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


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.