long overdue adoption update

here’s where we left off –

June – ready to tackle our dossier!
July, August, September – dossier document collecting. Setbacks, mistakes, delays. 😛
October – sent dossier to our agency.
Currently – redoing a couple documents for the dossier.

Next steps:

  1. Dossier approved, translated into French and submitted to Haitian social services or IBESR.
  2. Wait. Wait some more. Wait covered waiting with wait filling. Our file will sit on a desk, in a file drawer or in a box (I have no idea how they file dossiers when they arrive – just making this part up) for as long as it takes for it to reach the top of the stack. The front of the queue. The interesting thing is there seems to be no rhyme or reason to who’s file is chosen first, second or third. No centralized, standardized system. So we wait and pray and wait. Probably somewhere between 9-20 months.
    Also in this waiting time, we’re going to learn some basic Creole (the language most commonly spoken in Haiti) and work toward meeting Haitians living here in MN and more families with Haitian children.
  3. MATCH! At some undetermined date, our dossier will be reviewed and chosen to be matched. A child will be chosen for us! The much anticipated, long-awaited and most definitely loved child who will become a Puelston. 🙂
  4. Travel to Haiti to meet our child. Once we are matched, we will make a two-week trip to Haiti to meet and get to know our child. We will be able to take any or all of our kids with us to meet their brother or sister – we’ll decide if that’s a good plan or not when the time comes. This will be an exciting and nerve-wracking trip, hopefully full of good opportunities to love and get to know this little person. Then we have to leave them in Haiti and return to the U.S.A. while their adoption processes through the Haitian legal system. Sad/hard/really tough.
  5. More waiting. We wait again, for an undetermined amount of time, for the court system and social services to go through the necessary steps to make the adoption legal. Hopefully, in this time period we’ll be able to send our child lots of reminders of our love, our family and how excited we are for the day we will be together again. There are LOTS of steps in this process, and it can take anywhere from 9-18 months.
  6. Visa appointment! This is the last step in the long process and once our child has been issued a visa from the U.S., we will travel back to Haiti to bring him or her home.
  7. Home. Hallelujah and pass the bonding/attachment phase. Lots of love, family time and learning how our family works with another, amazing person in it.

So that’s it in a nutshell – we hope and pray that the time frames are shorter, rather than longer, but Haiti is in a time of transition with adoptions and things are slow right now. They could get faster, they could stay slow, they could get slower. We will have ample opportunity to exercise that lesser known beatitude: “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall never be bent out of shape.” And ample opportunity to trust a loving Father with His perfect plan and timing.

Thanks for being part of this journey with your love, thoughts and prayers! We are so grateful for the support, financially/emotionally/prayerfully. This is a bumpy, winding road and we’re so thankful for those who are cheering us on!

10 books that have stuck with me

  1. Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery
  2. The Bronze Bow – Elizabeth George Speare
  3. Caddie Woodlawn – Carol Ryrie Brink
  4. All Things Bright and Beautiful – James Herriot (and series)
  5. Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder (and series)
  6. The Silver Chair – C.S. Lewis (and The Chronicles of Narnia series)
  7. The Girl of the Limberlost – Gene Stratton Porter
  8. The Pursuit of God – A.W. Tozer
  9. The Cost of Discipleship – Deitrich Bonhoeffer
  10. The Hiding Place – Corrie ten Boom

Honorable Mention –
Cheaper by the Dozen – Frank Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
Sherlock Holmes series – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Betsy-Tacy – Maud Hart Lovelace (and series)

Lately on Facebook, I’ve seen people posting some of the books that have stuck with them throughout their lives and/or made an impact on them. This little list is kind of my own “top ten”. I cheated a bit because I posted some that are also one in a series. I couldn’t leave any of those out! And there are so many more I could post, but these have left an indelible mark on my life.

Some of these beloved friends had to be replaced with new copies in my teen years because they were so tattered and worn. Many of them I read annually. I will love reading all of them to my children!

Which books have left their mark on you?

a recap – three months and some change

whoa. It’s been a full three months since I’ve touched this blog. 😦 Which makes me sad. Life has been busy, needless to say. Adoption paperwork/stuff, living life, trying to balance myself, our marriage and the joy of three kids. And at the end of the day when I have a few minutes to spare, I don’t tend to write…because BRAIN CELLS.

Brain cells which have been eaten alive by five year old boy questions. Seriously, it’s like the Spanish Inquisition around here EVERY DAY. Which is great, because I am glad he’s so hungry to learn, but some days I feel like handing him Siri to answer the barrage. 😛

But I do really love my life, with all its quirks and hiccups and exhaustion. And coffee. About a month ago I felt like the post-partum fog and blah lifted – praise be! That six month mark…its a beautiful thing.

May brought SPRING, our first niece/cousin, Jack’s last day of preschool and his first success at reading, and Jack’s first t-ball game. June held my birthday (32-what?!), Kyle running the Grandma’s Marathon in under 4 hours, and our sixth Backyard Bible Club. July has flown by with family get-together’s, the Fourth, a boat excursion, Jack’s birthday, and a quick trip to Duluth for the Park Point 5-Miler and Walk. August is upon us in days!

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Jackson turned five on the 17th and I can’t believe we’ll start kindergarten in a few weeks. I have one…exactly one item of curricula ready. Er, purchased. But not really ready. Yeah. Need to get on that.

Taylor is just a riot. Every day she makes me laugh and brings a smile to my face with the things she says and the ideas she has. Her favorite things lately have been riding her new pink bike that our kind neighbors passed along from their daughter, and popsicles. Oh and fruit snacks.

Grant is quite simply our Mr. Sunshine. His smile (sporting two teeth and two more on their way!) lights up every corner of every room. I can’t get enough of his roly-poly legs and his fat, dimpled elbows. He has tan lines in his arm and wrist fat rolls. I mean, REALLY?! It’s just too much. He’s juuuust starting to scootch around and be mobile. I foresee crawling and pulling up being not far away.

On the adoption front…we’re THIS close to being done assembling our dossier! Just waiting on some paperwork from our doctor’s office and a revision of our home study before we apply to USCIS and send our dossier to be translated. I hope by September, our dossier will be filed in that beautiful country called Haiti. Then we wait. For a time period only God knows the length of…patience and resting in His promise of knowing what’s best for us will be the name of the waiting game.

So that’s a quick recap…I hope it’s not three months before I open this page and thoughts spill out onto the keys and into words on this page.

 

 

 

currently 11.0

current reading material: I’ve stalled out on my reading list from this year, but Kyle and I are reading Standing on the Promises by Doug and Nancy Wilson together and we’re reading Multiply by Francis Chan in our small group. I’m sure once the baby arrives in a week or two, I’ll plow through a few books again while nursing the little guy/girl. I have the next Ashtown Burials book, The Drowned Vault, by N.D. Wilson waiting on my Kindle app.

Any recently enjoyed recommendations?

current songs o’ delight: Last weekend at a wedding, some friends of ours sang this beautiful version of an old hymn. I’d heard it before, but it had been awhile. I’ve been singing it all week and then it was in the set list for our worship service this morning, much to my delight! I hope it covers you with the peace and assurance and joy that it did me.

And I’m in love with this new(ish) song from the Goo-Goo Dolls too. Seven years ago, their song “I’ll Stay with You” was “our song”, and this new one’s chorus is totally our love/life now. Kyle really is my sweetest friend.

current projects: Well, you know – I’m nesting. So there was Move Jack to a New Room two weeks ago, then the Epic Day of Freezer Meals this week. Thank you to my mom and mother-in-law for helping with childcare and preparation! Then there was Put Baby’s Crib Together, thanks to my dad, while Kyle took care of One Million Leaves on the Ground in our yard. This week I have a few last recipes to toss in the freezer, and I’d love to get a jump start on buying Christmas gifts (but that’s unlikely) and then I’m good and ready for this kid to make his/her appearance.

current recipes I’ve tried:
These pumpkin cookies were amazing and easy.
This hot cocoa popcorn was fun and different. My kids mostly picked out the marshmallows, haha.

current hair color: a mix of old reddish tones and my natural ashy blonde/brown, but I chopped off 6 inches and have a cute lob (long-bob) now! Needed something fresh, flippy and easy to care for without wanting to toss it in an ol’ ponytail every day with the new one arriving.

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current events: today we recognized Orphan Sunday at church, a week “late”. It was really encouraging, and makes me super grateful to be part of a church that supports the cause of the orphan so consistently.

And tonight, we spontaneously took the kids bowling and out for sundaes – $13 and priceless memories. 🙂 I really love these people God has given me.

upcoming events: I think having a baby would be awesome! Sometime before Thanksgiving, please and thank you. Then there’s Thanksgiving. And then it will be December! But my life in December is going to be pretty low-key, just snuggling that new baby and recovering from birth. I hope we can keep up with doing Advent readings and some special activities for the kids as we anticipate celebrating the Birth of Jesus, our Savior.

And I’m really looking forward to seeing my brothers and sister-in-law over Christmas. It will be the first time we’ve all been together for Christmas since 2010! There will be much joy and cheer. 🙂

miscellany

Here are some random bits from all over the interwebs that have been interesting to me lately:

Check out this very fun blog that two of my friends co-write: trailer trash glam. They both live in (or are about to) small mobile home park model trailers on different sides of the USA. They both are fashionistas. They both are bargain hunters/queens of thrift. They both love coffee. Basically, their awesome. 🙂 You’ll enjoy reading about their lives.

great post about how YOU can help with and/or prevent situations like Davion Only’s. There’s something for you.

recipes i’ve tried recently –

  • pumpkin cupcakes from smittenkitchen – absolutely fabulous. The texture is delicate and the frosting divine.
  • cauliflower soup from The Pioneer Woman (i didn’t use nearly as much dairy as the recipe calls for, though. sheesh.)

reminder – MAKE THESE PUMPKIN BARS. I made them again yesterday for company we had last night and for something this weekend and ohhhhh mama.

recipes in queue –

currently 10.0

current reading material: I just finished the Peter and the Starcatchers series by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson – thoroughly enjoyed all three. Such a fun “intro” to Peter Pan. Now I want to read the original book by J.M. Barrie. I’ve enjoyed different incarnations of the story for years, but never have read the original story (based on a play that Barrie wrote).

I’m also reading The Hole in our Holiness and Thinking. Loving. Doing. The former has been really helpful as I consider sanctification and moving toward being more like Jesus, and the latter is kind of hard slogging for my less than academic mind. 🙂 But it’s good too.

I also recently read The Forgotten God by Francis Chan, about the Holy Spirit – kindled a desire for operating more fully in His power.

current songs o’ delight: For my birthday, Kyle gifted me with some new, wonderful music and some old, favorite CD’s from about ten years ago. I’ve been loving Jon Foreman’s Seasons collection…really beautiful, pretty raw lyrically. Good stuff. I also love The Civil Wars new single “The One that Got Away”, though I’m bummed they are probably finished as a duo.

current projects: preparing for Jack’s fourth birthday party! he has requested a “Lion” party, which I am doing my best to create. Not on the grand scale of last year’s train party, but a lion theme nonetheless. 🙂 We’re having a small park party for friends on his birthday and then dinner with family on the day after.

current recipes I’ve tried: 

My friend Janee told me about this recipe for Loaded Baked Potato Salad. Oh yes. It’s amazing. Bacon, cheese, sour cream and potatoes? mmhm. I almost doubled the the dressings and the bacon, and the potatoes taste best if you boil them in salted water. But yeah, it’s great with a freshly grilled burger and some corn on the cob.

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed the perch and walleye that Kyle and Jack caught on their fishing trip in May. I found this recipe for battering fish and deep frying and I’m totally sold. It comes out so perfectly and tastes incredible with this homemade tartar sauce. I’m just sad that we ate all the fish! Time to go catch more. Maybe Kyle will take me soon.

current hair color: dark brown, but slowly lightening with all the time I’ve been in the sun lately.

current events: last week, we enjoyed a lovely time in northeast WI, spending time in the north woods with our pastor’s family at Northland Camp. It was a kid wonderland and we had such a fun time packing in the activities each day. Much coffee and chatting was shared among the adults too.

upcoming events:

1. Jack’s FOURTH birthday. How is this possible? A week from tomorrow, my firstborn will be four. :sob: He has grown up so much in the past few months. He’s definitely a boy, and I’m so glad he’s ours.

2. Kyle goes to Cass Lake for a very long nine days. 🙂 The kids and I have many fun things planned while he is gone though.

current photos:

I love that her hair is long enough for little pigtails now. 🙂 And that she leaves them in!

currently 9.0

current reading material: I just finished Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford (loved it), Fit to Burst by Rachel Jankovich (great one!) and Power through Prayer by E.M. Bounds (hard to get into, but very good points about prayer to take to heart). Since my last currently post, I’ve been PLOWING through my reading list and a couple extras not on the list too. It’s as if I opened the floodgates and remembered how much I love books/learning/reading again. I love it.

In March and April I also read Bonhoeffer, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Speaking from Among the Bones, I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, and The Book Thief.

Kind of majored on WWII and post-WWII stories there for a bit! I was a total mess at the end of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Bonhoeffer and The Book Thief. Darn stories about concentration camps and war atrocities. 😛

current songs o’ delight: Your Great Name” by Natalie Grant (love harmonizing this one!)

current projects: I did a little more writing for Wine Table, which may turn into a regular gig (very happy about that!). This time I wrote about pairing wines with kids’ lunch options. 🙂 Grown up drinks for the moms and dads that match the food you’re already preparing for the small people.

Oh yes, and there’s also the growing a human thing I’m working on. We found out about a month ago that we’ve been blessed with a tiny surprise that is due late this year. Probably in late November. This has put a little kink in the adoption proceedings, but we still are in the process of finishing our home study (due to some delay’s on our agency’s side) and hope to keep moving forward toward a child that needs a family. Possibly state-side now and Africa later.

current recipes I’ve tried: I’ve been baking a lot recently – its therapeutic for me. Downside is then someone has to eat it. 🙂 I haven’t tried a bunch of new recipes, mostly just ones that are favorites. I did try a new blueberry orange muffin recipe and found them to be delicious!

Blueberry Orange Muffins 

I have a few things marked to try soon:

Espresso Mini-Muffins with Chocolate Ganache – who doesn’t love coffee and chocolate? I’m hosting a wedding shower for my childhood bestie on Saturday, and these will definitely be making an appearance.

Baked Egg Tartlets – oh yum. eggs in a pastry crust? Yes. Please.

current hair color: still dark-reddish brown. I’d love to get some highlights soon.

current events:

1. SPRING! finally. Oh my word, this was quite possibly the longest winter ever. Having small children has not made my love for winter increase. So you better believe we’ve been soaking up the warm days and even enjoying the cooler days of this yo-yo spring weather. Got sunburns a couple weeks ago and then have endured chilly rain this past week, but tomorrow’s high is 88 and the rest of the week is projected to be in the 70’s. I’ll gladly take it!

The trees have all burst into bud and bloom in the past week and tulips and daffodils are up and blooming. My heart just soaks up the joy of the color green after the drab, grey, monochrome winter.

2. celebrated Mother’s Day. My sweet husband made it such a special day. He helped the kids make a card for me, made breakfast and ordered me to lounge in bed until it was all ready. 🙂 Then we enjoyed church together, lunch at Culvers (free sundae for this mom!), and the rest of the day with Kyle’s family at his parent’s home. Such a lovely time!

2. Fostering. Last week we had back-to-back respite placements for ten days in a row. Shew! Wore me plum out, what with the first trimester of pregnancy and two more, then one more kid than usual. But it was good. Helped us formulate some more ideas about the right kind of placements for our family at this stage. And I’m super excited that one of the kids will be joined with their forever family soon. 🙂 SUCH happy news.

upcoming events:

1. A wedding shower for my dear friend, Whitney. I love throwing parties. Very much.

2. My birthday is only a month-ish away! 🙂

current photos:

first bonfire of the season = sticky s’more girl

Jack was so excited to go to our friend’s cabin for a weekend with Kyle. He and Josiah had a blast in the woods!