As our paperwork moves through all the necessary hands, we have racked up quite the bill. We are so grateful that God has blessed us with what we needed to pay thanks to many generous people and through what we have been able to save. However, as we move into the summer we are going to begin raising funds in different ways to save for the travel expenses for the time we will be in Colombia.
I am happy to announce that through the sale of Miche handbags, we are raising money for the adoption. Any money earned through he purchases of these bags will go toward our travel expenses. So here is how you can help! You can purchase merchandise from my website: erindiaz.miche.com. You can host a Miche bag party in your home or online with your friends (where you will get merchandise for free).
I am excited for people to purchase handbags that are cute, convenient, and purposeful. They will tell a story every time you wear it of how you helped bring our child home.
I am kicking off my Miche bags sales with a party at our home on Cinco de Mayo at 5pm. That’s 5-5 @5!! If you can, let me know you are interested in joining the fun. If you can’t make it, enjoy shopping online from my website: erindiaz.miche.com or get free Miche merchandise and offer to host a party in your home or online! You can earn extra money and swag by joining the Miche team.
Thank you all for how you have supported us on this journey! We will continue to update you on the progress!
Our most recent adoption journey update came a couple weeks ago when our social worker told us she was tied up with year end visits but hopes to soon complete our home study. For a person who likes to move forward with tenacity toward her goals and plans, the inability to do anything at this time to help the process along is an uncomfortable feeling.
Every time I get anxious I just have to be reminded that we have placed this, timing and all, into God’s hands. Surrender of the will is not something that is done only once, but is a daily process. We trust that God is in control. He says, “my ways are not your ways.” He also says he is trustworthy and true. We stake our lives on those claims and believe them with everything inside us. We find rest and peace knowing he is orchestrating what is to come and who is to come. Until then, join us in our excitement and expectation in this journey. As we know more we will continue to update everyone. We thank you for your prayers and support. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
As part of the process to adopt, we found out early on that Colombian citizens get priority. However, recently we learned through our agency that it is in fact a requirement for at least one of the adoptive parents to be a Colombian national.
Thankfully, because my parents are both Colombian I was able to request my Colombian papers last week. The only document that took a long time to get for this was my Venezuelan birth certificate, which I was able to retrieve back in August in Caracas, but other than that the actual process at the Colombian Consulate in Miami was very smooth, and it only took one day!
Turns out, because my parents are Colombian I am Colombian by right, so this process wasn’t one of naturalization, rather a request based on birth-given rights. I was glad to learn that, because I do not want to lose neither my Venezuelan nor my American citizenships!
My dad was gracious enough to take time off work to go with me to the Consulate. Once there we were both pleasantly suprised at the respectful manners of the diplomatic officers, as well as their willingness and drive to help us get these papers quickly. And, since the motive for this was an adoption, they would encourage and even thank me and bless me for it. I would tell them the blessing is really ours, we want to have a family and this baby will make a dream come true. Regardless, I pray these blessings get passed on to our new child!
I am grateful to my parents, German and Yolanda, and to my heavenly Father, for giving me this gift of being Venezuelan by birth, Colombian by right, and American on purpose. I am honored to be a national of three amazing nations, and Erin and I are so happy our first child will have all three heritages.
“I’m supposed to come and get you and ask you to come up front with me.”
This summer, Alex and I traveled to Venezuela to speak at a Christian camp for young adults. On the last night, as part of Alex’s message, he talked about our decision to adopt a child from Colombia. I had shared this many times before, but for some reason, that night I broke into tears as Alex told them about our initial pain in not being able to conceive. I also cried tears of joy as he shared what we believed to be God’s purpose in not allowing us that blessing.
That night, after Alex finished preaching, the pastor sent someone to bring me up front with Alex and asked for everyone to surround us and pray for our child. That night, halfway across the world, hundreds of hands reached out to Alex and me, surrounding us as they prayed for what is to come.
I will never forget what God did that night. Though our journey has had some bumps, that night for me was a confirmation of God’s plan for our lives. It was if God was reaching out to us through all those hands and saying, “I’ve got this. I am all over this. Just wait and see.”
I know that God has a great plan for the life of the child he is making room for in our lives in a major way. It is confirmed in the prayers of his people over and again in our hearts.
Thank you for your continued prayers for the paperwork process that can be long and slow. We trust God’s timing as we move forward and wrap up this portion of our journey. We will keep you posted when we send that request to the U.S. in the mail. I think we may have a party that night or something!
Over the past few weeks in between our meetings with the social worker, we have been required to take online courses related to adoption. This is something that the state of Florida requires any parent adopting a child to do. It has been a real eye opener for us to see just how many issues are particular to adopting. I guess parenthood by any avenue has a learning curve. We may post some articles about particular issues at a later point to help people understand some of those things.
All the classes were in preparation for our fourth and final home study visit which feels like a real accomplishment. We have submitted the paperwork necessary for our social worker to begin writing our home study, an elaborate write up on our family with supporting documentation such as background checks (city, multi-state, federal etc), marriage license, birth certficates, employment verification etc. Once that goes through, we will prepare the other major document that will go to Colombia called a dossier – the formal request to adopt a child there.
Needless to say, we are very happy to be making progress on this process. Thank you to everyone who has been so encouraging to us in this process. Your excitement for us and all the questions have made it possible to share this journey with our friends and family.
On Monday the social worker came to our home to learn more about us and our life. While my first reaction was to vacuum under every piece of furniture, rearrange my bedroom, and call a landscaper, this wasn’t really what it was about. We have been taking courses related to the special issues of parenting an adopted child, so we got to ask our questions from the courses. She was great at responding to our concerns and questions. The other portion of our three hours together was mainly about telling our story (which is fun for us). We got to share how Alex was called to ministry, how we met, how we decided to get married, how we ended up in Florida, etc. We also shared about our families, how we were raised, what we fight about and how we resolve it, etc. Before we knew it 3 hours had gone by! I mean we even had the photo albums were out! The funny part is that the part we were so worried about (the home inspection) lasted all of two or three minutes. I don’t even think you could call it an inspection. It felt more like a tour.
In the end, it was an honor for us to share our story with our new friend Jeannette. She was genuine, empathetic, and very interested in who we were. We are so blessed that even the journey to be united with our child is a joy. Thank you for everyone who is praying already for this process, our family, and our child.
Next steps: we are still working out a way to get Alex’ birth certificate and completing our classes required by the state of Florida. Our next meeting with the social worker is scheduled for a month from now!
We are in the very beginning stages of this process. The agency we’ve chosen is called “Alliance for Children” and their staff has treated us wonderfully so far! We met with them last week to discuss the many requirements needed. Since Erin is taking the summer off she will be focusing mostly on putting these papers together. It looks like it’ll take just about that long to get all the documents needed for our dossier. Something that will speed up the process some is for me to get my Colombian citizenship. Apparently Colombia gives priority to their citizens, and I can request mine through my parents’ rights. So that will give me a third nationality, which is ok if it means a faster process. The next tangible step is going to be our first home study, which will take place on Monday June 18th. So, slowly but surely, we’re moving along!