Friday, January 20, 2012

Pictures and News

About a week ago we sent a note requesting new pictures of Brooke and also a list of questions about her.  This morning we had these pictures in our email!  

Needless to say, this brought tears to our eyes and made us even more eager to get our Travel Approval from China.  When you are so close to bringing your child home, each day of the wait seems like an eternity. 

We asked if she had any pets currently and she does have a white rabbit. But they also told us she likes puppies.  This is a huge answer to our prayers regarding her adjustment as we have three dogs.  They love kids so it is good to know she likes dogs. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Adopting an Older Child

I have been following the journey of a number of families who are adopting from China.  Most of them are adopting infants or toddlers.  It is so much fun to share this journey with them.  In many ways, there is not a lot of difference between their road and ours.  We all stress out over paperwork, preparations, deadlines and WAITING!  It does not matter if the child is 2 or 12, this does not change.  We want to be with these children we already love and would do anything to remove the obstacles that keep us apart. 

However, there are differences as well.  While they plan for bottles and diapers, we are planning for school and language acquisition.  If you would look for our registries at Walmart or Kohls, you would see the differences there too.  One list contains the typical baby supplies of strollers and sippy cups while the other has bicycles and backpacks.  One buys a crib while the other gets a bunk bed. 

But when you break it all down, we all just want the same thing; to bring our children home, to love them, to help them to grow to be all that God has intended for them to be, to help them know the love of a Father and Mother, and to know for the first time in their life that they are home.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

What are we doing - beside waiting?

After the question, "How is it going?" the most frequent question we answer is, "What are you doing while you wait?"  I think the easiest way to picture this is to think of what any other first time parent would be doing.  One of my friends told me this week that she is "nesting" during this phase of her adoption.  She said she is cleaning things out, throwing things away and just getting ready.  I'm not sure I am actually nesting but we are definitely preparing.

Brooke's room is ready for her with very few exceptions.  I do have to empty the toy box in her room.  It has been my photo album storage for awhile.  I'm looking for one more picture for on the wall yet too.

If you walked into Brooke's room today, you would see that it has become our packing zone.  If we need to take it along and aren't using it right now, it is in there.  It seems like we add to the contents for the trip daily.  We are very limited on the weight of the things we can take.  Our international flights will be fairly generous on how much we can take, but we will be flying between cities in China and can only have one 44 lb suitcase each on  these flights.  Even carry-ons are limited in weight but in most cases they are not weighed.  We will pack as lightly as we can knowing that getting laundry done in China is quite easy and we want room to bring back some things from China.  We do need to take a wide variety of extras along that aren't easily available in China.  Western medications can be very hard to find so we taking medications for everything from pain to colds to stomach issues for both us and Brooke.  We are even taking Fabreeze along as smoking is extremely common in China and non-smoking rooms do not exist.  My allergies will not be happy with that!

I went to Goodwill on Saturday to drop off a box and came home with a whole bag of clothes for Brooke.  I was so excited as they were really some nice items and at a great price.  She is set for winter now and we will have fun shopping together for summer clothes once she is home.

In addition to the preparations you can see if you are at our house, there are countless details we are working on.  Today we stopped and got additional passport photos taken that we will need in China.  Dennis has been working on some of the electronics we will need like a VPN so we can post here while we are gone. We have also been organizing and gathering up the paperwork we will need to take with us.  We've done some investigating of possible flights for the trip too and from China.  And this past week we spent 3.5 hours in a phone conference with our agency going over many different details regarding our time in China.

We are hoping to be in China by the end of February.  Please continue to prayer for:
1. Brooke's adjustments in the weeks ahead.  She will leave her foster family and have a total change in language and culture as well.
2. Pray for us as we prepare for the trip and for our new roll as parents.
3. Pray for our health as we travel.
4. Pray for God's supply of the finances needed for this stage of the adoption.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Final Wait

As of today, we are in the final wait for our daughter. We are now waiting on our travel approval (TA) from China. We expect this wait to be about 3-4 weeks. Once we receive the approval we will book flights and be on our way to China in about two weeks. We are still hoping to leave the US before the end of February. We will be in China for about three weeks. We are finally on the home stretch.

Please pray for Brooklyn as she will have some major changes coming in her life very soon. Often the children are moved from their foster homes to the orphanage before the families come to China. This helps them not to see the adoptive family as the person who took them from the only home they have known. Also pray for her family there as they have had Brooke in their lives for over five year.

Please pray for our last minute preparations as well. We will be booking our flights to China on fairly short notice so pray we can get them on the schedules we need and at a reasonable price. Also pray for us as we adapt to being a different family than we have been for the last eight years.

Monday, January 2, 2012


As we moved from 2011 to 2012, I realized that I am no longer thinking about the months until we go to China but rather the weeks. In all likelihood we should be in China by the end of February. Wow, that is really getting close. Our list of things to do grows longer as the days grow shorter! Next week we will have a long phone conference with our agency which will cover all the details of our trip. I’m sure we will get a lot of information and a lot of questions answered in this meeting. Also, our paperwork at the US consulate will be done and delivered to China so we can receive our travel approval.

Please pray for us this week. Some of you are aware that we lost a cousin and a friend over the holidays. On Tuesday we will be at the funeral for our friend Tim and on Saturday at the memorial for my cousin, Greg. Please pray for both families.