Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow is here!

We recently had our first major snow here in Illinois. We have about 5-6 inches on the ground today, so Gavin and I decided to go out and "make a mountain" (the snow wasn't sticky enough for a snowman). So we got our shovels and started piling up the snow. It was't long before Gavin was distracted and began playing in the yard. But I continued on shoveling. I looked up and noticed Gavin digging a little hole in snow, down to the grass. Then he took about 5 steps and dug another hole, again and again. "Gav, what are you doing", I ask. "I'm making holes for Joey to poop in", he explains.
He's so thoughtful.

In adoption news, the paperwork is complete! Well, almost. We decided that pursuing this adoption independently was just more work than we could keep up with. The orphanage that we were working with (COTP)recommended an agency called Love Beyond Borders. So now we have a caseworker handling all of the paperwork and staying on top of all legal changes that take place in Haiti. Which is a huge load off my mind. Looking back, we should have used an agency from the beginning. But, we were trying to save a few bucks by doing it ourselves. Live and learn. Right now all of our documents are being translated into French, and will then be sent to Haiti to go through their legal system. And no, I have absolutely no idea how long that will take. We are optimistic, though. We know God has a plan :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Slow going

We have finally received our home study and our DCFS license - which basically means we are approved to adopt in the state of Illinois. The next step is to send our home study and license to USCIS (United States Citizenship and Imigration Services), to get approved to adopt internationally. That process should also take 2-3 months. Yippie! More waiting!
While we were waiting on the DCFS (Department of Children and Family Services) license, we received word that the orphanage we are working with in Haiti - Children of the Promise - has hit a few bumps in the road. They are now required to become a licensed adoption agency -according to some new Haitian government rules. So that process could take a while. It may be 2 months or 2 years -who knows. (Oh, the joys of working with a third-world country. ) Until that happens, they can no longer facillitate any adoptions. We will just have to wait and see. We may have to seek out another orphanage/adoption agency in Haiti - which I am sure will add to the waiting time. :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cookie Monster

The boys and I decided to make cookies this morning (chocolate peanut butter cookies, to be exact). When we were done Gavin asked to lick the spatula. Reluctantly I said yes. (After all, I was the one who did most of the work. If anyone deserved to lick the spatula it was me) I handed him the spatula, covered in chocolaty peanut butter goodness. He grabbed it and ran out of the kitchen. I went back to work, cleaning up the mess from our adventure in baking. About 20 minutes later he wandered back into the kitchen. "Mom, I finally finished it", he said with a dreamy smile on his face, and held up the squeaky clean spatula for me to admire.
Yep, that's my boy.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

First Day

Last week was a bittersweet milestone in the Berry family. Ryder had his first day of kindergarten. Although I have waited anxiously for this day for the last six years, I must admit that when the time came to send my baby off school I was feeling pretty sad. But I'm over it. After all, it is only 1/2 day kindergarten. He had a great first day, but still tells me that he wishes he was in first grade (we held him back a year because of his late summer b-day). Other than that I think he really enjoys being in school.

Gavin, too, had his first day of school yesterday. Preschool that is. He goes 2 mornings a week. I thought it was going to be a big transition for him (since he suffers from severe separation anxiety, and usually freaks out if I am not in his direct line of sight) but he walked right in to school without me and never looked back. He had a great day too, but I think I was the one who was actually more excited for him to be in school.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Last week Jeff and I finished our second and final Home Study interview. We still have a little ways to go before the Home Study is completed, though. We have to complete 10 hours of adoption education, pay a visit to a notary, and then send all the completed paperwork in to our caseworker. ( We should be done by mid September) Then we will just be waiting on the state of Illinois to grant us a license to adopt. After the state's approval, we send everything in to US Immigration, where we will wait to be approved for international adoption. And then, we will once again send everything in, this time to the Haitian government, to be approved to adopt from Haiti. So for the next several months we'll spend a lot of time waiting. :)

Last week we also celebrated Ryder's 6th birthday. For his party we had a picnic and did some hiking at Matthessien State Park (same place where we took the sunflower pics) . We had a great time and the kids loved stomping in the puddles and climbing through the caves.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

ahh, pretty

The boys and I took a road trip last week (well, a 2 hour road trip, on our way home from visiting friends in Peoria). We stopped at Matthiessen State Park to scope out a good place to have a picnic. As we drove down the winding road that leads you through the park, we came to a clearing. A perfect green patch designated for flying RC airplanes. But the green patch is not what caught our eye. It was what was just beyond that green patch that demanded our attention. A sea of yellow, as far as the eye could see. Sunflowers. It was a breathtaking view. And I was glad I happen to have my camera to capture it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Go ask your father

The other day Gavin, my 3 year old, asked me why God lets bad things happen. (I think he was concerned because of some stormy weather that had recently experienced.) Hmmm. How do you explain something to a 3 year old that is so hard for even us adults to understand sometimes. I tried to explain to him that while we live on earth sometimes bad things will happen. People will get sick, there will be storms, and there will be times when we feel sad. But, when we get to heaven everything will be happy and perfect and we will get to be with God.
This lead Gavin to another question; "how do we get to heaven?" (Did I mention that he is 3) "Ummm, well", I fumbled, "you have to believe in God and do the things he wants us to do. That's why we read the Bible. " He seemed satisfied with this simplified answer. But yet, another question: "Mom, can Joey (our beagle) believe in God? He wants to go to heaven with me."
"You can ask daddy when he gets home" ;)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I love summer

We just got back from spending a long weekend at Jeffrey's parent's house in South Haven, MI. They live just a few blocks from the shores of Lake Michigan. I love going up there for the 4th of July. The charming little shops, the main street and the soft sanded beaches are nice break from life in cookie cutter suburbia. Jeffrey and I also got to get away for an evening while we were there. Grandma and Grandpa Berry watched the boys while we went to a Switchfoot concert, which was awesome. I highly recommend it if you ever get the chance.

The week before we spent some time in Missouri at my beloved Table Rock Lake with my family. It was another relaxing retreat, where all I had to do was exist ...... and cook and clean and take care of the boys. But all that didn't seem like such a chore when you are surrounded by family and have such an amazing view of the Ozarks. The boys loved every minute of it. Ryder has turned into quite a fisherman, catching 13 fish and a snake. Luckily he never actually reeled in the snake, it wiggled off the line every time he got it up out of the water. We all had a good time and got our fill of tubing, skiing and wake boarding.
I think we'll make this trip an every-other-year event.

Since my first post a lot of people have been asking me how things are going in the adoption process. There isn't much news to report. We will be having our first home study interview in the next 2-3 weeks. The home study will be a series of interviews and a gathering of documents and letters. In all, I'm guessing it will take about 2-3 months to complete. After that, I am not really sure how long we will have to wait to be "assigned" a child. I do know that things in Haiti do not always progress as they should, and that it will be a rocky road ahead. The wait to bring a child home can be more than 3 years, or as little as 12 months.
We'll just have to sit back and see what God has planned for us.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Here we go

So I'm new to this blogging thing. But I thought I should start one - kind of like a journal - to keep track of the things that are going on in our lives, and share them with family and friends, and whoever else has too much time on their hands. Most notably what I want to share is the journey we have just started on. International adoption.
We've only taken the first step on this journey - and that was to be approved by the adoption facilitator in Haiti, an organization called Children of the Promise. The next step will be the home study - which will take a few months due to the mountain of paperwork we'll have trudge through. Then, papers will be notarized, authenticated and finally sent off to Haiti; where we hope to adopt a baby girl.
So, "why adopt?", you ask. And "why from Haiti?" The simplest answer I can give you is that it is a calling. I know this is something God wants us to do. It is a mission. It is a responsibility. God has blessed my family so richly - freedom, education, jobs, house, food, family, friends, and the list goes on. We have to share these blessings.
Adoption was something I always knew we would do. But I never had a specific place in mind. Then a friend (you know who you are, Jerica) was talking to me about her mission trip to Haiti. That perked my interest. There is a great need there, and very little is being done to help. And as it turns out, Haiti is one of the less expensive (relatively speaking) places to adopt from.

So there you have it. I could go on, but you get the gist.

I imagine I'll have other things to post too. I do have those two adorable little boys, that from time to time say and do things that I think are hilarious - so I'll probably force that on you as well. And what's a blog with out pictures. Here's one just because.