Sunday, May 16

graduation weekend...

On Wednesday I turned in my last paper and went to my last class!  I had THE biggest grin on my face as I walked to my car.  
It feels wonderful to be finished, although I loved the opportunity to continue learning and hopefully become a better teacher for my students.  I also think this program opened my eyes to the uniqueness of different cultures and the importance of celebrating those differences.  I am excited to learn about the Ethiopian culture and make that culture part of our family.  Although I have a lot of fears and insecurities at the same time.  One day at a time.... right?

The weekend was filled with fun times with family and friends.  Friday night we spent some time with Evan's extended family to celebrate another graduation from Mason.  It was great to catch up with family we don't see very often and also share about our adoption.  I also left feeling a sense of conviction to do a better job staying of staying in touch with these family members that are soo close.

Saturday I actually woke up feeling excited about graduating... not expected.  It was such a wonderful day!  I mean who wouldn't have a great day when you get to wear garb like this!
After the ceremony we had a few people back over to my folks house.  For some reason I felt overwhelming blessed by friends and family.... by their generosity, thoughtfulness, and love.  I tried to explain to Evan how I felt, but the only way I could describe it was... blessed, so blessed.  Of course my thoughts turned to our little boy and I began to pray that he will feel just as loved and blessed (always :) ) like I did that day.  Then I thought of the baby toy, adoption picture book, and generous donation we recieved... and smiled because he already is sooo loved!
 This was a gift from Evan's grandmother.  I'm not the biggest fan of trinkets, but for some 
reason I think these are so special.

I think this officially our first baby gift... besides the bassinet my mom already bought. :) It is so soft!  I don't know if I have wrapped my head around the idea that it is for our little boy and not a shower gift.  How cute is he!!

A couple weeks ago Grace told me she had found some really sweet picture books on adoption.  She was so sweet to give us one!  I love it already!!

Thank you all for making my graduation so special!  In so many ways I felt the tangible love of God!

a little bit later...
I got this from a little Cassada friend...  It sits on my bedside table and I smile every time I see it because I can tangibly see God's answer to his Word...
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us... Eph. 3:20

Saturday, May 8

A blessed day!

Today we got to help the Cassada's their garage sale.  They have four children and are adoption two more from Rwanda.  
Courtney organized this huge garage sale!  People donated all kinds of items that were used in this garage sale.  It was unbelievable!!  The rain stayed away and people were there ALL day!

I found some great finds for our little boy!  SUPER excited about these...
It was a great day in soo many ways.  The highlight undoubtedly was the total amount they made... $4000!!  I didn't add an extra zero on mistake!  That was their total!  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine...

Friday, May 7

Completed Home Study

Today we received our completed home study!!  We thought it would be about two weeks and we got it today!! I really wanted a picture of us with the completed paper work.  I had to kind of coax Evan into it.  After I compared it to sonogram pictures he was more willing.  Sooo I held him to that and took several more...

 Evan had picked up a money order on his way home so we were off to FedEx our package to USCIS. Here is Evan filling out the FedEx package label.

Our package is all ready to go!
And of course we needed a picture with our package.  The FedEx guy was super nice and helped us out.

Now we have to work on the final pieces for our dossier!  My birth certificate, marriage license, notarized references (x3), a photo story about us and I think that may be it.  Oh we do have to finish our Hague training and catch up on our reading...  we have some time 45-60 days.  :)

Thursday, May 6

Last night we had our final home study meeting.  It was a sweet time with our Ms. H.  We were able to share with her the many ways the Lord had provided for us just in the last several days!  

She was tired, a good tired, she said because she was helping her daughter who had just had a baby.  This is Ms. H's 8th grandchild!!  She asked us how we were feeling about the process.  She told us she hoped we were feeling a "good" stress through this intense process, like she was feeling tired, but a "good" tired helping her daughter. 
This process has gone very fast for us.  We have no timeline in mind.  No idea when we will get to meet our little boy.  The Lord has provided us with a perfect peace about the timing.  We are ok with waiting.  He is writing this story and if we rush through it we won't be able to comprehend or enjoy all he is doing!  We are continuing to pray that we will remain in content in the waiting... as we know it has just started.
We both quickly assured Ms. H that we were sleeping fine and there wasn't much keeping us up at night... except grad school work for me.  :P 

We thoroughly enjoyed meeting with Ms. H through this QUICK home study process.  I pray that I am as wise and poised as she is when I am her age.  I'm glad she said I could call her if I ever have questions or need some help!  Thanks again Ms. H!  You are a true blessing!!

We are filling out our I-600A forms tonight.  We have to collect some final documents and write a cover letter to USCIS.  Whenever our home study has been notarized we will be ready to send off for more approval!  Gosh, this can be a tedious process..  Well, we are ready whenever our home study is ready!!

Sunday, May 2

Sharpie Party

This afternoon we went to the property where our new church is being built.  We got a tour of the facilities and then we, well I , wrote a note on the sanctuary floor.
 I couldn't help reflecting on the time I have spent at RBC and the impact so many people from the church have had on my life.  We walked through the nursery and the children's Sunday school rooms in the new building, I started to wonder about the impact RBC and its members would have on the life of our little boy.  As we have shared about our decision to adopt we have learned about several other families that are also adopting.  Some people might look at these situations as lucky or good timing, but to me, it is tangible support from the Lord.
I wrote my favorite verse on the floor of the sanctuary...
Now to him 
who is able to do immeasurably more 
than all we ask or imagine, 
according to his power that is at work within us, 
Ephesians 3:20