This is my very first blog post and I don't know where to start!! I guess I should've started one sooner, but better now than never ;) Well....as many of you know and if you don't you will now, Chuck and I felt the call to adopt in early 2008. Both of us were thinking and praying about it, but didn't tell each other right away, but when we did we were both sure that this is what God wanted us to do. After a couple of years of talking and praying about it, we felt like the time was right in early 2010 to take a step of faith and fill out an application! In February 2010 We heard about a hosting program through some friends. We contacted the agency and attended a informational meeting in March 2010. On March 26, 2010 we filled out an official application for Holston Home for Children. This was a huge leap of faith for us because we were going into this with no money for the adoption, but God told us to do this and He will always make a way for His will to be complete. On April 14, 2010 we had our first official home visit and it went really well. In May we received some profiles of waiting children who were available for the hosting program. All of the children were in the 10-15 year old age range and we spent a lot of time praying about the possibility of adopting a child within this age range. Chuck and I had many talks about it and we also talked with our boys about the possibility of having a older sister around 12 years old. We wanted to know how our oldest son Zach would feel about this and how he would feel about not being the oldest sibling anymore. He right away said he wanted an older sister and he would be fine still being the oldest brother :) We waited awhile before we made any decisions because we wanted to give it time to sink in to him and the other boys. I started reading some books on adoption and adoption of older children and God was definitely telling my heart to adopt an older child. (Did you know that once a child turns age 5, their chances of getting adopted is only 5%). This really spoke to my heart and we decided we would do this. If God is telling us to do this we know He will make a way and He will be there with us through the whole journey. In the meantime, the hosting program was cancelled due to lack of participation from families and we found out the little girl we had been so interested in had been placed with another agency. We contacted that agency and it just didn't work out that we could adopt her. This was a tough time, because we had prayed so much about it and felt like it was what we were supposed to do, but now looking back I know God was preparing our hearts for someone different. He opened our hearts to an older child and on August 24, 2010 I was looking through a list of "special home finding" children from the Philippines and came across some information about a little 11-year-old girl. I put in a request to the agency and a very nice lady at that agency sent me some more information about the little girl who is now 12. I showed Chuck the information about her and her picture and he "that's her". So I contacted our agency and on August 30, 2010 we received word from ICAB (Inter-country Adoption Board in the Philippines) that she was still available for adoption. On September 9, 2010 we received an email stating the our family looked like a good "match" for this little girl. We then started working diligently on completing our home study and dossier. We had a time getting our psychological evaluations completed, but finally we got those completed!! Our home study was officially final on November 9, 2010 and we sent out our dossier. We got work that our dossier arrived at ICAB on November 18, 2010. We sent off our I-800A application to USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) on November 15, 2010 only to find out on November 20th that I had left out a page in the packet!!!!!! WHAT!!! I looked that thing over 20 times before I sent it, and the page I inadvertently left out didn't pertain to us anyway, but I learned the packet is counted by an automated system and if a page is missing, it automatically throws it out! So......I printed off the BLANK page and inserted it into the packet and FedEx'd it off to Texas AGAIN!! It arrived on November 24, 2010 and we are awaiting word from them. Crossing my fingers I did it right this time!
So....now we just sit waiting to hear from ICAB about our dossier and from USCIS about our I-800A form. And as always praying that God's will be done!!