Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dossier Paperwork.....Check!!!!

This afternoon, Troy is sending all of our paperwork, via FedEx, to our wonderful dossier preparer, Kate. I don't think I've ever seen a stack of paper (that I've had to fill out, sign and notarize) that large in my life!!! Now, our dossier is not complete, but we've now done everything on our part. Our poor notary's hand may fall off soon from notarizing and re-notarizing document after document. We owe her BIG! I've put my husband on a mission to figure out what her favorite restaurant/store is, cause I think a gift card is a MUST! :)

What, you may ask, is our next step? We're currently waiting for our CIS approval. CIS approval basically means we're approved to bring an orphan home to the United States (In my book though, once that child's in my arms, they're no longer an orphan!) and the child can obtain his/her visa before we leave Russia. Once we receive our CIS approval, our dossier can be sent to Russia. So.....we wait so that then we can wait some more! I'm beginning to think that God thinks I need patience. I was once told that you shouldn't pray for patience unless you REALLY want it. Well, I'm learning that it doesn't matter if you pray for it or not. God knows where you're lacking and He'll make sure He fixes that! HA!

The one thing that has surprised me is just how happy and excited I am, even when I know there's nothing else I can do but wait. Now, check with me in 6 months or so and I may have changed my tune. :)

My kids on the other hand, are not as happy as me today. They had to have TB tests yesterday so that we could complete their medical forms. Yes, I put off their medical forms until last because I knew they would NOT be happy with me. I think they're beginning to wonder what else they're going to have to do to bring their brother/sister home! :) They were troopers, though! I'm amazed daily by the strength of character my children are developing. Even after being stuck with a needle yesterday, last night they were praying that God would protect and bring home their new brother/sister quickly. I don't think there's anything more precious than the love of a child. The one thing I do know for sure, is that our child is going to be blessed with amazing brothers and sisters!

Please continue to pray for us! There are some moments when I know that your prayers are all that's getting us through. Sharing this journey with so many friends and family is AMAZING!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tapestry Conference 2011

I received an e-mail recently from our adoption agency letting us know that there was going to be FREE adoption/foster care conference (Tapestry Conference 2011) held in Irving, Texas in October. Of course the FREE part automatically caught my attention, so I headed straight to the conference website to check it out. ( I registered right then and there. It looks like it's going to be incredible, and (did I mention) it's FREE!

Tapestry is a ministry of Irving Bible Church. It is an "encouraging and supportive community of adoptive and foster families as well as those who are exploring adoption or foster care". The keynote speaker for the conference is going to be Jayne Schooler. Jayne is the author of several well-known books for adoptive and foster parents, including The Whole Life Adoption Book, Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child and Wounded Children, Healing Homes. There will be 20 different breakout sessions to choose from, dealing with everything from "Adoption Realities vs Myths" to "Practical Realities of Connection while Correcting".

If you're interested in adoption in any way, shape, form or fashion, I highly encourage you to attend. Registration is filling up fast, so the sooner the better. Besides, how much fun would it be to hang out with me at an adoption conference? LOL

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Unexpected Blessings

This week, we were the recipients of an unexpected financial gift from a friend. In the eyes of the world, this gift may not have seemed like much. To us though, it seemed like the greatest gift we have ever received. Why, you may ask? Because this gift was a sacrifice for them. It brought tears to my eyes to know that God has blessed us with friends that are willing to sacrifice of their own means, to help us follow the path that God has laid before us. I cannot explain to you how that humbled us! The amount we were given was almost exactly enough to cover the entire up-front costs of our first t-shirt order. A scripture in 2 Corinthians immediately came to mind. "For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints." 2 Corinthians 8:3-4 What a mighty God we serve! I've been taught that my entire life, but now more than ever, that truth is becoming even more real to me. I wait with anticipation to see what mighty things God is going to do next, as we follow Him.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Agency Approval

We received our official approval letter from our adoption agency yesterday afternoon! Our homestudy was finalized and we are now ready to attack the MOUND of paperwork for our dossier submission to Russia. We have about 2 months to get this done, because we have to wait on our approval from the Department of Homeland Security and that usually takes 60-70 days (from what we've been told).

Troy and I were out to dinner last night when I received the e-mail about our official approval. I, of course, began to cry! This is really happening!!!! (Can you tell I'm just a little excited??)

Please continue to pray for us as we begin to tackle the mound of things we need to get done now. Pray for our child in Russia. We have no idea who he/she is, but God does! Pray that he/she is surrounded by people that love and care for him/her until we can bring him/her home with us! You have no idea how much your prayers and support mean to us.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


T-shirts are here!!! Let me know if you want one!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Back to Normal....Maybe

As I posted last, the previous two weeks were not quite what I wanted to go through. We did however, make it through (by God's grace) and we're now ready to return back to "normal". It's always difficult returning to "normal" when you've had a death in the family. I find myself wanting to call my mom and ask her if she's been by the nursing home yet. It's going to take some adjustment, especially for my mom, but I am thankful beyond words for the incredible last five years God allowed us to have with DeeDee here in San Antonio. I'll treasure every last minute we had her here! Although being with a loved one when they pass into eternity is difficult, it's one of the greatest privileges God allows us to experience. On July 30, DeeDee slipped directly from my arms into the arms of Jesus. There are no better arms to place your loved one in!

It's dawned on me these past few days that my family won't be returning to "normal" as we've always known it. Our lives now consist of paperwork, fundraising, reading and absorbing as much information as possible about Russian adoption, answering TONS of questions from family/friends and hours of prayer for our precious child. And although those things are consuming MUCH of our time, there's nothing else I'd rather be doing! I've decided I don't want to return to the "normal" Cole routine. I want to live each day to the fullest as we walk this amazing journey God has placed us on. When the storms come and even possibly knock the wind out of our sails, we will continue to put one foot in front of the other because at the end of this journey, our child awaits!! How I long for that day!

On a side note, our t-shirts arrived today!!! So, be on the look-out for my next post. I have a feeling four adorable Cole kids will be modeling them for you!