Sunday, July 17, 2011

How We Arrived Here

We thought it was time we started to share some of the incredible journey we have been on.  For some of you, you have heard this story or parts of it.  We hope to keep you updated as we continue down this road through this blog.

Many of you know, we are in the process of adopting from China. This has not been a short journey or a quick decision. Let us share with you the short version of the story of how we arrived where we are today.

For about the last five years, we would, from time to time, talk about adoption but that is all the further it got.  

When God called us to a new church about three or four years ago, we didn't know what avenue of service God had for us there.  Some friends of ours, George and Nancy,  were in our small group and  when they were moving to Tennessee, they asked our group to pray about someone to take over their ministry of providing a ride to church for several international students from China.  We knew it was suppose to be us.  We fell in love with Han Ning, Sophie and Angela - all from China.  Since that time, we have met Ping and her family, Mona, Tracy and her family, Lucy and her husband, Bei and her mom, Jasmine, Cecelia, and Katharine.  About half of our friends have finished their studies here and are home in China.  We love the fact that with Skype and email we can easily keep in touch with them.  Through our friendships with these students, we have come to learn much about and appreciate the culture of China. 

At the same time, God was burdening our hearts about the needs of orphans around the world.  So early in 2011, we decided to fill out a preliminary application and attend an informational meeting about international adoptions.  Following the meeting, we also had some time to talk with one of the case workers and get some answers to our questions about adopting.

We felt strongly that this was a path we were to take but also felt it would be wise to seek the advice of a number of friends regarding this decision. We kept hearing, "You guys will be great parents!"  We kept praying, "If this is not your direction for us, please show us clearly that we should not continue down this path."  At the same time, we felt we should do the "next step" in the adoption process.

In April we saw a picture of a little girl from Shanghai who was available for adoption.  We requesting information about her and applied to the agency to be considered for her parents.  A week later we were told we had been selected as her parents!  We were so excited.  And at that point, the long road of paperwork for adoption began.  

Our first hurtle was finding a local adoption agency to do our home study.  The agency through which we are adopting is not licensed in our state so we actually needed two agencies for the process.  We had some trouble finding an agency who would do this for us without making us repeat the required training we already were doing through our primary out of state agency.  But we found one and immediately felt comfortable with our social worker.  We began the home study process.  This process consists of a narrative of our life story and four separate visits with our case worker.  We completed this at the end of June.

We also needed to go to New York City for some adoption training. We found flights that were direct and out of of our small local airport to NY for only $180 each.  When we started looking for hotels, we realized how very expensive they are in NY.  After calling an acquaintance who called a pastor friend in Yonkers, we were graciously offered the use of the "Prophet's Chamber" at the church.  What a blessing!  Thank you Pastor Dierking and Hudsonview Baptist Church for your gracious hospitality!

While in the home study process, we were also gathering many documents that we will need to complete the adoption in China.  Not only are there documents, there are also physicals and references.  Thanks to everyone who has done references for us.  Nothing in your life is private when you are adopting!

Last week we received some news that broke our hearts.  The little girl we had planned to adopt, was no longer available through our agency.  It was a very difficult time for us as we were very much in love with her.  We received this news on Friday.  After searching our hearts and with much prayer, we are convinced God is still calling us down this path but had a fork in the road for us that we had not seen.  So we reviewed a couple of profiles of several other children in need of families and told our agency we were interesting in one of the girls.  

On Sunday morning we went to church as usually, but still with very heavy hearts.  Tom Nebel was the guest speaker and his message was from Acts 1.  He talked about how as Christ was about to ascend and leave the disciples He told them - "Let go of the memory for the sake of the dream."  In other words, the disciples had walked and talked with Christ but He was about to leave but He had another plan for them, the Holy Spirit was coming.  We were so encouraged by this and God used it to confirm in our hearts that we had to let go of the child we already loved as our daughter but that He had another dream for us. 

So, today we are in the process of reviewing a file on another little girl.  We will see a pediatrician this week to review her files.  We are also waiting for her file to be officially posted as available for adoption.  The paperwork is submitted to the government in China for this to happen.  Our prayer request is that this goes quickly and smoothly.  Once she is posted to the list in China, we will be able to submit paperwork to get a provisional approval to be matched with her for adoption.  We hope to have that happen in the the next two to four weeks.

So that is the short version of the story.  Aren't you glad we didn't share the long version?

Several friends have asked - Why Adopt? Why China?  This video really expresses our heart on this matter.


  1. So excited for God's working in the situation and will continue to pray with you for God's perfect daughter for you guys! Love you much!

  2. We will continue to pray as God takes the two of you through this journey. He is in control and knows the perfect match for you.

  3. So glad you decided to start a blog! We will be following along on your Journey and wish you all the best. We will both soon have our little girls home from China and that will definitely be something to CELEBRATE! :)

  4. Thank you for giving us a peek into this journey God has called you to. We will be praying for you both and for your soon-to-be daughter.
    Tim and Jeannette

  5. So happy for the both of you, I pray all will work out for you and you will finally have a child. To have children in a family is priceless May God be with both of you in every decision that you make. God is in control

  6. I'm so happy for you both! Prayers that everything falls into place and your new daughter comes home soon! :)
    Roxanne Flores

  7. GOD bless you both as you take this wonderful journey together. We will be praying for you all!
    Jay and Jane

  8. Wow! What an incredible journey! I will be praying for you as you continue to surrender to God's will in the search for your precious little one!