Tuesday, August 25, 2015

It's A Girl!

YOU GUYS! I got a referral! I have been matched with a beautiful 10 year old girl. And.... I get to meet her September 14!!!!! I'm in panic mode now because I leave in 18 days to fly out to her country. So much to do. I was not anticipating getting a referral quite this quickly. I'm over the moon excited and terrified all at once.

I can't share any pictures on social media right now since she is an orphan. What I can say is she has been in the orphanage setting for her entire 10 year life in her home country. And she needs OUT. She needs a home and a family. She needs quality medical care and a good education. She needs US. Now. This first trip is to meet her and to formally "accept" the referral. I will spend 5 days meeting with her daily to get to know her. Then I come home without her for 4-6 months. Yes. Months. And then I get to travel again to bring her home.

My sweet, sweet 8 year old asked if she could help me raise money to get her sister home by designing a t-shirt. How could I say no to her? She picked out the color pink because "She's a girl!". Make sure you check out the front AND back of the shirt. My baby girl is so proud of her design. ;-) https://www.bonfirefunds.com/bringing-her-home

If you'd like to help another way, but don't want to purchase a shirt, you can make a donation to my tax-deductible account here https://www.adopttogether.org/laughlin I have about $10,000 due in legal and agency fees (ransom to get her home!) in the next month or two, with more to come a few months after that.

This long journey is finally just beginning! :-)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Long Overdue

OK. So this update is way overdue. It's been a loooonnnggg time since I posted anything. I've been super busy and haven't had any real news, hence no update. But, I've had lots of people ask me recently what is happening with my adoption. So here goes. I've spent much of the last year and a half in school. I started this adoption process in October 2013 and started paramedic school in December 2013. I finally finished that this past December and took a month and half off from school before I started at the fire academy. Four months later, I graduated from that. It's been a stressful and demanding year and a half, but the great thing is, it gave me something to focus on besides my adoption.

During the end of 2014, I made the huge decision to change the adoption agency I was working with. It was a difficult choice to make, because it meant that I was going to be losing some money that I had already paid. Given how expensive adoption is already, the thought of having to repay fees I had already paid and spend thousands more was stressful. However, I felt that the agency I was with was not supportive, lacked greatly in their communication and willingness to help, and overall was not a good match for me. I worried about completing an adoption with them. I found another agency that was amazing. They had great reviews and went above and beyond to help get me moved over and everything explained to me. I've been nothing but happy to be partnered with them.

Every year I am registered waiting for my country to give me a referral, I must do an update. This includes updating my home study (more of that super fun paperwork) and updating my U.S. Immigration approval. After doing lots of research and soul-searching, I decided to expand my parameters to be matched with a child. This means that I am open to be matched with more "types" of children, including more special needs and older than I originally requested. In the country I am adopting from, the most commonly requested child is "healthy" and under the age of 5. Subsequently, that is the hardest to be matched with and what I originally requested. It is currently taking 4-5 years to receive a referral for a child with that description. The more you are open to, the shorter your wait time could be. My new update was submitted mid-June, so I'm a month into waiting. Who knows what the time line looks like now. But hopefully it will be shorter than what I was looking at before.

I've also had some friends and family ask if there is anything they can do to help. If you're interested in helping bring a child into our loving home, I've set up an adoption donation account. Donations are tax-deductible and all of the money raised will go towards my upcoming legal and travel expenses. Every single dollar helps. You can also share the link with anyone you know that may want to help. https://www.adopttogether.org/laughlin Also, if you're local... I'm selling everything I have that isn't tied down. ;-) If you have stuff you want to get rid of, I'll gladly take it off your hands. Any money I make from selling stuff is also going straight to adoption expenses.

As always, I still appreciate the support and well wishes from all of you. It's a long and hard road and will continue to be. I don't mind questions, so if you have any, ask away. Please continue to keep us in your thoughts. There is an orphan on the other side of the world waiting for a family and we can't wait to have her (or him) home with us.