Friday, December 17, 2010


Woooohooooo! Okay, calm down. It's not what you're thinking, but it's still very good news!!! Today, I called the Dept. of State National Visa Center to inquire about our paperwork. They informed me that it was sent to US Embassy Manila, yesterday!!! This is great news! Once it gets there, the process can begin to get baby K medical and visa appointments going!!!! We are praying and hoping that the holidays will not deter this too much!!! I know the title of this blog got you all excited, but I had to celebrate the little victories during this lengthy journey!!! I can't wait to put up a post titled "Off to Manila WE go". Hopefuly, it's soon...


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Overwhelmed by God's amazing grace and people's kindness

at our holiday boutique this weekend to help raise funds for our adoption! We were successful enough to raise enough funds for a roundtrip ticket to the Phlippines!!!! Wooooohooooo!!!! Now to bed, for some much needed rest...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My hero: Officer Sobe

approved our I800 today!!!!! I received the email and was over the moon! We are one step closer to our little girl!!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Blessed to use paper plates!

This day we will have about 20 people in dining table enjoying the bounty of our blessings! Needless to say, I do not have enough fancy plate settings to accommodate this. Therefore, we are using PAPER PLATES!!!! Wooooohoooo!!! What a great blessing that we have so many people in our lives to celebrate Thanksgiving with that we have to bust out paper products!!! God is awesome!!! We are thankful for so many provisions that the Lord has given us. One of them, our daughter, who is waiting to come home. It is with bittersweetness that we miss her so much today, and very much wishing she was her with us, instead of an ocean away. But, we also know that this is the last Thanksgiving we would spend without her. This time around next year, we are hoping that she can be enjoying the blessing of paper plates with us. Happy Blessed Thanksgiving everyone!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010


Music to my ears!!! It's official, we got our i800A approval today!!!! I'm one step closer to my little girl!!! My husband immediately went to the UPS office closest to our home, and sent the waiting i800 paperwork to USCIS today!!!!! It is scheduled to arrive early Tuesday AM!!!! I hope it goes without a hitch!!! I wonder if officer Sobe will still be our worker? Hmmm...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Officer Sobe said so!

This morning, I called USCIS...I just had a restlessness in me that's been brewing and today was the day, I finally picked up the phone (previously, I was communicating w/ them through e-mail). I was transfered to officer Sobe early this morning, but he was not at his desk. I left him a message to please call me back for an update on our case. By lunchtime, he hasn't called. So, I picked up the phone again and asked to speak to him at about 12:30pm. He was very kind and said, he had our I800A application at his desk, right now and was about to approve it. I said, "oh, don't let me stop you, I'll HOLD"!!!! LOL!!! A long pause followed and he said, "Okay then"! And just like that, our I800A is approved!!! Hopefully, the "official" letter comes in the mail this week and we can get our I800 application in the mail before the weekend! Then...more waiting!!!! Thank you so much everyone, for being so encouraging!!!

Food for thought...Officer Sobe said, I can wait until the official letter comes in the mail or I can mail the I800 now and by the time it gets there, it would already be in the system. Thoughts??? I'm so paranoid of skipping steps, I don't want to do anything "wrong" at this point in the game! But hey, Officer Sobe said so!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010


I need some...

That's all there is to say today.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Another Meltdown

is certainly brewing! Still no word on our I800A approval. I thought the wait before the match was unbearable...I never expected that the wait after the match is even more intense!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010


It's 1:04am and I just woke up from a 5 hour crash...eerrr nap, I mean! I had a meltdown earlier this evening, I'm just sayin'...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Well, let's get the bad news out of the way and be done with it! This evening, my husband and I are finalizing our I864A and I864 to send to our agency, so that they can forward them to ICAB. We crossed every T and dotted all of the I's. Got 3 years worth of tax returns and W-2's for each of us. Proofread a gazillion time before noticing that the instruction says to type answers in CAPITAL letters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Really???????????? Really??????????????? Really?????????????? I couldn't believe it! A). How did I miss that????? B). WHY is that necessary???????????????? So, I tried to come up with reasons as to why that shouldn't be needed, since, the application is typed and very much legible. I argued with USCIS in my head...but since they didn't have a representative in my living room this evening, I had no choice but to modify both forms!!! Not too difficult since we already had all of the information down, but it sure was tedious and an absolutely poor use of time. We had planned on tackling the I800 this evening with the fee schedule that USCIS is requesting. But instead, I was converting the I864A and I864 to CAPITAL letters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Again I say, REALLLLLLLLLLY????????

Okay, now that that's out of the way...on to the good news!!! As I've posted just recently, we were scheduled to go in for the Biometric fingerprints on 11/12/2010. Well, one very awesome Haley McNabb from the yahoo group informed me that she had some friends who didn't want to wait for their fingerprinting appointments and they "walked in" and were able to do their fingerprints 3 weeks early!!!!! So, today, my husband called the fingerprinting place and asked if we were able to come in should they have any cancellations in the next couple of weeks. They told him that they had some time tomorrow, and if we wanted to come in. He was in shocked and called me right away. Neither one of us could believe that we can go tomorrow instead of wait the 3 weeks, as given to us by USCIS. I called the place back to verify that this is true. The nice officer confirmed this and offered us an appointment at 7:45am TOMORROW!!!!!!! Thank you officer Lewis!!! Thank you Jesus for putting such wonderful souls to help us along during this process!!!!!!

So, I'm going to shut up now...and go work on the I800, which by the way does not specify that it should be in CAPS!!!

Friday, October 22, 2010


We got notice from USCIS yesterday that we have been set up for an appointment for our Biometrics fingerprints on 11/12/2010. This is bittersweet, since any progress is good...but I can't believe that we have 3 weeks to be idle. I suppose I just being blah!!! SInce I know, there's always lots to do! So, here's to a speedy productive 3 weeks...until we have one more rung under us, in this whole process!!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

One down...

how many to go??? We sent our I800A in to the Dallas lockbox and it was logged to have been received on 10/1/10. Now we wait...for what I'm praying is a swift and favorable approval. Meanwhile, we are starting on the I800 with accompanying I864A and I864. In addition, we have also received baby K's birth certificate, authorized placement, and relinquishment in the mail, which our social worker was pleasantly surprised @ ICAB's quickness in this matter. I guess, most people usually wait awhile after the approval of the I800A, prior to receiving these documents, which are conveniently referred to as Article 16. This is encouraging. :-) The forms itself aren't too difficult to fill out, but it's the gathering of all the accompanying documents that's a bit of a challenge. I'm filling out the I800, I864A, and I864 in tandem, but it's getting a bit too confusing. So, maybe, I'll fill them all out individually, in hopes that I may be able to focus on each one without getting overwhelmed. I just want to get through the paperwork, so that I can actually concentrate on my little girl. I am praying and hoping everyday, that we will bring her home real soon.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dear Birthmother...

Dear Birth Mom:

As we write this letter, we are praying for peace, comfort, and wellness for you and your family. We would like to take this opportunity to remind you of God’s tender heart for you and your baby. Thank you for giving your child the gift of life. It is with deep admiration also that we recognize your decision to give her yet another precious gift: the gift of a family who will love and care for her. Your decision in choosing adoption, takes tremendous courage, trust, and, most of all, love. We believe that God has a plan for you both even now, when things may be uncertain or difficult. We know that the Lord is present in all of our lives and that it is His work that has brought us to you and your precious baby’s life.

We are Agnes and Edward, and we live in a quiet Los Angeles suburb. Edward is 38 years old and is an information technologist and has diligently worked on the faculty of a southern California university for 15 years. I, Agnes, am 33 and a pediatric physical therapist. I have a master’s degree in physical therapy and have been practicing for 9 years. Seven years ago, because of the love of working with children, I decided to specialize in pediatrics. I have enjoyed these years of being able to care for families and children with special needs, including physical and developmental disabilities. Although these are our career paths and what we do “professionally,” our deepest desire is for God’s blessing of a child, to share our love and our home. More than anything else, we want to make parenting our greatest priority and number-one job.

Edward and I met in college in1994 and soon became college sweethearts. According to Edward, he was attracted to my enthusiasm and sense of humor. He claims to have fallen in love at first sight. Soon after we met, I fell deeply in love with Edward’s quiet confidence and gentleness. In August of 2000, Edward proposed under a pale moon and bright stars, while we strolled on the beach. We were married in Malibu, CA, in May of 2002.

We are blessed to have a beautiful marriage and a home. We moved away from the city life and into a home in a quiet suburban neighborhood, with the thought that we would soon start a family. Edward was ready to be a loving father, and I was ecstatic at the possibility of nurturing and rearing children. In late 2002, we found out we were pregnant, but the pregnancy quickly resulted in a miscarriage. We were heartbroken by this trial. However, it was this year that we looked steadfastly to God for guidance. We found comfort and peace in His promise of specific plans for us. We continued to pray for a miracle. In 2004, we conceived once more, but it resulted in an ectopic pregnancy. The doctors didn’t have answers as to why this happened. We prayed about this and looked to the Lord once more for guidance. As a couple, we felt at this moment the call to adopt. We believe that the trials of losing our children have strengthened us as a couple and truly made us realize how much we wanted to be parents. It mattered not whether we conceived a child biologically or just in our hearts.
Our neighborhood consists mostly of young families with small children. It is located within a mile from parks, safe walking trails, and distinguished elementary and high schools. We have been truly blessed to reside in an area that would be beneficial to a growing and developing child. We both enjoy traveling and have been blessed with the experiences of other countries and cultures. But we would consider it the ultimate blessing to finally bring a child into our lives to share our love and our home with.

We have our immediate family living close to us. We often have nephews and nieces visiting us from various cities here in California and also from Arizona. Edward and I were born in the Philippines and raised there until our families immigrated to the United States in our pre-adolescent years. Between our families, we speak three Filipino dialects (Ilokano, Tagalog, and Cebuano). As you can imagine, our family gatherings are a cultural food fest of pancit, lumpias, and chicken adobo . . . along with loads of laughter and chatter. We’ve assimilated into the Western culture but continue to take pride in our Filipino heritage, values, and traditions.

We plan to raise your child with the support of our family, our friends, and our church. You will never have to wonder whether she is loved and cared for. She will grow up knowing about God’s love and promises. She will always know about you and your decision of deep love to place her for adoption. We will tell her about her mother’s strong and courageous character. We will tell her of your bravery and your testimony. Most of all, we will tell her stories of your unconditional love and that the greatest gift of all came from you: her life.

We promise to continue to pray for you, that you will know God’s plan for you in His perfect timing.

In Christ’s enduring love,

Agnes & Edward

Friday, September 10, 2010

After the call...

It's been it's been 17 days since we got the call. It's been a flurry of emotions and activity at our house. Records have been reviewed, acceptance letter written/signed/sealed & FedEx"ed", homestudy forms gathered, I800a form's 11 page instruction has been combed over, and homestudy visit is pending! Lots to do and we're moving as quickly as we can...but apparently, not everyone got the memo! I feel like I'm moving at the speed of light, with the urgency to do as much as I can as quickly so I can to bring my little girl home, but why do I feel like I'm always waiting on others? I'm waiting for the mail, I'm waiting for an opening in my social worker's schedule, I'm waiting for an email from my agency coordinator to let me know which form to fill out NOW, I'm waiting for FedEx tracking to let me know that ICAB acknowledged our acceptance, I'm waiting...waiting...waiting! I thought that the waiting would ease once we got the match...but it has actually intensified. I just want to bring baby K home...and be her mommy!!! Is that really too much to ask for? Apparently, right now, it is. I feel like I'm facing the mountains of bureaucracy of two countires!!!! But these are the days that I pray for strength to continue believing that my GOD is BIGGER than these mountains!!!! With His guidance and hand upon us, we shall overcome these mountains and bring her home.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Meet my beautiful little girl, baby K. I am beyond words with the emotions that I am feeling right now. All I know is I am totally in love with her. She is currently being taken care of at a foster home in Makati thru the CRIBS Foundation. She is 17 1/2 months old, happy, healthy, and just adorable. The moment I saw her, she had my heart. I've always wondered how this moment would be, when I see my daughter for the first time. I am amazed at how much I loved her the moment that I saw her. Never did I imagine how powerful a mother's love truly is until now. There isn't a moment now that I don't think of her. I think about holding her in my arms, rocking her to sleep, and just kiss those scrumptious cheeks! In essence, I just really want to be her mommy. I am so blessed that God has given me the chance to mother this sweet little girl. Ironically, I began this blog as a way to vent when I was frustrated with "the wait" for a match. It is a true blessing that today, I'm writing that I know why that wait was necessary. God was preparing her birth family's heart to make a difficult decision to let her go and He was also preparing our hearts to accept such a wonderful treasure. So, those of you who are still waiting for a match, on the hot trail of paper chasing, waiting to be invited to travel, or waiting to return home with you precious little treasures: I am praying for all of us to remember that God's timing is perfect. Despite the frustrations, set-backs, and disappointments along the way, know that God's hand is upon all of us. He has a perfect plan, so don't lose hope...He has amazing wonderful promises for all of those who remain faithful in Him. Goodnight blogging moms...and blessings to you little one.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life.
But those who make their journey home across time & miles,
growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,
are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us
by God's very own hands.
--- Kristi Larson

I ran into this quote today. It's surreal to realize that God has been orchestrating and planning all of the details to bring my little one home, from the beginning of time. I can't wait to meet you sweet one, you who was created specifically for me to mother and love...

To my waiting little one,
I know you're on this earth now...I pray that you are loved, safe, and content. It is my hope that you are cared for by those who God has entrusted you to, before coming home to us. May the Lord make His face shine upon you and give you peace. May these things sustain you until we meet...


Kisses in the Wind to my little one...

KISSES IN THE WIND (The Waiting Child's Lullabye)

I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams.
You are here each day with me, at least that's how it seems.

I know you wonder where we are... what's taking us so long.
But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.

Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin...
Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God hold you in His hand until I can be with you.
I promise you, my darling, I'm doing all that I can do.

Very soon, you'll have a family for real, not just pretend.
But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.
And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.

--- © Pamela Durkota, written for Josh

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Waiting - by Thomas Hicks

This is bigger than nations.
Something too big for borders is happening here. This is more than relations. Something thicker than blood is pulling us near. Somewhere there is a hand that needs another to hold, And here I am with my hand empty. Across an ocean a cheek needs a good-night kiss, And these words are the kiss I’m sending. I am waiting for you, you are waiting for me, there is nothing but time between us. I’ve never met you but you are all I can see. I’m just praying that you can feel this. A tiny heart beats inside your little chest and every beat is in step with mine. If I could open my heart like a locket, a tiny picture of you is what we would find. Every morning I pray for your safety, And every night I ask for your peaceful sleep. And every morning when you wake wherever you are is another day closer to me. I am waiting for you, you are waiting for me, there is nothing but time between us. I’ve never met you but you are all I can see. I’m just praying that you can feel this, too… Everybody around the world sing “I need somebody to love”… From me to you, wherever you are, I am coming for you, I am coming with love… I am praying for you there waiting for me. Ten thousand miles is only a day. When the sun sets on you it rises on me. One day closer that you’ll come home to stay. I am waiting for you, you are waiting for me, there is nothing but time between us. I’ve never met you but you are all I can see. I’m just praying that you can feel this. ©2007 Thomas Hicks - All Rights Reserved

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Journey continues...

 May 16th, 2010...we embarked yet on another one of our adventures! This time, we were blessed to take a wonderful journey to our motherland, the Philippines!!! We were able to get away from the mundane just for a little while to spend 3 amazing weeks with family and friends. The first week was spent in my parents' province of Urdaneta, Pangasinan. The second and third week was spent with our friends, in Manila and the lovely island of Boracay!!! Will post more pictures and stories soon...
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Friday, June 18, 2010

My real mom...

This article brought tears to my eyes!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Retail Therapy

was soooooooooo needed today. I thought, I'd fill in all of the blanks gradually with this blog, but here's the synopsis: I married my college sweetheart, who is the love of my life. We've shared our lives for 16 years and have had some great adventures together. We've enjoyed traveling together and have been blessed to have these experiences. Our biggest adventure now, is growing our family through adoption. We are hoping to adopt a son or a daughter (although, I really think it's going to be a GIRL) from our native Philippines. ICAB (Inter Country Adoption Board) received our completed dozier on January 9, 2009 and approved it on March 4, 2009. It's almost 14 months later and we are STILL waiting. There is definitely some restlessness and frustration. Our local agency here in Los Angeles just informed me a couple of days ago that we can expect to wait at least one more year, if not longer. Suffice to say, I'm a bit disappointed. However, I continue to meditate on this verse:
Yet those who wait for the Lord ... Isaiah 40:31

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Begining

or is it really??? It may be the official beginning to my "blogging", but the story has been in the making for some time. I was born in the Philippines and lived there until I was 11 years old. I have fond memories of playing out in the rice paddies, eating mangoes, and climbing lanky bamboo trees. Despite the fact that my parents are the "only child" on either side of their families, there were always plenty of "cousins" that lived in our village. That's the "pinoy way", EVERYBODY is your cousin, regardless of blood relations. Suffice to say, I never lack for company or someone to play with. In July of 1988, our family of four (my mom: Arsenia, dad: Juanito, and older sister: Aileen), immigrated to the United States (thanks to my mother's 27 years of service to the US Air Force). We landed in Los Angeles, drove 2 1/2 hours north up interstate 5, and have lived in California ever since!!! The assimilation to the "American" culture began at this time. The challenge was keeping the balance between integrating these new values and preserving our traditional Filipino customs, as well.

In 1994, I graduated from high school and left the agricultural-based community of Delano, CA and moved to Northridge to attend the university there. A new beginning for me, in the cusp of adulthood!!! I couldn't fathom the possibilities and how my life was about to change. Two weeks into my freshman year, I knew that my life would never be the same again. He sat a couple of chairs to my right at the computer lab. In my frazzled state, I missed his chocolatey deep set eyes. This moment, I will also miss his gorgeous smile. I was too fixated in my own needs. I needed him to help me with the computer, so that I can do my Comp Sci homework. And help me, he did! The one thing that did not escape me, was his tranquil demeanor. My hyperactive, "bouncing off the wall" personality was immediately drawn to him. Eight years later, in a still spring morning in Malibu, I took my vows to be his wife! On May 18th, 2002...I became Mrs. Edward Rich!!! A title that I marvel at to this day, almost eight years later. Despite our trials and challenges, we have had many successes and joys as well. Everyday with him, is a beginning of wonderful possibilities! =)