which one you choose to give more attention to that determines how your day will go.

So even though times in adoption-land are slow, I have a daughter. And we – with help from our amazing friends and family – are wokring our hardest to bring her home.