Monday, April 25, 2011

USCIS approval and lots of paperwork

We were able to complete our homestudy last week. The first major step done! Our homestudy, along with some other documents, were sent to the department of justice. We were able to have our pediatrician write a letter asking for expedited approval in the best interest of Ivy. Hopefully that will carry some weight and we will get a fingerprinting appointment and approval soon. The slow end of the process takes about 2 months - hopefully ours will go much quicker. While we are waiting for our immigration approval we will be working on our dossier. That is a huge packet of documents that each need to be notarized and apostilled. Some are documents that we need other's to fill out, such as proof of home ownership and medical forms from our dr.

I must interject a huge blessing report here. In the state of CA each notary signature is $10. Most documents are for Rob and I to sign so essentially $20/document. That will quickly add up! I was searching online this morning for a traveling notary to come with us to our dr's office and to the county assessor. There were a few in our area so I picked one. I called her and explained what I needed and what is was for. I had the opportunity to share my blog with her. She emailed me later and said she was touched by our story and would be happy to volunteer all notary services including travel. Can we say Amen Hallelu-yer! What a blessing!

We have been working on our dossier for about a week now and honestly, it feels like having a full time job! Not only the time it takes to track everyone down and explain what you need, but everything is so specific! If one thing is not correct we will be asked to redo the document. This can cost quite a bit of time and money-so lets pray everything is done right the first time! And, for the first time in my life I had to fill in a planner just to keep track of all our appointments and phone calls that needs to happen this week. I think when its all said and done I wont know what to do with myself. Oh wait.....I'll have Ivy to keep me busy :o)

Friday, April 15, 2011

What lead us here

What have we learned about history? It's HIS-story. I'd like to share a little more about how this journey came to be.

In November 2008 we found out we were expecting our 3rd child. After several ultrasounds which looked promising in the beginning, we learned the baby had stopped developing. I had a D&C in January. Over the next year we had several more miscarriages. We were sent to a genetics counselor because although we look normal on the outside something could be wrong with us, haha! Ok, maybe the Dr. didn't say it exactly like that.... We never suspected something would be wrong, especially given we had 2 perfectly healthy children. Just as we expected, all the tests came back normal. No answers. Unexplained losses. Our Dr. was very encouraging and urged us to keep trying. He thought for sure one pregnancy would be successful.

We stopped trying and left it in God's hands. In March 2010 we were once again expecting. Due December 17th - Rob's birthday. I thought for sure it was a sign. Our turn. At our first ultrasound at 6 weeks we saw a heartbeat. Never before had we seen a heartbeat, except with our 2 children. We were cautious yet very hopeful.

6weeks 0days

Thing's progressed normally, I was feeling sick and living on cereal. We had our next ultrasound at 10 weeks and we saw a little baby. We saw arms move and fingers wave.
10weeks 3days

We were elated for all of 2 hours. My Dr. called and said the ultrasound tech had noticed some fluid around the baby, possibly indicating down syndrome. He wanted to send us to a specialist to get a better idea of what may be going on. Because we had to get a referral and wait for an appointment we were not seen until 14 weeks. When we started the ultrasound I noticed something very wrong right away. There was a lot of fluid behind the neck and around the organs. We were told it was a girl and she most likely had turner syndrome - meaning she had only one x chromosome instead of 2. They did an amnio to confirm. Given her condition we were told she would not survive another month. We were heartbroken. After all we had been through and to finally make it this far...

Terminating was never an option. We would carry her as long as God would allow. We gave her the name Jewel - she was our precious gem. We talked about her often, prayed for her daily, and loved every minute with her. She lived 10 more weeks and was born still at 24 weeks exactly.
Jewel Allyn Lim
August 27th 2010

As our hearts were healing my prayers changed. I wanted what God wanted, whatever that was. I felt lead towards adoption and discussed it with Rob. We were discussing adopting through foster care but God had other plans. In January I felt the need to check this blog I had previously read but had not looked at in close to a year. When I went there I saw a recent post made about a little boy with down syndrome and a link to Reece's Rainbow. As I looked over the site and read the many stories of families that had adopted through them, my eyes were opened. I just never knew the dire circumstances these little ones lived every day. So many families are willing but who has $25-$30,000 to complete an international adoption? Not us. God showed me where our child was and He was about to show me a way. A week after finding Reece's Rainbow I was reading a fellow baby loss mommies blog - her husband is also in the military and they are also adopting. She mentioned briefly in one sentence about the $10,000 from their sons military life insurance policy. Anything after 20 weeks gestation is considered a life lost and therefore receives the money. I asked Rob if we were entitled to that with him being a reservist, not active duty. He made some calls and we were! Had I not been reading that mommies blog we would have never been aware of that money. No one had told us and nothing aside from that has ever been mentioned to us. I absolutely believe God wanted us to know about it and He wanted us to use it to redeem one of His lost little ones. Although it isn't the full amount of what is needed, it is a wonderful start. Allowing us to take a leap of faith we probably would not have taken otherwise.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

A story of beauty from ashes. God ordained. That lead us straight to her.

Monday, April 11, 2011

We have a name!!

No one ever tells you that having to agree on a name for your child is one of the hardest parts of marriage. For reals. Two people loving the same name enough to want to name their child that is....hard. But we did it! Four times actually. So without further ado....

Ivy Addison Lim

Beautiful - just like her!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Look what came!!

Three cheers for passports arriving!!

Amid the possible government shutdown last week we weren't sure we would be seeing these soon. Thank goodness that didn't happen!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Just for her

Normally the first thing I would buy would be a super cute outfit...or 2!! Then she would need some matching shoes for that super cute outfit, or 2!! But, we have no idea how big she is. I know her age but really that means nothing. She will probably be smaller than average for her age because thats just the way her designer genes will make her. Then there is the possibility that she may be smaller from improper nutrition. Or she may end up being average size after all. We just dont know. So with that in mind we got this:

A pillow pet!

Something of her very own. Bought just for her. I wonder if she has had anything purchased just for her? Maybe if she had a mommy and daddy who were unaware of her extra chromosome they may have planned and happily anticipated her arrival. Bought her all the fun and cute things you do when a new baby is arriving. Only to discover at her birth that something was wrong and she would not be going home with them. That is the way it happens most of the time. Parents leaving the hospital brokenhearted and empty handed because raising a child with a disability isn't an option. No support, no education, frowned upon.

When we pick her up from the orphanage she will not even leave with the clothes on her back. Nothing there belongs to her. I believe we have to supply her clean diaper to leave in. She has something here though!! Not just all the material things that will add up before she gets here. She has a mommy, daddy, sister, brother, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and lots of hugs and kisses.

She doesn't know yet but she has a lot!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Second trimester, here we come!!

We are almost in our second trimester of our paper pregnancy!! Yay!! And, I didn't miss the morning sickness one bit :o)

For those that may be unfamiliar with the process it goes like this:

home study - first trimester
USCIS customs approval - second trimester
Dossier - third trimester


Then we get a travel date!

We are just wrapping up the last of our paperwork for our homestudy this week as well as correcting anything on the first rough draft of the written homestudy. Initially I was really nervous about this process just because it feels really intimidating to have someone "judge" everything about you to see if you are a fit person. Not only that, but you are at their mercy as to how quickly they get back to you and complete their end of the deal. Sadly, they can hold you up months when it shouldn't take that long. I've heard some pretty nightmarish social worker stories! God lead me to the best of the best though,(Hi Ashley!) and we are able to finish in great time. Which in turn just means we can get our girl quicker!!