Friday, August 31, 2012

A road trip and a trip down memory lane...

It's really August 31st.... tomorrow is the start of September!  Unbelievable...

Megan and Matthew started back to school this past Monday, and they have really had a great week!  The week started off with the familiar feel of excitement, dread, anxiety and fear, but by Monday afternoon walking off the bus for the first day - it was all good!!  So, even though I was reluctant to give up the flexibility of summer, we are happy to back into the structure of school. 

Today, however, there was no school, and since Jason works Friday nights... - it was the perfect excuse for this mom to take the day off!  And... since I took the day off it seemed to make perfect sense to head out to Harrisburg to get the state authentication on all of our completed documents... so... that just what we did!  We left the house at 8:15, made a quick stop at Wawa to get some coffee for Jason and donuts for the kiddos and then we hit the road!

For those of you who don't know - I started college at Messiah which is just on the other side of Harrisburg.  When Jason and I were planning to get engaged, we decided it would make a lot more sense for me to transfer and commute to finish my degree.  All that to say... we are both pretty familiar with the drive out to Harrisburg, but it has been a long time since we've traveled that road.  It sure did bring back memories - - memories of early Monday morning drives back to school after a great weekend home --- memories of the first drive out when I was first starting "on my own" --- memories of great times and great friends at Messiah College --- and memories of the last trip home and looking forward to the life ahead for Jason and I.  Those memories are so clear, but they are more than 17 years ago (oh my goodness...  really???)!  Even then, God was beginning to lead us down this path of international adoption.  When I met Jason (on a blind date), I was an International Business major and my goal was to work in the International Adoption Community in some way.  Well, meeting my prince charming and planning a family of my own really made me re-think that idea of traveling the world.  My roots took hold and I re-focused my attention on Human Resources.  BUT... the desire to be involved in International Adoption was still there and it was in Jason's heart, too.  It has taken us 17 years (there's that number again - oh my!) to finally be on this path.  Having come this far on the journey - we still have so much to do - but even at this point, I know that our lives and our family will never be the same.  Adoption has captured our hearts - caring and advocating for orphans will always be a part of our family.  God calls all of us to something - HE has called us to this wonderful opportunity, HE has raised an awareness in us that will not fade, HE is preparing us for something, and we know that HE will finish that which HE has started.   From the very beginning our commitment to Makenna is based on our firm belief that God will carry this through to completion - when doubts start to poke their heads - we keep going back to the verse at the top of our blog. 

So that's my journey down memory lane today - it fun to look back and see how everything that has happened along the way helps to clearly paint the picture that only GOD could draw of our lives.  Thanks for journeying with me today!

Back to the road trip...  we were able to get (almost) all the documents for our Dossier authenticated today at the Secretary of the Commonwealth's office.  Everything was approved and sealed without a glitch.  I say almost because we will need to take the final approval from USCIS (Immigration) out to be authenticated when we receive it, but we wanted to keep working on getting everything else finalized.  On Tuesday, we will be sending ten documents up to a courier in New York City.  They will be delivered to the consulate for certification and then sent back to us.  We will also have a second set of documents to be certified after the USCIS approval.  But, we are making progress - one step at a time!

When we got home from Harrisburg, we had a surprise in the mailbox (remember - I LOVE surprises!) - we received our fingerprinting appointments for our Immigration approval.  This is great news - the application was just received two weeks ago so this is really fast - and we get fingerprinted in 20 days - also pretty quick.  Lord willing (and we pray HE is) - we could have our approval from USCIS by the end of September!  So... please pray that we would continue to move through this paperwork process in September at this steady pace.  We are anxiously awaiting the day that we get THE phone call and receive a picture of our sweet Makenna - the LORD knows her face and her heart, and right now we find comfort knowing that HE can meet all her needs right where she is!

I hope all of you enjoy a wonderful Labor Day weekend!  Labor Day in our family is birthday weekend - I am blessed to get the opportunity to celebrate my amazing hubby's and my wonderful mom's birthday each year on Labor Day weekend.  I can't even begin to imagine my life without these two wonderful, loving and supportive people - I love you both and hope you have a wonderful birthday, and I can't wait to see what the next year holds!! xoxo


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Race for Makenna - more info

It took me a little while, but I finally figured out how to post the documents for all of you about the Race for Makenna.

So, here they are...

We created the Race for Makenna flyer - please feel free to share this with everyone on your email list or facebook friends.  This will tell everyone what the race is about and how they can be part of Makenna's story.

We also have a sponsorship form that you can use to track your sponsors and donations.

You have a few options to submit your donations.  You can bring the donations with you on the day of the event, you can submit them via the paypal link on our blog or you donate directly to our agency (see link on the Race for Makenna page of our blog). 

We would love if you would use these documents to spread the word about this event. 

Thanks so much - have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Some Exciting Happenings...

I feel like I have so much to share so go ahead grab a cup of coffee or iced tea, sit back and relax!

First... a new page is up on the blog all about our "Race for Makenna" - we are so excited about this event and hope that many of you will come out and join us on October 6th at the Perkiomen Trail.  If you're on Facebook - be sure you "like" our Race for Makenna page (and if you're not on Facebook - what are you waiting for???).  Make sure you go read the page dedicated to the race!

Second... the first one was such a success that we have decided to have a second Yard & Bake Sale!  We have set the date for Saturday, September 8th starting at 7:00AM.  So... if you are a baker, cleaner or yard saler - we are asking for your help again!  We will come pick up any items that you would like to donate - feel free to email me!  If you are a yard saler - mark your calendars now (this one will be held at my Mom's house!).

Does it feel like the end of summer vacation to you?  I can't believe that in less than two weeks we will be back to homework, agendas, lunchboxes, and bedtimes!  Ugh...  these are not a few of my favorite things!  I love the freedom of summer vacation - staying up late with kiddos, letting them sleep in, and making lunch at lunchtime (not breakfast).  Well, like it or not - here it comes!  In the midst of our "laid back" summer we managed to get all our paperwork ready for the first phase of our adoption - mission accomplished! 

Today we shipped off our I-800A to USCIS (United States Customs and Immigration Service)! 

I was so excited to send that packet off today - the first real sense of accomplishment.  This "paper chase" is coming to an end just like summer vacation.  So, this August I find myself with a sense of excitement and anticipation as we start a new school year - hopefully Makenna will be home to celebrate the end of the school year with us in June!  That is something to look forward to - so let's see if we can get some comments - what are you looking forward to this "school" year? Post your comments below...