So here's a quickish summary of what we've been up to...
Sometime in September we turned in our initial paper work to New Life Adoption Agency to begin the process of adoption.
Sometime in October we turned in our official application to New Life which included medical history, statement of faith, how we became Christians, why we want to adopt and lots of other essays and papers to fill out.
Then we had to wait over a month to hear if we were accepted as New Life family.
The weekend before Thanksgiving we moved into our house! I had forgotten how much I LOVE LIVING IN A HOUSE!!!!!
Home Sweet Home...my little casita!
I'll post some more pictures tomorrow. The outside looks a little different from when I took this picture and I'll take some pictures of the inside, but I have to clean first! ;)
Okay, so at this point, we were getting moved in, finally feeling at home, but I couldn't relax too much cause Christmas was right around the corner and I hadn't begun any of my shopping or decorating.
Just as the stockings were being hung, we got an email from New Life saying that we had been accepted as a New Life family but we needed to come in for an initial meeting after the New Year to make sure we were all on the same page regarding open adoption. (New Life requires that the families commit to maintain communication with the birth mom with pictures and letters.) Well, as you can imagine, we were tickled to pieces to be that much closer to adopting, and taking the next step in January sounded perfect, because, as I said, Christmas was pounding on my wreathless front door.
About a week later, we got a call from one of the ladies at New Life. She wanted to go ahead and meet with us before the New Year. Well, of course we would meet!...it would be nice to meet face-to-face finally and talk about what January would look like. So we went to the meeting. We confirmed our desire to have an open adoption and everything was going great. And then...just as I was about to wish her a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, she explained to us that she wanted us to get all of our home study completed in December.
After I quit choking, I blinked away my panicked eyes, smiled and said, "Um...Of Course! So you think maybe, that week after Christmas?" Surely she means the week after Christmas!
"No, no,"she says, "I can't that week. How about the week before?"
This time the panic could not be blinked away, and it's possible a mild swear fell out of my mouth, but because we are anxious to adopt our sweet baby and because we don't really know who we are unless things are completely insane, we agreed to complete all of our paperwork, inspections, photographs, video and home visit the Thursday before Christmas.
So...two weeks before Christmas:
- we had to finish MOVING IN!
- get ready for Christmas and Christmas events that I had already planned
- and complete a 26 item checklist of things to do before our home study on the 22nd
Long story short (too late)...we did it! I mean...there were lots of tears, some spells with irritable bowel syndrom, and I consumed about 15 gallons of Starbucks Iced Black tea, but we did it! We got the house ready, the nursery (sort of) set up, Christmas presents under the tree, dinner parties hosted and attended and every item on our adoption checklist done...minus our infant CPR and reading requirements.
We finished our home study Thursday.
Had a Christmas Eve Eve Service on Friday.
Went to Sugar Land to be with my family on Christmas Eve.
Spent Christmas Day with Casey's family.
Came home on Monday.
Been pretty much a recluse ever since. Seriously. I've slept a lot. Cleaned a lot. Cooked a lot (which didn't really happen the other 3 weeks of December). Played Wii a lot. Vegged a lot.
Lord, how I needed it. In fact, we may make that a Cease family tradition...to spend the week between Christmas and New Years at home...resting and recovering and rejuvenating, preparing for the next year. Now, I feel ready for 2012 and the idea of going out into the world and seeing other people doesn't make me want to cry.
So there you have it, friends. We moved from our apartment to our beautiful new house and we could be adopting any time now. Or it could be a year from now. Who knows? We're back to waiting. But, I will say, even though those two weeks were some of the craziest weeks of my life, I am so thankful that the Lord has moved us through the process so quickly. Our part is (mostly) done. Now it's just up to Him to bring our profile to the the right birth mom. Then this family of three will finally be four! I can't wait!
Happy New Year everyone!
(And by everyone I mean, mom...since you're probably the only one still checking my blog. ;)