Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cocooning in the Chase House

Friends and Family,

This is a hard post for me to write.  Here's the nature, I am a people-pleaser.  I rarely say no when someone asks a favor of me and feel guilty for weeks when I do say no!  Ah!  It's kind of a crazy place to live.  Anyway, this post is not intended to upset anyone, but rather, to explain how our family is going to function for the next several weeks.

We will be laying low for awhile.  Our number one priority is to our son and building a strong bond with him.  It's so important to teach him that we are his parents and that Camden and Melia are his brother and sister.  It is criticial that this bond happens before he bonds with any other family or friends.  The way we will do this is by staying home for a couple of weeks {or longer} until we feel that Bek is ready to be introduced to other places. 

When you do see us, it is probable that he will get overwhelmed.  Please keep in mind that our son's view of the world is currently limited to two rooms...his bedroom with 5 other babies about his same age, and the "playroom," a room with mats on the floor and a couple of toys that are shared between about 10 babies.  Places and people will be all new to our boy.  When we do venture out, we will likely not go to places with lots of people and may not stay long.  Please don't be offended if we leave early or quickly {good-byes may need to be implied :) }.

When we discipline Bek, it will look different than how we discipline our other children.  We must do everything we can to build our bonds with our little guy, which includes how we discipline him.  We will be employing a method called "time in," which basically means that we will hold him and calm him while we correct his misbehavior.  This may look exhausting or like it is not the most straight-forward method of discipline, but this has been a proven method of effective discipline for adopted children.

We will do some things with Bek that will look more like what we would do with a baby than what we should do with a toddler.  Although Bek is almost 15 months, his "family age" will begin when we pick him up from the orphanage on Wednesday.  By the very nature of being in an orphanage, there are things done that are very "babyish" with him.  We will not potty train as early as we did with our other kids.  We will continue to feed him very much like a baby {he still takes bottles and eats cereal}, introducing new foods through baby food and working up to solid food.  We will also hold him and carry him and rock him as much as he will tolerate, partly because this is essential to the bonding process and partly because he has not received that kind of care that all babies deserve in order to form and understanding long-lasting, unconditional relationships.

Trevor and I will need to meet all of Bek's needs. If he needs fed, changed, held, rocked, disciplined, or helped, we will need to do all of that for quite a while.  For those of you who will come to visit, please do not try to meet any of his needs as this is, again, essential to his bonding with us.

Coming to visit us will be different than normal.  We want people to come to visit, but please be aware of the previously mentioned things.  For the first few weeks, if you come to our house, we ask that you please call first.  We do not want more than one family here at a time so as not to overwhelm our little guy.  We also ask that you plan for the visit to be quick.  We will not feel comfortable asking you to leave, so please just do that on your own.  If you come, feel free to bring your kids with you as Camden and Melia would love to see their buddies and cousins! :)   Also, bringing a meal would be a huge blessing to us, but please do not feel obligated to do that.  Trevor's sister, Lesley Cowger, has set up a meal schedule for us...if you want to do that, please contact her.  Again, please do not feel obligated to bring anything with you if you come for a visit.

Our sweet Bek has been well taken care of in his transition home, but he does not know how to be a part of a family yet.  It is so important for him to have lots of time and opportunity to bond with us and understand that he is a part of our family forever.  Thank you for helping us through this process and for your continued prayerful support.  We love you all!

Now, off to get our son...

Saturday, June 23, 2012


On Thursday morning at 7:30 a.m. {Ethiopia's time}, Bek's grandmother appeared at the US Embassy to be interviewed. 

On Thursday morning at 12:00 p.m. {4:00 a.m. Central time}, we received an E-mail with this subject line:

{cue Halleluah Chorus}

The Embassy asked for three dates of preference for our visa interview, so we E-mailed them our dates immediately and within 45 minutes, they sent us our interview date: Thursday, June 28th.

{time to snatch this little man out of the window sill!}

We had been on vacation in Gulf Shores with our friends Josh and Katie and their kiddos for the week.  We were blessed to have this time to relax and enjoy our friends and each other; our last hoorah as a family of four. 

So, we made our travel arrangements from our townhouse at the beach, packed up, and headed home.  We drove 12 straight hours {stopping only twice!} and arrived at 7:00 p.m. yesterday evening. 

Today, we will frantically shop and pack and get ready to get on a plane tomorrow headed for Ethiopia! 

In the next couple of days, I will find time to post what I want you to know about how we will assimilate Bek into our family...our version of cocooning...and what you can expect {or not expect!} from us in the coming weeks/months.  Please watch for that post; it's important to us that you read it. :)

In the meantime, please pray for us and for Bek.  Our worlds are about to collide {finally!} and with that will come some challenges.  Please pray for his comfort and peace and that somehow he will remember us and will be comfortable with us as his forever family.  Please pray for rest for has been a whirlwind these days leading up to meeting him and we want to be rested and able to pour into him fully.  Please pray for our meeting with B's grandmother...that she will be pleased with the family that was chosen for her little grandbaby.  Please pray for Camden and Melia as they gain a new {active toddler} for a brother.  And, please pray for us as a family of five.  We are excited to be entering this new phase of our family life and are filled with hope at how God will continue to use us as a beacon of light to our world.

Thank you friends,

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Final Chapter

Today we heard from the US Embassy that Bek's birthparent interview will happen next Thursday at 7:30 a.m. in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia {11:30 p.m. Wednesday central time}.  We are beside ourselves with excitement at this news!  Typically, families clear immediately after the interview {and, in this case, we are praying that we are "typical"}. 

{Can't wait to peer into those big, beautiful eyes again!}

Here are four specific ways to pray for us on what could very well be the final chapter in this amazing love story that God has authored:

1. That our agency is able to get Bek's grandmother {who will be interviewed} to her appointment on time.  If she misses the appointment, it could set us back another couple of weeks.
2. That Bek's grandmother is able to answer all of their questions and that she is filled with peace during the interview.
3. That the Embassy clears us immediately following the interview.
4. That an anonymous donor pays for our plane tickets to Ethiopia. {HA!  Kidding, kidding...(kind of) ;)}

Oh, friends...thank you so much.  For your prayers, for your support, for your kind words, and just for reading our little blog.  We have been in this process for so long that it truly feels like it's time for the next volume in this story of our lives.

Love to you all,

P.S. Coming soon...the "Cocooning in the Chase House" post...

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Note From the US Embassy and Outbid Me!

This morning, we woke up to a note from the US Embassy letting us know that the I-600 portion of our case is complete and that they are now starting the Orphan Status Verification {the part of the process known as the I-604, Determination on Child for Adoption}.  PLEASE PRAY your hearts out!  Little man is SO close to being home...I can feel it! :)

In other adoption-related news, my best buddy who is adopting from St. Vincent is having an adoption auction for the next five days.  Head on over to her blog and check it out, and while you're at it, outbid me...I dare you! ;)



Friday, June 8, 2012

Submitted to Embassy!

Last night while we slept, the Numan Orphanage director got the police letter that we needed to our in-country staff.  They then had the letter translated and SUBMITTED US TO EMBASSY!!

Submission to Embassy=

one HUGE step

closer to more cuddles

and silly faces.

We are ecstatic to be so close to having our son home with us forever!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today,

this precious baby boy
entered an orphanage.

Five months later,

his mommy and daddy and sister and brother
saw his face for the first time.

Five months after that,

his mommy and daddy held him
for the first time.

And, today

we celebrate our sweet little guy.

Because, although being in an orphanage for a year of your life is not an ideal situation in anyone's book, God is paving our way to our little guy.

We are thankful that next year on June 6th, we will be celebrating our son in our home, with his forever family who loves him SO MUCH!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

14 Months Old

Our sweet baby is 14 months old today.

According to our friends, the Hapners {who took this precious picture}:

Bek has only two teeth
He can stand alone
He is taking some steps
He loves his nanny's cell phone
He's precious :)

Oh, how I pray there aren't too many more of these milestones before he is home! 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Disappointing Update


If you read this post, you know that we were told by our agency that we would be submitted to Embassy on Thursday.  Our agency DID take our case to the Embassy to be submitted, but it was turned away because of a missing document.  We do not know what this document is or how long it will take to collect it.  We are at a loss and are feeling very disappointed with this news.

We know God has this, that Bek will be home in His perfect timing.  We just miss our son...

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