Friday, July 22, 2011

Homestudy Update

Well, things are happening....although sometimes it feels like the wheels grind slowly.  Waiting is weird.  I'm riding the teeter-totter between the ants in my pants and an extreme desire to take a nap.  This process is rush, rush, rush when there are things for us to do....and wait, wait, wait when there are things for the 'powers that be' to do.  My goal is to float through the process with such calm serenity that I'll fly to Ethiopia with  Oil of Olay model skin, instead of adding a crop of new worry wrinkles between now and then.

 I have a sneaking suspicion thAT sprinkled among my smooth-browed Olay moments will be a few "SERENITY NOW!!' moments too...OK, maybe more than a few....



The news is this: 

One of the pieces of our homestudy is official clearance from every state we've lived in since the age of 18 stating that we're not child abusers.  Apparently Michigan and Florida have a much smoother system than Pennsylvania.  I mailed the original request to PA on May 2 and just before we left for Brazil, called to check on the status.  They had mailed it to our adoption agency weeks ago.  After a morning on the phone with various people at Bethany and PA we had no clearance.  My thought was to just ask PA to resend it.  They would be happy to, as soon as they received another waiver form giving our permission for such sensitive personal information t to be sent to a third party.  No, the first one wouldn't count for a second copy and no, a fax wasn't good enough and no, you can't print those forms from the website.  The form needed to be mailed from our agency.  Our social worker, Kim was on vacation, so we sent her an email asking for another form and left for Brazil.  The form was waiting when we got home and I sent it in right away with express "in care of" instructions to help it get to Kim's desk this time.  Took another 2 1/2 weeks, BUT KIM NOW HAS IT!! 

 That was the last piece of info needed for her to begin writing our homestudy.  Pray for her as she begins - this document is a big deal.  It is the document that will go to the US Citizenship & Immigration Services recommending that we be approved to adopt and immigrate a new little Florida person.  It will need to be mailed with a $875 fee.  If there are no questions about our homestudy, we are expecting it to take about 3 months for our approval to come.  Once that's done, we'll be able to take the next step toward the actual waiting list in Ethiopia.

Another cool bit of info....You'll notice our Adoption Timeline says that at the completion of our homestudy we'll have a $10,500 bill due.  This is the amount we've heard from Kim many times over the past months and the amount we've been expecting.  Got an email just a few days ago from Kim to let me know that she got the PA clearance and reminding us that at the completion of the homestudy we would get an invoice for $9,600.  $9,600!  That's still a lot, but it's $900 closer to what we have!  Haven't heard back from Kim to know what the reason is for the suddenly different invoice amount - but whatever the reason, it's God's blessing and God's provision and we're thankful!!  I have been praying for God to supply the money, hadn't even thought to ask God to evaporate the bill!! 

Last little tidbit....the Ordinary Hero grant race is going well!  The most recent email I got from them said this....

"Congratulations....You are selling among the TOP 5!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Remember only the Top 3 will be awarded CASH totaling $1500! 3 Grants of $500 will be rewarded Monday- contest will close Sunday night at midnight Central time!  For some of you there is a difference of Pennies (one order and for some of you the difference is a few orders.) There is NOT one person that is way in front of anyone else. It is a CLOSE race! You don’t want to lose the $500 grant for first over a few dollars or a few orders!!!"

I have to admit that I started this fundraiser as a doubter, but I told God I would walk through the wide open doors.  We started walking, and apparently a lot of you are walking with us.  So, so thankful for that and so excited about what God is doing through all of us together!  Thanks seems like a silly, inadequate thing to say because what I feel is so much bigger.   Feel like I should pronounce a benediction of blessing upon all of thou...   I'm going to keep working this open door until it closes and I'll let you know how we end up!

GO TEAM FLORIDA!!

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