It is finished . . . the homestudy, that is! The long-awaited homestudy is FINALLY complete! Derek happened to have the day off yesterday so he drove two hours up to the city to pick it up, then drove straight to the post office and stuck one copy of that more-precious-than-gold pile of papers into an envelope and got it on its way to the USCIS. It should be there by now! (The $18 to overnight it was definitely worth it at this point. Who knows if a couple extra days could make a difference in whether we make our deadline or not?)
More speedbumps keep popping up: We got asked for a new stack of paperwork today . . . not impossible paperwork, but a bunch of documentation we hadn't known about. Not such a big deal. Just a pain.
A bigger deal is that our medical insurance, which has always been really good, is suddenly not so good. We pay over $900 a month for this policy, which is ridiculous, but we don't really have options. It is the insurance provided through Derek's union. Well, the rates are high, but we have always really appreciated the $300 deductible and the $1000 out-of-pocket max per year ($3000 per family per year.) Pretty good, right? Well, it turns out that they just changed everything. It's now $500 deductible, $5000 out-of-pocket. That's FIVE TIMES what it was! And lots of services are now ineligible that were previously covered. Services like ambulance rides. And guess when these new changes went into effect? July 1st. You probably don't remember, but just to remind you, our sweet Gracie's appendix ruptured July 22nd. We are getting bills in the mail these last couple of weeks that are just about enough to make a grown man almost cry. (Okay, he's not crying, but he is really quiet!) We were thinking the worst that the bills would be would be just over $1000, and we have a stack of bills totalling close to $10,000 stacked up on Derek's desk now. We were so not expecting this. Feeling really blind-sided with these bills right now. And really trying not to despair. But the thought of being broke for the next three years while we make payments on these awful bills is really depressing! We are SO GRATEFUL for Gideon's grant, because without it I am not sure what decision we might have to be making right now. But as it is, our adoption is going to be fine. We may have to use our credit card to get those airline tickets paid for, but one way or another, we will do this!
And then there is the other speedbump. Our big announcement is still pending. Urg. We thought we would be able to share this with the world by now, but we are still being asked to hold off for awhile longer. I can tell you this, though: We are currently assembling two little beds in a freshly painted little bedroom, and I have recently purchased two new sippy cups, two fuzzy blankies, two stuffed puppy dogs, and I am ordering two little boardbook photobooks! Draw your own conclusions from that! :)
So even though we feel as though we are totally under attack as this adoption progresses (did I mention the broken window in our Durango? And the $1000 repair that we need to make on our Durango? No? Oh, did I mention the suspicious spot on our dog's hip, and the fact that a trip to the vet is imminent? Or the fact that my little sister is getting married in Idaho in two weeks and I don't know if I can afford to get to her wedding? The fact that Isaac is still wearing his size 12 sneakers and his feet now measure at a size 1 1/2? The fact that Derek has holes in every pair of pants and socks he owns right now and really needs to do some major clothes shopping? Yeah. Totally feeling some pressure here, financially!) It's not as though any one of the above-mentioned issues is so catastrophic. But all together . . . Yikes.
But despite all of that, we have faith that we are under God's protection, and that one way or another, we will pull this off! It's not as though money is any big problem for God. If we are doing His will, we have to trust Him to provide! And we are trusting. Trusting Him with our timeline. Trusting Him with looming deadlines. And trusting Him to work out the finances. And trying to remember to breathe! So if you see me and I look a little frazzled or wild-eyed, please feel free to remind me to breathe!