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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- Brooklyn’s anticipation of and adjustment to a new life and family.
- The financial provision to complete travel and China adoption fees.
- Smooth approvals of paperwork. We still are hoping to travel before the end of March.
- 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.