Sunday, November 16, 2014

Home Study Complete!

Our domestic home study could not have gone better!  It is going very smoothly, at least so far.  All of our references have come back.  All of our clearances have come back, except for the Child Abuse and Neglect Findings, which we hope to get in tomorrow.  Technically, Dru is unable to use the ones from lifeline, but since she did see them, she is not concerned at all.

She hopes to finalize everything tomorrow so that we can send everything in to the attorney!  I also just found out that the birth mom does not see the home study, she sees the profiles and the application that we filled out.  The attorney and the judge need to see the home study in the event that we are the chosen family for this, so the home study could even take until Tuesday and still be just fine for this situation (that is the later end of when we hope to finalize it).

Dru said she has no concerns about our family in approving us for a sibling group of up to 5 children, up to 10 years old.  She is also putting language in the home study stating that if the siblings are not available at the same time, it would still be acceptable, as that is the situation with these children IF all 5 of them actually become available.

Now that the craziness of both of the home studies are behind us, we are trying to get back to 'real life' kinds of things...like painting egg carton caterpillars this afternoon - pictures to follow soon.

There is certainly a weight that is relieved and a peace that has settled in now that the home study is done, at least on my end.  There is one more form that we may not be able to get from lifeline that states we are in good standings with them and had initially pursued an international home study for Colombia, which is complete and approved, and awaiting finalization.  We have learned it is a very strange thing for an adoption agency to refuse to release the information for a home study the way that lifeline has.  They have a lot of policies that have made it difficult to make this switch/change.  It is the one reason that I would hesitate to recommend them to other families.  I would definitely recommend Dru Groves to others as she is willing to release whatever information would be helpful to any other agency, or for a private use of her home study.  She is also available for any issues that come up during or after the adoption and for the post placement assessments and any issues that come up with the children after they are placed.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Excited anticipation

The social worker will be here in under 2 hours. My last load of laundry is in the washer, I am folding the last load I will get to today right after I post.

The house is ready - at least as ready as it will get. I would have liked to shampoo upstairs and wax the main level, but those are not huge deal kind of things.

Our official application was sent to the attorney this morning.

I expect the birth mom will see it on Monday when she signs consents for the adoption.

Birth dad is supposed to sign on Tuesday.

Dad's FBI report already came back! Woohoo!

So far, 10 applicants have sent in a preliminary packet. Praying that God would give us favor.

Everything seems to be falling into place so well that and I do hope it continues. I hope we are the family that God has for these precious children!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday afternoon update from attorney

Chelsea (intervention situation with 5 siblings): I am planning on meeting with Chelsea on Monday and see about having her execute her consents on the four older children and then meet with Father No. 2 on Tuesday at the Courthouse before the hearing for his consent on the three middle children. There are too many timing issues to contemplate or outline. I will have a better idea on everything once consents are signed. 

At this time, 9 applicants have sent in materials (hard copies) as instructed for Chelsea to consider. I assume more will come in tomorrow and Monday.

If you are one of the eight couples that sent me information, please email me tomorrow at miller@fordmiller.com and state, "We are (or I am) applicant _" and I will send you an application packet that will need to be filled out and sent back to me via email over the weekend (of the original 8, only 5 have responded.) 

Family A resides in Florida and they have 16 children (nine child not adopted and seven adopted) ranging from 2 to 22 years in age.

Family B resides in Washington and they have 8 children ranging from 13 to 2 years. None were adopted.

Family C has 15 children and it appears that 5 were adopted and they are between 22 and 2 years of age.

Family D has one child, he is five and not adopted and they live is Missouri.

Family E has seven children (all adopted) and they live in Pennsylvania.

Family F has one child (step-son age 14) and they live in Georgia.

Family G is a single parent with no children and she lives in Pennsylvania.

Family H is a couple that lives in Florida and it is hard to tell from the information they sent in if they have no children or perhaps a son around 5 or 6 years old.

Family I is a couple that has three daughters, all adopted. They did not disclose where they live, but some of the photos had snowfall on the ground.

Family J has 18 children between the ages of 17 -5 and they live in Kansas.


__________________________
We are OE of the families who has sent in he profile hardcopy as well as have contacted him for the application. I should have the application ready to email back tonight. Hoping and praying the home study is ready by Monday.

Dad's FBI fingerprints were not run correctly. They were not done with full legal name.m.so he has to redo them!

He has an appointment tomorrow. Praying they come back by Monday, too!

Continuing to pray that God would give us favor as we continue walking through this.  

Thank you for praying for our family.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Attorney Update

Chelsea (intervention situation with 5 siblings): I met with the incarcerated father of three of the five children - I will refer to him as Father No. 2. He is supportive of the intervention (not his first choice, but his most prudent option at this time). I believe Chelsea will execute consents to the four older children on Monday and Father No. 2 will sign his consents on Tuesday. If the intervention process goes as planned, the parental rights of Father No. 1 (the father of the oldest child has been uninvolved in the process) will be dealt with on an abandonment basis. It remains to be seen who the father of the youngest child is. It is either Father No. 2 or she could be the daughter of Father No. 3. As stated in an earlier post, Chelsea has an infant (about three months old) and it appears that she is going to attempt to complete her case plan for that child and, unlike with her older children, she does have time remaining on her case plan to do so. 

At this time, Chelsea has information on 9 couples. See below. 
I suspect that she will want to have more information of one or more of the couples over the weekend and certainly by Tuesday, the next court date. If you are one of the eight couples that sent me information, please email me tomorrow and state, "We are (or I am) applicant _" and I will send you an application packet that will need to be filled out and sent back to me via email over the weekend. 

If I get any more informal packets tomorrow, I will send them to Chelsea and she should see them on Saturday. I will continue to update on my Facebook page, so stay tuned.

Family A resides in Florida and they have 16 children (nine child not adopted and seven adopted) ranging from 2 to 22 years in age.

Family B resides in Washington and they have 8 children ranging from 13 to 2 years. None were adopted.

Family C has 15 children and it appears that 5 were adopted and they are between 22 and 2 years of age.

Family D has one child, he is five and not adopted and they live is Missouri.

Family E has seven children (all adopted) and they live in Pennsylvania.

Family F has one child (step-son age 14) and they live in Georgia.

Family G is a single parent with no children and she lives in Pennsylvania.

Family H is a couple that lives in Florida and it is hard to tell from the information they sent in if they have no children or perhaps a son around 5 or 6 years old.

Family I is a couple that has three daughters, all adopted. They did not disclose where they live, but some of the photos had snowfall on the ground.

______________________
One more family has said they have sent information in. I have emailed him for the info packet he wants filled out.

Hoping and praying for favor with this birth mom as she makes the ultimate decision on where her children go. I cannot imagine how difficult her choice is.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Now 8 Families have sent the pre application

From the attorney.
Family A resides in Florida and they have 16 children (nine child not adopted and seven adopted) ranging from 2 to 22 years in age.

Family B resides in Washington and they have 8 children ranging from 13 to 2 years. None were adopted.

Family C has 15 children and it appears that 5 were adopted and they are between 22 and 2 years of age.

Family D has one child, he is five and not adopted and they live is Missouri.

Family E has seven children (all adopted) and they live in Pennsylvania.

Family F has one child (step-son age 14) and they live in Georgia.

Family G is a single parent with no children and she lives in Pennsylvania.

Family H is a couple that lives in Florida and it is hard to tell from the information they sent in if they have no children or perhaps a son around 5 or 6 years old.


If this is the family God had for us, it will all work out!

Updates

This is an update from the attorney.

"Chelsea: This is the intervention case involving the 5 siblings under 6 years of age. There have been a development. It appears that due to timing issues and other legal issues, the State will be proceeding on the termination of parental rights for the oldest 4 of the sibling group and a case plan will be developed for the three month old for possible reunification. It is complicated but the bottom line is that Chelsea is very interested in finding a family to adopt the four older children AND in the event she cannot successfully complete the case plan for the youngest, she wants the family who adopted the older four to be prepared to adopt the youngest, should that be necessary (and that may be in a month or a year from now.)

"At this time, I have received four "informal" packets of information that I am sending to her for her review (see below). At this time it is not 100% certain that she will go forward but I have made plans to meet with the father of three of the children tomorrow - he is incarcerated. At that time, I will have a better idea of the timing issues and a clearer picture of the legal issues."

He also posted this:

 "Family A resides in Florida and they have 16 children (nine child not adopted and seven adopted) ranging from 2 to 22 years in age.

"Family B resides in Washington and they have 8 children ranging from 13 to 2 years. None were adopted.

"Family C has 15 children and it appears that 5 were adopted and they are between 22 and 2 years of age.

"Family D has one child, he is five and not adopted and they live is Missouri.

"Family E has seven children (all adopted) and they live in Pennsylania.

Family F has one child (step-son age 14) and they live in Georgia"

There are now 6 families interested in this sibling group of 4-5 children. Still praying for this mama and these children. And hoping this is who God has for us.

I will continue to post updates here on how things are progressing with the case and our super fast home study!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

More Paperwork, More Housework Needed

I have what I believe to be the last of the paperwork located, printed, and ready for Dru's visit on Saturday.

Several of us have been not feeling great lately, so the housework I was hoping to get done, well it just isn't.

I am feeling much better than I was Sunday. I am hoping a good night's sleep will help me feel like I can tackle some of the big projects like the garage, barn, homeschool cupboard, waxing the floors on the main level and washing light fixtures.

At the this point, I would like to get those things done, but if we don't I am not going to stress it! If this home inspection is like last time, it shouldn't be a big deal...but there is that chance that this time will be different...

It is all in God's hands! Praying that He would continue to make a way for us on this adoption journey!

Last Night

We had our first interview with the new social worker. Her name is Dru Groves, and so far, we would highly recommend her!

She is willing to 'release' any type of home study we would like, whether it is domestic, Hague, or non hague international.

She is also able to work very quickly! Especially since we already have a home study to start with.

She thinks she can have a draft for us to review by Monday!

We also learned last night that there are 4 families who submitted a preliminary profile for the bio mom to look at. Here is what the lawyer posted.

"Family A resides in Florida and they have 16 children (nine child not adopted and seven adopted) ranging from 2 to 22 years in age.

"Family B resides in Washington and they have 8 children ranging from 13 to 2 years. None were adopted. 

"Family C has 15 children and it appears that 5 were adopted and they are between 22 and 2 years of age.

"Family D has one child, he is five and not adopted and they live is Missouri. "
We were quite surprises to find we are the second SMALLEST family!

Praying for favor from the birth mom as we progress in this. As she gets to decide where her children go if she follows through with the private adoption.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Adoption Progress

Progress is a really tough term to define in adoption.

I do not remember where I left off in this journey, but our agency will not sign a letter stating 5 sibling domestically with an infant is acceptable because of their company policy to only use their lawyers and to be the ones responsible for the children before finalization.

That is not possible in this case.

However, our social worker gave us the name of someone who could possibly help.

She couldn't. In fact she asked if I was crazy for having 8 children and trying to adopt 5 more...

She was able to give me the name of 2 other social workers who *might* have been able to help us.

I left messages for both. The first to get back to me was Dru Groves. She has been very helpful, also thinks it is kind of silly that the agency won't sign a letter so we could use our existing home study, and is able to use that to help her write one in 11 days! 

This should be in the right timing for is to submit our home study for these 5 siblings we would lie to bring home!

Dru Groves is aso willing to use our education, and medicals, and background/security checks that we already have!

So far, God is working out the details in amazing ways!

In faith, we wrote a letter to this precious birth mom.

In faith we prepared a short scrapbook to send her of our home.

In faith we overnighted it to the attorney.


In faith, we have gathered and printed all of the necessary paperwork for the social worker.


Here is the scrapbook that will be part of the home study as well as what we sent to the birth mom.

I cannot figure out how to change the direction of this first pic - sorry!






We have individual interviews on Monday. Then we have our home visit on Saturday - one week from today! Which means that we will be scrambling a bit this week to get the house and yard back to "show quality"!

The question of whether or not this is progress will depend on how things go. Either this is progress, or this is merely an expensive rabbit trail!

Continued prayers would be greatly appreciated. Our prayer is that God would work out the details if this is His will for us. Ad that either way, He would prepare the children's and the adoptive families hearts for one another. We also pray a lot for their bio mom, who has some incredible choices to make.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Update on Please Pray

Our adoption agency has said that no, they are not able to write this letter stating that domestic is acceptable because they are not able to control the outcome of anything with the paperwork.  They would have to use their lawyers and their contacts and their agency as the placing agency, which is not possible in this situation.

However, they recommended a woman who would be able to do an expedited home study.  We are working with her today to see if this is something that would be possible.  We are still praying everything goes well.  I just emailed info to her that she had asked for, and am waiting to hear back from her when she gets back into the office.  Then we will see how/when we can proceed, based on her thoughts with the information I sent.

We are working on a profile to send to the birth mom for her to consider us at the same time.

Please keep praying.  This certainly still has a slim chance of working out, but God can move mountains, and IF this is the sibling group He has for us, I know that He will work out the details.  We just have to walk through step by step!

The other items are the same for this prayer request.

For now, we need to get to choir and band!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Please Pray!

A sibling group in the states has caught our attention. And while at first it seems impossible for us to be their family, it now seems that there is a slight chance it could work out!

This is a very young sibling group in the eastern united states. Their mom has lost custody and is considering putting them up for private adoption, which would make it possible for us...just possible mind you. This will have to be an absolute God thing for it to work out.

1) Please pray that our social worker would approve us for 5 and that she would write a letter stating domestic adoption is also acceptible.
2) We are praying that the bio mom  would put these siblings up for private adoption.
3) That she would choose us.
4) that government officials and social workers would give swift approval for icpc (interstate compact for the placement of children).

We should know more about this in about 2 weeks.

Kaitie's Baby Shower


Kaitie is having a little boy in December. Her due date is actually Christmas Eve. She got some wonderful gifts that should get some good use, too!









We are so excited to meet this precious little one! This is my 2nd nephew (the first is 15, and I have 1 niece who is almost 10).

Saturday, November 1, 2014

why no posts in 3 weeks?

That is actually a funny story...there were no posts, because I was effectively locked out of blogger!

I got a notice that said this is a protected blog, and I needed permission to view it. It took me awhile, but it is now fixed!

Though we have also had a seriously busy October!

Mondays and wednesdays have been spent getting naet allergy elimination treatments done...for all 9 of us, in Shoreline!

Tuesdays are piano lessons for Ashley, Brianna and Callie. Private flute lesson for Bailey and sax lesson for Anna. Drama for the older 3, and orchestra for Anna and Ashley...all after a full day of school for all 3 of those days! We do not need to leave the house until noon, and get home at 7:15ish.

Thursdays are choir and band days. All day in granite falls, no other school gets done those days!  We leave at 8:15 and get home about 7pm.

Fridays we have our other appointment days...adoption conference calls, medical appointments, pt for Callie, chiropractor, errands/shopping, etc.

November looks about the same..
Then we will be out of appointments for naet fr this year for everyone! Yay! And they should have each cleared 24 items and be in better health for it! Monday most of the children clear mold. The others clear vitamin A. The following week it will be beans/lentils on Monday and dairy on Wednesday. I am looking forward to knocking out these major allergens from my family! I also look forward to things slowing down in December to really enjoy the holidays!

Enjoying the cooler weather, too!


As much as we have enjoyed the nice weather, we have also enjoyed the cooler weather, when a warm mug of cocoa feels especially wonderful!


Enjoying the last of the nice weather


We have had a beautiful fall! Our heat was not turned on at all until Oct. 20th! And even them, we have only used one bag of pellets so far!

The children are loving being able to play outside still!

Happy Birthday Serenity

This little miss is 4 years old already!

She is a smart, spunky, generous, kind hearted little princess. She enjoys coloring and drawing and working on puzzles. She loves to sing and ride her time. She enjoys baking and cooking. She loves to play pretend and do her school worksheets.


We had some friends over for her birthday. We went through the pumpkin parable as we carved pumpkins.





And here is the end result, with the pumpkins clean on the inside and out, and with happy faces and light shining out of them.


In the children's defense on this next o e, I did not tell them this one was of them, lol. They are standing behind their pumpkins in the previous picture...I just turned on the flash to see them here...


Presents!


This is Olaf the snowman.


Who has sort of been commandeered by Judah, who just loves singing along about his dream on being apart of summer.


And she got this bullseye from Anna, who found him at a 2nd hand sale.



She loved her cake, yoo.!


And what more could a 4 year old want? She had a great birthday!

Band

This year, we have band, choir, drama and orchestra for our extra curricular classes. The girls really love each of them, and it has really been fun to hear them play!

I have often mentioned to them that it is helpful to give me a heads up several months in advance so I can save up and shop around or otherwise acquire the instrument they would like to play the following year.

It may seem like a lot - and it is - but, we consider it an investment for all of our children.

It has been absolutely amazing to see how God has provided just hat we needed just when we needed it...like 2 clarinets the year both Ashley and bailey decided they would like to try that instrument together in beginning band!

So far, we have flute, sax, trumpet, 2 clarinets, 2 pianos, 3 violins (2 full, 1 half size), and a myriad of guitars.

While I encourage them to think about the year to come, I do not expect, nor did I anticipate receiving an itemized list for what Anna wants to play in which band throughout her duration in the band/choir program! Here is her plan...


She has even put in several years of watching after she ages out of the program! Ha! Not sure that she will get everything on her list, or that we will even be able to participate in the program in years to come...but at least she is thinking ahead, lol!

The strangest part of being away

While there were many parts of being away that are different, like the quiet, and the ca, this was the strangest for me...cookin - for 2!

Here is our lunch our first full day there.


Iron Goat


We took the time while we were away to take the iron goat trail. It was a lot of fun!











This is actually something we want to bring our children on when the weather dries our a bit!

A Weekend Away


We do not get away much. And this was a much needed long weekend. Actually with 3 nights, this is as long as our honeymoon and as long as we have ever left our children to get away!

Here is the view from the back of our cabin.

And he cabin itself.


And some interior pictures.






We had a great time. And really, it was just about perfect for the length of time to be away from my children.

This trip have cemented in my mind the need to bring everyone to Colombia with us when we adopt. 2 months is is simply too long!

We will need to rent an apartment (or 2?). We will likely need extra help in country. And this is most certainly going to require some extra financing! It may take us longer to everything saved and ready financially, but we trust that God has already gone before us and knows how it will all work out!