Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Books...So Far

We're really trying to research and become familiar with everything we can related to adopting our baby girl. Here's what we've been reading...

The Strength Of Mercy: Making A Difference In The World One Child At A Time
by Jan Beazley
Jan Beazley is the cofounder of All God's Children International, a non-profit Christian adoption and relief ministry. This book tells the story of their adoption of a little girl from Romania and the birth of their ministry. We both read it and thought it was good and found the scriptures Jan shared in the book to be especially encouraging. Available from Amazon.com.

Cross-Cultural Adoption: How To Answer Questions From Friends, Family, And Community
by Amy Coughlin and Caryn Abramowitz

This book is about how to answer questions from friends and family about cross-cultural adoption. It's designed to give to others to read to help make them aware of the issues and to understand what's appropriate to say and ask. We both read it and thought it was a good read but some of the stuff they cover is just common sense. But that depends on your friends and family I guess. :) Available from Amazon.com.

Successful Adoption: A Guide For Christian Families
by Natalie Nichols Gillespie

Shannon read this book and thought it had some helpful information. We've already implemented some of the organizational suggestions from the book. It gives a good overview of the whole adoption process. Available from Amazon.com.

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Grits: A Sourcebook for Multicultural Families
by Myra Alperson

Weird title...but anyway...Jason read this book about being a multicultural family. We don't necessarily agree with all of their advise and it wasn't written from a Chrisitan perspective but the information was very helpful and thought provoking. Especially helpful were some of the sections on how much of your childs culture and heritage you should try to retain in your family and on the issues you may face in being a multicultural family. Available from Amazon.com.

FBI - Jason Is Clear But Shannon...

Actually, Shannon is clear too. :) We received our FBI fingerprint cards today via FedEx. They stamped the back of our cards saying we had no arrest record. However, since they FBI won't notarize or certify the fingerprint cards, we have to have a letter from the FBI saying that they won't notarize or certify them. That doesn't make much sense to me. Anyway, Guatemala requires the letters and the FBI didn't send them. Shannon had to call the FBI, they said we didn't request the letters, which is false - we have a letter that proves we did but how deep do we want to go trying to prove the FBI wrong - we'll end up with criminal records. So they said they would send it regular mail. We decided waiting on regular mail wasn't a good idea (you never know when or if you'll receive it) so Shannon called them back and asked for it to be sent via FedEx so we should have the letters tomorrow. Now we're only waiting on our home study before we can move on to having the documents certified. Yeah!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Joel's Passport

We went to the post office today and applied for a passport for Joel. We weren't sure how he'd do getting his picture made but he did great (although he didn't smile). We're not sure he'll be traveling with us to Guatemala but decided to get it just in case.

Document Update

Shannon called the FBI today and our fingerprints were supposed to be mailed today. Shannon also talked to the Guatemalan Consulate in Chicago and our Missouri documents were supposed to be mailed today too. Yeah! As soon as we get them we'll just be waiting on our home study. We've heard back from our agency and they seem to be reviewing it. They had some questions about it but haven't finished it up quite yet.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Slow Week

It's been a slow week as far as the adoption goes. We're waiting on our adoption agency to finish reviewing our home study, we're waiting on the Guatemalan Consulate in Chicago to finish authenticating our Missouri documents (Shannon's birth certificate and our marriage license), and we're waiting on the FBI to send us back our fingerprints. It's hard just waiting on everyone else do their job. We're planning on following up with everyone this week to find out the status on all those documents.

We did get Joel's new bed setup this week after he surprised Shannon by showing up in the kitchen when he was supposed to be in his baby bed! The transition to a "big boy" bed is going smoothly...so far.


We listed Jason's car for sale in the paper this weekend to help pay our adoption fees. It's a 1998 Chevy Camaro Z28 (yes, that's the actual car in the pic above). We still have his older car so he won't be walking to work! Just won't get there as fast. :)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Picture Time

We took pictures today after church for our dossier. We have to send pictures of both of us and some of us with Joel.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Medical Letters PASSED!!!!

All our medical letters are good to go!! We're so glad to be done with those!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

G-28 Attorney Blah Blah Blah Form

This is some kind of attorney related form from the Department of Justice that we had to sign 5 copies of today to get ready for our dossier.

Power of Attorney (POA)

Shannon talked to our case manager today about the benefits of us traveling to Guatemala to sign our power of attorney (POA). We thought it might save some time on translating documents but it sounds like it might not necessarily shorten the wait. It's not real commonly done and they don't really recommend it.

Medical Letters

Jason went to pickup our medical letters today. Our friend Trudy, a VP and notary from Jason's office, very generously volunteered to go with him since our doctor doesn't have a notary in his office. Jason called ahead before they went to make sure it was a good time to come and our doctor's office said it was. They still had to sit and wait for 45 minutes before the doctor could sign 2 pieces of paper. He was very rude and really frustrating. We hope his signatures will pass ok. Looks like it's time to look for a new doctor! Jason faxed both our letters along with Joel's latest to our case manager to look over.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Notarized Documents PASSED

We heard back from Shannon E., our case manager, and all our documents passed!! Yeah!!

Home Study Draft

We received a draft of our home study today! We only saw a couple of minor corrections that need to be made but we have to wait for our adoption agency (For This Child) to review it.

FBI Fingerprints ???

We're still waiting on our letters from the FBI so Shannon did some research (Google is your friend) on the Internet to find out where to call to get an update on the status of our prints. Shannon talked to someone that said we should have them back within 2 weeks.

Medical Letter for Joel

Jason picked up Joel's medical letter today and it looks like it's actually going to work!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Re-notarizing Documents

We had our name affidavits, witness statements, article 24 statement, and employment letter all redone today. We had some issues with signatures, titles, and notary stamp location so we had everything redone. We faxed them all in to our case manager again and we're waiting to see if they're ok.

Medical Letters UGH!

We tried to pickup Joel's medical letter again today and they changed they wording on the document and forgot a word in the notary section which made it not make sense. We got our passports back faster than we're getting medical letters from local doctors!!! Why can't they get this right?! Shannon also talked to our doctor about getting our letters redone. He's really acting frustrated that he has to redo the letters because of the notary's commission expiring. Does he think this is any less frustrating to us?

Passport Copies

We made color copies of the first page of our passports today for our dossiers. Glad we have access to a color Xerox at Jason's work. Some retail locations won't allow copying of passports.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Medical Letters

Ok. We tried to pick up our medical letters again today but Joel's doctor messed up the dates on the document (they don't all match - it looks like he signed a document before it was created!) and our doctor used a notary whose commission expires next month! This is sooooo frustrating!!!!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Birthday Party!

We had Joel's big birthday party today! Both sets of grand parents and lots of friends came over to celebrate. It was a lot of fun!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Medical Letters

We tried to pick up our medical letters today but Joel's doctor didn't sign legibly and our doctor's office closed early. :(

Happy Birthday Joel!

Today is Joel's 2nd birthday! Happy Birthday Joel!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Grammy & Pop

Shannon's mom and dad (Grammy and Pop) are here for a visit from Missouri. They'll be staying while Jason is in Atlanta and for Joel's birthday.

Document Redo

Shannon E. emailed us that Jason's employment letter has to be redone because it doesn't have his bosses title on it and Joel's medical letter isn't valid because it was signed by the nurse practitioner instead of by the doctor.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Missouri Docs Going To Chicago

Shannon picked up a money order and sent off our certified Missouri documents to the Guatemalan Consulate in Chicago. The Chicago Consulate has to authenticate the documents from Missouri. Our Texas documents will go to the Guatemalan Consulate in Houston.

More Documents to Review

We faxed Jason's employment letter, Joel's medical letter, and both of our State Police clearance letters to Shannon E. for review.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


We received our passports in the mail today!!! Unbelievable! We can't believe they came back in less than 2 weeks! We're really excited and give the credit to our Lord! Thank you God!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Missouri Certified Docs

We got back our certified documents from Missouri. Yeah!

Joel's Medical Letter

Joel's doctor's office called today and said Joel's medical letter is ready for us to pick up. Shannon picked it up and we'll fax it to Shannon E. for review.

State Police Letters

We received our State Police letters today in the mail. We're all clear!


Jason left today to travel to Atlanta for a trade show and will be gone for 8 days. He went with 7 coworkers from his office.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Independance Day!

Jason had today off to celebrate the 4th so we took Joel to a park and enjoyed fireworks.

Notarized Documents...4 Pass, 1 Fail

Shannon E. emailed us back and said all the forms were ok except one that needs to be resigned more legibly.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Employment Letter

Jason had to get a notarized employment letter from his office about his employment and salary.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Notarized Documents for Review

We faxed our documents that we have had notarized so far to Shannon E., our case manager with For This Child, so she can review them and see if they look ok.

Medical Letters

Shannon contacted our doctor and Joel's doctor to get notarized letters from both of them. Our doctor's office didn't think they could do it so Shannon went to his office to talk to him personally. He can do it but it requires him dictating the information to someone before they can put it on letterhead and they don't have a notary in the office so they'll have to take it somewhere else to be notarized. And to top it all off, our doctor is leaving town for the rest of the week. Joel's doctor's office seemed very helpful so maybe it will go smoothly.

Certifying Missouri Docs

We FedEx-ed (is that a word?) our Missouri documents to Jefferson City, MO for certification by the Missouri Secretary of State. It rained so hard today that Shannon was afraid she wouldn't make it home from FedEx-Kinkos! Abilene streets are the drainage system.

Home Study Stuff

We mailed the floorplan and pics of our house and our adoption education printout to Jenna for our home study. Hope it's finished soon!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

House Pics

Jason took pictures of the front and back of our house for the home study. They want to know where our adopted kids will be playing.

Adoption Education Finished!

Yeeeeehaaaaahhh! We wrapped it up with another 4 hours of training. These were on Let's Talk Adoption, A Lifetime of Family Conversations, and The Journey of Attachment. Glad to be done! Now we can mail our completed form to Jenna, our social worker, so she can complete the home study.