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!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fullton Family Festa

Dearest children,

Last night was something spectacular.  80-something of our friends and family members gathered at our church to celebrate a Fullton Family Festa.  They showered us with love, prayers, encouragement, advice and gifts in anticipation of your arrival home to be with their forever family--us!  All of your grandparents drove up again, friends from near and far filled the fellowship hall of the church and it was amazing!  

They all want to meet you and welcome you into the Body of Christ.  I'm sure it's not an exaggeration for me to estimate that there are over 500 people who are praying for you and helping us get ready for you to come to your new home.  

We still don't know when we will finally meet you, but we feel like it's only a month or so away.  All of this preparation and waiting and wondering and praying will soon bring us all together as a family.  We know it will be hard for you to leave behind everything you've grown up with in Brazil, but we will do our best to love you and understand you and help you to feel joy as God knits our lives together as one.

There is so much love waiting for you here.  
 tanto amor te-esperando aqui.

Mamãe e papai

PS  Here are some pictures of the wonderful event.  

Look at all those people who love you!

Grandma and Grandpa Amerman came to celebrate your arrival!

Grandma and Grandpa Fullton drove all the way up too!

Aunt Heather and baby Gabe flew in from Michigan.

Mamae and Papai told the group what wonderful things God has done to bring us together as a family.

Michelle made sweet little favors that reminded everyone to pray for you our new family.

Dearest Michelle organized the whole event with help from Sara, Brooke and Heather.   I think they were all too busy helping and organizing to spend any time in front of the camera.  

What I want you to see from all of this, dear children, is that long before you were ever under the same roof as your forever family, there were LOADS of people loving you and praying for you.  And even longer ago than that God made a plan to work out every last detail of our lives together as a family.  He planned every giggle and every tear that we each experienced before knowing each other... and every joy and every disappointment that we'll experience even once we're together.  None of it is a surprise to Him because our family is part of his Sovereign plan.  Many will come to know him because of you.  None of us can run away from the Love that He pours into our lives day by day.  As grand as this day was, His love is infinitely bigger... and it's for you.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Approved! (but frustrated)

We found out today that our tall stack of paperwork has been approved by CEJA (the State Judiciary Commission on Adoption) in Parana, Brazil.  HURRAY!!!  That was one tall hurdle.  And one of the last hurdles too.  So, we're really on the home stretch.  CEJA sent our paperwork to the courthouse with jurisdiction over the kids' case--with their recommendation that we be formally  matched with them.  All that's left is for the court to agree with CEJA and for CEJA to send us our invitation letter.  Then we leave for Brazil!!

However, we also found out that the judge at the kids' courthouse is... on vacation.  Our agencies are now working to figure out if it would be more advantageous to have a different judge at the same court take care of our case... or to wait for the other judge to return from her holiday.  

And... one of our family coordinators is also leaving town for 2 weeks.  

We're SO close, but the finish line is surrounded in fog and we still don't know what comes next or when it will happen.  

See what I mean:  Approved!!  (but frustrated).

I feel like I am at the end of my rope and we need our friends to pray that everything works out SOON.  Our children are waiting for us and we need to get to them.

Monday, May 25, 2009

1 Thessalonians 5:10-11

For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.


This weekend we got the girls' room put together.  There are still a few more finishing touches to do, but this is where our girls will sleep, surrounded in the prayers of so many friends and family members who prayed these beautiful quilts together.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Psalm 3:5

I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.

Kim's parents brought up some bunk beds that were given to us from their dear friend Donna who lives in Virgina.  They stayed and worked all weekend with us to get the house ready for the arrival of our children.  

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Paperwork Update

Luciana told us that Lino had received our translated USCIS approval and presented it to the court on Friday.  That means that the Brazilian court has everything they need to have from us and our approval and Letter of Invitation could be imminent.  She asked for a couple more days to find out when the court will make its next move.  

I desperately want to post pictures of our darlings, but we must be patient for a little while longer.  As SOON as we have our approval/invitation letter, all of our friends and family will see the faces we've fallen in love with.  

We're almost at the 100% mark when we are sure these children are our children.  Until then, we're getting everything ready, trusting God that they will be our sons and daughters, and reserving only the smallest sliver of our hearts just in case something unexpected happens.  I'd say 99.7%.  But that's just a guess.  .3% seems so huge, but God has brought us so far for this moment.  We trust that He will form our family the way He wants it to be--for His glory and not ours.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


This post is a re-print from James' Through the Oculus blog.

Kim and I have been "nesting" at home over the past few weeks as we prepare to adopt four children from Brazil.  We have been painting, rearranging furniture, getting rid of things we do not need, and acquiring things we do need (apparently you need a lot of beds when you have four children).  We made a "Blitz List" last month of all the things we wanted to accomplish in May to prepare our house to be a proper home for our kids.

Last week, we started cleaning, organizing, and purging the basement, and last night as we continued to work, we came to the corner of the basement with two huge boxes of architectural models from school:  seven years of models, from both Georgia Tech and Yale.  Every time we have moved since coming to New Haven, I have thrown away a couple of architectural models--but we have lived in our house for four-and-a-half years now, and so they have been relatively safe for a time.

If there is anything that the prospect of adopting four kids does, it puts into perspective the things in life that really matter:  my faith and my family.  Kim and I have a hard time with "stuff" in general, and we do actually purge our house from time to time of extraneous items--it is a spiritual exercise as well as a practical one.  But our house has also conveniently afforded us the luxury of storage space over the past few years, though I expect this commodity will be in severe shortage by the end of the summer.

Even so, through moves and "purging," there was always something about my architectural models that kept them hanging around.  Perhaps it was all the care, work, hours, and debt that went into their creation.

One of the definitions that Merriam-Webster gives for "catharsis" is "a purification or purgation that brings about spiritual renewal or release from tension."  It was a challenge to throw the models away, but I have a feeling it will end up being cathartic.  (To be honest with you, I saved a couple of models:  my first model from Georgia Tech and my last model from Yale.  Call them "bookends" to my academic career if you will.)  They are just things, stuff, objects--and as Kim's Mom frequently reminds us, "people are more important than things."

I suppose it will come as no great surprise, but the kids have been causing me to be distracted lately.  I have been daydreaming a lot and I frequently picture playing with my kids, watching them grow, teaching them, learning from them, piling together in one bed on Saturday mornings with them--and loving them above all else.  In each and every one of these daydreams, however, my architectural models are nowhere to be found...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Making Room

The USCIS approval that arrived a week ago has become quite well-travelled.  It went from our hands to the Secretary of the State of CT's hands in Hartford, down to the Brasilian Consulate in NYC, and back to us in less than a week's time.  Now it is in Oregon being translated before it heads down to Brasil.  The court in Brasil will apparently accept an emailed copy of the document in order to keep things rolling while the original hard copy travels down.  I figure it's around 9,921 miles from start to finish.

In the meantime, we're proceeding to get things ready around here.  

Our little house has 3 bedrooms--2 small and one large.  We moved out of a small one and rearranged the large one which had been a family room with futon, TV and desk.  We painted it a soothing blue called Ocean Kiss.  Ahhhh relaxing.  James also built us a "cloffice" which is an office in a closet.  Quite nice, though.  Away went the desk to make room for a cozy little couch where we will almost surely flop to read bedtime stories.

The other two bedrooms are works in progress, but there are beds for both (two are currently being refinished, and the other bunkbeds are traveling to us from a dear friend of my mother in Virginia.)  One room is tidy and set up as a guest room with one double bed at the moment.  The other room is currently known as the "garbage room" (I won't horrify you with a picture).  It caught all the bits and pieces that that didn't have a home when we rearranged everything.  I have plans to tackle that project this week.
Downstairs we moved a big shelf out of the living room into the dining room.  We will buy baskets to hold the kids' toys and backpacks inside the cubbies of the shelf. 

We also replaced the old carpet (thanks, Oscar) with some delightfully easy-to-clean FLOR carpet tiles.  We got a new (old) coffee table from The English Country Building, a fantastic modernish antique shop downtown.

The new desk was from a yard sale at our neighbors' house.  They sold us this sweet 50's vintage desk and chair for $20.  We're hoping to mount the TV on the wall to save space.  

We still have a pretty long list of chores to accomplish before we feel like the house is ready for children.  Our hearts are ready, and I suppose that's all that matters.  

This weekend we celebrated birthdays, anniversaries and Mother's Day with both of our families.  Our parents are SO excited to be grandparents.  They are being so helpful and encouraging.  We came home with hand-made pillows from my mother and a carful of bed pillows and mattress pads from James' mom.  They can hardly contain themselves.  We all had lunch together on Sunday and I got my name on my first Mother's Day Cake.  There is so much joy in our family right now... and so much anticipation of the joy to come.


Okay, I'll show you pictures of the Garbage Room.  Just some little ones:

Friday, May 01, 2009

BIG news (but not quite THE big news)

There are big things happening with our paperwork today and thinking about what it means for our family is causing a serious flow of adrenaline to rush through my system right now. 
We got two bits of news today.
(The Brazilian court is ready to approve us NOW but needs one more piece of paper from USCIS)  +  (Our USCIS caseworker called to say she finished processing our paper TODAY and is emailed it to us right away)  =   We could be applying for travel visas in just 3 or 4 weeks!
As my dear friend Michelle said earlier today, "There lies the finish line... I can see it."