Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Weight of the Wait

This post is a bit of a jumbled mess, but that is just how life is these days.  I really thought that I was going to be much better at this waiting game then I am proving to be.  They told us to expect 3 months for translation and authentication (April 3rd was the 3 month mark), and to expect 4-10 months after that for a referral.  So, I guess when you look at it that way, I haven’t technically been “waiting” for that long – only 13 days. While I understand that, I have a very hard time explaining that to my heart, and it is quite clear that the heart trumps the brain in this process. Unfortunately it doesn’t matter how you shake it, it seems like an eternity to me.  I wake up every morning thinking that this could be the day that we get “the call”.  I go to bed every night a little sad that we didn’t get it.  I drive my husband crazy all day long with emails & text messages – why aren’t they calling us?  Do you think they will today?  What about this week?  When is it going to happen?  I want my baby!  Please make it happen now! 

I have a new obsession with my phone that would rival that of any teenage girl.  My phone does not leave my side.  I check it way more often than I would like to admit.  The temporary loss of it is enough to set off panic in my house.  Every single time it rings my heart stops.  I apologize if you have called me and I sounded disappointed when I answered – the truth is that I was.  I love you all very much, so please don’t take offense to that.  My newfound obsession is making me lose my manners.  I am horribly rude and check my phone during dinner, events, meetings, and even mid-conversation.  I don’t even mean to do it sometimes; at this point it’s just habit.  I promise, once this adoption is complete, my phone etiquette will return to normal.
With nothing but time on my hands, inevitably, more questions surface.  What is my little one doing right now?  Are they sick?  Are they sad?  Are they scared? Are their cries going unanswered?  How did they end up in an orphanage in the 1st place? (That one is the most haunting for me.)  Why does this take so long when there are so many children in the world that just need love, and I am standing here begging to give it?  I know asking these questions are a moot point, but this is what my brain does to me…quite often.

The uncertainty of every day is wearying.  I try not to think about it, but really, how do I even do that?  I have this constant ache that reminds me something is missing - I am a mother without a child.  Truth be told - on the surface I may appear to have it together, but on the inside I am a hot mess.  I can be brought to tears in a matter of seconds.  Sometimes it is as simple as someone asking how the adoption is going, a song on the radio or if I linger too long in the little’s room.  Don’t even get me started on watching YouTube adoption videos.  I cry right along with those mamas getting to hold their babies for the first time, hoping and praying that someday that will be me.  Thank God I have my husband who has been my rock through this emotional roller coaster.
Thank you all very much for your understanding, support and continued prayers.  I hope we will have exciting news for you soon.

Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Choosing Faith Instead of Fear

I have been having a major case of the “what-ifs” lately.

Adoption is a beautiful and wonderful thing, but it is also crazy, unpredictable, scary, messy, emotional, and inevitably makes you ask yourself: “What the heck am I doing?”

Sometimes it’s all too easy to get caught up in the fears of adoption.

What if our child’s needs are more than we were expecting?  What if our child doesn’t attach or bond with us?  What if our child doesn’t love us?  What if they hate us for taking them away from their country?  What if they hate us just because? What if I don’t have the abilities to parent this child?  What if we can't save enough money?  Or worst of all…what if we don’t ever get a referral?  What if, what if, what if?!?!
 I don’t have the answers to any of my “what-ifs”, but there is someone who does.  God does!  I don’t know what my child’s needs are.  God does, and I have faith that He will not give my family more than we can handle.  I don’t know if our child will attach to us, bond with us or even love us.  God does, and I have faith that He will fill our home with happiness and love.  I don’t know if my child will hate me someday.  God does, and I have faith that He will guide me through that.  I have no idea if I have the ability to parent this child.  God does, and I have faith that He is preparing me to be the best mother that I can be to this child. I don't know how we are going to find the rest of the money to complete the adoption. God does, and I have faith that He will provide all that we need as he has done thus far.  I don’t know for sure that we will get a referral.  God does, and I have faith that He will be there to help me pick up the pieces if we don’t.

The outcome of our adoption journey is already known by Him.  There is nothing I can do or say that will change anything.  As a control freak, that is a tough pill to swallow, but true nonetheless.  I find peace in knowing that this is God’s plan for me, not my own.  That is so awesome because his plans always turn out so much better than mine do!  I know that God is ever faithful and I will cling to Him as I push through my fears and focus on the love, hope and beauty of this journey.  I have faith that soon I will come to know my child.

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Oh Happy Day!

I am beyond excited to share with you that we have officially completed our dossier and it is in the mail!  I am not going to lie, I felt a little sick to my stomach when I had to hand it over.  It is on its way to our agency for final review before going to Poland.  That’s right – the paper chase has ended (for now)!  Can I get a WooHoo?!?! 
We received our I-797 on Monday.  That was the last document we were waiting for to complete our dossier.  We had it notarized yesterday and apostilled earlier this morning.  I would like to send a shout-out to the wonderful ladies that have been so good to us at the Secretary of State in WI – they are quick!  So, after 6.5 months of this crazy paper chase, our dossier is finally complete.  It feels like a huge weight has been lifted off of our shoulders.  
 So, whats next? Our agency will review the dossier and send it off to Poland.  We were told to expect approximately 2 months for everything to get there, be translated and officially be on the waiting list for our child.  After that, we are just waiting on "the call".  The one that tells us who our child is and will forever change our lives.  I seriously can't believe that is our next step.
It's hard to articulate exactly what finishing our dossier means.  You see, it isn't just a pile of paperwork to us.  Its made up of so much more - countless hours, unending prayers, some tears of frustration and sometimes a bit of heartache, outburst of excitement at the mailbox when documents arrive, our dreams of becoming parents and bringing our little home - all wrapped up in unexplainable super duper big heart crazy kind of LOVE!
It has been a crazy journey so far, and we are so grateful we have the opportunity to share it with you.  We seriously could not do this without the love, support and prayers from all of you.  Please keep them coming!

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when dreams come true, there is life and joy.” – Proverbs 13: 12

Monday, December 16, 2013

Many Thanks

We wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone.  We had so much help from so many people that it's hard to know where to begin.  We want to thank all of you who took the time to share our online auction site.  Whether it was sharing it on Facebook, sending out an email, or simply telling someone about it; we couldn't have made it happen without you.  We also want to thank all of the individuals and businesses that were kind enough to make donations:
  • Flip Dog Designs
  • Becky Hergenrother
  • Michelle Ponti
  • Groovy Grammas Creations
  • Cedric Johnson
  • Tastefully Simple
  • Thirty One Gifts Representative Casey Davis
  • Claudine's Pet Grooming
  • Reflections Hair Salon & Spa
  • Vintage Brewing Company
  • Ellen Traum, The Pampered Chef Representative
  • Dr. William Johnson - Winnebago, IL
  • BPI Printing
Finally, we want to send a big thank you to everyone who bid on the items.  We most certainly could not have done it without you!

At this point, we are going to take a little hiatus from fundraising.  Keep checking in with us for more updates on our journey.  In the meantime, don't forget about our Amazon link on the right side of this blog.  It's an easy way to help us out if you are doing any Christmas shopping on Amazon.  Also, if anyone is interested, we do still have some puzzle pieces left.  If you are interested in buying and decorating a piece, contact us at afrancis1024@gmail.com and we will be happy to get them to you.

Merry Christmas to everyone!!!  Hopefully you will be hearing new and exciting updates from us very soon.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Auction Sneak Peek

As promised, our online auction site is up and ready to be previewed.  For your sneak peek, please visit www.expectingfrompolandauction.blogspot.com

We only have about 20 items up right now, but we have about 50 more to add this week.  Be sure to keep checking back to see what's new.  Also if you would like to donate an item or service, please let us know by Wednesday, November 27th.

Start your Black Friday holiday shopping at home and online!  Bidding starts Friday, November 29th  at 12AM CT and will end Friday, December 6th at 6PM CT. 

Please share our auction link with your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers!  Help us spread the word.  We appreciate all of your support. Happy Bidding!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

One Step Closer

As discussed in an earlier blog, Wally and I sent in our 1-800a and were waiting for our appointment receipt to go to Homeland security in Milwaukee for our biometrics appointment.  We received that on our anniversary - best anniversary present ever!  It was exactly 2 weeks after sending in our I-800a.  Our appointment was set for 11/6.  I had read on other adoption blogs and forums that as long as you have your appointment receipt, they will usually take you early if you stop in.  We decided to take a chance. 
We both took personal days the very next day, said a prayer, and headed to Milwaukee. I was a bit nervous, but I kept reminding myself that God can move mountains, He most certainly can move someone at Homeland Security...right?  We had to wait a bit, but they let us in and we were able to get our biometrics done. Praise God!!  So, where does that leave us now?  Well, we are now waiting on our I-797s.  That is it!  That's right, only 1 piece of paper left, and our dossier is complete.  One. Piece.Of. Paper.  How crazy is that?!?!  After all of the paperchasing, its hard to believe that there is only 1 document left. The not so so great news is that it could be another 60 days before we see it.  I am going to remain hopeful that we will have it before the end of the year.  We are further along in the process than we thought we would be at this point, so I will just continue to celebrate that!

We should have our online auction site up this week, so keep your eye out for that.  Also, as you begin your holiday shopping, don't forget our Amazon link on the right side of the blog.  Amazon pays us marketing fees for every purchase!  Every little bit helps!

God is moving in our adoption - we feel it, and we can see it. Thank you so much for your prayers, and we ask that you continue to pray for us and our little as we continue on our journey.  Your love, prayers and support mean the world to us!

Ephesians 4:1-2
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love,

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Y'all Put the Fun in Fundraising!

As you know, Wally & I had two bowling fundraisers in October - one in Rockford & one in Madison. We were absolutely blown away by the generosity and support from our friends, family, and even some people we just met at the events.  Thank you so much for helping us get one step closer!  We would also like to say a special thank you to all of our volunteers - we would not have been able to do it without you!  We had so much fun, and hope you all did too! It is so awesome to watch so many people come together to help us bring the little home. I can't wait to show them the pictures someday!

We would also like to recognize and thank the organizations that provided donations for our silent auctions.
  • Anna's Pizza & Pasta
  • BPI Printing
  • Cheryl Anne's Closet
  • Claudine's Pet Grooming
  • Color Exhibition
  • Ebonite
  • Edible Arrangements
  • Eickman's
  • Flip Dog Designs
  • Groovy Grammas Creations
  • Rockford IceHogs
  • Tyranena
  • Vintage Brewing Co.
Our next fundraiser will be an online auction.  It will begin Friday, November 29th at 12am and end Friday, December 6th at 9pm.  Just in time for Christmas shopping! As a quick teaser, I will mention that we have lots of great items including Coach, Vera Bradley, Apple Accessories, Skullcandy, Rachel Ray, Pampered Chef, and Tastefully Simple. We will be posting a preview in the next couple of weeks.

We simply can't thank you enough!  Your prayers are working, so please keep them coming!

2 Corinthians 9:8And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work