our first ultrasound {homestudy complete!}

If you have ever been pregnant, you know what those first few months of anticipation are like. You can feel things changing. You can know in your head things are happening. Your outlook on life, home, work, etc. has shifted. However, all that you typically have to show for it is tighter pants and the absence of certain foods. Then the day comes for your first ultrasound. No one can prepare you for what it is like to see that growing baby on the screen. You can imagine. You can go off the stories of others. But you really just can’t comprehend it until you are in that moment.

Last week our homestudy agency called to say our homestudy was finalized and I could come pick up the copies. I’ve heard a lot about homestudies, but never really understood what they were. In a basic sense it is every aspect of your life detailed out in a several page report (ours was 16 pages single spaced). It is like a family biography. When I got in the car and opened up the envelope holding our homestudy…it felt like being in the doctor’s office for that first ultrasound.

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Suddenly the past few months of working, gathering, preparing and feeling change happening felt real. It wasn’t a black and white picture of a little jumping bean, but it felt the same. I held in my hands something tangible that represented our family is growing. I’d be tempted to frame it and show it off to all our friends and family, but pretty sure they already think I am crazy enough.

One copy heads to the US Citizenship and Immigration Service to begin an approval process there. I had the envelope ready to go once I picked up the homestudy.
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I wanted to make the envelope cute (think Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde)…but I was guessing the government might frown upon that. Simple white envelope, at least what was inside was exciting. I attempted to get big sister to pose with it, but she was less than thrilled with the idea.
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While I was attempting a picture, I noticed my friend Cindy’s car in the parking lot. She happened to be at the post office mailing things for her adoption too…she took a pic for me.
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So that is where we are at in the process right now…waiting on the USCIS. I’m guessing it will be a couple of months..then it will be time to mail off our dossier. If you remember my post about our family homestudy visit, my oldest told the social worker we didn’t have any rules in our family. When I asked him later why he said that, he told me at school they have the rules posted on the wall. We don’t have any rules posted. Then, I asked him if I needed to post the rules. He smiled and said an emphatic “No”.

Well, last week I posted some rules. They aren’t really ‘rules’, but more things we hope are happening in our home.
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After I framed it, I had the boys come in and read the list. My 5 year old’s favorite part was “dance crazy”. He went on to demonstrate it.
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So…yep, we got our first ultrasound (I bet I threw some of you off with that post title). One more step down. A whole lot more to go.

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My poster is compliments of Alexander Creative. They are letting me give one away today to one of you!

Giveaway Details

Giveaway is now closed

One winner chosen at random

Prize: one poster of winner’s choice

Giveaway open until October 19th, 2011 8:00pm US Central

To enter: Leave a comment today:)

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  • Sherri Ernst - You are living my dream…to adopt. So inspirational. -Sherri

  • Jamie - I’ve been a lurker here for a while. But you’ve brought me out of the shadows. So excited for you and your adoption. It must be so exciting to be taking those baby steps that will eventually lead to baby steps! Congratulations!

  • Jennifer - love the print. Happy birthday!

  • Alisha - Congratulations! How exciting for all of you!

  • SAB - Wow! So excited – Thank you for sharing your adoption process with the world! My in-laws have been through it 3 times, and then once more for the 4th and they thought they were done, but low and behold, God had bigger plans and added 2 more to the mix! The last 3 are all half-siblings. Praise God for keeping them all together!

  • nissa - I saw this poster on another site a couple weeks ago…love it. Have decided to order if i don’t win a free one :)

  • Sara H - This is just what my family needs :)

  • tracy thomas - What a wonderful blessing you have received and are teaching your family! Thank you for sharing your journey!

  • Jill - Great post. Love the poster! Love it!

  • Amy S. - I love these “House Rules”!! They are so perfect and fun, too. I am so excited for your family as you travel this journey of adoption. Praying that the details work out in His perfect time!

  • Misty Schluchter - So excited for you and your family!! LOVE the print!

  • Misty Schluchter - So excited for you and your family!! Congrats on the completion of your home study! LOVE the print!!!

  • Kimberly - I always get so emotional when I read your posts. You’re pictures speak a million words. One of these days I’m going to pick up my camera for those days OTHER than ‘Special occasions’ and client sessions and just start clicking away. You’ve taught me so many lessons since I started reading your blog. The one I repeat the most to myself (and others) is ‘This Too Shall Pass….Be Present’ (I have a 6 & 4 year old so this truly fits my life right now). Thank you for sharing such intimate details of your life. You are an inspiration! Happy Belated Birthday!

  • Stephanie - Love that poster. What an exciting time for you and your family! Congratulations!!

  • Erica - Love your blog…and your pictures. Thanks for the opportunity to win something! :)

  • Ceri - Hi Ashley I am a newer reader of your blog. I love it. I really like that rules poster! Contras on your “ultra sound moment” can’t wait to see how your adoption story unfolds.

  • Dee - I adore the print! So happy for you & your family!!!

  • Stephanie - What a joy to hear! Adoption is a beautiful thing. We got a chuckle out of the rules story. Thanks for the giveaway! I’d surely display that one!

  • Louise in NE OK - Congratulations on the ‘baby step’! Love the poster.

  • Siobhain - I love this and having been unsuccessuflly working on one of my own, I especially like the sharing each other’s joy. This is a tough one we are working on right now.

  • merran tatum - exciting step for you guys…congrats! i hope time flies and you get that sweet sweet child soon…. aaaaaannnnndddd…i would love to win a house rules poster. i’ve always wanted one!

  • Diane Wagner - I LOVE it! We need those rules posted at our house, too!

  • Diane Wagner - Am so excited for your family. Can’t wait to see a picture of the child when you can share. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the “rules”!

  • Elizabeth - That is so exciting! Congratulations on your growing family. :o)

  • Ruth V. - What an excellent poster! Also, congratulations on finishing your homestudy! What an exciting time for your family :)

  • Mandy Petty - I’m a new follower of your blog, and just want to say how much I enjoy reading your posts, seeing your pics and great crafts/projects. Love your reminders to slow down and enjoy the little things in life with our kids. As a new second time mom, I need that reminder often. So anyway, thanks for sharing your life…

  • jdzjane - Pretty cool you are giving one away. I was just thinking I really need one of those for my house! So you could totally pick me if you’d like! ;)

  • Thalita Dol - Oh, I really want that poster!!

    congratulations for your “ultrasound”!! =)

    hugs from Brazil!

  • Jess H - Not sure if I’m too late (couldn’t remember our time difference! ha!) but, I do LOVE the poster…I have been “pinning” some like that recently :) great stuff!!

  • JoanE - Ashley…where did that awesome list of rules come from? Love it. Love your work, love your photos….

    xo
    JoanE

  • rachel - so awesome that you guys are adopting from china! my husband and i are adopting from ethiopia – we just got assigned to our social worker and will be preparing for our home study hopefully soon!

    i also LOVE your rules … i might steal that idea for the future!! your blog is inspiring in so many ways.

  • JoanE - Ashley…where could I get one of those “house rules” prints? It’s the best!
    Love what you do…love your story, as a week from today, my son goes before the Ethiopian officials
    w/hopes of adopting a little girl, Aziza. His three kids will be with Mimi (me)and Papa Tom (my husband) for ten days while he travels with his wife to Ethiopia.

    With you in Spirit!
    JoanE

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