Friday, September 30, 2011

Alarming Statistics

Monday afternoon I decided to do a little research to find out for myself just how bad the "orphan crisis" is. What I discovered now haunts me. I can't seem to get these numbers out of my head. What's even more horrible, is actually putting a child's face to each and every number. It's hard enough to think about such alarming statistics, but to actually put a face with the number should bring us all to tears and motivate us to action.

There are between 143,000,000 – 210,000,000 orphans in the world today.

Every 15 SECONDS, another child becomes an AIDS orphan in Africa.

Every DAY 5,760 more children become orphans.

Every YEAR 2,102,400 more children become orphans (in Africa alone).

143,000,000 orphans in the world today spend an average of 10 years in an orphanage or foster home.

Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but… Every YEAR 14,050,000 children still grow up as orphans and AGE OUT of the system.

Every DAY 38,493 children AGE OUT.

Every 2.2 SECONDS, another orphan child AGES OUT with no family to belong to and no place to call home.

In Ukraine and Russia 10% -15% of children who age out of an orphanage commit suicide before age 18. 60% of the girls are lured into prostitution. 70% of the boys become hardened criminals.

Lord, break our hearts with what breaks yours!

Monday, September 26, 2011

CIS Approval

It's official, in my hand I have our CIS approval! We were quite shocked that it arrived so soon. Our approval only took 24 days!! I've never been so excited in my life to open a letter from Homeland Security!

I know the hard part is about to begin....the waiting! Please continue to keep us in your prayers. Pray for peace and patience for us and for our child to be surrounded by people who can love him/her until we can bring him/her home to their "forever family".

Friday, September 16, 2011

CIS Fingerprints....Done

Yesterday, Troy and I had our last set of fingerprints done (I hope) with Citizen and Immigration Services. The sweetest woman did my fingerprints. When she looked at my form number (you know government forms.....they all have about a thousand digit number assigned to them) she commented, "How amazing, you're adopting". She then proceeded to ask me if we had any children at home already. I told her about our four children and I waited for her to say I must be crazy (that's usually the response I get). The response I got instead was, "I think you and your husband are awesome for doing this". I wanted to cry right then and there. You have no idea how happy it makes me when I find another person who believes in fighting for orphans. She then told me about a man and his wife that had been in for fingerprints last week. She said they had 11 children at home and were currently adopting #12 from Ethiopia. Of their 11 children, 9 of those are adopted. Wow!! Oh how I would love to meet that couple someday (whomever they may be). Praise God that people are taking a stand and living out God's call on their lives to care for orphans! Stories like that make me want to stand and shout!

Please pass my blog address along to any friends/family/acquaintances/co-workers that have adopted, are adopting or are considering adoption. I would love to talk to each and every one of them!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Too Long Between Posts

It's been quite a while since my last post! School started for the older two and then the younger two and I started Mother's Day Out. So, things have been hectic around the Cole household trying to get used to our new schedule. I have intended many times to sit down and update everyone on our adoption, but alas something comes up and the post is put off.

So, what's happening with our adoption??? Well, Troy and I have our appointment to be fingerprinted for our CIS approval on Thursday. (This will be the 3rd time we've both had to be fingerprinted during this process!) Our caseworker told me that it should only take a couple of weeks after our fingerprinting to get our CIS approval. (I'm not going to hold my breath though.) Once we receive our CIS approval, our paperwork will be headed to Russia!!!! Our wonderful dossier preparer, Kate, sent me an e-mail on Friday letting me know that our dossier paperwork was complete and being sent to our agency (Gladney). Yay!!!!

Some days it seems like this is taking forever (and we haven't even begun the REAL waiting period) and then other days I CANNOT believe it's all happening this quickly!

Please continue to pray for our family and for our child who is waiting for us to come get him/her. It's extremely hard to think about your child just sitting in a crib somewhere waiting on you to come get them. I am thankful for a God who says to "Cast all our anxiety upon Him because He cares for us"! This is all in God's hands and in His perfect time, our child will be home in his/her "forever family"!