~ Leap Of Faith ~

The Collins Family

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I-600A Approval Received

Last week we received our initial immigration approval letter (I-171H). This has opened our file with the Unites States, and has let them know that we are in the adoption process. Once we have accepted a referral for our child, this helps expedite things as our file is already open and partly processed. The 2nd part of the child's visa application will be able to be prepared more quickly as our file is already open. We also received clearance on our fingerprinting. Our fingerprint records are only good for 18 months. If we still have not been matched with a child within this time, we will have to have to have them processed again. It isn't that big of a deal, but they still charge $80 a person to have them redone. Cross your fingers for us that we receive a referral before they expire on February 2nd, 2009.

Hopefully we will hear sometime soon that we have been approved by the ICAB, placing us officially on the waiting list for a referral of a child. It has almost been 2 months since the ICAB received and endorsed our dossier. It usually takes 2-3 months to receive the approval. Still waiting...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Christmas Ornaments

I know it may be a little early for Christmas decorations since Thanksgiving is still a week away, but in our house it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Last night, Wes, the girls and I put up our Christmas tree. Jaidyn loved every minute of it. She could hardly keep her hands out of the ornament box as she anticipated each ornament that I brought out of the tissue paper and bubble wrap. She loved me telling her about each of her ornaments, who she received them from and how old she was. She was so proud of each of her ornaments and placed most of the on the lower center front of the tree. I had to keep encouraging her to spread them out.
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Decorating the tree with ornaments is my favorite part of the entire Christmas decorating process. Christmas ornaments bring back wonderful memories. Since Wes and I received an ornament each holiday season from our parents throughout our life, most of our ornaments have a special meaning or a story that we are able to reflect upon each holiday season when the Christmas tree is decorated. As the keepsake ornaments are unpacked and hung, special memories are brought to mind and the joy of past Christmas’s come alive again. I especially love Wes's cowboy themed ornaments. Yes, at sometime he wore those tight wrangler jeans. Unpacking my ornaments brought back special memories of being a Brownie, my favorite toy, our first family dog Ozzie, and Wes and I's first home in Carl Junction. Jaidyn and Addy have also become part of the tradition as they have received several ornaments for each holiday season..."It's a Girl" jingle bell, pink shoes, Gingerbread Girl, and photo ornaments. I can hardly wait for the homemade decorations to begin. Maybe Jaidyn will make one in preschool this year. Receiving an ornament each year invites us to tell stories of the decorations as they are hung, and is a tradition that I hope to pass down to future generations of our family.

Tonight, I purchased an adoption themed ornament from Shaohannah's Hope. This will be the first ornament, of many, that we give to our child so that each holiday season we will be able to tell him/her about their adoption.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThis Angel Christmas Ornament celebrates all those who are "Embracing Orphans With God's Love."

The best part...All proceeds of the ornament sales will go towards "setting orphans in families." Shaohannah's Hope funds many adoption grants monthly. Shaohannah’s Hope receives approximately 125 adoption assistance applications a month, with funding capacity, currently, to award 30-40 grants each month with an average amount of $3,000. Steven Curtis Chapman has become a voice for this cause and has developed a fantastic foundation. His message has impacted others and helped find forever families for hundreds of children around the world.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Trip to Kansas City

This past Friday, we loaded up the trailblazer and headed to Kansas City. Wes and I had an appointment at the USCIS (United States Citizen and Immigration) office to file our I-600A application and to get fingerprinted (for the third time since we started the process). This application was the first part in filing for an immigrant visa. We will complete the second part after our child's legal documents have been released to us, which is much later down the road.

Our highlight of the trip was spending time with Derek, DeDe and Hadley (we missed getting to see Hayden). We spent the night with them both Friday and Saturday. Jaidyn loved spending time with her cousin Hadley. I think they pulled out and played with every toy Hadley owns. Jaidyn and Addy especially loved riding with Hadley in her Barbie jeep around the yard. Thank you Derek and DeDe for the enjoyable weekend. Thanks for putting up with our two runny-nosed, coughing children.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

National Adoption Awareness Month

Each year, November is recognized as National Adoption Awareness Month. Our family is going to participate in some of the ideas and activities suggested on the National Adoption Awareness Calendar throughout the month. While we celebrate the blessings brought to our own family, we can also celebrate with families that have been formed by the miracle of adoption. National Adoption Month can also help us to remind others to remember that there are millions of children both domestically and internationally who need families right now. All children deserve a family and National Adoption Awareness Month strives to make the public aware that adoption is a fantastic way to build or grow a family. Many times we ignore the fact that there are countless numbers of children in the world for whom adoption would be not only a life saver, but a life giver.

The following links have great information on National Adoption Awareness Month.

National Adoption Awareness Month

Adoptionblogs.com is a blogging community who will focus on adoption awareness throughout the month of November.

8 Reasons to Adopt Flyer

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On November 1st, the calendar suggests "Talk to your local library and bookstores about featuring adoption related books in November." I didn't do this, but today I went to the library and checked out a couple of adoption themed children's books to read to Jaidyn and Addy. Even though we have read the books, Jaidyn still hasn't made the connection of family and adoption. She still thinks that every female who has a protruding belly has a baby in it. This has embaressed me on several occasions. Oh well, there is still lots of time and reading children's books will definitely help us to explain our adoption journey to the girls.

I Love You Like Crazy Cakes by Rose Lewis
This book is based on the author's own journey to adopt a baby girl from China. The last few pages of the book made me cry and I could barely finish reading it to Jaidyn because I was so choked up. It is a very touching story.
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Tell Me Again About The Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis
This book is a hearwarming story, not only of how one child is born, but of how a family is born.
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Another book that I checked out is Whoever You Are by Mem Fox. This book isn't necessarily adoption related but it acknowledges in the simplest of terms and with beautiful pictures our common humanity and celebrates the bonds that unite us all.
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