Friday, December 31, 2021


 It's New Years Eve...and we are wrapping up our year with some amazing news! 

Our Dossier has been approved by Colombia!!!!

What does this mean?

Back in March, we interviewed several agencies and ultimately (on April 5), we chose and signed an agreement with Children's House International. We then began the process of our Home Study. This was with a second agency (Nightlight, here in SC). The Home Study included interviews with Social Workers, Doctor and Psychologist appointments, as well as gathering quite a few documents! 

Once this was finalized and approved (June), we worked with Children's House International to gather and assemble our Dossier. This Dossier (packet of paperwork) includes things from our history, our Special Needs application, and many investigative type items. All of these items must be notarized and apostilled. An apostille is essentially authentication of our signatures and information, the notary, and the document itself. This is added to an I-800A approval (the approval of FBI fingerprinting, vetting, and US Gov't) and sent to Colombia. 

This paperwork (the Dossier) is translated and then submitted to ICBF (in Colombia) for approval. Once approved, the next step is a referral.

WELLLLLL...Our Dossier has been approved by the US as well as Colombia!!! This is a HUGE step in the process. Celebrate with us as we go in to 2022, and pray with us that we receive a referral in the coming year. 

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Hawaii 2021

 On June 23 of this year, we were able to finally take our "Big" 2020 vacation for Morgan's graduation. We had been planning the trip since early 2019, so to be able to get on the plan in June of 2021 felt like a huge accomplishment!

I'm going to recap the trip backwards because that is how my photos uploaded, and I don't know how to fix them without a lot of editing/ Here we go! 

We stayed from June 23 through July 1st/2nd. The time difference made for an interesting trip home, but everyone was so sweet and traveled so well. 

We played some airport games to kill the time and enjoyed flying! 

Our last day/travel day was Thursday July 1st. We did the whole Waikiki thing on that day. We shopped (the boys got Hawaii stamped disc golf discs), got coffee, checked out the beautiful views, and then went to Dukes. Dukes has famous Hula Pie...and we destroyed it ;) 

Last day photo!

On Wednesday, June 30th, We went on a serious adventure! Morgan requested to Zipline in Hawaii...and so the "OG 6" did just that. It was a bit more adventurous than I'm used to, but honestly it was so much fun. 

We swam in a bay, saw some massive turtles, coral, and fish, and also ate real Hawaiian shaved ice! 

On Tuesday the 29th, we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center for the day. This was probably my absolute favorite day. We learned so much about each of the Hawaiian Islands, played, and enjoyed a Luau. It was the best! 

On Monday, before we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center, we had reservations to snorkel/scuba. The little girls, moms, and Melly snorkeled and that reservation included mermaid photos. While this experience caused meltdowns by both EK and Livi, it ultimately was a good time ;)....and definitely a memory! 

On Sunday, we drove around the whole island. We saw the Buddhist temple, some lovely views, and the North Shore (including some yummy Shrimp Trucks). 

Our Sunday was actually quite a long day that started early because we knew we wanted to go to the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet! This was like a flea market/jockey lot on steroids!!! 

Saturday was a beach day! We relaxed at the house, worked on our Hawaii journal, and tried some fun beach things--surfing and checking out a real octopus. 

On Friday, we did two very "touristy" Hawaii things...they were both historical and so much fun! We went to the Dole Pineapple Farm as well as Pearl Harbor.

The little girls became Junior Rangers at Pearl Harbor! It was a sweet moment of remembering. I thought so much about my Peepaw and the remainder of the "Greatest Generation" who served in WW2. 

We loved going to Dole! We indulged in some yummy treats, took an informative train, and shopped a little. 

Thursday, our first full day in Hawaii, we explored the beach, the park next door, and took some photos in our Leis. My cousin Amy and her family live in Hawaii. They were so gracious to pick us up at the airport, "rent" us their mini van, and give us all gorgeous and fragrant leis. They also offered tons of suggestions and took us to dinner one evening! They were so helpful for us on our big adventure. 

Wednesday...our big travel day!!! Lots of planes, lots of airport navigating, and lots of patience. 

There were still plenty of Covid protocols in place, but everything was fairly simple to navigate and we had a wonderful travel experience. 

Our trip to Hawaii was a once-in-a-lifetime memory that our family enjoyed together! 
I absolutely loved our time.