This is the place where we are have documented the road we have walked in order to adopt our four children from Brazil and the road we are now on as a family. We are keenly aware that adopting is not just a process we've chosen to go through, but part of God's plan for us and for our children. May He be glorified through the process and through our family!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Old Meets New

Thanks again to Nikki for making this a beautiful place to record the many ways God is working to make us a family!

As part of this update, I've opened the blog to comments since many loved-ones support us in prayer and friendship.  

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Stay tuned for a brand new look!

Check back soon for a big surprise!  Nikki from Blogs for a Cause is working on a fresh design for our blog!  I'm impressed with the way she is using her skills to fight poverty and make a difference in the world, and I'm sure we'll all be impressed with her creation to be unveiled soon.

My babies deserve a beautiful site to document their journey home, don't you think?

Thanks, Nikki!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Remember this?

Well, here's something cool.  I've been reading some blogs during some of my summer downtime and found a Shaohannah's Hope blog.  Look down to about the middle of the page (November 7) where it says "Bloomfield Blessings!" The slideshow there shows some of the many people who donated to Shaohannah's Hope that night, contributing to the grant we received.  What a nice reminder that God is with us and taking care of us: past, present and future!


Friday, July 11, 2008

Adoption Resources

I just finished an 8-hour online course required for all potential international adoptive parents.  I did it in 2 sittings and since my brain is full of information I will never be able to perfectly recall, here are some of the resources cited in that training.  I'll come back to them as each becomes salient, I'm sure, but maybe others who read this blog would like to learn a little more about intercountry adoption as well.  

Suggested reading list

The course was designed by the National Council for Adoption and was quite comprehensive.   

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Learning Portuguese

One of the things we are doing to prepare ourselves for parenthood is learning our children's language.  (Should help to make things a little easier at home, don't you think?)  Knowing Spanish has been a big advantage so far in my studies, but I will not get by just leaning on my Spanish.  

Rosetta Stone has been a great fit for us and I've been impressed with the way the lessons are structured to give little bits of language at a time, but in a way that is usable.  Being able to form sentences and express thoughts in a new language builds confidence and motivation.  I'm having so much fun!  However, even when it gets hard or repetitive, or when I get tired, learning Portuguese has been a great way to keep focused on my children and the miracles God keeps working to bring them home to us.  This exercise feels like a very concrete and very practical way to get myself ready to be a mom.

The last lesson I did taught family words:  mãe, pai, irmao, irmã, te amo, amigo, casa (mom, dad, brother, sister, I love you, friend, house).  I also found this list of Portuguese phrases for new adoptive parents, this online Portuguese-English-Portuguese Dictionary.  

Very practical indeed.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


A year ago today we submitted our dossier to El Salvador.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Big Picture--Romans 5:17

I've been sensing some urgency to get it together lately.  Thinking about our children coming home is a joyful thought, but it also shines light on all the areas of my life that are not the kind of model I want to be for my children.  God's using this waiting time to refine us in a lot of ways.  I've been making an effort to spend more time in His Word, and He has been blessing me there.  Most recently, I came to Romans 5:17.  

For if, by the trespass of one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

I've been focusing so much on God's specific provision for me personally in this instant in my life that I almost took my eyes off of His "abundant provision of grace and the gift of RIGHTEOUSNESS" in Jesus Christ!  The reason that God is able to give me grace in the little things (like finances, or circumstances, or particular blessings like that) is that He has already given the extravagant gift of righteousness through Christ.  Because of Christ, when God looks at me, he doesn't see (and in His justice have to punish) the sin-sick mess that I am.  He sees (and rewards) the perfection of Christ.  And He offers the same to our kids, and the people who are caring for them right now, and each person who handles our dossier documents, and anyone who might happen to read this blog.  

Who could be grumpy about "paperchasing" with a big picture like that?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Document List

We are officially gathering documents to build a new dossier.  I'd originally thought it would be super-easy since, well, we've done this before and we already have many of the documents on the list.  Turns out it will require a little more legwork than I originally thought.  Here's the official list of documents we're hoping to gather before the end of the month.
  1. Statement letter regarding Brazilian Adoption (a template to fill out)
  2. Birth Certificates (we must order new ones from AL and NJ)
  3. Marriage Certificate (we must order a new one from PA)
  4. General Physical Examination Form (our doctor is an adoptive dad and has agreed to meet with us, do some new blood work, and complete the form based on last year's physical)
  5. Proof of medical insurance (may be a challenge getting the insurance company to notarize a letter for us)
  6. Document stating that family knows adoption is free of charge in Brazil (another template)
  7. Proof of residence (a notarized letter on City Hall letterhead, the people at the assessor's office yesterday were not interested in notarization or letterhead.  I've contacted our alderman)
  8. Financial information (a form to fill out with all our assets and liabilities) 
  9. Proof of income (letters from our employers)
  10. Home study (being updated as we speak)
  11. Police department record (requires a drive to Middletown to get fingerprinted)
  12. USCIS approval (we request approval by completing the I-800A form and submitting it with a copy of our homestudy)
  13. Psychological exam (the psychologist that did our psychological evaluation for El Salvador is updating the report for us)
  14. Agency post-adoption agreement (a form signed by Catholic Charities and AWAA)
  15. Photocopies of passports (no problem)
  16. Photo pages (photos of the outside of our house, all its rooms, portraits of us and photos of family life)
Sixteen.  Not so bad.  A small price to pay for all the joy that is to come.