Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sealed with a Kiss

Our dossier went in the mail today!! We received our (corrected) authorization form from the Dept. of State yesterday, so I was finally able to mail everything to our agency today. What a relief! The process is now completely out of our hands...of course I guess it was never really in "our" hands anyway, it's always been in God's hands and will continue to be as our documents travel across our country, then across the globe to SOS EE orphanage. He is in complete control of this process and has everything working in his perfect timing. As humans, his timing can be so hard to see and understand, but I guess that's where trust falls into place.

This morning before I left for work with dossier in hand, JT and I prayed together. It felt like such a monumental moment in our life, offering thanks to our Creator for blessing us with the opportunity to grow our family through adoption; asking him to bless the many hands that will sift through our paperwork; praying for safe and quick delivery routes from one country to the next; asking for guidance for the folks who will be matching us with our sons; and finally praying for love and blessing to spill over our little guys while we're apart. What a sweet memory we will hold of this morning, February 17, 2011.

After we finished praying together, I jokingly said "kiss this document good-bye" to JT. The sweet guy that he is, he took the package and literally kissed it...twice and said "one kiss for each of our boys!" :) My husband is so in love with our sons already, I cannot wait for the day I get to see all my boys together. That silly sentiment meant the world to me. In our current life, him kissing that bulky folder would be the equivalent of any father-to-be kissing his wife's pregnant belly. Although we're not physically pregnant, I feel we're experiencing a pregnancy of some sort - the roller coaster of emotions, the waiting, the involvement in every step - and just think, I don't need to buy any jeans with a stretchy stomach panel! All joking aside, I love that this is the plan that God has designed for us. As a couple, we could've never devised such a perfect plan because of our imperfect lives. But trusting and obeying has led us down a path that we are fully committed to follow. It's an adventure we may have never planned, but now would want it no other way. With each phase of this process, I daily see His hand directing the steps of our lives, and I find myself loving these boys with everything in me. 

*Here's a quick shot from the "dossier send-off" earlier today. The UPS guy was less than thrilled that he got to be in the picture, but thankfully he humored me!
Bell Dossier...sealed with a kiss!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Oh SO close

We received our final form from US Immigration services yesterday! I was totally shocked when I saw it in the mailbox. We had been told it would take 6-9 weeks from the time they received it and yesterday marked 5 weeks exactly, so it was at least one week early! Thankfully I already had today off, so I was able to drive the form to our Department of State for final authentication. My good friend Sarah joined me for the trip; being a native "Harrisburgian" she directed me right to the building that I would've been circling blocks to find had I have journeyed alone.  Don't you just love caring friends? We had some great conversations during our drive and it was so nice to have company on this exciting day.  As you might remember, this was the last step to complete our dossier!! It's done!!

Well, almost...

I had planned to review everything with my husband tonight and then head to the UPS store tomorrow to mail the documents. However, when I got home from our trip today, I went to put the authenticated paperwork in our folders and noticed a slight mistake (which I had failed to notice earlier). They had mistyped the name of our notary, instead of "Cramer" it read "Gramer" :(  I thought to myself, is anyone even going to notice?? But then started to think, if they do, who knows what will happen to our dossier and our timeline.  Our little boys don't deserve to have their home and family dreams delayed because of an easily correctable mistake.  So I called our social worker to ask her opinion of the best way to handle the situation.  She recommended I call the Dept. of State immediately to let them know of their mistake and let them handle it from there. When I called, the woman who answered the phone was the same woman who had checked me in this morning. She remembered me and was VERY apologetic when I explained the error. After speaking with her supervisor, she asked that I mail the form back for correction, then she assured me that they would overnight it to me (at no charge).

Looks like it will be a few more days until the Dossier gets sent, but we're closer than I thought we'd be at this point, so I'm still smiling! God is so good, and continues to amaze me through this process, despite the tiny bumps along the way.  I'm still praying that He's taking care of our sons until we can, which hopefully won't be much longer now! Keep us in your prayers that the rest of our journey will go as smoothly as it has so far, in the hopes that the hole in our family will soon be filled! 
"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families"
Psalm 68-5-6