Immeasurably More

THEY KNOW. We found out late last Friday afternoon that the in-country social worker had met with the kids to tell them about us. According to our lawyer, the kids were excited and the older girls wanted to know where they would attend school and if it would be in Spanish or English.

They will be meeting with the social worker on a weekly basis through the end of September, with a tentative date for us to meet the kids in country on October 3rd. That would put us back in Tennessee in mid-late November, or early December, depending on how long everything takes once we arrive in Costa Rica. While it's a bit later than we were expecting, it does give us more time to plan, save, and set up travel arrangements, so God's timing is always perfect. 

One thing that we recently learned was that ours is the largest set of siblings being adopted together that our lawyer and social worker have worked with, and possibly the largest sibling set ever adopted from Costa Rica (that we know of - there are other agencies, lawyers, social workers, and orphanages in country). Our in-country representatives are quite excited about that. 

We can't share photos until the children are legally ours (after we're in country), but we can tell you that they are ADORABLE. From what we've seen so far, the personalities that come across seem to be a good fit for us - which isn't surprising. God's the best at writing our stories, right?

As we get closer and closer to the end of this phase of the adoption journey, I find myself overwhelmed... but probably not in the way you are thinking. I am overwhelmed that God would choose us to raise these children. I am honored and humbled that out of all the people in this world who seem better suited for the work - God called us. Most of the time I feel like Paul, the least likely candidate for the job to which God has called me. But as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:10...

"But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me."

I love the fact that God took two, extremely-vocal-about-not-being-kid-people, people, who never wanted to be parents, and decided that they needed 5 children to raise for Him. God has a sense of humor. Guess what? We're STILL not kid peopleBUT, you know what? We are both excited about these 5 kids that He is entrusting to us. I love that God made us all so very different, and that He uses those differences for His glory when we are willing to bend our will to His. I love that this story - from start to finish - isn't our idea, doesn't fit our plan, and couldn't be more out of the box. Glory to God in the highest!

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." {Ephesians 3:20-21}


Just Keep Praying

Here's what we don't know, we don't have, and how you can pray about it all...
  • We don't know for sure if the kids found out about us this week or not so... keep praying for them.
  • We don't have a set travel date yet so... keep praying for patience and wisdom for us.
  • We don't know if we'll be able to Skype with them or not yet so... pray for peace whether we can or we can't.
  • We're still lacking $7600, and a few essentials from our registry... pray we'll have what we need, when we need it.
People keep asking how we're holding up with all the waiting. We're FINE. Really! Remember: we've been marching through this process for almost 4 years now, so waiting is old hat at this point. 


After a slight hiccup earlier in the week, we finally got our USCIS provisional approvals on all of the paperwork for the 5 kids to come to the U.S. :) This will be finalized once we're in Costa Rica and are able to visit the U.S. Embassy with them. There's still a lot of paperwork to come, but we're one step closer to bringing them home. 


Short and Sweet

LAST WEEK... absolutely nothing to report. Just WAITING.

THIS WEEK... we added $650 to our adoption fund (THANK YOU!!), and I (Carrie) spent 4 days removing tags and washing ALL of the clothes for all 5 kids. I suspect our water bill will be increasing. ;) 

NEXT WEEK... the kids finally find out we exist. We still don't know if we'll be able to Skype with them before we travel or not.

TRAVEL DATES... still unknown, but looking like early September right now, which would put us back home in mid-October.

WE STILL NEED... items from our Amazon registry, if you're so inclined:http://www.amazon.com/registry/baby/3FMEV8P5KVDOSFINANCIAL CHECK-IN... $7613.46 away from our total goal (plus credit card payment processing fees from YouCaring), and $214 from our next YouCaring checkpoint ($13k). 


* For the kids - next week will be life changing for them. 
* For us - as we continue to seek God's guidance to grow as Believers and prepare as parents to raise these 5 kids.
* For the social worker in Costa Rica - to know Jesus, and have wisdom as she prepares our kids for the adoption.


Ways to Help

HOLD PLEASE... we finally found out that the original information we had been given (that the kids would find out this week about us) was incorrect. As it stands, the kids won't find out about us until JULY 20th (at the earliest), which means we have about 3 weeks to go before they find out that they won't be separated, that we exist, and that we've been matched. 

THE POSITIVE... from the additional reams of paperwork we were given earlier this month, we have seen that their (Catholic) orphanage appears to have a lot of outdoor space and a large play area - running and playing is encouraged, and the kids sound like they are receiving good care from the orphanage workers, teachers, and counselors. It's not ideal, but it could definitely be worse. 

SO AFTER THAT... from that date of July 20th (when they - hopefully - have their first meeting with the in-country social worker), it will take another month+ for them to go through the preparation/counseling required and provided by the country's child welfare department. 

THE POSITIVE... with all the dates moving forward, that gives us more time to earn/raise the $9,000 that we are still lacking.

WHICH MEANS... the potential final meeting between the kids and the social worker would take place on AUGUST 24th, and gives us a travel window of the last week in August, but more probably early September. That's a full three months later than we originally anticipated traveling, but not any later than God expected, so we're looking at the positives and moving forward. :)