Saturday, September 29, 2012


Yeah!  Up until two days ago I wasn't really all that excited yet about traveling to Colombia.  I was excited about the children, just wasn't too interested in traveling yet.  But then for some reason on the way home from the dentist for our son, Tyler, it just hit me.  I started getting really, really excited about going.  I had this big goofy grin on my face for most of our way home.  Tyler must have thought there was something wrong with me!

Yesterday I received a wonderful call from our Officer with USCIS.  She was just letting me know that she had our documents and would be reviewing them that day.  So far my experience with the individuals at USCIS has been very positive.  They have always been extremely friendly and helpful - and most important, PATIENT with me!

Trying to be patient myself, I waited until about 4:30 today to call and check on the paperwork.  Another REALLY NICE officer answered the phone and checked on our paperwork.  She said our officer had everything approved yesterday.  And, she was very excited for us to be bringing the children into our home.  She asked their ages and was very happy that we are able to bring them into our family.

Then, about an hour after I made my call to USCIS my phone rang.  Any time we get a call from USCIS the only number that shows up on my cell is a three digit one: 816.  Why do I even allow the thought to cross my mind that the only reason they are calling is because there was some kind-of a mix-up and they would need more information???  I really don't like that type of a thought process from myself :(

It was our officer calling to give us GOOD news!  She wanted to let me know that we had been approved.  She said she finished reviewing the I800 paperwork yesterday, but then there is a lot of paperwork that she has to fill out on her end.  Unfortunately, she wasn't able to get it completed by 4:00 when the mail was picked up so it won't go out until Monday.  But we should have it in the mail next week.  Thank you! Thank you!  Thank you!

Praising God for his goodness,


P.S. I updated the page for what we still need for the children.  We were able to narrow down a lot of the items thanks to many generous people.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Paperwork is in the building :)

I spoke with our USCIS officer this morning - she said our paperwork was in the building!  That is great news.  She said everything should be on her desk within a couple of days, and she laughed a little when she said that it would take her almost the whole day to read through all the paperwork because there are five of them!  Even better, she will let us know when she gets it or when she is done with it.  I told her I would be happy with either.

Keeping you posted,


Friday, September 21, 2012

Our I800 papework was received at USCIS

Arriving home today I was excited to see a letter from USCIS in the mail.  Then I saw another letter.  And another... and another and another!  I can't believe I didn't get it right away that since we had filled out 5 applications (one for each child) we would be getting back five notices of action in the mail - I'm going to go ahead and blame that one on my head cold :)

We have been really busy since my last post.  Kevin and Tyler (our son) had the opportunity to help move some friends of ours all the way to Utah (we are in Indiana).  They went there and back again in only 6 days!  Kevin was the official driver of a Dodge truck with a trailer pulled behind it which was filled with chickens and other poultry, a few dogs, cats and other things. 

It was an awesome trip for the two of them.  They made some great memories and had some really good bonding moments.  I'm sure one of their favorites for years to come will be when they had a radiator hose blow out in Wyoming about an hour from our friend's new home.  It was late.  It was dark.  They didn't know anyone.  Thousands of stars were out.  I can't even begin to imagine it.  I'm really happy they could have this trip together!

While the guys were traversing across the country, the girls and I hit a few yard sales, moved around a bunch of bedroom furniture, and painted a bedroom.  Instead of musical chairs, we played musical rooms :)
Our oldest two girls will get to be roommates again.  The youngest two girls will share a room.  Tyler will finally not only get to share his room with one brother, but with two!  And then the two youngest boys will share a room. 

Through two seperate ministries, we have been blessed with a lot of needed items for the children - including clothing, two toddler beds (one is a really cool Cars one), and a crib!  I definitly need to get my list updated since I can cross off so many items.  Off the top of my head, our most needed items for the children now are bedding (two boy's twin beds, one toddler girl's bed, one toddler boy's bed, and one boy's crib), underwear and socks.  As soon as I can, I'll update our list of needed items.

This weekend we are busy having another fundraiser.  We are selling our goat milk soap at our town's annual festival.  We didn't do too well today (3 bars), but hope to do a lot better tomorrow.  There was a lot of rain this evening, and we found out that it was also the local homecoming night at the high school.

Well, time for me to get off this computer.  Each of us has been hit with head colds the past week.  Really glad it hasn't been anything worse than what it has been, but I do look a little funny with one of my eyes all swollen, puffy, red, and teary eyed from all the sinus pressure behind it.  These words are starting to get a bit blurry to me!

Night everyone!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Paperwork is on the move!

Hopefully the children will see this picture that we sent.  It says, "See you soon."

Kevin and I have spent hours getting all the paperwork done the past few days.  We have filled out about 100 pages!  Then we scanned them all in and made copies of everything.  Our plan was to get all the paperwork to Nichole at Children's Hope (our adoption agency) on Thursday because we thought that she would get our paperwork in the mail from Colombia on Friday.  But she got it this morning!  That was fast!

Since she is going to be out of the office tomorrow, we are still going to get it to her on Thursday morning, but then she will overnight it to USCIS.  That is great news!  USCIS is the next major factor in this whole paperwork process.  While we have been approved to adopt a sibling group of 5, we haven't said what sibling group of 5.  So now USCIS gets to learn the children's names, ages, where they are, etc and approve us to adopt them. (One part that has me a little nervous is wondering if we filled all the paperwork out correctly.  There was A LOT of it, and we were up until 2:30 in the morning working on it...)

Now we sit back and wait.  Well, not wait exactly.  There is a ton of stuff to be done around here - namely getting their bunk beds built (we are doing one regular bunk bed and one triple), rooms painted, furniture arranged.... Then there is the nesting syndrome where all of a sudden everything that you have been meaning to get done around the house all of a sudden HAS to get done before you get your children - because you want to spend all your time concentrating on loving them and not working around the house :)  Somehow, you want everything perfect for when you bring them home.


Sunday, September 9, 2012


I think that should be a new word in the dictionary.  After all, I know many people that do it.  The definition could be: the act of going to multiple yard sales/garage sales with the intention of finding great sales/deals on items at deeply discounted prices. 

Yesterday, my two youngest daughters (for now!), Laurel and Lyric, got to go out to a few sales with the intention of getting a lot of needed clothing for our new children.  We did really, really well!  At each sale we went to that had items we could use for the children, I asked if they could take a little less if I bought a lot of clothing.  They all said yes.  We were down to $7.00 when we stopped at another sale that had clothing for boys galore.  I told them what we were doing and they asked if we had pictures - of course!  They asked what sizes we needed and commenced adding things to a pile for us - including a few pairs of shoes.  I told them I only had $7.00 left and if they wanted to take some items out of the pile because they wanted more for it that it wasn't a problem AT ALL.  The guy just grinned and continued to put the items in bags.  He said, "just take care of those little ones".  We will!

Today, I am making a great big, gigantic to-do list of everything that I can think of that we want to have done before we travel.  It keeps getting longer and longer and longer... I'm actually looking forward to getting things done :)  In the midst of getting the to-do list done, we will still be homeschooling.  I could use some prayers for that one.  I can get distracted easily by all the other things we need to do and let the teaching go to the wayside, which isn't so great for the kids. 

I'm also putting together a calendar in excel that I'm going to print off.  It takes us up through November so that we can kind-of schedule out what needs to get done and when.  Um... all the weeks left fit on one page - granted, there isn't a ton of space to write on each day, but still, it does all fit on one page!  That was pretty eye-opening to me.

I'm off to get more done!


Friday, September 7, 2012

Yes! We have the official referral!!!

We are very happy to announce that we have received the official referral for the children and we are accepting it on Monday!  I wish I could show pictures!  They are an adorable group of children - 4 boys and 1 girl.  The two oldest are boys and the two youngest are boys.  The girl is right in the middle :)  I think she will be happy having Lyric as a sister! 

I'm not even sure if I can post their names here.  So for now, I'll use some initials.

The oldest boy I will call JayD. He is almost seven!  I am hoping that we can make it to Colombia in time for his birthday in November.  The paperwork says he likes to draw and play soccer.

The next I'll call Jay.  He is about 5 1/2 years old.  It says that he also likes to draw.

The next is our new daughter - Bee.  She just turned 4.  She looks very sweet.  The paperwork says she doesn't like the dark.  In the photo we have, her hair is up.  I can't wait to see it down.

Our next son we will call JayD2 because the initials are the same.  He is almost 3!  I think that we will miss his special birthday because it is next month.

And finally the youngest I'll call "Little One".  He will be a couple months shy of 2 when we travel.  He has very cute cheeks!

Now that we have the official referral for them, travel is right around the corner!  We are going to do our best to travel in November.  We have to get a few more pieces of paper sent between our country and Colombia before we can go.  If that doesn't get done as quickly as we would like it to, we won't be able to travel until January.  I think we are in for a whirlwind! 

Now that it's official and we are bringing our children home, I feel comfortable letting you know what some of our needs are for the children.  Many of you have asked what we could use.  I'll put a list together and put it somewhere on the blog.  Maybe I'll make a page b/c I like those now that I know how to do it.

Thank you for all the prayers that have been said on behalf of our family, our new children, and this adoption.  Thank you for rejoicing with our family for the referral of these children.  I am thanking God that we will soon be able to hold them in our arms.  That we will be able to love them.  To cuddle with them.  To read and laugh with them.  To provide for them.  Thank you, God.  Thank you for blessing our family.

Karen and family