We are the Snyder family and ... we are different

This is the story of our journey to our daughter in Ethiopia. God is preparing our family for her and preparing her heart to come home to her family. We chose the difficult road of trusting and obeying God. It is worth every step!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

application

Well we heard back from the adoption agency yesterday and had to submit some more information about how we plan to finance the adoption. I submitted more information today and got a reply that we should hear back next week. Keep praying that our application will be accepted and that we can start our adoption. I know God has a plan for us and we just need to keep praying for Him to reveal it.

I thought pretty confidently that we would be accepted this week, but I know from past experience whenever I feel very confident about something is when God reminds me to rely on Him and not me. With that in mind, the follow up was a good reminder. So we will continue to stay humble :)

My grandma sent a card to us today thanking us for the get well card. She fell and broke her hip at the beginning of January and just got back home from the nursing home this month. She mentioned that she hopes we get to adopt a little girl. I sometimes wonder how my grandparents will react to us adopting. Granted I am adopted and they have always been very accepting of me, but will it be different with an African child, especially if they are older? I guess only time will tell.

I suppose for now I really need to wait for this process to begin before I think about all these small factors. If they do not accept our application our process will be over before it even begins. I know we really hope this will happen. It feels like God has placed this in our hearts.

So all of my posts are really random thoughts, if you are trying to follow them keep in mind that I just write whatever thoughts pop in my head. If you can tell it's a pretty confusing place in here :)

Thanks for reading and I will keep you posted on our status.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

vision

It's interesting how late at night or early in the morning when you can't sleep your mind starts to think of all sorts of things. This morning I woke up to the thoughts of what our little girl will look like. It's funny to think about that since we have such a long ways to go, but at the same time I remember feeling the same way when I was pregnant. (If you haven't noticed already I refer to being pregnant a lot in this blog about adoption, there are so many similarities.)

I woke up thinking about how she would have big brown eyes, round little cheeks and a tight little afro puff of hair. I would corral her hair with either a pretty little headband wrap, braids finished off with colorful barretts or my favorite two afro puffs. Her brown eyes would be dark and yet bright as a child's should be. They would have a happiness and wonder to them as they explored a new world around them. Her little round cheeks would have a rosy caste to them and when she smiled would turn into perfect little balls of joy. Her smile a bright white against the dark color of her skin and a laugh that would fill the house with squeals of joy. I imagine her with spindly little legs and a small but round little tummy. I could see she and Christian running around the house together, chasing each other and holding hands. I am sure as the process moves along the images I had will change, especially once we get a referral. I know God already has the perfect little girl planned for our family and I can't wait to see what He has in store for us.

After I was done daydreaming about our little girl I couldn't help but turn over and look at Dustin. I had the simplest of smiles on my face, it's the one of joy, the one only God can provide, the one I would get when I was pregnant, the one that says I love this child even though I don't know them. Even as I write this that smile still appears knowing that one day this new addition of our family will be here to complete us. We will become the Snyder 5, it's got a catchy ring to it :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

waiting

Application turned in, check. now we just need to wait for a reply, hopefully coming next week. i checked into somewhere about a homestudy yesterday upon the recommendation of someone else who used young house for theirs. i was amazed at the quick email response i got from the director in charge. it was quite amazing and she even replied to my emails at 10:00 at night. she was made me feel much more comfortable about the whole process and answered some concerns we had about it.

I'm sure that anyone who has gone through a home study would agree that it's a little nerve racking when you're thinking about it. I am sure it will be different when we actually get the process started but for now I am nervous that they'll think we're unfit parents.

This week has been emotion overload. It's that time of month that I'm especially irritable (I seem to be annoyed by everything), I cry easily (bawled at the end of the movie Caroline this afternoon, and feeling blah. All of that on top of waiting to get started with this adoption seem to keep my mind going round in circles. Hopefully next week will be better, I'll be a normal person again and we'll feel better about getting this process started. I know that it will be a long process and there will be lots of waiting involved so I'm trying to get everything that is within our control done as soon as we can. Must be the control freak in me :)

I know when we got pregnant we wanted to tell the whole world about it, but at the same time we didn't want to just in case something happened. That's the same way I feel about this. We are just so excited about it, Dustin already announced it to the world on facebook, but at the same time it makes me nervous in case something happens and it doesn't go through. Just keep praying for our family and all the decisions that will be made in the next year. We hope that it follows God's plan and that we continue to keep His will in mind. It's very hard to stay on the right path and listen all the time. We're only human :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

decision/application

Dustin and I have always talked about adopting but never have been at a place in our lives to do it. With all of the blessings God has given us over the past few years He seemed to set it up for our family. A few years ago God blessed us with the opportunity to grow our marriage into a stronger Christian marriage, followed by the birth of Christian, finding a strong church family, Dustin's new career, and recently a new home. After the tragedy in Haiti happened it really opened Dustin's eyes to adopting. We wanted to change the world, the life of a child, to give back the gift that had been given to me.

At Christmas time (2009) Jason Lee and his wife Jen happened to come to our church for Christmas Eve service with their little boy they adopted from San Antonio. We were able to talk briefly to them and decided to get together when we would go up to Des Moines for Dustin's Christmas party in January. We went to their new church Crossroads in Ames and then ate lunch at the famous Hickory Park barbecue restaurant. We were able to talk to them more about faith and adoption and that helped influence our decision later. It's funny how God uses all of these tiny moments to trace out the plan for our lives.

In making a decision of where to adopt from we considered many different countries. Of course we considered Korea since that's where I'm from and with my Korean heritage the process is expedited, but decided there were other countries that were in greater need. We also looked into Haiti but found out we were not candidates and their program is closed because of the earthquake. We then decided Africa had a lot of need for adoption and found a Christian agency that works with the country of Rwanda.

Brandy Foster is a fellow Mothers Of PreSchoolers steering team member and had used America World Adoption Agency to adopt a little girl from China. I thought it would be nice to get together with she and her husband to talk about their adoption process. We went to their house on a Sunday afternoon and talked with them about their story and our story, saw their scrapbooks, and asked them a few questions. We even found out that we used to be neighbors in Westwood Hills and that her husband bought his first car from my dad, what a small world.

I really wanted to get our adoption application in right away, but of course it took a little time to get all of the necessary information together. We didn't get it submitted quite as quickly as I wanted to, but again God has a plan. It turned out that because of the huge amount of snow dumped on the east coast, the agency was actually closed during the time I wanted to submit it so it wouldn't have mattered anyway. God certainly does have perfect timing :) Now that the application is submitted we wait for a reply from the agency as to whether they accept it or not and then get started on the adoption process. We will need to get a home study completed, a dossier done and then wait for a referral. I am so excited to get it all started and finished!