I suppose it is good time for an update on the adoption front.
The great news is that we completed our home study! Yay! It took us so much longer than I anticipated. When we had our first orientation call she said that it takes families 3-6 months to complete the home study. I thought, "Oh, well, we will do it in 2.5 then." Wrong. It took us almost 6 months exactly! But it is finished, and approved, and sent in!
The next step is to submit our application to USCIS. We have everything set. We are just waiting to hear back from our social worker that our form looks correct (to save us time rather than sending in an incorrect form and having them contact us to tell us to refile, etc.), and then we are done! We are hoping to send that in the next day or so. And then we wait. Not forever. At some point before CIS gives us the approval to move forward we get to go and have official fingerprints taken. And I assume we will finish getting together the items for our Dossier so that will be all set once the approval comes. But after the frenzy of appointments, seminars, and paperwork of the home study, I already feel like I'm twiddling my thumbs...
What better to do during this time then work on fundraising! Every time, during the home study, that I would find the process taking longer than I expected (or a week would be lost due to sick kids that required my attention and energy), I would find myself thinking, "It's ok. This is just more time we have to save money." Because, as I've mentioned, it costs a lot. And I sometimes begin to get overwhelmed with the cost. I find myself wondering where the money will come from and worrying about how it will all come together. But then a gentle voice inside my head reminds me that if God calls, He will provide. He has provided so much already. I know He won't just leave us hanging at the very end. It's just hard to remember that when I'm staring at numbers on a sheet of paper...and hoping if I stare long enough they might change to $0 :)
One of the ways God has provided is through many generous people. Through the donations for our yard sales last summer (We will be having more sales this summer...at least 2...partly because we had so many donations I have 2 closets stacked full of bins!). Through gifts - even as little as $5. Through donated airline miles. Every bit has been a blessing. One person that God has recently provided is my friend Marcy. I've known her since college (we lived in the same dorm freshman year). She is a 31 consultant, and when she saw on facebook that we were adopting, she immediately messaged me and said she wanted to do a fundraiser for us. In the midst of home study madness, I asked that she wait until we were finished so I could focus better and suggested April. April 1st she contacted me to get things set up! Now, if you don't know how a 31 fundraiser works, it goes like this: the 31 consultant donates their commission to the cause. This wonderful friend is going to all this work to put this together and travel to my house (she lives in northern Ohio) just to donate whatever profit she would receive to help us adopt. I really feel blessed to know such wonderful people.
Of course, for her to have anything to donate, people have to actually buy 31 products, and here is where the plug comes in (I know, I hear the groan. I feel badly that it always seems like I'm plugging a fundraiser. So if you will feel pressured to buy in any way, just stop reading! Then you won't have the info and you don't have to feel pressured!). This Saturday (the 21st) we are having an Open House at my house from 5-9. If you are around (which, lets face it, if you are one of the friends or family members who read the blog, you do so because you live far away!) stop by! If you can't make it or live far away (which is more likely), you can shop online and have it go to the cause. Just click THIS LINK and it will take you Marcy's 31 website. Then go to "My Events" (its the second thing listed under her profile picture and contact info). You will see several events, one being "Miller Adoption Fundraiser Open House." Click on the "Shop Now" button and your order will be included! The fundraiser closes April 23rd...so there is a little less than a week to get the order in. And, if you aren't big on 31 products, or don't have the money to spend right now (which I understand), but have a friend or two who love 31 products, maybe direct them to Marcy's website and our event?
And in case you are wondering, the big milestone in our adoption adventure will be receiving our approval from USCIS to most forward! I will definitely keep you posted and let you know when that exciting event happens :)