Paperwork and Other Life

I’ve been having a hard time finding time to write lately. Life seems to have accelerated the last few weeks, and I can’t seem to make it stop spinning.  We’ve made some wonderful memories, but it’s been a bit of a blur.

ADOPTION:

A few weeks ago, we began the process of updating all of our homestudy paperwork for the first time.  This paperwork has to be updated every year…..things like home visits, doctor’s appointments, and a lot of signatures.  We are just about done with the paperwork, at which point we will submit it to our homestudy agency for review, they will send it to the state, who should renew our foster/adopt certificate.  Then we will take the approved paperwork, mail it to the USIS office, and they will schedule another appointment (in St. Louis) for us to get fingerprinted for immigration again.  Then, once they approve us again, we will send our approval to AGCI who will submit it to Bulgaria….hopefully all before we go past our deadline, or we will get our file pulled and stuck on the bottom. Yikes!  Room for some anxiety, but we’ve started early and should (fingers crossed) not have to worry about it.

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FRIENDS:

After a failed camping trip in the spring with our friends, we planned months in advance for a fall camping trip.  We’d had it on the calendar since the summer, and all the kids were excited.  So, even though the weekend arrived with severe weather warnings and non-stop rain forecasted, we decided we’d rather be stuck in a camper playing board games in the rain than at our homes cleaning all weekend.  So, we headed to the lake, and lo-and-behold, aside from some drizzle and cool weather, it was a great fall weekend.  We had such fun watching the kids play at the playground, riding on the golf cart, playing cards, roasting smores and visiting the LBL Nature Station to see Smoky.

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Heading home from the lake, we decided to take the kids to Cave-in-Rock, IL.  Andy and I hadn’t been since we were little kids, so we went on a grand adventure exploring the cave, and then picnicked over the Ohio River.

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FAMILY:

I’ve mentioned my Grandpa’s battle with Alzheimer’s here before.  This month, my family teamed together for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.  What started out as a fun family moment of uniting together, ended up being really emotional for me.  I found myself crying at the most bizarre times during the walk.  I think it’s easier to not think about hard things like this, and when I let me guard down, the flood gates open.  My cousin formed our team–Grandpa’s Memories.  We had t-shirts made, and even just the silly little stick people on the shirt got me all choked up!  It felt so great to join together for this cause.

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FAITH:

This past week, we had the awesome opportunity to have our friends, Ryan and Laura, over for dinner.  Laura and I were next door neighbors in college, and were both English Education majors.  She and her husband were called to the mission field 4 years ago, and have just come home for a few months before returning to Asia Pacific for another term with New Tribes.  We have been partnering with them the last few years, and it has been a real blessing.  It was such a neat day as the kids and I studied about were they serve as part of our school lesson, and spent the morning praying for them and the people they are ministering to.  The kids had some really interesting questions for them…..most of Abe’s questions revolved around food (specifically spaghetti) and Addy wanted to know about more practical things like the language and daily life.  While the kids spent the evening making pictures for them, we had a great time of visiting and hearing them share what God is doing in that region.  I tried to get some new pictures for their ministry needs, but the rain prevailed, and I didn’t get to take all the “fall” shots I had in mind!  It was a blessing to see them and be encouraged by their faith.

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FALL FUN:

We’ve been trying to enjoy the outdoors before it gets too cold to do so.  Last weekend, we went for a walk “off the beaten path.” We had a contest to find the most beautiful fall leaf, and Andy spent the walk trying to find the perfect walking stick for each kid.  So thankful we live on this quiet, country road…..it never gets old to me.

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This world never stops spinning, and at times it spins faster than others, but sometimes I need to just take a step back and remind myself to live in the moment and slow things down long enough to enjoy them.

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