We are getting closer. The paperwork trail is nearly behind us. We have been filling out papers and forms and applications like crazy people for 7 months. We have been fingerprinted, poked and prodded, analyzed, and trained. I won’t lie, it gets a bit old at times having to rely on other people and government officials to trudge through this murky paperwork flood. BUT (yay for buts! hehe) we are nearly to the end. This week, we received everything we needed to move forward again. Our approved homestudy arrived, so we can finally apply for our USCIS ( U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) appointment. They are the last ones to fingerprint and approve us to bring a child into the US. We mailed off our application and fee last week and should have an appointment in St. Louis scheduled in the next 4-6 weeks.
Also, we have notarized the rest of our dossier and mailed it today to Springfield to be apostilled. When we recieve it back, we will forward it, along with our second major agency/translation fee, to be translated for about 6 weeks. Once we receive our USCIS results back and get them notarized and apostilled, we will send them to our agency and we will be DONE with paperwork for a while. Then, hopefully, sometime in January or February we can START waiting! 🙂
In the meantime though, we were overdue for family portraits. I am a photographer….not necessarily a great one, but I own a photography business and it keeps me busy enough. And, as any photographer will tell you, we are behind the camera for a reason–which of course is because if you are BEHIND the camera, you can’t be IN FRONT of it. I don’t enjoy getting my picture taken or the effort of getting my family ready for pictures. None of my kids have ever had nice, elaborate, multi-outfit photo sessions. No, we wait until someone is in a good mood, fluff their hair a bit, and take as many pictures as it takes to get one good one. Done.
Well, because of the stress of going to someone else, I just always have my dear sister-in-law run over and snap a few after I get us all set up. She does a great job….considering what she is working with. Getting three kids under 6 to look and smile at the same time is an act of God. Then add Andy’s goofy faces meant to sabatoge the picture and my unruly hair, and it’s quite an undertaking. This time was the same as any other, but we did end up with some good ones….amid LOADS of rejects!
A good thing to remember is that a pretty-posed picture is never the whole story. It doesn’t show the tantrums and the bribing and the fake smiles. It doesn’t show the mess behind the beauty. Being a mom and a wife and just a part of a family is hard, but God blesses us with family to provide us a glimpse into heaven, into His heart.
Only He can make the messes beautiful. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says:
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
We could have never imagined the beginning of this adoption story, and we certainly cannot imagine the end, but one thing rings true: He will make it beautiful in it’s own time. And some sweet day, we will get family portraits with the child or children we are (almost) waiting for.