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, January 30, 2009

God's at work

"A child, when born, brings the message that God has not yet lost hope in human beings." 

I found this quote on a CEJA website and thought it was beautiful.  Each child born into this world, whether to parents who can or cannot take care of him forever, has special meaning to God.  Our children's lives will not begin the moment we meet them.  They once belonged to someone else and they have a life story that (until now) has gone on without us as a part of it.  We are not redeeming or rescuing or creating children by adopting them.  We are merely holding on to something God created to love and be loved.  

I think that once our adoption is completed (and maybe for a long time after) we will be finding out the many unseen ways that God worked to bring our family together.  Yesterday, as our papers were being submitted to CEJA for the first time, another AWAA family was flying home to the US with their 3 children (girl, boy, girl).  They are the second family from our agency to complete a Brazilian adoption and, though we don't know them personally, have walked along the same path as us.  

We are praying a lot these days, feeling the progress and the first day of our life as a family drawing nearer than it has ever been.  I pray for the papers and the workers who hold them in their hands.  I pray those workers would be diligent and motivated by the faces of the children they place.  I pray that we will find favor in their eyes and that they will see the Lord between every line of our dossier.  I pray that it will be soon, very soon, that God unites us with our children--for their sake and for the sake of our aching, longing hearts.  I pray that, somehow, God will breeze us through the final hurdles while keeping our hearts still before Him, trusting Him only and opening our hearts to learn from His word while he prepares us to be the right parents for the children he's chosen for us.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


CEJA is the Comissão Estadual Judiciária de Adoção (State Judiciary Commission for Adoption).  Each state in Brazil has one of these Commissions and all adoptions must go through CEJA.  

We heard today that our dossier arrived safely in Brazil and that one of LIMIAR's employees will be submitting it tomorrow (1/29/09) to CEJA in the states of Rio de Janeiro, Pernambuco, Paraná and São Paulo.  

I know that sounded really calm and matter-of-fact.  Let me restate that with a quantity of exclamation points that properly portrays how thrilled I am about all this progress toward our children:

Our dossier is being submitted to CEJA TOMORROW!!!
A couple months for them to approve us, and then all we are waiting for is a referral (which could actually happen before we're approved).  I want to clarify one more thing here.  I'm not getting all giddy about the process or the papers or anything inconsequential like that.  I'm starting to feel that we are getting closer and closer to the day when our lives and hearts change forever because we've become parents to exactly the little ones God has planned for us to love all this time.  THAT is worth a few extra exclamation points! ! ! ! 
Adotar uma criança, um ato de amor 
Adopting a child is an act of love 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


We've gotten word that our dossier has been traduzido (to Portuguese) and was shipped to Brazil yesterday.  It is now traveling and in no one's hands but God's.  

Hopefully we'll here when it gets there and when it's submitted to the courts.  

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Today we received referral information for the first time.  We are praying that God will reveal his will for our family and for the little girl whose file we're looking at.   

Her name is Luana and we feel like God sent us her file to teach us some important lessons.  Lessons about following Him, and lessons about how to prepare to be adoptive parents.  Getting to know Luana and her experiences during the first six and a half years of her life has been a struggle and a blessing to us.  We've been blessed by what we've learned from her and we've struggled with not being able to make it all better for her.  We've also struggled with the idea of continuing to wait.  But we will continue to wait because we feel strongly that God has 2 children waiting in Brazil for us to be their parents.

Because LIMIAR and AWAA decided to send us Luana's file to review, we have talked through several issues and we feel that we will be more prepared to know our children when we see them on paper for the first time.
  1. Siblings--Though at the time we decided to request siblings, we weren't sure why God was asking to do so, Luana has made us realize that our hearts' desire is to adopt two children.  God gave us that desire and reading Luana's story confirmed it for us.  Thank you Luana.
  2. Age--At the time we learned about her, Luana was just over 6 and a half years old.  She sparked some fruitful conversation about what it will be like to parent children of different ages. Luana, you are valuable.
  3. Biological Family--Luana's file contained small bits of information about her biological family through which our hearts have begun to understand what it will be like for our children to have some (but not all) information about their history.  You are priceless, Luana.
  4. Previous placements--Will our children come to us from an orphanage or from a birth family or foster family?  Will they have been placed in an adoptive home prior to being placed in our arms?  We thank Luana for preparing us for various possibilities and the long-term effects they could have on a child's heart.
  5. Behavioral issues--Several different takes on  Luana's behavior were expressed in her paperwork.  She is a dear child with a broken heart and has taught us some of what it will mean to raise a child within the corral of Love.
  6. Learning issues--We talked through school and learning issues after looking at Luana's story.  We thank God for the resources he has given us.
  7. Health issues--We always knew we would receive some medical information with a referral, but we didn't know what it would feel like.  Praise God for Luana.
Lord, you brought us Luana's face and have taught us so much through her.  We pray that you will unite her quickly with the family you have prepared for her.  Heal her broken heart with your love and the love of her new family.  Restore her to trust and feel joy all the days of her life.  

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


The stack of papers we call our dossier is about  of an inch thick, 81 pages long, took 6 months, 19 days to complete, feels like it carries the weight of our hopes and dreams for our family and our future, but in actuality it weighs 13 ¾ ounces.  We sent it to our agency along with three duplicates (that's 2.67 inches thick, 324 pages and 3.44 pounds of of paper!) on December 19.  It is being translated this week in Oregon, it's final stop before Brazil.  Luciana (of LIMIAR) has spoken with the translator who is aiming to complete it by Friday.

Will we follow behind it soon?  Will we finally embrace our children this year?  Oh, we pray we will!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Some progress

Most of the time, during the process of intercountry adoption, you're either hurrying up or waiting.  Right now, after 6 months of hurrying up, we're (not) waiting.  But this is a different kind of (not) waiting because there are a couple people I could call who can immediately tell me exactly where our papers are and what is happening to them.  

Right now our papers are at (or about to be at) the translator's office where they will be for the next week or so.  Then, they will be sent to LIMIAR's staff in Brazil who will submit them to the Brazilian courts in the states of Rio de Janeiro, Parana, Pernambuco and Sao Paulo.  We will be notified when they are submitted to the courts, and then comes some more (not) waiting.  

In the meantime, I'm finishing off this monster of an adoption parenting book, working on the quilt project, and continuing to study Portuguese.   Oh, and not waiting.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Quilt Scrapbook

Here are the pages to our kids' Quilt Scrapbook.  Each page has a little piece of fabric that matches one square of the quilts.  Each square represents the love and prayers of someone in our life.  We are overwhelmed by the love our friends and family have shown us through this project.  The quilts were meant to bless our children, but we have been blessed.  If I ever wondered what has held me close to God for all these years, there is now no doubt that the prayers of the saints are powerful and effective.  My heart is full.  

Jessica & Sal, CT

Pam, Helmut, Melissa & Alicia, CT

Clara, CA

Marissa & Ryan, IL

Andrew & Shinae, NJ

Heather, Patrick & Gabe, MI

The Francis family, CT

Jane, PA

Kyle & Lydia, CT

Vienna, Geneva & Bella, CT

Carleen, CT

Lori, CT

John & Bonnie, CT

Kris, Colleen & Ciaran, CT

Esther & Tom, CT

Mukundhan, MA

Sallie & Jonathan, PA

Ruth, NY

Craig & Lynsey, AL

Greg, Amber & Sophia, CT

Greg & Jane, CT

Pam & Ron, CT

Todd, Rachel, Christopher & Savannah, TX

Dick & Linda, PA

Dave, Kusum & Kiran, CT

Kathy & Mark, NJ

Elizabeth & Brad, CT

Cyndi, Denmark

Uncle Will, AL

Kim, VA

Grandma Janet, PA

Luciana, FL (LIMIAR)

Cindy & Ray, CT

Julia, Rob, Grace & Violet, TX

Myun Hwa, CT

Josh, Rochelle, Josiah & Sophia, IL

Neil & Christina, CT

Sharon, Jon & Ana, CO

Ana & Rafael, Peru

Jean, NC

Christine & Brian, CT

Rachelle (on behalf of her Colombian kids), TX

Uncle David, PA

Jared, CT

Ben, CT

Tabitha, CT

Rebecca, CT

Elizabeth, CT

Nathaniel, CT

Jed, CT

Gabe, CT

Mick, CT

Colleen and Mike, CT

Sarah, Chris & Kate, CT

Mina & James, CT

Ben, Jill & Henry, CT

SuJeong, Korea

Grandpa Fullton

Grandma Fullton

Oscar, our dog & George, Grandparents Fullton's dog

Carol & Darryl, PEI, Canada

Aunt Jean & Uncle Jean, TX

Ina & David, GA

Sal, Debbie, Sarah & Emily

Bill & Phyllis, CT

Amanda & Scott, NH

Grandpa, PA

Great Granddad, NC

Susana, Spain

Liz & Chris, CT

Shannon, Matt & Maggie, CT

Robin, CT

Uncle Don & Aunt Cheryl, GA

Kornelia & Adriaan, CT

Jen, CT

Kathy &  Mark, NJ
Laura, Steve, Kayleigh & Ben, NJ
Vivian, CT
Jay & Autumn, MA
Uncle Ben, PA