Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Big Progress

Last Wednesday we received a phone call from USCIS that our Preliminary Immigration Application had been approved. It was a little more detailed than that but you get the idea. Actually, three pieces of paperwork were missing. Both of our birth certificates and our marriage license were not there. I emailed her the necessary paperwork and we were approved within the hour! This was huge. This above pictured piece of paper was holding up the whole works. This document is being authenticated this week then our paperwork heads overseas!

Selah is never far from our thoughts. Here is where her photo remains.
We did the same for Mariah during the wait for her. She is right on our GPS screen. Seems fitting, right? After all she is our next destination.

We made our way to an appointment at the post office this afternoon.
More paperwork! But so worth it.
Becca was so excited to get her passport application along with her photo taken. They had to ask her not to smile so big.

We are getting things taken care of here at the house too. We purchased this home 4 1/2 years ago. It was built in 1978 and the previous owners loved this house and took such great care of it. We have made a few improvements but it has not needed much. We did have to replace some boards on the bannister of our deck. As Jeremy pried off the boards at the corner he discovered that he destroyed the home of this lovely critter.
This bat was not happy to move. The deck boards have been replaced and only need a couple of coats of paint.

Jeremy moved the project inside. He had help painting the entry doorway.
She insisted! Notice the safari hat? So cute! She kept putting the hat back on Jeremy's head as he painted. I guess in order to paint a safari hat was necessary.
We took our sweet Ben to the ENT yesterday. He has been having a tough time with a stubborn sinus infection for the past three months. We really hate that he cannot kick this. He has been on antibiotics for five weeks.

I do not think you can see but he has the cutest freckles. He really is as full of life as you see in this photo. He certainly keeps us on our toes too!

His ENT wanted a new x-ray and that proved that his sinuses are pretty bad. Our poor Ben is on another antibiotic, prednisone, and a few other new meds. They have to be aggressive or we are looking at even more aggressive treatment. My poor little guy. His asthma is not controlled now either. We would appreciate any prayers for him. Currently he is taking 11 medications. And I am a mom who does not like to medicate.

On our way home from his appointment we saw the beautiful sunset. I am not sure this photo does it justice but the sky was spectacular. Not to mention this great photo taken on my cell phone.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Focusing on Our Blessings

One of the biggest blessings in my life is my family. Last weekend we had an impromptu birthday celebration for my niece who turned 13. Tammy (pictured in the middle) hosted the party and my other sister, Tina (far left), and her 3 kids also came. There were 16 of us there yet we were missing 13 family members but it was fun! 

Yes, I agree.....we do look alike!

Here are a few of the photos. Keep in mind, our camera was just an extra. So my pics are not that great!
The camera on my phone is not the best. Here are a few of the cousins!
More cousins.
One of the biggest blessings to me is the love of my life. He is the perfect mate for me and I fall short of deserving him. I snapped a photo of Jeremy, unknown to him, while he was finishing his morning devotions one day last week. Again, my phone camera.....not so great a photo.
This is why our marriage works. God is always first. I love this about Jeremy.

Our kids love to play outside. It might be because for years I have shoved them outside encouraged them to enjoy the outdoors.
In all honesty, I have a few kids that would live outdoors if allowed. Some kind of a meeting was taking place in the pile of leaves with Micah and Becca.
I am working on finding blessings in things which I would normally struggle.

Becca's school desk.......BEAUTIFUL! Right?
Ben's desk......SIGH!!!!! Notice how his mess has migrated over to Selah's desk (on the left)? I will rejoice thinking of what he is learning in spite of that mess.
I will choose to rejoice in the fact that we live in a country with terrific healthcare. Kyle is having a few issues with what we believe will turn out to be asthma. We are not strangers to that.
And our first blessing from China.
Please pray for us as we complete these last few weeks of our adoption. It is difficult to complete an international adoption in a normal time frame. You can multiply that stress by a bazillion when you are dealing with a child who is aging out and the potential difficulties of a government shut down. So far we are unaffected by this shut down. It is not easy. 

Today is day 59 as we wait for the US to approve our preliminary immigration application. We requested an expedite but the answer is no. We even contacted our congressman's office. We are in a normal time frame for now but should be assigned an officer by this Wednesday. Please pray for our approval to happen that day. Then that one last piece of paper gets sent to be authenticated. Then finally we can send our dossier to Chin@ and they can begin to prepare Selah's official paperwork. 

Of course, please pray for Selah and her upcoming transition. Our family covets your prayers as we plunge into this new adoption. 

We have applied for 18 grants. We have not heard back from any of them yet. We know God will provide.

As Mariah got sick this weekend my heart ached for our Selah. For almost 14 years she has had no one to cuddle her and love on her when she had a fever or cold. I cannot imagine the hurt she has in her heart. She needs to be home. Just imagine, she surely does not understand the magnitude of that word. We also know it will take time (probably years) for her to accept and understand our love.

Selah, when you read this one day I hope you know how loved and desperately wanted you are to so many. Especially to me and Baba/Daddy.

"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