I have decided it long past time to change my blog address, since this address misrepresents the number of children I have. If you would like to continue to follow, you may do so at http://bledsoeadventures.blogspot.com/ . I will leave this blog up for a little while, but I will no longer be posting at this address. I have transferred all the old posts from this blog to the new one, so it's all the greatness of the old blog with a new and improved address.
The posts from Holt's blog are often moving to me, but I am especially moved by the posts from the Waiting Child staff. Maybe because both of our girls were waiting children. Everytime I read about a featured child, I want so desperatly to find that child a home. How many times I have heard people say how wonderful they think adoption is, or how they'd "really like to do that "someday". I wonder if maybe you're reading this blog, and thinking that very thing. I think that is great. However, there are children around the world and right here in the USA waiting for "someday". I was moved today by the story of a 13 year old girl from China. If a family does not come forward to adopt her very soon, she may never have her "someday". She will age out of the adoption system at age 14. I hope you will take the time to read her story (click on the link below) and pass it along to any friends who have talked about adopting an older child "someday".
We received word today that our dossier has been approved by CARA, and the NOC has been issued! Thank you for all that prayed this week for our adoption progress. We are now one step closer to briniging our little girl home. I am over the moon today.
The next step is for our case to go to court. Please pray for a quick court process. Once the courts grant us guardianship, we can travel!!! We are getting close.
Tonight I am writing to ask you all to please pray for progress in our adoption process. I have attempted to be patient these long 9 months, but I must admit, I am very weary of this wait. I am so ready to meet and hold and love on my little girl. And to see her playing and laughing with her brothers and sister.
We have hit a small road block in the process. About a month ago, the suitability of our family was called into question. This is primarily due to the size of our family, and I am told it is fairly common for this to happen to large families. We had to send in extra documentation and explanation as to why we are a good family for Vishakha. We are still waiting to hear that we've been approved, and that our NOC (non-objection certificate) has been issued. Once we have that NOC, our case can be submitted to the courts, so we can be granted guardianship. Then we can travel to India and bring Vishakha home.
The courts in India have been shut down for the past several weeks for the summer recess, but they will reopen on June 6th. My hope is that we will have our approval prior to the courts reopenning to avoid any additional delay in our case.
Would you please pray with me that the people examining our documents will recognize how much we love Vishakha, that they would agree that we will be an excellent family for her, and that the NOC will be issued.
This year we spent Easter with Ken's family in St. Louis. We attended a very interesting Easter eve service. The church was narrowly missed the night before by the same tornado that hit the St. Louis airport, and the power was out. They had several generators running minimal lights and sound equipment. It was very humid inside, but there were still many families there to celebrate our risen savior. I actually missed most of the service, because Eliza was running around, getting overheated, and eventually puking all over the carpet in a dimly lit hallway. (Every bit as much fun as it sounds).
Easter morning, we had yummies from the local Korean bakery, followed by smiling children eating WAY too much candy. Then we were off to spend the day at Grandma Bev's family's winery. The kids had a blast exploring the 60 acre farm, feeding horses, egg hunting, and eating lots of yummy food. It was so much fun!
Part girly-girl, part battle-ready warrior. Her favorite color is pink, and her toy of choice today is a sword and shield. This is what happens when you put one little girl in a house full of rowdy boys.
Happy Birthday to my sweet Vishakha. Even though she's half a world away, we celebrate her, because we are her family, and that's what families do. Since Ken is working tonight, we actually celebrated last night (which was today in India, so it totally counts). We had chocolate cake and the boys all wished for V to come home soon before blowing out all the candles. Then we watched videos of V that my friend took at BSSK this week (she was there picking up her son, yay). The only thing missing was the birthday girl.
For those of you who don't know, Third Day (just about the most awesome band ever) is promoting adoption. You can read about it on their website. They are also compiling photos of adopted kids/families in order to make a slideshow to play during their concerts. So here is Miss Eliza's "Adopted" photo submission. So who wants to go see a Third Day concert?
My bloggy friend just sent me a link to a hotel blog from Pune, India. They had a Diwali celebration for all the kids at institution where Vishakha lives. Click HERE to read their blog post about the celebration & see pictures.
PS: our sweet girl is in the 2nd photo. She's in the front row wearing the red and white outfit.
Today, finally, our dossier and acceptance paperwork is on it's way to India! YIPPPEEE!
There is still much more to be done before we get to bring our sweet girl home. Our docs must now be processed, scrutinized and reviewed by the gov't and courts in India, but today I celebrate progress and the fact that we are one step closer to bringing Vishakha home.
A quick update on Vishakha: Her recent progress reports are good. She is still very small (she's almost 6 but closer to the size of a 4 year old), but she's growing and healthy, and continues to make good progress with her speech and physical therapies. She is going to English school, and getting good grades. I have even been able to find a few of the US families who are adopting her good friends at the orphanage, so maybe they can be penpals once they all get to the US. How awesome is that!
Recently we had a perfect day of snowy fun. Lots of snow, and not too cold. It has since then gotten WAY too cold, but we had one great day of winter wonderland fun. Notice there is no sled at the end of the video. Phillip actually popped the sled trying to jump it off the concrete wall. Thankfully he wasn't hurt. After that they decided they didn't need a sled anyway. They could just dive down the hill on their bellies.
I so admire the beautiful life lived by Mother Teresa. I know we can all learn many lessons from her life of faith, love and service to the poor. I came across this quote from her and thought it was worthy of sharing.
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway
I have been married to my wonderful husband Ken for 16 years. We are abundantly blessed to have 4 awesome boys, a very busy 3 year old daughter from Korea, and another beautiful daughter (age 6) from India. I am passionate about Jesus, family and adoption.
Amazima Ministries: Helping the children of Uganda
Eliza's Adoption Timeline
11/06 - God is calling us to adopt
9/29/08 - Apply to Korea Program
1/7/09 - Homestudy to Korea (HSTK)
5/6/09 - REFERRAL!!!!!!!!!!
8/19/09 - TRAVEL CALL!!!
8/27/09 - We leave for Korea
8/31/09 - We meet Eliza
9/3/09 - GOTCHA DAY!!!
9/4/09 - We are home with our family of 7
5/4/10 - FINALIZATION!!!
Vishakha's Adoption Timeline
7/26/10 - Requested file for Vishakha in India
8/19/10 - Selected at committee
11/18/10 - Dossier & Acceptance to Holt
11/18/10 - File I-800a
12/28/10 - USCIS Fingerprinting
3/4/11 - I800 approval
3/17/11 - Article 5 issued
waiting for NOC and guardianship