Forever Young

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Well, the news is out.....we are in the process of adopting a little girl from China! We are so excited! I hope to document this process on here so that we can remember everything and so that others might also see how the process works and might get excited about adopting also. At some point I'll write about our decision to adopt and how we came to this point. But today I want to talk about the process that we have gone through so far. When we tell people our news we often get asked, "how far into the process are you?" So, that is what I am going to answer today! When we made the decision to adopt, we did not know much about how things worked. So, we began by making some inquires to people we knew who had adopted. And we also started searching online for information. The first thing we had to do was pick an adoption agency to use. This was not an easy decision as there are many to choose from. And you hear both good and bad things about people's experience with different agencies. We almost used AWAA (American World Adoption Association) but ended up choosing FTIA (Families Thru International Adoption). Our main reason for choosing them was that we know 3 families locally who have used them and they were pleased with them. And their fees were a little lower than some other agencies. Once we chose the agency we filled out an initial application and waited for approval. After we got that approval, we needed to begin our home study process. This was another big decision as there are so many places to choose from. Because we chose to adopt from a Hague Convention country, there are additional considerations in choosing a Hague approved agency or not, etc. Well, after much searching and talking we finally chose AHSS (Adoption and Home Study Specialists) in Louisville. We filled out an initial application for them and then received a 50 page document to begin working on. Many people don't realize that a home study is much more than having a social worker come out and look around your house and ask you some questions. Here is a list of many of the items you have to send them:
Certified Birth Certificates for all family members
Certified Marriage Certificate
Medical exam reports for all family members
Individual photo IDs for mom and dad
Family photograph
Complete autobiographies for mom and dad with specific questions to address
References from 5 people
Letter from employers
Animal safety statement (if you have pets your vet has to fill out a form)
Child Placing license from your placing agency
IRS tax return
Account verification for checking, savings, loans, mortages, investments, retirement plans, etc.
Life insurance verification
Health insurance verification
National criminal background check
State criminal background check
Local criminal background check
CPS abuse and neglect investigation
Sex and violent offender registry check
Child abuse out of state check for all states you have lived in since 18

Many of these forms have to be notarized as well which can be difficult. For instance, we had to have our medical exam forms notarized by our doctor. They do not have a notary in the office so do you think it would be easier to try to get your doctor to go to see a notary with you or find a notary who will go to the doctor with you?? Well, it's not easy either way. But thankfully God worked all that out for us at the last minute and we were able to find a notary to go to the doctor's office.

Along with all the paperwork, you have to complete adoption education. We have purchased this online so we can view the classes at any time. Once all this is complete then you go into the office of your home study agency for interviews. Because we are adopting from China they require 4 face to face interviews. So, Todd will be interviewed individually and then I'll be interviewed and then we'll be interviewed together. Then they will come out to our house and Brandon will be interviewed as well since he is over the age of 10.

So, right now we are working on finishing gathering all the paperwork above. For instance, today I went to the bank to get a money order and then to the post office to mail in a form for one of our criminal background checks. I also started my education course today and completed my first test.
While we are working on all these things for the home study I am also working on items for our Dossier. If you don't know what that is, it is basically a big stack of paperwork that goes to China to tell them all about us. There is much information that is the same stuff needed for the home study, it just has to be a little more official. For instance, once you get the certified birth certificates you then have to send them to your secretary of state for some kind of seal/certification. Then you send them to the Chinese Embassy for another authentification seal.

I'd love to get all this paperwork completed for the home study within the next 2 weeks! I am staying very busy and am thankful that the kids have a week with their grandparents this week so I can focus more of my time on getting things done. We just want to hurry up and get to China to bring our daughter home!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Christmas in Columbia

Our final Christmas celebration was in Columbia, Tennessee! Here are some pictures of everyone except the camera man.

Todd and I got lots of stuff for our newly remodeled bathroom!

We all went in together and suprised Dad with a blu-ray player and surround sound speaker system! I think he liked it!

Monday, February 07, 2011


Today was Brandon's quarterly endocrinologist appointment. He got a very good report. His A1C was 6.6, so we were very excited! That is the lowest it has been since his diagnosis! We talked with the doctor a little bit about the insulin pump today. Brandon doesn't want one at all, and at this point he doesn't need one. She forewarned us that once he hits puberty his blood sugar levels can be very difficult to keep under control, and we might need to switch to a pump at that time. But, for now, all is well and we will just keep on keeping on!

Friday, February 04, 2011

Sick Update

Well, Bekah was the first to get sick, then Mommy, then Brandon. We had a yucky few days, but everyone seems to be getting back to normal now. Brandon went a whole day and ate nothing. I had him check his sugar periodically throughout the day. It slowly went up all day long even though he was not eating and throwing up. Crazy, isn't it? It just proves there is much more than food that affects his sugar levels.
Hopefully since Todd was out of town, he has missed his turn at getting sick! He did make it back home last night and we were all very happy to see him!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

My sick girl

I am pressing pause on the catch-up of photos to tell you about our day today. My girl is sick. She has the stomach bug that has been going around like crazy around here. I don't know many households that haven't been hit with it. This morning around 4am she came into my room and said, "I don't why, but I just threw up." Well that was just the beginning of more throwing up and diarrhea. Fun times. And Todd just left this morning for a 3 day work trip. At least he will hopefully not get the bug, but I won't have any help either. Bekah has spent most of the day lying in the living room floor. She fell asleep for about 2 hours this afternoon which is a sure sign that she is sick, because I couldn't tell you the last time she took a nap.

I just hope that Brandon doesn't come down with this, as it could likely put him in the hospital. He has complained of a stomachache some today, but he has eaten normally and is acting fine. We'll see......