Monday, April 1, 2013

Going silent

I have decided to only use our secret page on Facebook for the rest of our adoption updates. Much easier and safer.

If you would like to follow us and have not been added, you must first become my friend on FB and then ask me to add you. I would be happy to do that.

Thanks for all the support!


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Documents are DONE

That's what our coordinator said!!!

The documents are being translated right now and we will start working on more paperwork...yay. Really though, it's much more exciting this time because we have faces waiting on us!

Once translations are finished, we will be notified of when our 30 days started. As far as I understand, this is the day the judge have us written approval. They allow 30 days for anyone to step up for the boys in country. We are already past this point we just don't know how far yet! Such a roller coaster!

So next is waiting for everything to be translated and for us to fill out the I-600. I am unsure if the new 3-6 months investigation time starts once we file or after it is approved.

I am hoping to file the I-600 by the end of March!

Avlynne and Cooper today waiting on the boys.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Succesful Silent Auction!

For those of you who were unaware or were not able to make it to the Silent Auction last night, it was a huge success!  Here are some pictures to prove it.

                   Did anyone get any other pictures?  I would love to have more if you have some.

The total from last night was just over $9,200!!  Can you believe it?  I can!  Somewhere in my head I came up with the idea that we might make $3,000-5,000.  But my God always blesses above and beyond our wildest imagination!  His plans and His ways are always best.  Through a few other donations in the last week or so the total I put in our adoption account today was...$10,904.00

THANK YOU, without all the wonderful donations, sponsors, and bidders it would not have been possible.

I have to give a big shout out to a couple of William's old buddies from school.  I hadn't even thought of the idea to hold a silent auction until Brandi Clark and Nita Dreyer so kindly offered a donation from their businesses a few months back if we wanted to raise some money .  I let the thought roll around for awhile.  So Thanks ladies!

As much as the donations bless our hearts, so many of you have shown a genuine interest in this story.  That means so much to us!  The inquires, sincere hugs, and love surrounding us is just what we need to carry us the rest of the way to our boys.  I think the ache for them is officially setting in.

We truly hope you enjoyed your night with us if you were able to attend. 

Next up is waiting for our official Act Of Adoption paperwork to arrive at our agency in the U.S.  We would covet your prayers that this would happen very soon, and as always for the safety, and health of the boys.


p.s. If you are new to the blog, I suggest you look back into the posts from the last year or so and follow our journey.  It's been such a wonderful ride full of curvy, twisty roads! 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Wolverton's, They're Really Wolverton's!


                                                                   WAS TODAY!!!!!!!!!

I really am having a hard time breathing people! 

Today marked 6 weeks since sending our dossier to the DR Congo.  I was told to wait 4-6 weeks before checking in on the status.  I didn't even think about emailing at 4 weeks because who wants to be disappointed?  I marked it on the calendar to write an email early next week.  I figured why not give it a couple more days.  Well, I went ahead and shot the email out this morning.  ;)

MUCH to my surprise, my coordinator emailed back this afternoon say that she emailed awhile ago but never heard back about a court date.  But...she called again today and we PASSED COURT TODAY!

Now, there is a 30 day wait I think that will start today.  I'm a little confused, because it's just plain confusing stuff!  So not exactly sure where we are in the process.  She says it will take about 3 weeks for everything to be typed up and then it gets reviewed, after that we will get documents translated and file the I-600.  Once we file that it has been taking somewhere around 8-10 weeks until travel.

God is Good!  Hang on Boys we're comin' to get ya'!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

In the waiting


Counting the days going by, waiting for our the boys...

I think we are doing a pretty good job so far.  With things slowing down and coming to this time of year where there seems to be a lull, I think it's going to get harder though! 

We are soon to be starting on our required training, and I am learning quite a bit about our time we will experience there and things to pack when we travel!

While there is no other news to share, I thought I would post this wonderful article about adoptive families.  I have read other articles that have said the same things in not such a pleasant tone.  This one I believe hits all the perfect topics while staying polite. 

Lords knows, if you know me well, you know I have a big mouth.  If I'm curious, I will probably ask.  Hopefully I have been tactful about it, though I imagine I haven't always...

So if I have ever offended, I am sorry! 

Like she points out at the end, if you have already said these things or asked any of these questions don't feel bad!

This is all new to many of us.  Sometimes we really mean well, and given awkward circumstances sometimes things just come out wrong.  Other times we haven't thought it through, or have never heard the opposing side to understand. 

I think it is a beautiful thing when we take the time to understand where others are coming from and expand our understanding of different realities in life. I don't know a lot about autism, or dealing with the loss of a child, or living anywhere but Alaska!  Lol, but I am willing to try and listen and learn.

It is lengthy, but WELL worth the time.  Thanks!

Supporting and Understanding the Adoptive Family
Answers for Friends & Family
January 01,2013 / Ashlee
Our children are not necessarily grateful to have been adopted.
And we don't expect them to be. It is not that our kids don't notice the stability of a family. It's not that they don't cherish the love that they are receiving or that they don't like their new life. It is because children are programmed to need, want and expect love. When we provide it we are not heroes, we are simply meeting one of their very basic needs. Expecting adopted children to be grateful for being adopted is like expecting our biological children to be grateful for being conceived. It was a choice that we, their parents, made and that they were brought into.

Please don't feed my kids.
For children who have known hunger, food means love. We want them to learn to love us, their parents and siblings, before they bond with extended family, neighbors and friends. I know that they stare longingly at anything edible. I know that our two year old puts his head on the table and looks at you with puppy dog eyes. But since we were not there to meet their early needs (breast or bottle feeding, comforting them when they were sick, changing diapers, kissing boo boos) we need to make up for it by meeting as many of their physical and emotional needs as possible now. Many adopted children also have food insecurities. Some eat until they vomit and then start eating again. Others hoard food, needing the comfort of knowing that there is some saved for later. It is best to leave all feeding to the parents unless specifically directed otherwise.
PKitchenLifearenting an adopted child is hard work and we struggle. We may tell you that were okay when we're really falling apart. We're worried that if we are honest about how difficult it is that you won't understand and that you'll think we're nuts. Adding a child who may or may not have anything in common with us socially, culturally, biologically or even personality-wise is challenging. Though undoubtedly beautiful and worth all of the struggles, adoption certainly isn't always easy or pretty.

It is greatly appreciated if you choose your wording carefully, especially around our children.
Yes, these are all our "real" kids (though sometimes it would be nice if all of my kids, adopted and biological, had "off" switches) and, in most situations, you probably do not need to specify whether you are talking about my "adopted kids" or my "biological kids". They are all my kids even if they joined us through different paths.

If you'd like to offer support (meal, help with house cleaning, etc) when an adopted child joins the family, please do even if we don't reach out and ask.
Many of us won't specifically ask for help or tell you what we need. However, I don't know a single adoptive mom who would turn down an offer to have a group of friends tidy/clean her house during those first few weeks at home with a new child. Likewise, coffee and chocolate are most always welcome and might be exactly what a new adoptive mom needs to get through those challenging times of adjustment!

Please don't try to get our child to like you the most.
Attachment and bonding are challenging enough without having friends and family slip our children candy, shower them with gifts, offer seconds at meals or encouraging bending and stretching of family rules. We're already working our tails off to get them to like us. With consistency and time they will learn to like you too, I promise.

Our adopted children had lives before they joined our family.
They had/have birth families and other relatives who are important to them and who deserve recognition and credit too. They have had life experiences that, while sometimes different than ours, are still special and valuable.

Be considerate of the types of questions that you ask about our child's background and personal history, especially in their presence and especially if they are old enough to understand.
Would it offend you if someone asked if you have AIDS, if you were abandoned, if your parents were drug users or how your parents died? If so, best not to ask these questions to someone else. We understand that it is normal to be curious and to wonder about the circumstances that led to a child's adoption. However, these are things that we discuss openly in our immediate family but not elsewhere. Our children may or may not choose to divulge more of their personal stories someday when they are older but they are THEIR stories and details to share, not mine.

Sometimes adopted children need to be parented differently than biological children.
We are not spoiling them. We aren't making excuses for poor behavior. Rather, we are parenting a child whose background may be very dissimilar to anything we've experienced. A child who has been abandoned and who has a fear of abandonment shouldn't be sent to time out alone in another room. A child who is still attaching to their adoptive family may need to be firmly held while having loving, affirming words whispered into their ear during a full-blown tantrum. The types of consequences that work for other children might not work for a child who doesn't have the same sense of value of their possessions and who doesn't understand what it means to have privileges. As parents, we must be flexible to help meet the individual needs of our child even if it means that we do things a little differently sometimes.

If you would like to give a gift to our new child, please consider something small that the whole family can enjoy together.
A few ideas are a frozen meal, a gift card to the movies, a small ornament commemorating the adoption or art supplies for all of the kids to share. We know that you want to welcome our new additions but gifts can be overwhelming for children who have had few material possessions. Also, we want our children to learn to love you for who you are, not for the fact that they hope they'll get another gift the next time they see you again. Other siblings may also experience jealousy and resentment if the new addition suddenly receives an armory of gifts and they are excluded.

Attachment takes time and work.
It doesn't happen overnight. Even if it appears that our child is securely attached to us it may take many months or years and every child and every family bonds differently. Many times we're faking it until we make it but one day we will wake up and realize that we're not faking it anymore and that our love is deep and real.

Parents who have recently added a child through adoption need support, friendship, love and encouragement.
Even if we're somewhat withdrawn and spending a lot of time at home cocooning with our new addition we value our friendships. Please continue to check up on us and to email, text, call or stop by. If you were in our life before we still want you in our life and in the lives of our children!

Please refrain from commenting on our child's appearance (specifically relating to ethnicity/race) in front of him or her.
All children want to feel included and to fit in. Pointing out how dark they are, how differently they look from the rest of us or how unique their hair feels only makes them feel like they stand out more.

Please do not ask adopted children if they like their new parents/family.
Adopted children do not usually get to hand pick their family. Adoption is similar to an arranged marriage and unique, sometimes very different people are brought together. With hard work and patience true love may grow. However, ask ANY child, biological or adopted (especially any older child!) if they like their parents and be prepared for some interesting answers!

It takes time to help children start to heal from a difficult past.
Just because they have been with us for a certain amount of time does not mean that the are "fixed". On the other hand, just because children are adopted does not necessarily mean that they will be any more difficult, defiant, less successful or anything else as teenagers or adults.

Educating your children about adoption and diversity helps my children.
Talking openly about adoption, children who look different than one or both parents and other "nontraditional" family structures helps our children feel accepted and secure at extracurricular activities, church, school and elsewhere in our community.

Our new additions are not celebrities.
We appreciate all of the love and support that we were shown during our adoption process and we know that everyone is excited to meet them. However, taking photos of just our adopted child or pouring attention on them while ignoring our other children is not healthy for anyone. The child who is receiving all of the attention often feels singled out and siblings quickly become resentful.

Our children may be "delayed" when they join our family but often they just need time.
Adopted children are placed into environments that may be very different than anything they've ever experienced. They may be overstimulated, confused and sometimes there are language barriers. With time and patience most emotional, intellectual and physical delays will be overcome.

Please do not tell us how amazing we (parents) are because we have chosen to adopt.
We know that this comment is usually intended as a compliment but our adopted kids are not burdens, charity cases or a community service project to be completed. As parents we gladly invest the time and energy needed to ensure the happiness and well-being of any of our children.

We may discourage physical contact with our child for the first several months that they are home or until we feel like they are securely attached to us.
Please do not insist on holding them, hugging them or having them sit on your lap. Many children who have lived in orphanages and institutions learn to fight for adult attention. Often they can put on quite the show and act like the most friendly, charming child to draw attention to themselves. While it may be cute and though it gives the false impression that they are well-adjusted and confident, it is very important that initially the parents are the only adults who help fulfill these children's need for physical affection. This also teaches healthy boundaries and is a safety consideration since no child, adopted or biological, should feel obligated to have close physical contact with someone that they do not know well.

We do not advertise our child's "cost".
If you would like to know how expensive our adoption process was, please ask when our children are not present, call after our kids are in bed or send us an email. Most adoptive families are happy to share our experiences and to provide helpful information but we do not ever want our children to feel like they were bought or that they are commodities.

When the going gets tough please do not ask if we regret our decision to adopt or imply that "we asked for it".
Few people would tell a sleep-deprived mother of a colicky newborn "well, you asked for this" and it would be considered rude to ask a new mother if she regretted her decision to have a baby. Just because something is difficult does not mean that we regret it. There are bumps in the road of every journey.

Even the happiest of adoptions are a result of challenging or difficult circumstances.
Though we like to think of adoption as a "happy ending", birth parents may have made difficult decisions, children may have faced losses and many lives were forever changed. Though most adopted children grow to be happy, well-adjusted adults and though most adoptive families are beautiful and full of love, it is important not to romanticize adoption.

And, most importantly:

No one is perfect.
If you slip and call our biological kids our "real" kids or if you've already asked "What happened to his mother?" we won't hold a grudge. We know that our family is different. We understand that it is impossible to be sensitive and politically correct in every situation all the time. These are ideas and suggestions, not commandments.

We appreciate that you care about our family. We cannot thank you enough for wanting to learn more about supporting and understanding the adoptive family and for helping make this transition as smooth as possible for all of us!
Contributed by Ashlee, author of the very popular blog: The Kitchen is Not My Office


Would you be so kind so drop a word about the article?  Did you learn anything, something you never thought about? 


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Friday, December 28, 2012

U.S. Approval

Yes! We received the approval to the I-600a form! This tells the U.S. our intent to adopt from the DRC and they have approved us to do so. It's exciting to have some type of movement when we are just waiting to hear something from the courts in the DRC. We still have at least a month until we hear something. It could be up to two months. Hopefully not!!
We are getting ready to send the boys their first care package.

We had a wonderful relaxing Christmas. We pray that each of you keep our boys in your prayers and that you have a Wonderful 2013!

We are here to answer any questions about adoption too!