7.19.2011

Adoption update...

jenn and otto
 {me with my newest nephew, Otto--July 8, 2011...what a joy it was for me this week to be able to hug and love on this precious baby boy.  I am so proud to be his Aunt GiGi.}
"Even if you exercise your strongest faith, God will not always reward you immediately according to your desires. Rather, God will respond with what in His eternal plan is best for you. He loves you to a depth and completeness you cannot conceive of in your mortal state. Indeed, were you to know His entire plan, you would never ask for that which is contrary to it even though your feelings tempt you to do so. Sincere faith gives understanding and strength to accept the will of our Heavenly Father when it differs from our own. We can accept His will with peace and assurance, confident that His infinite wisdom surpasses our own ability to comprehend fully His plan as it unfolds a piece at a time."
~Richard G. Scott on the topic of "Faith", you can read more from his talk here

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Well my friends, I thought it was time to give you an update on where we are with Adoption #2.   A lot has happened in the past several weeks.  As many of you know, it's been three years in the making since we started our paperwork for our second adoption. Just a little recap for those of you who are new to my blog, we have been working like crazy the past 7 weeks trying to complete a new homestudy (our 3rd homestudy in three years...argh!!!) with the hopes of being considered as the forever family for two little sisters who are currently in foster care in Texas. The oldest is 2.5 years old and the baby is 12 months--the most precious girls.  You can read a little more about this endeavor here and here.

Since my last update and almost 8 weeks after meeting the girls in person, we were able to complete the homestudy through our agency. This particular homestudy differs from our other two we've completed in that it is specifically for a state adoption through CPS. It has been a nerve-wracking experience from start to finish trying to complete the paperwork, classes and homestudy because we are navigating waters we have never been on before. Our first adoption was through a private agency for an infant adoption.   We were told in May by the adoption unit coordinator (the committee who will be determining the placement of the girls) that we needed our homestudy completed and submitted by July 1st if we wanted to be considered as their parents. After they recieve our homestudy, the committee will then review all the homestudied families  who are interested in the girls and narrow it down to three families for a final decision regarding the adoption placement.

Our homestudy was completed in mid-June and all we had been waiting for was the Director of the agency to review it and sign off on it. On the day that it was scheduled to be submitted electronically to the girl's caseworker and the adoption unit, we received a phone call early that morning from our agency notifying us that there was a problem.  There was required documentation missing from our adoption file and without it, they would not be able to submit our homestudy in time for the deadline. Our adoption agency had failed to notice in our file that we needed an updated criminal background check from Virginia. We were devastated when we initially got this news. We knew it typically takes about 14 business days to get a background check submitted and received back from out of state. We had already been through this process when we moved back to Texas and transferred our adoption file from Virginia to Texas.  We were required back then in 2009 to have a criminal background check in Virginia. The forms were included in our file from 2009. What the agency failed to tell us is if you have lived out of state within five years, the background checks have to be re-done annually and resubmitted to the adoption file (even if you have never re-inhabited the state during that five year period...really stupid policy if you ask me). 

When we got the news that morning about this mistake, I literally just fell apart in the car. We were on the road (2 hours down the road from home) heading to Wimberley for our camping trip.   I don't know when I have sobbed and cried that hard.  Poor Noah was in the back of the car sitting in his carseat as I drove and he was watching me as the tears flowed.  He kept telling me, "Mommy, it will be okay.  I love you."  I tried to hold back the tears for his sake, but I just couldn't.  The disappointment was so overwhelming.  In my heart, I was convinced our chances of being considered by the adoption committee were over now--there was just no way we could get the background checks back in time from Virginia.  But I was wrong. 

Jody and the Director at our adoption agency immediately began brainstorming that morning over the phone and figured out a plan to quickly resolve the issue. To make a long story short, the Director was able to talk to a supervisor in the Virginia state office where background checks occur and had them fax the forms to us. We stopped at an attorney's office at a small town en route to our camping trip, signed the forms, the attorney had them notarized and we then drove to the next small town where we could overnight the forms to Virginia. We were told to include a Fed Ex envelope in the package and they would expedite the background check and Fed Ex them back to our Adoption agency by the end of the week.  The background forms made it back within the week (just as promised) and our homestudy was mailed off in time.  

And now my friends, all we can do is just wait.  Wait for a call from our agency letting us know if we are one of the three families it is narrowed down to.  And then, wait and see if we are the family that is chosen to adopt the girls.  The waiting game continues to be the hardest part for me with all of this.  I am not a patient person by any means, which makes it all the harder.  Our adoption agency emailed us earlier this week wanting to know if we'd like them to go ahead and send off our homestudy for any other children who match our profile, but we've asked them to hold off for now.  We really feel we need to wait and see what happens with the girls.

To add a little more stress to the mix, we got word late last week that a foster family who had the youngest girl when they were initially pulled from their home by CPS, they have now formally expressed their interest in adopting both the girls.  We're not sure how long they had the youngest girl in their care, but we were told it was under six months.  This was (as you can imagine) somewhat disappointing news for us because under Texas law, they may have legal standing.  The adoption unit will now have to  formally investigate this couple and see why both girls were never placed in their care at the same time and then determine if they do in fact have legal standing.

For now, I just hope, pray and continue to wish for a little miracle to come our way.  Every day I look at their sweet little faces in the pictures I have and say a little prayer....a prayer that if it's at all possible...if it's what is in the best interest of the girls and our family, that we might be allowed the opportunity to adopt them and welcome their sweet little spirits into our home and family soon.  I think I speak for both Jody and myself when I say that we are at a stage in this process where we have great faith that if this is God's will for us then it will all will work out the way it is supposed to in the end. Now that's not to say that we won't be sorely disappointed if we are not chosen--we will.  That's not to say that many tears won't be shed---they will,  I have no doubt, but acceptance will  follow because we know in our hearts that it is all in God's hands and his infinite wisdom far surpasses ours in the end.

XOXO...

Jennifer

5 comments:

  1. Oh, my sweet friend...how I hope all the miracles line up and are poured out upon you. That quote from Elder Scott really brings it home doesn't it? How powerful. Prayers coming your way!

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  2. I can't begin to tell you how much I admire you strength in such a trying situation. So glad you got to come home to be with your family and feel their love and support. My prayers are with you. Next time you're here, we will HAVE to blog talk :)

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  3. It sure does Syliva...thank you for your sweet prayers.

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  4. V...thank you for your sweet comment and yes, I really want us to get together. I was hoping we could on this recent visit, but my trip was cut short when Noah got sick. Let's definitely plan on a visit next time I'm in town. :-)

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  5. oh jen, my heart is full of love for you. this is such a journey isn't it. i know that you are a woman of faith and that every step you take is with god. and he, in turn, takes every step with you. it's hard to watch things unfold when you have no control - just immense love. you are amazing. we are praying for your family!

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