Monday, October 31, 2011

703 Area Code = Racing Heart

I had forgotten the feeling you get when you are in the adoption process and your phone rings and you see (703) as the first 3 numbers on the caller id.  Your heart starts racing and your stomach drops.  Crazy since we aren't even DTE yet, that feeling never goes away!  Friday afternoon I got a call from our adoption agency, we submitted all our paperwork (dossier) last week, and our family coordinator Jennifer told me that Mark didn't sign our application letter.  Now for those of you who know me, know that I went through that packet at least 3 times before mailing to make sure every t was crossed and every i was dotted.  Somehow I missed the fact that I didn't give him that letter to sign.

Well no big deal, I just had to print another one, have both of us sign the letter and get it notarized and at UPS to mail next day by 6:00.  This was about 2:30 that I got the phone call.  So I did just that, my friend was available to notarize and Mark and I signed, we were at UPS by 5:20.  All was good.  I paid the $26.75 to mail next day with 10:30 delivery for Monday morning.  If all this happened then we would be able to be DTE by Friday Nov 4th.  (only 4 days off of my goal of the end of October by the way).  Great.

Well today Monday about 2:00, I am at home sick, laying on the couch and my phone rings.  I look down and there is that (703) on the caller id again.  Heart racing, stomach dropped, crazy I know.  It was our family coordinator again, asking if we were able to get the letter in the mail.  I immediately said, it was suppose to be delivered by 10:30.  So she checked and it had not been delivered.  I called UPS and long story short after making phone calls and waiting for them to call me back, they really don't know where our letter is.  Due to storms on the east coast things have been delivered late.  I know I should be sympathetic but it was extremely important that that paper get to AWAA by noon today.  They are still tracking our letter and it should be out for delivery by tomorrow.  To late.  Our paperwork will be delayed another week and we will not be DTE (dossier to Ethiopia, officially waiting for a referral) until next Friday November 11th.  They are refunding our shipping costs, which I would have paid 2x's that much to ensure it would have been there today by noon as promised.

I know things happen for a reason, but a little piece of paper getting delayed in delivery, come on.  So the adoption roller coaster has begun.  We were just saying that we have had a pretty easy ride so far in the paper gathering.  Praying this is the biggest delay we see in this adoption process, but I know it won't be from experience.  It is only the beginning, I just have to remind myself that God's timing and plan are way better than my timing or plan anyway!

So we are praying for a miracle, the letter is delivered before the end of today and by the grace of God we are able to be submitted by Friday.  It's a long shot, but He can make it happen. And I am almost 100% sure that will not be the last time my phone will ring with that (703) area code and my heart will start racing and my stomach drop as I answer and hear on the other side, "Hi this is Jennifer from America World".

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fall Family Fun

Fall is my favorite time of year.  It is not very hot, but not yet snowing.  The colors are beautiful in the trees, although this year they leave just seem to be dying instead of changing to bright pretty colors. Apple cider, donuts, homemade baked goods all add to some of the favorite things in fall.  The smell of bonfires, football and leaves.  I just love everything about fall. We got engaged in the fall and we got married in the fall. In fact, yesterday marked 8 years since we got married.  Here is one of our favorite pictures from this day.

I would definitely do it all over again. That day was the day God put us on an amazing journey together.  Little did we know 8 years later we would have already been 1/2 way around the world once to adopt the best baby boy, and on our way again.

The best anniversary present yesterday was the fact that we put our Dossier packet in the mail to AWAA yesterday.  For those of you who are wondering, a dossier is the packet of paperwork, we have went crazy for the last 4 months gathering.  We have all our documents in the mail and everything is now out of our hands.  Let the waiting begin.  This is to me the hardest part of the adoption process, waiting with no control over time frame or when things are processed. Especially for someone who likes to have control over everything.  But we did it once, and in God's perfect timing we will receive a picture of a baby boy (who Daniel has now named "Baby monkey brother") who God hand picked to be part of our family. Sometimes it is just hard to remember that God's timing is better than our timing, even though we don't see the light at the end of the tunnel all the time.

So what is the next step: AWAA reviews and translates our documents and within 1-2 weeks we will be DTE (Dossier to Ethiopia), then the real wait begins.  The wait time currently for a referral for a boy is 10-16 months.  Praying that it is a shorter wait, but experience tells me that it will not be.

Back to our family fall fun!  This month we went back to OU (Ohio University) where Mark graduated for Homecoming.  This was the first time Daniel has been there, he loved it.  At OU for Homecoming the Alumni band marches in the parade and does the half time and post game show.   Daniel loved watching daddy play drums.

We also rented a cabin for the weekend and spent some much needed family time.  Daniel was so excited to go to the cabin and cook hot dogs.  I think he told everyone he was doing that for a week. It was so fun, the cabin was in Hocking Hills in a "secluded" area.  When we pulled up I was not so sure. There was a house close to the cabin but once we got back there was a tree line so we were secluded.  Daniels favorite part I think was the fact that he could eat dinner and watch Mickey Mouse club house at the same time since the table was in the living room.  It was so nice to just relax like a family of three and enjoy each others company.  No cell phones, computers or distractions.

The picture to the left of Daniel on the drive way was at our cabin.  Sunday we spent the morning at Old Man's Cave.  Daniel liked the big rocks and water.  We had bought him a football at OU and he insisted on carrying it while we hiked through the cave.  Which made me quite nervous since one slip and he drops it, it was gone.  Luckily he did not drop it and the football made it home.

It was  a wonderful weekend of family, friends and fall fun.  Weekends like this are what the fall is all about, bonfires, parades, football and family.