We have been overwhelmed by the support and encouragement from friends and family as they have joined us in celebrating our good news! The kids got to share in the excitement as they went back to school this week - getting to tell their friends and teachers about our new additions. Everyone seemingly has the same response - CONGRATULATIONS - NOW WHAT?! What's next?? Well - we don't know a lot but I'll try and walk you through what we do know.
We DO know that we will be MEETING the kids in THIRTEEN days!!!! Josh and I will be flying down and spending a few days loving on our new little ones. The days will consist of some meetings - with therapists, case workers, school teachers, etc. But that time is also going to be filled with TIME - time with our kids just soaking them in and beginning to form a bond with them. We understand that this transition is going to be difficult for them, and we want to earn their trust at their pace and help and support them during this time best we can.
We DO know that our paperwork was submitted to their state office the week of Christmas. It has to get through their office and then through the Idaho state office. This paperwork will give us permission to bring the kids out of the state they are in, and allow them to be placed in Idaho. We anticipated this stage taking a couple of months. Well - we got an email last week that said it usually only takes about a MONTH! We were surprised and felt like everything was going quickly! We will continue to pray that everything goes through smoothly and that God's timing will be perfect!
We DO know that once we have our paperwork completed for our state approval, we cannot bring the kids home until our agency has ALL of the necessary documents they need. Luckily, the kids' caseworkers have the list - several of the things are already in place, and they are working on gathering the rest of the items. Our case worker said that there is often a piece or two of paperwork that isn't quite in place when state approval comes through, which ends up delaying bringing the kids home. Please pray with us that ALL the documents that our agency requires will be gathered in the next couple weeks so that we can bring the kids home as soon as we get state approval.
We DO know that the kids DON'T know about us yet! We found out we were their family two and a half weeks ago. Unfortunately with the holidays the last couple of weeks, many of the offices have been closed and people were on vacation. The kids were also out of town for a while celebrating Christmas with their foster family. We are hopeful that they will find out in the next couple of days. We know that they will need some time to find out about us (they will be using our photo book to get to know the kids and our family) and process the change that will be coming. Please pray with us for their hearts as they find out that their whole world will be changing. Please pray as the people in their lives will be working on preparing them to meet us in a couple of weeks.
We DO know a TON of information about the kids! We have been blessed with some email communication with the foster family and they have been WONDERFUL about answering questions about the kids. From everything to what size clothes are they in - to their favorite colors - to what kind of hair products do they use. They have been great! We even had a nice long phone call where little "T" walked in to ask her foster mom something and I got to hear her sweet voice. I may be biased but she has the cutest little voice EVER!
We DON'T know for sure when we will get to bring the kids home. We anticipate it being approx 4-6 weeks from now. We also have dealt a LOT in adoption paperwork over the last several years and we know it often doesn't come early or on time - but usually LATER than anticipated! We are hopeful to have the kids home around mid-February, but realize that it very well could be end of February or early March or mid-March. Anyone who knows me as the planner-TypeA person that I am - you know that I don't do well with vague. Unfortunately, when dealing with paperwork you deal in vague and you expect delays. We know that it will happen in God's timing and pray for His guidance and peace until then. We know that the transition will be hard for everyone involved so we are spending our time preparing for the difficult few months ahead.
We DO know that GOD loves us and orchestrated our family for this journey! During the first adoption when people would ask me "Why Ethiopia?" my response was simple "Because that is where my kids are - if they were in a different country that's where we would go." Ethiopia did not bring about what we expected - but it brought exactly what God expected and I am SO thankful for that! This time we felt led to stay in the States and people once again asked why not Ethiopia or some other country. In my heart it was an easy answer - this is where my kids are! We have felt God already leading this matching to our kids and are excited to watch Him work it all out.
** Please continue to pray for our family - for our kids here and there who will be coming together soon! Pray for our adopted children as all of this may bring up emotions of their own adoption. Pray for our younger kids as they learn to not be the babies of the family anymore, and they have to learn to share the attention that comes with being the youngest. Pray for us, as parents, that we would be mindful of all of our kids and their needs and have insight in how to spread our love and attention to each one of our kids exactly how they need it. Pray for our family - that we would continue to trust God's plan and journey for our future.
We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands.
~ Kristi Larson ~
~ Kristi Larson ~
Not flesh of my flesh, Nor bone of my bone, But still miraculously my own. Never forget for a single minute, You didn't grow under my heart - but in it!
~ Fleur Conkling Heylinger ~