Every other weekend I work at a group home for four special ladies with disabilities (3 out of the 4 have Down syndrome). I work the sleep shift. And I love it!!! So for the most part, it is the perfect job for me. My children are in bed sleeping when I leave and sleeping when I return. They don’t even know that I’ve been gone unless I mention it. And for the most part, they usually sleep through the night. There have been a few rare instances, when one of the kids have gotten sick while I was working...... and Todd handles it like a pro. It usually makes him very thankful for me being home the rest of the nights......it's kind of nice.
Well the weekend before Christmas was my weekend to work. I got home early Sunday morning and checked my email. I found that the night before we had received an email from our placement agency so I sat down to read it. In the email, it stated that the Baby Home or orphanage, where our little guy lives, is ready to transfer him to an institution. He has aged out and legally they are not supposed to be keeping him there anymore. I felt sick to my stomach. But there was more, our Eastern Europe coordinator was wondering where our homestudy was. She knew that it was finished but hadn’t received it yet. She needed our homestudy (and other documents) ASAP in order for the Baby Home to keep our little guy there a little longer.
I don’t know if you remember or not from previous posts- but our hands were basically tied. In our state, after the homestudy is finished there is an extra step that most other states don’t have. Our homestudy has to have DCFS (Department of Child and Family Services) approval. This can take 6-8 weeks! Ours had just been sent in 2 weeks before. There was nothing we could do but pray. I sent an email to our family and Reece’s Rainbow friends asking them to pray that our DCFS approval would be expedited. I also sent an urgent email to our social worker, who wrote up our homestudy, asking her if there was ANYTHING that could be done.
But the situation was just not looking good. I didn’t want to think about how traumatic it would be for our little guy to be transferred to an institution. He has lived at his Baby Home since he was 1 month old. It is all he has ever known. His particular Baby Home is probably one of the best, if not the best, in the region. But these institutions..........oh man. I still don’t like to think about it. These institutions are basically human warehouses. They keep the children alive but they don’t truly get to live – they merely get to exist.
So we prayed. My heart ached. One comforting thing I did found out was that he would still be available for adoption. In some regions/countries, when they are transferred, they are no longer available for adoption. That was, of course, my biggest fear.
Well Monday morning, I hovered at my computer, waiting for a response from my social worker. It was mid-morning and I had not heard from her yet and so I thought I’d better call her. This was a major disruption and it called for action. As I was looking for her phone number, I heard the ‘ding’ that I had received an email. It was from my social worker. Now this is where it gets good. God’s kind of good.
She proceeds to apologize profusely to me for causing me to worry. Why?? Because she forgot to tell me WE RECEIVED DCFS APPROVAL LAST WEEK. What?! WHAT!!?? You could have knocked me over with a feather, I was so surprised.
Then, she says that she had already sent it in the mail, and had we received it yet?! Our mail arrived at 11am. So I ran out and opened the mailbox. Sitting in the mailbox was a big fat manila envelope. It had all arrived!! You can call it what you want but I will call it a miracle. My God is a God of Miracles. I witnessed it firsthand!! Thank you God!
Well receiving the DCFS approved homestudy and other documents set things into motion. The next morning, I headed to our state capitol an hour away. I had 57 documents apostilled. Another miracle…….not a mistake in the bunch. I had a lot of prayer time as it took 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete this huge task and not a magazine or book in sight. I got home after lunch, Todd took the freshly apostilled homestudy and other important documents, which make up our Registration Application, copied them and over-nighted them to our placement agency.
Our Registration Application has been FedExed to Eastern Europe!!! It’s getting exciting, folks!! It may take a month for our application to be processed but at least it is out of our hands!!! Once our application has been processed we will get an ‘invitation’ to travel and meet our little guy!! So hopefully February we can travel for our first trip though it may be March.