My home study is this coming week. I am ready for it to occur and be done with so this process can move forward. I am also a little nervous ... an entire day of interviewing me on how I will parent, what I would do if certain things arise and generally how I will handle bringing home a child from China and caring for him.
It has been 4 months since I began this journey ... 6 months since I first laid eyes on my sweet boy. I am just ready to be in China, holding him in my arms. Unfortunately, there is much more paperwork and lots more money that has to be paid to various agencies before I even have a travel date.
I am beyond thankful that he is in a foster facility that takes tremendously good care of him. He gets PT/OT/SLP services at the foster facility and all his medical needs are cared for. There are so many adoptive parents out there who only get 1-2 pictures of their child throughout the entire adoption process and are constantly worried about how their child is being cared for. There are also waiting parents who FINALLY get an update, only to learn that their little one has been hospitalized ... or transferred to a different facility (but the adoption agency may not know where ...). These are all scenarios that play out on a daily basis for waiting parents and I am SO incredibly thankful that I know that my child is being provided with proper care, nutrition, daily play and that his health needs are taken care of. So, even though the wait is hard and it feels, at times, like there isn't an end in sight - I am so thankful to the foster facility and nannies for caring for my sweet boy as if he was their own.
Personally, I have taken on working more in order to put more money towards the adoption fund. However, no matter how much I work and how hard I save - I often have doubts that the money will be able to provide for the fees when they are due. I currently have a $3500 bill that I need to pay and it scares me that in paying it the adoption fund will be wiped out completely and it will have to be restarted to be build back up for the next round of fees. I know that somehow God will provide ... but my weakness is my fear and worry. I am slowly learning to give it to Him ... but for someone who has been a "controller" for over 30 years ... this is not easy .. but I am slowly getting there.
I must say, I have met some amazing people so far on this journey. There are so many adoption Facebook groups and it has been an amazing support system. There are also groups here locally that are very focused on behavior and parenting post-adoption. I am blessed that I live in an area that is so supportive and rich in knowledge. The week after my home study, there are 2 conferences that I wholeheartly support (just wish they weren't on the same days so I could actually attend both .. ).
The first conference that I just think will be amazing is 99Balloons ENGAGE Conference.
This conference is amazing!! This gives people the ability to start conversations about disability and inclusion without your church. There are so many families who have children that need support at all times, churches should be a place of respite, recovery, recharging and caring. Unfortunately, many churches do not know how to care for kids with involved needs and the parents are left to care for their kids at all times and/or they bring their children into the service and others get upset because their child is "making too much noise", roaming the aisles or upset in some way. When parents are in a church like this, they eventually just give up and decide that church is just too hard for their family and there is just no one that will step in to help them. This is NOT what church should be like for families who have children with disabilities. If you are interested in learning how YOUR church can help local families and bring more families to God, consider attending this awesome conference. You can learn more at: engage.99balloons.org.
The other conference that I cannot wait to attend is the Empower to Connect Conference. This is a conference that is led by Dr. Karen Purvis - author of "The Connected Child".
I am very much looking forward to this conference. It is specifically geared for families who have or are in the process of adopting/fostering. This will be a great prep for me when it comes to bringing Sunshine home and helping him transition to the US. If you are interested in attending, visit https://my.fellowshipnwa.org/index.asp?page=modPublicRegistration&subHub=&GroupID=16237 to register and find more information.
The next big fundraiser is going to be a rummage sale on Saturday April, 16th at the corner of John Rollow Drive and SE 28th St. in Bentonville, AR. As you are doing spring cleaning, if there are items that you would like to donate towards the rummage sale, PLEASE let me know in the next 2 weeks. I am trying to get everything sorted & priced as it comes in. If you need more information or have donations, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, if you would rather donate money towards bringing Sunshine home, you can do so through the following link: https://purecharity.com/worthyofmuchlove
Praises: I am so thankful for the support I have been given throughout this journey thus far. From family, friends and even strangers ... it is truly touching and makes me realize how much love there really is in the world!!
- That donations for the rummage sale begin coming in - allowing for a good selection and turn-out on April 16th.
- That people will be willing to volunteer to help me run the rummage sale - I have realized that I cannot do it on my own!
- That Sunshine continues to do well and thrive in his foster facility - knowing each day that he is loved.