Monday, September 24, 2012

The Price Tag Game

Before we let you in on our favorite little game, I want to show you something.

This is what is looks like in Friday afternoon in downtown Fort Worth.

What we thought would be a 10 minute drive, turned out to be almost half an hour.  John snapped the picture while I was sweating bullets we would miss our FBI fingerprinting appointments.  Oh well, we made it in time and all is good. Just another day in adoption....

Price Tag Game:  Our dear friends Ally, Mary Morgan, Kimberly, and Andrew have all participated in this game, and let's just say it's more fun with company.  Every once in a while I will go into a favorite store, say Target or Children's Place, and pick a price.  For this example our price was $3.  Then, I go through the baby/toddler section, followed by the boys and girls department, and usually ending in the shoe corner.  Anything that is $3 or less makes it into our cart.  (Okay, not anything.  I do not like skull and crossbones attire, so those items are not purchased.  And, if there are 20 t-shirts of the same design I usually just purchase 2, or one of each size.)  Here is a picture of our Price Tag Game finds from August.

I think the glitter blue flip flops are the best.  Needless to say, our "One Day Nursery" has a closet full of clothes, shoes, and diapers.  What do we do with them?  Well, we would like to send these to Hannah's Hope Orphanage in Ethiopia.  However, we all know the courts are moving slowly right now, so the family trips to Ethiopia aren't happening frequently enough to donate our stash.  So far we have made several donations to our local Gabriel Project.  One of the case managers from All God's Children suggested donating to a local foster care group.  We thought that was a great idea, and if you have any recommendations for the DFW area please let me know.

The best news of all happened last week when I was shopping at Children's Place.  (Not the outlet, just good ole CP.)  My purpose was not the price tag game, but our delightful almost-five-year-old niece.  The manager noticed I had a bag full of PJ's and shoes marked down to $1.99.  She asked if I was donating to a local charity and I explained my purpose. She told me they need a place to donate their $0.99 markdowns.  Something about random sizes and the time it takes to mark each item down.  Long story short, next time they do these markdowns she is going to call me so I can purchase them. (You know I'll bring my coupons to discount them even more!)  Then, I can store them for Gabriel Project or foster care, etc.  Isn't it amazing?

I know, to some this may make me pathetic.  Trust me, sometimes I feel crazy for shopping for the child/children we don't know yet.  However, since we are in the waiting stage of adoption, I tend to get a little stir crazy and want to do SOMETHING.

Lastly, here's a picture we took yesterday with Melissa, an Ethiopia case manager from AGCI.  We were so lucky to be a part of an informational session at a church not even two minutes from our house.  All God's Children is based in Portland, so we were really excited to have the opportunity to meet some of the people who play such an important role in our adoption process.

(I know it's tiny, but my shirt says "Expecting from Ethiopia." Love Cafe Press T-shirts.)

Please continue to keep our family and our child/children in your thoughts and prayers.  Oh, and let us know if you have a happy home for our price tag game finds!

Nicole and John

Saturday, September 1, 2012

So far no morning sickness, but the paper cuts hurt like crazy!!

Okay, so we totally stole the title from an adoption shirt, but it's very fitting for what we are going through right now.

Tomorrow we will be meeting with Tinya, our social worker, to complete our yearly update.  I know, it's  been more than a year since we started this ride, but September 1st marked the date our last home study was completed, authenticated, etc.

As many of you know, adoption comes with a lot of paperwork.  A LOT.  But, if you live like we do and have several "major life changes" (that's adoption language) in a year, you have A TON of paperwork.

To sum it up, without risking any more paper cuts, here are just a few of the changes we will be making in our update:
1.  New House
2.  Nicole's employment change
3.  Sibling gender parameters

So you probably already knew about the new house.  You may or may not know that Nicole has resigned from teaching.  (Yes, I know, it's shocking!)  Most likely you are surprised by #3.  One of the many perks of our new home is that we have four bedrooms.  This means we can now adopt siblings of different genders.  Our agency is a big stickler about separate bedrooms for siblings of different genders, even twin infants! So, now that we have more than enough room, we would be oh so happy to bring a boy and a girl into our home.  Time will tell.

Okay, back tracking a little to #2, Nicole is no longer teaching.  Sad, but true.  Unfortunately she did not receive a teaching position near our new home, so she's taking the year off.  By that we mean she is still working part-time and tutoring, but no longer spends three hours in the car driving to and from the elementary school.  This is a bit scary as we will not be able to save as much each month for the adoption, but THE LORD WILL PROVIDE!

Lastly, we want to give you our numbers.  Let's give you a quick, hopefully not too confusing, explanation on how the numbers work.  When an orphan/orphans are cleared for adoption, the agency will start with family #1 to see if they are a good fit for the child/children.  If not, they move up to #2, #3, etc.  So, the closer you get to one the better chance you have of receiving a referral.  A referral is adoption language for matching a child with their forever family.  We usually receive our updated numbers on the first of each month.

We were placed on the wait list in June.

No numbers in July. : (  August 1st looked like this:

Now before we reveal September numbers, there is something you must know.  August and September are considered the rainy season in Ethiopia.  The courts sometimes close during this time.  From what we hear this year has been better and they have continued to work in the rainy season.  However, we didn't want you to be shocked by the very little progress on the wait list.

Our most recent wait list numbers are....

Please continue praying for strength in our journey, faith in His timing, and peace to the orphans around the world.

With love,
John and Nicole

Just in case you want to see those numbers side by side, here you go!