Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Immigration Part 2

Ally at AA received our completed dossier today; I am now calling it our "first draft" dossier.  We have a number of changes to make over the next couple of weeks, but I am confident we can get it done.  Overall she said we made an excellent "dent" in it and was impressed with our progress.  

And now for the big news...drumroll please... when I checked the mail tonight I found a letter from Homeland Security (immigration.)  We have received our referral for fingerprinting!!! This is huge!!! We couldn't move forward at all until we had this little piece of paper approving us for fingerprinting.  Now that we have it, it is just a matter of time until we get the I -171H giving us permission from USCIS to bring a foreign born orphan into the country and raise them as a citizen.  We thank each one of you for lifting us up in prayer for this letter to come; it's an amazing experience to see prayers answered this quickly. What a mighty God we serve!

The Fillmore family is taking a much needed vacation tomorrow, so the changes to the dossier will have to wait until next week.  We are very excited about our time together as a family and appreciate your prayers for us during our down time.  We will try to go to Lubbock next Saturday for the fingerprinting; thank our Father for us that they are open on Saturdays!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Our dossier is officially on its way to AA for approval for authentication in Austin.  This means we have jumped through all the hoops and collected all the paperwork necessary for the authentication process which must be completed by the secretary of state in Austin, after which we will be able to send it to Washington for translation.  When I say we have everything I mean we have everything except for the immigration approval.  And who knows when that will come.  They received a copy of the home study last Monday at 9:00 am which is the last document they require.  Now we are waiting on them to mobilize and send us our fingerprinting appointment which we will have to go to Lubbock to complete.  After we are fingerprinted, we must wait on them some more in order to get our approval for adopting a foreign born orphan.  Please pray that the government moves faster so we can move along with our adoption.  We have to wait for the immigration approval to come before we can send our dossier to the sec of state.  Once we have this much coveted document, we are off and running!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

God Has Given

A dear friend shared her own grief with me today because she knows what a tough time I am having right now.  She shared the dream she had of the daughter she never got to hold, and the powerful healing she received from it. In her dream, God asked her to name her baby girl, and she encouraged me to do the same.  After some prayer and thought, I knew this was a step I needed to take, but until now, I haven't allowed myself to even entertain the idea of naming him.  I once again felt the overwhelming power of the Spirit calling me to action.  After more prayer, I knew what his name meant, I just needed to find out what the name that went with it was.  
And his name is Jonathan.  My son's name is Jonathan.  

Monday, April 14, 2008

Moving along...

Only a few things left to get before we can send our dossier to Austin for authentication.  We are both waiting on our medical reports to get finished.  We need to get our evidence of residency documents signed by our builder and notarized.  Our accountant has a few documents she needs to get finished and notarized.  And Tony needs two signatures on his proof of employment before he can get them notarized.  And once all of these are done, we can send it of for approval and then authentication.  I am hopeful these things will get finished this week so we can send it off for approval and authentication next week.
I was visiting with one of my new friends tonight (she is also adopting from Kyrgyzstan) and we got to wondering if our baby girls are born yet or if they've even been conceived. I really believe our little girl has been conceived for sure, maybe even born already.  And thinking about her leads my thoughts to her birth mother.  My heart goes out to her and I want to ask you to say a special prayer of peace for her tonight.  She has done the most selfless thing for her little girl and it weighs heavily on my heart how hard it is (or will be) for her.  I want her to know I already love this little girl as she would want me to, and I want more than anything to be her mother.  I can never thank her enough for what she has done.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Rough Waters

Yesterday was a really rough day. Not for the adoption, it was actually a great day with getting the home study and mailing it of to USCIS for fingerprinting approval.  It was a tough day because I let the devil prey on my negative thoughts which sent me into a tailspin.

Sydney had a really rough day and was very needy.  I had many things I needed to get done, but because of the way she would not entertain herself for even a minute I couldn't get anything done without her crying.  I realize now she simply needed attention and in the future I will stop what I am doing for a little while simply to play with her, hold her, or whatever.  I hope that will make whatever I am doing a little easier when I try to do it again. If anyone has advice on this, please let me know.  I want to be the mom she deserves and yesterday I was not.  

And I am starting to lose faith that our house will ever sell and we will not be able to move into the beautiful home we are building. We have put so much time into designing this house and planning every detail, if we don't move into it in July, I am going to be really sad.  I know God is in control, but I am beginning to think He wants us to stay put.  I don't want to make any more decisions about the new house because I want to get on board with not moving.  Tony came home with a negative attitude about selling our house on Monday and I let it affect me way too much. By the end of the week, I was so depressed about not selling our house I wanted to put a for sale sign in the yard of the other house, too.  Friends, please pray for us to sell our house and quickly because that is what I really want.  But also pray that if we are not supposed to move, God will help us be at peace with it.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

To Do List

"The Fillmore family is approved to adopt a female child, as healthy as possible, between the ages of three months and eighteen months from Kyrgyzstan."

These are the words that brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart today. Our fabulous social worker emailed the home study report to me today to make sure everything was correct.  And it was.  We have officially been approved to adopt our baby girl!!!

Now only a few things to do before our dossier goes off to Kyrgyzstan.

1-Mail home study report to USCIS for immigration approval

2-Mail dossier to Adoption Ark for approval for authentication

3-Mail dossier to Secretary of State in Austin for authentication

4-Mail dossier to Washington DC for translation into Kyrg

I plan to do items 1 and 2 simultaneously if at all possible.  This way if AA finds something wrong with all our other documents, I will be able to correct them before I can move on to item number 3 which cannot be completed until 1 and 2 are done.  

We have much to celebrate today. Praise be to the Lord!


Monday, April 7, 2008

Carry Each Other's Burdens

I have finally discovered just how I ended up in that pit.  After the loss of our son, the grief I was experiencing became too much for me to bear. On my own.  And instead of turning to my friends who love me dearly, I subconsciously began pushing everyone away.  It started very subtly, for you know the enemy is crafty, but before very long I had cut myself off from the pain so completely, I found that I had shut off more than my feelings of grief, I had shut off all of my emotions entirely.  I could find no true joy or peace.  I didn't enjoy being with friends or family. I had hardened my heart to God, in order to "protect" myself from the pain.  

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 

Boy, He sure knows how to speak right to my heart.  I am humbled and honored that He would love me. Thank You, Father, for the gift of the Scriptures. Please remind me to turn to them when I am lost. And when I am found. 

Upon further reflection of last night's posts, I find myself turning to Galatians 6 for a little reminder. 

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently...Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 

I thank our Father for giving me the gift of spiritual partners who walk with me daily.  Even when I am choosing to push them away.  My girls knew something was wrong and they gently restored me by reminding me they had always been with me and that I was not alone.  The love I have for you is deeper than you could ever know this side of Heaven. Thank you, friends.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Things I Have Learned

I do not believe there is any "reason" to experience a miscarriage. But I know that there are things we can (and should) learn from everything in life.

I know I will grieve for my son until the day I join him in Heaven.

I know God gave me an incredible gift when He blessed me with my dream of him.

I know my friends love me more than I deserve.

And I know we would not be this close to finding our daughter if I was eight months pregnant right now.  I know we would still find her one day, but that day would not be today.  I don't know why this is God's plan for us, but I do know that it is. And I rejoice in the knowledge that He is blessing us each step of the way and He is on this journey with us as we travel it.  I am convicted that right now is His time for us to bring our daughter home and I am humbled that He has called us to experience the incredible gift of adoption.  We are His adopted children and He loves us not "as His own," but because we are His own.   What an amazing God we serve!

The Blessing of Friends

Sometimes you go through things, hard things, and when you come out on the other side, you are changed.  It is much this way with losing a child.  I never thought I would experience this, no one ever does.  And when I did, I fell into a deep, dark pit. And I couldn't get out. For a time, I don't think I even wanted to get out.  I knew I needed to, if not for myself, then for my daughter who definitely deserved a mother happier than I was.  I began pushing everyone away, even my husband, to the point that I was shutting everyone out. Even myself. And most especially God. But God, who loves me more than I deserve, was not willing to let me stay in that pit.  He sent my two best and dearest friends in the world into the pit after me.  And boy was I angry!  I didn't want them anywhere near my hole, and I definitely didn't want them to come in after me. But, come in they did, and out I came whether I liked it or not.  And I love them all the more because of it.  Praise be to the Lord for blessing me with my friends.  And may He continue to bless them in countless ways for allowing Him to use them to reach me.  I have waited almost twenty-five years for friends such as you, and you were worth more than the wait. I am blessed beyond measure.  Thank you, girls; I love you.

The One We Lost

I had a really tough weekend last weekend and I am just now ready to blog about it.  We had a friend at church have a baby shower for their soon-to-be here son. I didn't want to go to the shower and I didn't really allow myself to think about why not.  God wasn't going to allow me to bury my head in the sand over this one, so He used ways only He has to get me to acknowledge what was really going on emotionally.  I can't even write about this without crying; our baby boy would be about a month from being born right now if we hadn't lost him. The same exact place this little boy is. And we should be celebrating his arrival right now, too.  But, since we lost him, no one really knows that this is a tough time for me (us).  I know that I am not alone in my grief right now because unfortunately since we lost him I have been comforted by many (too many) dear friends who have lost babies, too.  I have not allowed myself to grieve for our son since we lost him and as a result, this has hit me pretty hard.  My heart still aches for our little boy and I know now, it always will.  If you are reading this right now and you have been through this, please know you are not alone, and you never will be.  Just because we don't talk about it all the time, doesn't mean it is not always in our hearts. Our little ones are waiting for us and will be the very first ones to greet us when we go home someday. Praise be to God!

The night before I miscarried, I had a dream. It was one of the most beautiful dreams I have ever had.  My husband and I were in an orphanage looking at the children.  Across the room  I saw a little boy I knew to be our son.  We went over to him and saw that he had three arms.  I asked him how old he was and he held up seven fingers on two of his hands.  We smiled at each other and God blessed me with experiencing the love of my son.  I delighted in his presence.  Then he held up his other hand and waved to me saying, "Goodbye, Mommy."  My eyes filled with tears and I woke up.  Tears were streaming down my face and I quickly awoke Tony to share this dream with him.  It was just minutes later that I began to miscarry.

Over the past few months I have had much time to reflect on this miraculous dream and the one feeling I keep coming back to is overwhelming love and thanksgiving to God for granting me those precious few moments with our son before he left us to be with the Father.  I will cherish this gift from Him all the days of my life.  Thank You, Father.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Home Study Complete!

We have finished the home study interviews! And now as soon as our social worker gets her report finished, we will mail it to the Dallas Field Office for our USCIS approval which is the last step before we mail our dossier to the Secretary of State for authentication.  We are closer than ever to completing our dossier for translation which is when they will send it to Kyrgyzstan for approval.  
God has blessed us beyond measure each step of the way and we are so excited to see what else He is going to do on this journey.  Praise be to the Lord for the many blessings we have experienced as we seek our daughter.