Sunday, May 29, 2011

My Mini-Venture

I got up my nerve this afternoon to visit a local Thai restaurant and ask how to pronounce Chloe's real name.  It's quite pretty...  Wondering how it would sound pronounced with a Maine accent... 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Our Questionnaires for the Selection Committee Meeting are Finished--

we submitted them via e-mail at the end of the day today.  Now we wait (and pray!) to hear the decision.  I asked when the Selection Committee Meeting will be held, I'll let you know when I hear.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Selection Committee Questionnaires...

We submitted "Chloe's" info to an international adoption clinic at Tufts on Wednesday (they move fast- when I called on Wednesday afternoon, the woman asked me if it would be ok if they didn't get back to us with results until Friday since one of them would be out of the office on Thursday.  "Um, sure, I guess we can live with that.") and got their results on Friday.  Glad we bothered, they pretty much told us everything we already know.  Well, she did bring up things that we may want to have ruled out in the future, so that was helpful, I guess.  It was pretty much a formality on our part to make our agency happy anyway, so fine.  After I heard back from the clinic, I told Ramsey the results, then e-mailed Holt to say, "Yes, it's official, we definitely want to pursue this adoption, please send us the questionnaires."

So that begins our committee selection process.  We are working our way through the questionnaires (really hoping to get those completed this evening) then will send them in to Holt.  Holt will use those, and the draft of our home study, to assess whether we will be a good match for Chloe.  No pressure.  We are being asked how we came to the decision that adopting this particular child is the best decision for our entire family, how we will know when our family is complete, how we plan to help this child cope with racism and "white privilige",  how we will prepare this child for adulthood when she will not have the racial buffer of her caucasian family's presence, and what difficult behaviors we feel especially equipped or unequipped to handle and how we would deal with them.  We are being asked what experience we have with children with this special need (um, what are we supposed to say to that?  There aren't a lot of kids around here missing multiple limbs...), what services and support groups are available to help us meet this child's needs, what anxieties and concerns do we have about adopting this child, what are our hopes and dreams for this child and how would we feel if she never acheived these things, and so on, and so on, and so on... 

Prayer request update-  Ramsey has submitted a bid on a job that, if he gets it, would make a significant dent in our adoption fees. We'll hear sometime after the 18th if he gets it.  It would be a huge answer to prayer if he does, so please be praying!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Not THE News, But Still GOOD News! : )

This morning I was thinking things like "No news is no news" and I felt like we would just never hear anything.  Ever.  That somehow our whole adoption would just fizzle into nothingness because we would never, ever hear anything.

At mid-day, I took the kids to the library and when we came home I checked the phone to see if anyone had called.  Nope.  I checked e-mail, expecting the same.  Wait- two e-mails, from the Waiting Child Program manager!  (And more followed!)

Here's the news- the Thai government still needs more information about our family in order to make a decision.  She asked that our social worker send a draft of our home study.  (So we went out on a limb and told our social worker to please go ahead and write our home study for Thailand- they have to write a country specific home study but we had been advised against making ours specific to Thailand until we got an answer.)  They also have a set of child specific questionnaires for families to fill out in preparation for their selection committee meeting (the process in the WCP is that when you have identified a child that you want to adopt, Holt has a selection committee meeting to decide if it will be a good match for the child.).  In order for us to be able to move forward with the questionnaires and their selection committee meeting, they decided to send us "Chloe's" information! 

We now have her full informational write-up, almost a hundred photographs, and about 30 minutes of video of this sweet girl who has, until now, been living in our hearts on the basis of two photos and two paragraphs of information.  This is like a gold mine!  We spent half of the afternoon looking at pictures, reading through her info, and watching videos.  (The other half of the afternoon, I spent e-mailing and phone calling family, our social worker, Holt, and the clinic.)  Watching the videos was amazing.  It was so awesome to get a sense of her personality.  She is such a sweet, patient, easy-going little person...  And so beautiful!  Can you tell I'm in love?  : )

They also asked us to have her information reviewed by medical professionals, then get back to them to let them know if we want to proceed with the process.  Well, we already know what our decision is, but we've gone ahead and sent in our info to an international adoption clinic- they specialize in evaluating the medical information provided.  We should hear the results of that evaluation on Friday, and will give them our "decision" then, though I already e-mailed her to tell her to feel free to send us the questionnaire any time.  There's pretty much nothing that would make us decide not to try to adopt her.

So, in summary- we're still waiting to hear a "yes" but we are extremely encouraged that things are now also moving on the Holt end.  This means that they will be working on things simultaneously as we wait on the Thai government, instead of waiting to hear Thailand's answer and then getting things going with the agency.  If Thailand says yes, we will be that much further ahead in our process.  It also encourages us to see that the agency thinks it's worth pursuing right now.  And it is a blessing beyond description to get to see this little girl- who could become our daughter- in so much more detail, and definitely the boost we needed in the middle of this wait!  (And it feels so good to again be able to be proactive in moving things along.)

(P.S.  Along with all the excitement about this, there is also other good news- the option that we came up with for private health insurance is both acceptable for our home study AND affordable!  Woohoo!)

Thank you, Lord!  And, pray-ers, please keep praying!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Health Insurance

I got a call from our caseworker last night, right in the middle of trying to fend off five hungry kiddos while I cooked supper and waited for Ramsey to arrive home.

She had news.  Not any news I was hoping for, of course.  Turns out that what we currently have for health coverage will not be sufficient.  The word "dealbreaker" was used, in fact.

This was discouraging news, to say the least.  I did not shoot the messanger but I have to admit that, when I hung up the phone, a few innocent bystanders may have barely escaped with their lives.

Ramsey is self-employed so we've never had private health insurance because, for a family our size, it would cost the equivalent of three mortgage payments every month.  Thankfully all we will need to have covered at this time is the child we will be adopting.

God has a plan, of course.  I see-saw between "what are we going to do??" and "can't wait to see what You're going to do!"  Adoption is Trust God Boot Camp if there ever was one.

I will be spending the rest of the day online and on the phone, letting health insurance companies duke it out over who gets to cover one very special waiting child.  Lowest bidder wins, of course.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Boy, God has just got some kind of sense of humor...

The fingerprint results came today!!

The New Canadian Fingerprint Plan

Unless by some miracle the results of Ramsey's paper fingerprints arrive this week (11 weeks ahead of schedule), the plan is now that Ramsey will drive back to Canada next Tuesday to submit his fingerprints electronically.  Feel free to pray for a miracle, Ramsey's not relishing the thought of the 10-hour round trip!