Friday, October 21, 2011

Letters and Numbers that Mean a Lot

 **Update, if you haven't figured it out, I should have sent you HERE when I linked to the article

This week we were house sitting for some friend. I would have told you all earlier but there's the whole deal of leaving your house unoccupied and then telling the whole bloggy world about it that just doesn't sit well with me.  So, you're hearing about it now. It's relevant, I promise.  Since we've not been at our home I've been popping by each day to grab our mail.  I knew it was a long shot for the Department of Homeland Security to get back to us so quickly (it's only been a week since we were fingerprinted) but a girl can hope, right? Well, so yesterday, I pulled up and rolled down my window to grab the mail.  There was only one letter in there.  If you are dying of curiosity, I will just tell you--it was THE letter.  That's right, people.  We got our approval! The I-171H if you will, or what I call the permission slip.  It took me a minute to realize that's what it was because it doesn't say it across the top. The part that says it's the I-171H is teeny tiny in the bottom right corner.  When I finally saw it, I was so excited.  What to do?

I called Hubs. No answer.

I called Mom.  No answer.

I was resigned to keep this news to myself so I did what any blog-loving, tech-obsessed woman would do... I took a picture of myself with the letter in my car.

You may ask why I have that weird look on my face. You may ask but I cannot tell you. This is what happens when I take blurry pictures of myself I guess.  Please forgive the look.  And the blurriness.  I just needed photographic evidence of that final document.

Then I got home and took a pic to send to my family--here's one of the pages in the letter. The US is really clearing us to go get a child! Wahoo!!

So, you may ask yourself what's next?  Well we are waiting on a little bit of money that should be on its way but as soon as we see it, we mail this puppy (along with 45 other pages--I counted) to our agency. They review it, re-review it, translate it (shocker--Ethiopia's official language isn't English!! OK, not a shocker) and then send it over to sit in the waiting line. And we wait. For about 2 years at this point.

If you are a praying person, please pray the money will come through quickly on this.  And in case you're wondering, nope, this is not even close to the end of the funds we will need.  We will be hosting a garage sale next weekend and the fundraising should get even more intense from there. We will still need to raise close to $20,000 after we turn in this dossier.  We have faith it will all happen in due time.

One would think this document would make me giddy with glee.  One would be partially right. But in the spirit of being transparent, this has lit up all kinds of feelings inside me. Yes, we are so ready to get this paperwork off and will hopefully do it soon.  When we do, though, that's pretty much the last time to change anything on it without major complications and/or money.  So, now I am rethinking everything.  Please pray for clear direction and for God to settle my heart.

Adoption is hard for everyone involved.  Please hear me loud and clear when I say this: we want to adopt. And so, we believe adoption is a good thing.  But it's also a solution to an awful situation.  It's also ethically rocky ground in so many ways. And I don't know if we will ever feel a beautiful sense of resolution in all of this.  We have researched our agency, talked to others, prayed about the child we are about to request, and done quite a bit of reading. But still, in general, so many feelings are tugging at me.

And this article (that I nabbbed from Rage Against the Minivan) didn't help.  You should read it. It is awesome.  So insightful.  But it's also hard.  There's a lot that goes into this.

Right now we are praying about whether to expand our request.  We have already agreed to many special needs. We are considering more. We have thought 0-18 months. We are considering older.  Please, please join us in these prayers that the Lord will give us a clear path and a sense of peace when we submit our dossier (I feel you need to know that I accidentally wrote "a sense of peach" at first.  I don't know that I need that).  And if God speaks to your heart on our behalf, PLEASE don't you hesitate to tell me ASAP.  We could use all the Godly wisdom possible on this.

Thank you for following our journey. It's far from over friends. It won't be over this side of heaven. We're blessed to have friends and family (and bloggy friends) who love us through this.

Have a great weekend!


  1. Those are big decisions. Very difficult. Glad that the "important paper" got there so quickly. **Your hand kind of looks like it's not attached to your body in the blurry picture.

  2. Praying for you guys and the newest member of the Soete family. Thanks for being so real with your feelings and this process. It's big...and like all big things, many emotions are involved. Love you!