Monthly Archives: September 2013

Gifts of Grace

Labor Day week we were blessed to spend it as a family at the beach.  To make a long story short, we were given our vacation to Hilton Head this year.  Yep, you read that right.  It was a gift and we cannot express what a sweet gift of grace that was for our family.  The kids and Matt had not seen “Poppa”/my dad since March and it was a reunion full of laughter, jokes, Band of Brothers, and generally enjoying each others company.  We were able to go to a wonderful church service on Sunday and then enjoyed the beach, bikes, and a little shopping for the rest of the week.  Matt and I were given a date night and we ate ourselves silly at Bonefish followed by sweet treats from Fresh Market.  For our hearts missing Dad and had been so busy since moving into our “new/fixer upper” house, this vacation could not have come at a better time.  I’m amazed at the lavishness of His grace, both in the simple and the big! Continue reading

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Another Paper Pregnancy

Since we moved to MI we needed to complete an update to our original homestudy for the Ethiopia adoption.  In the Lord’s provision and providence we were able to use the update to complete necessary paperwork for the domestic adoption.  For those of you who are wondering what does it matter, let me explain.  Each state requires adoptive applicants to complete a homestudy with a licensed social worker to be approved for adoption.  This is true if adopting domestically and/or internationally.  The homestudy requires A LOT of paperwork, several visits from a social worker to your home, and a fee of $2000 or more.  An update typically requires one visit from the social worker, a few pieces of paperwork, and a fee about 1/4 the cost of the original homestudy.

When we first arrived in MI we were given a name of an agency just outside of Detroit that America World had some positive feedback from other MI families.  We made contact and were pleased to learn we would only need an update.  When we said “yes!” to domestic adoption and began concurrent family planning we contacted the social worker again who graciously told us we could do an update without starting over again for the domestic adoption requirements.  This is HUGE!  We’ve come to learn that it’s up to each individual agency/social worker if they will accept the original homestudy or require you to start over.  We’ve also learned that in MI homestudies are only valid for 12 months.  We are so thankful for our social worker who has been so gracious and has worked with us.

At this time she’s approved us for our concurrent domestic adoption, which is a required step to be in compliance with our contract with AW, and is working on our update.  We found out all four of us needed new medical physicals and 2 of the 4 of us have completed ours.  The other two will be done by the middle of the month.  Once the social worker receives these we will have a completed homestudy update which qualifies us for several things:

1.  We’ll be eligible to begin applying to agencies and adoption attorneys for our domestic adoption!

2.  We will be eligible to apply for our renewal for our fingerprints and USCIS approval for the Ethiopia adoption.  This paperwork has to stay current, even if you are still in waiting stage.  Each family is eligible for one free renewal, which will save us almost $900!  Praying for a timely update, smooth sailing with paperwork and favor in the hands of those who are reviewing paperwork!

Overall, as we look at how close we are to begin the domestic adoption and that we will still be moving closer to our Ethiopian adoption, we’re so thankful!

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