September 21, 2012

I'm moving to Africa... or something like that...

Alright Friends!  Remember when I told you good things were happening and big decisions were being made?!?  Well, they've been made.  The verdict?  I'm moving to Africa... or something like that...

Many adoptive parents during this stage of the process fly out to Ghana to file their 1-600, visit their child, fly back without their child and then allow their Power of Attorney in Ghana to handle the remaining pieces.  (Apply for Visa, conduct Visa medicals... etc.) Then (after all the above is approved... 1 to 3 months later) the parent(s) would either go get their child or have their child escorted home.

The above is a very good plan and up until last week that's what we were going to do.  However, due to Abiella's special needs and the nature of various factors, we have decided to go ahead and take custody of her now. At this point Abi is legally our daughter (and so I'm fully allowed to have custody of her), she's just not able to come into the states yet. Sooooo... I will fly out next week and get custody of Abiella!!  Wooohoooo!!!! When I think of holding her in my arms as she leaves the orphanage for the last time, I can hardly handle it.  There's absolutely no words to describe the joy!

After leaving the orphange, we will live in a hotel room together for an unknown amount of time...We're estimating 3 to 6 weeks. (Hopefully much less... pray for miracles!)    During that time we will go through all of the steps mentioned above (1-600, visa medicals, visa, etc.) We're still waiting on her passport to come in, but since we can do the 1-600 without it, we're moving forward. Our hope and prayer is that the folks working on our case will see Abi's need to get medical care and expedite our case.  As soon as we get the last step done, we'll be on a plane headed home!!! Mama and baby!

Thankfully, my wonderful mama will begin this trip with me! Woohoo!!!!

All this to say, please pray for swift processes and a happy, healthy baby! We will be transitioning Abiella's diet while we're there, so please pray for a good feeding experience. (Last time, feeding was a bit challenging... to say the least.)

Am I thrilled about being in Ghana for an unknown amount of time?  Well.... I'm thrilled to be with Abiella and I'm happy I'll have more time to experience the culture.  I do however, desperately want to get back where I can get her the medical attention she needs AND to be a family of 3 in the same house.  So staying in Ghana for 2 weeks? 3 weeks? 4, 5, 6 weeks? A year ago, I would have been FREAKING OUT that I didn't have an exact plan, but after all the stretching I've been through the last year (not to mention the insane amount of sadness being an ocean away from my baby) I am THRILLED.  I can't WAIT to go and having my mom with me for part of that time certainly eases my worries. Can you believe it? I'm going to have custody of Abiella soon!!!! In a week!!!!!!

I just can't imagine what it's going to feel like to text Sean: "We have custody of our baby."

Thank you (as always) for all of your prayers.  I can feel them!  Please keep them coming! 

God Bless!


September 17, 2012


Oh my gosh.  I can not begin to explain the last few days.  They've been good, they've been great, they've been miraculous!!!!  On Thursday we unexpectedly received a few new pictures of our baby girl!  This was the first time we'd seen her since we left her at the orphanage over three months ago. After worrying ever single day, "Is she eating enough? Is she losing weight? Is she happy?" I can't describe the pure, intense, overwhelming joy of opening my email account and unexpectedly seeing her beautiful, happy face! What a blessing!!!!! AND It appears as though she's even gained some weight!!!!!  Praise God!!! All day long, Sean and I called and texted each other just to talk about how beautiful our baby girl is and how excited we were to SEEEE HER!!!!

THEN, the next day, I wake up to an email from our coordinator and when I opened it there was our decree!!!!!!!!! THE official, signed, watermarked decree!!!!!!! The paper we've been waiting on for 3 and a half months!  Earlier in the week we had learned that the person whose signature we needed was out of the country and could be back in a matter of days, weeks, or months. Nobody knew. So, waking up to this document was COMPLETELY unexpected.  I sat there and read the email over and over and just cried and cried as I called Sean to tell him the good news.  "GUESS WHAT?!??  WE HAVE OUR DECREE!!!!! THE OFFICIAL ADOPTION DECREE!!!!!!" There were many tears and cheers coming from Tennessee on Friday.

THEN, TODAY  I get a call from my coordinator, and she tells me that Abiella's birth certificate (with our names) has been printed!!!!!!! (Remember these were the two documents we've been waiting on for three and a half months!) I screamed over the phone, laughed, cried, and told her my knees were so weak I was going to have to sit down :)  We can now move forward with the next step: Filing the I-600!!

To say Sean and I are on cloud 9 is a massive understatement.  I feel like the barrier has been lifted and we're now zooming down that river again! So what's next??  Well, big things friends, big things.

I'll write about them tomorrow, b/c Sean and I've got some brainstorming to do tonight.  But for now, just know that I am SO THANKFUL for your prayers!!!! PLEASE keep them coming! We need to get this little girl home!!!!!!!!