Hine Language

Hine Language

Hine Language

Our Deaf Adoption Journey

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I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition

March 20, 2011

Tomorrow is a big step in the process. We are sending off our I-600A form to the Department of Homeland Security. We have no idea how long this will actually take to be approved. After they receive the form and supporting document, they will at some point send us appointments to be fingerprinted. We’re not sure where we’ll have to go for the fingerprinting. It could take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. After the fingerprinting, they will be sent back to DHS and we’ll wait for an approval letter. We have just a couple of odds and ends to finish up for the dossier and it can be submitted as soon as we have that paper.

We’ve got our fingers crossed for a loan that we’ve applied for. We’d appreciate your prayers for an approval. If approved, we should be able to cover the fees needed to submit the dossier. Once that is done, we’ll just be waiting on a referral.

So far the process seemed very overwhelming at first, but we’ve been able to plod our way through it with not that much difficulty. GOD has definitely blessed us so far and we’re excited to see the rest of the process unfold. Thank you to all of you who have been praying for us during this process. Also, your words of encouragement have been, for lack of a better word, encouraging.

Amazing Grace

March 18, 2011

Special Needs

March 16, 2011

On Sunday, Pastor Ben and Janet talked out their adoption process. One of the things they mentioned was the element of choice that is inherent with adoption. It’s pretty unique. The way I see it, Lauri and I have spent some time designing our son. One of our favorite things about him is his deafness. We’ve both always been pretty amazed with the deaf community. We’ve always thought it would be wonderful to be a part of it. I especially love how beautiful the language is that they use.

Some people are a little nervous to use the phrase “special need,” but I want you to know that I think it’s great. There’s no denying that Lauri and I have a special need. Our son will be just the person to fill that need.

Fast Adoption

March 15, 2011

Today our church began one of two days of fasting. Our focus is on adoption and orphan care. It’s such a privilege to share in this process with a church family, especially one that has adopted our family so graciously.

When I think of all that goes in to rearing kids, I can’t help but focus on all of the effort that other people have put into my kids. Admittedly, Lauri is much kinder and sweeter than I am, but there’s no doubt that our girls have learned so many wonderful traits from others. Our extended family, our church family in Simpsonville, SC, and our church family here have invested in my children sometimes more than I have. Our son will require a different amount of investment since he will speak in a language many of us don’t know. I’ve been so impressed that these people have never let a special need lessen the effort that they are willing to put in. I’m certain our son will benefit in the same way our daughters have. I’m really excited for him to see how great being adopted into a church family will be.

That being said, I may starve to death. If I do not, at 8:00 pm I will eat like I’ve never eaten before.

Vertical Adoption

Our church just began a series on vertical adoption. Here’s the first message in that series. Check out more at http://www.ibctc.org/.

March 15, 2011

WooHoo!

March 8, 2011

We got word today that our Home Study is complete. That’s a huge step for a lot of reasons. Number one, they could have said no. Number two, we need it for all of the rest of the steps. The big one now is the I-600A form that goes to immigration. That could take the longest time to get back. It could be just a couple of weeks, but can take months. Meanwhile, we’ll be finishing up our dossier package. We went in for our second round of criminal background checks. Given the amount of background checks I’ve requested in the last couple of months, I must be on a list.

You know how kids sometimes don’t seem real until you’ve had the ultrasound? Maybe not for you, but that’s how it seems to work for me. Right now it feels like we’re adopting social workers and forms and government officials. I really can’t wait until they actually find us a son. We worry about probably normal things, like if they’ll actually find us one, if we’ll pass all of the requirements, and how long it will actually take. We haven’t even gotten to the good part of worrying about how he’s going to adjust to this family of weirdos he’s coming in to.

I get a little jealous that other people can post pictures and without them the blog just seems a little bland. Because of that, I’m including a cheesy picture we got recently at our church.

Adoption Videos

March 8, 2011

Home Free

February 25, 2011

We had our final visit with our case worker for the home study. Our case worker was supposed to be here at 12:30 pm, but her car broke down in Manton, MI. She was stuck there for three hours trying to get a rental car. We weren’t sure if she was going to make it or not. If she didn’t make it, we would have had to wait several weeks until she could reschedule. She finally made it at 3:30 pm and we had a great time. She ate dinner with the kids and just chatted with them about the adoption. We were a little nervous about how that would go. Lauri’s kids say the craziest things. But, it went great. Then she talked to Lauri for an hour and I assume she talked about how her brothers picked on her mercilessly her whole life or something like that. Then I came back in and we had to describe our kids. All of the kids were downstairs playing except for Reagan, who was in her room and now has some insight on what we think of her.

It seems like everything went well, and she should be writing up the initial home study for approval on Tuesday or Wednesday.

When we got to church that night, we found out the coolest thing.  A friend of ours had organized several families in our church to pray for us specifically during the home visit.  What an awesome thing for these people to do.  Just like us, they will be adopting this child into their church family and for that he will be extremely lucky.

Lauri has been slacking a little on the dossier paperwork, so I’ll have find some way to motivate her. That could take a couple of months to be completed and approved. After we do that, we just have to come up with $$$$$$. The next step after that will be AWAA finding us our son!

So far, so good.

I’m Just Askin’!

February 18, 2011

One of the most popular questions we’re asked is about our goal of adopting a deaf child.  When thinking about adoption, we tried to look at what skills we had to bring to the table.  Of course, I had my charm, good looks, and great sense of humor.  Lauri knows sign language.  Her second oldest brother is deaf and she learned how to sign long before she learned how to talk.  That certainly explains why she always is moving her hands when she’s telling a story.  We now have a deaf sister-in-law and a deaf niece and nephew.  Their kids are all really great at signing and they’re a real joy to watch.  Here’s a few pics from a recent program they did at their church.

Learning the Ropes

February 10, 2011

Lauri and I had a class down in Grand Rapids on Monday. It was a requirement for the home study, and I expected nothing more than to fulfill that requirement. I was pleasantly surprised. The class was about trans-racial adoption and all the benefits and challenges that come with that. The first half of the class, the case workers presented us with some information and we did some exercises. Most were really interesting. We also got a chance to meet with some other people who are also adopting. For the last half of the class, we had a panel of 3 adult adoptees who shared with us some of their experiences growing up in a trans-racial home. The insight was really amazing. It was also pretty amazing to look at a 40+ y/o man and think I could have a son like that some day. He impressed me most and I couldn’t help but think his parents must be extremely proud of him.

Ultimately, I think I learned that parenting is parenting. These challenges are certainly unique, but not more or less unique than challenges faced by parents of biological children or same race adoptive parents. Every child is different and parents need to be aware and be able to adapt. We’ve certainly learned that with our four kids. They sure are different from each other.

I can’t wait to find out how different our next kid will be.