2014 in Review

I know is sounds cliché but I can hardly believe another year is gone and we are moving on to 2015. I generally live very much in the moment so it is neat for me to take a moment to look back at what happened for our family in 2014! Warning: it’s a long one!

January was the month we were officially accepted into the Haiti Program at AWAA and started our adoption journey that was 7+ years in the making! Reist also turned 2 in January. He started talking and singing more and more and grew into his role of family clown this year.IMG_6442In February we had our first home study meeting and continued to gather all the paper work and do the education needed for that. The paper work felt overwhelming at first but it became manageable as I broke it down into little bits. Our house was exceptionally clean that month as our Social Worker made her home visits. 🙂

March was more chasing papers, finishing home study visits and living life.

April was the month that Grael turned 6! She loved going to school and reading. She continued to blossom in school and made friends everywhere she went. IMG_6617Our home study was completed in April and I thought we were almost done with out dossier paper work!

In May I turned a year older and didn’t even mind. 🙂  I also headed to Des Moines to certify all our dossier paper work at the Secretary of State’s office and move on the last step of applying for our UISCS immigration pre-approval (I-800a). That was when I discovered a problem with the notarization of our home study stamp not matching the current commission number. That meant about a 2-3 week delay as it was renotarized. I reminded myself that I never expected this to be too easy and I shouldn’t let a small delay get me too discouraged.

June brought the end of Grael’s year of kindergarten, bible school and a staycation. We got our new copy of the home study and I sent off our 1-800a application and got our fingerprinting appointment for that.

In July we made the trip to Des Moines again to get fingerprinted for USCIS.We kept busy while we were waiting for approval. We got our USCIS approval and faxed the last two papers to have them certified by the Secretary of State. We had another hiccup here when we discovered that the new home study notary also had a stamp without their current commission number. This had never happened to our social worker before and now it happened twice with our paper work. Oh boy, that was discouraging! I am thankful that God kept reminding me that He will be at work for us. He challenged me to rest and trust. That was hard as the time was stretching longer than I ever “planned” but really there wasn’t anything else to do. I have an inkling that some day I will see that God had those delays for a purpose – either to teach me some lessons or to work something else that needed His timing.

August was a month full of joy.We welcomed a darling nephew and cousin into the world. kidsandtate1We got our new home study, it was certified without problems and on August 23rd we sent our dossier off to AWAA!!!!  It was terrifying to put all those papers in an envelope and send them off into the unknown. It got there without problems and went through translation and authentication.IMG_7061-3IMG_7063The girls also started school. Grael is in first grade and Lorelei in preschool.

IMG_7048 IMG_7077

September was exciting when our dossier got sent to Haiti. It was finally there! A few month after I planned but once again I was reminded that God is the one in charge of the planning. The first step in Haiti was to be legalized at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

October ended on a wonderful note when we found out our dossier had been submitted to IBESR, the government organization that will review it and propose our match. Yipee!

November brought fun with family and a chance to be grateful and thankful for all that God has done this year. Life is certainly not perfect. We have hard days and grumpy days and days that need a reset button. Through it all we have been surrounded by God’s faithfulness and assurance that He will give us chance and chance again and He will never leave our side.

December was full as usual of holiday fun and busyness. We also said goodbye to Ryan’s grandpa Willis. It was meaningful and challenging to see how his life impacted so many people through Water for Life in Haiti. He was the beginning of our love for Haiti and we are so grateful for his legacy! We enjoyed Christmas festivities with our families. Lorelei celebrated her 5th birthday. She is an artist and a dreamer. She told me that when she grows up she wants to be a ballerina, a fire fighter and a mommy. unnamed If you made it through that long post I commend you! 🙂  Thank you for caring about our family and following our journey! I pray for each person reading this that your next year will be blessed beyond measure – not in the things of this world but in the things that are eternal. Happy New Year!

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