Saturday, September 29, 2012

MAJOR answered prayer!

This morning around 10 my doorbell rang. Who the heck is ringing my doorbell on Saturday morning? I walk up to my door and see the blue uniform walking away and I got *real* excited!
It was a surprise because my caseworker told me she would email me before she FedEx'd it.  I never got an email so I just assumed she hadn't received it yet.

There was a list of instructions inside and the clock was ticking!!  First stop was the bank, to get a bunch of papers notarized.  Thankfully Sarah, who has notarized the majority of my adoption papers, was working so when she saw me running into the bank, she made the educated guess that I needed her services pronto!  It's been fun to share this journey with the people I've needed along the way so for her to be excited for me on this crucial step was awesome!

Next stop was the photo store to get 4 passport photos.  The owner of this shop has also been helping along this journey, so he too was excited.  I also got to ask him about a lens that I've been wanting to buy before I go on the second trip.  He told me he could give me a deal :)

Can you tell I was excited??!!

Next stop, the FedEx store.  I made copies for my records and sent the package on it's way!!!

While waiting, I texted my caseworker to let her know that it was sent and she should receive it by Monday morning.  She told me that I was assigned the attorney I was hoping for!!!  Which is in the court I was hoping for!!


My agency will receive the packet on Monday morning.  She will scan and email it to the orphanage and the attorney and also send the originals in the mail.  They should receive them by next Friday.  There is a *slight* chance that the attorney can schedule a court date with the scanned copy.  Otherwise, she will have to wait to have the originals in hand.

Best case scenario is that I can get a court date for the end of October.  PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE pray that I can get a date ASAP!

The best part about today was reading all of the legal paperwork stating that I will be her mom.
Throughout the document, she is listed with her legal name.  The majority of the orphans in her country are listed with their first name and then FNU- Family Name Unknown.

But not her.

She is - BABY MUNNI.

STOP.MY.HEART.  Love, love, love that!!!

I cried many happy tears today.  The Lord is SO good- I feel like I keep walking around in a daze because I can't believe that I get to be her mommy!!!!!

Thank you for all of the prayers- THEY ARE WORKING!!!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I love voicemail!!

When I got out of school today, there was a voicemail from my caseworker.  She said she really wanted to talk to me today and could I call her back?  Um, right on it!!  First let me explain that she is a very, very busy woman.  She only deals with the families who are nearing the end of their adoption journeys so she's hard to get ahold of.  I had to leave a message and then wait.  and wait.  It always seems so much longer when you know someone has something important to tell you!

She called me back 2 hours later and told me that she received an update.  Apparently, the court affidavit was put in the mail yesterday and is on it's way to the USA!!!  She expects to receive it by Friday, Saturday the latest.  She said that usually they are full of errors but mine only had a really small one that won't affect it.  She will overnight it to me, I will get it notarized and overnight it back to her.  She will then scan and email it to the orphanage and the social worker who is on the ground over there.   She will also put the original in the mail.  There is a *slight* chance that the attorney can file the court date with the scanned version.  The biggest thing I need prayer for is which attorney and which court gets assigned to my case.  There is an easier court and there is a difficult court.  There is an efficient and quick attorney and there is a stubborn, slower attorney.  This could be the difference of me being able to make my first trip in 2-3 weeks after they receive the notarized affidavit or 2 -3 MONTHS.

PLEASE, PLEASE pray that the orphanage director will assign my case to the quick efficient attorney and easier court.

The best case scenario right now is that I will be traveling at the end of October!!!!  Please pray with me that this will come to fruition!

Monday, September 24, 2012

It's a bad, bad, bad, world

Last week was the most stressful week I've had in a long time.  It started out with me finding out the H didn't get to see MG when she was in Ind*a and therefore, MG didn't get to see the video I made for her :(  I can't begin to describe how disappointed I was.  I wanted so badly for her to be able to see me talking, to hear my voice, to see me in "real" life.  They have become very strict so H wasn't able to see her or get updated pictures for me.  I was really looking forward to that so when it didn't happen, I was crushed.  It wasn't a total bust though because H. was able to give the book I made for MG to her Aunties so I'm hoping that she gets to look at it every day.  The highlight is that I KNOW that for sure she knows she has a mom!!!

Next in line was my car.  First let me say how much I love my car.  It's my favorite of any car I've had in the past.  It is an off road SUV of a certain company that begins with an "n" and ends with an "n."  I have dogs, lots of them, and I haul a ton of stuff for my garden, so this vehicle is perfect for all my needs.  When I bought it new almost 7 years ago, I bought it with the intention that it should last me at least 10-12 years.  Mid-summer when it started having this lunging to it, I felt sick because I thought it was probably my transmission.  See, dating someone in high school from the "cool car club" still has it's benefits...  Anyway, I took it to the dealer to get the diagnostic test and sure enough, they said, "you need a new transmission.  The radiator has coils that have corroded and leaked into your transmission.  That will be $5800."  Say what?  Then they told me I should just get a new car.  O.K.  I'll just get a new car.  What kind of world do they live in?  I was so frustrated because just being a woman and being in a dealership, well, my point spread went downhill fast.  I was not in the mood to haggle.  I was not in the mood to buy a new car.  My car is paid off and I wanted to keep it that way.  Then they had the nerve to only offer me $3000 for my car.  That was the straw- I told them how insulted I was and walked out.

When I got home from the dealership, I changed out of my work clothes and ran to the grocery real quick to pick up dinner.

I came back and found this:
Stupid Lola.  I've worn these boots 4 times.   She chewed off the flap on one side and a huge hole by the heel.  I know, I know, I should have put them in my closet but let's just say I wasn't at the top of my game and my mind was rattled.

Later that night, I was talking to my dad about it and he revealed he get his tests back from the doctor appointment he had earlier this month.  I don't know if it's because he downplayed it or if I was so freaking out about what I was going to do about a car, that I really didn't get into the details.

Friday morning, my sister texted me and told me to call her ASAP.  It turns out my dad has an abdominal aortic aneurysm that is measuring at a size that needs to be taken care immediately.  My dad has a zero point tolerance for pain and freaks out about anything medical.  This is causing stress on my mom because he is kicking and screaming about getting this taken care of rapido.  He had several tests done today that revealed he needs more testing done on his heart before they can go ahead with the surgery to put the stent in place.  My dad can be a grumpy old man, stubborn beyond belief, so it's frustrating that we have to talk him into getting this done like yesterday.  Please, please pray that the additional tests get done this week, that the surgery goes well, and that there are no complications.

Thankfully, this week has had some positives.  I took my car to a mechanic I've known for a long time and he told me to get a new radiator and do multiple flushes on the car.  I just picked it up and it's driving great.  All for the grand total of $485.  Thank you N------N, but I won't be needing your services.

I did a little google search and it seems there is a class action lawsuit in the process of being filed against N-------N for my year and model.  Apparently, they knew they were using faulty parts.  They should have done a recall on the radiator and they didn't.  Instead they extended the warranty from 75,000 miles to 85,000.  That's all great, but the problem doesn't show up until starting at 95,000.  Mine has 96,000.  We'll see what happens...

The BEST news of the week came in the form of a phone call this afternoon from my BFF.  She has a daughter who is MG's age.  The sad part is that she lives about 9 hours away.  Today she gave me the the most fantastic news - in a couple of months I will be able to see her beautiful face EVERY day because she GOT TRANSFERRED BACK HOME!!!  YAHOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!  I can't even tell you how stinkin' excited I am!!

Besties :)

I still haven't heard about my court affidavit.  I've been praying specifically for a certain something to happen that has to do with this, so for now, I have a sense of peace about it.  I know it's in the Lord's hands and if what I've been praying is going to come to fruition, then it makes me even more content to wait.  The best thing is I know that Munni knows she has a family.  I've been praying for SO LONG that the Lord would put hope in her little heart.  I feel like on Tuesday that prayer was answered in a HUGE way when she got to see my face for the first time :)

As I go through this week, I am reminded that even though circumstances change, Jesus never changes.  He is always right by my side and I like that.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Why I Love Technology

In about 4 days, Munni is going to get the book I made for her. I'm really hoping that H will be able to get some pics of her looking through it for the first time.  The rules have changed a bit, so I'm not quite sure if she'll be able to pull it off.  BUT....I do have something else that I'm even MORE excited for her to find out:

My very good friend JJ told me that I should record a video for Munni so that she can hear my voice.  So that's what I did!  I recorded a very short video on my very smart phone and sent it to H so she can show it to Munni.

I can't believe that she's going to find out about me in a few days!! About halfway through the first video, I got a little overwhelmed.  Those who know me well know that it doesn't take much for me to cry, so thinking about everything I've gone through to get to this point, well....

 I didn't want to freak her out and be scared to go home with the crying lady.  Besides, she will have plenty of time to see me in action, crying in the Starbucks line because my best friend bought me a coffee.  

Round two.  Even though I look like a thug is the frozen first frame, I think she will get the point that

Maybe she won't notice my freakishly white teeth!  What's up with that?  They do not look like that in real reminds me of Ross from Friends.

I am REALLY, REALLY excited about the beginning of next week!!!!  I hope she is excited when she sees my video and flips through the picture book!

Now if only I could get that Court Affidavit.....

Friday, September 7, 2012

Rookie Move

DOH!  I can't believe that 3 years in I would slip up at such a critical juncture in MG's adoption.  Yes, I am guilty of such a rookie move.  I allowed myself to get excited and *believe* that what was said would come to pass.  Isn't that sad?  I've been reduced to always having somewhat of a guard up.  I know it's bad because I'm supposed to have faith, but after awhile, it's very challenging to keep yo head up (thanks Tupac).  Anyway, I didn't receive the Court Affadavit this week like what was expected.  I think it's more maddening because I'm SO CLOSE it's as if I can smell the scents of her country.  UGH!

Last night while wallowing in self pity, the Lord gently reminded me of his omnipotence and the miracles that he has provided thus far:

"Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts;  let them proclaim your power.  I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles.  Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue;  I will proclaim your greatness.  Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy about your righteousness." - Psalm 145:3-7

Funny that's the verse he showed me because just this week I had two conversations with two different people about just how miraculous her adoption has been.

The first was with a co-worker.  We were talking about how I've written everything down for MG so that one day, she can see very clearly that God had a plan for her!  My colleague said, "Isn't is amazing that she has been prayed for by so many people, even years before you knew exactly who she was?"  Amen, sister, amen!

The second conversation was with a friend who had been living out of the country for awhile.  We were catching up on life and I was able to share with him about how crazily things have fallen into place for her adoption and how so many prayers have been answered and miracles occurred.

I told him how I had specifically prayed that someone I knew would win the lottery so that they could help when I was scrambling to get her referral fee.  Turns out my best-friend from high school won an office pool when the lottery was the biggest it's ever been in the history of the lotto.  God did that.

I told him how MG showed up in my caseworker's daughter's referral picture after I had been trying to pursue her adoption with another agency, and that agency told me there was no way I would be able to adopt her.  God did that.

I told him how an attorney friend with whom I hadn't spoken for over 3 years totally hooked it up by notarizing her CSR so that I didn't have to go through a gazillion hoops getting every page certified.  At no charge.  God did that.

I told him how I received my NOC in record time.  God did that.

I told him how I've made the MOST amazing friends who love and pray for me and I for them and how we are in our journeys together.  God did that.

I told him how I've been so completely humbled by everyone's generosity, prayers, and support.  I would never be able to handle this without that!!!  God did that.

I told him how I boldly asked God to award me the grant for the maximum amount of $7500.  This amount would cover the costs of the two trips I have to make.  I prayed this in secret.  On July 10th, God did that.

That's just what I told my friend.  I thought about all the other things along the way and realized that MG is in the palm of his hand and I will meet her in his perfect timing.  He loves her more than I ever could and he has an amazing plan for her life.

Now instead of whining, I will proclaim God's greatness and rest in his peace!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

3 years to less than 30 days...

It was June of 2009 when I seriously started praying about adopting.  At that time, I had no idea from where I would adopt but from the beginning, my heart desired a daughter.  I prayed all summer whether or not it was God's will for me.  By the end of the summer of 2009, I had a definite sense of peace to move forward.  That fall I prayed for his guidance to lead me to a country.  I look back at everything I went through with Nepal that brought me to where I am today.  It's an incredible journey and I can't wait until she is old enough to understand all of the miracles that occurred in order to bring her home!

My BFF surprised me and came into town on Friday.  We went for dessert and I told her the good news I found out this week.  She made the comment that how crazy is it to think about how I've been on this journey for 3 years and in about 30 days, I'm going to meet Munni Grae for the very first time.  WOW!!!!!  It feels surreal!

Rewind to Tuesday night.  I was on my way to have dinner with my good friend Hollywood Mark when I received a call from L., the caseworker who deals with the families when they are about to travel.  As I sat in P.F. Chang's parking lot, we discussed MG, her adoption, and the next steps.  She asked me if I knew that my case was one of their miracle cases.  I told her that I thought so on my end but figured they dealt with this all of the time!  She said there were many things on their end that she saw as truly miraculous.  She has actually met MG several times so to be able to talk to L.  about her and her personality led to quite an emotional conversation.  By time I hung up, I was about 20 minutes late for my dinner date.  I walked into the restaurant and as soon as I saw Mark, I started to cry.  I reassured him they were tears of joy and went on to explain the 3 main points that were now bursting in my heart!

1)  She told me that she absolutely thought I would have my first court date before October 12th.  This is significant because being the neurotic person I am, I had already counted backwards to find out the last possible date I could have court so that ....
2) She will be home by Christmas!!!!!!  She told me that the passports for this region have been coming in super quick and that her passport should be issued during the 60 days that I have to stay out of India because of the visa requirements.  I asked her, "So I can arrive in India on day 61? Because I'm that person!"
3) the BEST news I found out is that from the time I arrive and go to the orphanage, I get to take her WITH me and she will spend the 3 days with me at the hotel and then we will go to court together!!!!!  I can't even begin to tell you HOW EXCITED I am about this!!  I am making this first trip by myself, so it will be just the two of us!  I am SO excited for this bonding time!

Right now I am waiting on a final document that summarizes all of my information.  I have to sign, notarize, and send it back to my agency.  Once they receive it, they will send it back to India and that paper is what gives me my court date.  L and I were praying that I would get it Friday morning, but unfortunately, that didn't happen.  She thought for sure I will receive it this week.  Will you please pray that it comes this week?

Last weekend, I went to the zoo and the reservoir to take some photos.  I love how they turned out!

If you haven't figured out already, I'm obsessed with elephants!!  Our zoo has the MOST beautiful elephant!!!
 Isn't she gorgeous?

 I love her kind of gal!

She looks happy, like she's dancing :)

Then I went to the Cheetah run.  The cheetah Sarah, just set a new world record!  I actually got to pet her when she came to our school!  She didn't run the day I went to the zoo but I did try and get some good action shots.  It was difficult because they are FAST!  It was about 95 degrees and there were tons of people there because of half price admission.  
 This was the first pic.  Obviously he was too fast for me!  Luckily, they do two runs, so I had a chance to adjust my aperture and shutter speed.

Second time's a charm!  Much better but wow, this was challenging!

 I love how intent he was on the lure!  I left the wire in the picture so you can see how close you are to this exhibit!  The zoo did such an awesome job with this!!

Love the mid-air spin move!

 With his "prey"  Did you know that every cheetah has 2000 spots and like zebras, no two have the same pattern?  It's also how their cubs recognize them!

 Taking the prey into the bush

The zoo also has a new cat exhibit.  These are the white tigers:
 Those paws are HUGE!

Love the color of his eyes!

 Then I took Rollie and Simon to the Reservoir.  They love to be off leash and get into the water.  This is the path leading to the water.

I. Love. This. Face.  

I've also been obsessed lately with water shots.  I've been working on catching the water droplets in mid air.  I love the pics I got of the doggies in the water.

 It was around sunset so I really like the sillouette of this picture of Rollie

I love this picture of Simon.  The water is so pretty and you can see what a mess he makes when he drinks!

I'm looking forward to this week, praying that I will receive the document in the mail!!!

Have a great Labor Day celebration!