Wednesday, November 26, 2014

High Five for Wednesday

Say whaaa?

It's the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, it's like Friday. Can I get an Amen?! So it's been a short week, which is the best. It takes me back to what it felt like to have a break from school. It's practically the same, right? Here's a look back at some of the top moments of this week!

1. Adam and I went to Hope Adoption Conference this past weekend. We were told about it early last week, so it was pretty last minute, but I'm really glad we went. There were great speakers and classes (hello free education credits!), and Adam and I really learned a lot.

2. We spent our date night volunteering for Meals from the Heartland, and had so much fun. Afterwords we were driving around looking for a palce to eat (it was date night after all!) and found a pizza tavern that Adam recognized as a place he used to go to with his grandpa. Plus the pizza was delicious. I think we'll make it a monthly thing. If you're around this area, I recommend signing up to volunteer for Meals from the Heartland, it's not one of those volunteer gigs where you feel like you have to be there, it's really actually quite fun.

3. We spent most of Sunday finishing up a little project at home, the weekend remodel, as I've grown fond of calling it. When we moved in, there were two bedrooms upstairs (well, there still are, I guess); one was blue and one was pink. Like completely. We're talking walls, doors, trim, and windows. Everything. So we found some old paint in our basement and came up with enough white to paint the trim (and doors, and windows) white and mixed a few more to come up with a sort-of brown color. Since we have a friend moving in with us in January, we figured it would be best for his masculinity if he didn't have to deal with a bright pink room.

4. We're prepping for vacation so we spent the last few days making snacks, packing, and getting the house ready. We've been fortunate to have a couple friends who will be staying with Nellie while we're gone. We're sure going to miss her! More details on vacay will come later.

5. It's Thanksgiving tomorrow! Nuff said. There are so many things I'm thankful for. Our God is an awesome God!

Friday, November 14, 2014

High Five for Friday

Holy cow. It's cold. This is real. Can't it be 65° forever?! No? Fine. At least it's Friday. I feel like this week has gone by rather slowly. But alas, the weekend has come.

1. We received notice from USCIS that we were approved to parent an internationally adopted child! We're officially on our last step of paperwork! PTL. Bring on the dossier.

2. This weekend my cousin is putting on a Holiday Bazaar for local artists and vendors, but here's the kicker, all of the registration fees are going to Adam and I for our adoption fund! Every vendor is also required to submit an item for a silent auction, and all of those profits will also be going to our fund. We're so thankful for awesome friends and family who are willing to take time out of their weekends to help us! Such a huge blessing! If you are willing, join us in praying for great attendance and generous giving.

3. I finished a book this week called Mistaken Identity that my MIL gave me to read. It's an amazing story of two families' strength and faith in Jesus Christ. It's an incredibly easy read—just be sure to have a box of tissues ready. It seemed like every page was a tear jerker.

4. I mentioned it being cold this week. Well, we woke up one morning this week to our first snow. It was just a light dusting (thankfully), but flurries have been flying around almost every day since. I even heard on the news that this was supposed to be the worst winter ever. I guess it just means we're more obliged to cuddle up next to the fire space heater with hot chocolate and watch movies.

5. Adam and I had date date night this week like we usually do, and for some reason, I just felt more grateful for the night out together. Although we don't have any kids, it's still a very important and necessary part of our week. Swoon.

Not an overly exciting week, which I am actually thankful for. Once the holiday's come around, things seem to get a little crazy. How was your week been? Drop me a line and tell me about it!

Friday, November 7, 2014

High Five for Friday

It's Friday! Is it just me or is it starting to feel less like fall and more and more like winter? I got in my car this morning and had a tiny bit of frost on my windshield. Luckily, I didn't have to do any scraping, I just sat up a little straighter and could see over it. Anyway, it's been a busy week, let's get into the top five moments!

1. We had our USCIS appointment on Wednesday. It was super simple. We had to drive down to Des Moines, put our name in, and practically got called back to do electronic fingerprints. You know how sometimes you go into a government facility and sometimes people aren't the nicest? Well, there was non of that here, so it was an all around great experience. Hopefully we hear back from USCIS soon.

2. It was Adam's dad's birthday last Saturday, so his parents came up to visit for the weekend. His brother, who is studying physical therapy at Trine University in Fort Wayne, IN also came back for the weekend to surprise him. It was fun having everyone back together again...felt like old times. We didn't do much, mainly ate a lot of food, watched a lot of football (including a Cyclone loss), and played a lot of games.

3. Adam and I hung out with some friends on Thursday night. They recently moved to another town, so we don't get to see them as often. We just had pizza and watched a movie, but it was fun to get together.

4. I ordered our Christmas cards this week (for a steller deal, too!). We've never done Christmas cards, but I figured with the adoption news, it would be good to do a post card type of card this year with some FAQs. I'm excited to see them!

5. Did I tell you we have a laundry room? Okay, I know I did, but I'm still excited. I finally got around to posting pictures, so you should check them out on Hometown Renovations (our remodeling blog)!

Have a great weekend! We're laying low and staying around home this weekend. Sounds like it will be a good weekend for comfy blankets and hot chocolate.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


Last week, we had an over-the-phone meeting with our adoptive specialist regarding our dossier. Since we got our fee paid (see last post for shout-out), we were able to have a conversation about starting the dossier. 

First off, if you're not suave with adoption lingo, let's talk about what a dossier is. Basically, the dossier is taking everything we've been working on the last however-many months plus a ton more information. Clear as mud, right? 

These are the documents we need:
  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage certificates
  • Home study
  • Medical letter from MD
  • Police Clearance (to prove we're not smooth criminals)
  • Bank statements, signed by teller
  • Photocopy of last 3 years 1040 Income Tax Returns
  • Passport photo pages
  • Post-placement heritage trip agreement
  • Recommendation letters
  • Photogrpahs of family and home sans Nellie for cultural reasons
  • Guardianship letter
  • USCIS Approval
  • Proof of home ownership, signed by assessor
  • Uganda travel contract
  • Adoption Learning Partners training certificates 
All of these items (minus the training certificates) will need to be Notarized and then shipped off to be State-Sealed. 

That sounds fun, right? 

We're getting all of this put together, calling the police station, calling the doctors office, calling my in-laws, hoping to get this stuff together as soon as possible. 

Our adoption specialist also dropped, what I like to call a "bomb" on us. Adam and I were under the impression that our last fee ($4,650) was the final fee before we were just waiting. 


We need to also pay a country fee of $6,400 (includes payment of program administration–salaries; transportation and travel to develop, maintain, and supervise partnerships; communication: internet, telephone; occupancy rental, utilities, building and equipment maintenance; staff training and partner organization staff training; processing and assessment of partner referrals

So before we can submit our dossier, we'll need to pay the $6,400 fee. At first, I was kind of like, "reeeeaaaaaally? There is no way we're going to get that together by the end of the year." But then I remembered that it's in His timing, not ours. He's already provided us with so much in this journey and He'll continue to provide for this next fee. So if we don't get it together by the end of the year, that's okay! We'll get it together when we can, and it will all work out perfectly. 

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