Saturday, October 24, 2009

Home Study DONE!

My, oh, my it took an extra 6 weeks to get this done ... waiting on Iowa DCI (dept criminal invest) to show my (Mary's) record is "clear". This is the first time in 5 adoptions that we have had to have hard copy fingerprints done for each state we have lived in since we were 18 yrs old. Thank the Lord we have only lived in Maryland and Iowa! Mary's prints for Iowa came back "unreadable" after waiting 3 wks to hear from them. Then I had them redone .... and they were "unreadable" again! Geez. So then they had to request a clearance with just my name. This alone set us back 6 weeks!!! That really makes a difference when we're wanting to tack a mission's trip to the front of the adoption trip - take our teen girls and some others doing ministry work at Philip Hayden/Shepherd's Field before officially doing the adoption of Christina. We may not be able to do that now ..... but trust God for His timing and His direction.

So yesterday I picked up the original Home Studies (3 original copies). I was going to Fedex one of them with the I800 application. {This is the first time we have had to file an I800 - a brand new system was set up about 18mths ago by the Citizenship and Immigration Dept - new form (5 times longer) and longer wait times with triple extra steps and more red tape .... joy, oh joy!} Anyway, I called our adoption agency, CAWLI, and told her I was getting ready to send in all our paperwork for dossier and their records and I was sending off the I800. Thank you, Lord, for prompting my heart to call! She said I needed to send a "letter of approval" from CAWLI along with the I800 and the Home Study ...... basically saying that they reviewed the HS and it met all requirements. So I, instead, just sent all the paperwork to CAWLI - they will attach the letter and send the I800 off on Monday. CAWLI actually does all the certification and authentication for all their dossiers - NO ADDED FEE!!! Unbelievable!! This is the first time I haven't had the chasing paperwork blues with forms coming and going and sending and receiving and waiting and waiting!! Soooooo, while we wait the extra time for the I800 to do their new clearance work, CAWLI will do the cert/auth! Sweet!

We were able to pay the initial agency fees and the home study fees with the monies that came in from insurance from that sweet attic fire we had back in May. Then we had been saving monies in our "pickle jar" after that. I had to get a cashiers check to pay Immigration with the I800 application - $830. I went to the pickle jar and there was about $30 over the needed $830!! Praise God! The next day, or perhaps that afternoon, John opened another envelope from our insurance company ..... for the remaining electrically work and new light fixture .... about $356. Our social worker emailed me yesterday morning saying to release all the paperwork, she needed for us to "prepay" the agency for the postplacement evaluations that would not be done till Christina was home 6mths and 12mths. This was a requirement of our adoption agency assuring that we would DO the postplacements .... which we have done x4 with previous adoptions. So, the amount needed? $340 .... thank you again, dear Lord. We are keeping up with expenses so far.

And on top of all that, we also got some new pix of Christina! Is she a sweetie or what??? : ) A missions group is going to SF next week ..... lucky dogs! ..... so I sent off a package for them to take over for Christina's birthday. She will turn 10 on November 9th. We still can't tell her we are her "family" - we have to wait till time is closer to when we will travel! Shucks! But..... I did put a picture of our family in her card - just to let her know what her "sponsors" look like and tell her we love her. I told dear Dawn Choate to just whisper in her ear, "mama, baba!" I know she won't - she plays by the rules .... don't you, Dawn!?

Just wanted to let you know we are another step closer!!

The Vera Bradley purse giveaway is still in progress - there will be 15 purses given away!! Go to for your chance to win!! and help us get this sweet, sweet child home!!

In His strength and mercy alone,
MaryK <3

Thursday, October 1, 2009

New pictures!

Christina got to hold the ribbon at the ceremoney to open the new school.

I received a few new pictures of Christina today. A family was there just a few weeks ago and snuggled our girl! We getting close to having the Home study completed - then all the papers will head to our agency for certification/authentication while we submit immigration paperwork (I800). I've done all I can do, now it's just a waiting game for clearances to come in.