Tuesday, December 27, 2011

So Close


As you can see from the column on the left, we have only one step left before we are heading to China.  Our information is at the US consulate in China and will be picked up on January, 11. From there it is sent to Beijing and we wait for the last step, Travel Approval.  There is a slim chance it could come before the Chinese New Year holiday, Jan. 23-28, but it is more likely to come after that.  We will leave for China within weeks of getting that approval.  It is really getting close. 
I’ve started to pack for the trip.  I’ve laid out the clothes we are taking for Brooklyn and will start to gather some of the items we will be taking as well.  Then, when the time comes, we can simply add our clothes and be ready to go.  This weekend we put locks on a couple of cabinets.  Since Brooke will not know English, it is easier just to lock up medications and chemicals until she is older and can understand the dangers involved with these items.  Dennis is working on some of the electronic details for being able to keep in contact with family and friends while we are in China.  I’m learning how to blog from email since our blog may not be accessible from China.  If you are reading this, I succeeded!
We are eagerly anticipating meeting Brooke in the near future.  Please continue to pray for:
-Finances for the trip and the in-country adoption fees.
-Our adjustments as a family.
-Brooke’s adjustments to a new language, culture and family.
-Speedy processing of paperwork.
-Reasonable flights which will be booked on fairly short notice.

Friday, December 23, 2011

One more step down!

We are one step closer to bringing Brooklyn home.  We just received word that our visa information for Brooke has been cabled to the consulate in Guangzhou, China.  Our agency will deliver some papers there next week and then in about 10 business days our Article 5 will be picked up, sent to Beijing and we will be waiting for our Travel Approval.  With the Chinese New Year in Janaury, we would expect a bit of delay on getting our Travel Approval, but it should still arrive in February.  Then we will receive our travel dates, book flights and head to China.  

Have a great Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Count Your Blessings – Name them One by One

The old hymn “Count Your Blessings” goes like this: 
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

I’ll admit that the last several days I have been discouraged.  Yes, the adoption process is moving along as expected but it does seem long sometimes.  The end is around the corner.  We will be in China soon. 
So, why do I need to count my blessings?  Just suffice it to say, I’ve been looking too much at the “have nots” rather than at the blessings God so richly provides. 
Counting my blessings today –
·         For God’s continued provision that exceeds my needs.
·         For the gift of a Savior.
·         For family and friends with whom to celebrate the birth of our Savior this Christmas.
·         For a daughter He formed in her mother’s womb long before we even thought about the possibility of having a family.
·         For my amazing husband and the wonderful leader he is.
·         For three crazy dogs that make my life richer just by being present.
·         For the many people, we have met in person and online, that have taken part in this journey to our daughter. 
What are your blessings this Christmas?  Leave a comment to share them with us.   
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Friday, December 16, 2011

i800 Approved

Just a quick note today.  We just got the email from our immigration officer that our i800 was approved today.  Next step is for the paperwork to be entered in the Department of State system and it be cabled to the US consulate in China for Brooklyn's Visa to be processed.  We would expect that to happen in about ten days but with the holidays next weekend, it may take a few extra days. 

We are one step closer to bringing Brooklyn home!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

So What is Going On?

At this point, we are waiting again.  We do know that our paperwork should be with our immigration officer this week for approval.  We hope to get the approval yet this week. In about 10 days after that the information will go to the US Consulate in China to process Brooklyn's Visa.

We did get some of our questions about Brooklyn answered and it was fun to get a glimpse into her life.  Her foster family has two children but they are both grown and no longer living at home.  Sounds to me like a family like us, older parents and she is an only child.  She likes cookies, cake, chocolate and fruit.  Sounds a lot like me.  She likes dolls and enjoys drawing. We also learned that she has outgrown her allergy to chicken.

So, what better is there to do while we are waiting than to keep preparing so I finished some of the decorations I was making for her room.  I painted the letters of her name and got them hung above her dresser.

We also visited a day care for a summer program for Brooklyn.  We were very impressed with day care and have already submitted our application for the summer.  The same day we visited a Christian school we are considering for fall.  This year when she comes home we will home school until the end of the school year since I am on leave and it will give us a chance to focus on language skills.

We are expecting to be in China in late February or early March.  We won't know the exact dates of our travel until a few weeks before we leave.  The last part of the adoption process is needed before we can get travel dates.



Please continue to pray for:

  1. Brooklyn as she is preparing for all the changes that will be coming in her life.  Also pray that she will understand the Gospel as we start telling her about Jesus.
  2. Our continued financial needs for the rest of the adoption.
  3. Smooth processing of the remaining steps of the adoption.
  4. For us as we prepare to be parents.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

God Is Faithful

Last night Dennis and I put together a Christmas care package for Brooklyn.  There are several services that will assist you with this and we used Lady Bugs and Love for this package.   We chose a toy, stuffed animal and a new outfit.   We had an email back almost immediately asking us some specifics about what we would like them to purchase for her.  We also wrote her a letter that will be translated and sent along with the package.  How we wish she would be spending Christmas with us this year but obviously that was not in God’s plan for uniting our family.  We hope that we will get some pictures back after she gets her package as well as a note from her.  While you are in the process of adopting, any small glimpse of your child’s life is precious.

Currently we are waiting to hear from US immigration regarding Brooklyn’s paperwork.  Maybe by the end of next week we will hear that her paperwork has cleared immigration.  I thought once we were past the final approval (LOA) stage that I would be more relaxed with the other steps.  Well, that lasted for about a week.  Now I am using all the restraint that I have in me not to email US immigration to check on the status of her paperwork.  I might email tomorrow or Monday.
 
I’ve been reminded on a number of occasions lately of how important it is to remember God’s provision and guidance in the past.  It certainly helps increase my faith as I see how God has provided in the past to trust Him for the future.  In the Old Testament, the children of Israel often put down physical markers to remind them of what God did at a specific place.  My markers have been this blog and a journal I have been keeping.  Here are some of those markers:
  1. God moved us to a new church, established us there and placed us in ministry to international students from China.  This ministry helped us to fall in love with people of China.  Little did we know then that God would lead us to our daughter waiting in China for her family. 
  2. A note from our friend Nancy who early on in the process of adopting encouraged us as we stepped out in obedience in the direction God was leading us. 
  3.  God leading us to Gladney Center for Adoption through a picture in a newsletter.  God certainly knew our needs for an agency that would walk along with us through this process and be very open and communicate with us well. 
  4.  For our trip to New York for adoption training, God provided very cheap flights and a church, Hudsonview Baptist Church,  that opened their doors and let us stay there while we were in New York. 
  5.  A monetary gift that we were not expecting.  I’d been praying that God would confirm the steps we were taking with a monetary gift but He provided beyond what my meager prayers were asking.  
  6. Paperwork processing that has gone consistently faster than is normal.  Our first immigration paperwork went through processing at the one time this year when approval times were under 50 days.  Our LOA came in 34 days which is faster than this processing takes in most cases. 
  7. Staff from Gladney going to China who took a package to Brooklyn for us which included pictures so she could get to know her family.

As I look back on all of this, I cannot help but say – God is faithful.  And this is the short list.  I feel like the writer of Hebrews when he says at the ends the list of people who lived by faith by saying, “And what more shall I say?  I do not have time to tell about…”  There are so many other blessings along the way that I just don’t have time to write about now. 
Looking forward, I know God will continue to provide more than we can even think to ask about.  Here are a few things we do know about and are asking God for:
  1. Brooklyn’s anticipation of and adjustment to a new life and family. 
  2. The financial provision to complete travel and China adoption fees. 
  3. Smooth approvals of paperwork.  We still are hoping to travel before the end of March.
  4. Forever families for the 147 million orphans who go to bed each night without a family to tuck them in and love them.

Please pray with us and for us as God brings us into your thoughts.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

i800 Sent

I was able to work from home today in order to be here when the FedEx delivery of our LOA came.  We expected it to arrive this morning as our agency had express mailed it to us yesterday.  Well, I waited, emailed our agency to find the tracking number, checked and found out it was "out for delivery", waited some more and finally at 3:00 pm the package arrived.  Come to find out, FedEx was experiencing national delays due to planes being grounded because of weather. Our wonderful FedEx delivery woman let me take her picture with our package.

The main document in this package is the Letter Seeking Confirmation.  This letter says you are officially approved to adopt a specific child and then you must check a box to say either you accept the child or do not accept the child and sign the form.  This is the peak of the adoption process other than the day you actually meet your child.

Once the package was in hand, I sorted through the contents, made the necessary copies and scans, and got everything organized.  When Dennis got home, we signed it all and rushed to the post office to overnight a package to US immigration and another one went back to the adoption agency.  We made it to the post office just in time to get it out in tonight's mail.

We hope to receive our approval from US immigration before Christmas.  At the same time our agency is preparing some other paperwork that will go to China.

We decided to go out to celebrate and decided a good burger at Red Robin in Madison would be perfect. We had a great meal.  The manager came around and asked if everything was ok and we told him we were there celebrating this important step in our adoption. A little later our waiter brought us balloons and told us there was no charge for the meal tonight!  We thanked his manager for making our night even more special.



Monday, November 28, 2011

LOA

We just heard from our agency, they received our LOA (Letter of Acceptance) from China today!  They are overnighting it to us and it will be in our hands tomorrow morning.  We are overjoyed and so excited to have this step behind us.  It has only been 34 days to receive this and that is much shorter than is normal. God is indeed working beyond our expectations once again.

Tomorrow when it arrives, we will sign the necessary forms and send them off to immigration.  It usually takes about 20 days for their approval to arrive.

We hope to be in China in February or March to bring Brooklyn home. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Living Life Between

Early in our adoption journey, one of my friends who has three daughters from China and is in the process of adopting a little boy from China, told me that when you are in the process of adopting you do the next step of the process and then live life between those steps.  I am definitely doing that right now.  I’m finding though that life "in between" looks different than life before we started this process.
This is what it looks like:
1.      First priority is to check the adoption forums to see if anyone is hearing anything from either China or US immigration.  Repeat at a 15 minute interval minimum.  Or just set your computer to auto refresh the page.
2.      After several refreshes, post about how quiet it is and get some sympathy from others who are waiting.
3.      Pull out pictures and/or videos you have of your child, pray for them and wonder how their day went.
4.      Email friends who are in the same boat.
5.      Do a blog post.
6.      Eat chocolate – it really does help.
7.      Go shopping for the child.  I’m a regular at Savers and Goodwill these days.
8.      When someone does hear something from China or US immigration, congratulate them and try not to be too disappointed that it was not you hearing the news.
9.      Make sure all your paperwork for the next step is ready to go.
10.  Sit back and count your blessings that God has allowed you the privilege of bringing a child into your life through adoption and remind yourself that His timing is perfect.  Repeat this step over and over again.
Seriously, the waiting is hard at times but I have learned so much as I have walked this road.  I am at peace about it and don’t stress over it too often.  I’m learning to do what God calls me to do one step at a time and not to look too far down the road.  The next step always seems doable but the whole path can be overwhelming. 
We do covet your prayer as we continue down this path.  Here are some specific areas to keep in your prayers:
1.      Pray for Brooklyn as she thinks about her new family and life that she will not be scared and that she will have real peace as she waits.
2.      Pray for us as we wait and prepare for Brooke’s arrival. 
3.      Pray for God’s supply of the financial needs for the rest of the process.
4.      Pray for the orphans around the world in need of families.  Pray that God will place it on the hearts of people to adopt these children.

Great music - So Far to Find You 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Brooklyn with Her Care Package

I opened our email this morning and found new pictures of Brooke from when she received our care package.  I love these two pictures.  In the first one she is holding the picture of us from the photo album we sent her to introduce ourselves.  In the second photo she is with the Asia director from Gladney. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Message from Brooklyn

Several weeks ago we were told our agency's Asia director was going to China and would be willing to take a care package to our daughter, Brooklyn.  This would be our first chance to have contact with her so we were very excited.  We put together a photo album and a letter to her that several of our friends translated for us into Chinese.  We included a picture of us in our Wisconsin shirts and sent her a Wisconsin shirt as well. We tried to find some fun things to include in the package and in the end put it all together in a backpack. 

Today we got the message that she had received our package.  After she had gone through everything in it, she was asked if she wanted to tell her soon to be parents anything.  They expected she would say, "Thank you." Instead she said, "Dad and Mom, I love you!"  I got teary just reading that.

They also gave us some updated information about her.  She is now in first grade.  She enjoys playing with dolls and has grown a few inches since the last measurements we had for her.  Tonight after work I did a little shopping at some of the resale shops to get her some clothes for when she first arrives.  Since we will most likely travel toward the end of winter to bring her home, we need to get some basics that will keep her warm until summer.  I found some good deals.  It was so much fun looking for little girl stuff.  Based on her measurements, we expect her to be in a 6 or 6X when she comes home.  Good thing I have a friend with girls about her age.  It gives us a good comparison when we get measurements from China.  

When the director gets home from China, we may also get some new pictures.  We'll post them as soon as we get some.  He is due home at the end of the month.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sitting on the Tarmac

Adoption  is a lot like flying to a destination.  We’ve planned and prepared (got initial information about adopting), we’ve gotten in the car and heading to the airport (filled out paperwork),  parked at the airport (approved by the agency), checking in at the ticket counter (been matched with our daughter), gone through security (completed a home study), boarded the plane (submitted our immigration paperwork), taxied out (sent our dossier to China) and are sitting on the tarmac waiting to take off (waiting for final approval from China).  We still have more steps to go, taxi down the run way (get final immigration approval),  take off (wait on final travel arrangements), and finally reach or destination (meet our daughter and bring her home).



Right now as we sit on the tarmac, I feel a lot like I did on a trip several years ago when we were sitting on the tarmac and a storm came through, rocking the plane and causing us to just sit and wait for it to pass before we could proceed.  We are sitting and waiting right now.  All of the work of preparing for the journey is behind us for now.  There is really nothing we can do. It is totally up to the pilot and the control tower as to when we get to take off.  

But I'm glad I know and trust the pilot of my life, Jesus Christ.  He is in control of the journey and all of the details.  I can sit back, relax and wait for Him to have take off and get us to our destination on schedule. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

In Process


We just got an email from our agency that our file’s status in China has changed to “in process.”  This is the review stage for our file and came much quicker than we anticipated for this step.  From this point it usually takes about 4-6 weeks before a final approval will be issued.  One more step closer to bringing Brooke home!

Last week at Bible study, we watched a video of Priscilla Shirer.  She spoke on Ephesians 3:20 - Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.  Her point was that “immeasurably more” means that God is working “beyond our beyond”.  In other words, when we think we are asking God for something way beyond what is possible, He is able to do far beyond that.  We pray and think far too small in regards to what God can do.

I was challenged by that message in regards to how I pray in general, but even more how I pray and plan about this adoption in particular.  You see, I tend to look at the normal time frames and then look at the potential obstacles or personal deadlines and then pray that God will see fit to help us avoid those challenges.  So, in light of that, I have been praying and asking others to pray, that we could have our travel completed by the end of March as it has an impact of my husband’s vacation year.  That is not “beyond our beyond” praying.

So, I have switched to praying God would go “beyond my beyond” in regards to the details of this adoption.  I am so thankful I have a husband who already gets this and has been saying, “All of the steps of this process have gone faster than was expected.  I’m sure this step will as well.”  His faith in God’s work in this is wonderful.  I love that man!

So hang on with me and watch as God goes “beyond our beyond” as we move forward in this process.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Provisional Approval Has Arrived

We are very excited to announce that we have received our provisional approval from China for the adoption of our daughter.  This means that China has reviewed our file and said that it looks ok and they will be doing a thorough review of it in the next weeks and months.  Our final approval will be coming in the coming months.  The waiting time for the final approval varies greatly.   Sometimes it will take about 45 days but the wait could be over 100 days.  Please continue to pray that our file is processed quickly.

So, we can now tell you a little bit more about our daughter.  Her Chinese name is Zhao Jia Ni.  Chinese names have the last name first.  We have chosen the name Brooklyn Jiani for her English name.  We plan on calling her Brooke.  She is six years old and is living in a foster care home.
 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Care Package to Our Daughter

We received an unexpected message today from our caseworker telling us that the head of the Asia program for our agency will be going to China next month and is willing to take a care package for us to our daughter.  This will be our first chance to send something to her and introduce ourselves.  We have to have the package to New York by the end of next week.  So this week we will have to decide what to send.  We know for sure we will send a small photo album with pictures of us and our house to help her get acquainted with her new family.  We will also include a note to her.  We are so thankful to have friends that can help us translate the note and make labels for the pictures.  In addition, we will include a few small gifts for her.  Tomorrow night we will go shopping for the contents of the box.  This will be so much fun!  We may even get some new pictures of her if the staff get to meet her in person while they are there.

I wish we could pack ourselves up and get sent to China but they did say a small package.  I don't think we would fit that requirement.

We are still waiting on our provisional approval from China but that should be coming either this week or next week.  We can hardly wait to share more about our daughter with you at that point.  

Friday, October 14, 2011

LID and LOI - Answered Prayers

Today we heard from our social worker that our dossier is logged into China (LID) as of 10/10/11 and our letter of intent (LOI) was up uploaded on 10/14/11.  This means that our daughter’s file is locked to our family.  In the next two weeks we should have a provisional approval (PA).  Then we will wait for the final approval (LOA) which can take a while.

Once we have the provisional approval we will be able to share some more information about our daughter with all of you.  We can’t wait to tell you more about her and to share more pictures and videos.  Also, at that point, we are allowed to send her a care package.  We can include pictures of us and our home in that package so she becomes familiar with her new family.  Often, after receiving the package, the family will receive pictures of the child with their package.  We would love to see some new pictures as we are sure she has changed since the pictures we have from June.

This is a huge step in the process.  Thanks for your prayers about beating the Nov. 7 deadline.  Please continue to pray for a speedy approval process.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

28 Days and Counting

Currently we are watching the calendar closely. When an agency has a file on a child for which they are seeking a match to a family, they have 90 days to make the match.  In most cases, as soon as they have identified a family, they can upload some preliminary information and lock the file until the families complete information arrives.  However, in some cases, the rules require that the complete file be submitted first and then the family can submit the preliminary information but there is still a 90 day deadline. 

We are in that last category.  Our 90 day deadline is November 7.  Our documents are in China now being translated and will be submitted as soon as they are done and then our agency can upload our preliminary approval information.  As of today, there are 28 days to complete this process.  By all accounts, that should be adequate to finish the steps needed to lock our daughter’s file but the closer it gets to November 7, the more concerned I get.  I am sure the reason this is concerning for me is that we were previously matched with another little girl and her file got moved and assigned to another agency and family.  However, our agency has been communicating with the Chinese adoption people about a possible extension if needed.  Our agency is keeping a very close eye on this situation.  Ultimately, it is in the hands of our heavenly Father. 

Please pray for:
  • Speedy processing of our paperwork so we beat the November 7 deadline.
  • Our daughter and the many changes that will be coming in her life.
  • Us as we prepare for her arrival.
  • Continued supply of the resources we need to fund the adoption.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

DTC

DTC - Three small letters but they cause great rejoicing.  (DTC=Dossier To China)  Our documents are on their way to China as of October 3, 2011!  When they arrive in China they will be translated and then sent to the government agency that oversees adoption.  Once there, we are very close to getting our provisional approval which locks our daughters files for us. Then we will be waiting for the final approval which can take a long time. Pray this goes quickly and smoothly.

Friday, September 30, 2011

I'm Exhausted but Happy

Today I pulled out of the driveway at 5:30 am and headed to the Chinese Consulate in Chicago to have our last document authenticated.  Did I mention that I hate driving in city traffic?  But, you do what you have to and actually it was not too bad today. Dennis had to work today so he could not go along.

I arrived at the consulate around 8:45, took a number, like you do at the bakery, and waited my turn.  I get up to the window when my number was called.  Anyone who knows me well, knows I had the forms all filled out, checked them several times and was ready to go.  I get to the window and the lady tells me I have the wrong form. I tell her I got it off of their website and she replies they have not used that form for four years. I wanted to pull out my cellphone and go to their website and show her but decided it was probably not worth it!  I fill out the new form and get a receipt to pick up my document at 2:00 pm.

So, I head out to explore Chicago. The consulate is in downtown Chicago near the Magnificent Mile. I was in this area of Chicago last year for work and found it interesting but knew I would not be doing anything more than window shopping as it is a very expensive place to shop.  I did end up buying a scarf because it was windy and my neck was cold. I stopped  for a snack, did some more window shopping, grabbed a bite to eat and realized I still have several hours to kill but I was tired so I found a seat and read for a bit.  Finally it was time to pick up my paper, find the nearest post office and head home.  Exactly 12 hours from when I left I arrive safely home.  I'm exhausted!

BUT - next week our last piece of our dossier will arrive at our agency and be sent to China.  Lots of work but finally we're so close to receiving our provisional approval from China.  Can't wait to hear we have our paperwork in the Chinese government's hands and then to get the notification that we are in their system.  The final approval will take awhile but just knowing our daughter's file is locked for us will be a huge step.

So the question now is, what do we do while we wait?  We've been so busy gathering documents, getting approvals and following up on things, that just waiting will seem very strange. If God has been teaching me anything in this it is about being patient and waiting.  I guess I still have some homework in that area.
  

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

i797 Arrived

We are so excited.  The official approval from immigration, i797, arrived today.  Dennis came home at lunch to check the mail but it was not here yet so I left work a little early and it had arrived.  I quickly made a copy, jumped in the car and headed to our Sec. of  State office. Thankfully we live close to it.  We will get it back tomorrow so on Friday we'll take it to the Chinese Consulate in Chicago.  They will put their seals on it and get it back to us later in the day and then it will go to our agency who will send it off to China.  Hopefully by the end of next week, all of our documents will be on their way to China. 

Please keep praying for our paperwork as it moves through the process of approval.  The documents will be translated when they arrive in China and then submitted to the government agency that handles adoptions.  We will receive a Log-In-Date (LID) at that point.  Then our agency will upload our Letter of Intent (LOI) so we can get a Provisional Approval (PA) from China.  We hope to have our LOI done by Nov. 7 to meet a 90 day deadline on our daughters file.  We should make that easily.  After the PA arrives we will be waiting for awhile for our Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from China.  My prayer is to have that by Christmas. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

WE ARE APPROVED!!!

We have had a very long, busy week and so tonight we just stayed home and relaxed.  In no time we were both sound asleep in the living room.  When I woke up, I checked my email and had a note from our officer at immigration that late today we were approved!!!!  It will go in the mail on Monday and we should get it later in the week.  Only 44 days for this step, which is well above the average processing time for this step.  


One more step closer to bringing her home.  

Friday, September 23, 2011

Progress on Our Immigration Approval!


We are very excited today.  Our inquiry as to the status of our application from US Immigration brought the following reply:  

Hello,
Your case was just assigned to me this week. I hope to have it reviewed before Monday. Please check back if you like. Thanks and have a great weekend.

If all goes well, sometime next week we will get our approval letter.  Then we can get it authenticated with the Sec. of State in Wisconsin and the Chinese Consulate in Chicago.  At that point, we will send it off to our agency in New York and they will send it to China for translation.  Once translated, it will go to CCCWA (the Chinese government adoption division) and they will “log in” our file.  As soon as it is “logged in” we will be able to submit the information to get a provisional approval.  Then we will be waiting for the final approval from China.  From being logged in to final approval has been taking people 35-100+ days.  We hope to be on the shorter end of that range.

Please continue to pray for the approval process to move smoothly. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

What Really Matters

Today I was finding it frustrating to be just waiting.  So I decided to catch up on some of the adoption blogs I follow.  So I read  http://lori-immeasurablymore.blogspot.com/.  This family just recently adopted Rachel.  In fact, they are still in China with her.  Rachel is seven years old and has a very serious heart condition.  In fact, she is considered terminal.  Reading their blog was such an encouragement to me.  Their faith and love for this little girl helped me to put into perspective what is really important.  It isn’t all about the wait. The most important thing is God’s timing and plan in the lives of these wonderful children.  Please read Rachel’s story and remember to pray for her.  Pray for her healing physically but also for her understanding of who Jesus is and what he has done to provide salvation. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I Just Want to Be Her Mom

Today, I just want to be her Mom.  I want to hold her, talk to her, teach her about life and in every way be her Mom.  It seems like we have been filling out paperwork forever.  Long ago we became parents in our hearts but an ocean, mounds of paperwork and two government bureaucracies keeps us apart. I wonder what she did today?  What did she learn in school?  Does she like her teacher?  Who is her best friend?  I want to share these things with her but for now I have to wait. I can pray for her and trust our heavenly Father to bring her to us at the perfect time He has ordained.  

Yes, there are days when I wonder - what are we doing - but then I am reminded of all the ways God has directed our path.  Each step brings us a little closer to being her parents.  

As you think of us and pray for us, please remember to pray for our daughter too.  She will have so many changes in her life in the next year.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Fingerprints Done

Yesterday we went to Homeland Security and got fingerprinted.  These are not the paper and ink prints but scans of your fingerprints.  They are immediately sent to the FBI and then will be forwarded to immigration.  So, we are once again waiting.  We expect to hear from immigration in early October. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Doesn't Seem Like Much - But It Is

Today we packed up our dossier documents that we have been gathering, certifying and authenticating since April and put them in the mail to our agency in New York.  It doesn't look like much but it represents a lot of time and work.  Pray they arrive there safely tomorrow.  The only document missing from this group is our immigration approval.  We get our fingerprints done on Friday as part of that process and then we will wait.  It has been taking about 57 days for this process to be completed.  

UPDATE:  Our dossier arrived safely at 11:50 am.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

One Small Step

We are definitely in a waiting stage of this process, so, at this point, any news is something to rejoice about.  This morning I checked the tracking number for the return envelope of documents from the Chinese consulate and they are on their way back to us!  As of 2:59 am they were in Madison.  When I checked the status later this morning, it says the package is out for delivery.  Since we are not there to sign for it, it will go back to the post office.  I'll stop there on my way home and pick it up tonight.  We will add a few additional items to these documents and send them to our agency for a final review.  They will hold onto them until our immigration approval arrives and then they will be sent to China for translation and approval from China.  

We are waiting on immigration to send us the fingerprint notification.  Hopefully that will come in the next week or so.  Immigrations approval takes about 50-60 days on average and we are only at day 14 so we will be waiting for awhile. 

UPDATE:  I got home tonight and our fingerprint notification was in the mail.  We have an appointment on September 2.  I spent the evening scanning and copying our dossier documents. 

Please keep praying for us as we prepare and wait.