Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bit More Paperwork Completed

We turned our last packet of paperwork in today. J from our agency told us not to start gathering documents for the home study just yet. Apparently many of the documents needed for Vietnam expire in 6 mos, so in order to save us both time & money she said to wait and gather them when they see more referrals coming in.
I trust her and appreciate her honesty. I sure do not want to redo and repay for documents. We are going to proceed with getting our fingerprints Saturday because they are good for 15 mos and surely we will have a referral within 15 mos.
I also got to thinking that if there are alot of families requesting a girl then we may move up the waiting list pretty quick. The one thing I am sure of is that God is in control of this adoption and we will get a referral only when he wants us too.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Brent........My Son

When I think about Brent I want to tear up. My son the man, my son the boy.
From the very first day that we brought Chloe home she attached herself to her big brother. I can remember her taking a 3 hour nap on his belly that first day home.
They have been inseperable every since. This 18 year old that puts her in the jeep and takes her to Zaxby's or Chick Fil A, just the two of them. The big brother that is planning on paying about 150 bucks to get a custom car seat for his 69 Camaro.
The big brother that had to get a father's day present when we was shopping for her daddy because she thought Brent had to have a gift too. My son that came to me late one night and laid at the foot of my bed and said, "Mom we have got to adopt again, we just have too." Not knowing that at that very minute when he walked into my room I was praying about adopting from Vietnam. I shared with him that night my desires and my fears and concerns about money and he said "we are going to do it, let's go talk to dad." Chloe & I love you Brent!

Father's Day Pic Nic

My Birthday Present

We have a fingerprint appointment!

Yep, next Saturday June 30th.
When we are suppose to be in Hilton Head, we talked as a family and instead of trying to reschedule our appointment, we are just going to delay our vacation by 3 days. We are afraid if we reschedule it will be in the Charleston office (3 1/2 hrs away)and it would not be on a Saturday. By keeping this appointment none of us will have to take a day off from work.
So as I explained to Daniel "we have good news and bad news"

Friday, June 22, 2007

That Crazy Little Thing Called "Paperchasing"

I must admit I am really dreading gathering those documents. It seems like for an international adoption there is a ton of them. Plus with Vietnam you have to have a current physical and blood work done. You have to be tested for Aids, Hep, and VD, Daniel is not to happy about that, he hates needles!
This is where we are at with our paperchase so far:
Signed with Agency - June 7, 2007
Mailed I600A Application - June 8,2007
Agency Registration Packet - June 20,2007

We are waiting on our letter telling us when we can go to Charleston for our fingerprint appointments. We did take Chloe to get her US Passport but I don't think it did any good. I had all her paperwork, and kept asking both ladies didn't they need her adoption decrees and both ladies said no. All they took was her new bc and nothing else. Got real paranoid about it and called the Passport office and the lady said yes we would get a rejection letter requesting the original documents.
Wouldn't be so bad if I hadn't asked the ladies 3 or 4 times didn't they need those documents. Just my luck!!!!!!! Oh well, I keep reminding myself there is a reason for everything!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thank God For WONDERFUL FRIENDS!!!!!!!!

I am grateful to have met so many wonderful friends during our Guatemalan adoption, life long friends that because of the miracle of adoption we will have a special bond. Some of those that come to mind are; Dawn who has adopted precious Emilee from Guatemala that just happened to turn 4 on her Auntie Teresa's birthday, and is still waiting on Ronaldo & Julia to come home from Guatemala while in the process of adopting Jack from Haiti. This woman has more faith than anyone I know and even during her darkest hours she is always praising our Savior. Dawn, if you ever read this blog, "You Are My Hero". Wendy, who also is in the process of a Guatemalan adoption that has actually been a nightmare from the very beginning but yet she too, illustrates every single day of her life what it means to be faithful and obedient and keeps waiting for the Lord to bring her precious son home. She has opened up her heart to a little girl named Chloe even though at times it must be so painful because it is a reminder of what she is missing out on. Still she keeps praying and believing. Deanna, who I am not sure how there are even words to describe this girl. She too adopted her daughter from Guatemala while I was waiting on Chloe to come home, she is now embarking on a journey to Ethiopia to adopt a sibling group and who is probably the one that gave me the courage to adopt again.
Deanna, who pushed me into visiting Chloe for the 1st time and I wouldn't trade that visit for all the memories in the world. Deanna, who has to live the most exciting life I have even heard, but yet makes time for her friends, and who is always in prayer asking God's guidance on her life and all those around her. Kristin who has a son from Guatemala (Chloe's future husband) and now waiting on pink for her beautiful daugther. She reached out to me during that oh so long wait for Chloe all the way from Germany. Another prayer warrior! Ali, who I know I can call on at anytime and she will always be there to pray for whatever the need might be, Julie, who's daugther is Chloe's best friend from Guatemala and who even though is going through one of the most difficult times of their lives, still wants to know about our Vietnam journey. Carol, there are no words to describe what this woman means to me, nor what she has done for us, no doubt Chloe would still not be home without this woman. Then there is Summer, Katie, Sophia, Kim, Betty, Paula and Lara that I have truly been blessed with their friendship in my life because of adoption.
So many more that I know I am forgetting and for that I apologize. Please take the time to pray for all these that are waiting for their children to come home, please pray for all these that like me starting the process of international adoption once again. Please pray!!!!!

Not so recent pictures (Easter 2007)

Prayers, Prayers, and more Prayers

Now that you know how our journey began I would like to ask all that reads it to remember us in your prayers.
Pray that God leads us in all areas of this adoption. Pray that we are always open to hear what He has to say, pray that above all, HIS WILL BE DONE and not ours!!!!!!
Thank You!

My Early Birthday Present!

On June 18th I was turning 42. Only June 7th I get home from work and Chloe is handing me a birthday present. I dont' think anything about it because I knew Daniel was leaving the next week to take a group of young people to camp. I opened up the gift and it is the most beautiful baby boy vietnamese outfit I have ever seen and the receipt where he had already paid the intitial fee to our old agency. With tears in his eyes he said, "I have known for a while now but was trying to hold off until your birthday". I said, how? He said, I was up late one night waiting for Brent to come home and praying about adopting from Vietnam. He said, I told the Lord, "I just didn't know, I knew we couldn't afford it and I was afraid it would not be the same as adopting Chloe". He said I told the Lord "I don't know if I can love another one like Chloe, I just don't know". He said at that very moment the Lord spoke to me very clearly and unmistakeably and said, "I did it one time, don't you think I can do it again?"
That's how he knew!!!!!!!!

How Our Journey Began.............

Actually quite simple. I had been praying about adopting again for months. Because of all the talk about the impending Hague and uncertainty in Guatemala, and too because our last adoption took so long, that I felt strongly our next child would not be coming from there. Don't get me wrong my heart will always be in Guatemala. It is Chloe's birth country. We have a wonderful foster family that we adore there, and we hope one day to be able to go back to visit them as a family. But I just knew that my heart could not take another adoption from there.
Therefore, I started researching both Vietnam and Taiwan. I really liked what I read about both countries, and I also liked that Taiwan the in country stay is only 5 days. But the more I researched Taiwan the more I thought about Vietnam. Was God leading me to Vietnam?
The more I began to research Vietnam the more I felt peace. Why? Taiwan has been doing adoptions for a long time now and the program is very stable and usually runs smooth. Vietnam had just reopened and there would be lots of unknowns. Surely after our last adoption taking almost 2 years you would think I would choose Taiwan. Somehow deep in my heart I knew that God was calling us to Vietnam. Where in the world was we going to get the money to adopt again and Vietnam of all places where the in country stay is 2 to 3 weeks and travel is so expensive. Where indeed! I started praying 1st of all if it wasn't the Lord's will and just my own selfish wants for Him to remove that desire from my heart. The more I prayed, the more I wanted it. Late one night after I prayed, I could not go to sleep for nothing in the world. I got up and got on the computer, just surfing, I ran across a blog and when I opened it up it was the answer I was looking for. It was about a family that already had 4 biological children and had adopted this past fall 2 beautiful little girls from Vietnam. As I read on I got so excited because you see this guy was a Youth Pastor. My husband Daniel is the Student Minister at our church.
Somewhere in his blog he said, "if you feel called to adopt do not let something like money and thinking you can't afford it stand in your way." Wow, I felt like he was talking to me. I was sitting there thinking, if they can do it surely we can too. So me and the Lord started working on Daniel!

At first he said "NO" we are too old, we are 42 years old. Then he said, "we can't afford it we are still paying on Chloe's adoption". I just said pray about it. Every day I would ask him was he still praying about it and every day he would say yes but the Lord hadn't showed him that this was what we should do. So I just kept praying for the Lord to open his heart and his mind to adopting from Vietnam and he did.

While I start to worry that maybe this desire to adopt again was my own selfishness and not coming from the Lord at all, Daniel knew all along. You see my husband has the most Godly wisdom of anyone I know and I started thinking if the Lord hadn't showed him by now then maybe it is not meant to be, because I knew if it was Daniel would know. He knew, but he was trying to hold off to my birthday..................

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Why am I blogging?

Because my friend Deanna wants me to! No, seriously during our adoption process of Chloe I kept a journal and plan on giving it to Chloe when she is older. I want her to one day read about how much she was wanted and loved from the very first time we saw her picture. Our process to bring her home took almost 2 years, but she was OH SO WORTH THE WAIT !
Now that we are starting our journey to Vietnam, I thought it would be fun to share it with the rest of our adoption friends and hopefully one day our families. Other than my children we haven't actually shared our news with our family and friends yet. It took us so long to bring Chloe home we have decided to wait until we are much farther in the process before we tell the world this time around. I have never been very good at keeping secrets so you can imagine how hard this is going to be for me!

Chosen By God To Be Chosen By Us.......

Is part two of our adoption story. Why part 2? You see we have already adopted a beautiful little girl from Guatemala, Chloe Faith Maria has been home since April 2006. She is now 2 1/2 years old and without a doubt the greatest gift God has ever given us. Now back to the part 2, most of you have already guessed it we are just starting the process to adopt again. This time we are from Vietnam and requesting a baby of either gender. You see I am the mother of 4 wonderful children already. Kyleigh our oldest is 21, married to Matthew and teaches high school math. Matthew is in army reserve and because of an 18 month deployment in Afghanistan is now back in college, hoping to get his degree before he is deployed again. Brent is 18 and just graduated from high school and will attend college in fall. Kaitlyn is 11 and will be 6th grade in the fall. And last but not least is Chloe, our little guatemalan princessa. I am Teresa and have been married to the love of my life for the last 23 years.Adopting again? Absolutely! Can we afford it? Financially, no. Spiritually, we can't afford not to. We truly feel called by God to adopt again. Knowing this, we are certain that God will make a way. Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all your ways and he will direct your path."