Saturday, November 29, 2008

I-600A Approval Received

Today we received our approval letter for our I-600A. It only took them 2 weeks to process!!! There is one problem with it; they have me listed as Steve's spouse on page 1, but on the attachment where it tells us when our fingerprinting expires, it lists someone else as Steve's spouse. I know we live in Utah....but I'm pretty sure I'm the only one! :) I'll have to email our contact, and see if we need to do anything about that.

We also learned that Saviour actually goes by Anita. When I talked with Kingsley on the phone, I thought he was calling her something else, but I just thought I didn't understand his I think we will talk to her and see what she wants to be called...Anita, Saviour, or Lilly before we make any changes to her name.

I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving! We enjoyed spending time with Steve's family.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Do You Want to Hear Saviour's Voice?

We have some new pictures of Saviour and a video too! Thanks Jessica!!! It's kind of funny that lately we have just been referring to her as Saviour instead of Lilly. The twins won't call her Lilly...only Saviour. I guess we'll see what happens when we actually meet her. She's wearing orange in all the pictures. :)

Here is what Jessica said about her:

"She is really sweet and she loved the book you sent. She looked at it over
and over and over. She was running around to show all the kids her family. She
would point to Steve and tell them he was her dad, then she'd turn to your
picture and tell them you are her mom. She would say you are coming soon to see
her. She loved the pics of Madi. She kept asking me when Madi was coming. And
she got a kick out of the twins. It was really cute."

Jessica said she is good friends with Comfort, the other girl in the video and they were always playing together. Comfort is being adopted by a family in Washington. Here's a link to their blog. It is quite a miraculous story about Comfort's adoption. She needs heart surgery and found just the right family to help her.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What Will I Be Thinking This Thanksgiving?

I talked with Lois (she's helping us with our adoption) on the phone last night. One of the things she told me was that they now have enough money to feed the children breakfast at Luckyhill. While on the phone, I was thinking, "That's so great. They have extra money from these adoptions and now the kids get porridge in the morning." Then I got off the phone and couldn't fall asleep. I was thinking about how much I complain about the price of gas, food, utilities, etc. I was thinking about how much I take for granted having clothes to wear and 3 square meals a day, not to mention a hot shower every morning and electricity to make everything in my life easier!!! I was thinking about how much excess I have in my life.

Today at church, our Relief Society lesson was on a talk President Thomas S. Monson gave in conference last April called "Abundantly Blessed". I sat there thinking about all of my blessings. The list is quite large. I realized that I don't always show my gratitude to others like I should. I don't tell Heavenly Father often enough how thankful I am for such a blessed life. But even as ungrateful as I have been, He has still seen fit to continue to bless me and my family.

I thought about coincidences. So many times, something happens and I think, "What a coincidence!" As I considered this today in light of receiving blessings, I realized that a coincidence is just evidence of God's handiwork. I know it wasn't just coincidence that I met Jessica on a Yahoo group who just happens to be adopting from Ghana, and who just happens to live 30 miles away, and who just happens to be a member of the same Church, and who just happens to know someone who lives 60 miles away who would be willing to help us with an adoption, and who just happens to know of an orphanage in Ghana called Luckyhill.......

I believe that Heavenly Father loves little Saviour so much and he loves Steve and I so much that he helped us find one another....and that is what I will be thinking about this Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Twins' Birthdays

Sierra and Savannah turned 4 on Sunday, the 16th. I can't believe it's been four years since we first saw them. I was remembering how sick Sierra was after she was born with necrotizing enterocolitis and spinal meningitis. It really is a miracle she is still with us. Savannah is on the top, Sierra on the bottom.

We have been blessed to have them as part of our family, even with all the mischief they manage to find :D
Madi is such a good big sister, then and now!!!

We celebrated their birthday at Steve's parents' house where they got plenty spoiled with gifts and cake and ice cream. I think their favorite present was tools. When Steve was working on finishing the bathroom, they would always take off with his tools. They were thrilled to have their own set. After they opened them, they wouldn't open anything else for quite awhile. Here are some pictures. Enjoy!

Savannah top, Sierra bottom.

Savannah top, Sierra bottom.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Our Paper Work is in Ghana!!!

We had our homestudy on Thursday, November 6th, which went well. I kept thinking that I needed to hurry up and get our dossier put together. We had a lot to do still gathering all the required documents. The hardest one to nail down was a notarized letter verifying Steve's employment. It wasn't hard really, it just took some time and some follow-up on his part to make sure it was notorized and official looking enough.

Anyway, Wednesday, the 12th, Jessica called me. (She's adopting Sarah/Adjoa from Luckyhill.) She told me she was going to Ghana on Sunday morning, the 16th and could take things over there for us....So the race was on to get it all ready.
I emailed our social worker and asked if it was possible to have our homestudy ready by then. (I had proof-read it the night before.) She said "Yes. It will be ready tomorrow." So, Steve picked it up on Thursday. We needed the finalized homestudy for the dossier and also so we could file our I600A telling the U.S. we intend to adopt an orphan.

Friday Steve took the day off and we made an appointment with the US Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services to file the I600A. I learned from Stephanie (adopting Samuel and Godfrid from Luckyhill) that they only accept money orders even though their webpage goes into great detail about how they accept personal checks. So I was prepared with a money order in hand made out to the Department of Homeland Security for $837. We got to the office and felt a bit like we were in a foreign country. We went through security and waited in the waiting room. When our name was called, the gentleman behind the counter looked at the money order and said that he couldn't accept it because the fee was $830. I really wanted him to just keep the change, but he said we would have to come back. Of course the credit union that issued the money order is in Tooele and we were in Salt Lake. I went to a credit union in SL where we have another account and fortunately, they allowed me to deposit the money order in my account and then they issued one for the correct amount.
We went back and had to wait for awhile because the man had gone to lunch. Finally, we finished there and went over to another location to be finger-printed. So, now we are just waiting our approval on that.
We got back to Tooele, went to a notary to notarize any and all papers we thought might need it and then went to a copy center to make 7 copies of all documents...4 for Ghana and 3 for us. I stayed up until 1:00 AM compiling all copies and triple-checking to make sure nothing was amiss.
Saturday we delivered Saviour's book, an outfit, teddybear and necklace that Madi made to Jessica along with our adoption fee and the dossier. So, now the adoption process can begin in Ghana. We are happy to have our part complete.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Saviour's Book

I have so much to post about, but have been way too busy!! So I'll start with Saviour's book and post a few more times this week.

We wanted to create a book for Saviour to help her understand what is going to be happening with her adoption. Steve thought it would be a good idea to turn it into a purse, so she could carry it around with her easily if she wants to. So, here it is:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Walking in the Light of God

We had our home visit by our social worker Thursday and it all went well. We should have our completed homestudy this week!

Saturday night we went to a concert by the African Children's Choir. It was wonderful. I loved watching the children perform songs and dances from Africa. They ended with "Walking in the Light of God." I love it. Our kids love watching it over and over on youtube. Enjoy!!!

We also got to meet Lois and her daughter from Ghana, Lily. They met us at the concert. Lois is fun to talk with and Lily is beautiful. We also met another couple adopting from Luckyhill. So, it was a great night. I can't wait to meet Saviour and hear her little voice again! The way things are going with passports in Ghana, I am not as optimistic that we will be able to bring her home in January or February. I'm guessing it may be more like April or May. We will get everything done on our end and then leave it in the Lord's hands and pray that the process will go smoothly in Ghana.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Call To Ghana

We talked to Kingsley yesterday after church. We were supposed to talk to Saviour (Lilly), but with the time change here, it made it 8:00 PM there and she was already in bed. Kingsley said she gets up at 4:35 AM for family devotional and school starts at 7:00. It was nice talking to Kingsley. He was just called to the Bishopric, so he's even busier than before. He said that Saviour is beautiful, quiet, well-behaved and respectful. He told us we could call back at 8:00 in the morning their time.

So, we got up at 1:00 AM and made the call. I talked to Kingsley while he walked to her school class to get Saviour and then I talked to Saviour. I am guessing this is her first time ever being on a phone. She didn't say much, just answered "yes" or "OK" to the things we said. Madison wanted to get up to talk, so she talked and of course Steve talked to her. It was fun to hear her little voice. I don't know how much she understands about these people who call themselves "mom" and "dad," but hopefully the book we are making to send with Jessica will help her understand better.