Joyful Anticipation

On Saturday night, B and I were playing Scrabble.  Every Saturday night, we try to play a game together.

Out of the blue, he said, “Wow, this time next year, our house could be a lot noisier! AWESOME.”

Today, B was saying funny and annoying things as we walked into church.  Once again, out of the blue he said, “I cannot wait to say nerdy things to our kids and see them roll their eyes.”

I think someone is waiting joyfully.

Home Study, USCIS Paperwork…Making Progress

This week has been a hard week personally–the loss of a friend and a challenging week for other reasons.  However, we need to take time to celebrate wonderful progress on the adoption front.  I am so thankful for how fast things suddenly started moving and for the peace I feel in my heart.  We are learning a lot about ourselves through this process.

For months, I have been praying that our home study draft would be in Kentucky at our placement agency on my birthday.  I was feeling like this was impossible because on Monday, I got an email from our home study agency stating that they needed B and me and our child’s guardians to complete additional paperwork, get it notarized, and snail mail it to Tulsa.  Well, I called our placement agency and they said everything was fine, that we did not need to do the additional paperwork.  That made me feel so much better, however, I didn’t think the draft would be ready.  By 3:00, our precious social worker at our home study agency told us she sent our home study draft to Tulsa.  I emailed our social worker at our placement agency and said, “Our home study social worker is sending the home study to the home study agency headquarters this afternoon for them to review it.  🙂 Best birthday present in 32 years.  :).”

Then, that evening, my awesome placement agency social worker sent me the following message–

Yep, you know what else???? I got the following from your home study agency…

“I have attached the home study draft for B and M (Ch!na) for review.  The family’s social worker…is enthusiastic about this couple.  I have really enjoyed all of my contacts with the Moores as well.” – Home Study  Agency

I will get it back to them soon! Happy Birthday!

I screamed with sheer delight when I read this email.  My God gave me the one thing I said I wanted for my birthday.

On Thursday, after going to a fundraising dinner for friends adopting from Thailand, B and I stayed up late and completed the I800A form for USCIS (Dept of Homeland Security).  We checked the form over and over to make sure there were no mistakes.  Fortunately, B had just received payment for some of his work, plus we raised a few hundred dollars selling necklaces so we were able to send the $3,000 for our next adoption payment and the Dept of Homeland Security fee.  We are so thankful for the way the Lord has provided at each step of the process.

So what’s next?

Next, our social worker in Kentucky will send our I800A application and home study to the Dept of Homeland Security.  Then, we will wait.  We will wait for them to assign us a biometrics fingerprinting appointment at the Ft. Smith, Ar location.  We have no idea when that will be, but we ask you to pray that it is at a time when we are in town.  We have tons of travel scheduled. Then, they will process our fingerprints and our home study.  We will wait.  In total, I think this stage will take 2-3 months.  Please pray that this step in the process is smooth and quick.

The image below summarizes the big steps in the adoption.  So, we are at step 4.

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Amidst the waiting, we pray for our child every day.  We pray for things that we often take for granted here.  We pray —

  • that her nannies adore her and give her lots of attention, interaction, snuggles, and talk baby talk to her – I pray that she is attached to them.  This is so important.
  • that she gets clean and proper medical attention as she needs it
  • that she gets lots of time outside of her crib
  • that she is not starving–that she has plenty to eat at each feeding time
  • that she is protected from all harm
  • that someone quickly finds her at her finding spot and immediately takes her to the hospital or orphanage
  • that the Lord is preparing her for the adoption, that he will give her heart peace and comfort, that she will attach to us
  • that the Lord would bless her birth family

We are so grateful for your prayers. It seems like every where we go, people tell us they follow our posts and are praying for our family–the two of us here and the one (or two) in Ch!n@.  During the past month, we have so felt your prayers.

We cannot wait to meet our little Lydia.

 

On the Loss of a Friend

Working on a doctorate can be an isolating experience–well, mine was.  But, one of the most precious things about it is the chance to build a community with a small group.  This group often becomes your safe place–to freak out with, to laugh with.  They get the stress, the pressure, the difficulty, and the exhaustion that is involved in a doctorate.  They also get the need to be silly.  For whatever reason, you skip the small talk, and bond.  My tiny group of friends became my people.

But yesterday, I lost a friend.  Yesterday, one of my  friends called me to let me know that our mutual friend, T, had passed away.

I am so sad.  I feel a pain in my heart that I cannot describe.

T and I were an unlikely pair.  But, we became great friends during the summer of 2010 when we had classes together Monday-Thursday during summer term.  One day, he was being extra sassy.  I called him out on it, made some feisty comment, which then made him laugh, and from then on we were friends.  I began working on a certificate in statistics, and suddenly found myself in classes with a bunch of strangers–well, except for T.  T made sure to include me and introduce me to his circle of friends.  No matter how old you get, it feels like the first day of kindergarten (and by this, I mean terrifying), but with bigger words such as heteroscedasticity.  T made sure that I made friends.

There are so few people in this world who actively try to include outsiders, but T did. I was an outsider.

He invited B and me to Trivia Night every week at Mellow Mushroom. T and a bunch of his other PhD friends met every week to eat pizza, drink a beer, and let off some steam by playing trivia.  They usually won.  And when I did go, it was fun.  Fun was a scarce thing during this time.

There are so many things I loved about T.  His giggle was amazing.  When he would really get to laughing, he would start clapping his hands or slap them on the table–it was as if there was so much laughter, he might take off in flight.  And when anyone really got him laughing, he would choke.

My goal was always to make him blush.

I loved hugging him and rubbing either his belly or his bald head.

My goodness, he was sweet and sensitive.  My sister, upon meeting T, kept commenting how precious he was.

T and I would compare photos of my niece and nephews and his sweet little nephew.  He adored him.

T was so passionate.  Passionate about education.  I could imagine he was a great teacher.  He did Teach For America, and in his second year at the school won District Teacher of the Year.  He set all kinds of records for the districts benchmark tests.  He taught math.

T was brilliant–an emerging scholar for sure.

More than anything, T was my companion, my friend.  I did not always know how to best support him during our friendship. I believe a doctorate makes all of our issues magnified because of the pressure.  Sometimes, his choices made me sad, but I deeply cared for him.  He often felt like he was a burden on me, and that makes me sad.  In a recent exchange with our friend, T said he thought of B and me daily, but was trying to get his life back together before reaching out.  The last time I saw him in person was the night before my dissertation defense.  He was in the hospital.

And even though loving T was messy, I was really proud that he was my friend.  He met all of my immediate family.  He played the wii with my nephews and held my niece.  He knew several of my close friends.

I’ll miss his sense of humor.  At one point, we had the goal of eating dinner together at a restaurant every week.  I am lactose intolerant.  I asked, “Where are we going to eat?”  He said, “The most dairy-ridden restaurant we can find. Even the seats will be made of cheese.”  I will miss his jokes.

Today, as I was eating breakfast, I looked out on my front porch.  One year ago, we sat on that porch talking about big life stuff, really hard stuff.  He will never sit on my front porch again.  Never again, will I hear a knock on my office door at work and a gentle, “Hiya.”  (His standard greeting to me for some reason).

Never again will I get to tease him about his love of Farmville.  Really, I still don’t get it.  And that makes me laugh.  I would always ask him how his crops were.  He would always tell me, “Shut up.”  And then smile.

Monday was my birthday.  I thought a lot about him.  I thought about reaching out, and then I did not.  It turns out, he passed away on Monday.

I keep wanting to text you.  I want you to tell me that this isn’t true, that you aren’t really gone.  I am having a hard time believing it.

I am so sad that you are gone, T.  I grieve that you have left this world.  I love you a lot, and will forever treasure the joy you brought to my life during the past three years.  You added play during a time of a lot of work.

The deep pain that is felt at the death of every friendly soul arises from the feeling that there is in every individual something which is inexpressible, peculiar to him alone, and is, therefore, absolutely and irretrievably lost.

Arthur SchopenhauerGerman philosopher

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