Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Maps

I am still learning about this blog business and trying to put a map of Kazakhstan on here. There is a larger map at the bottom of the page that gives a better idea of "where in the world" Kazakhstan is. It is a part of the former Soviet Union. It is west of China and South of Russia. There are a lot of smaller "stans" near it too.
The people of Kazakhstan are caucasion and also caucasion/asiain mix. I have no idea at this time what my baby will be. That will be decided when I get there and see what God has to offer me.

Kazakhstan - What do you know about it?

I have to admit that before researching adoption and finally deciding on Kazakhstan, I didn't even know where it was. So, I am going to share some information with you. Some of this I will be learning for the first time as I try to learn more about the country of my future daughter's origin.


Facts about Kazakhstan

Republic of Kazakhstan
Location: Central Asia, northwest of China
Area: 2,717,300 sq km
Climate: continental, cold winters and hot summers, arid and semiarid
Terrain: extends from the Volga to the Altai Mountains and from the plains in western Siberia to oases and desert in Central Asia
Population: 16,824,825 (July 1999 est.)
Religions: Muslim 47%, Russian Orthodox 44%, Protestant 2%, other 7%
Languages: Kazakh (Qazaq) (state language) 40%, Russian (official, used in everyday business) 66%
Capital: Astana

Monday, January 29, 2007

I'm Back!!

Sorry I haven't posted for awhile. I couldn't figure out what was going on with the site. I am now up-to-date and will start posting once again . . . not that anything new is happening in the adoption proccess.

I have signed with Catholic Social Services to do my home study but that is all that has happened in the last two weeks. I have not even heard from the social worker, SW in the adopting circles. The receptionist at CSS said the SW does not set up interviews until after all the background checks are in. Considering there are about 3-4 interviews to do, I think she would want to get started as soon as possible. I know I am ready to get started. My goal is to have the home study finished by the end of February. I don't know if that is reasonable so I have asked some of my adoption buddies on the Yahoo groups I belong to.

Oh, I have also bought two round-trip airline tickets. They are American Airlines and fly anywhere in the U.S. Central time zone to Europe and back. They were just over $1,700. I checked with AA and to get tickets for Mom and I to Frankfurt, Germany from Wichita would be about $1500 a piece. The ones I bought were from ebay but I checked them out thoroughly. We will use them for the first trip, the choosing and bonding time.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

People are Excited!!

Believe it not I am selling popcorn to raise money to help pay for my adoption. What's neat is how people will buy it just because of what it is for. I just returned from my dentist office. I told the ladies there I'm not going to be getting my teeth cleaned for several years because I am adopting a baby. I will need all my money for the adoption and teeth cleanings are not as important. They laughed at me or course, and then told me how excited they were for me. When Hiedi, one of the hygienist, came to the front I asked her if she wanted to buy some popcorn. She kind of curled her nose up but as soon as Angela told her I was adopting a baby, her attitude towards the popcorn changed. I am ready to hit my neighborhood now. I will still avoid a couple but I have more confidence now.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Faith vs. Discouragement

That is what I am going through today. I keep telling myself to have faith and I have done pretty good all day. However, sometimes that little bit of discouragement starts creeping in. I still don't have a home study provider. I have called CHI and left a message for some lady to call me. She was in a staff meeting this morning when I called. It is now 4:00 and that must be an awfully long staff meeting. Yes, I think everything should rotate around me and my needs. I have also emailed the CHI main office in St. Louis. I told them that I really need someone to do my home study and that I have found a SW who contracts with them. I offered to send them references if they want stating that I would be a good parent and nothing will happen to my child. I left them my cell number but have not heard back from them. I will call again after preschool tomorrow if they don't call me. I will be persistent. I really want this SW. I need prayer that God will work this out. He can and will.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Want to Study my Home?

I need someone to do a Home Study? No, I really just need a lot of prayer so that the Social Worker I want to do the Home Study can find a way to do it. The problem? I am adopting through Little Miracles in Amarillo. They only do home studies in Texas. I have to find someone licensed to do one in Kansas. I found a lady in Liberal who works for Kansas Children's Service League and contracts to do home studies for Children's Hope International. The problem is that CHI won't let her do the home study on their letterhead. If something were to happen to the child and Kazakhstan finds out, CHI might be responsible since their SW did the home study and reccomended me. My agency, LMI, won't let her use their letterhead because she doesn't work for them. Please pray they can work something out. She has done lots of home studies and is familiar with the way they are to be done. She is close so mileage costs would be low. I had my doubts about her for awhile but now she is the SW I won't. I know God can work it out. He has worked out everything so far.

Monday, January 15, 2007

How Did This All Start?

I think most little girls grow up wanting to be a mommy. I know I did. I have been told by many people that God puts certain desires in our hearts and the Bible also says that if we are following God, delighting in Him, living in His will, etc. He will give us those desires. I just wish it hadn't taken me so long to get there.

December 3, 2006 I was at church and it was during the praise and worship time. God just started speaking to me. He told me that "by this time next year, you will be holding your own little girl in your arms." WOW!!!! I knew it was a desire I had and I thought about it often but that was as far as I ever went. God, unfortunately, continued to speak. You know how He is. He told me I would have a lot of work to do and a lot of money to raise to make this desire happen. It would have been so much easier if He had told me He was just going to make this baby fall from the sky.

I knew I wasn't going to be getting married and having a baby in such a short time so God must mean adoption. I started checking into it and felt a lot of peace about it. It was God's peace. I chose Kazakhstan because of the bonding period that country requires. Unlike other countries where adoptive parents just go over for a few days and then come back with a strange child, Kazakhstan requires the adoptive parents to stay and bond with the child for two weeks. What a great start for both the parent and the child.

For awhile it looked like things weren't going to work out with Kazakhstan because of my depression (it is almost nothing now and I take very little meds for it). I told my coordinator I would be fine going with Guatemala which she said I would qualify for. There was just no peace about that decision. Within an hour I told her no, it had to be Kazakhstan. I knew God would work it out. The next day was my birthday and I woke up crying and cried all morning. I wasn't trusting God at all. I made up my mind it was all going to work out, put my trust in God and the rest of the weekend went so much better. It wasn't until Tuesday that my coordinator called back and said I could adopt from Kazakhstan. I cried again, of course, only this time they were tears of joy!!! I was now going to get the little girl God has planned for me.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Not A Criminal

I got Mom's and My fingerprints and background checks back from the FBI. It was so nice to know that we are not criminals. Both sets of fingerprints were stamp "NO CRIMINAL RECORD." I thought you all might be happy to know that.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

I've Been Accepted!!

Today I got the call my Anne at LMI. I have finally been accepted to adopt for adoption from Kazakhstan!! It took a looooooong time just to find that out. My application was sent in before Christmas but LMI didn't get it before Christmas. Then they were closed the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. When they returned on the 2nd there had a stack of mail to go through, including my application. Anne called me on Jan. 4 and said there may be a problem because of my history of depression. What a set-back!!! That's enough to put one into a depression. My agency sent an email to their facilitator in Kazakhstan for an opinion on whether or not I would be okay in the court system over there. That facilitator wouldn't return to work until Monday. The next day was my 43rd birthday and I woke up crying and cried all morning. I felt better later in the day but still angry, sad, and confused. Over the weekend I prayed a lot and everytime I read my Bible I was assure that God was with me and that it would all work out. I tried not to doubt but you know how us humans are. Well, its official now. I am on my way to getting my daughter Johanna Faith!!!!!!

It will be a long road and it won't always be easy. I will try to post here often to keep everyone up-dated on the progress. When I go to Kaz to get my daughter, this is where you will first see her pictures. I will appreciate all your prayers, thoughts, advice and encouragement as I enter this new part of my life.

God is Gracious! (what Johanna means)
Gail