Saturday, February 27, 2010

I love communication....

Okay, so if you don't know me and you're reading this, let me just say that I, Brenna Friend, have no problem communicating. I love talking, texting, facebooking, singing and e-mailing. Right now I especially love e-mail. We have been so blessed to be able to e-mail Meggie everyday and her respond daily, as well. Sometimes, the messages she writes are really short (mostly because she is trying to write in English and it is tough! When she writes in Latvian, they tend to be a little longer and we just translate them.

We were given her foster mom's cell phone. We haven't called just yet because we don't have a landline and need to time it just right because there is an 8 hour time difference. She did ask for more "post" aka. snail mail. I remember being a little girl and wanting mail to come to me. Well, we plan to go from a letter a week to try to send one every day. It'll take a little planning but it's easily done.

We were so grateful to be a part of the Tucker family's homecoming. Their plane was 30 minutes late but the turnout of support was incredible. It was awesome to watch Kristen run down the terminal into her little girls arms and then into a heap on the floor where they reunited in tears. The older girls they adopted looked tired and overwhelmed but relieved to be in America. It's hard not envying them for where they are but I know that we will be there very soon. Holding our little girl and our 3 older children in our arms, loving them unconditionally! On American soil!!!!!!!

*** We are almost done with our Home Study. We have one more interview on Monday, March 1; our social worker will plow into all the info and create an awesome HS that will be, God willing, approved and we can start on our Dossier. We have some of the paperwork done for it already but there is much more to come, at least that's what I've been told. I would love to have our little girl here with us ASAP but money, paperwork, people, government, other people's time tables are all the "stuff" that gets in the way! But she'll be here before we know it!!!

That's all for now.... Have a blessed weekend!

Friday, February 19, 2010

His path, He's in Control!

It's been 5 weeks and 1 day since Meggie went back to Latvia and I am missing her so much. Somedays it's just looking at her picture, sometimes it's a song, sometimes it's hearing a little girl laugh, it's never the same, but it's what brings tears to my eyes as I wait for her to be home.

So... Yesterday we had Part II of the Home Study. We met our Social Worker in Springfield at the Library Center. We were late because I got us lost. But she was very gracious and we started our 2 hour interview process. She met privately with Joe and asked pretty much all the same questions he answered in his Questionnaire and a few more. They were done in less than 25 minutes. Then it was my turn, that took almost an hour. The questions weren't hard except you had to remember what you put; I guess they were verifying whether what we put was true and similar to the questionnaire. Then the kids all went in together. I was glad about that because they were all nervous. They thought they would have to go alone. Joe and I sat outside the room and could see in. It was nice to watch her talk with them and share several laughs together. I know she asked them how they felt about another sibling. What they wanted to do with her. What were some negatives and positives to another child in the family? They were glad when they were done.

We have our Dr. appts scheduled, reference people picked, and need to drop off forms for the kids Dr. to fill out. We will meet again with her on March 1. This time it'll be for Joe and me to discuss marriage stuff. Then we will be finished with our end of the it. Then they will scrutinize our answers, financial capabilities, and family dynamics to approve or not approve. That's all in God's hands!! He's the one that put us on this path ~ He can take the wheel!

I am learning quite a bit about potential situations and concerns while following the Tuckers journey in Latvia. From bringing laundry detergent and Beef Jerky because we won't get to the grocery store quickly to entertainment that needs to be brought. I'm writing everything down.

Well, that's all for today. We are sending another letter to Meggie tomorrow. I wish we had a way to communicate with her, where we get a response. It's tough being one-sided. This too shall come! Oh, we also sent off tons of documents to our Placing Agency this week. So good to get those out of our hands! Bye for now!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Keeping in Touch!

We wanted to keep in touch to let you know that we are still plugging away with the adoption. We had everything notarized that needed to be. We are trying to patiently wait for our taxes to be done so that we can pay for the next couple steps in the process. We are also talking with the bank re: a home equity loan. We would be able to consolidate the little debt we have and come up with some extra funds for our adoption. Pray about that matter, we have only been in our home for a few months but we bought it for considerable less than it's value.

We sent a Valentines box to Meggie with goodies for her and the rest of the children at her foster home. We also were able to put a letter in there saying that we were wanting to adopt her. She will hear/read in directly from us. She will read that we know that she was meant to be our little girl. That Micah is so excited to have her be her little sister. When the lady at the post office asked the box's value... I had to pause... PRICELESS! Not the $8 worth of goodies but that precious note that she will hold in her hands telling her that she is wanted and loved. That we can't wait to have her home in America with us.

Okay, gotta stop crying and keep typing! We want to thank everyone for your prayers, encouragement and financially help. We KNOW that God is faithful and will provide. He knows our hearts and our desires to have Meggie with us. He also is the Daddy to this little girl and wants the best for her, so I truly believe that in His timing He will get her here. AND... His timing is perfect!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Living Vicariously through the Tuckers...

We are here in the states, while our good friends, The Tuckers are in Latvia. They have now been reunited with their girls and had their court "experience" by now. It's bedtime and I know that are excited about tucking their girls in and kissing them goodnight.

It is truly a joy to read their blog and feel like I'm there. I look at all their comments and prepare myself for our journey in the late summer - early fall. I'm not going to try to rush the time but can't wait till we are there.

We got our Highway Patrol Fingerprinting done today. Very exciting...just one step closer to our little girl. Doing all these things to prepare has given me opportunities to talk about adoption. There are so many people that are ignorant about it or just fear child trafficing but I've had the chance to inform so many people about the joys and struggles with adoption.

That's all for now. Anxiously waiting the next update from The Tuckers.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Home Study Part I ... By Brenna

***Random AWESOME Info: We got a call on Thursday from our Adoption Agency and they said that Meggie has been told that we were the ones adopting her and she was excited about it. That's important because if she wasn't excited, there would be no point pursuing all of this... Why? Meggie has already gone before the court and was asked if she wanted to live with her bio. mom or go to foster care. She chose foster care. She was 7 when she appeared before the judge. If they will allow her at 7 to make a life-changing decision like that, they would do it at 9/10. So... PRAISE GOD! That's huge!

So... we had our first taste of "home study-itis". The nerves were overwhelming for me... for Joe, he just kept cleaning ----EVERYTHING! But whatever works to calm his nerves that he says don't exist!

Anyway, first of all let me say that we are so blessed to be working with an Christian Placing Agency, Home Study Agency and Social Worker!!!!! I didn't realize how important that really was until I had to answer why we were adopting. The answer? "After praying for forever family, God laid it on our hearts!" Or when it was just a frustrating couple of days and I talked to our Placing Agency and she asked if I was giving it to God.

Second, the social worker is not only a christian but has adopted 3 children, as well. She understands the nerves and the fear of telling every last detail about yourself. Both Joe and I really liked and felt a connection with Kimberly, our social worker. She could not only talk with us as a professional but as one that has experienced adopting an older child. She counseled us on the risks, concerns and joys of internationally adopting an older child. We were very comfortable with being ourselves with her.

As stated in the previous post, we worked hard at making our home "safe" so that we could pass the inspection. Not every social worker or HS agency requires such changes but ours did and WE PASSED!!!!! Meggie will be sharing a room with Micah. So, their beds, closet, number of escape windows and adequate room to play & live where all checked and Approved.

We have schedule another visit but this time it will be in Springfield at the Library Center. We will be in a room and she will have private interviews with everyone in the house. Some of the things that I can imagine that she will ask to the kids are: "How do you feel about your parents adopting another child?" "How is that a good thing?" "How is that a bad thing?" "How do your parents discipline you?" Just to name a few!

Okay, I've gone on long enough! Have a blessed day! 2 Tim. 1:7

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Home Study... by Brenna

Yesterday I scheduled our first Home Study visit. We will have a social worker come to our home and do a walk through, as well as sit and educate us on issues that will arise with Adoption! Walk through.... that's kind of a scary notion. To have a person walk around your house and point out all the things that need to be fixed, removed or added to make it possible to bring your child into your home. **It's funny because our children are thriving quite fine with things the way they are right now. I'm sure this will make our home much safer and comfortable for all of us! :)

Some of things that are needed to be done feel silly but give the Home Study Agency peace of mind and security that are willing to make changes in effort to get our little girl. Anyway, we have moved all our cleaning supplies up high, instead of below the bathroom and kitchen sinks (which are out of the way, but still accesible and reachable to all of the kids). We have installed more smoke alarms (1 or 2 of which will go off because of the fireplace or my cooking). We have added child safety locks to our medicine cabinet (which by the way, all three of my children and in the future, Meggie will be able to open). We have checked the dates on all the medicine in our cabinet and the antiobiotic cream in the First Aid Box. We still have to purchase a fire extinquisher but this too will be an improvement. I'm feeling safer already! :)

Anyway, we are excited and nervous. You just never know what they will ask besides the questions that we have already answered in our huge packet of essay questions. BUT... we praise the Lord that He has provided us with a Christian social worker. She has also adopted a child and has been through the Home Study process and understands the emotions that come with it! How fortunate is that?

We also have completed our Apostile of our Marriage License from Kansas. Basically, we have ordered 3 certified copies of our marriage license and had them certified by the Kansas Secretary of State. They are a beautiful, shiny documents that are sent with our dossier, (packet of all our paperwork that is sent to Latvia). Done! Yeah!

Well, that's all for now. I'll catch up with you soon!