Saturday, August 16, 2008

Got my Updated 171H and I'm Glued to the Olympics

Yesterday I received my renewed 171H form from the Indianapolis USCIS office. I could just kiss Cecilia, the lady that handles all of these forms. I've said for many, many months that she is one of my guardian angels. It took less than a week for me to receive my updated 171H form after sending in my updated home study and fingerprints....less than a week. Wow. I hear some horror stories for people in other states who wait for weeks to receive their 171H. My adoption paperwork will be current until Feb. 2010. Please, Lord, let me have my little Caroline before that! Well, Cecilia, hats off to you and God bless you!

I'm glued to the Olympics....absolutely addicted. I'm sure that other 'waiting' adoptive parents are watching the Olympics with the same fervor. I watch the Today Show every day, hanging on every word, watching every feature....hoping to see more China landscape....hoping to see some China babies and toddlers. I stay up until 1:00 am watching events that I don't really like so much, but that doesn't seem to matter. This experience is wonderful and difficult at the same time. Watching makes me long for my little Caroline. Watching these games makes me feel closer to her, somehow.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Feeling Better About Least for Today!

I received my updated home study in the mail today. So, I'll send it off the the Indianapolis USCIS office. That office works I should have my renewed 171H form pretty quickly. I also emailed my Children's Hope International (CHI) consultant...well, she's actually the director of the program, but she is also my consultant. I think that she clarified things for me regarding the Hague accreditation denial and the Joint Council meetings that were on August 1. There have been some people (prospective adoptive parents - PAP's) that seem to being a little bonkers right now. I DO UNDERSTAND why they are concerned. All of us who are PAP's have been waiting for such a long time, and anything that might jeopardize our chances for a China adoption would tend to send us 'spinning.' But in my case, because of my log-in date, and other factors, I am comfortable with CHI. I think that they will regain the accreditation, it will just be a matter of time. My referral is not in danger. If for some reason CHI does not get their reaccreditation, there are plans to transfer me to Holt...another very reputable adoption agency. So, I'm just going to take a big sigh of relief and move on....and leave it in God's protective hands.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Family Reunion....But Not the One that We Planned.

Our annual Coffman Family Reunion always occurs (I mean always...the world stops for this) on the first weekend of August. This is the family on my mom's 'side.' There are typically 90-100 in attendance.....all decendants of Sylvester and Jessie Coffman, my grandparents. The reunion is located on the family homeplace (in Northeast Missouri) where we've built a shelter house near the site of my grandparents home, which has since been torn down. My grandparents died several years ago, so those in attendance are the children of Sylvester and Jessie Coffman...there are four daughters remaining out of 12 children....the grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren. Family members travel from Arizona, Kansas, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota,Tennessee, Georgia, Hawaii, and of course, Missouri. Mom and I were preparing to leave for the reunion when we got the call.

We received word that my cousin Shirley's husband had been killed in a tragic work accident (an explosion at a paper mill). Steve was a wonderful guy....a devoted husband, brother, uncle, and friend. He loved to come to Missouri for the family reunions. He and Shirley were looking forward to making the trip to the Coffman reunion last weekend. We were looking forward to seeing Steve and Shirley. Now Steve is gone. Such a tragic loss.

So, instead of going to Missouri, Mom and I made the trip to Tomahawk, Wisconsin for the funeral. The decision was made to cancel the family reunion in Missouri....out if respect for Shirley, but also to allow us to be with our family members in Wisconsin. I was asked to sing at the funeral. I am asked to sing at most of the family funerals. It is hard to do, but somehow the Lord gets me through it. My uncle (a United Methodist pastor) spoke of Steve very eloquently. I have never seen so many people at a funeral. I also think that at least 1000 people came for the visitation. A tent was erected outside of the church because there were too many flowers for the inside of the church. There was a TV-feed to the basement of the church for the overflow. A news helicopter from one of the TV stations hovered overhead. This story made the national news and the TV stations have hounded Shirley for an interview....can you imagine?

It was a different kind of family reunion....not the kind I look forward to.....but, I am so fortunate to be in such a loving and close family. I look forward to taking Caroline to Wisconsin (for happier occasions, I hope!) and to Missouri to meet her aunts, uncles, and cousins.....many, many cousins. I love it.

Home Study Update.....Done.

I recently completed the home study update. Brooke, from the Miriam Project in Anderson is my new social worker (from the same agency). She is extremely nice; we finished the home walk-through very quickly and her follow-up questions were finished in no time. Since I have already sent in my application for the updated I-600A form and my updated fingerprints are done, I'm now just waiting to receive the home study so that I may send it in to the USCIS and obtain my updated 171-H form.

I'm still quite confused with the recent events of Children's Hope International (CHI) China adoption agency. They did not receive Hague Accreditation......this was a surprise to all of us. We were all informed of previous issues....but they were resolved. So when we got this news we were all floored. I'm reading all sorts of things that are scaring me just a little. I'm trying to keep the faith.

Please pray that all of the changes that seem to be occuring with regard to Hague accreditation and other 'things' that are happening within our own US government regarding international resolved.....quickly. There is some talk that those of us that have been waiting for a long time will have to start from scratch with a new process. This would be HORRIBLE for me, due to the fact that I am single and currently I'm under the 'old' guidelines. If I have to start from scratch.....I would lose my log-in date and could no longer adopt from China. Please PRAY that God will protect this adoption process for those of us that are single and under the 'old' guidelines. Again, I'm trusting God in all of this and I know that HE has a child in store for me. But.....I still get a little frightened and confused from all of this talk. *sigh*