Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hip Mom Jewelry--adoption fundraiser

We are happy to have been chosen by Hip Mom Jewelry as a featured family for the month of October!  During the month of October only, our family will receive, as a donation, 30% of the retail price of any item purchased from the Adoption Collection when you use our special family code:  Staggs1010.  

These are gorgeous, high-quality pieces with lasting value--sterling silver, hand-stamped, and personalized.  Though they are from the "Adoption Collection," there are several pieces which are not adoption-related.

Two Charm Necklace w/ Script
Faith, Hope, and Love Teardrop Necklace
Simply Blessed
Hope for China

Because we receive this generous 30% during the month of October only, will you consider thinking ahead to gifts for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine's Day, or even Mother's Day?   Check out the Hip Mom Jewelry button at the top of our blog, and don't forget to use our family code: Staggs1010.  Thanks for looking!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I'm a busy bee

Progress:  We will mail our I-800A form (along with a copy of our home study and a big, fat check) to USCIS tomorrow! 

I have been working frenetically to complete four grant applications, all due within a month or so.  And I have to say--compiling the home study paperwork and the dossier was easier than this!!!  I mean, I don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth (what in the world does that mean, anyway?)....

[aside]:  I'm hoping the horse has a gift in his mouth...or maybe on his back?  Is that how it works?  Am I not supposed to look in his mouth?  Anyway, if he doesn't, I will have wasted copious of amounts of time, energy, and printer ink. 

Well, in all seriousness, we're praying for God's favor and blessing over these grant applications.  Our friend Rachel wisely encouraged us, "His will = His bill", and we believe this.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Passports are here!

Yep, they're here.  We are now free to roam about the globe!  Except that MY passport arrived in a soggy cardboard envelope.  And is a bit. . . .warpy. . .bendy. . .not flat. . . .but appears otherwise undamaged.  So it's sitting out to dry.  And then I will place it under a heavy book.  Think it will be OK? 

Mine is the slightly curling one on the bottom
In other adoption-progress-related news:  Our home study was approved!  We are now waiting for the signed originals, which we will send with our application to USCIS (immigration). 

In non-adoption-related news:  I have poison ivy (oak? sumac?) on my FACE.  Blurgh. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Not there.

You know how something meant to be inspirational instead produces the feeling of "Wow.  I am. so. not. there."  Well, that's exactly where I am. 

I've been reading adoption blogs today.  Which is generally a helpful and informative and encouraging sort of activity.  But today I am feeling...deflated...overwhelmed...and under-resourced. 

Here I am, trying to keep my head above water as I parent and home school the three small children already in my possession, wondering if I'm giving them what they need, while planning, saving, researching, praying, and dreaming for the adoption of kiddo #4.  And today I read of an amazing woman, whose blog I follow, who has begun the process to adopt her SIXTH child from China, her....wait for it....TENTH child altogether.  Now I must say that I truly count it a blessing to have discovered this gal and her blog.  She has indeed inspired me, informed me, blessed me.  But today, all I can think is, "Who IS this person?  Clearly she and her husband are of the super-human variety.  And OBVIOUSLY they are printing money in their basement!"

Hers wasn't the only blog I read today, lest you think I'm heaping all the blame at her feet.  (I'm really just kidding.  Stefanie is a gifted woman of God whom I admire and respect.)  Clearly I have some emotions to process, and some praying to do. 

And this helps, too:

Psalm 18:31-35 (NLT)

For who is God except the Lord?
Who but our God is a solid rock?
God arms me with strength,
and he makes my way perfect.
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
He trains my hands for battle;
he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.
You have given me your shield of victory.
Your right hand supports me;
your help has made me great.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I picked up my medical paperwork yesterday from the doctor's office.  I don't have TB, by the way.  I think the doctor got a stern lecture from the office notary for signing my form three days ago with no notary present.  I said to her at the time, "Um, aren't you supposed to sign that in front of the notary?"  Dr:  "Oh's no big deal...she knows my signature."   Me:  "Um...well...OK."  [thinking to myself:  Lady, you'd better not mess up my form for China, so help me...]  The office also misplaced my husband's urine sample, so he had to go back and leave another.  This doesn't exactly inspire confidence. 

So you'd think my primary relief would be that I am in good health and passed all my tests, but all I could feel as I left the office, guarding my precious document, was nervous hope that every "i" had been dotted and every "t" crossed correctly.  I can SO imagine the profound relief of every prospective adoptive parent who, at long last, completes the dossier and ships it off to China!  I eagerly look forward to relieving myself of that particular burden. 

We are now waiting for approval of our home study.  Once we have that, we will submit an initial application to USCIS asking for approval to adopt a child from China. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

An adult beverage may be required

OK.  I'm kidding about the adult beverage.  Kind of.  But boy, has it been THAT kind of morning.

Who knew that the required medical exams for the home study and the dossier would be the cause of SO. MUCH. STRESS?  I just returned from my exam/tests...was there for 2.5 hours and got stuck with a needle four times.  (I have uncooperative veins.)  Now Vince is there for his exam.  We made the mistake of not arranging for childcare, so for a while we had our three kiddos, including one shrieking baby, there in the office until Vince wisely decided to take them home and come back later.  Why in the world did I schedule our appointments at the same time?!? 

One amusing tidbit:  twice I was asked if we were adopting "these three kids." 

We also felt anxiety at trying to convince the doctor's office to bill these as "routine physical exams" so they are properly covered by insurance.  I have a sinking feeling we will receive a few surprise bills. 

Honestly, NO aspect of adoption thus far has been as challenging as this morning's medical escapade.  And I realize I'm probably blowing it way out of proportion, but that's how it feels to me.  I suspect I've hit my Jumping-Through-Hoops Wall, which is going to require a fresh burst of motivation for me to press through. 

So feel free to weigh in with encouragement, those of you that have BTDT...or those of you who pressed through some other sort of wall...or anyone at all, really.  :o)