Monday, July 25, 2011


Introducing......Blake and Emery Vandermeulen.  We finally decided on the twins names about a month or so ago.  I am tired of writing 'boy' and 'girl' in my posts:)  They will keep their Bulgarian name as their middle name.  Deciding on the names was a very long process.  I read many articles about changing a child's name.  There are a host of opinions that go both ways on this issue.  We always knew we would keep their names either as middle or first .   After deciding to keep them as middle, we ran into another issue.  The girls wanted a vote on the names.  Four people trying to agree on names was crazy.  We agreed on Blake right away.  The only other contender was Zach.  Agreeing on Emery took forever.  Bruce and I had a hard time agreeing on names for both of our girls.  So I expected this to be a long process.  Throw in the girls opinions, and it was even more difficult.  We all had it narrowed down to Ella, Rachel, Alyson, and Emery.  We all agreed that any of these names looked like they would fit her, based on her pictures.  Bruce and I finally decided that we would choose from the four.  I told him I liked all of the names, so he could choose.  He had been leaning toward Rachel all along.  But in the end, he chose Emery.  What a process!  I think we are all happy with the names.  Of course, their middle names cannot be posted until they are officially ours. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Great News - FBI Clearance Letter Received

Yes, my fingerprints have been processed and I have my clearance letter.  It took a long time, but now we can finally proceed.  Of course, they arrived on Friday - the same day Bruce was heading up to the cottage for a week long vacation.  So, I will be leaving the cottage on Monday and driving back to Grand Rapids to have the remainder of our dossier paperwork apostilled.  Our social worker can now officially issue our home study and I can begin the NBC process.  It feels great to be moving forward.  Please pray for our NBC approval to go smoothly with no unexpected delays.  Hopefully, we will be meeting our twins for the first time in the Fall.  Just saying that makes me smile. 

We also received our review from our international adoption doctor regarding the updated medical records for the kids.  Nothing in the review we did not already know about.  The kids seem to be doing well despite being in an orphanage.  They are very small - less than the 3rd percentile for both height and weight.  Hopefully that will change after being home for awhile, with proper nutrition and plenty of love. 

We have so much to be thankful for - cannot wait to share that with our twins.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Medical Updates - Finally

Yes, we finally have updated medical reports on the kids.  The reports we received with our referral were over 2 years old.  The kids appear to be doing great.  I forwarded the reports to our international adoption doctor - so we will know more after her review.  Both kids are 3 feet 4 inches tall and weight 28 lbs (girl) and 31 lbs (boy).  Ashley is so excited to be able to figure out the size of clothing they wear.  She wanted to go shopping immediately.  Unfortunately, we are at our cottage for the month of July and there are not many places to shop in Howard City.  We may take a trip in to Big Rapids so Ashley can pick out an outfit for the twins.  She also is excited to begin preparing their bedroom.  That will be a fun project.  We have a lot to do.  I am in the process of creating outline style summaries of the adoption books that I have read.  It is a great review of the books and the summary will be helpful after we have the kids home.

As far as the adoption process, we are basically at a stand still.  I am still waiting on my finger prints / clearance letter from the FBI.  I lost count of how long it has been since they received the prints the second time around.  About 7 weeks, I think.  It was supposed to take 4 weeks.  Other than this, our home study is complete.  Our dossier paper work is complete with the exception of the NBC approval, which is contingent upon the FBI clearance letter.  Patience is difficult when thinking about our kids.  I am still holding out hope that we will have them home by the end of the year.  For now I am keeping busy with preparations and viewing their adorable new pictures and videos.