We had our first garage sale two weeks ago. Thankfully, the rain didn't keep people away and it was a lot of fun and a success in so many ways. Oldest son spent a few really great days with my dad making daggers and swords to sell. He got some quality time with grandpa in his wood shop and learned how to use power tools. A boy's dream come true. They're two peas in a pod - like to work alone and love to build - so this was just a great time all around for both of them. The swords were just the icing on the cake. :-) Oldest son brought them home, painted them and got his sign ready for garage sale day. He sold every one he made and took orders for more. He's well on his way to saving for his airfare! Here's a photo of his sign. Have to admit it had me choked up for a minute. This boy LOVES his grandpa.
We had so many friends donate items to sell and were just overwhelmed with the kindess of so many people. Our good friends came over both days and stayed ALL day to help. It was such an amazing gesture of friendship and support and boy, they were a HUGE help. Their oldest son is a whiz at math and was a super cashier. Our middle girls and their daughter were the snack bar queens. They made about 20% of the total sales with their cookies and Ethiopian coffee! We had Africa-shaped sugar cookies that I made the nights before and delicious butterscotch oatmeal cookies provided by our friends. They were a big hit!
Our homestudy report is written up and is under review by our local agency. We should get a copy next week and once it's ok'd by us and our main agency, we send our I-600A off to U.S. Immigration. Once they send back their approval, we're ready to send our dossier off to Ethiopia!!! We've had a really smooth time of gathering paperwork. One-by-one we've checked off the boxes with no snags so far. It seems that Indiana is one of the better states to live in for adoption. We've heard horror stories of other states and the WEEKS it takes to get forms returned. Indiana is at the top of the scale for speed. Love that!
We all got our passport applications sent out today. Have to tell ya, the lady at the post office looked like she wanted to run when she knew why all 9 of us were there. :-) It was seriously funny. She was afraid. Very afraid. Luckily, we had all of our photos already taken at Costco, or she may have fainted on the spot. She kept saying, "This is going to be a lot of writing." We all just smiled and waited. I think she thought the kids would start climbing the walls or something before she could finish. We scared her. A lot. They were well behaved though and at some point went out to watch a little video in the van. They all came back at the end to give their sworn oath that they were, in fact, who they claimed to be and we were done. I'm pretty sure she went on break immediately after we left. LOL!!!
The referrals for our agency are happening really fast right now. That is GREAT news for so many kids and waiting families. Lots of little ones and sibling groups being adopted into their forever families. If these time frames continue, we could have these kiddos home sooner than we first thought. We're trying not to get our hopes up, but it's exciting to know we're so close to having our dossier ready to go.
We're officially approved for two children ages 0-4. This could be a set of twins, a sibling group of two that fit that age range, or possibly two unrelated children. Our agency does not allow "artificial twinning" (adopting two unrelated children of the same age), so we're just waiting to see how God works this out. It gets me crazy excited because I know He already knows the EXACT children He has ordained for our family and our family for those children. From each and every date that a document is finalized, to each and every person we meet in this process, to each and every person that has come along side us in support, we have sensed His hand and are resting securely in that.
We continue to pray daily for this whole process. We pray for our children, not knowing if they are born, or yet to be born. We pray for their birth mother's heart and health and if she is no longer living, that she somehow knows her precious babies will be dearly loved and cared for. We pray prayers of gratitude for good friends and family and your support and prayers as you have come along side us. We appreciate all of you more than you'll ever know.
Have a great weekend!