Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sometimes it's God just throwing Barbie Clothes at Us

I've been burdened lately by so many people I love that are going through some tough stuff.  Some seem to be choosing the tough, most are just in it and can't see why. 
Either way, as a child of God, He has a plan wayyyy bigger and better than we can see.  So I'm reminded of this post from my "blog archives".  We see our situation as an annoyance and completely frustrating, asking God *why*.  But MAYBE He's just throwing Barbie clothes at you. It's all about perspective and trust.
In the Spring of 2010....
Here's the mini adventure that my boys, my niece and I had yesterday afternoon.
 It's been really nice here, the back door sliding screen has been open ( no bugs yet) and as many times as I have closed it behind the kids, I have found it open again.
  For a while I've been blaming them
 But I did witness the wind blow it open, so I'm not sure *who* left it open yesterday afternoon.
  But it became the invitation to a visitor into our home.
  At one point I walked into the kitchen, saw the door again was open and a little bird quickly flew out from the floor of the dining room.
  Just a couple minutes later I walked in to my bedroom, which is down the hall, and a bird took a dive bomb flight around my head!!
 So I did freak out a bit (or alot a bit), but once I knew it was a bird, I was laughing (ok after a small scream and a quick run OUTTA THERE!).
  I ran to find the kids and called Nate.
Poor Nate, I think he gets weekly calls about something he really doesn't want to deal with while he's at work.
 (i.e. there is water in the laundry room from a unknown source, there is water coming out from under the sink spilling onto the kitchen floor, the garage door won't shut, the Wii isn't working...THERE IS A BIRD IN THE HOUSE!)
  Each time he is so calm and patient with me, it's quite amazing actually.
 So the call yesterday consisted of my announcement, then his matter of fact and calm response, "I'm in Columbus, just open up a window".
At that point the bird flew into Emma's room and the 3 kids ran in after did I.
  I thought we should try to keep it in there since her room has 2 windows. I shut all 4 of us in there, I know, I know BRILLIANT!
I opened up the windows and the screens and thought for sure immediately the bird would fly right out thanking me along the way required alot more time out of my day than I planned.
Logan became the "chief blind-holder-upper" on one window, Clayton and Kate one and only job was to stay in one place, and NOT SCREAM (that was enough responsibility for them).
  As I sat on the bed for a minute to come up with a *brilliant plan*, I noticed my niece Kate had something white smeared all over the crown of her head, oh great...the bird.
  "um, Kate, hunny what do you have in your hair?"
 She matter-of-factly said " well we were playing outside and I put yogurt on my head to pretend it was my brains coming out"
Yes, she is smack in between my boys and two big brothers. enough said, totally understandable.

I stationed myself at the other window, holding up the blinds. Ok, so NOW it will just fly right out. I mean you can feel the breeze coming in, hear the other birdie friends calling it out, and see the trees just inviting it to COME THIS WAY.
But no, it decided time and time again to fly right into the mirror on the back of Emma's door. REALLY?? the mirror ( no it was not clean, there was no way it was looking like the outside, it was flying into FINGERPRINTS) was more appealing than TWO open windows??? BIRDS ARE DUMB, really dumb!!
After a couple more attempts at the mirror, it flew up onto my vintage baby clothing collection hanging on her wall. I was getting frustrated at this point, I don't have time for this.
  Oh at this point I remembered I had lunch in the oven, and the timer had gone off some time ago....NICE! perfect.
In my position, I didn't have many options. But I did think I needed to get him to FLY. Cause he was perched up there for what seemed like forever!!
Looking around I saw what might just work...Barbie clothes!!!!
I grabbed a purple satin evening gown and flung it towards Tweetie, hmmm not heavy enough to go the distance. So I grabbed Prince Charming's 3pc suit ( now realizing both Barbie and Ken are naked somewhere...hmmm..what are they up to?)
I didn't want to throw something that would hurt him, just get him to MOVE! It worked!!!
The adventure was over, he flew right out Logan's window.
So last night as I was getting into bed, I noticed that Tweetie did indeed leave a mark for us to remember him by. As I (oh, I mean Nate) cleaned up the mess it got me thinking...

Aren't we like that bird??? That DUMB BIRD.
 We get ourselves into a situation and God DOES provide a way, or multiple ways out, and yet we see a mirror (looks good) and bang our head into that over and over, get mad at the situation, hear our wise counsel encouraging us to make a good choice, and yet again we choose to fly into the mirror!
 Then our Father, who doesn't want to harm us, wants us to make good choices, He wants us to see that we can trust Him and what He has planned is PERFECT.
 And when it's the right time He may just have to throw *Barbie clothes* at us.
  Something to MAKE us FLY!!!
Is He throwing *Barbie clothes* at you?????

Sunday, March 10, 2013

It costs HOW MUCH???!!!

We have had many friends and family members ask us "why in the Sam Hill does it cost so much?"
And yes, that's an exact quote.
So I thought I would share a little bit about how this whole International Adoption process works.
Specifically China.
Specifically Special Needs.
Specifically through the agency we have chosen.
Here's a cost breakdown, and where it all goes.
And yes it still makes my head spin no matter how many times I look at this.
Agency Application       $200
Agency Program Fee     $2500 
Home Study Fee (we use a local agency to complete this)   $3900
     this includes the home study, and post adoption fees that have to be paid up front.
Let's pause....
I also hear "what in the Sam Hill is a Home Study?"
A home study is requires for all adoptions, domestic or international.  And even though we already completed a home study through our county/state, yep, we have to do another one.
We should be all studied up for this then!
We are assigned a case worker that is in charge of our collection of needed documents like...
* birth certificates
* marriage license
* medical documents
* safety audit
*fire inspection
* child abuse clearance
*proof of residence for last 5 yrs
*FBI & BCII Fingerprint clearance
*cultural training certificate
*reference letters
* employer letters
*financial statements
*guardianship agreement
* and on and on and on....
Back to the fees....
Dossier preparation     $450
One more question "what in the Sam Hill is a Dossier?" (pronounced doss- e- ay)
This is another collection of paperwork and this collection has to go through a process...
Notarized locally, then checked by our County Clerk, then sent to our Sec. of State, then sent to the Ch.Embassy, then back to us, then to our adoption agency, then to Ch.
Hence the term "Paper Chase"
There are fees for each piece of paper to move along these steps starting w/ the State.  And we have to pay a courier service to hand deliver them to the Ch. Embassy.
Back to the fees....
Second Agency Program Fee      $2350
Ch. Children Services Fee           $1275
Post Adoption Fee (due before we can be matched)   $1000
Third Agency Program Fee         $1950
Post Adoption Translation Fee (due before we can be matched) $360
Travel & Accommodation Fee        approx $4100
Ch. orphanage gift                      $5000
Child Physical & visa fees               approx $400
Various In Country fees             $1600
If my math is decent, this adds up to $25,000+
Ok...I hope
that I don't scare anyone who *might* be thinking about International Adoption soon.  Because those numbers mean squat to our God.  HE FUNDS WHAT HE FAVORS!!!
We wanted to be completely transparent with you with what HE will need to take care of through this journey.  We need your prayers!!! 
We are asking the Lord to bless the company the Nate works for.
We are asking the Lord that our fundraising efforts will be fruitful.
We are asking the Lord to light a fire in the hearts of our friends and family to consider adoption.
We are asking the Lord to
Flat Out
Knock Our Socks Off!
We are asking YOU to join us in our journey to bring our daughter HOME!
We can't wait to see what Our Lord will do!!
To Him be the Glory!!!!
ANY gift is generous in His eyes and ours.
~ Amber