Flashback Friday…..Colombia, here we come

A year ago, we were on our way to Colombia to meet our daughters. It was exciting and terrifying all at the same time. We felt great about how well our agency prepared us for the trip and  we knew they were just a call away if we needed them in country. When I say they prepared us, I am not kidding!! I plan to give you a daily blog about our adventures in Colombia and you will see how our agency was almost like a family to us!

20150906_090753

 

While on the plane we enjoyed our last day together before becoming a family of 5. It was one of those moments that you laugh, cry, cling to your seat (oh…that was just me), sit in silence, sip on your coffee (which was ordered in Spanish thanks to my awesome hubby), watch the GPS of the plane and fall asleep from pure exhaustion.

Like I said before, our agency prepared us for every step of this journey. So, we knew exactly what to expect when we landed.  A plan is always great if everyone sticks to the plan. Our pilot didn’t get the memo about our plan and dropped us off to catch a bus into the airport. Although, that was a little strange,  we just went with it.  We knew that flexibility had to be part of the journey or we would be stressed every day. So off we went on a bus with people who did not speak our language! We arrived in the airport and found our driver. I have to admit it was fun having someone waiting there for you with your name on a sign. She was precious and we learned later that she was one of the most important people we would spend time with.

As we road towards our apartment, we were able to see our first view of Bogota. It was amazing! I love when you arrive in a new place and are captivated by everything around you! We entered our apartment ( which we joked that the girls would be disappointed when they saw our home because the apartment was so NICE!) and like I said before, our driver was not only our driver. She walked us up, translated for us, and made sure we had everything we needed before leaving us that night. After she left we just sat in awe of the beautiful apartment that we would bring our girls home to the next day.

I800 Approval

We have been waiting for the I800 approval and I got a little excited too early. There were two letters from Homeland Security in our mailbox….so I got a little carried away with myself and did a little celebration dance in my kitchen. Only later to find out that it was our receipt from them. Booooo!  And my apologies to my case worker for the miscommunication! I’m so thankful for workers who put up with all my questions and excitement! They really are the best!

So, we knew it would take around 8-10 days to get the approval so checking the mail the last few days has been a big event. Especially the toddler. She goes up to the mailbox and in the cutest voice says, ” No Mail.” I just love it. Well, today my hubby and I were not home when the mail came. However, my daughter and my mom were!!! I’m so thankful for Saturday mail!!!! So, we received a call from them that was very exciting!

It is getting real!

(And to answer the most popular question….NO…we do not know our travel date)

20150801_163606                                   These three colors on this cookie just make me happy!

Colombia here we come!

Matched

After hearing we were approved through the orphanage, there was no set time line for our referral. It could happen within the year. So,  I set off to get as many projects done while I had the time off work. Well, that all changed when I received a phone call Wednesday, June 17th at 4:50. Rhees wasn’t home and again our fabulous case worker waited at work until my husband hurried home before she told us our exciting news. It was definitely a whirlwind of a phone call. We were a little in shock! As the night progressed, all the details started to become so real!!

WE HAVE A REFERRAL!!!!

announcement heart (2)

~Together we journey to expand our family~


 

*What does this mean??

The orphanage that we were approved to adopt from has found a sibling group that is a great match for us. There is not a set date as to when we get to travel to meet them, but we are on our way to getting all the details worked out!

So, here is what most people want to know!!!

*the referral is for 2 girls

*they are 9 and 4 years old

*we have sent in the paperwork to accept the referral

*we have sent in our I800 to help us determine when we will travel to Colombia!

We continue to talk about how this adoption journey is an amazing story of how God provides. However, we also are beyond thankful for our family and friends who have partnered with us to bring home our girls who have an amazing future in front of them! Thank you from the bottom of our heart for your prayers and standing with us on this journey!

This is not the end of our journey together….it is only the beginning!

 

Denial is just a river in Egypt

So, here is much needed update….

We were waiting for many weeks for an approval letter from the orphanage we wanted to adopt from.(accepting our family to adopt from their orphanage) It was taking much longer that we expected. And to be honest I knew that we were going to get bad news. I felt it deep in my heart and let it get the best of me. Then I realized that being focused on something I thought was going to happen wasn’t going to change anything. So, I just started to pray and embrace what might happen. Again I went back to the question, “why are we adopting?” It was the same answer we have had the whole time. To show God’s love to his children. To inspire, teach, comfort, encourage, build hope, heal, overcome obstacles, share dreams, and embrace that we all have fallen short but there is a future that is beyond our dreams. So, I started getting involved in things around the community that would allow me to show God’s love. This helped me focus on the big vision God has for me  instead of the typical worldly plan I have . I can still show God’s perfect love even if my plan isn’t going the way I want it. So, April 30th came with a very disappointing letter…….we were denied (meaning our adoption from Colombia would not happen)…..but we could appeal the decision.

This was very upsetting news….however, I really truly believe God let me know this was going to happen. You see if I hadn’t already had time to mourn this decision, I definitely couldn’t have charged ahead with confidence to appeal the decision. Because I had already had time to sulk and cry, I was able to pick up the phone immediately and make things happen. Don’t get me wrong….there were tears involved but that deep sadness that just makes you want to stay in bed….that was not there. With the help of my AMAZING (like so amazing that this appeal happened because of her) case worker we got the letters ready for the appeal and mailed them off. So, again we WAITED……

I felt such peace in this process. It was like nothing I have ever experienced in such a time of disappointment. My husband and I were not worried or anxious about the result we would hear from the orphanage. We knew that we had put our best effort forward and if the approval didn’t happen then that was a way God was showing us to move a different direction. However, we felt in our heart that there was too much evidence that God wanted us here. As I think back or go back through our blog there is time and time again that God provided a way. So here we are again waiting to see God work. I can’t express enough how amazing this abundant peace was we had when we were waiting on this decision. The waiting did not come with anxiety…we waited by moving on with our daily life, making sure we were still holding on  to our vision of showing God’s love to the ones already around us.

Then you guessed it……May 28th  came with an exciting letter!!!! We are approved through a private orphanage in Colombia!! We are able to adopt a sibling group of two  ages 9  and under.

th05IN1P8G

This is a story that I just can’t keep quiet….God is so good! His plan will never fail! There is always hope and sometimes a plan or path that you don’t see coming.

Dossier Completed

Just a little update and prayer request:

We are excited to say that our paperwork (Dossier) is in Colombia!!!!! This is so exciting. The paperwork has been translated into Spanish and is ready to go. We had a great discussion with our case worker about the next steps. We are so blessed to work with such compassionate and knowledgeable people. They are definitely in this business for the right reasons!  After our conversation regarding our options we are excited to say that next week our file will be going to an orphanage. So, here is where you can help pray specifically!

*That we will be approved through the orphanage and they will start looking to match us with the children God has prepared us for.

*Also, financially …..that the rest of the expenses would be covered!

Thank you so much for joining us in this path that God is leading us down. We feel and see the blessings all around. It is so encouraging to have support from you! This process can be very long and discouraging but we know that this is right where we are supposed to be.

THANK YOU!

One Step Closer

Facts about adoption:

1. Your lunch times turn into trips to the Post Office. These Postal workers become your friends. They are way more helpful than the kiosk in the lobby!

2. You pay for tracking, 2-day shipping, insurance, and other services you would otherwise probably never use. (but this paperwork that you send off is like gold…so you do anything to make sure it gets to it’s destination)

3. The copy machine is your friend. (make copies of EVERYTHING)

10959293_10205983166804072_5888990508825653809_nThe question asked by most of the people we know……so when will you meet your kids?

Our answer…..when God is ready to reveal who they are.

So, for now I am just going to keep updating you on where we are in this process until the day comes to tell you about our kids. We are so excited that we are checking things off our list and are at peace with the timing of this process.

On the last update, we told you that we were waiting on our FBI fingerprints to arrive.

Well, we got them!!!! It was one of those days that we prayed in the morning to claim that we would receive the prints that day and when we got home they were in the mailbox. Praise the Lord!

So the next step is getting those FBI results to Colombia. When they arrive in Colombia, they will be put with our Dossier and be ready for approval and matching!

I really can’t believe we are talking about these final steps.

Pray for us to continue to LISTEN to God and not set up our own plans. He has seen us all the way through this process and we are excited to watch the rest unfold.

 

Here you go……

So many of you have been asking where we are in the adoption process. The adoption process is different for everyone. Sometimes we have exciting news and sometimes we are just waiting. So, if you are wondering if we have been matched with a sibling set, the answer is no. However, we do have some updates for you.  The longer you are in this process the more peace you have with God’s perfect timing. We find joy in every step forward we take.

rheesrebekahLatest progress in the Lane adoption:

*We are approved through the immigration department.

*We prepared the Dossier and had it sent to Colombia to be translated into Spanish.

*We have mailed our fingerprints to the FBI and are waiting on  approval to complete the Dossier.

Next Steps are:

*After the FBI approval, we need to have it apostilled.

*Then we will be waiting on our Dossier to be approved by Colombia.

*At that point, we will be waiting to be matched with a sibling group.

Let’s get this paperwork started

In the adoption world there is lots of updating! We have sent in several documents that have expired and had only one thing left to update. That was our pictures of our home and family. This should have been a very easy task and an exciting time. This would allow us to move forward and get things accomplished. However, I just couldn’t get myself to take those pictures. Day after day it was something on my list to do that did NOT get done. I prayed about this and felt a very different feeling this time. Before I was very efficient and had the drive to get things done very quickly. This time I don’t have an urgency to get this done. I believe that God gives you moments of peace just to enjoy life. While resting you learn so much and are restored to where you need to be. I believe that timing is in God’s hands and if I push too much, I will ignore the great plan He has for our family. Through this journey I have really accepted to enjoy the blessings I have right in front of me and not to be consumed with what I want. What I want is a beautiful family that loves the Lord God Almighty. I have that right in front of me. And when God brings more kids to our house….they will also be part of our wonderful life. I can’t wait, but I’m not putting my family on hold until they get here. I have to live my life to the fullest and expect Him to bless us with an exciting journey. Who knows what he has in store for us!

During that resting time I feel like God has been preparing me for what is to come. And let me be honest. I am a little scared. I know that fear is not a feeling I should let in however, God is asking me to do some things that are just a little uncomfortable. But ultimately, I know that if God is asking…..and I say yes…..it will be amazing!

So, after that time of resting, I am back to the feeling that I need to get going on the paperwork. I have taken those pictures and they are in the mail as we speak. I am at my kitchen table with lots of papers, binders, and a beautiful sun shiny day! This paperwork will be interesting! It is the 1800A. You use this form to initiate the immigration process if you intend to adopt a child who resides in a Hague country. There are directions for the directions…ha! Then an application, checklist, and supplement 1,2, and 3!    Just 16 pages….. Let’s get started!

Here we go again!
wpid-20140525_144529.jpg

Expired

Adoption is a journey….we are learning the ups and downs of it. We have so much more to learn, especially when our children arrive.  For those of you who have adopted, you will totally understand the point we are at. In the beginning of adoption you are following a paperwork trail to get your kids home. We went through this a year ago and were so excited that we finished it in record time! Well, like I said… that was a year ago and that means that our paperwork has expired and we are in the updating process.  I’m going to be real here. I need some prayer to get through this waiting/paperwork. I have lost some of that energy and excitement to get things done quickly.

When you are in a season of waiting, it can overwhelm you. I have talked before about how it can actually turn into an idol. So, we have tried to go on with life and not let the adoption “what ifs” start to hold us back from living life. We are enjoying life and are excited for what is to come!

Two things that have kept us distracted and busy are the two new babies in our family!I love being around babies! Their laugh just makes me smile! Seriously…being an aunt & grandparent is incredible! Most recently we had a 1st Birthday and 1st Food! Here are some pics from our fun times!

DSC_0708

1st Baby Food!

My brother's sweet 1yr old!

My brother’s sweet 1yr old!

It is important that we enjoy life and don’t let the waiting blind the joy all

around us!

Waiting for a harvest

Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.
James 5:7
When a farmer plants seed in the ground, he doesn’t know what kind of crop he will have. He must be patient and have faith and spend the time tending to his crop. In this verse it says “See HOW the farmer waits…” The farmer isn’t sitting on his porch. He is doing something. Even though the harvest is not yet evident, he is working because he knows that it will pay off in good time.

We are in a waiting period. The thing about a waiting period is that you start thinking about everything that is going on in your life and you tend to start questioning things. It’s easy to become discouraged and it’s easy to wonder if you’re on the right path because it feels like nothing is happening. Sometimes it is easier to be running around like a crazy person because you see things getting done. We are such impatient creations.

You may remember the post where Rebekah and I sat down and started the decision of from which country we should adopt. We were looking at Russia and Bulgaria as well as Colombia. In the last few weeks we have seen God’s reasoning for Colombia. Russia has had such turmoil with adoption lately being shut down. Yesterday I read about how basically all of Bulgaria’s government has resigned. This will no doubt throw a wrench in the adoption process. Just know that if you are one of the families trying to adopt from these countries, God never starts something that He doesn’t finish.

But looking at these things from our side of the table we see tremendous confirmation and protection. It is a sign that we are on the path that we need to be on. Regardless of the day to day trials of life, and regardless of the enemy whispering discouragement in our ear saying that this will never get done, we choose to see God at work and rest in the knowledge that He will complete what He started. He is faithful. So we will tend our field and expect a bountiful harvest, even though the plants have yet to break the soil.