Sunday, July 27, 2014

Start where you are. . . .

When deciding to finally update ones horribly outdated blog, it is hard to know where to begin.

So much has happened in the past few days, weeks, months and years.

So many challenges, experiences, triumphs, hardships, blessings and life's-lessons-learned left neglected and unshared.

I am sure I could come up with a million and one justifications for my silence, but in the end, I always feel selfish and ungrateful for choosing to keep these things to myself when I could be lifting, encouraging, supporting and helping others.

I do not think that the Lord ever intended that I keep this journey to myself.

A journey is meant to be shared.

And so I will take the advice of legendary tennis star, Arthur Ashe, and "start where I am, use what I have and do what I can" and, hopefully, between my efforts and the efforts of my husband, we might just be able to bring you up to speed on where we have been, where we are, and where we are going!

So, where are we exactly?

Let's begin with an adoption update:

Last October I announced that we had committed to adopt three more boys from Bulgaria. That adoption is still in progress, but the process has been tortuously slow (I will elaborate more on why at a later time). After nine months of jumping through hoops, paper-chasing and waiting, we received word about two weeks ago that the Ministry of Justice in Bulgaria had reviewed our dossier and granted us verbal referral (this means that all paperwork is complete and that permission to visit the boys and to formally accept their referrals has been granted). Richard will be making the first trip alone and travel dates are tentatively scheduled for August 9-23 (tentative because we must receive written referrals prior to scheduling visits and we are still waiting on those). Needless to say, after nine, very long months, we are overjoyed to finally be at this point in the process and are anxious to spend some time with the boys and to finally share with them that they have a family!

This will be the first time that Richard has traveled alone on an adoption trip. It will also be the first time that I have stayed behind. I have traveled alone, we have traveled together, but this arrangement is a first for us. He cannot wait to spend some quality time getting to know the boys and enjoying Bulgaria. I am already moping. The good news for all of our faithful followers is that he will likely do a much better job than I have recently of documenting the trip, visits and experiences!

Once the first trip is complete, we will resume the paper-chase as we file for preliminary visa approval with USCIS (immigration), update background checks and medicals, wait for important signatures from government officials, receive a court date and have court. I will then make the return trip to Bulgaria to complete the process and brings the boys home. The average time between trips is 4-6 months. The optimistic realist in me projects a mid-late January homecoming. 

Unfortunately, after seven months of silence, that is all that I have in the way of an adoption update, but the next few weeks should bring some exciting news and adventures from the trenches of this adoption.

In the meantime, with a commitment to make sharing our life's journey more of a priority, I would like to ask those of you who follow us, what is it that you would most like to know?