Wednesday, December 4, 2013
My blog break is over. After months of being frustrated, we are once again moving forward. S*RA finally released our papers and sent them over to C*RA. C*RA being really awesome, had everything ready and our NOC was issued the next day. One day! We are so thankful for them having everything prepared after months of waiting. The orphanage who I think is one of the best in India, worked fast to move our case to court. They submitted papers quickly and sent us a few things to sign. The past couple of weeks are just full of things to be thankful for. So now we wait. Court could take weeks or months. We are preparing just in case it moves quickly. We get to order visas (A visa is a document showing that a person is authorized to enter or leave a particular country)!!! We will apply for a six month visa. I'm so ready to go get AJ!
Thankful we are one more step closer to our boy!
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
|The Brices in the Bahamas|
I like to write about good things so when I stay silent for a while it's typically because I don't like the current situation. Life is filled with ups and downs, and an adoption is not an exception to that rule. I kept putting off posting an update because I hoped the situation would resolve quickly. As of the moment, it looks like getting AJ home is going to take a while. Having him home in 2013 is pretty much impossible. We are still under the impression we have our S^RA approval however they have managed to somehow put a hold on it. In fact there are many families, who are stuck in the process. And while I could probably write a whole book on what's going on right now, a short way to put this is there are two different interpretations to a law. So we will have to wait until it is resolved before we can move forward. This may have to be resolved in high court against the state which we have no idea what that would be like or how long it will take. We feel very blessed at how supportive the orphanage has been. There is not a doubt at how much they care about the children there. C^RA has been very supportive too, and they have been trying to take care of the conflict as well. We will patiently wait for an answer. We ask you to please pray for AJ's case anytime we come to your mind. He is already a loved little boy by many people. Thank you family and friends who have been encouraging us. Your sweet words give this mama's heart comfort.
Because I like something to be positive, here are few of my favorite photos from this summer!
We truly did have a great summer!
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Some Christmas joy is going around our house. Sure it's July, but I a couple of things to celebrate.
1- Hallmark Ornament Premiere weekend just happened! Such a fun day! The Brices loves Hallmark ornaments!!! AJ's Nanny and Pops are so excited about another grandson, and they were delighted to get him his first Christmas ornaments. These are first in a series, and I think the Santa Certified train is too cute. I hope we have AJ by Christmas, but regardless of when he comes home, he is loved and thought of daily.
2- We got pictures of AJ this week! They are precious. I can't get enough of his sweet face! These pictures are an unexpected blessing. An internet friend who is adopting a child from the same orphanage was there over the weekend visiting her child. I had emailed this awesome woman to see if she could get a picture of AJ, and she kindly said she would try. Well, she gave more than I expected. She emailed many pictures, and she gave information about him. It was a priceless gift. I loved reading details of his personality and what his day is like! We are so thankful to her for taking the time to give us these pictures and information. So grateful!
So if you hear me singing Christmas songs, just join on in on our celebration. It's good to celebrate all gifts...big and small.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
We got a fun surprise yesterday! Another email!!! Those of us in the adoption world get so excited about emails. Every bit of movement is encouraging. So here's the news- our SARA was approved (State Clearance). Whoo hoo!!! Now we just need the NOC before getting into the court system. We are delighted with how smoothly all the paperwork has moved thus far. And yes, I just knocked on some wood. HA! Seriously though, I'm impressed with all the people who have worked hard to get paperwork done in a timely manner. We're all smiles!
Friday, June 21, 2013
Coffee is great first thing in the morning, but an email from India is even greater!
We got the email stating our Article 5 was approved today. Whoo hoo!!! Hague Countries require this. It means the Embassy approves our family for adoption, and AJ is approved to live in the United States. Our I-800 was approved a couple of weeks ago. Next we need SARA approved (State Clearance), and NOC (No Objection Certificate) before getting into the court system. This is where it gets tricky guessing a time line. It could be weeks, or it could be months. Once again in the adoption process, our family has done everything we need to do on our part. It's back to waiting.
So while we wait this summer, it will not be at home. Our family loves to travel, and we are excited to hit the open road....and the sky....and the sea. There are some new memories to be made! And what a joyous day it will be when AJ is a part of these memory making trips!!!
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Happy Birthday AJ!
We celebrated your 4th birthday today.
I wished you were home with us, and I pray this is your last birthday without a family.
We baked a cake and sang Happy Birthday to you.
Next year we will teach you blow out your candles.
Birthdays are very special to us (some of us even celebrate for a week).
A little mail came today for you. It's a letter stating your I-800 application had been received. It's not a lot of news, but it's one tiny step closer to having you here.
Mom, Dad, and Brody
Friday, May 10, 2013
|Brody's Great Grandfather and Grandmother|
From our ancestors come our names, but from our virtues our honors. ~Proverb
We have decided on a name for our second son. I must say it's a lot easier naming a child as a baby than a soon to be four year old. We looked at his face over and over as we tried to decide. Then a video came and we got to see a tiny bit of his personality. As I watched him, I knew we could not give up his first name. It's the only thing he has that is his. We also want him to have that heritage from India. So A________ is a keeper (still keeping that part confidential).
For his middle name we are giving him a Brice heritage. Brody's middle name is after his great grandfather. And A's middle name will be after his great grandmother- JAMES. They are both wonderful people to be named after, and we are proud to carry on those names.
Since "A" is very long and difficult to pronounce, we are combining the first letter of each name to make up what we will call him. Our son's name is AJ Brice.
I smile every time I say AJ. This Mother's Day is the sweetest one yet! I'm a proud mother of two precious boys.
Friday, May 3, 2013
We have been smiling for two weeks now. I have had the best time showing off "A"'s picture to my friends when I see them. Sorry, no pictures on the internet of our precious A. That's means some of you just need to come visit me. It's awesome to finally have another child! I'm sure I will be excited for a long time!
Today has been filled with smiles and tears. It's bittersweet to get all of his information and new pictures in the mail. The first thing I see in the package are those beautiful eyes. I can't get over that sweet face! Along with his medical records which I will keep private for now, was a very detail description of how and why his mother gave him up. Neither Ryan nor I could hardly get through reading it. It's heartbreaking. I cried at what his mother went through. She is a brave woman. A woman who deserves so much better in life. She was counseled with a social worker who shared horrifying details with his orphanage. I understand why she had to give him up, and I pray there will be peace in her heart. We will never know her name, but I love this woman for bringing such joy into our lives.
I don't want to get anyone else crying so let me tell you something AMAZING. We got a video of A!!! This is completely unheard of in the adoption world. Most people get a paragraph and a picture. We have pages of information, pictures, and a video. WHAT!!! I love this orphanage for taking the time to put it together. It's several different clips of him on different days. Amazing, just amazing! Seeing my little man running around is hard to put into words. I got teary eyed again. Of course these were tears of joy because that's our son. I was so proud to see him sliding down a slide. What a gift I will always treasure...he will always treasure!
We feel very blessed knowing "A" is being taken care of in a wonderful environment. The nicest bloggy friend EVER figured out from my last post when I mentioned the state and how organized the orphanage seemed to be that it had to be where her daughter was adopted from. It's very neat how her daughter and our son were there at the same time. She has shared pictures with me of the orphanage, and she has also shared great details of how nice of a place it is. It was very comforting reading her emails. So thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
It is so good to smile, and we have much to smile about! And now I have a video of cutest little boy smiling back at me!!!
Monday, April 15, 2013
|One happy kid!|
Friday was the day! It's been a long wait for this very special day, but our day has finally arrived. We are matched with a child!!!!
One of the most beautiful children I have ever seen! Just gorgeous! Can you tell I'm a mama again? But seriously, our child is stunning. Cute as pie I tell you! I saw those big dark eyes, and I was smitten. Ryan warned me ahead of time to keep an open mind and not get wrapped up in that beautiful face. But Ryan knows me too well because my heart was captured the moment I saw the picture. I knew instantly this child was ours.
I know you're all ready to find out if it's a boy or girl or one or two. But hey, I've waited years for this so you can wait a couple of paragraphs.
How it happened
The amazing Jynger is what happened! I wish all adoptive parents had a wonderful adoption agent like us. She is a blessing! Jynger is always on top of things. So when India said our agency could match 3 special needs children at a time, she got to work. Our family, as well as several other families, received an email asking if we were interested in this child. We looked up a few medical terms and within ten minutes said yes we were interested. Not knowing if the people ahead of us on the list were interested too, we headed out on vacation for spring break. Little did we know Jynger contacted the orphanage that week to 1) make sure the child was available for adoption 2) give our family's information to see if the orphanage would work with us. I'm so glad she did this. It would have been heartbreaking to learn we were the family and then it did not work out. So it was a complete surprise last week to get the email. We received the email on Wednesday and prayed about it. Thursday morning we had a medical professional look at the paperwork. 13 pages of information which is totally unheard of. By lunch we said "YES!" Then we waited to hear back on the verbal "yes" from the orphanage. I could not believe by Friday morning we heard back from them. It's a YES from everybody! They are working on sending us more information and papers to sign. Hopefully we will be an official, "official" match in a couple of weeks when we sign on the dotted line. They did receive our dossier today!
How we told Brody
Brody has wanted nothing more than to be a big brother. He takes great delight in babies. So we were a little concerned about how he would respond to getting a toddler instead. Knowing Brody loves looking at pictures of children, Ryan called him over to the couch and said, "Come look at this kid." Brody dashes over.
Brody, "Who's this?"
Ryan, "What do you think?"
Brody, "Ooo, it's a cobbler."
Ryan, "A what?"
Brody, "You know, a cobbler."
Ryan, "You mean a toddler. Well, what do you think?"
Brody, "So cute! Who is he?"
Ryan, "He's your brother."
It's a boy!
We have another beautiful son! We could not be any happier! Brody loves him already too. His picture has gotten lots of hugs and kisses from Brody.
We are now working with an orphanage in the State of Maharashtra, India.
At this time it's best to not share a lot of details, but their website is amazing! It was good to see it.
We are very thankful for our child to be there in such good hands.
Of course, I can hardly wait to have him in my own hands!
Once we have official paperwork signed, we'll be able to post information about the orphanage.
Once we have official paperwork signed, we'll be able to post information about the orphanage.
It's a day of celebration! We are delighted to share with family and friends our good news. I love sharing about my son, and I am looking forward to sharing more and more about him in the days ahead. It was also too much fun listening to Brody tell his classmates this morning that he is now a big brother. Brody's dream came true! We are just all smiles! Thankful for Big Bro and Little Bro!!!
We would like to thank all of our encouragers over the years. Those you who kept saying this day would happen. Your kind and thoughtful words have meant a lot. Thank you also to those of you who prayed for our family and little boy. We still need your prayers. There is a precious face to look at now. We want him home badly. Pray all of his paperwork, court dates, and passport goes through as smoothly and quickly as possible. If God can move mountains, He can move paperwork!
Monday, April 8, 2013
|An Easter picture of Brody smiling.|
Spring is here, and I figured it was time for a small update. A little good news and bad news.
Did you hear a loud sigh last week? I'm sure it was heard around the world. It was me. A frustrated me! We got the email and letter saying your current I-797 expires in September. You must file your I-800A, Supplement 3 along with home study update with USCIS...yadda yadda yadda. For my non-adoption peeps, this means
1- lots of paperwork
3- medical examinations
4- Home Study update (me being paranoid that my house is spotless)
5- Basically lots and lots and lots and lots of George Washington's. Well, it's more like Benjamin Franklin.
It's just a big headache! I headache that we've done before and renewed. But hey, third time's a charm! Right? If I click the paperwork three times and repeat, "There's no place like home," this is going to happen. Right? Feel free to add more encouraging "three times."
So awesome friends who love writing reference letters for the Brice family, be prepared! Doctors, you will be seeing us soon! God, we continue to pray for your provision!!!
When we set out on this adoption journey several years ago, we wanted a special needs child. However when we were registered in the new system, we were placed in the "normal" track. I was disappointed, but I prayed God would be in control of placing the child who needed to be in our family. Normal or special needs we would love and be very grateful for a child.
Back in February at the BIG CONFERENCE, agencies were able to voice concerns. One being about special needs children and there being families who really wanted those children. Long story told short- our agency is able to place 3 special needs children at a time now. Woot! Woot! This excitement out weighs my bad sigh earlier.
What does that mean for us you ask? It means maybe we can have a child sooner than we thought! It takes years to be matched with a healthy baby. Our heart's desire is a special needs child (noticed I didn't say baby). We have been in this process a long time and that does put us higher on the waiting list for one of these children. Maybe 2013 will be our year after all. Maybe. I will remain optimistic and in prayer! So if you hear a loud squeal of delight, heard all over the world I'm sure, it will be me. It's will be a very happy me! It will be me...a mom again!
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it. -Helen Keller
Many things in life start off looking kind of rough. When you only have a puzzle piece or two, it's difficult to see the whole picture. You don't see a beautiful cake at first, you see a bowl full of flour, eggs, water, and whatever else goes into a cake (apparently, I'm not a baker). The butterfly starts off as a yucky caterpillar. The wildflower starts out as a tiny brown seed. It takes time to develop into the finish product.
I was asked this week, "why would you want to adopt a special needs child?" Well, every child deserves a chance to succeed and a have a family. But my biological son Brody is one of the biggest reasons for the desire to adopt a special needs child. He was born three months early weighing 2 lbs. The beginning of his life started off very grim. Had he been an orphan and families were reading his medical records, there would have probably been a lot of "no, thank you's."
Brody is about to turn seven in a couple of days, and most people would never know the rough start he had. He is miracle! I was told he would never live a "normal" life. Brody proved him wrong! Does every child have this success story? Sadly, no. But wouldn't it be great if every child got the opportunity to be love and cared for?!?! It's ok to be nervous when thinking about adding a child with special needs into your family. Those big medical terms and procedures are overwhelming. Just remember it's just the beginning of that's child story...it doesn't have to be their ending. Love does amazing things!
|Happy Birthday Ryan and Brody!|
Monday, February 11, 2013
Adoption is expensive!
It just is! Or is it????
The most common question I get about adoption is, "Why is adoption so expensive?" People are not meaning to be insulting by the question. It is a genuine curiosity as to why it is costly. I give a few reasons when asked the question such as medical costs, people filing paperwork, home studies, passports, visas, court costs, etc. The fact is I'm not bothered by the cost. We are adding to our family through adoption, and can I really put a value on our child? I know I could not put a value on Brody so why would our other children be any different.
Maybe you need something to compare it to.
Every few years most Americans buy a car. We don't hardly even blink an eye at spending $15,000-$30,000 on a car. Is not a child more precious than a car? So maybe adoption isn't really that expensive. I think I am getting quite a bargain! It's a good investment in giving a child a second chance at having a family. When I put the cost of adoption in this perspective, it's not that expensive any more.
Now would I like the cost to be less expensive, of course! More orphans could have families if it were more affordable. I have the heart for more children...just got to save the money. My point is that I don't want to complain about the cost of adoption. It really isn't that much compared to the priceless son or daughter you get to have.
One of my favorite quotes on adoption is by Derek Loux
“My friends, adoption is redemption. It’s costly, exhausting, expensive, and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him. And when He redeems us, we can’t even really appreciate or comprehend it, just like Dimitri will never comprehend or fully appreciate what is about to happen to him … but … he will live in the fruit of it. As his Daddy, I will never expect him to understand all of this or even to thank me. I just want to watch him live in the benefits of my love and experience the joys of being an heir in my family. This is how our heavenly “Papa” feels towards us. Today, settle your busy heart down and rest in the benefits of redemption. Enjoy the fruits of His goodness, and stop trying to “pay Him back”. You’ll never get close you goofy little kid.”