It's official-- we have bought plane tickets to India. We were fully expecting to leave in June/July, but we are leaving in May instead to bring Sany (pronounced Sah-nee) home!

In Sany's state in India, there are two passport appointments required. Since we are already officially her legal parents, the process typically goes:

Orphanage (called a SAA in India) sends us paperwork -> We sign passport paperwork

-> We have paperwork notarized -> We have notarized paperwork apostilled -> We send the paperwork back -> Kid has two passport appointments -> Kid receives passport -> We travel to India

Our advocate in India said that we could move forward with that process OR:

We travel to India -> We sign passport paperwork at appointment in person -> Kid gets passport

The second option is less back and forth through the mail, and it means we leave sooner (also meet Sany sooner!) but then we stay in country for 4-6 weeks. We asked ourselves, when else in our lives would we be able to drop everything to meet our daughter sooner and live in India for that amount of time?

So we here we go! We are leaving for India sooner and we'll be staying longer, but we could not be more excited to meet Sany and spend an extended amount of time in her community.

We have booked plane tickets and our hotel stay. We figured out where our pets will live during that time (thanks to my aunt and in-laws!). Our jobs are super super supportive. My bag is packed. Sany's bag is packed. Collin will pack the morning of because he's crazy.

Everyone keeps asking if we are ready, but how does anyone get ready to meet their child? Right now "getting ready" looks like buying baby clothes in three different sizes (she could be in anything from six to twelve month clothing) putting the nursery together, spending time with friends, looking at her pictures a hundred times a day, going on dates (so long just the too of us), and sleeping in as much as possible. I guess we're as ready as we can be.

I plan to update this blog occasionally while we are traveling, but the best place to follow our day-to-day adventures will be my instagram:

Specific prayer requests:

- Our travel to India goes smoothly (23 hours of flights and then a four hour car ride) and safely!

- Sany's transition to us goes well (we'll be meeting her a few times before she comes to live with us at the hotel). This is going to be hard, but we hope she begins to trust us quickly.

- The passport appointments go miraculous quickly and that they can print her passport AT our second appointment.

- We stay healthy while traveling!

- Sany is healthy and growing. She continues to be below the first percentile in weight and height (partially due to her premature birth), so we are anxious to be with her and provide her with the stability and nutrition she needs to grow.

It's crazy to think the next time I update here, we'll be in India! Thanks for your prayers and support during this crazy time. ❤️

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This is the post you all are waiting for-- and we are announcing it here first. We are officially matched with a child!!

In late November, we received an email from our social worker about a tiny fourteen-month-old baby's file that she "locked" for us. We sent the file off to a doctor that specifically does adoption file reviews. She poured over all of the medical records and then we met to discuss everything with her a few days later before officially moving forward. We are limited in what we can share online about her until we have her home, but she is doing wonderfully. Believe me, I wish I could share of picture of her adorable face as soon as possible.

We even got the chance to have a video call with her orphanage (called SAAs in India) this morning, where she is receiving amazing care and attention. We have heard wonderful things about this SAA, so we are thrilled that she is in such good hands. Having her caretakers refer to us as "mom and dad" was pretty surreal/amazing too.

What next?

You can check out the "timeline" page on this website to see where we are in the process, but I'll explain a little here. We have been doing two different processes this whole time-- the American/immigration side and the India/adoption side. Next in our checklist, we need to receive "originals" which are quite literally just the original documents of our daughter's file. We have more immigration paperwork to complete ASAP to continue things on the US side. Meanwhile on the India side we are waiting for them to issue a "No Object Certificate." Once we receive our NOC, we can file in court to legally adopt her. *cheers!*

We will mostly like not need to go to India for any of the court hearings, and we are not sure how long this process will take. It seems that currently people are waiting a few months for the NOC and then a few months to pass court. Honestly, the immigration side of things seems like it will probably go a bit quicker than the adoption side. Once we pass court and immigration, we will get her passport and fly over to India to take physical custody of her! From where we are at this moment, the process typically takes 7-9 months.

"What can I do?"

Please be praying for each step of this process! With all of the new COVID-19 variants, we are nervous that it could shut down India's court system again and delay our process. Her birthday is in early fall and it would be incredible to have her home before that. ❤️

We have had numerous people ask about fundraising and donations. We did a small fundraiser with earrings last summer (that actually covered much of our homestudy update), and we SO close to being officially fully funded! Woohoo!! We received generous grants from Adopt 100/Amy's Legacy Foundation (which is an incredible MN organization) and Pure Gift of God. We are continuing to apply for grants to cover the last bit of our agency fees and upcoming travel fees, but we do not plan to hold any fundraisers. If you are hoping to support, please look into one of these great organizations, because they made our process possible and they are helping other families as well. 🎉 Otherwise, we'll let you know when our registry is up and running. ;)

**Update: here's the link to our registry & we included Delta giftcards if you'd like to help us cover the cost of our flight to India!

Thank you for all of the support and love so far!

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For us, adoption isn’t a new idea, a hard decision, or a contingency plan; adoption is something we’ve both imagined and felt right about even before we met each other seven years ago.

Miranda does not remember a time that she did not want to adopt. When a social worker visited her house prior to her parents adopting the first of their two sons from China, the social worker asked what she thought about adoption. The then-12-year-old Miranda responded by saying that she believed she would also adopt one day. Miranda’s conviction and desire to build her family through adoption has only grown in response to being a big sister to adopted siblings, volunteering as a youth mentor, working as an adoption social worker and pregnancy counselor, and now as a child protection social worker.

Collin’s experience in college included involvement in a campus ministry that emphasized multiculturalism and serving international students. Through this ministry, he traveled to a third world country to learn and serve for a summer. This experience opened Collin’s eyes to the populations in need, including orphans in institutional care. Collin believes that as a Christian, the idea of adoption feels personal and important, since according to the Gospel, God has loved and adopted us into his family.

We have decided to build our family first through adoption. We have always known that we would adopt someday, and we want our adopted children to know that they are our “plan A”: that they are loved and chosen.

The phrase “finding families for children, rather than children for families” shifts our focus onto what the purpose is and where the need is for adoption. There are thousands of families waiting to adopt infants in the US, all while there are millions of children waiting to be adopted through the US foster care system and internationally. As soon as we considered international adoption, it felt like a natural fit. We are young and adaptable people who love to travel and learn about other cultures. We are wanting to grow our family, but also fill a need by adopting a child who would otherwise not have a home, such as a child in an orphanage.

We are excited to be adopting a child from India and to be integrating Indian culture into our home. We have good friends from India and resources in our community to support a child from that culture. We can't wait!!!

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