Vanderpool Days

Our Family's Daily Journey from Kentucky to Rwanda

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Farewell Rwanda....Hello Ethiopia

Where to begin. I probably should have blogged weeks ago about this, but I just couldn't bring myself to. Two weeks ago today we got a call from our agency to give us the heads up that it looked like Rwanda was closing the files of families who had gone past their 6 month mark with no referral. While we had been given info to the contrary 3 months before, it looked like they had changed their minds. While our file had not been officially closed, there had been a long lag in referrals. I spoke to our POA in Rwanda several times long distance over the phone. At first she was hopeful that with some persistent emails, the tide would turn. By the following Friday, she gave us the news that it didn't look like our adoption from Rwanda was going to happen any time in the near future, if at all.

We were heart broken to say the least. We mourned the loss of the child in Rwanda that was sitting in the orphanage, waiting for a family we wanted to desperately to give them. We prayed and I cried. Our agency was very understanding and sympathetic. They told us they would help us transfer to the Ethiopia program if we felt that was something we wanted to do. We prayed some more and I talked to our Rwanda POA again. I think it was her blessing that we transfer to Ethiopia that allowed us to make the final decision.

We informed our agency and the ball got rolling. Within the week we had filled out forms and been approved to the Ethiopia program. By Tuesday of this week, I had the necessary information to start the new "paper chase." I have to admit, having done it once already has made things much easier. Also, God's timing is so perfect, in that I have had spring break to work on it all. I have typed and scanned and emailed for days, and even had time to take the kids to the zoo twice!

As I write this, our dossier is almost complete. We just need our medical paperwork (appointments tomorrow!) our home study update (appointment Friday!) and then we re-apply to USCIS. Praying we can be done with the paperwork by May :)
Please continue to pray with us for our child. Obviously, God has different plans than we do some times, but we will continue to follow His call to adoption, where ever it takes us!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Just had to say...

Can you see that little timeline at the top of the page there? Yep, that's it, the one that says "2 years waiting for our child to come home." This day, two years ago, we submitted paperwork to AWAA to adopt a child from Rwanda. We were so excited! I was in full paper chase mode, ordering documents, making really good friends with a notary, filling out form after form, and dreaming of a little boy or girl (I always thought boy) standing there with his too big sweater hanging half off his shoulder, a little dried snot on his cheek. I know, crazy, but I get these vivid visual images :) I would gather him in my arms and he would look at me, a little frightened, and say "mama."
Fast forward two years. I sit here waiting for some word from our agency that our file is still safely secured at what is now called the NCC in Rwanda, waiting to be matched with a child. But just yesterday, a sweet, godly couple in our "group" of waiting families received the news we have feared now for months. They were not being allowed to wait any longer. Time was up, their file was closed. You should read her blog post, its amazing, how a woman who has just experience the adoption equivalent of a miscarriage, for a baby she carried in her heart for 28 months, could be so strong, with such a firm faith in her God.
I pray that if our time comes to receive such news, that I will be as strong in faith and trust that His will is the ultimate in fulfillment. In the meantime we wait. Please pray with us, pray for the children in need of families and the many of us who want nothing more than to be those families.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Two years ago today....

Yes, I realize I spelled Christmas completely wrong in my last post, so sue me :) I just wanted to take a moment today and talk about what's going on, or not going on. We received news around Christmas time, that Rwanda is currently going through a transition by creating a commission to work for the children of Rwanda, including adoption. This has involved the hiring and training of new staff, ect. which is the primary reason for the long silence that has descended upon the adoption front. There has been no news since October and no families have traveled since November. We continue to have hope and faith that one day, in His timing, we will open an email containing our referral!

In the mean time, allow me to draw your attention to the significance of today. Today is the two year anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. This tragic event was used by God to open our eyes and break our hearts to the reality of the need for families for orphans, not just in Haiti, but around the world. At the time, we inquired about Haiti and were told that the country was closed to new applicants until the government was back up and running. Thus, we began to research other options, and God placed the beautiful country of Rwanda on our hearts and told us that this is where our 3rd child will come from.

Fast forward two years, we continue to wait on the Lord in Rwanda, and Haiti re-opens it's doors! Not only that but our wonderful agency created a Haiti program! Then yesterday they posted an urgent need for families in their waiting children program. I can tell you my heart skipped a beat. Was God re-opening this door? I sent emails to both our family coordinator, to see if a concurrent adoption would even be possible, and the program coordinator for Haiti, to ask 100 questions. No, I have not heard back from anyone yet.

Then it occurred to me. I should stop, talk to my husband about this (kinda important) and PRAY about this (very important) and WAIT. Goodness knows I've become an expert at waiting!

So, maybe little Vanderpool #4 will come from Haiti one of these days? Don't know the answer to that yet, but when you pray, please continue to pray for our wait in Rwanda, for our hearts and patience, for our child. Pray for Haiti and all the people, especially the children, still suffering the effects of the earthquake. And pray for wisdom and guidance that only He can give, as we seek to grow our family.
By the way, Haiti has some pretty strict requirements and we happen to meet all of them :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Chrimas Photos

Yes, I broke down and had Christmas photos taken of the kids. I think the poor girl at the portrait studio was about to just hand me the camera and be done with it, when I came in with my props and ideas of what I wanted done. I am sure she had done the same basic poses for families over and over for days on end and in I walk with all my special requests. She did a great job though, and I have a wonderful reminder of my still incomplete family that God is continuing to grow in my heart. Merry Christmas! and look me up on facebook to see the whole album. Next year we WILL have all three!!! (PLEASE GOD!!!)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The good, the bad, and the beautiful!

Hey guys! Long time no blog post. I know, I'm really bad at this. Just throwing a quick update out there to those of you praying with us that our baby would be home for Christmas. Well, God has seen fit to have us wait a while longer. We don't know why, but I have been very comforted by the many stories I have read/heard from other adoptive mamas who talk about how perfect God's timing ultimately was. He knows the child He has for our family, and obviously, that child is not ready to be ours' just yet.

The great news, is that our "deadline" of December 10 has been extended, so even though we probably won't have a referral by then, our case will NOT be closed!! Praise God! We have learned that our file is still at the Ministry's office. Evidently, there are several cases at the orphanage right now being processed by the Sisters, and they won't accept any more new files until they finish the one's they currently have. Which makes perfect sense, considering they are working on these files while caring for all of our waiting children at the same time. Someone had told me, the Sisters spend an entire day in prayer over a file before matching a family with a waiting child. God's hand in action!

So, ultimately, we will more than likely still be a family of four for the rest of 2011. My prayer has become one of gratitude, that our case and the rest of those waiting cases will not be closed. Now it's just a matter of waiting. Could be 6 weeks, could be 6 months. The beauty of it all is knowing that He is in control, and the day will come when we see our baby's face. Please pray for us as we go through this season of joy, awaiting the arrive of our precious gift to come.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Can't do it.

No, there is nothing new on the adoption front, sorry to disappoint you from the start! We continue to patiently wait for our referral and our Power of Attorney in Rwanda continues to tell us we will eventually be matched. We continue to pray daily for our kiddo and pray specifically that we would be matched with a special needs child, as this has been laid heavily on our hearts.

As I look at the blog, it occurs to me that the picture of our family at the top is now over a year old. This is the longest I have ever gone before getting a new family picture professionally done. We always do it at least once a year, and the kids at least 2 or 3 times a year. This year I just can't do it. I can't fix us all up and go update our family portrait, because we're not complete anymore.I can't have a new family portrait that doesn't include the whole family. Who gets their kids' pictures made and leaves one of the kids out of it?

I know this does not make the grandmothers happy, but they can always come and see the real thing :) This is the photograph that we sent to the Minitry in Rwanda in our dossier. This is the family that so excitedly put those papers in a big (heavy and expensive) fed-ex box to be sent to Rwanda. This is the family photo that continues to grace the family room wall. I can't get a new one until we have all three kids in it. Yes, Gracie and isaac have aged 1 year (her hair is now much shorter with bangs, and Isaac had a now over-grown mohawk. and they are each about 4 inches taller). Ok now you have a mental picture, it will have to do for now :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Approval!!

Who could ask for a better 10th wedding anniversary gift! I guess it saves us both the trouble of buying anything :) We received an email today from our agency, stating that they had "direct contact" with the Ministry this morning that they have been trying to send us our approval since June 10...wow!!! we have been approved for a month and a half and didn't even know it! God is so sooo good! We are so excited to know our file is already at the orphanage being looked at by the Sisters and will be matched with a child!

The only cloud in my day is the thought of the 6 month regret letter. We have until December 10 to be matched with a child before our file is closed. But as I shared with my sweet friend Amy, who came over this afternoon to give me hand-me-downs and a hug (both greatly needed and appreciated!) I don't believe God would lead us this far, opening so many doors, and providing in so many ways, to have it all come to a crashing hult. He has a child in Rwanda waiting for us and my prayer, please pray with me, is that RIGHT NOW, He is preparing that child to come home to our family.

So, before Christmas people!!

Oh, and on a different note, our travel expenses will be about $4,000-$4,500. Please also pray for financial blessing!

Thanks for your prayers and encouragement.