Archive | September, 2011

GREAT news about our Dossier

28 Sep

Our adoption case worker, Claire, emailed me yesterday to let  me know she recieved our dossier.  Yay!  But the really good news is that the Uganda Dossiers do not require any extra authentication before they can be sent to Uganda.  We had to notarize many of the documents we collected and that is good enough authentication for the Ugandan government.  This means that as soon as Claire looks through our dossier documents (today), if everything looks good it can be sent to Uganda!

OUR DOSSIER COULD BE IN THE MAIL ON THE WAY TO UGANDA AS SOON AS FRIDAY!!

Dossier is in the mail!

28 Sep

We finally received the last document we needed to complete our dossier on Friday.  Over the weekend we got the last couple things notarized and yesterday we Fed Ex-ed it to our agency.  YES!!!!!  This is such a huge step!!!  Our case worker will look at all the documents in our dossier, then send them to the appropriate County, State, and Consulate for the certification and authentication process.  After all this our dossier is sent to the Secretary of State for the final authentication.  Once this happens, CAN (our agency) will get a letter of approval from the Embassy and our dossier will be sent to Uganda, where it will be translated and processed in their court system.

All these months of labor, paperwork, phone calls, meetings, reading, research, planning, discussions, appointments, questions, tears, prayers, and hopes have been compiled neatly into a Fed Ex envelope.  And…..its out of my hands now!

From here on out we just wait

……wait to hear that our dossier as been authenticated

…..wait to hear that the letter from the Embassy has arrived

…..wait to hear that our dossier has been processed in Uganda and their adoption officials have approved it

……wait to hear that they have BABIES for US!!!!

Adopting Two

27 Sep

As promised, here is more detail about why Josh and I have decided to adopt two children right now instead of just one.

One of the simplest ways to explain this decision is to say we’re adopting two for the same reason we decided to adopt one child in the first place — we want to give orphans a forever family.  Simple.  When we started the adoption process we knew we wanted to adopt more children in the future as we continue to build our family.  I kind of came up with an adoption/bio/adoption/bio/adoption family plan, which would leave us with 5 children, 3 through adoption and 2 through birth. But the idea of adopting two at once was never out of the question.  We thought about it when we started our home study and decided, just to be safe, we’d get approved to adopt two children right now.  That way, if we decided to adopt two we would be able to, but if we just wanted to adopt one right now we’d be free to do that as well.  For most of this process we’ve focused on just adopting one.  It seems less scary and “safer”.  Occasionally the idea of adopting two would come up in conversation but we never thought seriously about it until about a month ago, when we started to prepare a post-adoption budget and financial plan for our family.

One of the exciting ways Josh and I get to prepare for our babies’ arrival is by moving to a new house.  Our house is really small and would not accommodate a third human being, even a little baby.  So we’ve been looking at larger rental homes (not ready to buy yet) and have been working on a post-baby budget for ourselves.  Regardless of where we move, the amount we pay in rent and utilities will rise considerably.  Right now we live in a tiny house that can be heated by just two heater vents. I can plug my vacuum into one outlet and vacuum every carpet in the house.  TINY.  So our utility bill is not too bad.  Also, we’re getting a super good deal on rent because Josh’s parents are our landlords and they like us just a little. 🙂  In addition to a rise in living costs, we’ll be adding the cost of a baby and losing my income because I will be a stay-at-home mom.

Before I say anything else, let me just say that God has blessed Josh and I so much in our finances.  We’ve both been able to work full time the entire time we’ve been married and Josh has a really good, stable job that affords him opportunities to make extra money through over-time, travel, and regular pay raises.  We made two financial commitments when we got married: to always tithe and give to missions, and to live frugally.  Because both of us work full time, we have no kids, and we have low living expenses we’ve been able to save so much money for this adoption.  That is one of the reasons we believe God wants us to adopt right now and not wait until 3, 4, or 5 years down the road when our saving account is drained because we’ve already got a couple kids and a house and a lease on a mini-van.

With that said, back to the post-baby budget extravaganza.  So Josh and are sitting there looking at different rental homes, utilities costs, diaper costs, and calculating it all without my income and trying to figure out what else we could possibly cut out of our budget to make it possible for us to put money in savings each month after completing the adoption.  With the combination of all these life changes, we realized that its going to be very difficult to save enough money to adopt again.  Then my sister and mom and I were chatting about my baby and one of them made a joke about getting two babies right now.  We all laughed….but this time idea stuck with me and I started thinking, “yeah….why not adopt two right now?  We might never be able to do this again…”

Josh and I began to seriously talk, pray, and research the option of adopting two children right now.  In a nutshell, here’s what we found:

  • No extra paper work needed to be done.
  • Since we were approved to adopt two in our home study, we were good to go!
  • Its way cheaper to adopt two children at once than to do two separate adoptions at different times.  Very few of the fees you pay during the adoption process have to be paid twice if you decide to adopt more than one child.
  • You get the full Federal Adoption Tax Credit ($13,170) for each child you adopt.  So even though your adoption expenses aren’t doubling, your financial aid from this government grant is doubling…making the entire adoption of both children almost paid in full.
  • Our agency case worker and our social worker (from our home study) were both thrilled and in full support.
  • We can adopt twins (if there are any available), siblings, or two unrelated children of the same age or any age combination.

After learning all this and praying about it, as well as talking with our families and some friends who adopted twins from Africa, we decided to go for it.  It seems that God is opening all the doors for us to adopt two children right now.  What it really comes down to is this: How does God want to build our family?  What has He called us to do? And how can we best use the resources He has blessed us with?  We know God wants to build our family through adoption and birth.  We know He has called us to adopt.  And right now, we have the financial resources to adopt two children.  In addition, the fact that we are adopting two right now is probably what will make it possible for us to adopt again in the future because we’ll get over $26,000 back from the Federal Adoption Tax Credit.  We know that its going to be hard and a really intense first year or two.  But we have so much support and love from both our families.  We are surrounded by many friends and family that love us and are eager to be here for us every step of the way.  Having another baby around that is familiar and comes from the same exact place may even help our children transition more smoothly into their new life in a family.

And what I know you’re all wondering — no we don’t know if we’re getting twins, boys or girls!  We’ve asked for twins or two babies close in age, any combination of genders.  Although one boy and one girl would be the PERFECT combination, I have several names picked out for either gender 🙂

Double Trouble…Double the LOVE!

21 Sep

NEWS FLASH:  Josh and I have decided to adopt two babies right now.  Woooooooo Hooooooo! 

More details to come…

I’m just real tired right now and quite busy with work but I’m so excited I wanted to make the official announcement!  Don’t you worry, I’ll post a thorough explanation of how we came to this decision very soon!

News from Sanyu Babies Home

14 Sep

I just recieved the most recent newsletter from Sanyu babies home.  It’s like opening a Chritmas present!  I love to read about the nannies, volunteers and administrators that are working to hard to take care of these precious babies and find them forever homes.  And of course I love to read about all the sweetie pies that are staying at Sanyu.  In the past quarter 20 babies have joined the Sanyu family and 11 have been reunited with family memebers or adopted.   As I’ve mentioned before, Sanyu hosts many volunteers from all over the world.  I would like to share what one volunteer wrote in the most recent newsletter:

“I spent 6 weeks at the Sanyu Babies Home after finishing my social work qualification in England…One of the first things that struck me was how fortunate the babies are that end up at Sanyu.  Whilst many of the children are in terrible situations before they arrive at Sanyu, once they become part of Sanyu Babies Home family, thay are showered with love and care.  Each abandoned child is nursed back to health and provided with a safe loving enviornment whilst other people work behind the scenes to find family, fostering or adoption placements for them.  I feel very blessed to have been able to be a part of these childrens’ lives and they have certainly made a big impact on mine.”