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!

Friday, August 22, 2008

What is an apostille?

This is an apostille.  It means that the Secretary of the State verifies that person who notarized the original document is indeed a notary.  It's a step of authentication that needs to happen for documents used overseas.

We got back 17 apostilled documents today.  Baby steps make us feel like progress is happening.  In fact, progress is happening and these pretty shiny gold raised seals prove it.  

Pray for El Salvador

Some of our friends from AWAA's El Salvador program are preparing to take a trip down to El Salvador with the CEO of the agency.  They leave tomorrow and are hoping to lobby for adoption while there.  There are so many families and children stuck in the tangles of red tape down there and all they want is to be united as families.  Seems very little progress has occurred even still.  The first families in this program have been waiting for well over 2 years and have still not seen any Salvadoran children come home.  We're praying that God will work miraculously on their behalf and for His glory this weekend.  

Isn't it good to know we serve a God who can take care our individual needs so well?  We can trust Him to care for our Brazilian children at the same time as he is working in the lives of the Salvadoran children, the Indian children, the Chinese children, the Rwandan children, the Ethiopian children and the Kazakh children with 100% of his love--all at the same time.  

I have a dear friend who is gifted with the ability to bear the burdens of many others with great love and prayer.  She feels their broken hearts and desperately wants God's best for them.  It's crushing sometimes, the weight of the cares of the world.  But not for our Lord.  He bears all of it--bore it on the cross and bears it today.  I may know a dozen broken hearted, but God knows them all individually and cares just as much for one as for each of the others.  His love has no limits.  That's far more love than I can muster, and I stand in awe of the boundless grace that is free for every broken-hearted soul on the planet.  

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Well, all our paperwork has been sent off to be Apostille Certified in Hartford and we are waiting for USCIS to approve our application to bring our 2 Brazilian children home to the US.  These are not the last steps in the process by far, but it means that we've mostly done our part and it is basically up to other people now to get our kiddos home to us.   You'd think by reading my last post that I would be experiencing a bit of anxiety about letting it all go like that, but truly I feel freed to begin thinking more about our children.  I've been mostly praying about process for the past several weeks or months, and now I just can't get my mind off the children.  Finding out their names, seeing their little faces, knowing where they've been living and what they are like.  The anticipation of the long flight to Brazil.  Meeting them and hugging them for the first time.  Snuggling up with books together.   Exploring Brazil together.  Cooking, eating, laughing, praying, playing and resting together.  Feeling our way through the newness during our 6-week stay in Brazil.  And coming home.  Home as a family.

So many people are praying for our children.  Our parents (the grandparents!), our church, our friends, our small group.  So many people all across the country praying for our children.  
  • We are praying that God will be sustaining them and preparing them to be a part of our family. 
  • We are praying that they will hear about the Lord from their infancy so that their hearts will be ripe to know and love Him.  (Also praying for their caretakers' role in this.)
  • We are praying that they learn to love and trust each other and their caretakers and that they will be able to transfer that trust to their new parents.  
  • Finally, we are praying that they stay healthy and well-fed.  
  • OK, we're also praying that God will work miraculously to bring them home SOON.  (In the year 2008.)
If you've joined us in prayer for our children, why don't you leave a little message for our kids (now that I have the comment section open on the blog) letting them know you've been praying for them too.  Feel free to send your prayin' friends here to leave a comment too.  

I have been blessed in my life to be aware of the many saints lifting up prayers on my behalf and I am convinced that the sum of those prayers is the reason I can say I know and trust Christ.  Those are powerful words and I want our children (when they read this someday) to be assured that they were held in love and prayer from long before we knew their names.  So, leave them a comment to let them know you're praying for them.

This fall, we are planning to send out a call for prayers for the children with a special project based on a Chinese tradition of creating a "Quilt of 100 Good Wishes."  I think we will create a "Quilt of 100 Prayers" and ask for participation from our friends and family.  Keep an eye out for an announcement about that project.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Our Best Friends (for a while)

We're at that place again where documents are a large part of our lives.  Documents come to us, they get notarized they travel out again to get Apostille Certified, they arrive at our home, the go back out again to the Brazilian Consulate in NYC to be legalized, (I just found out about that last layer of legalization!) and when they return home to us again we photocopy everything and send them off to Brazil to be translated.  That's a lot of traveling!  

Whenever I drop off a courier envelope (like the I-800A application we sent to USCIS on Friday), I feel as though it takes great faith in the courier service to release that important package--so much rides on those pieces of paper.  I remind myself every time I hand over an envelope or drop a package in a mail slot that I am not releasing control... because I am not IN control.  As much as sometimes I wish I were able to control every part of this process, I am glad it's up to God and not me (or the courier service).  It's hard to let go, and nothing reminds me of that more than when I loosen my tight little grip on an envelope full of documents that carry the weight of our family and hand them to the worker behind the counter at the Post Office.  

Lord, thank you for being in control of our family.  You will build a family that is far better than I could ever dream on my own.  I pray that we will bring you glory during this process and as a family.  Keep your hands on our documents as they travel from desk to desk, and whisper in the ear of each one who touches them so that they know you are there.  Lord, we want to see you glorified each step of the way.  Thank you for using us.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A productive day

We checked a bunch of items off our document list today and are therefore (sort of) one step closer to being a family.
  • We met with our family doctor, Dr. Ellis, to update our physical examination paperwork.
  • We went right away for our lab work.
  • Jody at the doctor's office notarized our forms, a copy of Dr. Ellis' license, and a couple other documents we weren't able to get notarized last time we went to the bank.
  • From the doctor's office we went up to Middletown to get our fingerprints taken and to submit our request for a "Letter of Good Conduct" stating that we do not have a criminal record in the state of CT.  
  • To round it all out, we stopped in at Lyman Orchards to pick some beautiful peaches and some perfectly tart blueberries while hoping that next season our beloveds will be able to join us.
It feels good to get things done.  Here are some of our dossier documents.