Sunday, October 26, 2008

Application Information

What exactly is involved in an adoption application?  
All adoptions agencies probably require different forms, documents...  I can only specifically speak on what Gladney requires and has taken us a month to complete.  First is the 8 page application.  This includes general family information (education, jobs, finances).  Then there are a few pages of international adoption risks and a couple pages accepting those risks.  We needed to notarize a several page agreement with Gladney,  Then there is a plan agreement (basically listing those within the agency who would be working with us).  There was another page listing our child preference (gender, age, and any health concerns).  We are not done yet.  We also needed to give directions to our home for the home study.  We hope we hear very soon about when this will happen.  The North Carolina Gladney social worker lives here in Greenville.  She will come to our home and talk to us and our children.  She will then compile a very important component to our application and what will eventually go to Ethiopia.
We also sent in copies of our birth certificates (for all 4 of us) as well as a copy of our marriage license.  Since I am not employed outside the home Kellar and I designed letterhead for me to use in writing a letter stating I am at home to care for our children.  Kellar needed to obtain a letter from his board of directors stating he is employed as a campus minister.  To go along with this we sent a copy of his ordination certificate.  We are still not done yet.  
Each of us needed to see the doctor and the doctor needed to fill out appropriate forms.  Now our agency gave us a heads up and suggested for the doctor to also sign and have notarized the form to be included in the dossier (big word sounds like doss e ay).  This is the packet of very important documents to go to Ethiopia.  For anyone reading this who may one day adopt internationally, patience as a patient is important.  In both mine and Kellar's cases the forms have had to be redone (a couple times).  I think we may have it correctly now.  No wait just last night we read ahead in our dossier information that all documents need to have our name as it appears on our passports.  My middle name is missing on my doctor dossier document (oops we may need to redue a third time - they know me by name when  I walk in).  But I hear the secretary at Kellar's office runs the other way when he walks in.
Well back to our application, we also need to send proof of health insurance.  This also has caused some headache as they say they are unable to notarize documents.  This needs to not only go to our agency but also in our dossier (therefore it must be notarized).  Hopefully we receive this form sometime soon so we can mail it to Gladney.
I also needed to go to our sheriff's office and have a background check done on us and the have it notarized.  We are still in the process of gathering 10-12 pictures of our family and home to be sent to our agency and Ethiopia.  Lastly we asked 4 very kind people to say kind things about us in reference letters.  Now if we lived in Texas we would also have needed to included pet vaccinations and a sketch of our home.
Wow, what a list.  Now at the same time we were working on our CIS forms.  A basic 2 page application copies of our birth certificates and marriage license.  We have received word from then and we will be fingerprinted in Durham, NC on November 5th at 8:30am.  
If any of you wish to find out more about Gladney's Ethiopia program please check out the website at click on the looking to adopt picture and then the international picture.  

Friday, October 17, 2008

Our journey begins

This year has been amazing.  Kellar and I along with Ashleigh and Elijah have begun a journey to our son/ brother in Ethiopia.  After having our two beautiful children God has laid on our hearts international adoption.  Before our pregnancy with Ashleigh, Kellar and I had talked about one day adopting.  FYI: I read a statistic that says only 4% of those who talk about adopting actually pursue it.  Well that day has arrived.
Let me take you back to March.  God began speaking to Kellar's heart about international adoption.  After prayer, Kellar came to me (fully aware I desired to have more children).  He put forth the idea of having another child that was not birthed by me as well as being from another country.  Wow, my heart leaped.  Then we spent some time in prayer.
For our 14th anniversary we went to a Steven Curtis Chapman concert.  For those of you who are unfamiliar, SCC and his wife have adopted three little girls from China and they have also started an adoption ministry.  At the concert he expressed his love for his girls in his hit song "Cinderella."  We left the concert with God once again tugging our heart strings and felt He was leading us to also adopt from China.  After some online research China was not an option for us.
Then while we on our month long sabbatical God showed us 8 different families (many friends we visited) who had adopted, were in the process, or were also praying about it.  God showed us a beautiful picture of interracial adoption.  When we arrived back in Greenville, I contacted several adoption agencies, asked questions, and prayed.  Kellar's heart was still in China and mine had found the beautiful children in Africa.  In August, God showed us the need for forever families in Ethiopia.
Please join us in prayer for the people of Ethiopia and our little boy.  Our little boy has already been born as we have requested a boy between the ages of 24-40 months old.