Once we came home from Mexico we felt like we could again devote our minds to the leading of the Holy Spirit in regards to adoption. Was He still leading us to this? Some days I felt so sure He was. Then other days I doubted the call. I didn't trust my own feelings. This had to be His doing. He had to make the puzzle pieces fall into place.
Honestly, I wish that I could just write that I stepped forward into this adventure with loads of faith and confidence in what God was calling us to do. But, unfortunately, I have had my ups and downs with my lack of faith. (Just trying to keep it real!) Thankfully, God has given me a very steady and perceptive husband who can help me sort through all the emotions and figure our where my heart was not submitted to God.
Strangely, all the things that would hold me back normally (such as the fact that I'd be a mother to SEVEN, one with possible special needs, how would I cook for so many, how would I have time for so many, how would I homeschool so many, I'm not patient enough, I am lazy, I don't know how we'll have the money...) were the things I TOTALLY had a peace about. It doesn't make sense. But isn't that just like Him? He loves not making sense!
Weeks passed. I started making phone calls, finding agencies that have programs in Mexico. (Less than 5!) Two of them are closed to new families. One other I called and it failed the "warm and fuzzy test". (You know, the completely objective one...). Gladney Adoption Agency is the agency we really liked and also the one with the pictures of these precious children we'd seen months ago. I called and had a 2 hour conversation with the Mexico Caseworker. She was extremely friendly and answered tons of questions.
We really felt like God was calling us to these particular children, so that meant we needed to go through Gladney.
After two weeks of sorting through questions and praying tons, we finally decided to send in our Application and Fee. Whew.
Then came a flurry of emails with tons of attachments. LOTS of documents to fill out, gather and authenticate.
Plus we needed to find a homestudy agency in our state that is Hague Accredited (international adoption law certification). God is so good! He led me right to a place here in town- Global Adoption Services! The lady, Judy, is super sweet and must have incredible patience since I've plagued her with phone calls and emails ever since the first contact!
(Anyone not interested in paperwork organization can zone out here....)
I got myself a 21 pocket accordian file and spent several hours printing, setting up folders and deciding what document to put where. Then more email attachments came and I had to redo it all! LOL! So far the system is working...I've kept it simple. There are 3 sets of documents.
2. Gladney Agency
(I think I'll end up with a fourth when we have to submit a bunch of stuff to immigration, but I'm not there yet, so I'm not trying to plan too far ahead.)
So basically I have a "to do" folder and a "done" folder for each of the 3 sets of documents. Also, I set up a blue colored folder for any current documents that are ready for notorization. This is easy to spot and I don't have to dig through the pile of docs in each "to do" folder.
Oh, and both agencies included a checklist of documents to turn in, but most of the documents need additional documents attached to them. To keep all of it straight I made my own list on the outside of the manilla file folder. That way I don't have to flip through the file to find the checklist. It's so fun to see a bunch of items crossed off! Still a ways to go though!