We started as a boy and a girl pursuing our love and our God....here is the story of our journey to become the family we were intended to be.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Our Absence and Our Crazy Life

Hello to everybody! We don't know if you have noticed our absence...but it has been a long time since we posted! The truth is that we have been in the midst of some big changes and I hate it when people say "we can't really talk about anything yet....but lots of things are changing in our lives so pray for us"....while this is obviously totally fine to say, I just wanted to wait until we could tell you specifics....especially since the specifics affect our adoption and it is hard to post about where you are in the adoption process if you can't talk about it! Anybody follow that confusingness?? I am pretty sure I just made that word up.....

So, here is the dl on the Flowers family....Nathan is changing jobs and we are moving! Weren't expecting that were you??? That's right....about a month ago (probably shortly after my last post), Nathan's dad decided that after 30 years of service it was time for him to step down from the department head position at Rancho Caballo (Frontier's horse program) and move into a job where he can take it a little slower. Nathan will be moving into the position he is vacating which will mean some changes and adjustments for us.....we are excited and probably a little nervous, too! Along with the change in position comes a move to the "ranch house" located at the horse ranch where Nathan's parents have lived for 30 years. Needless to say, this is a huge change for everybody! The official switch of houses has just been decided for sure TODAY and I finally have clearance as of today to talk about all of this! Please pray for Nathan's parents & our family as we all transition to our new roles in ministry/life.....as they seem to be very interwined for us! I think that we are all confident that these changes will be good.....but they are still changes and growing pains are inevitable. For me personally, this means our 4th move in 5 years....hopefully this one will last quite a while but it is still a little hard to move again. I should have known better....we moved when I was pregnant with Eli.....moved when I was pregnant with Abel.....and now are moving during the "pregnancy" with this baby! No more babies! I can't handle all the moving!

Now, onto our adoption.....our homestudy was supposed to be sent off to be approved by the state at the beginning of next week. However, a move requires a visit from our social worker and an update to the homestudy. We are very lucky in that we have been able to make a definite moving plan and figure out that we are moving before our homestudy is sent to the state. The timing will make things soooooo much easier to deal with. The downside is some extra money for the update and a few weeks' delay in going on the waiting list.....the HUGE upside, however, is that it is WAY less money and complication than if we had moved anytime between our homestudy being sent to the state and traveling to pick up our daughter! I have struggled a little bit with the waiting list delay (I know in my head that it is all in God's timing....but the truth is that the heart of a mother is to have her baby HERE...NOW....and any delay is just going to be hard. Period. And that is okay.....it just requires constant "giving up"....and that is ok too!) but am so glad that we aren't moving in 6 months and risking mix-ups in international paperwork exchanges! So, with that said, we are hoping our social worker can come see our new house in the next 2 weeks and then our homestudy will officially go to the state. It usually takes 1 to 2 weeks to get approval...and our part of the dossier has already been certified by the state and is just sitting at our agency waiting. That means as soon as they receive our approved homestudy we will officially be on the waiting list! YEA!!

So....prayer requests. Let's see......did I mention we are moving in 6 days???!!!?!? Well, we are....so we need big prayer there since I had no idea we were moving until 2 weeks ago and no official decision until this afternoon! AHHHHH!!! Also, this is a big one........we need to sell our house! Anybody interested in a 3-bedroom, 2-bath, ranch style home in the heart of the Rocky Mountains?? Let me know.....I promise we'll give you a great deal! Pray for things to go smoothly with the adoption from this point. Pray for the 3 families from our agency who are traveling this weekend to Ethiopia to pick up their children! They are so excited and I pray their travels are so blessed! Pray for those on the waiting lists.....that they would move swiftly. Pray for those waiting for court dates......that they would be shown favor. And pray for the children who are orphans around the world....that they would know the Father's love and that we would step-up as followers of Christ and try to do something about their plight.

Again, and I cannot reiterate this enough, thank each and every one of you reading this for caring enough about this to read this! We appreciate all of your love and support!

Oh! And we just got back from the best vacation EVER with my family and I will post pics of the 2 cutest boys in the world playing in the sand sometime soon!

Much love

Thursday, April 9, 2009

We Have Updates!

Yea! Good week in the Flowers family in lots of ways! As far as our adoption goes, I mailed off our part of the dossier to be certified by the secretary of state this week which was exciting. For those of you who don't speak "adoptionese" the dossier had a million (it was actually 24) forms that I typed and then we had signed and notarized.....they included employment verification forms, criminal clearance forms, insurance verification forms, tax forms from the last 3 years, medical forms, and much, much more! Crazy! I do think that being in a small town REALLY helped us get the paperwork done so quickly. We know almost everyone we dealt with and everyone has been so supportive.....it really wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I cried the day I opened the dossier and saw what we had to do but then a couple days later I blocked out about 6 hours to copy and type all of the forms the way they needed to be and felt much better....just like everything else in life, you just do the forms one at a time....having lots of friendly faces to deal with helps, too!! So....that is done. We also had our 2nd (out of 3) homestudy meeting yesterday and good friends watch our kids which was so helpful! Our family and friends are unbelievable! We drove to Dillon to meet our social worker since it is close to halfway....we met at Starbucks.....which was interesting but fine....and we think everything went really well! These meetings are not nearly as scary as I thought they might be before we started and have gone really well!
So.....where are we?? Let's see.....our homestudy has to be complete before our dossier is done.....it is the other half of the paperwork needed.....and our dossier has to be done before we are on the waiting list. We have our 3rd and final homestudy meeting next Friday (the 17th) and then we are meeting briefly on Saturday the 25th to read and sign our homestudy. At that point it is just a waiting game for our background checks & fingerprints to come back. Our social worker told us that she has received our background checks from CO & MO...Yea! And she has our fingerprints from the CBI....that just leaves the FBI fingerprint check.....that's right.....the FBI has to check our fingerprints! She said they should be here in the next 1 to 2 weeks......then our homestudy & dossier will be complete! So...what does this mean??? It means that hopefully (God willing) everything will go as planned and our homestudy (complete with FBI fingerprint check) will be done by the 1st week in May.......and that means we will officially be on the waiting list!!! YEA!!! We are so close! As of right now, there are 11 people on the baby girl waiting list so if that stayed the same we would go on the list at #12. Some people definitely might get on before us but hopefully some others will get referrals for their babies and come off the list! As of this moment, the waiting lists are moving at approx. 5 mos........so that is the wait we are looking at after we make the list (approximately, of course). God is once again showing us that He is in control and we have seen him provide in multiple ways this week....in unexpected ways....thru unexpected people......and we are so blessed!
As you pray this weeks, please pray for the families from our agency that have court dates on April 13th.....the court date is what gets assigned after you get your referral. Our agency sends a liasion to court and if you "pass court" then your baby or child/children is officially yours and you travel about a month later! So, needless to say, you REALLY want to pass court the 1st time....if you don't pass it means a 4-6 week delay waiting for a 2nd court date (you wouldn't pass if the judge wanted to see more paperwork or something like that.....it is not necessarily a big deal not to pass except that it means a longer wait which you can imagine is a huge deal). Several families have court dates on Monday so pray that they would be successful and can bring their kids home! There are also alot of families traveling to pick up their kids end of April/early May so pray for good travels for them. And as always, there are many families sitting on waiting lists waiting to see the child God has given them! Pray for them if we come to your mind!
Wow! That was more than I thought it would be! The rest of us are great.....Nathan is working hard trying to get ready for the summer....I am getting on top of the laundry again now that I don't spend the boys' entire nap time doing paperwork....Eli is huge and crazy and becoming a great big brother (finally!) which makes us so happy.....Abel is learning to talk more and has figured out how to make us all laugh so that is fun!
Thanks for caring about us and we hope you have a blessed day!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

About Our Hearts

Nate & I decided that this post would be a good idea to fill everyone in on how we got to the point we are at with the adoption. We have a lot of new friends in the adoption world and a lot of friends and family who have been hearing it thru the "grapevine" so we thought that this would be a good place to give you a rundown! Let's see....we have always talked about adoption but if was just that...talk....and nothing more. However, in the last year we have both (but especially me) felt a stirring that our heart for adoption was more of a glimpse at our future than just something we would support in the lives of others. I began seeking and praying every day and every day I felt something different (some days I wanted to adopt, some days I wanted to try to have another baby, some days I thought we were done with 2, etc.) and then something changed....about 3 months ago I felt peace and confidence and assurance that adopting a baby was the way to go. I talked to Nathan and he knew that my heart had changed....I asked him to seriously pursue the idea with God and let me know. At that point I tried to just be really patient knowing that if God had convinced me, He would convice Nate, too....that part was hard and I did better about not asking where he was some days than others....but I really did TRY to be patient! Anyway, a few weeks after he started praying and seeking, Nathan told me that he was ready to go for it!! He said he trusted God, was confident that we were supposed to pursue, and wanted to see all of the research I had done.....at which point I freaked out and decided that I didn't want to do it anymore....I was too scared!! Figures, huh? Anyway, we got all that straightened out and jumped in with both feet.
Sooooo......how we arrived at Ethiopia. I have always had a heart for international adoption and the plight of orphans around the world. Nathan's heart was in a different place originally but when God told him we were supposed to adopt He also put international adoption on his heart. Those of you who have researched int'l adoption know that some countries automatically ween themselves out....from the ones left we were absolutely drawn to Ethiopia. Nathan had always had a heart for Africa, we have family who spent part of their lives serving there(this is your shout-out Kit, Jan, Missy & Molly!!), and it matched with my heart for the orphan crisis. Since we have started the adoption we have learned so much more about Ethiopia and our hearts for the country have only grown. Nate & I are reading a book called "There Is No Me Without You" by Melissa Faye Greene and I would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who wants to know what has gone on/is going on in Ethiopia and why we are drawn to the people.
Wow! That was longer than I thought but a lot has happened and we wanted you to know how we have gotten to where we are! As far as the process from the point, we have homestudy meetings set-up for April 7th and April 17th and then we are officially done with our homestudy! Our part of the dossier (if you are adopting or will be adopting or are just interested and want to know more about that word, let me know!) is being sent to the Secretary of State for certification tomorrow and then on to the adoption agency. That means that Lord willing we will be on the waiting list sometime in the 1st half of May (our homestudy has to be written up and certified and our background checks, etc. have to make it back to the agency to be added to our dossier before it is officially sent to Ethiopia). We will keep you posted!
Love and thanks to all of you for your support and prayers!