We are praising the Lord today for yet another answered prayer! Our social worker was able to get our home study completed!! We are editing it tonight (with some help from the people who are helping us through this process) and will get all the necessary papers to send it off and will do it Monday morning (unless we can find an open FedEx place on Saturday!!) I don't know how much very many people know about international adoptions, but this is NEARLY UNHEARD OF in the realm of things moving quickly. We decided to pursue adopting almost 3 weeks ago. In that time, we have located and retained a social worker (who is qualified in international adoptions), met with her to go over the process, completed the home study paperwork (which in itself was crazy extensive including a family history and autobiographies from both Shane and me), had physicals/medical histories for the entire family & had them notarized, had our home study, had our fingerprints, criminal background checks, applied for and received our passports, ordered and have received certified copies of birth and marriage certificates, gathered all our financial documents (bank account balances, retirement accounts, monthly income - which is a NIGHTMARE if you don't receive the exact same amount of money each month!!!, etc.), medical insurance verification, employment verification, etc. and MOST of this has to be notarized and completely mistake free. Then we got the packs of paperwork from the adoption people!!! HOLY MOLY!!! It's insane!! We have worked day and night to get all things filled out, signed appropriately and notarized and kept in the right order to be sent with the right documents to the right people! Oh, and we had a week of vacation out of town in there!!! 8-)
We are continuing to ask the Lord to pave the way to make this as smooth as possible or to close the door if we are heading down a path that He is not directing. He is doing exactly that for us. So far, there is nothing to indicate that we are to back off from pursuing this, in fact, it seems just the opposite. We keep getting "nudges" from the things we hear/see/read that are indicating that we are headed in the right direction. This morning, in our devotional time with the kids, we read from I John 3 that said "This is how we've come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister [or orphan?] in need, and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God's love? It disappears. And you made it disappear. My dear children, let's not just talk about love; let's practice real love. This is the only way we'll know we're living truly, living in God's reality." (from The Message)
...and so, we proceed -- full steam ahead!!!
I can't tell you how much your prayers and encouragement mean to us. The Lord has used you to say the right thing at the right time to minister to us. Please continue your prayers for us as we wade through the rest of the paperwork and get it all off to the appropriate places. Pray for each person that touches any paper or test or that has anything to do with this situation to feel an urgency about getting their job done and moving it on to the next place it's supposed to be. Pray for approvals to be quick. Pray for the people helping us: facilitators, stateside helpers, other adoptive parents, notaries, doctors, friends and family that they will be blessed for their efforts and that the time they've given us will be redeemed for them. Pray for Shane and his work-load. He is in a big, hairy trial early next week and it's taking a lot of extra preparation time, time that is also being demanded of him with all these "extras" that have had to be done. He's an amazing man who is balancing all of this incredibly well...but he's only human! And also please pray for our family (including "Yuri") as we prepare for a fairly substantial life-change! Oh, did I mention that we're also gaining an exchange student in August? Um, yep. We committed to her a month before we even knew about "Yuri". So, unless the Lord changes that situation...we'll be a family of 7 in August!!! (isn't there some kind of "rule" that you have to home-school if you have more than 4 kids??? If so, we're in BIG trouble mister!!! Though that might actually be easier than having kids in 4 different schools!!!)
This got long...I'm sorry!! I think I might be addicted to blogging.