Friday, January 21, 2011

Roller-coaster


I'll never forget my first roller-coaster! In 6th grade, my best friend (Andrea) and I went to World's of Fun. I had never been and she convinced me that riding the Orient Express would be "Awesome." I attempted many times to escape out the chicken exit but it just never worked out. I was excited and nervous at the same time. It was finally our turn to climb into the car and off we went- climbing the first very steep hill and then it STOPPED. They were adding a 2nd car to the tracks which meant ours was stuck half-way up the first hill. All my nervous excitement made me antsy, this thing couldn't get going quick enough!

This is how we feel right now. About a month ago, our lawyer sent us a picture of twins only to find out a couple days later that another family was pursuing them and they were much further along in the process. We moved on but told her if anything changed regarding these twins to let us know. We committed to pray for the children and the family who was pursuing them. A few days ago, we received an email from our lawyer that the family decided not to pursue these twins! The boy has some health concerns and after the family had a consult with an International Adoption Physician, they decided it may be more than they can take on as they're also working on an adoption in a 2nd country!

I remembered seeing something mentioned in an online group about the boys health problem, it sounded familiar and I wondered if it could be...I emailed the family to find out and YES! She had all of the medical records from Uganda and was more than happy to talk to us about their consult. They had been praying another family would pursue the twins but did not expect anything would happen this quickly. We shared a laugh, we never expected to be contacted again about these twins!!

I feel like that anxious middle schooler on the roller-coaster again because when I resubmitted my fingerprints, I just had that feeling of ok, well it's a delay, it's going to take us a long time to find kids anyway. And NOW...this process can't move fast enough!! We have friends (the Turners) who leave on Monday to pick up their 2 children from Uganda, they're taking some cloths and toys for us and are going to try at some point to take the boy to the Dr. for some blood tests to see if we can find out more. Another reminder that God's timing is Supreme; the day after we received all the medical information, Dr. Scott stopped by the church and Wes asked him to look at the information. He told him what recommended tests (from the consult) we should have them do in Uganda and what to wait on.

Thanks to all our family and friends for your support and prayers!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fingerprinting Round 2 & Chicken Fighting

I called yesterday to find out why my husband received his Criminal History clearance & I haven't! Mine were labeled as "Unclassifiable" in their system. I was told, it could be that some information was left off of the forms or it could be the prints were smeared. considering I filled out all of the information for both of us, I guessed it was my fingerprints. When they were taken the first time, the lady taking them was a little frustrated with me because my prints weren't going on the way she wanted them too. At the end, she said my fingers were just really oily! Mental note: don't use lotion the day you have to be fingerprinted (with ink)! I'm told the Biometric (electronic scan) is exactly the opposite, you don't want your fingers to be dry.

So frustrating, this means about another month of waiting until our Homestudy can be submitted to the state for approval, then submit it to USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). Trying to remember that God's timing is perfect and ordained for his purposes.

It's hard to wait, so in the mean time, I hope you can enjoy this video that my dear sweet husband took. I don't think it's THAT funny but people who have seen it tell me it made them laugh. I don't think I'm very funny (wish I was) so really, please laugh at my expense! :)

"My Wife the Chicken Fighter"

Monday, January 10, 2011

Criminal History Check

We received a letter from the State of Alabama Department of Human Resources that Wes "meets the suitability criteria" (ie. ok to adopt). We're still waiting on my approval! My favorite part of the letter says that your "RAP sheet" is on file! HA!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

"God Grew Tired of Us"


Last night I watched the movie "God Grew Tired of Us." I had seen a preview for it several years ago but was never able to find it. I finally found it on Netflix and it came in the mail yesterday. It's a documentary about the "Lost Boys" of Southern Sudan who fled their country and at the ages of 3-13, walked 1,000 miles over the course of a year to find refuge in Ethiopia for a couple months and then in Kakuma, Kenya for over a decade.

In 1987 the government announced they would kill all men in southern Sudan, regardless of age. There's more than 27,000 "Lost Boys" who likely survived the attacks on their villages because they were away tending herds or escaped into the jungles.

The movie starts with you meeting several young men in the Refugee camp in Kakuma, you get to see what their life is like: limited food, no electricity, friendship and family are highly valued. About 3800 of the refugees are preparing for a new life in America. They've been accepted as a part of a refugee resettlement program. Before they leave, they are all gathered together talking and joking. One of them says he will go to America and his belly will get big! Despite their excitement for a new chance at life, they are sad to leave their "family." About 90 boys are on the plane that this camera crew follows and they did a great job of documenting so many firsts! First time on a plane (obviously), they have to show them how to lock the bathroom door, their first meal on the plane, you see one young man eat a piece of butter & he says it "does not taste good, it tastes like soap!" Once they get off the plane in New York, you see them learn and stumble as they get onto escalators and experience the motion censored water and paper towel dispensers in the bathroom. Then we see them in their apartments, a man teaches them how to use a trash can..."Don't throw it out the window", how to use the toilet & shower, refrigerators and probably what we most take for granted, ELECTRICITY! Back at the Refugee camp, they had asked the camera crew about water, "do we have to go get water from a well?" and "electricity seems to difficult for me, I do not think I will use it"

A couple months after their arrival, their work visas are approved for them to begin working. A volunteer drives 2 of the young men to work, at a factory. They are dropped off at 5am but the factory doors don't open until 7am! You also begin to recognize some of our American insecurities. We are such an independent people group. In Africa, they do so much together and the boys have to be talked to about not entering stores and other places in large numbers, it's making the people nervous.

This was a great movie/documentary. I laughed, I cried, I tried to look at our American ways (they are so easy) through the eyes of someone who has had nothing. We have such an abundance!! I also appreciated that the movie also showed how selfless this people group is. These young men worked 2 or 3 jobs in order to send money not only to their families but to their friends in the refugee camp! Perhaps we should learn more from them and how they care for their own people.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Certified Certificats

I can't believe it's 2011 already! I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays. We spent Christmas in Kansas City and enjoyed being with family and friends! While we were in Kansas City, I wanted to try to go get Certified copies of my Birth Certificate and Marriage Certificate to save on postage and shipping costs. I thought I would only be able to walk in to get our Marriage Certificate but found out my dad was able to walk in to get his Birth Certificate. We drove over to the Department of Health and Senior Services to see if we could get the Birth Certificate. We were warned that there may be a long line but I guess with it being 2 days before Christmas, there was no line at all! The woman behind the counter was friendly and helpful and it took us maybe a total of 10 min. We told her we wanted to adopt twins from Uganda and she was just so happy for us, it was sweet!

Next we drove down to the County Court House for the Marriage Certificate. When we walked in, we had to have our bags screened and go through a metal detector. Once we passed, security said "Marriage Licenses that way" and pointed us in the right direction. Kind of funny when they can pin point where you're headed. I guess they assume a happy couple walking into the court house is probably not going to court! We weren't sure how we would be received at the "Recorder of Deeds" desk, when we got our marriage license, they were not so friendly. Only one couple was in front of us and they were finishing up. The woman who helped us was very nice and friendly (personally, I don't think they can resist Wes' friendly smile). She had to get another woman to notarize the certificate and she was on her lunch break-at her desk. She gave us a little big of a hard time, jokingly, but the first woman convinced her it was for a "good cause" so she came over and notarized the certificates.

The Details:
  • We got 2 Certified copies of our Birth & Marriage Certificates. As far as we know, we'll only have to turn in 1 of each to our lawyer for court but we'll have 1 extra if needed. In most cases, a notarized copy is also accepted.
  • VitalCheck works with with many government agencies. You can order your certificates online but you'll pay a processing fee and shipping which could add an additional $20+ onto your cost. Not all states/counties/cities contract with sites like VitalCheck. After much research, I found 1 place where it mentioned that Missouri contracts with them for birth certificates but not Marriage. If for any reason our certificates were questioned in Uganda, the state will not confirm that they are certified copies.