Thursday, February 25, 2010

Every Child Deserves a Home

The title comes from the quote from Holt International Children's Services founder, Harry Holt when he said, "Every child deserves a home of his own." Here is a video Holt produced that I think truly conveys their mission. (You should pause the playlist over on the right before hitting play so you can hear this.)

Waiting and Paperwork are the Names of the Game!

We have just begun this adventure and I am quickly learning that waiting plays a BIG part in adoption. I find myself checking the Waiting Child Photolisting several times daily and since we've contacted Holt and submitted our application, I find myself stalking my e-mail inbox hourly waiting for a new update.

Knowing that my child is out there, somewhere, waiting for her mommy and daddy to come get her makes me want to speed this whole thing up. "Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord." Psalm 27:14 I am praying that my heart can have courage AND that I can wait for the Lord in this.

Michael and I have been knocking some of this paperwork out and we had to fill out a "Medical Conditions Checklist" indicating which conditions we are open to. Let me first say that that list breaks my heart. Everything from HIV/AIDS to autism, missing organs to asthma. As I was choosing which conditions we are open to accepting, I was praying that every child with every condition on that list would have a mommy and a daddy to love on them. I sat there with several tabs open on the computer and googled (yep, that is a verb now) medical conditions that I can't even begin to pronounce. As I sat there clicking those little circle buttons (my computer programmer-hubby informed me they are called "radio buttons") my heart was breaking for those kids whose medical conditions are a huge barrier in them being adopted, but I thought "God didn't guarantee us healthy, whole children when I carried my boys". We finished the list and I felt wiped-out. One step closer.

It's all part of the process and at the end of this long tunnel, there will be a baby: our baby. God, protect our baby girl until You deliver her to us.

Here is a bit of the paperwork that has to be completed and there will be lots more where that came from. ~paula

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Gotta love a good bargain!

So yesterday, several of us mommies got together with our clothes ready for consignment (the sale is a little over a week away). We dragged in boxes of clothes and dug through each others' piles of clothes. This was the first time I could shop on the "girls" side, so I did! Check out this loot! Yes, 90% of it is Gymboree, cause that's how these mamas roll!

No, we do not have a placement yet, but we are believing God for a baby. We have only applied for a girl and let's face it, all kids need 2T, 3T and 4T and if our baby is bigger than some of the clothes when she gets here, I'll consign them and get my money back. So after hours of eating (God bless the Pioneer Woman and her Sleepin' In Omelette!), socializing, eating some more and digging through piles of adorable kids clothes: I walked away with 12 outfits, 1 skirt, a sun hat and the cutest zebra-print bathing suit (EVER) with matching sunglasses and Becky is throwing in the matching flip-flops to boot! Well, sweet girl, wherever you are, whenever you get here: you'll be one sassy-dressed-sister! Check out this cute bathing suit and shades. :)

Today I dropped Andrew off at preschool and had decided I was coming home to work on consignment, but Buffy twisted my arm to go to Kohl's and boy am I glad I did! I hit the clearance racks (from winter) and walked away with a pile of adorableness for a whopping $22. Not too bad for 2 nice Christmas dresses, 4 things from OshKosh's polar fleece line , a shirt and some leggings. 8 pieces for $22, now that is what I call clearance! The nicest dress was priced $44 and I got it for $8. Here are a couple pictures of today's hot finds!

I love, love, love shoppin' ahead. Now I gotta stop until I know when this baby is getting here. I'm off to clear some space in the closet! ~paula

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

International Adoption

There are 2 types of adoption: Domestic (adopting a baby from the United States) and International (adopting a child from another country). We have chosen to pursue international adoption. There are some challenges that come along with adopting internationally (financial being a big one). The paperwork is like a mountain and it's already piling up and we know it's only going to get worse. There are a lot of unknowns, a lot of waiting, a lot of hoops to jump through, but I would walk around the world to get to my child, so we will endure it until we have that sweet baby home with us. It just hit me last night that more than likely our child is already alive today, probably 1/2 way around the world.

You might be wondering what countries Holt operates in and which country/countries we are interested in right now. Holt places children from the following countries into loving families: Bulgaria, China, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, South Korea, Mongolia, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand, Uganda and Vietnam. We are currently interested in adopting a child who is in South Korea.

There is a specific child we have seen on the Waiting Child Photolisting and we are interested in adopting, but even if God does not have her for our family, we will continue to pursue adopting a child from South Korea. As much as I want to grab her up and bring her home with us right now, we are praying for the perfect family for her (even if it is not us) and that she can be home with her forever family as soon as possible. The children in South Korea that are currently available for adoption are on a "waiting child" list. A waiting child has special placement needs. This could include medical needs (varies from very minor to major) or another special placement need such as being in a sibling group or being an older child. When adopting a child from the waiting child list, we will have full access to the child's medical files (and we will have them reviewed by the appropriate medical staff here in the U.S.), pictures, etc. At that point we can decide if we want to continue to pursue that specific child.

The process will probably take less than a year for a waiting child, depending on how quickly we are matched. If our child comes from Korea, we can expect that child to be about a year old when we bring her home.

Here is the flag of South Korea.

"I will not leave you orphaned, I am coming for you" John 14:18

The Bible talks a lot about the concept of adoption. We are adopted as His children through Jesus. "For as many are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs -- heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together." Romans 8:14-17

It's kinda cool to think about the fact that we don't deserve our salvation and to be His child, but He WANTS us. He wants a relationship with us and to give us something that we don't deserve. He wants us to have all the benefits that come along with being a son or daughter of The King.

While I wholeheartedly believe that every child deserves to have a home, a loving family: it is interesting to think about giving a child a hope that they otherwise wouldn't have. An adopted child has all the same rights as a biological child. I don't know what it will feel like to have a child in our home that I did not carry in my tummy, but I do know that God is working His plan for our family and He has called us to action. He is asking us to step out in faith and do something that might not make sense to many people (I have a feeling that I'm going to get some "you already have children" comments), but I have always known that we would add children to our family through adoption and we believe that that time has come! I love this child already and we have never met, but God has our child already picked out just for us!

We are thankful to be on this journey and hope that you'll commit to praying for us during this adventure! ~paula

Here's a cute pics of my boys working on a Valentine's Day Craft. Next year we could have 3 kids in our Valentine's craft picture. God is good!

Here we go!

We are the Sloan family! We are made up of Michael, Paula, Robert (6) and Andrew (4) and we are beginning our adoption adventure as we feel God calling us to action into response to the orphan crisis. There are approximately 147 million orphans in the world and we are excited to make a difference in the life of one of those children.

We are just beginning our adventure, but have chosen to work with Holt International (the first inter-country adoption agency) to pursue an international adoption!

We are praying that God will work through us and that He will lead us to the child He has chosen for our family. We pray for her safety, for her caretakers, for her doctors and for her health until we have her home in our arms. Oh, by the way, IT'S A GIRL!

Sweet baby girl, we don't know you, but we will. We will not leave you orphaned or alone: we are coming for you! Hang on sweet girl, we love you already and we can't wait until you are here with us! Your two big brothers are excited too. They are already choosing names for you, but don't worry I have veto-power and won't let them name you Darth Vader! Love, Mommy

P.S. Here is a picture of our current children, Robert (6) and Andrew (4) at Christmas (2009). Thanks for stopping by and we hope you'll pray with us as we go from a family of 4 to 5!