Time in Kigali Rwanda

Monday, December 28, 2009

Here's to 2010

Wishing everyone a wonderful new year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Its so good to be home!

There really is no place lilke home. We got here late Friday night. Espy was really sick on the flight from Ethiopia (we changed 19 diapers between Addis and Spearfish... those poor flight attendants who had to deal with the soiled blankets etc!). The good news is that she slept in between nasty diapers and therefore got right on our time zone when we arrived. She has been sleeping pretty much through the night with a couple of short naps during the day. She is such a blessing... soooo happy!!! Our boys are having so much fun with her.

We went to the doctor on Monday for a check up. The diaper messes have subsided, the stool samples collected were negative for giardia (Yeah!!! Thanks Dr. Rwanda for the meds before we left!)... and we ran another malaria check (still waiting for results). Our doc here says she is well.. not on the growth chart for weight but makes the bottom 5% for height :) Lil' pipsqueek! She's eating a lot so will likely catch up weight and height wise before we know it.

Some advise for adopting families:

1. Make an appointment to see a good doctor in Rwanda after you get your baby. They do some checks at the orphanage but it is always a good idea to get second opinions. Having her on meds for malaria, giardia, and fever for almost two weeks before we headed home helped alot... and got her on a fast track to recovery in the US. The doct appointment, tests, and meds were very reasonable (about $35 each).

2. Bring extra extra clothes for the plane ride home. We ran out after yucky diaper number 10 and got some weird looks from passengers for not having our baby clothed! :)

3. Make copies of papers you get from the embassy(s) if possible... you might need them later and they have a tendancy to keep everything.

4. Bring about $500 more than you planned... I didn't realize her visa from Addis would cost $400 and we needed an extra sum to rearrange flights to get home early.

5. Dont' settle... negotiate for driver/room etc. We found a really reasonable driver ($35 per day... sorry my POA has contact info so I can't provide it) and wish we would have told the hotel to put us in another room in Rwanda.

6. The mini safari was nice... but long... too long for a sick baby to endure. She made it but for her benefit we probably should have choosen an activity with less time in the car. Consider other options if your child is not well.

7. Little Puffs are awesome!!! Espy looves the little mini puff thingies you can buy in the baby section at Walmart. They were a lifesaver during long waits.

8. Take a baby carrier (baby hawk is my fav), if you have older kids consider an umbrella stroller... there is a lot of waiting and kids get heavy after awhile.

9. Be prepared for small kiddos. the pics from the orphanage can be deceiving. Espy is 15 months but fits into 6-9 mo clothes. I didn't bring hardly anything that fit.

Hmmm... well thats enough for now.

Thank you all for your prayers, love, and support!!!! We are truly blessed beyond measure!
Merry Christmas...

Friday, December 18, 2009

we're home...almost

We made it to Denver.... now to drive our exhausted selves 6 hrs home. more later

Monday, December 14, 2009

More from Ethiopia...

The is probably the one and only update from Ethiopia. The internet at our guesthouse is not working at all and now I am paying $10 per hour to use the internet at the Hilton (which still has a subpar connection and this is the only night we will be coming here).

I was sick today. Not sure what I have but slept all day while Buster took Espy to her medical appointment and the first embassy appointment. I am feeling a little better tonight... still pretty weak though. I think it was a good day of bonding with daddy and daughter... :)

The pediatrician at the embassy said Espy seems to be recovering well. Her fevers are becoming less and her chest cold is improving. Slowly but surely. She had another round of blood drawn today. Results will be ready on Wed. We are praying that everything shows up clear so she is ok to travel.

Tomorrow we will drive 2 hours to Adama to Look Development and do some things there. (That's the project that my friends from MT help run).

Wed is our Embassy Interview and Friday they will issue Espy's American passport/visa to travel home. We are looking forward to being back in the states. Four more days to go!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Update from Ethiopia

Alisha and Buster called home this afternoon to let us know that they made it to Ethiopia. The internet connection in Ethiopia is not good so we don't know how often we will hear from them.

They will be going to the US Embassy tomorrow and will have Espy seen by the Embassy Physician as her fever is still coming and going. On a happy note, she is adjusting well to being with her new mommy & daddy - which is great!

As of now they will be interviewed on Thursday and are supposed to get their travel visa on Friday - returning to the US on Saturday.

Please pray for Kelton and Oliver, as they are missing their mom & dad. Pray for healing for Espy and that their return trip goes as planned.

Espy walking - Buster says he taught her...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Prayer Request from Rwanda

Alisha, Buster and Espy had a crazy day today. They went on the safari this morning... said it was nice but way too much driving.

When they returned from the safari Espy was running a fever so they took her to the doctor. She tested positive for malaria and giardia (parasites in her intestine). The doctor prescribed medication and told them to pray that she is not immune to it. If she is they will have to go to the hospital in Ethiopia and have her put on an IV. She also has an eye infection and high fever.

Alisha is asking that you would pray that they would find creative ways to get Espy to take her medication as she has refused to take any of them (the malaria meds are in pill form). They also ask for prayer as she will need to undergo more tests in Ethiopia before they can get her travel visa to come home. As you can imagine these tests are not fun to watch. :(

Alisha has also asked that you would pray for Kayla (who was going to be watching the boys) as she lost her father to a heart attack this morning.

Please keep them in your prayers over the next several days, I have asked Alisha to keep us posted as much as she is able, but the internet connection isn't the best in Rwanda.

Updated by Lynn

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

More from Rwanda

Another busy day! We got Espy's passport... with the cutest passport pictures I've ever seen! We also went back to the ministers office and showed off Espy. We then went to the orphanage and saw the two rooms that Espy has lived in her whole life. It was hard to see but I was amazed at how well run the place is an how much the nuns and caregivers sacrifice to take care of the children. While in the room Espy had just been, in someone suggested that we try to set her back in her crib... the attempt failed and she clung to me like glue. I think this is a good sign that she is ready to be with us :) There are a lot of beautiful babies being cared for at the orphanage. Beautiful babies that need families (hint hint to everyone I know who is still capable of raising a child... A LOT of you!!!) There is also an organization just getting off the ground that raises support for the orphanage (http://four4-more.blogspot.com/) started by a family who adopted earlier this year).

Tomorrow we are taking a drive to the National Park here where they offer mini-safari tours. Should be fun. Pray for health for Espy. She has been sick with a chest cold for over a week and has a rotten smelling diaper. She seems happy and we are not too worried... just want her to be well for our long journey home.

Love to you all!

Update from Rwanda

Buster & Espy napping while Alisha gets ready :)

Things going well! Espy had a much needed bath today and now smells like baby shampoo :) We had a blowout diaper early am and she smells great now but the room still does not! ha ha. Espy and Buster fell asleep while I got ready. Too cute. Today we will get some more paperwork done, go back to the orphanage to see where Espy's crib was, and maybe take a tour of the genocide memorial.Alisha, Espy and POA Bonita

Still pretty tired today... hopefully I can perk up with some good Rwandan coffee!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

We made it

Well it was a whirlwind the last severl days. We started in a car, driving to denver on Saturday. My dear friend Kristen gave us a ride on Sunday to the airport. Our flight was delayed due to snow but we made it and then got up at 5 to leave DC via Ethiopian airways... Got there and the flight was delayed over two hours. Got on an overcrowded cramped plan and endured the forever flight that included an extra stop. Thought we missed our connection to Rwanda but that plane was also delayed two hours. After a stop between Ethiopia and Rwanda we finally made it!!! As soon as we got here we headed straight for the ministers office praying they were still open to issue our travel letter so that we could go pick up Espy and not have to return her for the night. God was with us!!! The right two people hadn't left yet for the day and we signed for the document that allowed us to go pick up Espy and not have to take her back!
Then we stopped at the hotel to dump our immense amount of luggage and reload those items to be delivered to the orphanage. (Two suitcases of shoes, formula, and children's medicine)... Buster and I both freshened up a bit and dashed to the car to get to the orphanage before they closed visiting hours.

We made it... waited in a tiny room for ten minutes and then saw the most beautiful nun carrying the most beautiful Rwandan baby straight for us!

Everyone was amazed at how well she took to us... I think God has been working in our spirits since before we knew it :) She was tired though and fell asleep after only an half hour in my arms. As I type this she is still sleeping soundly in our bed at the hotel. Buster is crashed as well and I should be... I'm super tired, but my spirit is dancing at the miracles of God!

Please pray for Espy... even though things seemed well today this is such a tramatic change in her world. Everyone and everything she has known for the last 14 months changed in an instant and will never be the same. I cannot imagine the emotions and feelings that will consume her in the next days weeks and months as she processes all of this... Even though she won't be able to communicate with us I am certain there will be feelings of loss, confusion, fear, etc. etc. Pray that our Lord will give her peace that only he can and that Buster and I will have the wisdom we need to parent this gift in a way that honors her past and gently leads her through her future.

Blessings all. Thanks for your prayers thus far! Sooo sorry... I tried and tried to get a picture to upload but it wouldn't cooperate. Hopefully tomorrow will work better.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

In DC... next stop Ethiopia

We are in DC tonight for an overnight layover. Tomorrow morning we board Ethiopian Airlines at 9 am for our 9:30 flight to Rome (fuel stop) then Addis (2 hour layover) then Kigali!!!! Next post will probably be from the hotel in Kigali after we meet Espy.

Please pray for our travels in the next 32 hours.

Our God is an aweseome God!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

She's being adopted by so many

As we get closer to the day we will hold Espy in our arms I realize more and more that this adoption is not just about us and our family. Last night we had our small group meeting and were blessed AGAIN by our wonderful church family... we also received a special blessing from our parents which was unexpected and awesome!

So many people have given so sacrificially to make this adoption happen... we are amazed and in awe at how God has used this adoption to expand His Kingdom and show others how much He loves. We are so thankful for our family, both our biological family and our family that is united by our love of Christ. We are so lucky to not just be adopting this little girl as a Vincent but as a part of our much wider extended family of Christ. Thank you all for your love and support.

Soon you will all get to hold sweet Esperance Eliana Vincent... (Hope)(God's Gift to Us) Vincent. :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

5 days to go

We will be holding our daughter in 5 days.

Lots going on around here. Packing, laundry, cleaning, kids' schedules, and I have to finish working on stuff for the courses I teach before take off. We want to do something special with the kids before we leave too so am trying to figure that out as well.

Days are passing quickly, but in a good way!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

One Week Till Take Off

We start our travel journey next Sunday... but our flight to Africa from DC is scheduled for Monday (we fly out of Denver first, then have a layover). So... in 7 days and 23.5 hours we will be on an airplane on our way to Africa to meet Espy for the first time. The anticipation is definately building.

I think I might have some challenges concentrating on teaching my classes and other have-to-get-done work... sorry students! :)

The boys are looking forward to having Grandma Betty here for nearly a whole week starting Saturday. We are super thankful that she could get some days rearranged at her office to be here. Thanks Betty!

Ok... back to shopping lists and study notes! :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

We give thanks for Espy and those of you who helped make this possible

Here is our beautiful baby girl.

We will be united in just over a week! How thrilling.

A special thank you to our small group and those amazing friends who, out-of-the-blue this week, provided support for us to help make a dent in all of these adopting fees and airline ticket expenses. We could NOT have done this without your generosity. God will surely bless you. You will have eternal rewards and always a very special place in our adoption story! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. You are truly representing the Love of Christ.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Espy is Ours!!!

We passed court today! Hip Hip Hooray! This means that Nzayisenga Esperance is now officially a Vincent! Esperance Eliana Vincent, or Espy for short!

We are rejoicing and thanking God for this today!

We are officially departing the US on December 7th and will be united with our daughter on the 8th at around 2 in the afternoon. Home again on December 19th just in time for the holidays! What a gift our family has been given this year! AMAZING!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

court and travel

Our Court Date is Monday! Yeah! Please pray that there are no hiccups! We are making tenative travel plans for sometime between the 4th and 7th. Will confirm those dates after Monday. Two weeks to go and we will hold sweet baby in our arms.

P.S. We think she has been at the orphanage since she was 1 day old... Nuns call her Espy. Super cute.. we are thinking of keeping that name since she is so used to it. Maybe Eliana Esperance, Espy for short... or Esperance Eliana, Espy for short... still thinking about it. :)

Lots to do lots to do. Gotta finish all my homework and grading for the classes I teach before we leave, plus travel and arrangements for kids while we are gone. Aghhh... any help would be most appreciated! :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

waiting on word

Waiting on word of our court date this week. Once we have it we can proceed with booking travel.

c'mon court date!!!


Missing my baby girl and we haven't even met yet!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Eliana Esperance Vincent

We did receive the official email this morning. So happy to have it! The color photo is much better than the black and white copy we had received third party.

Unfortunately I cannot post pictures on a public forum due to privacy issues until she is official ours... after we pass court.

We are sooo excited though. So many emotions going on. I got back from a long road trip to Colorado and had a million things to catch up on, but of course all I wanted to do was look at my baby's picture!

We are waiting for a couple of documents from the orphanage that we need for court and our attorney in Rwanda is working on getting a court date as soon as he can. Still praying for one in November... please join us in this prayer! After court documents will go to the Ministry of Justice in order to issue her a passport (this takes up to two weeks). During that time another set of documents will go to the Ministry of Gender and Family who will issue us a travel letter stating that we are her legal parents and are able to travel with her. Once those documents are done we will travel to Rwanda... So... we are looking at maybe three weeks after we pass court.

After Rwanda we fly to Ethiopia where she will get a medical check up and we will be interviewed in order to get her visa to come home.

So... if things come together with court and document processing we could be in Africa mid December... I'm checking on flights just to see how outrageous they are over the holidays. Yikes! :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New baby for the V family

We received information about our baby this morning. Soooo excited to get all the details. We have just a picture and a simple letter from the government... with few details, but she looks like she is almost a year old. We expect more information as soon as the ministry's office gets a chance. (They are busy this week with a major event and will get families information to move forward as soon as they can). Hopefully we can get enough details to secure a court date before December when courts close in Rwanda.

Needless to say we are estatic and exhausted. It has been a lot of sleepless nights waiting for this precious information. We are in love already... can't wait to meet her in person! She is soooo beautiful. Buster says she has is nose... ha!

Thank you so much B for the extra leg work to get us this information today! We appreciate you!

I will post more information as I can.

Thanks everyone for your prayers... let them continue so that we can pass court before December!!! With God's grace we can do it!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

still waiting

nothing here...

Happy for all the families that got their referrals this week.

We did not.

Don't know why.

Pretty devestated today.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

36 mile cool off

Ahhh.. ok... So my post 36 hours ago was a tad bit on the defensive side. Sorry. My mood was horrible until about 4 pm yesterday. I was simply exhausted from telling people we would probably hear something by the end of the week and then have to turn around and tell them it didn't happen, and I didn't know why.

This coupled with stress from inferential statistics homework I do NOT understand, getting ready for a conference in Colorado I leave for in the morning, sick family members, a rough week of teaching, lack of sleep, and exercise depravation left me really owly.

Anyway... sorry about being snippy. Thank you sister-in-law for convicing me to ride my roadbike with you 36 miles on a beautiful November afternoon to work off the agression. It worked. I felt much better and was able to block off 3 hours of time to think about how thankful I am for things... to gather my thoughts regarding the love of God... and to breath... in and out (or huffing and puffing at that time), and know that I can be confident in my Savior.

I still don't have any idea what's going on with our process... no expectations or estimations of when will will see her, hold her, bring her home. I'm still sad that it's taking so long and it might take longer than I want it to. But, I am at least more peaceful about it than I was yesterday.

Friday, November 6, 2009

did not want to write this post

We were truly hoping to hear something today. No news though. I realize that it is early here (800am) but it is the end of business in Rwanda and we have no news. Not sure when it's coming... sad... I did not want to have to go through another weekend without information about our baby.

Time is quickly slipping by and I honestly don't know when we'll get information, when we will pass court, or when we will get to travel. We have a lot to do in January so the likihood of going then seems dim. I absolutely hate the idea that we have a baby that continues to develop without us.

Sorry for the depressing post but I am having a really hard time be optimistic today. If someone would have told me this would take two years when we started I would be fine.. but when people say 9 months max and you are now in month 16 the tug-of-war of emotions is ridiculous. If you have ever been pregnant or had a bilogical child, imagine how it would feel to go seven months over your due date.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

crazy birthday

I did not get a referral for my birthday... So, I had a pity party for myself yesterday and today feel much better :) Our caseworker did let us know that the minister's office is working on the referrals and might have them out by the end of the week. So we're hoping for that.

Please please please please pray for favor and that the courts will allow the adopting families to pass before the end of November. Courts close in December and if we are not able to pass through court before end of November we would have to wait until sometime in January. (someone represents us in court to make the official adoption decree there and we travel after that.)

I sincerely hope I can post an overjoyed email by the end of this week. :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Birthday Wish

Dear Minister,
I know that you and your staff are working incredibly hard in Rwanda and that families waiting for our referral information are not the only thing you have to take care of.
But.... if you can find time on Tuesday to process paperwork I would appreciate it.
Tuesday is my Birthday and if I could receive the gift of a photo of my baby (and a court date in November) I am pretty sure it would be the best birthday gift ever!

A Vincent

People not involved in processing paperwork: Join with us in prayer this week. 12 families still waiting for referrals. Courts close in December in Rwanda and if we cannot pass court before end of November then it won't be till (maybe) end of January. (We cannot travel to get our kids for about two weeks after we pass court).


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Prayers for sister

This wait is hard. So hard. We received word today that our fingerprints will be expiring and we will have to make an appointment to get them redone. What this means is WE HAVE BEEN WAITING TOO LONG! (in my opinion of course... :) ) It takes 15months for fingerprints to expire... we thought this process would take 6-9 start to finish. Oh how I am hating being so wrong!

Well.. there have been great things that have come out of this process. Lots of valuable life lessons etc. The greatest thing will of course be her.

Each night the boys pray for our dinner. It is sooo cute to hear Oliver (5) pray for his baby sister at the dinner table. Tonight he prayed for "his baby sister that God would give her good food to eat and keep her safe and help her come home soon." Kelton's prayers for his sister are equally compelling. While I love to hear them pray for her my emotions also go crazy as my spirit agrees with their words and longs for her to be home...

Sigh.... soon, please let it be soon.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I'm not a fan of 9am

Well... it's 9 am here in the black hills, which makes it after 5pm in Rwanda, and we haven't heard anything about a referral. I would suspect that since the business day is over there and we have not heard anything that we probably won't today (although I would still love to!). Every day between 8 and 9 my time I am anxious... it's the small hour of time when our caseworker should be in her office receiving notification if there is any... and still within the business day in Rwanda. After 9 when I hear nothing I am sad :(

So... we continue to wait.

Friday, October 16, 2009


"For in this hope we were saved... But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it... patiently." (Romans 8:24-25)

Aghhh... Why does the Bible always have to be right?! :)

We are hoping... patiently.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Prayers Please

Ok... so we've received good news this week. Our process is moving! Yeah! Meds are done and our caseworker in Rwanda is getting things lined up. We are hopeing for a referral next week... hopefully...

We do have a HUGE prayer request though. Things have gotten pretty time sensitive on our end and we really really really really really need to be back from Rwanda by January 6th. This means we have to get a really quick court date after we accept our referral... and really fast paperwork processing after our court date so that we can get travel docs lined up. I have accepted an offer to teach college classes three days a week (I've been waiting for this opportunity for the last three years... :)) And... if we cannot be back by Jan. 6th then I will miss this opportunity... If I can pull it off then this teaching position will likely turn into a full professorship next fall. So we really need to be home by then!

So pray for favor... pray against road blocks... pray for peace for me...


Monday, October 12, 2009

not this week

So... we heard through the blogline (thanks Katie!) that the nuns at the orphanage have made matches for 12 families. Who Hoo!!! Praise Jesus and thank you nuns for your hard work! This is awesome, meaning our family has more than likely been matched with a child. Unfortunatelly we will not get our referral (pictures and information about her)this week. There is still some paperwork to process through the ministry's office at the government level and it could take some time. So we remain anxiously patient for news. Next week... possibily... a couple of weeks maybe. In the meantime we will pray that the minister's office has the manpower and time to finalize the referral information as soon as possible. Prayers please! :)

p.s. It's been 9 months since our dossier arrived in Rwanda... about 15 months since we started... who'da thought it'd take us a year and a half to bring this baby home!!!?? God has/is teaching us some pretty important lessons! :) We are thankful for all of it!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

snow in them there hills

October 8 and the ground is already covered in fluffy white snow. It's beautiful but makes me sad to think that we will have a long winter again this year. A trip in the next month to Rwanda would be nice!!!! :) O how I would love to bundle up a baby girl in snow gear and build a snowman with all my kiddos.


Friday, October 2, 2009

pretty quiet

Just got an email from my caseworker... our POA spoke with the minster's office this afternoon. The report was that the minister gave no information except that their office was still working with the orphanage. I am wondering what that means... I hope that means that they are in the medical testing phase and not still waiting for an initial match from the orphanage. I'm sure that will all the families waiting for referrals right now this is quite a process. I am praying that there are not a bunch of delays ahead!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

changing colors countdown

So.. we are still waiting for a referral here. All, or at least most, of the families who are waiting for referrals (matches) from the Rwandan government have Oct. 12th as their referral deadline. This is the date the government sent in their approval letters... when they expected to have our child chosen for us. So... if the date is true then we will get to see a picture of our forever baby girl in less than three weeks. Oh the agony of waiting. My patients has been up and down over the last year plus during this process... This week is a hard week. The leaves are changing colors here and I so wanted to take family pictures, with our WHOLE family, in the beautiful changing colors of the outdoors. I typically do this every year and was really hoping to have another face in the pictures for this year. I never imagined that we still wouldn't have her home by now. My heart is aching for word from Rwanda... a picture... a something. I realize that this is a match made in heaven so I will wait for heaven's timing.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

rainy day

The weather has been great here the last few weeks. Saturday was a rainy day and the kids had a blast playing in it!

No adoption news... I was laying in my hammock the other day thinking how great it would be to take a nap in it while holding my baby girl. In time... in time...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

chip in

You'll see we've added a new widget to our blog... many people have been asking about doing a fundraiser etc. etc. for the rest of our adoption. God has blessed us tremendously to be able to cover a lot of expenses through our own hard work and generous friends and family. We have just a little bit left on our tab at the agency and then travel for three :). If you have a paypal account chip in is a really easy way to make donations that are safe and secure with funds being deposited directly into our account. (And you get a receipt! :) )
We thought this would be a nice, no pressure way for people to give if they want to.

Thanks all!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

old news, new house, and no news

We are back in the swing of things for another fall. Kelton started school a week and a half ago and Oliver starts tomorrow. These pictures are of Kelton's first Day, Oliver's 5th Birthday Party and Buster's baptism. My husband has gone through an incredible transformation over the last year and it has been humbling to watch as God has turned him into a man that I almost cannot recognize from a year ago. He is different... in a great way... and he decided to have our church baptism him as an adult as a testimony to all God has done for him in the last year. (He was baptised as a child but decided to do this as an adult as a proclamation of his faith too.)

We also moved in the last three weeks. Actually this was our second move in the last six months but I never said anything on blog-o-sphere because I new our prior move was temporary and we wanted to wait till we were here in order to update our homestudy (which we will do this week or next and get it off to our POA in Rwanda). Our new home is a rental... and probably temporary as well. We actually own 5 acres of land close to where we are now that we will build on if we stay in Spearfish... although my husband loves it here and I don't think any of us would mind staying where we are for a while.

Our home-for-now is a turn of the 20th century farm house that was an original stage coach stop before SD was even a state. It sits on 1300 acres with a pond, creek, cows, barn, fire-pit, frogs (which the boys love) amazing views, and even a clothes line! I grew up on a farm so it kind of feels homey to me. :) The exterior could use some paint but the interior is well maintained and kept up. All in all it works! And we like it! Some friends of ours own it and were glad to have us move in till we're ready to build.

I am getting a crib from a relative soon and look forward to decorating our baby girl's room. I've been sort of waiting till we get our referral so that I can customize to some extent.

No other adoption news... we'll be working on our home study update in the next couple of weeks and will get travel vaccines next week too. Hopefully we will get a referral before my birthday Nov. 3rd! :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

reality by the moment

Well this process is getting more and more real with each passing day. Today I am scheduling appointments for our family to get travel vaccines which need to take place about six weeks, minimum, before travel. Just a few more months (hopefully that's all) and we will have a new baby in our home to love and adore! We cannot wait! :)

Last night we sat around a firepit in our backyard and each member of our family took turns praying for baby sister. Kelton (my oldest) is sooo cute. He has the most wonderfully sincere prayers for his baby sister. He prayed that she would be safe, and that Jesus would hold her in his hands until we can come for her, and that the mosquitoes wouldn't bite her. :) He will make such a great big brother to a baby girl!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

what is meant to be

So I am a tiny bit of a control freak... I just simply like to have a plan and have the plan go as planned. With adoption, of course, nothing ever goes as planned. And quite frankly 2009 has really been a year of dealing with the unexpected for us. So, it is of no surprise that God's adoption plan for us right now is just one child. For whatever reason the minister's office only approved us to adopt one baby girl. We requested two, our homestudy noted our desire for two, and all along we have been communicating back and forth with the powers that be about getting two. However, despite our written requests the approval only came back for one. We are not sure what the reasoning was, or is, or why. This whole process has been difficult, challenging, and full of unexpecteds. But... we are glad, joyful, grateful and elated that God is in control and if one child is His plan for our family right now than we will love that child with enough fervor for a thousand. Perhaps a sister for our baby girl is meant to be... someday... and only God knows the who or when that will happen. If it is not this time, this year, then that is ok with us.

Our approval letter noted that we should have notice of a match in two months or so. Hopefully, by the middle to end of October we will have a picture of baby girl Vincent. After the match we go through court and then can travel which might... might mean a trip to Rwanda around Thanksgiving. We'll see...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Letter is here

Got our approval letter this morning. Hip Hip Hooray! Yeah and congrats to other families who also received good news!

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Well 1 year has passed since we began our paperwork, 7 months since we submitted our dossier, over 5 months since our dossier hit the desk of the minister's office in Rwanda, 1.5 months since the minister said they finished reviewing our file and would email us a letter so we could move on to the next phase of the process, which we are still waiting for.
Ironically part of the reason we ultimately choose Rwanda was becuase it seemed a little bit faster than other countries and we really wanted to make a home for a couple of sweet baby girls as quickly as possible. We have officially waitied longer than most of our friends who have adopted from the US or Ethiopia. I'm also pretty sure we've been at this longer than anyone else that's adopting from Rwanda right now from what simple blog-o-spher research I've done. (not that we are comparing too much... though its hard sometimes not to. :) )
But, it is obviously not our time yet and we are gonna keep smiling, praying, hoping, and waiting. I cannot wait for those families who will soon meet their children... I am also anxious for those of us in que waiting for approval letters... hopefully the bright side of the extra waiting might be the ability to travel alongside another family or two. That would be fun!

Keep prayin for us... all of us waiting for news... the wait can be awfully daunting and tedious and we need Jesus to hold us up once in a while. :)

Every day we get a little bit closer to God's chosen day of meeting our beautiful baby(s)... that I can be sure of!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

colorado and update

This weekend we took a quick trip to Colorado and checked out colorado springs. Went to Garden of the Gods and the Air Force Academy etc. Sunday was Waterworld in Denver and the kids were absolutely exhausted after a full day of water fun.

I do not have anything too exciting to report on the adoption front. I had emailed the ministers office last week to let them know that our email address would be changing at the end of this week and got a response from her that confirmed the change and said our "file is being analyzed and we would get a response soon." I think this is a pretty typical response though... That same office reported over a month ago that our file had already been processed and we would get a letter in a few days. So we wait some more :) I know the minister's office is busy. I'm sure a letter will come, eventually. :)

We have officially been at this for a year, we started our initial paperwork this same time last August. Definiately did not think we would still be waiting for an approval from the government a year later but it is what it is.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

lemonade stand

It's Sturgis Motorcycle Rally week here in the Black Hills. Lots of bikes, leather and NOISE.
Kelton is going to set up a lemonade stand today and take donations for the adoption.
He is sooo excited.
I will take some pictures and post in the coming days.

No adoption news. Would love to hear something soon, but not holding our breath.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Sacrifice

Here's a quick story that might just make you smile.
Last week my just-turned-seven year old son was scheduled to go on a field trip with some friends to a nearby waterslide park. The outing was going to cost us around $30 for entrance fees and food etc. The night before we were packing his stuff and he informed us that he wanted to stay home the next day. We, of course, thought he was feeling ill or something but then he informed us that he wanted to stay home so that we could put that $30 into the "bank to get his baby sister(s)" Buster and I were thoroughly impressed! We thought he might change his mind the following moring but he insisted that that money be saved to bring his sister(s) home. I was a proud mamma!

Speaking of adoption. Nothing new to report. The person in charge there reportedly had been and might still be on leave for awhile so nothing is being done. I doubt we will get our approval letter this week.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

maybe by Christmas

Well... nothing new to report. We are still waiting for our approval letter from the minister and cannot do anything without it. Even though they reported finishing our file a month ago we still cannot begin to work with the orphanages until it is official. Things seem to be taking so much longer than when we started this process last summer so at this point I am hopeful that we can travel to get babies by Christmas... it would be nice to be there for my birthday in November but at this point that might be pushing it. On the bright side winters in SDak are freezing so a sidetrip to Africa then might be nice.

So, we wait...

Monday, July 13, 2009

pray for the adoption office

We still have not gotten our appproval letter from the minister. Our paperwork was done being reviewed three weeks ago and yet still no letter.

Rather than be frustrated with all these delays I think it best to pray for the government in Rwanda, more specifically the office that approves adoptions. My caseworker reports that inter country adoptions are not really on the "priorty list". In other words, the office where adoptions are processed have several other things they do and often times adoptions get pushed to the backburner. So, my prayer is that this week this office will have time, energy and enthusiasm to process the paperwork needed for several families to continue on in this process toward adoption. We are one of around fifteen families that are waiting for approval letters before nuns at the orphanages can find matches for our families.

I am sure that there is a lot going on in this office, and since there is really only one person who approves families, and that one person is often out traveling and completing other important work for her division, then it is so important to lift her up in prayer so that she can complete what needs to be completed and still find time to help find homes for the thousands of orhpans in Rwanda.

So, join me in prayer for time, energy, and ethusiasm... after all I know that God loves adoption and He is enthusiastic about finding homes for all children and that enthusiasm should pass through the ministers office as well! :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Not official yet

Well... we were super excited to hear that our paperwork had been processed last week and now we continue to wait for the official letter of approval from the minister. We cannot do anything without that so there are still no nuns in Africa selecting a child or children for us at this point. Because of recent policy changes from the Rwandan government, etc. etc. we are not anticipating a travel date to Rwanda this summer... it would be nice, but the chances are slim at best. So,we wait, and wait, and try our best to roll with the changes.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


We just received a glorious email from our caseworker notifying us that our POA just contacted the ministers office and the minister told her that we were approved and that we would be getting a letter via email this week! AHHHHHHH!!!!! Yeah!!!!! God is Good!!!!

There is some confusion with another process the government is implementing involving the ministry's new role in processing referrals... so our POA is working that out and will be in contact with us soon about the next steps in our journey to be matched with a child or children!

So... now we wait for the "official" letter, news about the matching process, and then... a referral.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A blessing beyond imagination

Wow... I am still a bit speechless (which is rare) as I write this post. I have posted some glimpses, in previous posts, regarding some financial constraints that our family is facing right now. What I haven't shared is that we have had to use almost all of our adoption savings for other things in recent months. We, of course, were a little stressed about this but have always known that we serve an awesome God of miracles. Well... last night we experienced the miracle of people who love like Jesus first hand. Buster and I are part of an amazing small group, who Buster and I are technically the leaders of... even though we never feel like leaders and always more like members of a company of incredible followers of Christ... And, last night these incredible nine families came together and surprised us with a financial blessing to the tune of over $4000!!!!! Almost exactly the balance we need!!!! I am still shocked... and wanted to share this experience as a testament to what happens when people love each other like Christ loves the church. These great people came together and decided to invest in our adoption. Their generosity will provide the means for at least one, if not two, beautiful orphans to be adopted into not just the Vincent family but our incredible small group family as well. I cannot praise God enough for these people, for this gift we've been given, and hope that soon their contribution will be applied directly to the adoption of a little girl or girls that God has destined for us!
THANK YOU!!!!! We LOVE you! :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

No adoption news... but

Here's a bit of what we've been up to this summer: soccer, basketball camp, and an annual trip to bear country, if only I could chill out like the big burly bear! :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

the ministry says...

So... I heard from the minister this morning. (In case you are new to my blog, she is the woman who approves families to adopt from Rwanda). She just sent me a basic email saying that she is back at work and will "send us a response from the ministry soon." Of course soon is relative. It could be this week or a month from now so I am not expecting anything. But at least we are on the radar. Please be praying for our file. The ministry could approve us, could have questions, or could deny us altogether. So, please please pray that God's perfect will be done with no negative interruptions. :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

not today

Well... every day I wake up thinking... maybe I'll get notice of an approval from the ministry today... and every day I am just a tiny bit dissappointed... or maybe a not-so-tiny bit. I was thinking maybe my post this week would read APPROVED. But Wednesday has nearly come and gone in Rwanda and I haven't seen anything. I know that the ministry's office has been really busy with events and I'm sure dossier approvals have not been on their priority list, (even though it's on mine :) ) So we continue to wait. God's timing... God's timing... (you would think that the more I remind myself of this the easier it would get :)

It's not that my family doesn't have a million distractions between house, jobs, kids, summer activities and more... but we still feel like part of us is missing and are anxious for news from Rwanda.

In the meantime Kelton is busy with machine pitch (he caught two pop flies and is doing great at bat); Oliver is busy recreating scences from Indian Jones all day; both are in our city's summer recreation program; I am teaching a class, taking a class, presenting workshops and seminars, and planning our small group summer activities;and Buster is figuring out how to provide for our growing family (not an easy task... but he does it well!)

I still need to plan a fundraiser too... we need to come up with about $4000. Any suggesstions would be GREATLY appreciated. :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I appreciate you

This note to all my fellow adoptive families...

I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you! You are all an inspiration in so many ways.

I, like all of you in this process, struggle every day with keeping my patients in check, not getting frustrated about delays and continual paperwork, and the anxiety of knowing that I probably have at least one child waiting for my arms to hold her in an African orphanage. But through this time I know that I am not alone with these feelings and that I have support from people in similar situations. Thank you families for your updates... they help answer unanswered questions. Thank you families for you encouragement when the waiting seems unending. Thank you families for your hope and love and persistance in walking through this door of adoption. You ARE appreciated!!! Thank you sweet Jesus for technology and innovation so that we may connect across states through this process of being able to adopt Your children from across the ocean!!!

I look forward to this continued journey with my fellow adoptive families! Best wishes and God favor to us all :) Heres to hoping that we all get approvals and referrals SOON!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The latest...

So.. our power of attorney took our updated documents to the minsters office today to add to our file. The minister told her that updating those docs is not what was holding up the approval (in other words... we could have been approved... pending the updates). So the good news is we were not technically being delayed because of the updates... the bad news is that we don't know why they are taking this long for approval... just is I guess. Our POA seems to think that we will be approved soon... whatever soon means :) I have NOOOO idea. Next week would be nice but it could fesibly be next month too. And so we wait.

Once again... after we get the approval... then the orphanage will match us with kids... then they will do the medicals on the kids before they give us a referral... then we accept... then we pass court... then we travel. Lots to go!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Breathing again

I was thinking about it the other day and decided that each time we have to go back and redo or update paperwork and then resend it it kindof feels like we are holding our breath. It feels like we can't breath right until our paperwork is safely back in place where it should be. That's been the feeling for the last two weeks during this update to our medicals process... our paperwork sat at the US embassy for about a week and as of today is back in Rwanda. However, it is not at the ministers desk yet... it has just arrived at the FDX distribution center in Kigali and am am waiting for word from our POA there that she has picked it up and delivered it.

On another note, I was looking through our calendar today and remembered that it has been one year since we began this adoption journey. Although our first round of paperwork wasn't submitted to our agency until August we started exploring and making calls in June. The year went really fast in some regards and seemed like it drug on forever in others (i.e. waiting for papers to process!). I never imagined that we would only be to this point after this long but know that my timelines are never perfect anyway so I might as well be comforted by the knowledge that God is in control and has the times and dates worked out before we even started. :)

So... here we are... slowling exhaling as our paperwork gets back to the ministers office and we wait again for them to give the approval for adoption... so that then our children can finally be chosen for us and we can get a referral. I would love to hear good news this week... any good news... so am hopeful for that!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

prayer request

So.. our documents are in DC and getting approved at the US State Dept today. I also called the embassy (where they go next) and the secretary was not sure if they would have time to process them by Friday but she would see. So... please pray that they will! If they can be approved by Friday then they can be back in Rwanda where they need to be by next Wed. If not then the government offices are closed and we are looking at another week of delay. So... please pray for FAVOR. I am hoping our courier has a nice winning smile :) and can effectively plead our case. If not, we are pretty used to delays now so what's one more week :( Ugggh!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Had to redo some documents today... its a long frustrating story... but the bottom line is it will cost us another 500 dollars in fees and shipping to get three silly documents to Rwanda sometime next week. These documents are an update and a new form. Our agency was hoping that they would grandfather our dossier in since its been there since March, but oh no... no exceptions. Gotta do them. Please pray for our dossier. That these three docs get there next week as expected and that the ministers office decides that our 3 month wait is long enough and we should be swiftly approved once these new docs arrive. Ughhh.

Monday, May 18, 2009

while we're waiting

So the weather is finally gorgeous here in SD. 80 degrees feels so much nicer than the teens we had most of the winter. I went for a run today to clear my head and even got a little sunburned... NICE!

Not much to report on the adoption front. We updated some medical forms last thursday as a precautionary measure and emailed them to our caseworker to take to the ministers office in Rwanda. We have been waiting for an approval there for a little over two months and are hoping to hear something in the next two months. This weeks sound like a perfect week for an approval to me but God's timing is perfect so we will wait.

In the meantime we went to Montana this weekend with our small group to work on a building project for some friends who have a non-profit there. It was beautiful and so good to get away for a weekend. This couple is so inspiring and has done so much for so many. They have started an NGO in Africa this year and part of our work was helping with that. Their project is called Look Development and if you are interested you can access it from their blog at lookdevelopmentethiopia.blogspot.com. This couple also has adopted children from Africa and it was so good to hang out with them and play. Kindof satisfied a piece of the longing in my heart for a bit. :)

Please stand with us in prayer for an approval from the ministers office. We are getting anxious to meet our beautiful baby(s).

Enjoy your summer weekend!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Another Monday

Well... I was really hoping to hear some good news, like an approval, today but nope its just another Monday. Not that we don't have a million things to do right now to keep us busy but I would love to be waiting for a referral from the orphanage right now instead of an approval from the minsters office in Rwanda (1st approval... then referral... then pass court... then travel to pick up baby(s)). Oh well.

Mothers day was nice. The kids woke me up with scrambled eggs and toast then off to Church, then a bike ride with my family and my brothers family, then my husband let me be mostly lazy by reading and eating the nachos he made me. What a fella!

Really looking forward to next year when I have at least three kids to wake me up in a mothers day chorus. :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Thinking of baby(s)

No news from Rwanda... but that doesn't mean Buster and I aren't thinking of the baby(s) all the time. More and more every day in fact. Especially when we know people who are there meeting their child for the first time... it makes the yearning that much stronger!

We are going through some difficult times in our homelife right now... someone asked me the other day if perhaps we shouldn't consider postponing the adoption. Another good... and pregnant friend phrased it well when she said that asking us to halt our process right now would be like asking her to abort her child in the third trimester. I told my husband that that was a great way to put it. I feel as though we are in our third trimester and the emotions and feelings are getting stronger as our meeting day draws closer. There are a lot of things I wouldn't mind sacrificing right now... bringing my baby(s) home is not one of them.

So... no news from Rwanda... as far as we understand our paperwork continues to sit in a pile of about six families waiting for approval (I think ours is somewhere in the middle). Our paperwork has officially been there for one month this week and we sort-of expect to wait at least another month before we get an approval to adopt via the government there... it could be longer. We continue to pray for God's Soverign plan which includes his timing and his provision for all things in our life.

Also pray for the Greers who are in Rwanda working on details to get their beautiful baby boy Myles home. They need some very important paperwork to pass so that they can travel home and prayers are most important for them!!

Until next week...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Big things this week

Our sale of stuff has ended. We did well! Should be able to get a nice check in the mail to pay for a portion of our last half of adoption fees. Our life has been a rollercoaster the last several months between adoption and various work and personal issues. Along the way I am learning just how soverign God is and how little I have to worry about if I am confidently residing in his presence. I feel as though this is going to be a good week. I would love to have good news of the adoption... like an approval... but either way it will be a good week because God is in control and I have nothing to worry about! Thinking of babies in Rwanda more and more... wondering how God will fit all the pieces of our crazy life together in the next few months... can't wait to share stories of how He did! :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sale and stuff

Well... not much news on the adoption front. I did speak with our agency yesterday (thank you agency for being patient with me!) and as expected there wasn't much of an update. Our caseworker in Rwanda checked in earlier this week and the ministers office in Rwanda just said that they have a few files to review ahead of ours and they will notify us by email when our approval is completed. So... we wait.

In the meantime we are having a huge sale of our stuff this weekend. Its a Fri, Sat, Sun sale and we have a lot of stuff!!! As i am going through everything I realize how ridiculous having all this stuff is, and how unnecessary most of it is. Why in the world would I NEED 3 sets of bowls? Why do I have more than 3 coats? Why do my kids need 2 toyboxes full of stuff they hardly ever play with. Don't even get me started on all my unnecessary shoes. The list of unnecessaries goes on. We are so spoiled in America and the sooner we can stop thinking of our stuff and start considering the needs of others the better we'll be. I'm not very good at being humble but I do want to be more obsessed with Jesus and doing so makes me realize how much I have... and how much I have to help others, both in my neighborhood and across the ocean.

I'm excited to get rid of stuff. It will feel good when we are done. Hopefully we can make enough from our sale to both: give to at least one family in need and make a dent in our plane ticket prices to Africa. :)

Until next week...

Friday, April 17, 2009

3 months and counting

Hi all.
No major updates this week. As expected we haven't heard anything about the adoption. All we know is that our paperwork is at the government office in Rwanda and someday someone will look at it and hopefully approve us to adopt from there :)

You'll notice from our time ticker that we officially passed the three month mark in our process. We officially began this journey at the end of August, but all of our paperwork was done and off to the US's Rwandan embassy for approval in January, (which is why we say we have been officially on the waitlist since then). The last three months has gone quickly in some regards, and has seemed like forever in others. I remember having similar emotions when I was pregnant with my oldest. Thinking... "I'm I ever going to get to meet this child", and at the same time "Wow I can't believe I've already been pregnant for 8 months."

Like pregnancy there is a lot of anxiety, anticipation, and emotions and we just have to roll with it all. Unlike pregnancy this process will take longer, we seem to have a lot less control over things, and there isn't a definitive due date. We speculate and wish but that's about all we can do.

Patients. It's a whole nother beast when it comes to this process. But, it will all be worth it someday.

Be in prayer for our process. We would like things to move along but also need prayer for patients :)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Slow and Steady

Hi all!

I really do not have any exciting news to post this week. Our file is at the Minister's office in Rwanda. Our caseworker there dropped it off last week and will check on things again next week. At this point we are anticipating a pretty slow process. But Buster and I are very ok with it taking awhile if it has to knowing that it will be the right baby(s) at the right time and for the right reasons. Of course if God wants to do a big fat miracle and rush everything along so we are traveling in the next couple of months that would be ok with us to. But, either way is the right way!

In the meantime we have soooo much on our plates right now. And when I say sooooo much it is a complete understatement. So, we would love prayers as we walk out all things involved in our life process right now! :)

Until next week....

Friday, April 3, 2009


Well it is snowing again here in South Dakota. Today will mark are third major snow storm in two weeks. Of course, as the snow falls I can't help but wish I were in a warmer climate... like Africa!!! I wish we were there but we will be patient waiting. I'll have to laugh if we end up there this summer, or early fall, when it is blistering hot here. Oh well... perhaps God does not want Buster and I to get sick due to rapid climate changes that could be shocking to our system. :)

No word from anyone in Rwanda about our process. Our caseworker is going to check on things next week and let us know, but we are not expecting to hear much for awhile.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

picked up

Our file has been delivered to actual people in Rwanda. Our agency staff will make a couple of copies and then take it to the government office in Rwanda. Whew.

Monday, March 30, 2009

no timelines ever again

Someone please remind me not to post potential timelines on my blog. Obviously even when I believe I have given enough cushion I am still way off. We paid to have our documents overnighted to Rwanda. One would think that this means that they can be where they need to be within 3 or 4 days. But o contrare! FDX has tried to deliver our package to our agency representative in Rwanda since last Thursday and have not been successful. Today was their third delivery attempt. My attempts at getting in touch with our casework on the stateside isn't going well either. I have called and emailed to tell them to let their Rwanda staff know that the package is available for pickup but am not getting a response from anyone. And... until our agency staff in Rwanda picks up the package and takes it to the Prime Minister's office in Rwanda nothing can be done. Frustrating! So...I am NOT giving a timeline. I will not say that I suspect our package should be on the Prime Minister's desk this week because clearly I have no clue :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Flying to Rwanda

Buster and I are not flying to Rwanda... yet.. but our paperwork is!!! So, within the next 36 hours or so a picture of our family, along with our entire book of personal paperwork, will be hand delivered to the minister of family promotion in Rwanda. Hopefully things are running smoothly in their office and they can approve our file without too much delay. (although we are pretty used to delays at this point and if they happen they happen :) ). We've seen families get approval from the ministers office in as quick as three weeks and as long as three months, so we really have no idea about time frame. Once they approve our file then the orphanage gets to match us with children. Once they find a match they have to do various health tests etc., which can take a few weeks. Once all of that is completed they will send us our referral with pictures. When we accept the referral we have to then pass court (a lawyer will represent us) in Rwanda, and will travel a couple weeks later to get our baby(s).
We are so excited that our family picture is flying to Rwanda and look forward with great anticipation to getting to fly there ourselves... hopefully within the next 3-6 months!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Good News

Hi All... I only have a little bit of time but OUR FILE IS APPROVED!!!!! After nine weeks of waiting our file is officially complete from the embassy. It will be overnighted to our agency tomorrow and then overnighted to Rwanda on Monday. Hooray!!! What a process... it feels like we are finally on our way to getting our babies. Now two more hurdles. 1. Approval from the ministers office in Rwanda and 2. Pass Rwandan court AFTER we get our referral.

Yeah. God is good!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Well... little by little our paperwork is nearing the great continent of Africa. The processing guy at the embassy had committed to pushing our paperwork through when it hit his desk again, (since they changed some policies after we had already submitted, which resulted in the long almost eight week delay for us). The dossier is now officially back on his desk and we're hoping he will indeed get it approved asap. But, of course, we are not holding our breath... (although it is a little like walking on pins and needles hoping that there are no more hurdles to cross before our dossier can cross the ocean on its way to Rwanda). Any timelines that we imagined are long gone and out the window. Now all we can do is pray for Rwanda and wait for God to ordain the next step.

Monday, March 9, 2009

no posting

Hi all,
Sorry about not posting anything for awhile. But, I decided to wait to post until we have some good news to share. Right now we are still in the middle of unending delays. I am hoping to post good news in the next couple of weeks.

Monday, February 23, 2009

pray for quick turnaround

So the dossier is back from the Rwandan embassy in DC and in the hands of our caseworker in Texas who has promised to overnight it to SD and TX Sec. of States office for authentication (our paperwork was done in SD and has to be authenticated there, but there are two docs completed by our agency in TX and those have to be authenticated by TX). Lucky for us SD is super fast and will have the envelope back to our caseworker by Wed. But, please pray that the turnaround in TX is as fast. If they were quick we could have the dossier back in DC by Friday (although realistically it will be more like Mon. or Tues.) The person in DC who processes said he would give our case priority since we have had this six plus week delay now... but we'll see. God is good and we are just thankful that we get to do this in order to one day hold our new family members.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Unfortunately for Buster, I, and our kids, we are delayed again. But fortunately for us we live in the full understanding that God's timing is perfect and there are a million reasons, that we probably cannot even fathom, why our process keeps hitting road blocks. Only God knows... so all we can do is trust in His sovereignty.

The new processing person at the embassy had been going back and forth on whether or not they were going to change their policy and make families authenticate at the state level before they authenticate at the federal level. Today (after five plus weeks of waiting) they decided that they are going to require families to do this. This means we have to get our paperwork back, send it to the state, have them stamp our paperwork saying it is indeed from where we said it was from, send it back to the embassy, and then wait some more for them to approve it before it goes to Rwanda.

I shed a few tears (rare for me) but cannot stay sad or sorry for myself. As bad as I would like to control the situation I am somehow relieved that I cannot... and all I can do is be content knowing that I serve a God whos plans are perfect.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

No news... waiting again

Called the caseworker today. She did NOT get a call or email from the person at the Rwandan embassy in DC, as expected. (Good thing we are used to things not going as expected by now! :) She said she would call first thing in the morning to see if he is reviewing our file and what happens next. Keep praying!

Meanwhile Congrats to the Greer family on their approval from the ministry in Rwanda! Hooray! We're hoping for a quick referral, court date, and travel time for them!

Monday, February 16, 2009

hoping for tomorrow

We've been waiting to hear from the Rwandan embassy for a couple of weeks now regarding whether or not we need to have documents authenticated at the state level. The person in charge of processing at the embassy in DC has been replaced and the new person is suppossed to be checking on whether or not Rwanda has decided to change their policy and require the state level authentication. For now, he thinks that it is not their policy to require it... which would be great news for us, saving us time and money. However, since he is new he wants to do some double checking and make sure the policy is not going to change. If anyone out there reads this post in the next 24 hours please please please pray for favor for us. We really really want them to give our dossier the green light without having to backtrack, especially since our dossier has been there for five weeks now and this is suppossed to only be a two week process. If he comes back tomorrow and says its ok then they will issue our non objection letter and the dossier can go to Rwanda without further delay... if not.. then we will be sad and have to do more work and wait longer. So.... please please please pray for this process. I know it seems like a small detail but it is pretty important. Thanks all!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

disappointing news

I got a call from our caseworker today. I had contacted her earlier this week because I had noticed that other adopting families, from another agency, were getting documents authenticated at the state level and I wanted to see if we missed something, or if Rwanda had changed their policies again (they have been doing this because adoptions from there are still pretty new and they are still trying to nail down their specific policies). Our caseworker at our agency called the Rwandan embassy (where our paperwork has been for the last three weeks) and they told her a couple of things. 1. The person who had been in charge of processing paperwork to go to Rwanda left suddenly last week and it will be at least a couple of weeks before they find a replacement for her and start processing paperwork again. 2. At this time they are not requiring that documents be authenticated, but they might when they get the new person in place...
What this means for us is that a. we are going to have to wait at least a month or more than we expected to even to get our paperwork passed through to Rwanda. and b. just to be safe, we will have to get our dossier back from them (the embassy where it is sitting on the workers desk to be processed) and send it back to the State of SD to have all our paperwork authenticated. I'm sad, because this delay has added more time and more money to our process (not having to authenticate the docs saved us about $700). And, I realize that everyone says 'all in God's perfect timing!!!' which I know is right thinking, but it still stinks, and I still feel frustrated cuz' I just want the process to go faster, not slower, so that we can meet our baby(s). I knew going into this that there might be some hiccups... but it is still pretty annoying when those hiccups actually happen. Perseverance, Perseverance, Perseverance. Patients, Patients, Patients. Prayer, Prayer, Prayer. :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bears for Baby(s)

It's been awhile since I posted anything... let alone a picture. But, I thought the blog was getting a bit blah. So, here is a cute picture of Kelton and Oliver with the bears that they won at a carnival game awhile ago and have decided to save for their baby sisters. These bears sit on a shelf in our room along with the baby clothes that grandma Betty has sent out (she sent some adorable outfits this week). I have contemplated converting a room in our home to a baby room several times now. But, we decided to hold off. Although it seems like we have been waiting awhile now we realize that once we get the referral and then have to wait another couple of months before we get to hold our babies... those are going to be the hardest months of waiting. So... we are going to wait to put the baby room together until we have the referral so that we have something to do that helps bide that time between referral and travel. And, these beautiful bears are each going to have special places in that very special room. :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

We Are On the Waitlist!

It's official. Our dossier is out of our hands and on its way to the Rwandan Embasssy. According to our agency this means we are officially on the waitlist for a child (or children) referral. We are hoping its children, but whatever God wants for us will be an exciting blessing!

Whew! What a paperwork process. To all of the families that are out there in the paperwork phase... YOU CAN DO IT!

To all of everyone else who has been praying through this process so far with us, THANK YOU, your prayers are so much appreciated. But... please don't stop now! We still need your prayers so that we can get there and bring our baby(s) home safe and sound. In the meantime there is a good chance our girl(s) are already sitting in an orphanage in Rwanda so we would love your prayers for their health (physical and emotional), etc.

The agency is still unsure of how long we will wait from here on out. We are following the one other family that is on the waitlist, besides us, right now, they have been waiting about two months, and seem to be getting closer to a referral (hopefully in the next couple of weeks) so with any amount of favor it could be about that same time frame for us as well (2 plus months from now). Once we have a referral and officially accept it, then things have to process through the Rwandan court system before we set our travel dates. So... we are still thinking the possibilities are good for traveling sometime early summer. But again, no guarantees... it could take longer.

It seems like every day now the boys make comments about their baby sisters. Kelton wants to get bunk beds so there is room in his and Oliver's room for cribs :)

Love to all!

Monday, January 12, 2009


I'm so excited I can hardly type! Our approval letter came from CIS today. We're waking up early to get the last few papers notarized and will overnight everything to our agency who will send our dossier the Rwandan Embassy! Next step... approval from the Rwandan Embassy... typically a three to four week process!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Just a little

So we received just a little bit of encouragement today!!!! Our home study agent got a call from CIS with a question about our application. The question got resolved and the CIS worker told our agent that he was working on the approval and hopes to have it to us by next week. Hooray!!!! None the less we aren't 'counting our chickens before they are hatched' :) and are gonna keep praying for the paperwork to come through FOR SURE. If it is here next week we plan to overnight it to the Rwandan embassy in the US where it will process for a few weeks before going to Rwanda!

Been awhile.

Ok, so it's been awhile since I've posted anything, and that's probably because there really isn't a whole lot to post. No news from CIS yet. We just keep on waiting for that one simple approval letter to come in so we can move forward and get our paperwork in the hands of Rwanda! Every day I get a few butterflies in my stomach about time the mail is suppossed to be delivered and every day there is no mail from CIS. Oh well, I am chalking it all up to God's pruning process :) Hopefully soon... very soon I will walk out to the box and behold the long awaited approval letter will be there!