Journey to Julia Video

James 1:27 – “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction”

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Beautiful Summer Sunday

Time is flying - where did August go?  Had a quiet day today going to church, getting in some walking and swimming.

We then spent some time putting together materials for our upcoming fund raising and awareness day.

We also did a big special needs adoption banner for the front of our table but it is not entirely pieced together yet.  In addition to the blog bracelets we showed you last time we got a bunch of generic Christian bracelets printed with various virtues and walking with Christ slogons.  We'll be running our table in front of a local church, so hope lots of people will be feeling the love and stand along side us in this adventure.

It was good to be doing something for the adoption other then checking notary stamps.  ;-)  Have a great week and talk to you soon.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

3rd time's a charm!

So much to share tonight.  Best news is our final home study has been received by USCIS, according to the US Post Office at least.  We need a lot of prayers for a world record completion time on this phase of the process.

Second thing was not so good.  The forms that caused us the most problem were definitely the medical forms.  They were rejected once because they were not signed in blue ink.  For some reason out of all the forms, the birth country wants these signed in blue ink so they can be sure they are not photocopies.  Apparently no one told them high quality color photocopiers are pretty easily and cheaply available at this point.

With the second copy of those in hand (and signed with blue ink) we took them to the county clerk for certification prior to state certification/apostille.  Patty's were rejected immediately by the clerk because the expiration date on the notaries stamp did not match the official date on record.  Tom's were authenticated but when we got home we realized the clerk had crossed out the expiration date on his too, writing in new numbers, thus invalidating the entire form.  All four medical forms would have to be done again.  What are the odds both of our notaries would not know their correct expiration date and no one would ever have checked or told them?

Since neither of our doctor's offices have a current notary, we had to get notaries to meet us there again for the third time. By this point, everyone at our doctor's offices and most of the notaries in the county know us pretty well.  On the third try, the county clerk accepted the documents.  Yeah!  At this point we have every document we need for the dossier except for the USCIS approval.  We have to take the whole package to the state capital for certification soon.

We also received the following fund raising bracelets today, emblazoned with the name of this blog "Hope 4 Every Child".

We are going to run a fundraiser and adoption awareness table at an upcoming community day, advertising for Reece's Rainbow and our little Jenny.

I mentioned to a friend today how this waiting part of the adoption sometimes feels like when the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness waiting to enter the Promised Land.  He wisely suggested that when we are facing impossible bureaucracy or other setbacks that we use the prayer Moses said each time the Israelites set out on a new journey.
Num 10:35 - "Rise up, O LORD! May your enemies be scattered; may your foes flee before you."
With that encouragement, let us rise to meet any challenges that remain and get this little girl home soon!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Quick adoption update

So the good news is, we have the final, notarized home study in our hands. That will be express mailed to USCIS on Monday to get that process jump started. While that percolates through the US government, we will need to visit the Dutchess County Clerk and NY state capital in Albany this week to get the remainder of the dossier documents county and then state certified.

Next stop will be one more set of fingerprints (we've had three done so far for this adoption, not to mention the 6-8 sets we had done for the last two adoptions).  Then we'll just be waiting on our 171-H approval letter so that we can get the final dossier off to Ukraine for translating and review, hopefully by Oct. 1st at the latest.

Keep praying for us.  We've gotta get over these last few hurdles soon.

She came home a rapper

In our last post we wrote about how we much we were missing our two oldest young adults. Well - they're back! Our young lady Elizabeth who went away with former talents and experience in ballet, step dance, acting and singing came home a gangster rapper. ;-) All that time spent with the kids at camp from the Bronx have corrupted her small town background. Just kidding - no offense to our neighbors from the south.

The girls did a talent show act the last night of camp. For those of you immersed in "Camp Rock" hoopla this summer, you can think of it as their "Final Jam". Their performance included 4-part harmonies and hip-hop versions of Salve Regina ("Hail Holy Queen") and a chant about prayer and praise to Jesus.

It was actually really creative and well done. Here is a video that will give you a sense of it.  Elizabeth is right in the foreground in the black/yellow checked sweatshirt.

Audio quality is not that great.  We are looking for a better video from any of the other campers that were there (about 175 kids total attended).  Since you can't hear the words real clearly, here is a transcript of the song lyrics.

Hey Veritas,
God can transform you;
Christ is our king
and he came to save ya.

He died on the cross
to save us from sin;
evil may come,
but in the end we'll win.

He can change your life,
make you soul new,
make you never wanna go back
to the old you.

The camp director Ryan Young said their performance was amazing and that their vocals were outstanding.

On a more serious note, the camp ended with a wonderful mass celebration by Archibishop of New York, Timothy Dolan

From Camp Veritas 2010

He even stuck around to talk and shoot photos with many people present including our own Caleb Joseph.

From Camp Veritas 2010
It seems a good week was had by all, and everyone came home refreshed in their faith and renewed for the journey ahead.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Places I remember

Once upon a time we had a couple little people around our house getting ready for a new school year.  Check them out.  Aren't they cute?  They have been away at camp all week this week and we sure do miss them.

Time flies when you are raising four or five kids.  It's hard to believe they are both teenagers now off adventuring for a week on their own.  We are real proud of them and the fine young people they are becoming.  Tonight they are doing a talent show at camp.  Hope all goes well for them, they remember their words and sing their little hearts out.

Makes us think about a little girl far away who we have never met but hope will be joining our family soon.  That is the great thing about waiting to become a parent either by birth or adoption.  Preparing for what God has in store for that person and your family even though you have no idea what is coming.  Imagining what they will be like, the things they will experience and do.  The times you will share together.

This week (and month really) has been one of those in between times.  A time of waiting.  If you've every read "Oh, the Places You'll Go" by Dr. Seuss you might know what I'm talking about.  A time when you have to go through your routine, but you wish you had a time machine to jump forward to an important thing you are waiting for.

Tomorrow we'll get to see our two biggest kids again.  We pray our littlest family member is healthy and happy in her orphanage somewhere.  May the USCIS process fly to completion so that we can get approval to go get her and bring her home.  Bye for now.