Sunday, April 27, 2014

We've got a Family Fire Drill in our future!...And Week 4 Puzzle Update!

Someone Call A Fireman

This week has flown by. Not much to report on the home study front, other than receiving a two page list of things we need to make sure our house has in place by the time our social worker arrives. Some of the things are: fire extinguisher, working fire alarms, a room for the baby, etc…BUT, my favorite thing on the list is that we are supposed to have a family fire drill every six months and a posted evacuation plan. Now I’m not going to say if we do or do not already do this, but I’m certain that our new neighbors are going to be giving us some strange looks on “drill day.”

We have also been working with our adoption consultant on creating our family profile book. This is the book that is presented to birth moms about our family. They look at our life as a family and decide if they want to be “matched” with us. I have been busy collecting about 100 pictures of our family consisting of various events and also writing about our family. Everything I write just doesn’t seem good enough. How do you put into words how much you love your family or how much we would love this woman’s baby? I want the words to be perfect, but I also just want to skip all the writing and put “We promise we will love your baby and give them an amazing life….We promise we will love your baby and give them an amazing life” over and over again! Either way, the book is coming together.

Other than that, the only other update is our Puzzle!

Puzzle Update
Week 4

At the end of Week 4, our total is:
(If you want to learn more about our fundraiser, see our March 30th post “Adoption Reveal”. If you are wanting to donate, just click the donate button on the top right hand corner of our blog. You do not need to have a PayPal account to donate)

Check out the families that because “pieces” of our puzzle this week! Thank you ALL!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Look What Happened This Week...And Puzzle Update Week 3

Our Home Study Paperwork Packet Has Been Sent Off! 

If you’ve ever been curious as to what it takes to gather paperwork for a home study in order to foster or adopt a child, here’s the rundown. It has taken us a little under 2 months to do the following (it might take others a lot less time, but we both work full time and have a child involved in sports, so 2 months was our turnaround time):

Apply to an agency (4 pages of basic information) & pay app fee, parent info sheet (both parents 4 pages each), Autobiography (of every detail of Ryan, Jacob, and my life from birth until now…26 page single spaced document…this took the most time), background checks, fingerprints, 4 non family member references to complete statements on our behalf, Tax forms from the past two years, a financial statement, a monthly income and expense worksheet, a physician’s report on our health and mental state (each member of the family), copy of birth certificates, driver’s license, marriage certificate, proof of medical insurance, copies of medical cards, proof of automobile insurance, guardianship form (who will care for our child if something happened to us), release of info form, proof of pet vaccination for any pet in the household, completion of 10 hours of adoption classes/training, agency fee worksheet, client right form, and home study payment.

It feels so good to have this packet sent off. Now we wait to receive the dates when the social worker comes to our home to start our home study.

Puzzle Update!!!
After week 3, our total is $6, 810!!!
Our goal is $10,000. We are almost there!
 (To learn more about the puzzle fundraiser, see our March 30, 2014 post “Adoption Reveal” or click the DONATE button at the top right side of our blog. You don't need to have a Paypal account)

A few new families became a piece(s) of our puzzle this week! Enjoy finding your name and thank you so much for helping us bring our baby home.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Home Study & Puzzle Update

Home Study AND Puzzle Update

After a LONG couple of months gathering and filling out our home study paperwork, we will be sending in our completed packet this week!!! Our paperwork could have been sent in faster, but Ryan went and changed jobs (LOL) meaning all of his information needs to be re-done (insurance switch so all insurance information needs to be recollected and done, salary change which effects our financial statement so financial statements need to be re-done, blah blah, etc). Basically, a lot of paperwork needs to be re-done. He accepted a position with SAIF. He will be doing workman comp claims instead of auto claims like he was doing at State Farm. He starts his new position on April 22. Ryan has been with State Farm for 13 years, so the transition is very bittersweet for him. I am so excited and proud of him. Needless to say, there is still information from his new employer that we will need to gather over the next few months in order for our home study to be complete. Lucky for us, our social worker is awesome and is letting us turn Ryan’s information in at the tail end of our report being written. That way we can move forward with scheduling our home study. Once our social worker has our information, it takes around a month to a month and a half until she comes to our home for two separate 6-8 hour visits. I’m not 100% sure what specifically goes on during those visits, but I’m sure it will consist of many questions about our family, our motivation to adopt, and watching a day in the life of the Mikesh’s. The adoption consultant that we hired (separate from our social worker) will help prepare us for what to expect. It is a bit nerve wracking to have someone come into your home and then write a report about what you are and are not doing right as parents and what we are and aren’t prepared for as adoptive parents. All we can do is be ourselves and try not to be nervous. Once our two home studies are complete, it takes about another month for the social worker to write the report. If we are “approved,” then we’ve got the green light and can apply to agencies and be “matched” any time after that. This process is lengthy and we have and will continue to practice patience along the way. And as always, we promise to keep you posted.

Puzzle Update Week 2

Check out the new “pieces” we added this week!!! Thanks you to so many more families that became a “piece/pieces” of our puzzle.

Our combined total after week 2 is $5,850!!! We are so blessed!
(If you are wanting to become a "piece of our puzzle", just click the donate button at the top right hand corner of our blog. Also, the puzzle description and our adoption announcement are archived under the "March" tab on the right side of our blog if you didn't get a chance to read it).

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Adding Pieces...End of Week 1

Adding Pieces…End of Week 1

I can’t believe the week we have had! When we hit “post” last week and revealed our plans to adopt, we didn’t know what type of response we would get. You have all wrapped your arms around our family and filled our hearts with joy and excitement. Our support system extends far beyond our wildest dreams. Thank you all for taking our nerves and helping us throw those out the window.

We have had a busy week building what is easily the most challenging puzzle in the world (symbolic…maybe)! When I sent away for the puzzle, I loved it’s meaning and I loved how it looked. What I didn’t take into consideration is that aside from the words, every single puzzle piece looks EXACTLY the same!!! I’ve gotta tell ya, the celebration that takes place after 30 minutes of searching for a matching piece takes form in a screaming “Yahoo,” the running man, and/or some form of raising the roof (some of you have been on the phone with me when I've found a matching know what I'm talking about). It’s been an interesting week in the Mikesh household.

Thank you for your love and support,
Melissa (and Ryan and Jacob too)

Here are some pictures of our puzzle at the end of WEEK 1!

In just 1 week, our puzzle is almost halfway complete!
We've raised $4,500 at the end of Week 1. Thank you ALL!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Piece by Piece..."this is unbelievable"

Piece By Piece

The past couple of days have been unbelievable. Our emails, phones, and Facebook pages have been flooded with messages, calls, and words of encouragement. Never in our wildest dreams did we think our support system would run as deep as it has. We are blessed beyond belief and our hearts are full. Thank you all for taking the time to read our story, wish us well, and provide us with words of encouragement.  You will never know how much this has meant to us.

Along with encouraging words came incredible donations. Over the past couple of days, Ryan and I have been speechless about the donations that have poured in. Your generosity has brought me to tears over the past three days and I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the phrase “this is unbelievable” come out of Ryan’s mouth. To his credit, it’s the most appropriate phrase I can come up with as well. We’ve received donations from family, friends, people we haven’t talked to in years, people we hardly know, and people across the United States that we don’t know at all! WHAT!?!? People’s hearts and acts of kindness extend far beyond what I’m able to comprehend and we cannot build the puzzle as fast as the donations are coming in. It’s amazing!

(please see our previous 3/30/14 blog post if you want to become a "piece of the puzzle")

(I SPY...some AMAZING people!!! The above people/families filled the section that reads LOVE NEVER FAILS) 

(Uncle Mike, Auntie Shelly, & Cousins Ryan and Katelyn blew us away with their donation. Their "pieces" fill the "1 Corinthians" section and the entire right edge of the puzzle)

(Big Brother, Jacob, is having so much fun building the puzzle. As he was adding pieces tonight, he said, "we're one piece closer to bringing our baby home" true buddy...)

(Thank you Proctor, Gauntz, Thorn, and Myers Families...we snuck in your pieces before we finished building for the night.)