Posts filed under dossier

Two Years (!!!) and an Announcement

One of my favorite family photos. Who knew all you had to do to get a smile from your kid was tickle him?

One of my favorite family photos. Who knew all you had to do to get a smile from your kid was tickle him?

We've been a family of three for two whole years. Can you believe it? In a way, it feels like it's flown by and in other ways, we've felt each day fully. We've slipped into a sweet rhythm of family. We get up, go about our daily schedules, come home, do homework, eat dinner, and go to bed, only to start all over again the next day.

This past year has seen huge leaps in attachment. We've had more hugs, more glances for reassurance, and more moments when things felt natural and not rehearsed. Along with this growth comes challenges. We have push back to our authority, which is to be expected. We all are doing our best to keep loving and encouraging each other. (Some days that feels more natural than others!)

Future big brother! (He's wearing the birthday crown as it was his birthday when we told him.)

Future big brother! (He's wearing the birthday crown as it was his birthday when we told him.)

One big, exciting thing that's happening in our family is that we are adopting from South Africa again. We don't know anything about our future kid (known around our house as M4 [Malcolm #4]) or where they are in South Africa. We are open to either gender, but have asked the age range to be 4-8. We are excited and hopeful that the process will go smoothly and quickly. For those of you wondering, you have to re-do everything, even though you've done it all before. The biggest advantage is that you know where you're headed and what to expect (the unexpected). We are almost done with the dossier (here's what that looked like for us last time around), then we will officially begin our waiting. 

Thank you to everyone who is loving on our family and sending love and encouragement as we are taking this next big step. We love our family and are excited to see who else God has to join this crazy bunch.

Posted on February 20, 2018 and filed under family anniversary, dossier, adoption.

What's Next?

Now that our dossier has been completed and shipped, we've gotten the question "What's next?" quite a bit in the last few weeks. Well, the next step was for our dossier to be received in country, but we were notified Tuesday afternoon that it was received by the agency in South Africa. That's a huge relief!

So the answer is that the next step of the process is waiting. Nothing to do. No paperwork to collect, sign, notarize, or apostille. It's all done for now. Now we wait. Now life continues as normally as possible knowing that life could change at the drop of a hat (as any life can). It's just different because we've removed all barriers to getting these kids home. All paperwork is turned in. All it takes is a phone call and a file of a child (or children) in our inbox. 

It's been mentioned by several people that waiting must be the hardest part. For both Brian and I, it is one of the easier times. We know that the timing is completely in God's hands. Our kids will come home at the exact moment He has ordained. There is a huge peace we've found in trusting the Lord. A quote by Paul Tripp has been brought to mind several times since we started waiting.

You live your life in the utterly mundane. If God doesn’t rule your mundane, He doesn’t rule you because that’s where you live.
— Paul Tripp, War of Words (sermon)

Our life, while different than some, is mundane. We go to work, we eat dinner, laundry is done, cleaning, repeat. There has been a sweetness to handing this season over to the Lord. It's no longer up to us to finish anything. It's all done. Now we wait, trusting the Lord to rule in this season, as well as the next.

Prayer Requests

  • Please pray with us that the Lord would protect our kid(s) during this season of waiting. Pray He would provide loving caregivers, food, clothing, and shelter - things we cannot provide for them at this time.
  • Pray for us as we wait and prepare to welcome the child(ren) into our lives. 
Posted on October 16, 2014 and filed under dossier, season of waiting, South Africa, adoption.

Bon Voyage, Dossier!

On Monday, we received an email from our adoption agency that we had done two things incorrectly on our dossier. I was really frustrated, but thankfully did not feel depressed or overwhelmed. I felt determined. Tuesday night we got the items notarized and, on Wednesday, I found myself on a train headed to Chicago. I was downtown for almost two hours, running from the apostille office to FedEx to overnight the paperwork. Thankfully, the predicted downpour and lightning held off.

Yesterday we got this from our agency:

Naturally, we needed to celebrate, so I went by Dairy Queen before community group and bought a YAYYYYYY!! cake. As I was walking back to my car holding the cake, I realized every color from the South African flag was represented. Pretty great!

The Dairy Queen cake decorator really phoned it in on the icing application. Thankfully, it didn't affect the taste of the cake!

The Dairy Queen cake decorator really phoned it in on the icing application. Thankfully, it didn't affect the taste of the cake!

All of this to say - our dossier is shipping off to South Africa today! Please pray it would arrive safely and be viewed favorably by those who review it. We are so thankful to have gotten through this difficult phase of our adoption journey and praise God for His strength made known in our weakness.

Posted on September 12, 2014 and filed under adoption, dossier, South Africa.

So close...

Documents: Notarized!

Documents: Notarized!

We are really close to finishing our dossier. In a moment of genius, I had us scheduled to head to the bank to get 10 documents notarized on Friday evening, right after everyone and their mother gets off work. Going off a tip from another couple who just finished their dossier, I brought doubles of everything. We ended up needing four of them! Our notary was very interested our adoption and telling us how she hadn't gotten a raise this year. Both of these interests resulted in three mistakes. Despite the notary's best effort, we were victorious!

Saturday morning found me wearing out the carpet between my computer and our printer/scanner. We have to have four copies of our dossier, along with the original, so lots of copies were made! On Saturday night, after enjoying a Billy Corgan concert at Ravinia, we headed back to our hotel and assembled the four copies and put the original documents in order. Once that was done, we breathed a huge sigh of relief! We are getting close to being done!

27 documents here, adding a few more after this weekend!

27 documents here, adding a few more after this weekend!

Posted on September 1, 2014 and filed under dossier, adoption, South Africa.

World Quilt

When we met with our social worker for our final home study interview, she warned of the time that lay ahead that would just be waiting. As our dossier paperwork is coming to an end, the waiting is drawing closer and closer. I've never done well with just waiting, so she suggested having a project to do to keep me busy during this season. 

I really wanted to make a quilt that was modern and something we would have for years to come. After scouring Pinterest for a couple of hours, I found a pixelated world map quilt I wanted to make. I contacted the designer and asked to purchase the pattern. Unfortunately, she does not sell the pattern. So I began scouring again. I found nothing I liked. Thankfully, a wonderful woman at our church, who has agreed to teach me how to quilt, found a great pattern. I liked it a lot because it is easily personalized. (I'll be adding photos of my progress as I go along.)

Today I am starting my first quilt. I am excited to have something tangible to do during this season of waiting. I am excited that when this season is done, I will have something to wrap my kids in and keep them warm. I am excited to pray for them and for us as I work on this quilt, for when God knits our family together through adoption. Can you tell I'm excited?

Posted on August 13, 2014 and filed under adoption, dossier, season of waiting, South Africa.

A Light at the End of the Tunnel

I don't know if you've ever driven through a long tunnel, but I remember as a kid always feeling a little uneasy. It was typically as we were driving through a mountain that we encountered these tunnels. I would imagine the entire mountain caving in on us as we were driving through its belly. From the moment we entered the tunnel to the moment we left, I slackened my seatbelt so I could lean towards the middle of the car to have a clear view of what was ahead. The uneasiness would always lighten when I saw the pinhole of light coming from the end of the tunnel. That's how I feel now.

I've been walking through a bit of darkness and a little bit of feeling hopeless amidst the sea of paperwork that needs to be done. One of my (MANY) failings is that I don't finish a lot of things I start, and I was very fearful I wouldn't have the drive to finish all of this paperwork. But God being so gracious has helped me to press on. He gave me hope it could be done when I struggled to believe and a husband who encouraged me to press on.

No--the dossier is not done, but after being in the dark for some weeks, I see a light at the end of the tunnel. My soul feels lighter knowing this hurdle is almost done. In a small way, I have begun to cherish this season of our adoption because I know what comes next—waiting. 

Posted on August 9, 2014 and filed under adoption, dossier, paper pregnancy, South Africa.