August 29, 2011

Initial Application received

We just got back from a week long family vacation at Hilton Head Island.  This week we plan to begin the tasks of the homestudy and dossier.

Today is the first day of 5th grade from big brother Christopher and daddy's first day at his new job. 

Here are a few things that happened over the past week;
Tuesday, Aug 23rd - Received email from Emily at Holt that all our initial application paperwork had arrived and she forwarded our info to Laura and Thoa (Thailand services coordinators).  A home-study request letter was also sent to Lutheran Social Services (LSS) from Holt for them to begin the home-study process with us.

Wednesday, Aug 24th - Received phone call from Thoa welcoming us to the Thailand program.  We got it when we returned home from vacation on our voicemail.

Wednesday, Aug 24th - Received email from Regina (Adoption Coordinator) at LSS.  I contacted her back via email and let her know we were on vacation and that I would contact her back the following week. 

Monday, August 29th - Left message with Thoa/Laura from Holt and also Regina from LSS. 

I think the process from here is to start the application paperwork from LSS.  After I get confirmation from LSS, that will begin.  Hopefully that will begin tonight when I get home from work. 

August 17, 2011

Contract Mailed off

Today I mailed out the contract to Holt International Adoptions via USPS Priority mail.  Once they receive the signed/notarized contract they will combine that with the initial application, pictures and tax returns and give to the Thailand advisor.  I have already to spoken to them - so they know our application is on the way.  We also had to decide on an agency to do our Home Study.  Holt is based out of Oregon so they can not do it - they gave us three different ones to choose from that they accept from Virginia.  Two of them were out of the Richmond area and one was out of Falls Church.  I spoke to them all, but the Falls Church agency won.  So Lutheran Social Services (woohoo)  will be doing our home study.  We leave for a week at the beach in 2 days - so I plan to do their initial application (and another initial application fee) when I get back.  Their initial application is about 10 pages.  Right now it just seems like another SF-86 (all you cleared people know what I am talking about).  I am ready to start the massive paperwork phase of the home study and dossier next.

All of you friends of mine who have done this before we may be asking for help.  We are SOOO new at this, but so excited to fill out tons of paperwork.

Big brother Christopher is thinking about if he should move rooms when his little sister comes.  We told him he has a while to decide, but more than likely he will move to what is now my craft room/spare bedroom.  And the craft/spare bedroom will just move back into the basement spare bedroom.  The room that Christopher will be moving into only a shower in it and he never takes baths anyway.  Also his current room has the dressing room area and what girl would not want that in their room.  Room repainting will have to be accomplished before little sister comes though because she probably will not want the blue sports theme.  Christopher is really not too thrilled out his current blue sports theme either so he is ready to move now.  We will be taking volunteers when repainting is to commence.

August 16, 2011


First I am NEW to this blogging thing and have never done it before. I am a computer Geek - so I should be able to figure this out.

First a little background of our family as my wonderful husband put it after Joshua was born 21 months ago.
Joshua Caleb Levi!!!

Born today weighing in at 6 pounds 13 ounces, Both mother and child are doing fine.

19 1/2 inches and born at 11:43 Monday morning, November 16th.

When Lisa and I got married a year and a half ago, we both knew that having children would not be easy for a variety of reasons, but we also knew that if God wanted us to have children, He would bless us with one (or more) at the time of His choosing, not ours. And He would so in the manner He wished, whether that manner would be natural, adoption or some other means.

When we found out last March that Lisa was pregnant, I had just finished reading "Diamonds of Brazil" (a very enlightening book and I encourage everyone to read it). Among many of it's truths, it highlights just how God truly treasures children. He chose to bless us with one, bestowing upon us all the responsibilities that come with it. Knowing this child was a gift from God, I gave up my "right" - so to speak - to pick a name and asked Him to name our child. He created our son, I figured He had more than a right to tell us what to call him. I had not really even finished praying when I felt His presence and heard the words "Joshua Caleb" in my mind overriding every other thought and feeling.

As I thought about the name, I began to remember who Joshua and Caleb were. When the Israelites were about to enter Canaan, Moses sent 12 spies to get the lay of the land. 10 came back with reports saying the people were too strong for the Israelites to conquer. Only Joshua and Caleb came back with confidence that the Lord would deliver them and consequently, they were the only two to ever see the Promise Land.

WOW! What a name! And what an honor to be named after such faithful men. And how humbling it is for me to be the one charged with this child's spiritual upbringing. I know by myself I am not up to this huge responsibility. But I know God will provide everything needed as long as I ask. And Oh, how I have been asking:)

God is good and He is faithful and I know He will provide the wisdom and the guidance to both Lisa and myself to raise our son and any other children He chooses to bless us with in the ways that please Him. I know we will make mistakes, and I know not all of the times to come with be joyous ones. But I also know that God will be with us through it all. I know if we lean on Him those mistakes will be few and far between and those not so joyous times will be made less difficult by His power and mercy.

Thank each and every one of you for your prayers and support.

How did I get so lucky to marry such a great Christian man to raise my children with. He stepped in with ABSOLUTELY no experience to be a wonderful father to both our children. Chris is always there for Christopher and Joshua and I could not think of anyone else I would rather raise a family with.

God has at this time in our lives put in our hearts to pursue another addition to our family - through International Adoption.

Over the last few months we have researched and prayed about nearly every country on every continent. I have spoken with several other friends who have went through this adventure and spoke with various adoption agencies.

Last week we narrowed it down to a few countries in Asia. After speaking with more adoption agencies and finding out we did not qualify for many of the programs (age, marriage, length of time in country, ) I started to get discouraged.

Chris asked me to stop all research for a few days and just pray about this. A few days later, someone from Holt Adoption agency called me back and spoke to me about the Thailand adoption program. We met qualifications for adopting an infant female from Thailand.

I spoke to Chris about this and he knew this was were God was calling us. In about 2-3 years, we will have our little girl and Christopher and Joshua will be big brothers.

Sunday, August 14
Sent initial application and fee to Holt

Monday, August 15
Sent family and house photos and tax returns to Holt

Monday, August 15
Initial Contract signed and notarized

After getting initial contract signed and notarized we went to Grand Thai in South Riding for dinner. I currently know pretty much NOTHING about Thailand except that it is in Asia, but am beginning my Thai research for my little girl.