Friday, October 23, 2015

What I know, you want to know ;)

*** edit: this post was taken down during our in-country process for safety and security issues. Therefore the date published shows the date I am republishing

This post is to share some of the questions I'm sure some of you have!

Most importantly? When is "J" going to be home? Will it be as long as it took for Carver and Macy to come home? 

- the agency told us, due to her case having been submitted to court and ready for four different dates, she's paperwork ready, so about six months. (So Spring 2016. Close enough to where it's possible we may have three kids home in a year-ish time!) 
See previous post why this has changed. 

- Why? All of the paper chase for her case, document collection, investigation, witness testimonies, etc....IS DONE. It HAS BEEN done. 

- but of course, the timing of this is in the Lord's hands. And we are so humbled that He was in our yesterday, today, and all of our tomorrow's. 

Do you have to pay all the same fees if the work has been done?

- sadly, yes. I won't get into it, as disappointing as it was. But the agency did offer a small grant off a portion of the fees, nothing like what we were hoping and anticipating. There was some work needing to be redone from the adoptive family perspective. 

So will we fundraise? 
- hmmm. My heart says no. My weary self, says no.
1.) we just don't have time. Things are moving so quickly. We had 14 months of fees spread out last adoption, I had been saving since I was in high school. All of a sudden it's been six weeks for this one! (don't panic. don't panic. don't panic.) I will be in the U.S. a total of 12 days once we leave, for the rest of the year. What!? So that also makes it hard to do much.  

2.) We did sooooo many things to fundraise the first time- we were quite burnt out, and really didn't leave too many stones unturned in the fundraising realm.
(Pancake breakfast, can and bottle drive, Scentsy/31 bag/Mary Kay parties, five garage sales, two t-shirt fundraisers, grants that have already been given out for "the year", etc. OOF. 

We're praying about it all. This is still quite a shock to us. :) He WILL provide. If you have any ideas or suggestions, we would love to hear! 

For now, our church has an account set up for us online, for tax-deductible donations....where 100% of the money given, goes straight to our adoption. (Vs. a gofundme/youcaring sites keep a portion/percentage). You can click on the link, and "scroll" down until you find our name: Christiansen Adoption. We are so grateful for our church and how they come along side us. 

The link is here: 

Do Carver and Macy know/remember her? 

- yes. :) (Macy was too young most likely.)  we have kept tons of pictures and videos from their time at the baby home- Carver remembers all of the kids he was living with prior to coming home.  

- Carver continues to ask and prompt praying for J, at breakfast, naps, bed, driving in the car, etc. mostly the same prayer. "dear Jesus, thank you for J, mom bring her home on an airplane fast, come down the big stairs, and see all the people." (Aka he remembers coming down the escalator at the airport and seeing the people at the airport welcoming us home! And is now praying that for J.) He asks all. The. Time. In the most polite way, if we can bring him his big sister today??! ;) sweet boy. 

Yesterday was, "Mom? Can you go get J today after my nap, please?" 

My heart. 

Will you give J a new name? (We gave Carver and Macy their new names.) 

- We really like her given name. I will tell you, that part of her legal name, is a form of a name that I've hoped and prayed for, for a girls name. ;) 

Here's the cool way that reminded me just how much God cares about the DETAILS in everything: 
While we were waiting to hear if all the "Nos" we were hearing was God saying "wait".....I remember being on the back of the motorcycle with Beau, praying and silent tears down my face....about an abundance of prayers and petitions. 

One of those was being bummed about never using the name I adored. Becuase I really thought J would be part of our family since knowing she was available for adoption again, but kept hearing no. (Pathetic right?) it's just a name. 

One, because if God chose to not bring her into our family as another daughter, that would take care of that. ;) Two, because her first name that she would keep, couldn't be shortened by this nickname/name I loved. Oh well. 

I loved the name Jo for a girl. "Little Women" style, and also JoJo, for a girl, even as a nickname. (Bring on Chip & Jo from Fixer Upper, and my love for the name intensified, hearing it over and over.) 

And then I remembered, or maybe it was Him helping me remember? My first trip over a year ago, I remember seeing her file at the baby home. 

Her legal name is Joan. "J". N . (Her first name is the middle one we aren't sharing for legal reasons, when it's written Ugandan style.) 

My Jo. 

Oh man. Cue the tears. And another reminder at the time, "LORD, is this you?" This was all before we got the official call. When we got that call, it was all further confirmation. :) He is so good, He is all about the tiniest details. 

Another incredible part, I'm not much into meaning of names. We didn't name Carver or Macy because of any meaning, we just liked those names. Those weeks of waiting to hear what God's will was, I decided to look up her names and their meanings. 

(I'll save from sharing her first name meaning, for legalities.) 

Joan, a form of Joanna....means "God is gracious." My jaw dropped. I started then, to pray over the meaning of her name. That God WOULD be gracious to her to bring her another family. Gracious to heal her hurting heart of waiting again, and to bond to her new parents, to her brother and sisters, if her new family would have any children. I've never prayed over someone's name....

When we got the call, I cried out, "God, you are so gracious!" 

Can you show us pictures? 
- this go around, we will NOT be showing pictures of her face....this agency has different regulations for showing photos, but once we have our guardianship order from the judge, beware! Photo-overload! 

- same reason we will refer to her as J or Jo, for identifying purposes for safety/privacy. (We were able to call Carver and Macy during the last prices, becuase those weren't their legal names) 

Will you have the same attorney, judge, etc? 
- no. 
New agency (see a few posts ago why we had to use a new agency), means they happen to work with another Ugandan attorney, and that attorney has the liberty to submit our case to whomever they please. 
Cause for more prayer! We had a phenomenal attorney last time, and a wonderful fair, quick ruling, judge. It's been a hard pill to swallow, that this will all be unknown and unfamiliar. Pray with us. The judge we had last time for C&M- we got the hearing in two weeks, the judge we have now takes 4.5-8 weeks to give a ruling. :( huge blow to my weary soul. 

Will you go for one long trip or two? 
- two. Now that we have kiddos at home, we have to take that into consideration. Childcare, added cost in Uganda for lodging/drivers/meals/activities to stay sane....we have C&M's court date to finalize their adoption here in the U.S. when we return. 
- trip one: we both go for court. Come home. Wait. 
- then like last time:
Trip two:  I go back and finish the process and as Carver says, "bring J home on big airplane, fast!" 

Will the kids travel with us?
- no. 
Too soon. They aren't ready emotionally. No way. 
Too expensive. Can you imagine all those tickets there and back, (eyes bugging out of my head emoji!)

Dude. No way. 

Did I miss any questions you may have? Leave me a comment on here or on Facebook and If I'm able, I'll be glad to answer! 


Kathleen Vaughan said...

So glad to hear the story. Wow, adding 3 to your family in one year is amazing! I will be praying for a a great hearing and a quicker-than usual ruling by the judge, so you can get JoJo (I love it!) home to Carver in a hurry! And I'm SO glad I get to see you again!

Dana D'Angelo said...

Oh my goodness. Thank you for all your post and pictures. Tears. I am so inspired by your faith and strength through all of this process. I struggle with the fear of starting a process that I know will be so full of doubts, financial stresses, and red tape. Hearing your story and seeing your struggles and victories is beautiful. Thank you.