Monday, August 22, 2011

Our Adoption Timeline

I was thinking today about our adoption timeline and realized that I should post something about it just to document the journey so far. So here is how our story began:
May (late) 2010- Received text from my friend, Cassie, with a picture of Paulius. For the next couple of weeks, I would stare at this sweet boy's face in that text message and think of him non-stop! Finally, after a few conversations with Cassie, I decide to talk to Bryon about the possibilty of adopting Paulius. I sell him on the idea, but with some reservations (mainly financial concerns).
June 9, 2010- Inquire about Paulius and his availability
June 11, 2010- Send in pre-application to Bethany Christian Services
June 30, 2010- Met with our first of three caseworkers that we would have through our journey.
July 4, 2010- I tell my family that we are pursuing adoption.
August 27, 2010- A very lengthy, thorough and complicated Formal Application is completed.
Sept. 1, 2010- We receive new photos of Paulius and are over the moon!
Oct. 27th 2010- Home Study is completed on our end. (now with 2nd caseworker)
Nov. 11, 2010- Home Study FINALLY submitted.
Dec. 20, 2010- Dossier meeting (with now our 3rd caseworker)
Dec. 30, 2010- Received a late Christmas present... more pics of Paulius from his Christmas in the orphanage.
Jan. 5th, 2011- National office requests changes to our home study by our caseworker.
Jan. 19, 2011- National office FINALLY approves our home study (you know, the one we finished on October 27th!!! Talk about a test of patience!)
March 18, 2011- After a possible job change, we are finally able to submit our USCIS application.
March 31, 2011- Receive MORE pics of Paulius, and my heart just melts all over again.
June 6, 2011- After one hang-up, we receive our USCIS approval.
July 12, 2011 (my birthday!)- Our dossier is completed, notarized, apostilled and copied.
July 15, 2011- Dossier submitted to Nashville office.
July 26th, 2011 (Abigail's birthday!)- We learn that our dossier has been approved and sent to Lithuania!!! WOOHOO for progress!
August 16th, 2011- Our dossier translation is complete and all paperwork is submitted to Adoption Services of Lithuania.

And so now we are here... just waiting on that referral to come! And trying to fundraise and come-up with the money to accept the referral the absolute DAY it arrives! I will sell everything not nailed down if I have to! I am so ready to bring our son home! I will keep you updated and let you know when the referral comes. You will probably hear me as I shout it from the rooftop LOL!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

On the move!

It has been a long time, and I have been no good at this blogging business! A lot has happened since my last post. My interim position for metro was originally supposed to be just while a teacher was on maternity leave. She decided not to come back to work, so I was offered her position through the end of the school year. It was a financial blessing as this made the paycheck a little bigger, but it also extended my commitment to teaching in metro with a 3+ hour-a-day commute. I didn't have any spare time to work on the dossier or fundraise, but I was able to save the money needed to apply for our USCIS approval, get all the paperwork notarized and apostilled, and pay for the first half of the country fee when we submitted the dossier. So when school got out in June, I began working on the dossier. I got it all done in about three weeks, with the exception of a massive run-around caused by one of the doctor's offices! I did ALL of this with two kids in tow! I am so proud of my "dossier diva super troopers"!
Our dossier was officially completed and apostilled on my birthday, July 12th. I couldn't think of a better present! It took a couple of days to get everything copied and organized, but everything was submitted to Bethany on July 15th. They approved everything and sent it on to the national office the following week and went went on a little vacation in Gatlinburg... boy did we need it! We spent the least we could, but enjoyed relaxing at the pool and going to Dollywood.
Our dossier arrived in Lithuania and was immediately sent to the translation team. It should be translated some time this week! Then it goes to Adoption Services of Lithuania who already know it's coming and are waiting. I hope this means that we will get a referral very soon... maybe by Paulius's 5th birthday on Sept. 22nd. We pray that we can complete the adoption before Christmas!
Now I am back in to major fundraising mode. I tapped out the adoption funds with the dossier, so we have to come up with the remaining $5000 country fee and $750 post placement agency fees that must be paid with the referral acceptance... so I am in crunch mode! Right now I am just going through the house and selling everything that we no longer need. I am posting to eBay, Craigslist, preparing children's consignment clothes again and getting ready for a yard sale! I am also hitting the grant applications pretty hard. I really wish I had time to do this before now, but the teaching job and dossier prep, along with taking care of two kids has consumed my time. The kids are back in school now, so I am devoting my days to fundraising! I know that grants can help us with our travel fees, and may be the only way we reach the amount that we need!
I am also continuing with my crafts and selling them. I have gotten a few orders for my shirts that I make and I hope that they keep coming. Bryon is also going to try to get more "on call" shifts so that he has a chance to make some extra money. I have also taken a couple of dog-sitting jobs for a neighbor while they have gone on vacation. I honestly didn't think they should pay me, but they insisted, so I told them that it would go towards the adoption.
Finally, we have started moving the office downstairs so that we can get Paul's room ready. We have to come up with some storage solutions for all my scrapbooking and craft stuff, but I am so excited about decorating a boy's room! It is starting to feel REAL! Like this may finally happen! I just want our son home so we can get to know him and he can get to know us and start to settle into our family. Please keep those prayers coming. Pray for funding, pray for Paul, and pray for us as we prepare for Paul's homecoming.