If this is your first time visiting our blog, you may want to began by reading why we are choosing to adopt. We ask for your prayers, encouragement, and support as we go where the Lord is calling.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Simply Love Shirts Spotted at Disney World!

My cousin Matt and his new bride Katie wore their shirts on their honeymoon! Thanks for your support! We love you both! :)

Don't forget to send your pictures in, too! :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

And it's off!

Our I-800a, that is. We sent it via FedEx on Saturday....and it was quite the process, too! We forgot to make copies of our marriage certificate and birth certificates, but thankfully we had them in the car that day for another "project", so it wasn't a problem. I think the 30+ minutes we spent getting everything ready to go to USCIS would have made for a great comedy! Normally Austin and I are both very prepared and on top of things, but yesterday it seemed like we both left our brains at home! But we were determined to get everything sent out so that we could cross off another BIG thing on our Adoption To Do List and be one step closer to bringing our daughter home!

So, you might be wondering, now what? Well, we have to wait to receive a letter from the local USCIS office to have fingerprinting done in Nashville, and we've heard this can take anywhere from 4-8 weeks, and then we wait for USCIS approval, which typically takes anywhere from 60-120 days. While we wait, we are finishing up our dossier to send to Carolina Adoption Services who will ultimately send it to Moldova for translation. We've been working like crazy to get it ready, and I think it will be ready next week. So that's also good! However, until we have approval from USCIS, we cannot receive a referral. Once the approval is in hand, we have to send it back to Nashville to be apostilled, then on to our agency who sends it to Moldova. So...once it makes it to Moldova, we could have a referral on our daughter anywhere from 1 to 9 months from that point. EXCITING!!!! 

Please pray for us and our daughter every day. Pray that the Lord will move us through this process as He sees best. Pray that we will wait on Him and His perfect timing. Pray that He prepares our hearts for the days, weeks, and months to come.

Monday, June 21, 2010

We need your pictures!

If you own one of our Simply Love Moldova t-shirts, please send us a picture of you wearing it! We want to display your pictures on our blog and one day show them to our little girl. So send those pictures in!

Oh, and if you don't own one of our t-shirts but would like to, go here and buy one (or send us an email). :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sex Trafficking in Moldova

The following you are about to read was taken from Tom Davis's blog.

Many of you have asked why this issue (sex trafficking) is so bad in this country. Here's some information from the State Department:

"Although formerly one of the most wealthy parts of the former Soviet Union, Moldova is today officially the poorest country in Europe. With nearly total unemployment, the registered daily income of 80% of the population is below a dollar per day. This fact can explain why desperate people sell their organs for money and sex trafficking is rampant. Moldovan prostitutes are now the country’s main export."
40% of Moldova's sex slaves are kids, and both the traffickers and the involved government officials know that children are highly sought after for the sex trade."

Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/redletters/2010/04/iempathize-the-story-of-the-sex-cafe.html#ixzz0qbRVDQxB

Brad and the Sex-Cafe from Tom Davis on Vimeo.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Moldovan Crisis

The following was taken from Tom Davis's blog (http://blog.beliefnet.com/redletters/2010/04/the-moldovan-crisis.html). We hope that it will provide insight to you about the condition of the country of Moldova. Please, please pray for the Moldovan people. And while you're praying for them, please specifically pray for our little girl.

Being in a country where 30,000 women have literally disappeared is hard to describe. There are over 250 brothels in the capital city of Chisinau and one of the greatest targets for sex-trafficking are girls who leave the orphanages. Yet, this is a country filled with secrecy. You don't see hundreds of young women walking on the street offering themselves to passersby like in Bangkok. Technically, prostitution is illegal in this country under the new government but for years this was the center of women you were shipped into and out of here to various places in the world. It was a clearing house of sorts where they would receive passports and paperwork. One of the main ways girls get trapped is attempting to escape from the country for a better life abroad. 90% of the population want to migrate out of Moldova because this is the poorest country in Europe. The opportunities are few and women long for a better life. This is the perfect environment for a trafficker. That life is promised to them by a company who offers, "great salaries" in England, America, Germany, etc. They sign up, get on a plane, and that's when the nightmare begins. Please pray for us and pray for the kids we are speaking with. Lots of spiritual darkness here and you can acutely feel it. We are off today to visit a center that rescues and rehabilitates girls who are trafficked. Here's registered information by the international organization on migration for Moldova: www.iom.md:

The majority of women and girls that are trafficked come from rural areas. Over 10 percent are under 18 years old, some as young as 12 years old. Traffickers recruit women and girls through different strategies:
1.Direct contact, when women and girls, or their families, are approached by traffickers. The traffickers are often women from the same village who have previously worked as prostitutes or have been trafficked abroad and became traffickers. The family is often paid money in advance and the woman or girl is expected to earn the advance and pay back the family’s debts;
2. Advertisements are placed in the press, offering jobs abroad. The advertisements directed at young women offer jobs as waitresses or house help, but more often bluntly state that the jobs are for those willing to work in the sex industry;
3. Tourist agencies offer full migration services from arranging passports and Schengen visas to transportation and work contracts. There are more than 3,000 tourist agencies, of which only some 140 have an official license to operate;
4. Job agencies. Out of a total of 100 job agencies, only fourteen have official licenses and these mostly hire men for construction work. Only three agencies offer jobs to women as waitresses and nurses. Others offer illegal work. Some of these enterprises are run by orga- nised crime groups and operate as covers for trafficking.

Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/redletters/2010/04/the-moldovan-crisis.html#ixzz0qbPwDJQf

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Broken Promises

Moldova has the highest rate of sex-trafficked women in the world - over 20%. Please take time today to pray for the victims.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Get Documents Apostilled...Check!

I went early Monday morning to have all of our documents apostilled in Nashville. I left my parents' house about 6:45 a.m. so that I would avoid major traffic and find a decent parking space (if you know me well, you know that I absolutely hate to drive and park in busy downtown areas...it literally terrifies me!). It took me a little while to find parking, but I finally got it figured out (and in the process learned that $.95 -- which is all the change I had on me -- only buys 38 minutes...really?). I found the right building and proceeded inside where I was met by a security officer who had to scan my driver's license and take my picture before I was even allowed to go up the elevator. When I finally made it to the right place, the lady who helped me asked why I came in so early. I think I was one of the first "customers" of the day! I waited about 35 minutes while she took care of everything for me. The documents are completed now, so I'm happy! As soon as my Texas birth certificate comes back with the apostille, we'll be ready to submit our dossier to our agency. Whew! :)

Friday, June 11, 2010


The Lord has been so good to bless us through the generosity of others who have given to our adoption fund. You know who you are, and we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You will never know just how much your gift means to our family. Words cannot express our gratitude. Thank you for helping us bring our daughter home! 

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. - Philippians 4:19-20


We're still here and still going strong! I picked up our completed home study on Thursday...hooray! We've been working with Harmony Adoptions of Tennessee, and they have been just wonderful and so accommodating. I'm glad to have the completed document in hand. Now we can prepare to file our I-800a with USCIS (hopefully within the next month...we're waiting on our agency approval letter from CAS), start applying for adoption grants, and put the finishing touches on our dossier.

Austin and I have been working very hard to get all of our documents for our dossier, and I am happy to report that we have EVERYTHING we need except for our approval form from USCIS (and seeing as how we haven't filed yet, well, that's obvious). All of the documents have been notarized/certified/authenticated. It sounds so simple and neat, but it has been anything but that...thankfully we have dealt with some very kind and patient people who have been willing to go the extra step to help us. We had to authenticate documents in Blount, Knox, and Loudon county...whew! Caleb and I spent the afternoon today running around Knoxville and Loudon. We sent my birth certificate back to Texas to be apostilled there, and we got our remaining documents authenticated while we were out, too. When we finally got home, we crashed! But the craziness of the day was worth it because I'm taking everything for our dossier to Nashville with me this week to be apostilled, which puts us one step closer to bringing our daughter home!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What's in a dossier?

As I've mentioned in previous posts, we've been working hard to get our dossier together for Moldova. So, what makes up a dossier for Moldova? Well, our part includes...

1.  Application for adoption
2.  Home study
3.  Power of attorney
4.  Copies of passport (for both of us)
5.  Criminal record clearances (for both of us)
6.  Marriage certificate
7.  Birth certificates (for both of us)
8.  Medical/Psychological letters from doctor (for both of us)
9.  Employment letter
10.  Deed to home
11.  Family photographs
12.  Post-adoption agreement

All together, it looks like this...

Close-up view of an apostilled document