Well, hello dossier…

When we made the decision to begin the adoption process, B and I read everything we could to educate ourselves about the process.  Soon, we realized we became fluent in the adoption language – I800A, I797, LOA, PA, Homestudy, LOI, LID, TA, ART 5, and dossier.

Dossier.  Pronounced doss-see-ay (I say this with my slight Southern twang.)

When we started this process in November, the dossier seemed so far far far away.  And in some ways, it was. Eight months of paperwork and waiting.  Eight months of “hurry up” and “wait.”

Essays about intimate details of our lives.

Interviews with a social worker about intimate details of our family, childhood, marriage, strengths, and weaknesses.

Medical visits and medical tests. Letters from our physician.

Training…to be honest, the training we were required to do for our placement agency was excellent.

FBI background check. Child abuse clearances.

Reference letters.

And more.

Today, we shipped off most of our paperwork for our dossier to our social worker.  So what is included in a dossier? Certified copy of our marriage license, certified birth certificates, background clearances, 10 photos that show our life and hobbies (with captions), information about our personal finances/assets, medical records, our homestudy, I800A approval, 3 reference letters, employment verification letters, a letter to child welfare org in the country we are adopting from that expresses our desire to adopt one or two children from the country below the age of five years.  It took us as long to put this together as it did for me to write my dissertation.  But, this definitely has more importance than that ever did, really.

We are still missing one employment verification for B (a little more complicated because he is self-employed) and one reference letter. We are still waiting for our I800A approval from the USCIS/Dept of Homeland Security.  But, we are very close–really, we expect to have it tomorrow or Friday.

After our social worker receives all of this, she will send it off to be authenticated.  Not quite sure what that means, but my agency does.  They asked me if I wanted to authenticate it or pay them a small fee to do it.  Let’s see…I’ve never done this and they do it all of the time…they can do it!  This should be authenticated in three weeks or so and then sent off to the Ch!n3s3 Consulate in Houston for approval.  After that, it will all go to Ch!n@, Lord willing.

B and I went to the Post Office together to overnight this to our agency.  I had the final procedure of a root canal done this morning, so I was feeling absolutely terrible.  However, I wanted that experience of going with him to the Post Office.  He documented the moment.

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B brought me soup home from PF Changs because my jaw was hurting so bad.  I got the best fortune cookie for today.

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A couple of weeks ago, B and I were worried about how we were going to pay for our next huge payment for our adoption.  We are so grateful that the Lord provided by providing B with a couple of new client projects and we received a few donations, so we were able to make the payment today.  Thank you so much.

This process can definitely be exhausting, but, we are so grateful for the opportunity to grow our family through adoption.

Thank you for your prayers.  We continue to covet them.

Adoption Begins With Loss

“I realized one day as I was putting on my make-up, that I was practically staring at my mother’s face.  It was as if it was the first time I ever noticed.  And then it hit me, my children will never see my face in theirs. They’ll always wonder if they have their mother’s features.”

I said this statement to a friend in an empty room.  Tears came pouring down both of our faces.

Here I am, an adoptive mother-to-be.  There she is, a talented and kind young woman who was adopted as a baby.  Adoption–such a life changing word for both of us.

And the truth in the room is that we are aware that adoption begins with loss.  To be adopted, my child will suffer a trauma that I have never endured, the loss of birthparents.




Adoption Update

Hi friends and family –

I realize I have not updated in a few weeks.

Thanks so much for being interested in our adoption.  The questions many of you ask about the process and our adoption in general are very encouraging to us–so never feel afraid to ask.  Throughout this process, I have been reminded what an amazing community the Lord has surrounded us with.  Many times on the adoption forums, other families express how little support they have from family and friends.  I am so grateful that this has not been our experience.

B and I just got back from Ch!n@.  We had the opportunity to travel with a team of graduate students at the university where I am a professor — they were on a trip that is part of their program.  B was there to document the trip for the university.  We were so blessed and encouraged by our time in Ch!n@.  We are both adventurous travelers, so it was fun! B has never been to Asia, but he did not hold back from trying all of the different food and experiences.  I love this about him. The most adventurous thing we ate was probably turtle–not the most exotic thing I’ve eaten, but still not part of the typical American diet.

B and I left Ch!n@ with a commitment to begin learning the language.  I tried several years ago, and I struggled a ton with the different tones.  But, we have a deep desire to be able to say several phrases by the time we go back for our adoption.

Before we left for Ch!n@, we received our appointment for biometric fingerprints from the USCIS.  We were so grateful that the letter did not come while we were out of the country.  The USCIS sends you a letter telling you when you need to show up (date and time) at a certain office for biometrics.  B had to cancel a production shoot, but we are so thankful that the date and time we were assigned was doable for us.

So now, we will be assigned an officer with the department of homeland security who will review our home study and our fingerprints.  We are praying that are fingerprints are readable.  We had work friends who had to go three times because their prints were not readable.  We are praying that the dept. of homeland security will quickly approve us and that there won’t be any slowdowns.  This is a critical stage of the process, so we covet your prayers.  Hopefully, we will hear back from them in 2 weeks-1 month from now.

In the meantime, B and I are working on our dossier. Our dossier is the MOST IMPORTANT piece of our adoption documentation.  A dossier is a series of documents that will be sent to Ch!n@ for them to review and translate to their language.  A dossier includes a letter from us that expresses our desire to adopt from the country, copies of our passports, detailed information about our finances, detailed info about our medical history, reference letters from family and friends, a letter from my employer, a letter from a CPA, photographs of our life and our families, FBI background checks, etc.

Once we get approval from the USCIS, our agency will send off our dossier to be authenticated.  Then, it will go to the Ch!n3se Consulate in Houston, I think.  And then, it should go off to Ch!n@.  At that point, we will wait 3-4 weeks to get a Log In Date (LID).  After we have that, we can be matched with a child.

I have learned a lot through this process.  I don’t like asking people for help at all.  I realized that it hurts my pride.  However, this experience has been an opportunity for us to be humbled and to ask for help in a way that is totally out of my comfort zone.  We ask that you please pray that the Lord helps provide the financial means for our adoption–whether through donations or through B’s business–we need a significant amount of money very soon.  I absolutely know that the Lord funds what is close to His heart, and I know adoption is.  But sometimes, the reality of the financial strain of makes me worry.  Whether one pursues domestic or international adoption, it is very, very expensive.  The reality that B and I will grow our family only through adoption, at times, worries me because of the overwhelming amount of money.  We would like a large family, but sometimes, my human heart wonders where in the world the money will come from.

So please join us in praying that the Lord will provide the means for our next payment of $3,661 that is due in approximately two weeks.

If you know of families who feel called to support families who adopt, please feel free to refer them to our AdoptTogether site – we were approved to receive tax-deductible donations.  https://adopttogether.org/mooretolove/

Also, many of you have asked if you can donate items or services to help us raise funds for our adoption.  Yes! We would be so blessed by that.

Also, we plan to hold a garage sale very soon.  So if you have stuff you want to donate for us to sell at our garage sale, we would be happy to!

Thank you so much for loving us and caring for us like we are your family.