The Garrisons

Follow our journey on adoption #3 for child #8!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Referralversary, DCFS and Passports...

It's been one year since we saw this face....

One year ago we received our referral call for Elijah and saw his precious face for this first time....I know I'm a little biased, but is this not the cutest referral picture you've ever seen...?!
I remember that I had picked Hayden up from basketball camp, fed my kids' lunch, and we were on our way to do some volunteer work when my phone rang. I had prepared myself that our 'call' would not come until August, so I was surprised when I saw the 703 area code on my caller ID. It was Terra, our family coordinator, calling with our referral!! I could hardly think I was so surprised as I fumbled my way to the computer, and we tried to conference call Nathan into the call. We couldn't get ahold of him, so she emailed the pictures and gave us his information. Nathan looked from work and we looked from home.....I couldn't believe that the day had come or how beautiful he was! What a blessing! Happy Referralversary, Elijah!!
In other news, our homestudy was approved by DCFS this week!! This is GREAT news! We've sent our homestudy on to the next step at USCIS (immigration). There was some confusion in the midst of changes at USCIS as to where to send it to, so I'm crossing my fingers that we got it right. Now we use this time to finish our dossier documents and wait for our I171-H. When all those things are in place, our paperwork can go to Ethiopia and we can be placed on the waiting list!! No telling how long all that will take, but we are hoping for the inside of 6 weeks. (!!)
Our kids' passports also came in the mail this week....the big 3 anyway. They requested one more document in order to process Elijah's passport, but it didn't sound like a big deal. We are planning on taking all of our kids on our first trip to Ethiopia, and that won't be for a while, so we have some time to spare on that.
All of this = progress. And progress is a good thing!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

What a difference a day makes!

So, yesterday I posted and shared that things were kind of at a standstill with our homestudy approval and we had not received an adoption grant we had applied for. I was more bummed than I probably really should have been, but it was discouraging. (both for DCFS to delay our homestudy approval and to not receive the grant). Last night I felt myself feeling disappointed and telling God that I really just needed to see Him in all of this. If this is where He was leading, I would follow, but I needed to somehow see Him in the midst of the process, and help me to know this adoption was in fact His idea. I was not praying for Him to reverse anything that had happened, (nor did I expect that) I just needed a little glimmer of hope and some reassurance that we were where He wanted us.

Well, today He all but undid all that happened yesterday!! First, I received an email from our social worker this morning that they had received word that DCFS would be approving homestudies from our agency and that our homestudy should be processed soon!! Yay! Hopefully we will get our approval in the next week or so and can move on to ....well, more waiting, but this time for USCIS to approve our homestudy and send us our I171-H.

Then, this afternoon, Lifesong for Orphans called and said that they do have grant money for us after all!! Totally unexpected! At first I thought they had made a mistake because of the call we had received the day before. Apparently, they had an unexpected donor and were able to offer us a grant! We are SO grateful!!

It's amazing the difference a day makes...and even more amazing that I have a God who shows up when I need Him to. Who cares about the desires of my heart, but more importantly cares about the fatherless and will rise up on their behalf. I am in awe and humbled to watch Him work.

Thank you for those of you who have offered encouragement when the road gets tough, and pray on behalf of our family and our children in Ethiopia. We will never be able to thank you enough.

I will thank you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.
I will be filled with joy because of you.
I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.
Psalm 9:1,2

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Homestudy Approval and Grants....or lack there of

Well, not a whole lot new on the adoption front.....we are STILL waiting on Illinois DCFS to approve our homestudy....they've had it since April 13. We live in one of the only states (if not THE only state) which requires DCFS to look over an international adoptive family's homestudy and approve it before it can go on to USCIS (immigration). DCFS informed our agency this week that they will not be approving our homestudy until their (the agency's) license is successfully renewed in July. AHHHH!! Frustrating to say the least.....we had really anticipated having this approval by mid May. There is no anticipated problem with our agency's license, which adds to the frustration. So, we are just hoping that this agency license will be granted quickly and our homestudy will be approved shortly after that.

In other news, we were disappointed to find out we will not be receiving a grant from Lifesong for Orphans. We had kind of hoped that because we are adopting 2 children and they were children number 5 and 6 for us, that we might be chosen for a matching grant. Bummer for us.
So, we trudge onward with our fundraising.....and hope that our family and friends don't get sick of us. :)

We do have an exciting raffle coming soon.....check back for details!!