Monday, December 9, 2013

Looking Toward Bringing Kindu Home

**This is a very long post, so please bear with me.  Grab a mug of your favorite steamy beverage and settle in - it's important for me to know that those who are close to us have read the entire post - thanks**

Much like bringing home a newborn, bringing home an adopted child from a foreign country, I suspect, will be VERY similar.

With newborn KK, I didn't know how to meet some of her needs right away.  There were times that she cried when NOTHING I did could soothe her short of taking a 3am drive around I-270.  Yes, we made that drive...Khris and I each took a turn and once she was asleep, we just left her in the infant carrier the rest of the night.  We did NOT want her to wake up!

Bringing Kindu home, there's a language barrier, so I won't always understand his needs either.  I'm learning a little of his Amharic language and can sort of communicate with him to hopefully meet his basic needs.  Until he learns English, we'll be playing a LOT of charades!

With newborn Lily, she came out screaming 10 days early because just a couple hours before I was induced with her, she was breech.  This little one was set in her ways from the beginning.  She even screamed right through her first few feedings.  We had quite an adjustment as she grew accustomed to her new surroundings.

Bringing Kindu home, he will be coming into our family with nothing but himself.  He has no possessions - we even have to give back the clothes on his back when we pick him up.  He's coming into a completely different culture where everything will be very different - from table manners to holidays, his world is about to change drastically.  Yes, we are anticipating some screaming from him too.

With newborn Reese, I had a busy preschooler and a very mischievous curious toddler also in the mix.  Their needs were just as important as baby Reese's needs and I had to figure out how to juggle all of that and not lose my mind.

Bringing Kindu home, he's coming into an established household.  All of us have our roles to play - our own responsibilities - for this family to operate like a well-oiled machine.  ALL of the Rogi will be adjusting to new roles as sisters having to be more independent with their homeschooling, brother sharing a room for the first time, and parents of now 4 Little Rogi.

Khris and I will still be needing to meet ALL 4 Little Rogi's needs without neglecting each other's.  This is difficult enough without adding another child, newborn or not, to the mix.  Cooking meals, keeping up with school, not forsaking together time or individual time for each Little Rogi will be a challenge.

All this to say, there are some things we have yet to address with our loving family members and church family that we think are very important.  A lot of this I have been thinking about and haven't found very easy to articulate.  I love how my sweet friend, Annie, over at PennyPickles.net has written these things so I am using her post as a springboard for this one - with permission, of course ;-)  (Annie and her hubby, Ryan were our suite-mates at the guest house in Ethiopia for our court trip).  Also, Jen Hatmaker's post, "After the Airport" is quite helpful.

: : CLUELESS:  We have NO IDEA what to expect when we bring Kindu home.  Our hearts are prepared for loving on him, but we don't know what to expect as far as how he will respond to this BIG change.  We have read the adoption/attachment books, had training for interracial adoption families, and we have a support network through our fellow adoptive parents with our agency and locally.  We have played out worst-case-scenarios in our heads and we have met Kindu and spent time with him...in HIS country and culture.  Kindu was an easygoing boy who seemed to be rattled by very little.  Here at home, it could be a whole new ballgame.  Or not.  Thus we are clueless.

: : THRILLED: We are thrilled to be adding Kindu to our family.  We have followed the LORD's lead on this adoption and trust that He intends Kindu for our family.  Miracle after miracle has occurred for all the paperwork, logistics and funds to be in place.  Adoption isn't all rainbows and cotton candy though.  Kindu has endured much loss in his 6 1/2 years as well as trauma that no child should have ever seen or endured.  He is leaving everything he knows.  While we are very excited to welcome him home, please understand that we are embracing this change and will be grieving and coping, right alongside of our son, through all he's lost in order to gain The Rogi as a family.  As my pal Annie says, "It's nothing short of tragic."

: : EXCITED: While we receive reports that Kindu is excited to join our family and is anxious for us to come get him, I'm pretty sure that if given the choice, he would choose his own birth family to remain intact.  We don't think that Kindu should feel grateful or lucky to be joining the Rogi in America.  Of course he will have some opportunities that he may have never been given without being adopted, but really, God's will for all of us is to have an intact, God-fearing family.  Because we live in a fallen world, this just isn't a reality for many like Kindu.  So, with his life taking a left-turn to America, we will be loving him through whatever may be difficult for him as he walks this journey.  So, don't assume he feels lucky or grateful, and please don't ask him if he's excited to be in America with a new family.

: : COCOONING: What's that?  This is a method of developing a strong, trusting, secure relationship between us and our newly adopted child (see more here).  Essentially, our plan is to lay low for a few weeks.  Depending on how Kindu responds to coming home, we plan to take a break from E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.  Well, at least me (Michelle) and the kids do.  You probably won't see Kindu and I at church or homeschool gym or (maybe) even the barn (unless it's an equine therapy emergency!).  I won't be taking him to the store or out to eat at any restaurants.  We probably won't welcome any visitors either for the first few weeks, but we'd LOVE to see you all at the airport when we arrive so you all can meet & greet him and make him feel special for those first few moments home.

: : HELP: Although I find it difficult to ask, let it be known, I. WILL. NEED. HELP.  With each newborn homecoming, people offered all manner of help, i.e. meals, cleaning, shopping, playdates for the older Little Rogi, etc.  I will definitely take you up on any of those offers once Kindu is home.  I have been the one in the past to coordinate things like this (or at least delegate the duty to someone else), but I'm NOT going to coordinate any of that for myself.  If you feel led to provide any of the aforementioned, don't ask, JUST DO!  Here's how Annie put it,  "I won’t turn you down. I remember when my mom was sick and dying and people would say to her and me – 'what do you need?' or 'please let me know what I can do' etc. You don’t take advantage of those things because really who wants to call a person and say – 'hey, I need a dinner, when can you make one for me?' I mean just sit on that one for a minute. I dare anyone to say they’d be comfortable making that call. No? It’s just me then, I’m not comfortable making that call."  Don't ya just love Annie's candor? I sure do! ;-) Please don't forget about me all holed up here at home either.  I can tend to become a homebody sometimes, but I also get to a point of stir-craziness. I will absolutely appreciate any emails, cards, texts, tweets, and phone calls, I assure you <3  FYI, coffee, chocolate and french fries are my love language - hee hee!

Our plan is to take each day as it comes, knowing that God's mercies are new every morning.  Please keep us in your prayers as we take on THE. BIGGEST. CHANGE. EVER. in the Rogi history and know we appreciate all your love and support as we have taken this journey.

If you would like to talk about any of this or ask any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me or comment below.  I'm open to continuing the conversation.

Love you all,


The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; 
his mercies never come to an end; 
they are new every morning; 
great is your faithfulness.
(Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Update & a Little Song Dedication

UPDATE on the Rogi & Embassy:

Friday will mark 17 weeks since we passed court.  You may recall the timeline I listed on my last post.  It took several weeks for our case to be considered for submission to US Embassy and the "Trifecta" I mentioned concerning Embassy's requests:

1. Birth Father Documentation: Now we (by "we" I mean America World and whoever they have requested info/docs from) have now had a search done outside of Kindu's birth-city.  We learned that Kindu's birth-father was not found.  The local police are following up with their own investigation and we are hoping to get that document that Embassy wanted way back in September!

2. Document Inconsistencies:  AW and the translation office are working to correct these translation errors.  This should be complete very soon if not done already.

3.  Birth Relative Interviews:  Embassy interviewed the birth-mother on Monday this week - check!  The older sister has NOT been found to schedule an interview and we JUST heard that Embassy is waiving that request - Woot!

Progress!  We are thankful for these little progressions in our case.

We do have some specific prayer requests:
1. the police would complete their investigation PRONTO and write up the documents that Embassy has requested in order for us to clear.  **UPDATE 12/7/13** THIS is the LAST PIECE to embassy's requests.  It COULD be done for all we know, the powers-that-be have been unreachable all week to confirm the status.  Please keep praying!  **UPDATE 12/9/13** The police wrote our document! They should have faxed it to our agency on 12/10, translated (1-2days), then submitted to embassy.  We could clear THIS WEEK!!!!
2. for the translation office to finish our documents so they can be submitted no later than the police doc.  **UPDATE 12/7/13** We learned on Friday that this IS complete - Praise the LORD for answered prayer!
3. KINDU: he's asking after us...please pray for his sweet soul as he waits for us.
4. FUNDING: we are still accepting donations to cover our travel and post-adoption expenses. We are FUNdraiser-ed Out, so if you feel led, please feel free to use the DONATE button at the top of the sidebar or you can contact me for mailing address to send a check or whatever... talesoftherogi (at) gmail (dot) com.

This little ditty goes out to...

Our family is NOT alone in this stuff.  There are 4 other families from our agency that we have become close to who are dealing with hold-ups regarding US Embassy's requests for MORE info.  In years past, the evidence that all these families have has been sufficient to pass.  Anyway, please continue to pray for The Rogi as well as these other families who are *STUCK* in these delays...these kids just want to be home with their new families...





a song inspired by orphans in Haiti and the families hoping to adopt them

lyrics

Verse 1:
From sun's rising to its setting
Orphans call upon your name
Crying Abba, Saying Father
We trust you to make a way
For us, for love

Chorus:
Bring our children home
Bring our children home
We sing Abba, Father you are able
To bring our children home

Verse 2:
In the morning through the evening
Families pray and praise your name
Asking Abba to be Father
Rescuing the one's he's claimed
For us to love

Bridge:
When we cannot see you moving
When it seems the dark has won
May you find us still believing
That you want this more than us
You will finish what you started
And your plans for us are good
Help us cling to what you promised
You are faithful, you are sure to
(back to chorus)

credits

from No Double Yellow Line, track released 01 June 2011
Bring Our Children Home:
Words and Music: Cindy Foote
©2010 Centricity Music Publishing/Billy Foote
Songs/ASCAP

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Trifecta AKA Embassy-Triple-Threat

Yesterday marked 3 years since The Lord put it on both of our hearts that it was time to consider adoption.

It's been 2 years & 3 months 
since we began our paper chase.

1 year & 8 months since DTE - 
our dossier was sent to Ethiopia.
See that?  Paper-Pregnant!
Dossier ready to go!
We waited 15 months for a referral - 
that has been 5 months ago now.
Our very first picture of Kindu

13 weeks ago we traveled to meet Kindu 
and passed court.


9 weeks ago our agency, America World, attempted to submit us to embassy.

7 of those weeks were spent attempting to gather Embassy-requested documentation.

Now 1 week ago, we were Finally! 
submitted to embassy.

5 days since initial screening has been done and we have been awaiting news of whether Embassy wants additional documentation, corrections of current documents, birth family interviews, or that they would simply clear us.

TRIFECTA!
Not only did we NOT clear,
but we got the Embassy-Triple-Threat!
Whatchoo talkin' 'bout?!?
My sentiments exactly, bud!
1. We're back to square one with the birth father documentation. They want proof of a search or police document of his reported disappearance. Nobody reported him missing.  We need a plan B.
**UPDATE: I have written to 2 reps to congress and both Ohio senators.  I plan on being a squeaky wheel... Please pray this is effective.

2. The documents they DO have, show some inconsistencies, so they want those fixed. Ok.

3. They want a phone interview with the birth mother AND a meeting to interview his older biological sister. That will take time to set up.

PLEASE PRAY

Would you pray with us that this all goes quickly? We kinda had our hopes up that we would clear and be leaving early next week. Our hopes are not completely dashed but we are admittedly disappointed.

Perhaps this is a grace from The Lord, allowing time to raise the necessary funds for travel.  We have been praying for The Lord's provision to take the 3 Homegrown Rogi with us to Ethiopia, and the funds aren't quite there.  In fact, we really only have enough for just one of us to go. Khris and I both feel that neither of us want the other to travel alone.

So, if you feel led, would you please consider sending a donation for our adoption travel fund? You can use the donate button at the top of the right hand column using Paypal to donate directly. If you'd prefer, we are happy to take a cash/check donation. Email me to get a mailing address and or additional details. Talesoftherogi (at) gmail (dot) com

Let's pray this sweet boy home!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Finally!

This week's Rogers Family Update:

12 weeks since we passed court.

8 weeks since America World attempted to submit us to US Embassy.

7 weeks for additional documentation to come through.

We were Finally! submitted to embassy on Monday.  We are praising the LORD for this overcome obstacle.  Now we're praying for quick screening and clearance so that we can bring Kindu HOME!

We received an email today that the initial screening is complete.  We should hear by the end of next week whether US Embassy will request additional documentation, a birth family or "finder" interview, or clear us for travel.  This is a very exciting time!

We are also in the final crunch-time for raising the rest of our funds.  Depending on what Embassy says next week, we could be traveling as soon as two weeks from now - or sooner!

We prayed and asked the LORD for provision for getting our three bio-kids' passports.

God said, "Yes."

We prayed for His provision for the cost of travel vaccinations for them.

Again, God said, "Yes," and they are ready to go!

Lastly we are asking for His provision for the travel expenses so that we can travel together as a family to go to Ethiopia and welcome Kindu into our family... 

to make our family whole on the spot!

Our costs have been miraculously covered to this point and we believe that GOD WILL provide if it's HIS WILL for the first three Little Rogi to be there for Gotcha Day!

We have applied for a few adoption grants - maybe those will be part of that provision.

At this point, we are DONE with the FUNdraisers, so now we are just straight-up asking:

Will YOU partner with us ONE MORE TIME to UNITE the ROGI? To bring Kindu home forever?

We are estimating our need to be around $11,000 for all of us to go.  To you and I, that sounds massive, but if it is God's will - we know that
it will be accomplished.  

Please, don't look at that number and say,

"my gift is too small."  

Every dollar is significant, and every donation is noted by our King of kings.

Thank you for all you have done thus far, and thank you for helping us complete this journey.

Donations can be made to our Adoption Fund through the paypal link at the top of the right hand column.   We can accept checks or cash too if you're not too keen on the whole paypal thing.
Email talesoftherogi (at) gmail (dot) com for a mailing address.

"God sets the lonely in families..." Psalm 68:6


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Thirty-One Gifts Continues

I had SOOO much fun Friday night!  We had more than 10 lovely ladies over for the Thirty-One Gifts fundraiser to bring Kindu home.


Our fabulous Thirty-One sales rep, Cathleen, gives us the run-down
Some of our guests and Thirty-One fashion models-in-training
Some more of our lovely bag-lovin' ladies
Oh yes, there was chocolate - Salted Caramel Pretzel Brownies
There was also some other delicious treats...apple cake,
pumpkin ganache cake, and spinach dip...you missed it!

Raffle Winner ---> Ruby Cordova was our first raffle winner on Friday night at the party.
Ruby's prize, the Party Thermal


There are still 3 bags to raffle off on Friday (see which bags are being raffled HERE), so get your tickets directly from me or purchase them using the PayPal link at the top of the right-hand column--->
Be sure to tell me in the "notes" section of your PayPal transaction that your donation is for the raffle (tickets are $10 each).  We will receive 100% of your donation to bring Kindu home.

The party is still open, so you can email me to place an order or go to Cathleen's Thirty-One site under "My Parties" to shop. 

Thank you all for all your love and support in bringing Kindu home.  If he only knew, he'd say, "thank you," too...
A little update: we are still waiting on an important document so America World can submit us to Embassy to get Kindu's visa.  Please keep praying for this document and our submission and a speedy clearance.
Isn't he so handsome?
Oh how we miss him...let's get him HOME!
PS, big thanks to the Bice family for this pic
and delivering that care package


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Thirty-One Gifts for the Rogers Family Adoption

Here it is & Just in time for some Christmas shopping!  We are hosting a Thirty-One Gifts party to raise funds for the remainder of our adoption expenses.  Would you believe we are *almost* funded?  We have about $9000 to go for final travel and post adoption expenses.  I see the light!

Thirty-One Party Details:

When:  Friday October 4th
What time:  7pm
Where: My House!  (Please email talesoftherogi@gmail.com to request the address)

Fundraiser:

The fundraiser items are the listed October Specials.  Purchased at full price, we will receive the difference for our adoption fund.  This works best if you order from me directly instead of through the website, paying with check or cash (we can work out those details, just email me).

See the listed items here:
http://assets.thirtyonetoday.com.s3.amazonaws.com/monthy-specials/2013/October/october-special-flier.pdf
**If you're unable to attend, but would like to shop, go to
click the "My Parties" tab, 
then select "Shop Now" next to 
"Michelle's FUNdraiser Party."**

Raffle $10 donation: 

Our wonderful Thirty-One consultant has donated 4 items for the raffle.  We will receive 100% proceeds from the raffle.  If you're local, you can buy your raffle tickets directly from me.  For online raffle ticket donations, use the BRING KINDU HOME Paypal button at the top of the sidebar.  Please indicate that your donation is for the raffle and how many raffle tickets you are buying.  I will email you with your ticket numbers.

Here's what's up for raffle (*actual items may not be color/pattern shown):

Large Utility Tote
Medium Utility Tote
Easy Breezy Tote
Party Thermal

This is our gracious Thirty-One consultant, Cathleen.  
cathleens31gifts@gmail.com
Please contact her in the future to host your Thirty-One Gifts party! 

If you'd simply like to donate directly to our adoption fund, use the BRING KINDU HOME Paypal button at the top of the sidebar.

Please continue to pray for us as we await submission to embassy and clearance to bring Kindu home!  Thanks so much!

Monday, September 23, 2013

6+ Weeks Post Court + Coming soon: Thirty-One Gifts Party

Just a little update... we were hoping to be submitted to embassy 8/28, but it looked like our documents were not quite ready.  Then our hope was that we would be submitted to embassy on Sept. 4.  Here we are almost 4 weeks after that and no submission.  Between the Ethiopian New Year holiday on the 18th and now US Embassy asking for additional documentation (for something that is all over his file :-/ ), we have yet to be submitted for the final wait.

We're not quite sure how long it will take for our family to clear embassy once we are submitted.  We've seen a family clear in as little as two weeks.  We've also seen much, MUCH longer.  Would you pray with us that we would get this document and be submitted this week, AND that we clear and can travel back to get Kindu as quickly as possible?  Thanks so much!

While we wait, I'm planning a Thirty-One Gifts fundraiser.  If you are in the area, you are welcome to come!  If you are NOT in the area, and would like to support us by shopping through this fundraiser, look for an opportunity to shop online very soon!




Thanks so much for all the love, prayers and support for our family...  We are so grateful for each one of you!

Blessings in Him,

Michelle