Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Thank you!

Thank you. In the last 2 weeks we have raised $7,000 of the additional $10,000 to cover the cost of the 2 extra kiddos. $7000!

7 people/families have donated anonymously. That is 7 people we will not be able to thank with a note or hug.

How do we say thank you enough to the people who have given? I hope that you will read this and know that from the bottom of our hearts, we are thankful. Several nights we have laid awake just in awe of the generosity of you people! 
Thank you for loving our kids. Thank you for loving us. Our prayer is that we will see and show Jesus to and through our children. You are making that a reality.

Thank you.

Thanks to my friend Laura and Future dad, one of the kids' rooms is cleaned out! 


Now, we just need to get the other one cleaned out! Anyone wanna come help paint?


Also, in other news, I found this vase at the store this week and I almost bought it. Made me miss our kids.








Thursday, July 18, 2013

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

2 down

1. Get referral from NAC.
2. Mail off for immigration/visa approval. 

3. Wait 4-6 weeks for approval.
4. *Buy a bigger vehicle.
5. Send visa approval to the National Visa Center.
6. *Set up 2 bedrooms.
7. The NVC will send visa approval to the U.S. Embassy in Poland.
8. The U.S. Embassy writes a letter called the Article 5.
9. The Article 5 gets picked up by Sasha (our in country facilitator) and taken to the NAC.
10. The NAC schedules a court date.
11.* Future Dad builds dining room table and bench to seat everyone.
12. Court is held without us.
13. We get travel date.
14. TRAVEL!

Did you see that? WE GOT OUR REFERRAL!!! 

We are in our 3rd trimester, if you want to compare it to a pregnancy.

Some people have asked what that means. It means Poland has given us a preliminary "yes" to adopt these kids. We are matched together. Now, no one can sneak in and adopt them out from under us. Short of the formal adoption, they are ours. 

What a relief. This has been the day we have been waiting for. So much of our conversation has been "yes, but not until we get our referral... they are ours, but we haven't gotten the official referral yet... we can't really buy anything until we get our referral."

Guess what? Now it is time to get everything done. We are expecting 4 kids. We are still a few months out, but it is GO TIME!


We also are now the proud owners of this baby! We still need to put the padding and net around it, but it was a generous gift from some sweet friends.

Friday, July 12, 2013

We got a referral update...

but no referral yet.

We got an email from our social worker on Wednesday saying lots of exciting things.

1. Our dossier has been approved and released by the "Ministry". I'm not sure what they are the ministry OF, but they have released our dossier.

2. Now the National Adoption Center (NAC) has our dossier and are writing up the official referral document.

3. The NAC should have our letter done today.

4. We should get the referral on Monday.... or Tuesday, but hopefully Monday. 

5. Once the referral document is given to our agency, we can send off for our visa/immigration approval!

All of this is quite exciting.

We are now at the point where we can name the steps left before travel.

1. Get referral from NAC.
2. Mail off for immigration/visa approval. 
3. Wait 4-6 weeks for approval.
4. *Buy a bigger vehicle.
5. Send visa approval to the National Visa Center.
6. *Set up 2 bedrooms.
7. The NVC will send visa approval to the U.S. Embassy in Poland.
8. The U.S. Embassy writes a letter called the Article 5.
9. The Article 5 gets picked up by Sasha (our in country facilitator) and taken to the NAC.
10. The NAC schedules a court date.
11.* Future Dad builds dining room table to seat everyone.
12. Court is held.
13. We get travel date.
14. TRAVEL!

*Could be finished out of order, but needs to happen before we travel.

There is another list just as long of things we have to do while in country, but for now, this list proves just as daunting. The things we have to do in country will be better because we will be with our children. 

_____________________________________________________________________________

In other news, Future Dad and I have been looking for some fun, free ways to connect. Last night we went to the Greene Street Market and listened to our amazingly talented friend Amanda sing with her band Slip Jig. The one song they sang before the lightening shut them down was really wonderful. They then snuck away and did a little unplugged acoustic set in the courtyard of the Church of the Nativity. It was incredible. Keller had a great time and we enjoyed being with our friends.

We also found this enormous swing on the way back to our car... It is lovely. Gonna have to bring the kids back to play here.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Today is a big day.

Today is a big day. Today is the day we find out the status of our referral. We should know by the end of today when the ministry in Poland plans on releasing our referral document. It then goes to the National Adoption Center and finally to us. The ministry could take up to one month before they release the paper. Once we get it, it gets mailed to immigration. Lots of little steps happen after that. They almost all involve giving approval and writing letters to the next people who need them. 
This referral is the big thing... the analogy is that we have already signed our end of the contract saying we want these 4 kiddos, and we need Poland to sign saying we can have them. We are waiting for them to sign their end of the deal. 



What a glorious day that will be.



Here is a picture of future dad and Keller on a recent hike. I think they are pretty swell. Can't wait til that rock is filled with children!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Quick update

WOW is all I can say about yesterday's amazing day! We tried to keep track of the stats of #1's birthday and from the best we can figure, here they are:

Of the friends we had access to on Facebook: 108 people posted about his birthday! 108! Isn't that amazing!

We had over 5,200 new hits on our blog!

We raised over $800 to help cover the expenses of the extra kids!

If every person that came to our blog or posted on Facebook said just 1 prayer for our children, that is over 5,300 prayers for our children. That is the best number of all. 

We are humbled by the outpouring of support... 

The joy we have makes us feel like we are
 running through fields of sun flowers.


  


Friday, July 5, 2013

Happy Birthday Treasured #1



Dearest #1,

Happy Birthday. I want you to know that your future dad and I love you so much now, I can't imagine how my heart will feel when we run our fingers through your hair the first time. We want to meet you and be near you and learn everything about you. We want to know what your favorite color is, what makes you giggle, what makes you angry and what foods you hate. We want to know you. The core of you. The hard parts and the easy parts. The parts that are you are the parts we love.

Birthdays are so exciting. The entire day celebrates you. We celebrate you. (And you get to eat cake and ice cream!) We are not with you today, but we hope to be there for the next 50. We have asked all our friends to honor you on this, your birthday. They are trying to tell as many people as they can about you and your brothers and sister. They are telling people how much you are loved. In a few months, when you are here beside me, I want you to see how many people already care about you. THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW YOU and they already care about you. They also love you because the love Jesus. 

Sometimes when we show people who knew your future dad when he was a little boy, they think you look alike. I think you favor him some. You have the same dark hair. You have the same dark eyes. You are different though because you are you. You have different smiles and different noses. You are alike and different. It is beautiful.




This is a picture of your future dad when he was about 6. I think you might have looked a little bit like this 5 years ago. What do you think?

Your future dad and I want to be with you and near you. We are coming for you soon. We are working very hard to get all the things in place so that we can bring you home to us. Be patient with us, you have waited so long for family and so have we. We have a hole in our hearts now that only you and your brothers and sister can fill. It is the perfect sized hole for 4 Polish kids. Anything less and our hole would still be a hole. We need you all. 

You are our treasure and joy. Happy Birthday son.
Love always,
Future mama

Happy Birthday #1!

Tomorrow is our oldest's 11th birthday...

We have asked our friends to update their facebook status in his honor. We want to be able to sit with him and look back and show him all the love and support before he was ever our son. 


This is the event status update from facebook:


As his birthday present, would you help spread awareness about our adoption? Would you consider changing your status for one day and adoption our status to help raise awareness?


Will you invite your friends to join this event, even if they don't know us? We want to celebrate his birthday with as many people as possible.


My status on Saturday will be:

"Happy Birthday #1! Join the journey at www.ourextrapickles.blogspot.com or help bring the 4 kids home by donating at www.youcaring.com/ourextrapickles"

Thank you for helping to bring our 4 kids home!

Monday, July 1, 2013

THE I-800 CAME!!! (And a fundraiser)...

At the end of our last entry, we asked for prayers that our I-800 would come... well... it came the very next day! It arrived at our house on June 26th! HOORAY!
It is the most beautiful paper to this point!

My favorite line is... "You have been approved to adopt four children from the following convention country: Poland."

YAY!



Can I tell you something else wonderful?

The I-800 was approved on my birthday! Happy Birthday to me.

Our next prayer is that our paperwork will be translated quickly and we will receive our OFFICIAL REFERRAL!



On a different note:

Our friend Meagan helped us set up a fundraising site to gather donations to help our adoption. There is no transaction fees associated with youcaring.com. If you choose to donate, there is an option to edit the amount given to cover the website's operating costs. You can change that number to $0, if you want. 

The site is youcaring.com/ourextrapickles




When we switched from 2 kids to 4, there is an added expense. The expenses for visas, passports and in-country fees for the extra kiddos is roughly $5,000 total. That doesn't include the extra plane tickets.
Our goal is to raise $12,000 to cover the in country document fees and flight costs.



Our prayers have not changed... May God be preparing us to be parents, and may God be preparing their hearts to be adopted. Thank you for blessing us with your gifts and prayers.