Monday, December 28, 2009

A Troubling Update

About 6 weeks ago we received an update on Addison. In it, the foster mom noted that Addison's head would shake in 2-3 second intervals when she slept. In response we asked that they take video of her, and run and EEG. They were more than willing. As you all know, we received the video about 3 weeks ago and Addie looked happy, and developmentally right on target, even ahead in some areas. They also did an EEG and we received that a couple days ago. It noted that "there were several sharp wave discharges from the right and left central areas of her brain" which indicates she is having partial seizures. She has been put on an anticonvulsant medication called Valproic Acid for 6 weeks and the doctor has ordered blood work, and an MRI.

I think it goes without saying that we are heartbroken and worried about our little girl. It is also somewhat surreal that this is happening again. I would be lying if I didn't initially struggle with anger, but after much prayer and struggle, God has brought me to the place where I can see that this is clearly no accident. Very few people have adoptions fall through like we did. Very few people have serious health issues arise with their babies as these children are very well cared for. So when you consider that we have had all this happen once and now are walking that path yet again, it impossible to face the fact that God has placed us here.

Here's how you can pray, (and we covet your prayers)

  • Pray we can find a good pediatric neurologist to look at her file who can give us a clear indication of what were dealing with. It could be a very minor issue, we just don't know.
  • Pray the doctors in Korea have wisdom and insight as they treat her so she gets all that she needs while we wait to go get her.
  • Pray we will not worry. It extremely difficult knowing your baby is out of your reach, being cared for by strangers, and you have no say in her care. For lack of a better analogy, its just a weight that hangs over you.
  • And of course, pray we glorify God in whatever path he has for us.
  • Psalm 40:11 "You, O Lord, will not withhold your compassion from me. Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Best Story Bible for Kids

I want to HIGHLY recommend the following children's story Bible. It is The Big Picture Story Bible written by David Helm. I have read countless story Bibles to my boys over the years, but this one is so much better there is absolutely no comparison to any other. What makes it so different and superior is the fact the author takes each Bible story, each event in Israel's history, each phase in Biblical history, and ties them all together to show how the Bible is one coherent book, with one message instead of lots of little inspirational stories compiled into an anthology. He shows with each story and each account of Christ's life how they fit into God's overall purpose of redeeming a people for himself. There are no random stories that don't fit here! On each page you see, as will your child, how each account draws us closer to the fulfillment of God's promises. Its definitely worth purchasing!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What’s Next??

I've had many people asking me what happens next in our adoption. Right now we are waiting on immigration to approve our i600 which is a petition for the US government to legally classify Addison as a relative so we can get her a visa to bring her home. Right now our paperwork is in Texas. They have received it , processed it, given it a case number and it is now awaiting review. I have no idea how long that will take. It could be one week, or it could be 6 weeks. You just never know! After Texas processes it, they will mail it to the Kansas City office where they will actually review our file and make sure our ducks are in a row so they can approve the i600. They won't approve it initially because we will need to be re-fingerprinted, but once that's taken care of, we should get that approval. The total time frame is really hard to nail down. I think the fastest would be 6 weeks, and the longest, well who knows, but I don't think we'll wait more than 10-12 weeks. We would have to have some pretty serious snags for this to happen.

After we get our i600, then we our paperwork is sent to the National Visa Center where we start the process to get her Visa. This is a completely different timeline and process, so I'll explain that when we get there!

We appreciate your prayers and support so much! Thanks to all of you!

Are You a Disciple of Jesus Christ?

I just listened to a great sermon by Steve Lawson.
(recommended by my brother...thanks Jeremy!)
It is entitled "It Will Cost You Everything."
I urge you to listen to this!
It is excellent.
Click here to listen.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A New Book!

I just started reading the book 9 Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever. I'm excited to see what he has to say about a healthy church. The introduction really wet my appetite; maybe it will prompt you to read it too - or at least start thinking about what a healthy church really looks like when one uses the Bible as your measure of health instead of our own subjective opinions. Here's an excerpt from the introduction:

"How is a church supposed to act? What does it mean for a church to be faithful? And how can you tell whether or not you're succeeding? Is the fact that a lot of people are attending the proof that what they're doing right and blessed by God? It's hard to argue with numbers. Faced with attendance in the tens of thousands, mega complex buildings and budgets bigger than those of small countries, its not easy to question whether this is really a good idea. 'Of course it's a good idea!' the evidence seems to scream. 'Look how BIG it all is!'

"But is size the measure of success? We all know the right answer is no, but I wonder how many of us truly believe it deep down – or how many of us know what to sue to measure success in its place? Maybe you're uneasy about the shallowness of the modern church. Maybe you're looking for another measuring stick for true health. But whether you're a pastor looking for a blueprint to build your church or simply a Christian asking what matters most in a church, I believe this book can help you."

I'm excited to read Mark Dever's analysis of church health. My lofty plan is to summarize each of the nine marks detailed in this book in nine different posts, so be looking for more to come!

Sheri turns 40!!

Sheri thinks she's going to dinner with a friend, but instead is greeted with a party!
Everyone chatting & eating at PF Chang's.

Back at my house, we eat cake & open gifts. Sheri had to wear her "Princess birthday" gear we provided for her! After 40 years, you deserve an evening of being treated like a princess! ...right?
All the party-goers!

Here we are playing a game called "Kiss the Prince." You are blindfolded, and then attempt to kiss a "prince" as close to the lips as you can!

My Mother-in-law ended up kissing The Prince of Darkness! I think she won!! See the pink lipstick right on his lips!!!

Ang & Sheri..long time friends

Sheri & her little sister Angela.
Happy Birthday!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

God is Good

Psalm 31:6
I will rejoice and be glad in your lovingkindness because you have seen my affliction. You have known the troubles of my soul.

Psalm 40:11
You, O Lord, will not withhold your compassion from me. Your lovingkindness and truth will continually preserve me.

Psalm 31:21
Blessed be the Lord for He has made marvelous His lovingkindness to me...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Immigration Problems

We filed our i600 with the United States Customs & Immigration Services (USCIS). This needs to be approved in order for Addison to get a Visa. Immigration is notoriously unhelpful and slow. If you make a mistake in your paperwork it can delay you weeks, even months. Case in point: When I filed the i600a a year ago, I sent a check for the wrong amount and by the time they sent the check back with an explanation of the problem and I sent a new check, the process had been delayed a full month. With that being said, we have now have three mistakes with our paperwork which we just sent off last Thursday.

#1: We forgot to date a form. To correct this we filled the form out again, typed a letter with an explanation of the mistake and what we did to correct it, and sent that priority mail today. We are helpful that this actually makes it into our file it with our paperwork so this is fixed and doesn't cause delay.

#2: Our homestudy was updated by our Social worker in September. She listed our first referral by name on the first page. I was unaware of this, because our first homestudy made no mention of any child at all. So now USCIS has a homestudy with the wrong baby listed. Not good. This means we have to wait for a new homestudy, and HOPE that USCIS doesn't notice this small detail, or that the mistake has no bearing on our case.

#3 Our federal fingerprints expire on January 25, 2010. We were informed that they needed to be current until we actually bring home our baby. This is a change in policy because before USCIS stated they needed to be current until we got out i600 approval. So, we met with an immigration officer today who stated we could not get updated fingerprints until USCIS noted our expiration date, puts our file on hold, and mails us the "fingerprint form." Once we have this precious form, we can go get printed, but not until then. This a guaranteed two week delay, and could be longer. We now also need to finger print Nick because he will be 14 by this time.

We are definitely in need of prayer. Here's how you can pray:

  • Pray we don't worry, or become discouraged. God is good all the time. Even when its hard to see.
    Pray God watches over our paperwork and that these delays will be minimal and very easy to fix so these problems don't turn into months of delays.
  • Pray we bring him glory, even now for He is always worthy. I really want to exalt him at all times, but I'm afraid I'm really struggling right now.

We appreciate all the support, prayers and love. It means so much.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Visiting Santa!

My "little brother"
Jack was tired of photos! (but isn't he so cute!)

Drew was also sick of photos! Can you tell?

Some of my family!!

My older brother and his daughter

My other niece who LOVES sweets!

The girls wouldn't go near Santa...except to get a candy cane!!!

The boys are with Santa. Jack typed out his list and was explaining it to Santa!! He was very serious about this!! See the "joy" on Drew's face! He's not really "into" Santa anymore!
-He's gettin' nothin' for Christmas!! :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Video, Legals & Doctor's check-up!!

When it rains, it pours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We have legals!!!!!!!!!!!! I already overnighted them to the immigration office and they should arrive there tomorrow morning!!! YEAAAAAHHHH!!! Things are finally moving!

We also got Addison's monthly doctor report and she is doing great!! She weighs 19lbs 4oz and she is 26inches long! She is developmentally on track and is was noted that her "head shake" is "disappearing!" YEAHHAHAH!!!

And we also got video!!!!! She is so CUTE!!! I'm so incredibly happy I can't stand it!!!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Still waiting.............

64 days

9 weeks 1 day

1,536 hours

............and counting