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  • Ashley

Finally Finished the Homestudy Requirements

Hello again everyone! Not too much has changed in the last couple weeks, but we thought we would update everyone on a few details. Oh, and of course I decided to include a few new family photos...enjoy! :)

Well, we have officially finished all of the paperwork and training required of us by our homestudy agency. Yay! We will send in our final check tomorrow to cover the in-person training from last Tuesday. Once they receive the check, they will approve the homestudy (hopefully) and will send it to Kelsey at Faith International, our adoption agency. Once Kelsey reviews it, she will either have us fix or change anything she feels needs changed or she will approve it. Once she approves it, she sends that in along with the I600-A form to the USCIS for processing. The approval process is taking approximately forty-five days, but could take up to ninety. As soon as they send Kelsey a letter officially approving us to adopt and bring home a child from another country, we are paper ready and officially just waiting for a referral of a baby. EEK! So exciting and so terrifying! The only thing we need to accomplish is saving and raising $3,500 more. We need to mail a check for $8,750 to Faith and an $850 check to the USCIS before the agency will mail out the forms to the government. Our goal is to get the checks mailed out before the end of September. We want to apply for some grants to help cover the remaining $25-30,000, but have to be homestudy approved with the paperwork mailed out to USCIS before we can apply and some of the grant deadlines are in October.

We are planning on doing some photography mini-sessions in October as a fundraiser...stay tuned for a date...we will be posting it this week. Any other photography sessions Mom and I book goes into the adoption fund, along with any djaying event Vince books. We will also be selling some crafts and our puzzle pieces at the Heritage Days Festival here in South Charleston the weekend of September 24-25.

We thought we would have enough in our checking accounts to pay the $3,500, but that will not be possible at this time because of Stormy's medical bills. Speaking of Storm, he seems to be feeling okay right now overall. He was diagnosed with Cushing's Disease. The actual test came back inconclusive (one point above Cushings), but with all of his symptoms and the fact that they found a tumor on his adrenal gland, the internist believes it is Cushing's, but that we caught it earlier than most. We started his Cushing's meds last Sunday, so it has been a week. He seems tired and a little weaker than he was last weekend. That makes me nervous because I never know if it is just the new meds, or if his kidneys could be getting worse. It also makes me nervous to give him these strong meds with his weak kidneys. We did have a small victory yesterday...his blood pressure has dropped down to almost normal. Yay! The internist said that was the most important thing for right now, because high BP can further damage the kidneys. We go back next Monday, September 19, to check his kidney and liver levels again and his Cushing's levels to see if the medicine is working. If it's not, it could mean we need to raise the dosage or that he truly doesn't have Cushing's, which makes the treatment plan even more confusing. So this momma has been praying and crying and crying and praying some more. It's exhausting and it is so hard to smile when all I want to do is cry and hug my boy. My heart has been breaking for weeks now, and I know one day it will be shattered and unable to be put back together. For now, I try to enjoy every bittersweet minute and pray that my heart can take whatever gets thrown our way.

Since we have been living and loving every minute, we decided last Labor Day weekend to take a picnic and take pictures. So Mom, Dad, Vince, me, Jackie and Stormy (Terry was with friends) loaded up in the car and got Subway subs and took them to John Bryan to have a picnic and walk around a bit. We then drove to the sunflower field and took some pictures. Thanks Momma for taking the pics for us! :) It was such a good day! Stormy was feeling great and the weather was amazing! I'm hoping we all have many more adventures together, even once our baby boy or girl comes home!

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