Lots of changes!

The last 5 months have been filled with so many emotions and changes in our lives! We felt it would be time we update you on them. In September 2015 we began our journey with a new adoption agency. This means everything had to begin from scratch. A bit of a heartbreak for me, ok, a lot! I cried. This also meant that the large stacks of paperwork had to be updated or totally re-done and sent in to CCAI – our new adoption agency. And this isn’t even the big news! In the middle of our international adoption, we made an international move! Yes. On December 17, 2015 we moved from Germany back home to Florida. Back into the house we lived in for 7 years, back to friends, back to our church family and neighbors. Life has been a bit wild and exciting for us the last few months – we lived in a hotel for 30 days waiting to leave Germany. Then after our big move to Florida, we ate on paper plates and slept on blow up mattresses waiting for our household goods to arrive from Germany. Through it all we learned a valuable lesson – you just have to go with the flow or the stress of the many hi/low emotions will overtake you. So that is what we are doing, as a whole family unit we join together in a positive outlook on things.

As I said before, in the middle of our international adoption, an international move – jet lagged and a bit delirious – we met with our Social Worker from CCAI on December 18th and 19th. She did an amazing job providing training that the state agencies require perspective adoptive families to go through before the adoption can proceed. This training helps the families better understand the needs of adopted children, adoption issues, and agency requirements. We sat on borrowed chairs around a borrowed table which was the only furniture we had in our empty home, aside for our blow up mattresses. We received our training, conducted our interviews, and got to know our social worker on a more personal basis. She spoke individually and collectively with us, asking questions about our families, parenting styles and shared with us about the whole adoption process and what it tends to look like. She asked questions about our marriage, how we resolve family issues and also spoke to our children on what they may feel, experience and how they should deal with things that come up. It was as if we were speaking with a friend. We were all so very thankful for our social worker and her approach to us and our chaotic situation! She made this whole process so amazing and personable. She truly made us feel as if we knew her for a very long time. When she left on Saturday, we took a deep breath and smiled. We are sure thankful for her fun and bubbly spirit! The information she brought to the table for both us and the children was very informative and real. She did not sugar coat the process and definitely shared the difficulties and struggles we will walk throughout the process together as a family, but also spoke of the beautiful joys and blessings of adoption.

So after a very emotional trial of terminating the relationship with our previous agency and taking a hit to our process timeline, we are quickly catching up and continually looking forward to our China Joy! We have made some HUGE strides in our process. Adoption is usually a bit more linear by nature, but CCAI has done a remarkable job in helping to get us caught back up – even though it has been a whirlwind!

Since moving from Germany to Florida on December 17th, we’ve completed and received notarized copies of our home study, had medical records from Germany routed to be sealed through the Chinese Consulate in Houston, had documents certified by both Illinois and Florida Secretary of State, completed Florida background checks, sent additional documents off to be sealed by the Chinese Consulate in Chicago, sent multiple packages back and forth to CCAI, mailed in our our i800-A to USCIS for our Approval to Adopt. Next in the process is waiting for our biometric fingerprinting appointment which we have scheduled for this coming Thursday the 18th. Then, it is waiting for our finalized approval letter! Once this comes in, we will package all our paperwork together for our dossier which will then go to China for translation and move us closer to our match and the day we get to see our China Joy’s face. So exciting!

chosenforJoy #Chinaadoption #teamJoyadoption #Joyoffourplusonemore

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