Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What do stockings have to do with the birth of our Savior?

What do stockings have to do with the birth of our Savior?  Funny you should ask :) 

I don’t remember where I originally found this, but it sure speaks to our hearts during this Christmas season and as we hung a stocking for Baby E. 

Christmas Stocking - Because stockings cover our feet, they symbolize our life's journey. If our journey takes us closer to God, He rewards us with the joys and happiness of eternal life.

Please see the picture below of our Christmas stockings for Colton, Dylan and Baby E. We are looking forward to the Baxter journey ahead.   Hopefully next year we can fill her stocking with peace, love and joy!

Where's Baby E??

Where are we in the process?  We are just about ready to ship our dossier.  Hopefully this will happen within the next couple of weeks.  We have already submited our USCIS paperwork and are waiting approval of that.  We are told that after our dossier is shipped and translated in Ethiopia, it could be about 8 - 9 months until we get a referral of a healthy baby girl.  Then, we will travel about 3 - 6 months after that (you can see the processes that take place between the referral and travel).   Listed below is a sample flow chart of the process so that you can have an idea of where we are:

Sunday, December 13, 2009

An Oldie but Goodie

I've read this a couple of times before, but somehow it found its way back to me from our Adoption Agency. It's about the wait again. It seems sometimes I want things to happen in MY time, not Gods. This was a reminder to us again why things don't always happen when we want them to. Maybe we're not ready yet :) Hopefully someone will remind me to read this again a few months from now when I start complaining about the wait!

"He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."
This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study, and they wondered what
this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the
women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to
the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch
him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her
interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire
and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to
hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as
to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she
thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and
purifier of silver." She asked the silversmith if it was true that he
had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being
refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there
holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire
time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the
flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How
do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at her and
answered, "Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it."

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has his
eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.

Why does the baby's name have to start with E?

Why does the baby’s name have to start with “E”

Just in case you were wondering, or hadn’t connected the dots, we are an alphabet family (Angie, Brad, Colton & Dylan)… so, that’s why there will be a baby “E”.

The name that we like, but are still pondering is Elliana. . (eh lee AH nah.. or ellie-ah-na). It’s Hebrew and means God has responded. Maybe Elle for short or maybe a different spelling. Of course, there is always Emmalee, Emily, Emma, and some others we are pondering. It will probably depend on her given name from Ethiopia, which we will keep as her middle name. Most Ethopian names are difficult to pronounce and some are even spelled like English ‘bad’ words… yikes 

The Great Paper Chase

Where are we in the paper mess?

After we have all information together for our home study and our dossier, it all gets complied together, gets certified in Harrisburg, travels to Washington DC for 2 certifications, then goes to our Agency for submission to Ethiopia. We are hoping and praying to have all of this complete by mid-January or early February at the latest. In order for our dossier to be submitted, our home study must be complete. In order for our home study to be complete, all of our references and physician clearances must be in and we must have 3 home study interviews and appointments.

Here’s what we got accomplished in two weeks:

• Received our FBI paperwork stating that our fingerprints passed – which is surprising.. not because I didn’t think we would pass, but because they said it would take 4 – 6 weeks. It was more like 4 – 6 days!! Woohoo!
• Received our Child Abuse Clearances and Criminal History Verifications.
• Received our Employment Verification Letters from the NRC.
• Submitted our immigration paperwork to the Phila. Office of Homeland Security and Immigration. After 2 weeks, it was returned and had to be sent to a different office… ugghhh… resubmitted on Friday, 12/11/09 to the Texas office. (they changed the process 15 days before we sent ours in).. double ugghh. 
• Received our Local Police Letters stating that we are good citizens and have no record.
• We have our first Home Study appointment this Thursday! Yay!
• We completed our Ethiopia Adoption Training DVDs.
• Started reading our 500 page book. Need to take the test soon.
• Most of our references are in

What are we still waiting on?

• Our physician clearances and letters of reference (we were warned that this could be our hold up and so far, that’s holding true).
• A few more personal references

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Listen to Third Day's Merry Christmas

For those of you who asked about hearing the Third Day song, I think I figured it out.. Hopefully it's playing automatically when you enter the blog along with 2 other of my favorites. Enjoy! If it is not, you can go to the Dizzler gadget to the right and enter THIRD DAY, MERRY CHRISTMAS in the search artist box and then double-click when it comes up.

Hey, I'm trying to learn :)