Tuesday, November 27, 2012

5 More Heights Added To Our Wall!

We have a wall in our kitchen where we measure the height of everyone in our family.  Carissa, our 14 year old, has passed up my 5 foot 5 inches by inches and is now at a standstill.  Our 13 year old son is gaining quickly on me.  We are ALMOST nose-to-nose.  I believe our 11 year old daughter will end up being about the same height as I am, and as for Lyric (our 5 year old), we are very happy that her head now reaches above the kitchen counter! But more importantly, today we were able to add to the wall the heights of our children in Colombia! 

When I told Lyric that Briyic, her 4 year old sister, was going to be taller than she is she got a bit upset.  But then I said, "She may be taller, but you will always be older!" and she got a huge grin on her face.  Then I told her that Diego, who is 3, would be about her height, and she made a face and said, "But he's a boy!".  I couldn't help but crack up with laughter!

We also received some other news that we have been waiting for about the Visa photos of the children.  Apparently, when we received the last update ICBF decided to wait to hear our response so they put everything on hold.  Maybe they thought we were going to say no to the children based on what was in the report?  No way!  Anyway, that is one reason why we are still waiting for the photos. All is good now though because they are starting the process back up again to get the photos and, hopefully, we will soon have them.  The sooner we get them, the sooner we get the children's Visa's, the sooner we get our entrega date (the date we meet our children), the sooner we can get our airplane tickets, the sooner we get to our children!

On a final note, I would like to thank everyone who made a purchase today and yesterday with our "Cyber Monday (and Tuesday) Fundraising Sale".  I had a lot of fun putting it together!  Right now, we are selling the soap as a fundraiser for our own adoption expenses, but it is my intention and hope that after we are done fundraising we will be able to turn it into a business - a business that will help educate and raise awareness of orphans and adoption, as well as one that will help others who are adopting with their fundraising efforts. 

This is the new message that will be placed on the wrapping of each bar of soap:

Learn to do good; seek justice,
reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan,
plead for the widow. Isaiah 1:17

In closing, I would like to thank our Father for His goodness.  We are blessed beyond measure.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday (and Tuesday!) Fundraising Sale Special!

We decided to get in on all the fun of Cyber Monday (and Tuesday!) and put together our own special deal!  For today and Tuesday only, place your order for our already discounted special of 5 bars for $25.00 and get your CHOICE of either a  FREE bar of soap (you pick!) OR a fun, home-made CRACKED-CORN BEDWARMER made by our two oldest girls! We will offer this special only until midnight (November 27th) so don't delay, and be sure to order today!  All proceeds go towards our adoption of a sibling group of 5 children.  Their names are David, Jamie, Briyic, Diego and Brayan.

To view our fundraiser and our available bars of soap please click here and email your order to Karen at kevkarb@yahoo.com.  Thanks for looking!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Missing Our Children, When We Haven't Even Met Them

Sigh.  It has been pretty hard switching gears from "expecting to travel to meet our children soon" to "we won't be traveling until AT LEAST mid-January".

The strike is almost over in Colombia, but in some areas I have heard that it is still going strong.  One of these areas is where our children are: Bogota.  I have read that the strike has pushed everything back at least 4 weeks.  At this point, I will be really surprised if we even get to travel mid-January.  The judges aren't back to work.  When they do go back, they are behind at least 4 weeks.  There is a break from mid-December to about mid-January so adoptions are not processed during that time.  So...  will we even travel in January?  I have no idea :(

In the meantime...

We know for sure now that our little Colombians are in three different foster homes.  Juan David is in one, Briyic in another, and the youngest three boys are together in yet another foster home.  Not only will they have to adjust to being with us as a new family, but they will need to adjust to being with one another as well.  I pray that ICBF is doing everything they can to prepare them for being together again and for us being their new family.

It wasn't good news that we received from ICBF about our daughter, Briyic.  Because of the sensitive nature of it, I would rather not share the details here.  She is getting, as well as Juan David, some counseling sessions.  I suppose that may be good for them, but I can't help but think that if we only had them here with us...

I am anxious to hold each one in my arms.  I want to cook for them and bathe them.  I want to make them giggle and laugh.  I'm excited to teach them, and to show them the love of Christ.

One of the things that was holding up our travel, despite the strike, was the Visa photos of our children in Colombia.  Our agency's contact there has been trying for over a month to get their Visa photos.  We still don't know if she has them.  Hopefully tomorrow we will find out more.  It seems so wrong that a strike, a vacation in the, well, I don't know who all gets the vacation but it stops adoptions from being processed, and a few Visa pictures, are the only things that are stopping us from wrapping our arms around our children.  I know, it's only a couple more months, but it seems like sooo much longer than that.

One benefit of not traveling right away is that we have a bit more time to get our house in order before it becomes totally disorganized again while we adjust to being a family of 11!  We were able to clean out the house a little and have a yard sale.  I really didn't expect to do too well having a sale in mid-November, but the weather was great, and we were blessed to put a couple hundred dollars towards the adoption expenses!  Way better then I ever thought we would do.

Disappointingly, we were turned down for another grant we had applied for.  This one was a matching-grant, and I was pretty sure we would qualify for it, but were told instead that there were a lot of applicants and not enough funds... 

The good news is that our all-natural goat milk soap fundraiser is going well!  Not only do we get to raise money for the adoption expenses, but we get to provide those who order with an excellent product!  We have had many people tell us how wonderful our soap is and how good it is on their skin.  Even individuals with eczema say how great it is!  If you would like to order just click on our fundraising page listed above to see what we have available and email me with your order - simple!  Oh, and they are great to give as a Christmas gift to friends, family, as a secret-Santa, co-workers, or even for yourself!

Thanks for reading!


Friday, November 2, 2012

In God We Trust

The adoption process is often described as a roller coaster.  It is one crazy ride filled with highs and lows, twists and turns, emotional ups and downs.  As a Christian, I know that God's timing is best but that doesn't mean it's always easy.  Today we had to make the decision not to travel to our children until after the new year.  So many outside obstacles/events added up to this.

One obstacle was the passport-sized photos needed to go with the Visa application for our children.  Our agency requested them over a month ago, and they have yet to receive them.  I find this conflicting to me emotionally because if we did have them we would likely be traveling to Colombia now and be taking care of our children.  On the other hand, we would be in Colombia in the midst of a judicial strike that has been going on for about 3 weeks now.  We keep hearing that negotiations have been made and the strike is ending... and then it doesn't.

The strike is a big part of our decision not to travel even if the children's visas were processed. We have heard that only about 10% of judges are still working in Colombia.  That means 90% aren't.  Families who traveled already to receive their children are in limbo there.  They have no idea when they can come home.  Adoption is expensive to begin with, but add on the extra weeks in Colombia and it's even more so.  Families are also divided by it.  Many husbands/wives have had to travel back home to work while their wives/husbands and child/ren stay in Colombia.  Even when the strike ends, there will be a backlog of cases.  Adoption cases aren't usually the priority.

Then there is the break that occurs for some governmental workers in Colombia at the end of December/beginning of January.  If your adoption isn't completed by the end of the year, then you get to add at least 3 weeks to your stay in Colombia.  That's a long time for us, especially since Kevin works for himself.  His income will already be greatly effected for the period of time we will need to be there without adding extra weeks.

The worse part of knowing we can't travel is the children.  By this time, they know who we are.  They know we are their new parents.  They won't know why we aren't there for them yet or why it is taking so long for us to get there.  They aren't even living in the same place.  The best I can figure out from the paperwork is that they are in 4 different foster homes.

I comfort myself with the peace that God is in control.  His timing is perfect and not mine.  I pray that He uses our trials for His glory and that others may come to know Him through us.

Please continue to pray for our children in Colombia.  We were told today to expect a letter soon from ICBF concerning our four year old daughter, Briyic.  ICBF doesn't usually send letters out of the blue that have good news in them.  The last time we received one it was about one of our sons, and it had sad/bad news in it.

In God I trust,