Monday, December 25, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
Monday, December 11, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Eric and Mitzie Tibbets- Parents to Bethany, Judson and Aleena (adopted from Russia 2005); waiting on Josiah from Guatemala
During your adoption journey you are likely to become child-focused instead of God-focused. You might even think more about the creation instead of the Creator. Let me challenge you that if you are longing more for the child instead of the Savior, you may want to pause and take inventory of your relationship with God. After many years of infertility and empty arms, it is easy to be impatient for the blessings of a child. I’d like to share a few truths we learned as we journeyed with God:
* You aren’t waiting on man, you are waiting on God.
* God isn’t going to send you where He is absent.
* God is not bound by geography, timelines, politics or finances.
* God hasn’t asked you to walk this path alone. Not only will He remain with you each step of the way, He has prepared many warriors to go into battle with you. You’ll be amazed at who He uses to meet your needs.
* Don’t put serving the King on hold. Waiting doesn’t equate to idleness. Invest in the wait, don’t waste it.
* God’s gifts to us are never late; they are always on time and far beyond what we could ever imagine.
Adoption is about stewardship. Your child and everything you possess belongs to God. During the wait, surrender it all to God, for His glory.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
We are grateful to still have power, but 40% of Decatur still is without! After driving around town, it looks like a Siberian war zone. Trees and limbs are down everywhere...streets are blocked...power lines remain down in some places. It is sad, yet beautiful in its own way. We only have about a 1/4 inch of ice on our plants/trees, put the north side of Decatur has 1/2 to one inch of ice. It is crazy!
Friday, December 01, 2006
It rained and sleeted on Thursday and we had a thick cover of ice over everything! Then came the snow early Friday morning! Here in Decatur we go 4" and it is beautiful! Troy and I are fortunate to have only lost power for an hour and a half. 50% of Decatur is still without power going on 24 hours now, due to the ice and falling tree limbs. Jack and I took a walk around the neighborhood and accessed the damage! Trees and limbs are down everywhere! School was canceled today and most businesses were closed. People were advised to stay in. All we heard were chain saws and snow blowers busy at work.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
CONGRATULATIONS, Troy & Amy,
Here’s the news you’ve long been waiting for—your dossier was sent to China late Friday afternoon (11/10/2006)!
Here’s what to expect for the next month:
The CCAA will receive your dossier in approximately 3-5 days. Our China Department will contact you by email once your dossier has been received by our representatives in China and hand-delivered to the CCAA.
The CCAA usually logs in dossiers within 4 weeks of their receipt. This Log-In Date is called your LID, the date that you may “count down” to your referral. As the CCAA is the ultimate authority in logging in your dossier, we are unable to estimate your LID. The CCAA should notify us of your LID within the next 8 weeks. We will e-mail you as soon as we have confirmation of your LID and will then give you instructions on how to download your LID Packet. Your LID will also be posted on your personal online Parent Access Network (PAN) page of the CCAI website, www.chinesechildren.org, the instant we are notified of it.
Again, congratulations! If you have any questions about this e-mail, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Congrats on hitting this milestone!
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
By the way, did you vote? I did! Our polling place was at "The Zoo" which is perfect for our elections in Illinois!
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Monday, October 30, 2006
Sunday, October 29, 2006
$150- Application fee
$545 Money Order, plus $70 per adult for fingerprints- USCIS Filing (I-600A)
$1950- First agency fee
~$450- Dossier Preparation (postage and fees to get documents)
$1500-$3000 - Home Study Fee (depends on what agency you use)
$2300- Second agency fee
$610- CCAA (Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs) fee when you submit dossier
Wait for Child Match
$500- Post Placement Deposit (refundable)
$80 per person- Visa to enter China
$900-$1600 per adult plus $100-150 return lapsit ticket - US Domestic and International Airfare
~$1900 - In China Travel and Accommodations
$400-800 - Adoption Registration and Notarization
$100-150- Child's Passport
$3000- Orphanage Fee
$600-800 per couple- Food
$70- Child Physical and Photo
$380- Child U.S. entry fee
Total: $15,000-$16,000 for two adult travelers (not including home study or post placement costs)
1. Adoption Petition (CCAI gave us a template and we customized it to fit us.)
2. Birth Certificate for each of us.
3. Marriage Certificate
4. Employment Verifications
5. Financial Statement (CCAI gave us a template and we filled in the appropriate info.)
6. Physical exam for each of us.
7. Police Clearance Reports for each of us
8. Copy of our 171-H
9. China Home Study Report
10. A complete set of photocopies of the above.
11. 2 Passport copies each
12. 3 Couple photographs
13. 8 Family Life photographs
#1-9 each have to be notarized, except the Birth and Marriage Certificates. (Thank You Pat P.), then certified by the Secretary of State of the document's originating state (we delt with Iowa, Texas and Illinois), and then Authenticated by the appropriate Chinese Consulate/Embassy that serves the document's originating state (we delt with Houston and Chicago).
CCAI has a fabulous Dossier Guide that walks you through each step and gives you templates and checklists. They also provide all the addresses of the Secretary's of State and Chinese Consulates! I can't say enough good things about them! They even answered all my emails in the same day! Way to go CCAI! Many companies need to take Customer Service Training from them!
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Is here! It arrived on Friday and we were sooo excited! It is the most beautiful piece of mail we have seen in a long time. We have waited 10 weeks and 2 days for it exactly! I am taking it to Springfield on Monday and Chicago on Wednesday to get all of its appropriate seals! It looks like we will have a Log-In Date of 11/06! A couple of months later then we expected, but completely out of our hands!
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Troy and I have been looking at unisex nursery bedding just to get an idea in case we get a "surprise" domestic adoption and one we can use for our Chinese adoption. My parents are giving us two Chinese folk art pictures that a student gave my mom years ago. They are in my childhood bedroom back in Austin. Troy and I have always admired them. We are wanting something that will go with the pictures since they have a lot of primary colors in them. We found this bedding called "Alphabet Soup". We are still looking for fun! There are sooo many choices!
In the meantime, we are still waiting for the 171-H. It will be 10 weeks this Wednesday that we have been waiting! Hopefully soon! We continue to remind ourselves that God has a better plan for our family then we do!
Monday, October 02, 2006
Troy got invited to the Illinois/Iowa football game by a season ticket holder of Illini tickets! He figured it would be polite to wear his Illinois hat which a church member gave him, but of course he wore his Hawkeyes shirt under his jacket! He was happy to report the Hawkeyes won 24-7!
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Hi Troy and Amy Roenfanz,
My name is Miranda and I am the Case Aid for the Dossier Department. This is a courtesy email to let you know that I have just finished checking in your dossier, and a response is not necessary. “Check in” ensures that our dossier specialists have all of the required documents needed to complete the critical review of your dossier.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Troy & Amy,
Congratulations! Your dossier has arrived at our office!
Your dossier will now go through the following steps:
Check-in: Your dossier package is checked to ensure all necessary dossier items are present. If your package is missing any item(s), we will notify you without delay. If all dossier items are present, we will begin the review of your dossier! Please do not be alarmed if your fees are not processed immediately; they are handed to the Accounting Department and are applied to your account on a different timeline than the rest of your dossier.
Critical Review and Translation: Your dossier will be here for 9-11 business days if it is complete and problem-free. During the critical review process, your dossier is looked through 3 full times for any mistakes or errors. This review includes a careful inspection of the document in terms of content and format, possible translation problems, and dates. A thorough check of the notarization, certification, and authentication pages are also made at this time just to make sure all is in perfect order. We will notify you by phone or email once this step is complete.
**PLEASE NOTE: Precedence for review is given to complete dossiers so that we can send them to China as soon as possible. Incomplete dossiers may be reviewed within this timeframe, however it cannot be guaranteed. The 9-11 business day timeline for critical review and translation begins once your dossier is complete.
When the critical review is finished, a summary translation of your dossier is completed, making sure the most important information is easy to locate when your dossier is received by the China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA) in China. This also helps decrease the chance this important information is misinterpreted during the full translation of your dossier in China.
Binding: Your dossier is bound in a red folder, with your photos mounted, and your documents carefully lined up and ordered according to the CCAA’s preference.
Mailing: Lastly, your dossier will be carefully packaged and sent to China via international express mail!
Remember, we are as anxious as you are to get your dossier to China and will keep you posted every step of the way!
We’ll be in touch soon,
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Saturday, August 26, 2006
On a happier note, many families got their referrels on Friday for their children! We cannot wait to get there! Please pray that China speeds up the process! As I stated earlier, when we started our paperwork, we had a 6-9 month wait after our dossier was sent to China. Now they are saying our wait will be 12-14 months! We continue to pray for twins and find our selves saying, "When we get our kids...."!
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Congrats to my friend and college roommate, Lisa, on their referral! She is precious!
Friday, August 04, 2006
Your item was delivered at 10:05 am on August 04, 2006 in SPRINGFIELD, IL 62756 to SOS 56 . The item was signed for by M KUNTZI.
Praise God! I had checked my email this morning and saw that a family who is also adopting from China had their Express Mail documents that were needing certification stolen. USPS said that criminals look for Express Mail envelopes since they often have important information in them. In this case, they had to act as if they experienced identity theft since ALL of their information was included! I never thought about all of this! We will be using FedEx for the rest of our mailing needs in this adoption process!
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Yesterday was also an emotional day for me (Amy) due to my job. I have been working at the prenatal clinic (we build relationships and the families get to make toys for their miracle(s) )on Monday and Wednesday mornings and absolutely LOVE IT! We build such great relationships with our moms/families and it is so neat to follow them through their pregnancy and then get to experience their miracles in the end. Well, while reading the paper Monday morning, I saw one of my previous student's nephew died during labor. I shared this with my co-workers and then found out one of our moms who was in the clinic last Monday with her one month old twin boys, lost one the following day. The funeral was this past Saturday! I was shocked! I watched these two boys last Monday and helped their mom carry them down to the car and snap them in! After learning of these two deaths, I then got to visit 3 families in the hospital who just delivered and share in their joys! I love my job and all that BabyTALK does....it has such incredible highs and lows!
Monday, July 31, 2006
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Adoption Celebration was created to be reminder of all that your family has become, or is in the process of becoming.
Beginning with a prayer...a dream...a wish...placed inside the Prayer Box. A prayer for a child to be your very own, to love and cherish, to guide, to give a home and a future. While you are praying, wishing, dreaming you are Three Strands: a mother, a father and a child...each on your own personal journey...waiting to become something stronger together.
The dream becomes a reality, there is a child who will soon be your very own - that is represented by the Baby Feet and Heart charm. Once that child arrives she becomes your family. You are no longer separate buy you have been brought together. This is represented by the Family Tree charm as well as the three strands becoming a Solid Bangle on the bracelet.
There will be memories and milestones to come as you go through life together, no two days will ever be the same - thus the mixture of beads and twisted wire.
Celebrate! and never forget the journey of how you became a family!
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Troy and Amy,
Just wanted to let you know that I have completed the preliminary review of your China Home Study Report. Any recommendations for these areas have already been sent to your social worker. The final review of the home study will take place during the critical review of your dossier just before it is sent to China!
Now we are waiting to get the final draft from our adoption specialist before she sends it to immigration. We would still like to have our Dossier complete by August, but we do not have control over how long Immigration, Illinois Secretary of State and the Chinese Counsulate in Chicago will process our paperwork! It is nice to be going again after a waiting period!
Troy and I had to go to a mandatory conference this morning in Bloomington as part of our adoption and DCFS foster home certification. It was nice to meet other families in our situation and get some more information on important topics such as adoption myths, stages of grief for infertile couples, grief and loss for the adopted child, adjustment issues for the adoptee, attachment and bonding, maintaining birth culture ties (Troy recommends we eat Chinese food on the 4th of July!), talking to children about their orphanage background, talking to children about adoption, sibling relationships and the adoption tax credit! WHEW! It was a lot of information, but helpful. We have been doing a lot of reading, so much of this was a repeat, but it never hurts to hear it again! The best part was hearing from a lady from the Our Chinese Daughters Foundation (OCDF) www.ocdf.org . She was great! When our children get older, they can receive a magazine from them with Chinese specific content produced in China, but in the English language. We can also take our children back to China on one of their guided tours! The best part was the journal the children receive on this tour. There is info. about each city they visit, including a place for them to write their own memories. Each child also receives a gift after visiting each city. For example, they got a stuffed panda bear after visiting a panda bear rescue camp! It was so neat!
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
On the more exciting front, Troy's dad came to visit us for a week over the 4th of July and they put up a basketball hoop, Troy's Father's Day present. They had some good bonding time figuring out the plan! Troy had to get the measuring tape out and mark with chalk where the 3 point line would be if it was painted on our driveway. I thought this goal was for fun, but he is serious about it! Hopefully God has us here for enough years for our children to get to enjoy it too!
Friday, June 30, 2006
have gained some new friends, Troy has completed 2 more marathons and now has 2 triathlons under his belt (we did our first one together in 2003!), we experienced numerouse doctors appointments, testings, procedures for infertility, but now we are adopting from CHINA! Praise God for all he has done in our lives! We have been blessed!
Troy and I have been back for a week now from our vacation to Wisconsin! We stayed 2 days at an all-inclusive resort, ChulaVista in The Dells, and then we moved on to Door County! We LOVE Door County! Our first night was in Sturgeon Bay where we experienced a fish boil (ask us about our experience), we toured the local shops and beaches and took a gorgeous country drive. From then we moved up the peninsula to Fish Creek! This is a charming little city and we had a fabulous condo that we plan to go back to with family/friends. Our highlight in Fish Creek was kayaking on Lake Michigan to visit Cave Point and White Sands Park. I will post pictures once they are emailed to me from our guide! We had a blast and it was a great workout! Lake Michigan was so green and you could see the bottem of it the entire trip! Our trip home was a casual drive stopping at Lake Geneva to spend the day. That is a beautiful area and one we want to explore more! Our trip was incredible and we cannot wait for another one! This was our first vacation in 5 years besides our honeymoon in which we did not have to visit family or go to a wedding!
On the adoption front, we are still waiting on our homestudy! Our adoption specialist said she is sending it to CCAI at the end of this week (Today I hope!) to get approved and then it is off to Immigration! We are still praying we can send our dossier off in August!
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Friday, June 16, 2006
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Monday, May 29, 2006
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Monday, May 22, 2006
Troy and I saw Sonic Flood Friday night and had a great time not just at a concert, but a worship experience. Being the busy weekend it was with graduation parties, the concert was not well attended, but it was an awesome, personal experience! In fact, Troy and I saw Sonic Flood as our first date in the Spring of 2000 and now we got to experience them again 6 years later and about to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary! The concert was another reminder/ validation that God has intended Troy and I to adopt as part of his plan for us. Throughout this adoption journey, we have done a lot of reading on starting an adoption/orphan ministry in Decatur. The Bible verse that is constantly brought up regarding adoption is from James 1:27 "Pure and faultless religion is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress." The first 10 minutes of the Sonic Flood concert, the lead singer put this Bible verse on the screen. Tears came to my eyes. The band was promoting sponsoring a child from Compassion International, an organization Troy and I have been a part of for 6 years now. We came into our marriage each with a child...Jessica from Peru and Benjamin from Mexico. We recently lost Benjamin due to the fact he moved out of the village Compassion worked in. Our money that goes to Compassion each month has been more then worth it. Besides receiving pictures, letters, artwork and report cards, each child is learning about Jesus and his love for them! We know that by adopting a child(ren) from China, we will get to teach them about Jesus, something they may never get to experience living in an orphanage or foster home. Check out the website for Sonic Flood at www.sonicflood.com and watch their new video "Everlasting". You will see they are teaching about Jesus in countries that may never know Him! As the book Fields of the Fatherless by C. Thomas Davis says, " In this world you are an orphan...eagerly anticipating your adoption as God's child. In this world you are a widow...longing for reunion with your bridegroom. In this world you are a stranger...a pilgrim waiting to become a citizen of heaven. This book brings you back to what Christianity is really about: Giving yourself to others. Being Christ to a hurting world and living for the one that comes next." All Christians are adopted!
Monday, May 15, 2006
And they are off!
Out of the swim and heading towards his bike!
Coming in from his 13 mile bike ride (in pouring rain) getting ready to run 3 miles!
Comming in to the finish in pouring rain as you can see by the picture!
Way to go Troy! This was Troy's 2nd triathlon and he finished first in the Clydesale division and second in his age group!
On the adoption front, I received the certified copy of our MC and my BC in the mail today! They will be going off to the Chinese Consulate in Houston to be given their final seal of approval, probably later this week! One more step closer in getting this done! We continue to wait on our homestudy report to be completed and given the OK by DCFS.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
I spent last Saturday visiting Starved Rock State Park with our fabulous friends David and Glenda! We met some of their old friends from Chicago for lunch at Starved Rock and then we enjoyed some time exploring God's beautiful creations! SRSP has wonderful trails and it is only 2 hours from Decatur! You feel like you are in another state!
In the meantime, we are waiting for our documents to come in from the Texas Secretary of State. I made two binders last week to organize all of our paperwork. One has the originals and the other has the copies! I had everything in one binder and it was getting messy and confusing!
Check out the website www.bringmehope.org and watch the video (3, 4.5 or 7 min.- They are all the same)! They will bring tears to your eyes so get some Kleenex ready! The video on their camp is great too! It makes you want to go to China and bring all the kids back home with you!
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Now we have to wait for it to be written up, summitted to immigration and then to CCAI for approval. After that, we can send all of our documents off to be notarized, certified and authenticicated (I can never spell it or say it!!!) We have Troy's BC certified and I sent our MC and my BC to Texas today to be certified. Slowly but surely we will get our dossier summitted! We will be having a big party to celebrate!
Sunday, April 30, 2006
On a more positive note, we have our first homestudy visit tomorrow! I also FAXED some documents to CCAI to see if they were done right before we have them notarized and they were GREAT!!! YEAH! We have also had a lot of rain this week which is always appreciated. Troy and I dug up some grass around our deck for our latest landscaping project and replanted the grass in some spots that needed some TLC. Luckily, they are taking great. We are just waiting for the yard to dry out before we add the plants and rock! Now I understand why you pay landscapers the big bucks, but there is so much pride in saying you did it yourself!
Monday, April 17, 2006
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Happy Easter to all our family and friends...Happy Birthday to Bryan Reed Lehman, son of Michael and Tiffany (Amy's brother and SIL) and big brother, Patrick. Bryan was born April 15, 2006 at 6:16 p.m. and weighed in at 8 lbs. 1 oz. We cannot wait to see him!
We have been enjoying the coming of Spring and seeing all of nature coming alive! This is one aspect of living in the midwest that I really like compared to Texas. God has a great way of giving us 4 seasons! With that, we have been enjoying this new season with a storm door for our front door, new patio furniture and flowers around our barn. Next weekend, we plan to landscape around the deck, weather permitting. You can see some of the before and after pictures of our barn and the tree in our front yard which has beautiful blooms!