Where Oh Where Could He Be..

A few quick little updates..

1) We got our van! Yay! Turns out the family we bought the van from wanted to buy our SUV. So perfect and so not stressful 🙂 We are thankful!

2) There is some confusion around Baby D at the moment. I will hopefully explain the whole situation if and when it gets figured out.. it turns out that the young baby pictures I have posted of Baby D are actually not him. The advocacy site had a mix up, and the baby pictures are of another little one miles away from our Baby D. This guy is our Baby D.

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3) Baby D has been pulled from the orphan database in his country.  This has us quite worried.. one of three things is most likely happening

-he has been adopted|
-he has passed away
-they are working on updating his file.

We PRAY it is number three. But of course it’s hard not to assume the worst. This mom is sick with worry. What I wouldn’t give to be able to go knock on those orphanage doors and figure this all out for myself.

Our facilitator isn’t too worried but we are very aware that anything can happen at any time until we legally become Baby D’s parents at court in his country.

SO. We know nothing for sure. We think he is still there.  In our hearts we believe he is ours and that he will be there waiting for us.  However, we are aware that in the end this is God’s plan not ours. We need to only be faithful and take the next step forward.

If Baby D turns out not to be there, we fully believe that God has our child there waiting for us to bring home. And so we move forward in this process not entirely sure of the outcome, but entirely sure in the God who has laid this path in front of us.

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PS. We are still working away on this Citizenship Part 1. I’m pretty sure people are starting to cringe when they see my emails pop up! But we keep pushing as we believe this will be taken care of.. ❤

Vans, Shirts, and Fingerprints!

The time has come to say goodbye to my beloved SUV and join the minivan club. Two questions: Does that mean I am now officially a grown up? and does that mean I’ve lost whatever small cool factor I ever had..? I think the answer is yes to both of those questions.. 🙂

We went van shopping this week and think we have found exactly what we need! We just need to sell the SUV and we will be good to go

(if you could pray that it sells quickly, that would be fantastic) 

As Katie pointed out, “Now we have a seat for me and Ezzie, AND baby Drake!”

Ps. We have been calling him Baby D for a few unimportant reasons, but his listing name is “Drake”.. so. Baby D = Drake = the name we will eventually give him when he becomes ours.

It was also time this week to go birthday party supply shopping for Ezra as he is turning one in a couple of weeks.  As I pushed my wiggly, giggly little boy through the store I couldn’t help but grieve for our other little son.

Did anyone ever acknowledge his first birthday? Probably not.

I’m quite certain there were no candles, no wrapping paper enthusiastically torn apart, no birthday cakes, shirts, photo shoots.. ugh.

It honestly makes me sick.

Today is hard. We are missing one of our tribe.

As we gear up for our season of celebration (all of our birthdays and our anniversary are within 5 weeks of each other!) it is hard to know that one of our children will be missing from the festivities.  What we wouldn’t do for even a taste of him, a new picture, any sort of update, anything.

We miss you buddy. Just so you know, your second birthday party is going to be absolutely epic ❤

In positive news this week, our home-study is headed to Edmonton for government approval. This is the biggest piece of our dossier and took many hours, to complete. We are thankful for an amazing social worker and agency who did a fantastic job with this.

We also started our medical checks this week, which is another item checked of the list. Up this week is fingerprinting! And getting Ezra’s passport in the mail so that he will be able to travel with us.

(We haven’t finalized travel plans yet. And won’t for a while. But we figured it was best to have that covered just in case) 

Once again, and I hope this never loses its genuineness, because it is truly sincere each time, THANK YOU all for the continued donations that keep rolling in to our adoption account. We are getting closer to fully funding the Canadian part of the fees.

A couple of updates on the fund raising side of things..

We have two days left in our T shirt campaign. These shirts are truly fantastic, super soft and great quality (I’m currently wearing one :))

Options are listed below if you are interested in placing an order.. $32 CAN for any style/size.

*Canadian friends, please place your order with me and I will bulk order from Bonfire to save shipping charges. American friends, feel free to place your order here: here***

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Additionally, we are now set up with a Family Sponsorship Program on Reese’s Rainbow, this is the advocacy site where we found Baby D!

The great thing about this is that this is a tax deductible option for donations! You can find us here.

**These fund’s will be available to cover in country fees only.  We will be given access to them once we receive an invitation to travel from Baby D’s country**

Our in country fees will be in the neighborhood of about 20-25K (Canadian Dollars)

Again, thank you all for your prayers, encouragement and financial support. It means the world to us.

Now. I’m off to order a third car seat 🙂

The Process

Many of you have asked about what the process of international adoption looks like. It is kind of confusing so I thought I would lay it out as straight forwardly as possible 🙂

There are four main groups that we are working with to complete this adoption

  • Christian Adoption Services: Our agency that takes care of the Albertan side of things. CAS is primarily responsible for completing our home study and providing the training mandated by the government of Alberta required to move forward with an international adoption.
  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada: CIC will grant us citizenship for Baby D.       This is a two part process. Part 1 needs to be completed before we can bring him       home. Part 2 happens once he comes home.
  • CARC: Our international agency. CARC is based in Toronto, Ontario. Alberta does not have an adoption agency that works directly with our Eastern European country. CARC works with us to complete all the paperwork that must go to Baby D’s country. They tell us what we need, we send it to them, and they send it on to Baby D’s country. We will also be working on the ground in baby D’s country with CARC’s facilitation team.
  • The Government of Baby D’s country.  Once we get to Baby D we will follow the     government process for adoption there.

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Step 1: Apply to Christian Adoption Services and CARC as our adoption agencies.

Step 2: Apply to the provincial government for permission to adopt internationally.

Step 3: Apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for part one of Baby D’s citizenship.

Step 4: Work with CARC’s facilitation team in Eastern Europe to confirm that Baby D is there and is available for international adoption.

Step 5: Work with CARC to begin compiling our dossier. This is all the paper work that will be submitted to our boy’s country. This includes

-A completed homestudy

-Part 1 of Baby D’s citizenship (this is what we are currently praying for to come through quickly. We cannot travel until we have it and it is proving difficult to get. Please pray it comes through so that it does not hold up the rest of our dossier!!!) 

-A whole mirage of police checks, medical checks, certificates, letters, and whatever else our CARC team requests. It is intense haha.

Step 6: Work with CAS to complete a home study.  This process usually takes 3-4 months however we chose to expedite this, and thanks to an amazing social worker we were finished in 10 days. Our home study will travel to Edmonton next week for government approval. It should be approved in about 8 weeks.

Step 7:  Complete international adoption workshop with CAS.

***This is currently as far as we have gotten!***

Step 7: Once we have all the requirements for our dossier it is submitted through CARC to the government of Baby D’s country for translation and consideration. We hope to submit our dossier in early September

Step 8: Wait for an invitation to travel!! (If our dossier is submitted in early September we may be able to travel as soon as mid October)

Step 9: Travel to Eastern Europe!! Yay!! Once there we will be presented with three files of three different children that match our home study. Our facilitation team will make sure that Baby D is one of those children.

Step 10: Meet Baby D! And ‘choose’ him as ours.

Step 11:  Attend court and make Baby D officially our son.

Step 12: “The Paper Chase” rush around Baby D’s capital city to acquire all the necessary paper work needed for him to leave his country.

*The process in Ukraine takes 6-8 weeks to complete. We may make one trip or two trips depending on the current processing time.*

Step 13: BRING HOME BABY D!!!!

Step 14: Apply for Part 2 of Baby D’s citizenship, ie. make him an official Canadian

Step 15: Complete post placement reports with CAS and send yearly updates to Baby D’s original country.

We are thankful that the process has gone as smoothly as it has so far! We pray that it would continue to move quickly and smoothly, so that we can get our son out of his orphanage and home to his family as soon as possible ❤

 

It takes a village

We didn’t know what the response would be.

We knew that this choice, to go across the ocean to bring home a child with special needs may not make a lot of sense to the outside world.

What if no one supported us? What if no one seemed bothered by this little boy on the other side of the world?

What I failed to consider in my early days of trying to formulate explanations and reasons for our choice was that they may not be necessary.

That a community of people would simply say ‘yes’ to our boy.

Yes to his value.

Yes to his deserving of love and belonging.

Yes to love. 

To see Baby D’s village rise up to bring him home is truly one of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed.  

Yes looks like a determined 8th grader rallying her friends to sell freezees and raise donations at school.

Yes looks like anonymous donations. 

Yes looks like giving us a place to stay as we travel out of town for meetings. 

Yes looks like babysitting our children so that we can complete adoption requirements. 

Yes looks like carefully crafting handmade goods for an auction. 

Yes looks like taking care of flights. 

Yes looks like boldly sharing Baby D’s story. 

Yes looks like prayers and words of encouragement. 

Yes looks like people purchasing cookie dough, bidding on auctions, buying aprons. 

Yes looks likes offers to plan and hold fundraisers on our behalf. 

This process is hard. It is frustrating and often heartbreaking.

But when we look at how God is weaving a path to Baby D we can’t help but humbly and joyfully move forward, knowing full well that He is in the details and that ultimately, He has this taken care of.

There has been numerous instances in this process that have clearly shown His hand at work, including the story of Noah.

I had previously mentioned that our adoption journey started with my following along of a blog entitled Finding Baby Brother.  Learning of little Noah’s journey home from Eastern Europe to his family was the catalyst to propel us full speed into our own adoption journey.

I reached out to Noah’s mom, Kecia, through social media hoping to gain some insight from her about the process, and to ask a few questions.

Through our chatting we figured out that out of the hundreds of orphanages in his country, Baby D was in Noah’s very orphanage.

Through further detective work we learned that Baby D was not only in Noah’s orphanage,  but that he was currently laying in the very same bed that little Noah had once laid in as he, just like Baby D, waited for his family.

The timeline of Noah’s adoption and Baby D’s estimated birth date make it quite plausible that Baby D was just a few doors down the hallway from where little Noah was meeting his family for the very first time.

Noah turned two years old a few weeks ago. His family obviously showered him with love and gifts, however Noah’s birthday party was once again connected to our little Baby D.

It had been laid upon Noah’s mom’s heart to include in Noah’s birthday party a fundraiser to pay it forward and help bring one more orphan home to his family.

After connecting with our story, it was made clear to Noah’s family that it was to be Baby D that they would help bring home.

Baby D and Noah will forever have a connection I don’t know that anyone will fully understand.

Baby D and Noah know what it’s like to wait day after day for a mommy and a daddy.

They know what it’s like to be hungry and not be offered food.

They know the details of the monotonous routine of that room in that orphanage.

They know what its like to go to sleep alone each night. To rock for comfort. To stare at their hands for stimulation.

But Noah now knows the love of family. He knows bedtime stories, and siblings squabbles. Birthday cake and trips to the beach. Snuggles and kisses and mom’s homemade breakfasts.

And God, who weaves everything together for good chose to use little Noah, once lost and now found, to help bring our Baby D home to his forever family.

Our dream would be that these courageous little boys would meet some day. That instead of lying still together, forgotten pushed aside, that they would run and laugh and play together and that we would have the privilege and joy at marveling at an all powerful God who is most certainly still in the business of redemption.

And given the miracles that have happened in these boys stories already? I’m believing that that just may happen. What a day that will be!

“With God there are no contingencies. The mighty charioteer of Providence has gathered up all the reins of all the horses, and He guides them all according to His infallible wisdom. There is a foreknowledge and predestination which concerneth all things, from the motion of a grain of dust on the threshing-floor to that of the flaming comet which blazes athwart the sky. Nothing can happen but what God ordains; and therefore, why should we fear?”
-Charles Spurgeon

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Worth So Much More.

It has been a difficult week, adoption wise. It seems like the difficult news keeps on coming.

We learned that we were not granted expedited citizenship for Baby D.

Our MP is willing to go back to Citizenship Canada for us to try again if we can find some medical records for Baby D to prove that his case should be rushed for medical reasons.

Unfortunately we know that to gain any information on Baby D is next to impossible as the government of his country prefers to withhold information until the family arrives for court.

So. We pray and pray and pray some more.

To us it looks impossible. But to God it is easy. So we have faith that it will be taken care of in due time.

We know that each day Baby D spends in his orphanage is one too many.

This was made even more clear to us this week as I spoke with a couple of adoptive mommas who adopted little boys out of Baby D’s very room.

We knew that it was a possibility, even probability, that our son would be given sedatives to keep him quiet and low maintenance.  That he would be neglected, and that he would be malnourished.

However, I think we both tried to push that thought from our minds. That if we didn’t know for sure it was happening, that it couldn’t be.

Not to our child.

But.

“Even with all its funding it [Baby D’s orphanage] still has a bad reputation for how it treats its children with special needs. Kids have come home with drug withdrawals and permanent damage from excessive meds [sedatives and anti-psychotics]…Prepare for the worst and then you can only be pleasantly surprised..”

“Yes he was malnourished and yes I believe he had withdrawals, we thought it was heart issues because he would sweat when eating and such but his heart turned out to be fine so knowing more what went on at his orphanage , yes I think he was suffering withdrawals.”

“It is easy but sad that he won’t cry in his bed for us ever. He could sit in his bed for the entire day and not make a peep if we didn’t keep checking on him to see if he is awake from nap or bed.”

“He did shake his head back and forth all the time in an alarming way… I was told it’s what they do to stimulate themselves while in their crib all day by themselves, head shaking and rocking..”

“The doctor believes that because he is not sure if he will be fed next, he will not stop eating and that it is typical orphanage behavior. It is so sad that he does not know to stop eating but will eat 2 days worth of food (learned this the hard way) and then throw it all up. He cries when I stop feeding him no matter how much I have given him but doesn’t know to stop when he is full..”

There is no way around it. It can no longer be pushed from our minds.

Our son is hungry.

Our son is lonely.

Our son is medicated.

People ask why we are adopting from such a far off place. This is why.

Kids are dying from pure neglect and abuse.

They are dying of starvation, of lack of medical intervention, of drugs to keep them quiet so that they shouldn’t be a bother.

This is why it matters that we get to Baby D quickly.

This is why we are sharing our story. Promoting auctions. Selling cookie dough.

Cause this guy?

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He deserves so much more.

Thank you for helping him get home.

Thank you for seeing his worth.

Thank you for giving of your time, talents and resources to take this boy from lost to loved.

We are blown away to be already hanging around the half way funded mark. However, we still have a long way to go.

If you feel led to help financially please check out our “How you can help” tab at the top of the page.  Our Facebook Auction continues until this evening at 8pm (Mountain Time).

Thank you for being a part of Baby D’s village.. He is not even going to know what has hit him when he arrives home to literally hundreds of people who loved him enough to stand up and shout that he is worthy of love and belonging.

 

 

 

 

Of Home Studies, Citizenship and Super Cute Babies

I read somewhere that cleaning the house with small children is akin to brushing your teeth while eating oreos.

I am here to report that that is indeed correct.

Baby D. I would like you to know that your mom is wiping walls and baseboards for you. And also picking for real oreo crumbs out of the carpet. This is what love looks like 😂

We have our first meeting with our social worker tomorrow. She will be visiting our home for the first of three interviews necessary to complete our home study. We chose to have an expedited home study. This means that instead of the three meetings being spread out over about three months, ours were planned to take place over four weeks.

Except, why do anything over four weeks that you can cram into ten days! Our social worker has been awesome and we have all three of our meetings scheduled in the next ten days.

Our home study should hopefully be approved 6-8 weeks after completion. Hopefully by mid August. Then the only document we will be waiting on is Baby D’s citizenship papers. These citizenship papers look to be the only thing holding us back from travelling as early as the end of September.

We have submitted a letter to Citizenship Canada, through our MP requesting expedited processing.  However, we just don’t know if they will accept our request.

Our MP is not hopeful. Our facilitator is hopeful. So we will see.

We know that at Baby D’s young age, every day that he is in his orphanage is detrimental to his health and development. So we are feeling a real urgency to get to him as soon as possible.

We believe that God can make that happen and are praying that the one who receives our letter would have a softened heart for Baby D and choose to grant him expedited citizenship.

Will you join us in prayer?

-For Citizenship Canada to grant us expedited citizenship for Baby D
-For a smooth home study process.
-For an updated picture.. this mama is dyinggggg to see a more recent picture of her boy!

Since we don’t have an updated one to share.. here is an old one! We don’t know Baby D’s birthday but we think he is around 4 months old in this picture ❤

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Introducing Baby D <3

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When I gave birth to my biological children I, like any new mom was instantly amazed at the little miracles that were placed on my chest. Cone heads, kind of squished, red and wrinkly, but never the less the most beautiful people I had ever seen in my life.

I could hardly wait to share with the world the arrival of Katie Grace and Ezra James.

And once again, I am so proud and excited to introduce to you another precious little baby. This is our soon to be son, Baby D.

His first picture shared with the world may not be in a hospital surrounded by his family.

He may not be tiny and fresh new born.

He doesn’t have his birth stats and details triumphantly displayed. We may never know them.

But.

He is so perfect.

And the pride and joy I feel in sharing his sweet face with the world is akin to the excitement of sharing my biological children for the first time.

Perfect chubby cheeks.

Thoughtful dark eyes.

Cute button nose.

A little whisp of dark hair peaking out from a little baby bonnet.

I’m quite convinced he is one of the three most perfect tiny humans I have ever set eyes on.

He is why we are doing what we are doing.

He is worth the hours of paperwork, fundraising, stress, and worry.

He is worthy of the love, joy, and family waiting for him.

He is chosen and deeply loved by a mighty God.

And soon, he will be carried down his orphanage steps and enter into a whole new world. A world in which he is treasured, celebrated, and cherished.

Just how it was always supposed to be ❤