Sunday, September 30, 2012

Quick Adoption Update!! And New Family Pic


We are now #24 on the waitlist!!

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{Self-timer family pic! :) I don't remember where we were going but we thought let's try to get a quick pic and here's what we got! :)}

We were #25 last month.

It has been a little tough to absorb all of the delays and extended processes because we know there are so many little ones who need a home. And our little family is waiting with our arms open, ready to bring our newest addition home. But we trust God with the timing and every detail about our adoption and process. That is, definitely, very comforting.

There are many things that have contributed to the most recent delays. In fact, our agency told us that new families coming into the Uganda adoption program are being told the wait time is between 2.5-3 years.

The newest delays and lengthened processes are partly due to:
  • Families that have adopted from Uganda have not been sending in their post adoption reports. This has put significant pressure and scrutiny on the High Court Judges. Because they were already unsure they wanted to continue with legal guardianship adoptions, ultimately decided to continue with the added Heritage Trips, this is making their leaders and townspeople have second thoughts about what is happening to their country's littles one after they are adopted.
  • Uganda is working hard to ensure that their adoptions are done ethically. Our agency is also trying to be part of the solution of stamping out any unethical issues that might be happening. They were already working very hard to make sure that each little one up for referral is truly an orphan and have now added additional measures to ensure that status.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

a lil' singing and saying memory verses :)

I have really been wanting to do more memory verses with the littles. It is such an important thing to hide His words in our hearts. And Hubby and I said, the more we're teaching them, the more we're learning them too! :)

I happened to be stalking my dear friend, Jill's blog a month or two ago, and I came across a post where one of her sweet (sweet) littles was saying her first memory verse, I got so excited. :) Her SIL made a set of ABC scripture memory verses and Jill had the link on her blog! And the verses Jill quoted on her blog about teaching/learning/memorizing scripture are right on.

I started working on them with the babies... err... the boys ;), and they've been doing great and loving it! Annnd, it's great for Hubby and me because when "a situation" erupts, I mean, occurs in our home ;), we can say, "What does your A verse {insert any} say?" They can recite it and we talk about it and remind them what God says in the Bible.

Thank you Jill and Aunt Sara!! It has been such a blessing. And they're cute. :) 

BabyBoy loves to say them all in a row, so even when learning the newest verse, they are still repeating the previous verses, and then they string them all together. :) They have almost memorized their F verse!

Here are verses A-E. :)


{BabyBoy turned 5 years old this summer :) He's so old!}


{Little turned 3 years old this summer - we couldn't imagine he would get this old! ;)}

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Be kind to one another and build each other up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Create in me a pure heart and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
Do unto others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31
Every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God. Romans 14:11

And here is Littlest singing a little bit of Jesus Loves Me and Hosanna (in the highest) :-) The perfect medley. ;)


{Littlest is one and a half years old, she is growing and maturing so fast!}

It sounds like Little is saying, "Luke 6:41, but he is saying firty-one," hehe, that is still how he pronounces his 3s most of the time still, unless reminded, sweet boy. :-) Also, in his B verse, I LOVE that he says, "Be kind to another nother..." We always correct their speech and then we miss it so much when they start pronouncing things the right way, so we figure we can wait just a little bit before completely correcting that one. ;-)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Our Homeschool Room!

I am no designer or fashion guru, but once we decided to have the littles' school room in the living room and I knew the dimensions of the wall that would house their desks, I got a vision rolling around in my head of what I thought might be a functional space with a fun color theme. :)

Don't make fun of me if you don't think it belongs in a magazine ;) but this is pretty much what I had in my head... :)

I've redone their bookshelves just a tiny bit, there were a couple things not quite done when I took the pic! :)

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I realize now that if the wall what just a bit longer it would have been better to have the chalkboard horizontal, but hopefully it will still work well for what we need to use it for! It has so far. :)

I love that they each have their own bookshelf, they each have so many books and things for their curriculum, plus some games, other books for reading, devotional books, and in the baskets are their math manipulative blocks, some things for their language arts (I'll go into more detail on all of that soon!), and some magnetic letters and numbers.

The rest of the living room isn't quite done yet, so after pics of the whole room to come (at some point ;))!

A Few Deets:

I made the cork board squares (blog post coming :)), Hubby and I redid the chairs, and I made the magnetic chalkboard! (post coming soon too :)). The baskets were purchased separately from The Hob (half price and fit perfectly), and the desk, bookshelves, lamps, and clock were each on sale (at different times :)), plus additional discounts! from Target.

The boys are so excited to have their own desks (with a drawer for their pencils, crayons, and some papers ;)) and area for their school room! Sweet HM really wants her own too, besides a little table ;), we may have to rethink the setup in a few years! ;)

heart melters

Thank you so much for all of the suggestions so far on our family room make(almost) over post, if you have any more, I'd love to hear!!! And if you missed it, BIG Changes in Uganda Adoptions!

Oh boy, I pretty much have no words for these pics... except that they are heart melters. Heart. Melters! Ahh, I love them! Can you stand it?? I can't stand it. It's too cute. Ok, I'm done. For now. I can't help it, they're my people. ;-)

This pose was not prompted. They're just that cute.

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It was a long travel day at the end of a long week on travel and HM was exhausted and not quite up for hot outdoor pics but I caught a quick pic of her trying to see a cat outside ;) And a few of her dancing with Poppop (my Dad).

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The groom's mother came over during the reception and started talking to them, BabyBoy introduced himself and each of his little siblings and they had a whole little conversation all on their own (with mommy and daddy a few steps behind, gotta make sure they're safe ;))

Do you see Little with his arm around Littlest making sure she's ok?? I can't tell you how much we love when he does this, they are such great big bros. Oh the sweetness!

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Big Uganda Adoption Changes and Updates

I am finally posting this, I have had it in draft form for months, but we want and are so glad to share every part of our journey with all of you! Thank you for reading and for walking along side us. So very much.

There have been some changes in the adoption process in Uganda. It is a very new program. Adoptions have only been happening out of Uganda for about 3 or 4 years now. And there are more things happening right now, that could cause changes as well!

1. Major change in Uganda adoption requirement: Heritage Trips
  • The High Court Judge has issued a decree stating that every 5 years post adoption, until the little one is 18 years old, you are to bring the little one back to Uganda for a heritage trip and must appear in front of the court.
First, a little background: to adopt a little one from Uganda, you are to foster a little one for three years in Uganda... OR the High Court Judge will grant legal guardianship and then prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) will complete full adoption when they return to the United States. The High Court Judge in Uganda was not sure if he wanted to continue with legal guardianship adoptions. The concern was that PAPs would pluck the little ones out of Uganda and forget their culture and their heritage. So the judge made a decree that there would a heritage trip 5 years post adoption in which PAFs would be required to bring the little one back to Uganda 5 years after adoption and appear in front of the court. Then the fine print came out and it is not one heritage 5 years post adoption. It is a heritage trip every five years post adoption until the little one is 18 years old.

2. Timeline length change
  • When we submitted our initial applications, the length of the Uganda adoption process was 12-18 months. When we received our Uganda manual from our adoption agency, the timeline had changed to 24-30 months. 
3. Reasons for the lengthened Uganda adoption timeline
  • Previously little ones had to reside in an orphanage for three months before the orphan investigations would begin. Now the little ones have to be in the orphanages for six months before the investigations begin.
  • To our knowledge: Uganda does the first orphan investigation. The United States Embassy does a second investigation after the little one has been declared an orphan and cleared for referral (to be matched with a family). Previously, the US consulate began their investigation when PAPs received their court date in Uganda. Now, the US consulate does their investigation after the PAPs have been through court.  
Our thoughts:

Each time one of these changes happened, we were a bit stunned, then almost immediately knew what we felt God leading us to do. This was where He had us.

The initial timeline change was a huge change, to us. We were excited about all of our littles being younger when our newest little came home. So they could grow up so much with each other, it would be like they were always together. Hubby and I looked at each other, said is this still what we want to do? We pretty much immediately looked at each other and both said, this is where we are supposed to be. We know that God is in control.

Just a week or so later, we happened to be on the phone with our agency, when the director came on and said there was an update that they had just received. It was the update about the heritage trip 5 years post adoption. Hubby and I discussed it right when we got off the phone, and pretty much immediately had the same reaction. It would be a wonderful time to take our entire family to Uganda, Africa to experience it together, and try to do something more while we were there together. 

Then the fine print came out that it was not just one heritage trip, but one every 5 years until the little one is 18 years old. Now that one threw us a little. Actually, a lot.

But after about a week of heavy discussion, research, seeking advice from wise council, and praying, we felt God still pulling us there. I will expand at another time with what we would love to do during those times of travel. But we are excited and have decided that we will be going on the trips post adoption as a whole family, together. We know we'll have to start saving right when we get back each time, but we want to obey God, and be together and do His work as a family.

*We also wanted to add that our and our wonderful agency's view is that these sweet orphans in Uganda would 1st have the opportunity to be placed with someone in their families if possible, if unable, then be able to be placed with a Ugandan family, and if that is not possible, then be adopted by a wonderful family for life, wherever they may live.

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We'll be getting our next update, and our current position on the waiting list, from our agency reps this week!! Prayers always appreciated! :) Thank you so much!!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Family Room Make(almost)over!

Even though we moved into our new house last November, our closing got delayed (long story... type of short sale... whew :)) until the end of January, we couldn't do anything until after we closed. No painting. No hanging pictures. No nothing. Just in case.

I keep saying, I know that fixing up a house how we like, isn't going to aid in anyone's salvation, but it can be a tad stressful and distracting when every wall is white and empty, and it doesn't feel like home.

We finally closed (yes it was just over 7 months ago ;)) and the first room we wanted to paint and get put together was our family room. This is the room that we spend a lot of time, just hanging, and playing, and chillin', and familying (new verb? ;)).

We normally try to get the house all put together and fixed up as quick as we can, but this time we are taking our time as to not take away from family or friend time. We don't want projects to take over, so we're going slow, and we're good with that. I can't wait for it all to get done, but it will. :)

The layout is a little funny but it's working for now. :) If you have any suggestions, you know we're always open ears!! :)

BEFORE...

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AFTER...

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{we love the little toy corner that is not in view when you look into the room, unless you are here on a normal day with toys and puzzles and more all over the floor ;)}

  Photobucket {Reading/rolling cars nook ;) Oh dear, the pillow isn't fluffed, sometimes there isn't time for fluffing! ;)}

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{Haha, you can see my weights and workout stuff under the loveseat and a couple of Hubby's weights beside the couch. Real life ;)}

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{Diaper basket on the floor, all babies know where it is so they can fetch things too :)}

QUESTIONS ABOUT STILL NEED-TO-HAPPENS...

1. The tv stand is centered right now with the couch, we'll probably move it centered on the wall? We had centered it for the couch, but we think it just looks silly ;) And I'm thinking about painting the candlesticks white...

2. Would a little table by the reading nook look too busy?

3. AND... We were thinking about doing little picture walls (just a few pics high and across) on either side of the fireplace. I was thinking it might make the room look too busy but we love the idea of having sweet fun pics up, so I think I'll tape up some pieces of paper and go for it?! Hubby used to not be much for picture walls but now he loves the idea and he is so sentimental and loves pictures. :) 

Thoughts?? :)

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