Monday, April 17, 2017

On Our Way!

On Thursday (April 13) - a few weeks ahead of schedule - our paperwork headed to China!

Our next step is to get our Log In Date - LID.  And from there guess what we do? Yes! WAIT! 

We are super excited - it seems like this part of the paperwork would never end - and I have it on good authority that the next time we have paperwork to do it will be much easier to get through because we will have a sweet face on our minds to get us through the next part of the paperwork.

In the meantime - will you pray for us? Our biggest request is that God would continue to provide. He has been so gracious so far - and we know that he will continue to be.  

Pray for our grant applications - that we are able to finish them before deadlines, that they will be accepted and that we will qualify for at least 1?  Will you pray for our fundraiser?

We have asked friends and family to sponsor/commit to pray for a date on our calendar. Over the next year we are trusting there will be major changes and adjustments to be made - and having people committed to every day to encourage and pray for us - will make this transition feel so much less daunting.

I am going to write a blog post this week on the cost of adoption.  We have had SOO many people ask us point blank what we are spending to bring her home - and seem shocked when we answer. And yes, it is so very overwhelming to think about.  It's also super duper awkward to talk about.  I want to clarify as we have had several families ask us how we got started - thinking about it themselves - and this ALWAYS seems to be the one big drawback for why they have started or feel they can't,  I need to gather my thoughts before I post about this one as it is definitely something I struggled with when we said yes.  

We celebrated Easter knowing we were one step closer to our sweet baby!  So thankful we serve a Risen Savior - that he loves us so much more than we can fathom. Thankful he freely gave his life for us.  Thankful for our church and these kids right here.  They are the biggest blessings we have been given this side of heaven.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Waiting Game

Most days it doesn't seem like almost 3 months have gone by since I have written - and some days it seems like a year ago.  I really should write more, it somehow calms my crazy - and I'm sure if I could often put my thoughts down on "paper" and just forward Nate a link to my brainwaves he would have a little less difficult time figuring me out.  Actually, probably not.

Life has felt a little lot crazy around here lately.  Between work, another wedding (did I mention there have been 4 since September?), attempting to figure out kindergarten for Sky (this was way more stressful than I ever imagined it would be), Wyatt and his daily battle-of-the-wills literally making me consider admitting myself (I initially thought " consider taking hard core drugs" - but this seems a little extreme - checking myself in at least means hopefully a good night or two of sleep?) - and oh yeah - our adoption .... basically, I'm tired.  In all the ways one can feel tired - I feel t-i-r-e-d.  But I'm totally thankful for all of the above and in the middle of the crazy-bout-to-have-a-breakdown-feelings I know beyond a doubt I am blessed beyond measure!

The last portion of paperwork for our adoption (before matching) is currently in D.C. being translated - and from there will go to China - where it is "logged in" - which basically means - we wait.  We could wait a month.  We could wait a year.  There is nothing more at this point - besides pray, save, fundraise and apply for grants - that we can do.

From here - each month there will be a "match day" where we may or may not receive a phone call saying we have been matched.  There is also a list of children who are waiting for families that is updated through our agency that we could be matched from.

It's crazy to think that we have been doing paperwork for the past 3 months. For the dossier (the easiest way I can explain this is - basically its another section of homestudy - but it's the stuff you send to China) --  we were fingerprinted (again), collected documentation - original birth certificates, marriage licenses, financial statements, letters of recommendation from friends, mentors, doctors, - we were medically screened (again), bloodwork and all, and then once we finally had clearance from immigration we took all the paperwork and forwarded to Tallahassee to be state-sealed.  From there it went to our agency's global office in Michigan - to D.C. where it is now - and it's next stop will be China.

I wish I could say that I just plugged along requesting papers, asking for letters, visiting doctor's offices etc. and all along thought "This is the best! It's so worth it! This is exactly what I knew I was signing up for when we said 'yes' to the Lord's [very clear] call to adopt!"  But I didn't.  There were days where I totally wanted to throw in the towel.  Days I thought - "someone else - with less on their plate than I feel like I have - can take my place.  I can't do this.  I can't keep it all organized.  I can't wait one more day for the mailman to not bring what I'm waiting for.  I don't want to spend one more dime of money on something with no guaranteed outcome.  IS all this sacrifice worth it?"  The paperwork felt heavy, I felt discouraged, and I felt like it would never end.  But without fail, on one of those days - someone would text, call or ask - out of the clear blue sky - "how is the adoption?  Praying for you! So excited for you! Can't wait to meet her!"  Or one of the mommas who have already walked this road and are re-walking it with us - would send a text "Are you done with this yet?  Hooray! You're so close! It's worth it! You're almost there!" And immediately my spirit would feel renewed.  Or the mailman would finally drop the right envelope in the mailbox.  I would remember the faces of all the sweet babies that we have met through this process and think - oh my stars - they are sooo worth it.  This is worth it!  I feel like on a daily basis I owe God a big fat apology for constantly questioning his plan. I'm so thankful for his patience with me.  I am so thankful for the friends and family who didn't even realize that when they sent a "just checking in" text - they actually sent a lifeline straight through the mess of paperwork to the overwhelmed part of my heart.  We know we are prayed for and that has made all the difference through these last 9 months.

Through these last few months - my specific prayers have been:  Thank you, Lord, for whoever is taking care of our daughter.  Thank you that they are loving her when we can't. Thank you that YOU  are her Good Father, and that you are the same Good Father to all the other little faces waiting patiently for their earthy parents to get to them.  Thank you for our agency - who has answered our questions - multiple times - and helped us understand the process.  Thank you for the friends and family who have literally dropped things they had planned to coordinate paperwork, notarizing (thank you, Jo!!!), write letters for us.  Thank you that You have brought us a new understanding of the gospel through this.  Thank you that our kids are excited (and help them to stay that way!)  Thank you for providing for every need we have had.  Thank you for holding us up when we feel discouraged.  Thank you for Skylar's sweet spirit and tender heart toward her sister.  I pray they bond quickly.  Thank you for Wyatt's curious nature - and his random "when are we getting my sister?" questions.  Thank you that I feel prepared for no sleep because of Wyatt (but also, if we could get him figured out before we add another - that would be great too!)  Help us to attach quickly.  Help her to feel safe.  Help her to want to be held and cuddled. Help her to accept her possibly-over-excited siblings.  Help her to grieve as little as possible.  Help her to trust us.  Thank you for bringing us together. Thank you for the people you have given us along this journey who encourage us. Thank you for writing our family's story.  I pray that no matter how this plays out - no matter what tomorrow or the rest of this adoption story looks like - that God get's ALL the glory.  If this encourages one more person to say "yes" to their calling (not just adoption - but praying, helping, giving, encouraging, walking with someone through this process) - it would all be worth it.  Give us a heart for the orphan.  Give us a heart for You, Jesus.

For all that you've done
We will pour out our love
This will be our anthem song

Jesus we love you
Oh how we love you
You are the one our hearts adore

The hopeless have found their hope
The orphans now have a home
All that was lost has found its place in you
You life our weary head
You make us strong instead
You took these rags and made us beautiful