Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Aching Arms and a Little Girls Closet

The other day I was at my office, The House of Hope, and went to check on things in the 'Mommy Store'....there was an adorable little dress that had just been added to the wall and immediately I thought, "Oh, goodness! That would be adorable on our little Aamina-Kate!" With that thought came a literal, physical ache in my arms. It was an overwhelming feeling of the need to hold her. I have never felt something so strong in all my life. I did my best to fight back tears, but they finally broke through. Since then, this feeling has visited me over and over.
I've started to work on preparing her room and her closet is becoming quite full. I have lots of sweet friends and family who are giving us things from their daughters, I've been chasing down garage sales, clearance racks and consignment shops getting little things here and there in all different sizes. Since she could be anywhere from birth-24 months when we bring her home and no telling what size, I'm getting everything from 2T and down. When we finally get home we will be spent from paying the final adoption costs and won't exactly have a bank account ready for a shopping spree. Besides, I'm really having a blast doing this shopping now, and it is helping time pass a little quicker while we're waiting.

When I'm having a particularly difficult day missing her, I go into her closet and shut the door. Surrounded by all of her stuff (that she has no idea is waiting for her) somehow makes me feel like she is closer to home than she sometime seems. I day dream about where we might be going when she is in a specific outfit, I match hair bows to outfits, imagine her in all those cuddly pajamas and pray over every toy, blanket, softy, onesie, little shoe and dress. Sometimes this all feels like a dream that will never come true, but then we sit in on a conference call or get an encouraging e-mail and we're pinched back into reality: Someone in Ethiopia knows of the Millers, and they are searching for our daughter...it is all a matter of time until she is ours! What an honor! It really is amazing how much you can miss someone you've never even met! She's stolen our hearts already!
Stay tuned for pictures and updates about her little room and expected arrival! Please continue to pray for America World Adoption Agency and Staff, Ethiopia, ophans and their care takers. Please pray that more and more Christian families will open their hearts and homes to these children. Thank you for your specific prayers for our family and our Aamina and thanks so very much for reading.

Monday, May 3, 2010

another 5 months

So here it is 5 months later...have I mentioned that I've never blogged before? Apparently 5 months between blogs is becoming a pattern! How pathetic! I want to post so much more than I have, but between getting into the habit, fighting for the laptop and making time to sit down and write, I have failed miserably! Here's where I'm going to try to play catch up...well, maybe. Right now we are simply waiting...our dossier is safe and sound in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We were able to send it off in February...which surprisingly turned into a very emotional day for me. You would think that I would be more than ready to hand that thing over but it was hard to let it go. I had spent so, so, so much time going over every little detail and studying that check list, then double checking, and triple checking, again and again....that when it came time to mail, I had a meltdown. I knew it was complete and ready to be sent, so I took it with me to work that day, I printed the address and drove myself across town to Postal Plus. I got there with a huge lump in my throat, made sure that it was in the perfect type of package and filled out the address forms, the clerk asked me if I'd like insurance on it and bam....out came the tears! Poor girl...she had no idea what to do with me! I did my best to explain how priceless this package was and she almost cried with me! I managed to gain some composure, pry the box out of my sweating hands, pay for shipping and get to the car...where again, I cried! This was the beginning of a whole new phase...where no longer would anyone be waiting on us, we were pretty much finished, this was out of our hands. The dossier would now be looked at by people who don't know our family...had I done the best I could in telling them who we are? They would read about why we wanted to adopt...did I convey that well enough? They would look at pictures of our home...did I capture how much love is in it? They will ultimately be matching us with our daughter...oh my...our Aamina! Do they know how much we already love her? This was a big day and I'm thrilled to have experienced it. I'm trusting God with all of the above questions, we know that He has been and will continue to be at work in this adoption. We expect to recieve our referral (the name, picture and history) of our daughter sometime this fall. We found out in March that Ethiopia has changed the adoption laws, so now after we recieve our referral, we will travel to meet her and appear in court then come home for 2-3 months before traveling back to bring her home. So our hopes are: referral this fall, travel this winter, homecoming this spring! (if not earlier!) Thank you for your continued prayers. There is so much more to share, but I'm hoping that will help me post something sooner...God bless!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

So...it's been how long??

I'd like to start with an apology...I'm so sorry it has been so long since my last post! I can't believe it...July??? This is January, a whole entire new year! How sad! I've blogged many, many things in my head since July, the thoughts just never made it to my fingertips and out for the world to read! I'm so very sorry. I can't explain how much it encourages me that you are all reading this and supporting us on our adoption journey. These past (let me count)5 months have been difficult. The truth is that things haven't moved much with our adoption since the homestudy was finished this summer. You see, once that was done, next on the list was to complete our dossier (dossier:a collection of papers containing detailed information about a particular person or subject - in this case: The Millers) We started working on it, praying that by the time we finished we would have the $8,000 needed to submit it. Well, I accomplished as much as I could in our dossier and the money wasn't there...so I started worrying, and doubting, and worrying...you get the picture! We had some money in our account, but not near enough to move to the next step. So, with a lot of God given ideas, energy and inspiration, I started making jewelry to help us raise money. I called it "Aamina Jewelry" and every penny that I've made so far has gone toward bringing her home...more blogging to be done on that subject later. Anyway, this took up all of my time and I rarely slept...but in many ways it was quite helpful. The $8,000 made our baby feel very far, far away, but with every piece I worked on and sold, I felt like I was inching closer to bringing her home. It was hard for me to become inspired enough to blog...when I post things here I want the words to be positive...but I was outta "positive". That mountain was a big one and I was very depressed. To be honest, I haven't even looked at this blog since early August...it just made me sad to think about it. I regret not pouring out those feelings now, because it is part of the journey. I wrote in journals and letters to Aamina, but I should've shared more...I'm sorry for not doing that.

So, since I'm finally blogging you must be wondering what "positive" things I have to say...well, here goes: THE $ FOR THE DOSSIER IS IN PLACE AND WE'RE ONLY 2 DOCUMENTS AWAY FROM HAVING IT READY TO PUT IN THE MAIL!!!! Our prayer is to have all documents in hand, state certified within a week. Then they are off to America World for final inspection then on their way to Ethiopia!! After that the wait will only be 9-11 months (more blogging on that subject later also)...so we're praying for our Aamina to be home with us this year! This year...2010!! Please pray that all of this will happen smoothly. That all the paperwork will check out...there are SO many papers! Here are a few pics of me in distress...and a picture of my "adoption bag" as I now call it and the "adoption binder"...if you see me with any of these things in tow...I'm a busy momma on a mission!

As I close, I'd like to send many, many thanks for all of the prayers you've said on behalf of our family and little Aamina! We know that God had a purpose for the 5 month stall and we know that He has our baby girl in His hands. As we work to get much accomplished in the next couple of weeks, please join us in praying for the dossier submission process...

Did I mention that there was A LOT of paperwork?

God bless you all and I pray that 2010 will bring you many wonderful blessings!

In Christ Alone,

Rachel Miller