Sunday, April 27, 2008

"God puts people right where they need to be."

Reggie, you'll probably never read this - I don't know how you could since we are complete strangers - but I want you to know that I think you're absolutely right. God DOES put people exactly where they're needed, exactly when they're needed. You were the proof of that this weekend. Thank you. And God bless you.

Ok, now that I'm done talking to Reggie, I'll explain it for the rest of you. I had a wonderful "chance encounter" this weekend at the local office supply/copy store. I was there with my Mom scoping out ideas and gathering information for our cookbook fundraiser and weighing the print-at-home versus the pay-for-the-copying options. We took the time to talk to the copy center clerk - who, by the way, was less than excited about our project but grudgingly quoted us an outrageous price anyway while urging us to double check with the General Manager before we even try to submit the order - and we ended up a little more confused and frustrated than we started. Having already decided it wasn't worth the hassle of trying to get the copy center to take the job and set it up right for the price he quoted, we let him finish and then smiled and thanked him for his time and got up to walk away. Mom and Katie went to go look for some other items Mom needed and I was going to head back to try to figure out some other options for the cookbook.

Just as I started to walk away a man at the self-serve copier asked me what I was trying to do. At first I didn't realize that he was even speaking to me, but when he asked a second time as I got a little closer to him I half-heartedly answered that we are putting together a cookbook. He said, "come here, I want to give you a website." He pulled a book - his book - out of his bag and showed it to me, then gave me the website he had promised. He gave me a few details and said he really thought this website could help me out. I wrote it down and thanked him and then I asked him his name. Reggie. He gave me his telephone number and told me if I have any problems at all with the site to call him and he'd walk me through it. I thanked him again and shook his hand as he gave me a knowing nod and said "God puts people right where they need to be." I smiled and walked away rubbing the goosebumps off my forearms as I went to find Mom and Katie in the store.

Reggie was right about the website too, by the way. It is going to be helpful. Very helpful. Thanks again, Reggie. And thank You, Lord, for putting him right where I needed him to be.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Little steps forward...and still hearing Sirens' songs.

Today we had our individual meetings with our Social Worker. I swear, everytime I leave her I just want to give her a big hug. I don't, because that could be - you know - weird; but I'm pretty sure when this is done and over with I will be the weirdo saying "I'm sorry, but I really just have to give you a hug!" Hopefully she doesn't take offense. She is really great and she is SO nice and she is SO important to our process and I just really like her a lot. Ok, blogstalkers, is this a normal thing here or is it just a little bizarre that I have such an attachment to our Social Worker?? was likely our last round of pre-homestudy-completion meetings. We just have to get her our medical reports (which we should be able to get soon, since our insurance agent called and said we can finally set up the appointment to review our insurance policies and officially request the lab results from our insurance physical) and she will be able to finish up the home study. HOORAY! I am so excited for that.

Now as for those Sirens...and, no, I don't mean the type on emergency vehicles; I mean the Greek mythological temptresses who lured many a seaman to his destruction. Very melodramatic, isn't it? I'll try to put it more plainly: we are still waiting for the marriage certificate from the Bahamas and I am still being tempted by the songs of the Sirens (also known as an insanely low-priced airline) relentlessly trying to lure me into just flying to the Bahamas already and getting it myself! But I know if I would just be patient and have faith that the silly thing will get here in plenty of time to be used for its purposes. So I'm still not headed back to the Bahamas any time soon, just complaining rather metaphorically (in hopes of making it sound less whiny I guess?) about the amount of time it's taking to get our document back.

In all seriousness, though, besides the belief that were I to purchase one of these insanely low-priced tickets my marriage certificate and I would cross in the air over the Atlantic, I am thankful that this practice in patience is a minor one compared to the issues we could be facing in our adoption process. All the glory to God for that! We are very VERY thankful.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

First Fundraiser!

We have created an online magazine fundraiser site where you can order or renew magazines and, at the same time, help support our adoption fundraiser. I have added a link here and in the side bar (over there ~>) to our "preview page." If you'd like access to our group, send me an email or leave a comment with your email address and I will get you the sign in information. Or you can log in at the site and search for our group. The group name, of course, is MoretheMurrayer. Please feel free to share this information with anyone who may be interested in helping out!

Dios te bendiga!

"Only fools never doubt."

Lou Diamond Phillips in Camelot.
photo by Craig Schwartz

Last night I spent the evening with my Mom and sister watching mesmerized as Lou Diamond Phillips (who, by the way, sounded nothing like the Phillips I have ever known, until the end of the play when addressing the audience on a personal note) play King Arthur in CAMELOT. Love, love, LOVED it. It was fantastic. I've always liked Camelot, ever since I was a little girl. My Mom always liked it and I can remember riding in the back of the car listening to a tape of the Camelot soundtrack. As I got older, I loved reading about the legends of King Arthur's court. And, finally, last night I got to see it live. Way cool.

Today I am stuck on an brief exchange between King Arthur and Lancelot where the King is recalling the words of Merlyn, who foretold Lancelot's arrival in the court. Realizing the truth to Merlyn's words the King says, "I stumbled into my future." Lancelot asks him, "Did you ever doubt it?" Arthur's response is what I can't shake. "Of course I did," he said; "Only fools never doubt."


Timing is everything. You see, I have been worrying and doubting quite a bit lately myself. Between struggling to plan out the cookbook, coordinate the garage sale, and mentally preparing myself to tighten the belt a bit on our family budget and I have caught myself worrying if we'll actually be able to pull everything together to pay for the adoption. I keep trying to remind myself that we are walking by faith here and everything will work out. Hopefully King Arthur's words of wisdom, coupled with the knowledge that God's will doesn't fail, will get my focus back where it needs to be and off all the negative "what-ifs".

I spent some time today looking up one of my favorite verses in different translations of the Bible. (I find it's fun to do that sometimes to get a new perspective. I use Bible Gateway but I'm sure there are other sites that are good too.) Anyway, today I found a new take on Matthew 6:34. I am familiar with this verse reading as: So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Today, though, I am partial to the way it reads in The Message:

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
Matthew 6:34

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Just a quick little note...

I have been completely amazed with all the referrals lately - how wonderful to see all these families finally coming together! It took me about 6 tries to get my prior post updated to include the Jensens who just this morning announced their new referral. I am not linking their blog to their name in this post because the link was making me crazy in the prior post and I have to get outside with Katie. I hope the link in the prior post works...if not they're listed over there (~>); go check out their blog (and all the others who are headed to Colombia soon) and meet their new kiddos.

Oh yeah! I did, in fact, receive the UPS package yesterday containing our apostilled documents from Indiana. Still taking baby steps toward completing our own dossier and home study, but truly rejoicing with all our friends who've patiently waited and are now coming face to face with their new families.

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What's the blog equivalent of hold music?

Not sure, but try to imagine it playing in the background anyway since there's not a whole lot to report today on our adoption. There are, however, TONS of new referrals this month for our agency; makes for very exciting times on the message boards and blogs! Many congrats to the Hollis' (who leave TOMORROW! Yay Beth!), Boyacheks, Adelmans, Calderaros, Derrs, Jensens (our newest addition!) and all the others who are preparing to finally be united with their children for their own personal "wish come true." (And if I've missed anyone, please accept my apologies - I'm excited for you ALL! Send me a message and I'll edit to add you!)

Although not nearly as exciting, but progress nonetheless, I had an attempted delivery from UPS yesterday (which I presume is the apostilled birth certificates from IN) that requires someone to actually sign for the delivery, so I arranged for an alternate delivery address to have it delivered at work. Hopefully it will get there tomorrow...we'll see.

We scheduled our individual meetings with the Social Worker for later in the month. She's already getting started on the home study report so we really need to make a push to get her all the information she's waiting on. We still have some forms to return to her along with the medical testing and history reports. Our dossier doesn't require blood testing and urine testing but our home study does; so we we've been driving our insurance agent batty with questions about how and when we can get the lab reports form our insurance physicals. (Hey, who wants to go through all that twice???)

What else? A lot of waiting for the next step. I am still working on the cookbook fundraiser and hope to have more details ironed out on that in the next several weeks. We are still collecting for the garage sale we had to postpone and are working to get a new date set up for that. And I guess that's about it.

Oh Yeah! And I'm trying for a post a day over at El Rincon de Espanol. Got a lot of catching up to do but please still feel free to post requests, corrections, whatever over there!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

And that's the truth!

I haven't forgotten the second half of my "Super Tuesday Double Feature" or that I need to update you on our home visit this morning with the Social Worker. Our Social Worker is great and we had a really nice visit overall. By way of an update I am simply going to recount for you two snippetts of conversation from this morning's visit.

SW: Ok, kids, how would you describe Mom?

Kyle: She's nice...but kind of demanding.

Me: Demanding? (uncomfortable giggle) What do you mean by that, honey?

Kyle: Well, yeah... I mean, Mom, you're always making me clean my room and stuff like that...

And then a little while later -

SW: Ok, guys what about Dad?

Kyle: He's fun...and when he says maybe it always means yes!

Katie: Yeah, and when he says no it means yes too!

And that's the truth!

That was so cool!

Here is part one of my "Super Tuesday Double Feature" ~

Our appointment for fingerprinting for USCIS.

Our "appointment" was for 8:00 a.m. this morning. When we pulled up at ten minutes to eight we saw the line already wrapped around the building. You know that pit in the bottom of your stomach when you just know things are going to get hectic today? Got it! But we took our place in line all the same. We had the kids with us, since they needed to be home with us to meet with the Social Worker at 10:00 a.m. for our home visit for the home study. Now, our house is about 20 minutes or so from the place where we were fingerprinted so I was doing the math trying to figure out what time to call the SW to let her know we would never make our 10:00a.m. appointment. (Oh me of little faith! I should know better by now!!)

As we're standing in line we had a minor "potty emergency" so Bill made the trek across the street to Denny's to the bathroom while I held our place in line. When the security guard came out to give us the "run-down" I struggled to hear but was able to make out "NO CELL PHONES! You must leave your cell phones in the car." Naturally, the keys to the car were in Bill's pocket across the street so I started calling him to see if we could hurry the potty break a little so we didn't lose our place in the line that just kept growing.

As luck would have it, he made it back in time to run the phones to the car and we maintained our place in line. As we entered the building we were handed a clipboard and told to fill out the form and then take our place in another line just beginning to form (and already reaching halfway across the room!) I couldn't help but smile - it was truly amazing to me to see all the people there and to imagine what they were waiting to do. Katie must have been thinking the same thing, because she said to me, "Wow, Mommy, there's a lot of people having an adoption!"

We filled out our forms and took our place in line #2. We made our way to the desk where the attendant double checked our information, our identification, and our appointment letter; stamped and initialed the papers; and sent us on our way to line #3 - this time with chairs! Small blessings.

It was really neat to watch the people in front of us - some people had pictures taken and some didn't; some were fingerprinted and some weren't; some were directed to their fourth line of the early morning. When it was my turn I felt like a kid. The biometric fingerprinting is done on a machine that is like a big computer. The guy that took my prints was man of few words but still I couldn't help but say "wow, this thing's a trip!" What can I say? I am used to the old-fashioned ink and paper prints and this machine was really cool! When I finished up (about three minutes later, with no messy ink to scrub from my hands - BONUS!) I took the kids to the back where there was a table with coloring books and crayons while Bill was printed. The lady at the next station had given Kyle one of the immigration test packets given to those applying for citizenship to help them study for the naturalization test, it includes a workbook and an audio CD "Learn About the United States: Quick Civics Lesson. As we were walking to the back of the room Kyle was asking me what the packet is for. I finished my explanation just about the time we reached the back of the room and he stopped and turned to look over my shoulder at the room of people and then looked back at me a little confused and said "Wait - do you mean I'm not a US citizen????" Bless his heart, I cracked up right in his face...(of course, I quickly recovered, apologized and clarified for him that the lady gave it to him to learn, not because he was not a US citizen.)

And we were in and out in under an hour! Thank God for well-oiled machines; despite my concerns this whole fingerprinting process was practically painless! The SW is due here in about ten minutes...Stand by for updates!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Tomorrow's a big day...

Today, not so much; but TOMORROW - now there's where the action is. Bright and early tomorrow morning we are supposed to have our biometric fingerprints done for USCIS. Then later in the morning, we are meeting with the social worker for the first home visit of the home study. God willing, all will go well.

I caught myself thinking several times this weekend that I should post something already... but really since there wasn't a lot to post about at the moment I got caught up in this little internal dialogue about whether I should be posting something just for the simple act of posting something or would it be better to wait to post until there's actually something to report? I can almost always come up with something to ramble on forever about. (For example, it would have been really easy to expound for awhile on my post from Friday on El Rincon de Espanol. Katie really cracked me up with that one - she just had to be sure she had her bases covered. Good question, 'eh? She's a smart cookie for a 4-year-old.) But, I never really know what I should do in situations where there is not really any progress to report on the adoption, per se, but I still feel like posting. I guess I can post whatever I feel like posting, whenever I feel like posting it; right? Or maybe, just maybe, I should be showing El Rincon de Espanol a little more love...I have about 3 pages worth of entries (practical phrases, special requests and suggestions, and an assortment of words and "good things to know") waiting in the wings for their big chance to be posted in the blogosphere, all jumping up and down and waving their imaginary hands yelling "pick me! pick me!" (although it sounds more like "escojame! escojame!") every time I sit at the computer. Perhaps more than a post a week over there would be good? Who knows? I'm rambling again - listen, I warned you I'm tangential!

So, no; there's nothing new to report for now. Just wanted to say "hi," I suppose, and give you all a flower to say I hope you have a nice week! It's a nice little flower, isn't it? Katie picked it for me out of grandma's back yard and I liked it so much I snapped a picture of it with my camera-phone...