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Friday, July 23, 2010

Homestudy update and shedding a few tears...

Well, there is soooo much to report on. I thought I would do a little two-in-one update. First off, will be the homestudy report. Then, will be the amazing things God is doing for us, orchestrating the details and preparing our hearts to be parents.
HOMESTUDY: To be honest, I was a 'hot mess' all day on Wednesday. It is hard to describe the fear and excitement in anticipating someone coming into your home to assess your ability to be parents. It is nerve wracking to say the least. I'm sure you can picture me madly cleaning the house (Lee too!) and putting shelf paper in the drawers and closets and re-doing the linen closet 3 times. Yes, its true. I have heard from other families that social workers look in the linen closets. And in your drawers, and in your closets. We had heard many horror stories, so we cleaned EVERYTHING.
Our social worker arrived and we immediately realized that she was extremely laid back. She walked into our HOT house (our swamp cooler is on the fritz and we have no AC--people in Utah don't really use AC) and offered cookies and lemonade. She declined. She then walked through the house and did a quick once over. And no, she did not even look in one single drawer or closet. (darn!) We explained our plans to upgrade and make certain spaces baby proof and proceeded to ask if we needed to be assessed on our babyproofing abilities and if we needed to get fire alarms in every room (we know others who have had to have fire chief assessments). She laughed and told us to get a couple of fire extinguishers and proceeded to say "Kylie, if you are anywhere as thorough with baby proofing as you are with this entire process, I have no doubt you are perfectly capable of googling 'baby proofing' and doing a great job."
We proceeded to talk. She sat there quietly waiting to bombard her with endless questions I surmised. When we only had 3, she was surprised and said "Wow, you guys really know your stuff." I explained that we had been researching this process for nearly two years. She was extremely impressed by our 'Big Daddy Binder' as it has come to be called. She has never had anyone make one that big and full before.
She asked for the outline from our agency (she is not from our adoption agency, we had to use a social worker from a local one) and began to ask the questions she needed to know. She took a few notes, but it was much more conversational than I expected. The first question was "Why do you want to adopt?" And "Why Ethiopia?" The easiest questions I have ever answered! First, I started and said something like this..."Well, when I was 8, I went on a 'Crop Walk' at church. It was back when the emphasis on Africa was on starving children and not AIDS or dirty water. So, I raised money for starving orphans in Ethiopia. I looked at pictures of their swollen bellies, sunken eyes, and ashy skin and I was done." I then explained that I found a poem I had written at age 8 that was called "Hungry People" and was all about the African orphans. I said I had the adoption gene and there was never any doubt that I would adopt. Lee went next and said that he had never thought about adoption until I started researching and after watching videos, and talking with parents who had adopted and meeting a couple at our church with two adorable baby boys, he was sold. He also said it used to be about "saving a child" and now he realized that God had adoption as much for him as he did for the child and that he would be allowed to grow and be blessed by the child. When asked why we chose Ethiopia, we mutually explained that there was never any question about country for us. Doors closed for other countries and Ethiopia was always #1. We never once stressed over this decision. She followed up with "If Ethiopia closed its doors, would you still adopt from another country?" We said in unison "YES." I don't think Lee and I have ever been so unified. It was glorious!
The next topic was quite difficult and was about our infertility. We gave some details about tests we had had done and the results. Without getting too graphic, the end result was our conclusion that it didn't matter. I told her that we had come to the realization that God wanted us to adopt, so He was the one who wasn't allowing pregnancy. It was nothing we were or were not doing. We both feel we'll have a biological child one day but we're not worried about it and we're not fertility treatment people. She said "So what I'm hearing from you is that you are both very nonchalant about getting pregnant and are you are adopting not because you 'have to', but because you want to." We both said "EXACTLY." I added, "The reason we haven't been able to get pregnant is not because we can't but because he didn't allow it to happen yet... It is because God wanted us to adopt FIRST." She told us we had a great outlook and attitude, nodded and took some notes.

She asked a few more questions about our families and how we met and that is about it. We scheduled our next meetings where we will talk about things like health issues (YIKES!), finances, family history, parenting styles (need some serious research!) and other normal stuff. Lee asked if she had ever "flunked anyone" and she said she has. Only twice, when the couples were obviously not fit to be parents. After some technical stuff like obtaining paperwork, she was off!

We have about a month until our homestudy is done so it is our goal to get our paperwork done!!! Then, we'll wait on ole' Uncle Sam to get forms back to us, etc. We're still timing this to about another year MINIMUM. She said to be prepared to find a hobby for those long months of waiting for our child match.
So, we wait to be "paper pregnant." I'm already glowing though I'm not showing! No stretch marks or morning sickness but the paper cuts have been pretty brutal! :) HA!!!
So I had to also share the amazing details that God has constructed. Just in the past week many things have happened. I had been praying for confirmation that this is what He would have us to do. He provided that confirmation. Here are the things He has done just this week:
1. Just the right social worker-super laid back and non judgmental
2. Finding an adoption support group in Salt Lake City
3. A new friend to our Yahoo Adoption support group, from our agency, living close to us (same suburb!)
4. Telling my boss we're adopting and finding out she is in the process too!!!!
5. Another co-worker with two children from China!
6. Realizing we live in the capitol city of Utah, for easy in government office access!
7. Loving prayers from wonderful friends and family. We have FELT the prayers and have really been blessed to see the amazing support we have from our friends and families.
Ok, one more section. Can you tell I'm elated???
Today I got my first paycheck. I intended to treat myself to some long neglected things: A new curling iron, some new running shoes, and a massage. We have lived so frugally on one salary for so long it has been difficult and we haven't bought much in the way of treats for ourselves. So, thinking I would go on a mini shopping spree of sorts before socking the rest away in the bank, I couldn't really find anything to purchase. I went by Old Navy and walked through the baby section. I picked up the most adorable shirt that said "Safari Scout." I knew I had to get it. i found a cute pair of shorts on sale and stopped to think. This is the first baby outfit I had bought for my child, myself (Grammie has bought a closet full of stuff already). I held the shirt to my heart and cried. The sales girl looked at me oddly but I just stood there and savored the moment. It felt REAL and the baby is so close to our grasp. My heart was ACHING as I stood there, longing for him! I whispered outloud "Do you know how much we already love you? Do you realize how desired, loved and admired you are?" I dried my eyes and came home daydreaming about looking into the backseat and seeing our child happily riding in the carseat as I drove. I showed Lee the outfit and he sweetly hung it in the closet where his other clothes hang. I went in and had another mommy moment gazing at the clothes. Here are some pictures of his wardrobe!
"Safari Scout"

First outfit from Mommy

This babe better like camping, his wardrobe is all about it! (Grammie outfit)

Outfit from Grammie

This baby better be a BOY or else we're in trouble!!! :)

I love this outfit. Grammie got it in Yellowstone National Park. She got one for Maddie too, and I loved it so much she went back and got one for us too!

It says "I'm gonna take a hike! Someday! I'm taking a hike, maybe today!" :)
Ok, so I'm nuts. Its true. I am nuts over a child that most likely isn't even conceived yet! But my heart is FULL of joy knowing this baby is so far away yet so near to my heart. I feel like I know him. It must be a small sampling of what God feels for us. Knowing us before we're even created.

And some have been asking if we have a name. The answer is yes. We aren't going to use it until he is ours! It is the perfect name for many aspects of our lives. We researched the meaning and it is just perfect and fits a boy of any race or age.
But...its a secret! :)
We know we have a long journey with many hiccups, mostly stemming from waiting for documents from the governments with many things to go wrong!
But for now, we swim in

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