"" Life A Bit Sweeter: September 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Paper Pregnancy is Complete!

I can't believe I'm saying this.....The Paper Pregnancy Is Complete!!!!  The photos at the end of the video share what a paper pregnancy looks like.....3 sets of documents and this is still not all of the paperwork!  There was still a LOT of paperwork that we had to submit during/before the home study process also.  We still have a bit of work to do but check us out........

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Our I-171H Was Approved! LOL

Yep, so God definitely has a sense of humor but more importantly, His love for me is so EXTRAVAGANT!  Believe it or not, after learning yesterday's lesson of praising and magnifying God over my problem, something amazingly wonderful happened.  Out of the blue today, my phone rang at 12:10pm with UNKNOWN listed in the caller id.  I grabbed and lo and behold, it was the officer from USCIS who was reviewing our case!  She sweetly informed me that she had approved our I-171H!!!  She said she tried to send me a return email but it kept coming back to her as undeliverable.  huh?  Go figure!  I'm believing that God needed me to get yesterday's lesson.  Thank you God for helping to grow me up in my faith towards you!

So....she said the I-171H is in the mail.  Can't wait to see that baby in my mailbox!  woo hoo!

Next up on the list....waiting patiently for the passports to arrive for me and Tony.  We're getting close!!!

....but wait, this blog post wouldn't be complete without saying big thanks to my friend Rochelle who pushed me yesterday and made me do something that I was scared to do related to the adoption.  In fact, we both believed that unless I stepped out of my comfort zone and completed that task, God wouldn't move this mountain.  Guess what?  I stepped out of my comfort zone, completed the task, and the mountain was moved. 

Thanks to YOU too for continuing to follow us in this journey and encouraging us along the way.  You're simply the best!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Stop Comparing Your Journey!

I think God is in heaven scratching His head and wondering, when will this child of mine ever get the lesson??? Well.....maybe He's not actually scratching His head but He sure ought to!

No matter how many times I discover that our adoption process is not the same as anyone else, I seem to falter because I keep hitting that same rock. So...here's the deal. We went for fingerprinting appointments on September 3rd. Many couples whose blog or facebook status I have read or have talked to in the DC area, have received their clearance in about 9, 10, or 11 days of their appointment. So of course, I was banking that by September 13th or 14th, we'd surely have our clearance, right????? Wrong! We're at day 17. In fact, the postman just left our mailbox with the bills but no government notices. (laughing at myself)

In the past week, I've called the Immigration Office several times and sent a couple of e-mails as I was instructed.  All to receive no follow-up 'within 2 business days' as the initial operator told me. Not even a routine thank you for your e-mail. We are processing your application. This has frustrated me. It has angered me. It has caused me to worry that something is wrong with our clearance. Yep, I'll even admit it, this morning I cried as I wondered why does every step of our journey seem to be so much more difficult than other families. After I brushed myself off and dried the tears, I was able to gain better perspective in reading these words from the blog of We Are Grafted In as she shared the lesson she gleaned in waiting after observing the growth of the rose bushes in her home garden:

This past weekend the Husband and I worked for hours in our garden: pruning, weeding, even widening one of our flower beds. I spent quite some time puttering with my roses. We have several rose bushes, but the ones most people notice are the two largest. The first sits in the front yard, along the walkway leading to our front door. It blooms with gorgeous, fragrant red roses. The bush in our backyard next to the herb garden blooms with smaller, pale peach and less fragrant roses. 

While I worked with these two plants, I remembered something my friend Lizard once called to my attention.  If you look closely, you’ll see there exist less obvious differences between our two rose bushes. And, if you grab hold of a stem from each plant, you will learn of their differences painfully.
Our red rose bush sports the most wicked thorns I’ve ever personally handled. Our peach rose bush? It hardly contains any thorns at all. I can cut this bush back without even bothering to wear gardening gloves. 

Lizard, a former florist, once told me that you can predict how large the blooms will be by looking at the thorns . . . the larger the thorns, the larger the roses.

The larger the thorns, the larger the roses.

The larger the bumps in the road, the larger the blessings.

Wow, Selah.  I must believe that your life story and ours is going to be one beautiful rose bush when God is finished with us!

As for me:  God, I trust you.  I have seen how you have delivered every single paper in this process.  I have seen your faithfulness throughout my life.  I believe You are for me, my family, and Selah.  I believe that Your Will will come to pass.  I believe that you have called me worthy to walk in this process.  I believe that You are in control and that you have set everything in order and in Your timing.  I believe that You can move mountains.  I believe that You are building our testimony as You have written so many beautiful chapters in our life story already.  I believe that this entire thing is more about You than it is about me so please decrease my will so that Your Will will be magnified and accepted in my heart. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Certified in Annapolis!

You would think since I'm a native Washingtonian that I would have seen all of the sights, right????  WRONG!  Yet again, this adoption process has exposed me to so much rich United States all in my backyard.  The other week, I shared photos of Tony and I hanging out in Baltimore to get our fingerprinting processed through the FBI (biometrics).  Well yesterday, I had tons of fun all by myself hanging out at the State House in Annapolis, MD.  It was a bit of a pass through to getting to the Secretary of State's office but it was really neat!  I took a few pictures and took in the beauty of this amazing building.   As I have now learned, the State House in Annapolis is the oldest state capitol still in continuous legislative use and is the only state house to have ever served as the nation's capitol.  Check out me and George....

Once I arrived at the Secretary of State's office, my paperwork was processed pretty quickly and it was a wrap!  Well...almost a wrap!  Historic Annapolis is so beautiful that I took a little time taking in the sites and because Annapolis is about 20 minutes from my house, I'm very familiar with the shopping!  smile.  I ventured over to my favorite clothing store (Paradigm) but you'd be proud.  I didn't buy a thing....but it was hard! 

So all that to say.....we're two steps closer to wrapping up the paperchase!  The Secretary of State's office certified our Power of Attorney and Dossier Cover Sheet forms!  woo hoo!  Now, we're waiting for our passports and I-171H form.  After that, it's all saving and fundraising to get to our $7700 to submit our dossier.  Gotta love progress!

Monday, September 13, 2010

I'll Be Back!!!

I am trying to stay on top of the kid's homework since school has started and am working hard to finish up the last of our documents.  I'll be back real soon so don't desert me!  Lots of good things happening!!!

In the meantime, have you seen these videos???

Chasing After Love:  Wes & Nina

Knowing No Bounds: Adam & Christie

Monday, September 6, 2010

Yep, Loved This Family's Gotcha Video!

It's videos like this that give the paperchasing and waiting periods so much hope.  I honestly didn't want this video to end.  Enjoy...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Simplifying for Selah: Time Management

I really get the fact that God doesn't bless us for His Glory until we are ready and prepared to receive it.  Think about it...as much as you want to give great gifts to your children, would you trust a treasured family heirloom to your child until he/she was prepared to handle it and take care of it?  I think this is so as we prepare to bring Selah home.  She is one of God's treasures.  He values her life so much that He wants to make sure we are ready and equipped before He blesses us with bringing her home .  While He is moving mountains and opening doors on our behalf in this adoption journey, I believe we have some work to do to make things a little easier around here so that whatever comes our way, we're in a better position to handle it.

In this series of blog posts entitled "Simplifying for Selah", I'll share how I'm working to make things 'simpler' so that when she arrives, we can deal with whatever challenges come with expanding our family.  One of the things that is crucial before Selah comes home with us is for me to simplify things quite a bit between home and work (the two places where I spend the bulk of my time).  I'm an organizer and time-manager by trade but even I need to call in the "Big Dogs" as I get ready to prepare our home for her.  With that said, I've registered for Aby Garvey's "It's About Time Workshop".  I'd love for you to join me in this online class if time management would be helpful for you.  I've taken one of Aby's other courses online before (Paper Clutter) and she is FANTASTIC!  Guess, what?  I took advantage of the early bird deal so the class is $60 but that early bird special ends today.  I've attached the syllabus below so check it out and let me know if you're thinking about being one of my classmates.  (Click here to check out Aby's company called Simplify 101 for other great organizing tidbits.)

If Time Management is not an area where you need improvement, tell us......what breakthrough are you waiting for by faith and what are you doing to posture yourself so that you are ready to receive the blessing?  Can't wait to hear!

Friday, September 3, 2010

FBI Has My Prints!

Today was a fabulous day in Baltimore!  Tony and I proudly headed over to the Immigration office to submit our fingerprints to the FBI for review.  The process was pretty quick....our appointments were at 11am and 12pm but they took both of us at 11am.  We were out the door in less than 25 minutes!  Since we finished so early, we decided to hang out at the Inner Harbor, enjoy the sights and a beautiful lighthouse.  Of course we capped it with a little lunch.  I slept all the way back home and am now sitting sharing my experience with you.  Maybe, just maybe, our passports and our I-171H will arrive at the same time.  A girl can wish, right?  Have a wonderful Friday!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Our Fundraiser Committee Is Workin' It!

Today, I had the opportunity to meet with our AMAZING fundraising crew!  For now, I'll call them "Team Selah"!  Team Selah consists of a group of my friends who have agreed to give of their time to help us focus on our big rocks in raising the funds necessary to bring Selah home.  We have great chemistry in feeding off one another and they are a group where we can be brutally honest one another BUT it is always wrapped in lots of love and laughter.  They really are like family to me.  As I began typing this, I thought....awww man....wish I had taken a picture....but then....guess I'll leave them as a mystery for now but trust me when I say they're amazing!

So today, we put together a great batch of fundraiser events and earmarked some dates too make that happen.  First on the list....the YARD SALE!  To get that going, I just sent out our first Facebook flyer to request donations....let's see how that goes!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wow! So much progress on this side of town!

I tell you!  The McKinney Family is movin' and shakin'!  (smile)  As I shared on Monday, I got myself together and we knocked out a substantial amount of items.  Yippee!!!  Here's what we did:

  • Applied for passports
  • Received 2 remaining reference letters
  • Finished our application letter that goes to Ethiopia introducing our family
  • Created our family photo pages (total of 8 photos)
  • Notarized documents
So here's what's left:
  • Amend our application letter...I made a slight error on it. 
  • Go to biometrics (fingerprinting) appointment this Friday
  • Wait for our passports to arrive
  • Once passports arrive, have our power of attorney and dossier cover sheets notarized on the county level and then on the state level
  • Wait for the I-171H to arrive approving us to bring an orphan to the USA
  • Fundraisers!  Fundraisers!  Fundraisers!  Raise $7700 to send our dossier to Ethiopia!
Hey, hey baby girl!  Mommy and Daddy are getting closer!

Popular Posts