Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Home Study Part 2...complete

I don’t know about Brent, but I feel overwhelmed with paper work right now.  We are at the state in the adoption process where we are continually filling out forms, answering questions, providing documentation for everything under the sun, and reading and initialing boocoodles of paper.  The good news is that every piece of paper work and every signature just means another step closer to the end goal.
We are still currently in the home study process and recently had our second home study interview which was done at our house.  Our social worker Sherry joined us for lunch at our house before we got down to the nuts and bolts.  Brent and I had been praying, or rather pleading with the Lord, that the girls would behave and it wouldn’t be a mad house.  Lilly Grace and Alex were great!  Even Lucy, our miniature dachshund who notoriously tinkles with excitement, remained continent while Sherry was at the house. 
We enjoyed lunch, took her around our home for the required home tour, and then had our individual interviews.  Sherry is easy to talk to, so these interviews are quite laid back and unintimidating.  Much of the questions this time were about our families, childhood, and marriage.  Not to brag – well I guess I am – but Brent and I have fully realized throughout this process what incredible families we were born in to and what an awesome marriage the Lord has blessed us with.  We have been humbled as we realize this is not the norm, and we praise the Lord for the blessings he bestows.
Brent and I have also begun our required education.  Thus far, all we have accomplished is reading information on Colombia from the department of state websites, but will begin an online class and some other in depth reading specifically about adopted children in the near future. 
As we have been doing our side of the paper work, some of those we are close to have been selflessly putting their time and efforts into helping us as well.  We had to have references from family, friends, employers, and church members.  Sherry told us that most everybody responded immediately, and we couldn’t be more thankful for the promptness and helpful nature of those we listed as references.
Once we complete another chunk of questions, paperwork, and education, we will then finish up our home study interview process.  Following that, we will begin to fill out our I-800A Immigration application then compile the dossier for Colombia!  How exciting it is to say that we are not too far from compiling our dossier for Colombia… the birth country of our precious child. 
Like I have said many times, this is not a quick process, and we long for your prayers.  We also hope that you will pray for all of the orphans in the world.  We take it for granted that we are loved by a family, but there are so many who can only hope for that kind of love. 

“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”    James 1:27

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Paperwork Continues...

Happy New Year!  With the hustle and bustle of Christmas, New Years, and sick children, we didn't make much progress for a couple weeks in the adoption process.  Despite our lack of progress, we have still prayed for our Colombian child or children multiple times daily, and we greatly anticipate the day he or they join us Buchanans!

A quick, cute Lilly Grace story before I give an update: The four of us were headed to the bank so Brent and I could fill out some paperwork, and we were having casual conversation and singing silly kiddie songs.  Shortly after walking in the door and completely unprompted, Lilly Grace proclaims to the teller, "My brudder lives in Colombia!"  Words cannot express how precious it is to see the love this child has for her brother that she has yet to meet!

As we wait to complete more paperwork, have more interviews, get our dossier compiled, and eventually wait for a referral, another precious baby has joined our family.  My sister, Stephanie, and her husband, Jimmy, welcomed baby Harmon James Parsons on January 3rd. He weighed a whopping 9 pounds 6 ounces and is quite possibly the cutest baby boy I have ever seen!  Lilly Grace keeps talking about Baby Harmon, and Alex lunges toward him every chance she gets.  These girls are ecstatic about their baby cousin, and Brent and I are overjoyed about our precious, chunky nephew.

Our latest paperwork has included brief forms we had to send off, certain things to be witnessed and notarized, and lengthy autobiographies.  The autobiographies consisted of answering four pages of questions about our lives.  While writing them, we realized what absolutely marvelous families we have and how abundantly blessed we have been since childhood.  It was also interesting to see how similarly we viewed aspects of our marriage, parenting, etc.  I was amazed at what an incredible writer Brent is... and as I am writing this blog he is still proofing mine, so I am certain mine wasn't as impressive. :)

We also were sent to the Sheriff's department to be fingerprinted.  We took both the girls since we want them to be as much a part of the entire process as possible, and figured it would be a quick in-and-out ordeal.  Brent and I were extremely pleased with how kind all of the personnel were. They were quick to help, were kind to us, and were playful with the children.  We made our way to the correct area for fingerprinting and waited, and waited, and waited.  We learned that the reason for the extensive wait was that a suspect in the first murder of 2013 in Montgomery was being fingerprinted immediately before us.  It was an eerie feeling knowing that we were trying to follow the Lord's call in our lives while we watched a murderer walk out with armed guards in front of our very eyes.  Then I remember, Christ died for all sinners and this person is just as worthy of grace and forgiveness as I am.  

Our next big step will be the second home study, which we will schedule once our precious social worker reads our autobiographies.  We look forward to meeting with her again, and always get very excited about any steps closer to bringing home this child.  For those of you that are praying with us throughout this process, continue to pray that if this child is already born that he is being loved and is attached to somebody.  That is our biggest prayer right now.  Have a blessed 2013!