Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Good and the Bad

First the Good......
This morning a sweet package arrived....Our official referral & LOA from our agency. The only thing we had received up this point was via emails. Electronic mail just doesn't have the same impact as REAL mail. I love seeing the "official" documents with the chinese characters and the official referral letter from our agency with Elizabeth's photo.
This is Elizabeth's "official" referral photo. I'm guessing she's around 9 months?
I heard the UPS truck coming up the driveway. When you get a NSN(non special needs) referral this is a HUGE moment b/c it is often in that package that you first see your child's face. Although we have been looking at Elizabeth's photos for a month now it was still a very special moment to officially hold in our hands the "referral". Gray is home today so I let him receive the package and have his photo with the UPS delivery guy!

Now the bad.....
It appears that due to the Swine Flu, adoption referrals and travel approvals from China are going to be put on hold for 20-30 days. This is not official yet but it is pretty rampant in the adoption rumor community. We trust that God is good in all things and even in this His timing is perfect. We were hoping to travel in 6-7 weeks but now we're not sure. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Just a quick note.....
We receive our LOA also known as the Seeking Confirmation Letter. This is China's official letter that approves us to adopt Elizabeth!!!!

Now we wait on our travel approval, apply for Visa's and go get Elizabeth!!!

We are estimating that we will travel in about 7 weeks......sometime in June!!

Thank you God!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Homeschool and Forever Family Ponderings

I can't believe its been almost a month since we first saw Elizabeth's face! A blessing in having 3 children is staying busy during the long waits!!! I find myself thinking about Elizabeth all the time, but I do have 3 other little people to focus on as well.....oh and I have a husband too!

Without going into LOTS of details.....our family has been through a lot the past 2 years. We have been living "day to day" for 2 years.....truly not knowing or having solid plans for the future. I'm a planner so this has been a great lesson in patience and TRUST. I can say that my heart has changed, not perfected, just changed. I am more comfortable in the land of "unknown" now. I guess I've learned over and over and over again.....I'm truly not in control, even though I still fall into the traps of thinking I am. Giving up control is a challenge but it sure is a peaceful place to live. I still long for solid plans and predictability.  I feel God is answering my prayers and at the same time asking me to take more steps in faith in the unknown.

This week we are taking a new step in faith. I live in a community that is very strong in homeschooling. I've admired and even envied those families who homeschool. I find it interesting but not a fit for me. This past year the idea of homeschooling has been floating in and out of my heart & mind regarding our oldest daughter. I have wrestled  and prayed over the idea for months. My husband and I had actually decided to NOT homeschool just a few days ago. Initially the decision felt very peaceful.  But the following 24 hours after our "decision" I was just not at peace. My mind, my heart would race and ache with the decision. My daughter attends a wonderful school and she is very happy there. But I just feel she needs to be home this next year. I knew this was God leading me because when He is leading me there is an element of trust. I sat in the school office and shared my heart and was warmly encouraged. I realized that like all things God calls me to its not because I'm equipped but because HE is equipped. Now, I am going to give my best but I'm not doing this because I am an incredibly skilled teacher. But I do feel God has led me to homeschool my daughter and He knows what she needs and what I need. So now I am praying for wisdom in selecting curriculum, support groups, and tutorials. I am still a bit nervous but mostly very, VERY excited.

One other bit I wanted to share today is from our 4 yr old son, Gray. He talks nonstop about Elizabeth. I really didn't expect him to be so interested. What comes out of his mouth stops me in my tracks and make my heart swell. When we first got her picture he would carry it with him for days. He would sit in his carseat and stare at her photo saying "this is my baby sister". He now asks me several times a day "when are you going to bring my baby sister home???" He gets rather impatient with my replies of "we have to wait in line some more" or "not yet, its not our turn". We have had this same conversation almost daily for several weeks now. A few days ago he wouldn't drop it. Finally, exacerbated he said "You know my baby sister is WAITING for you!"....."She is wondering where you are!!!" Well, that just broke my heart. Yes, Elizabeth is waiting for us and somewhere in her heart I hope God is growing a longing in her for us. She is with the only woman she knows as a mother, her foster mom. I am so grateful for that. Gray knows who his Mom, Dad and Family are and he just can't imagine being so far from us, waiting for us.....he is desperate for Elizabeth to come home.

Adoption is such a reflection of the gospel and God's love.... this makes me think about those who are already "home" the constant presence of the Father. Those who LIVE with the Father, in His home, in His arms. Those who have left this earthly home, which we cling so tightly to because it is all we know. We fight the idea of dying and leaving this earthly home. I"m sure my sweet Elizabeth will fight leaving her foster mother. Its like our life here is our foster life, not our forever life. We experience love and blessings in the foster life but it will never be the fullness we will have in our forever life in heaven. We were not designed to live in a "foster" world, we were designed to live in a PERFECT world with our Father. That is why things are so broken on this earth. 

Gray's desperate heart for Elizabeth to come home shows me how Jesus must long for me and all his beloved to come home and live with our forever family, with our Forever Father in our Forever Home.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

17 months old and nearing 30 day LOA wait

Elizabeth turned 17 months on Friday.....we hope we get to bring her home soon!!!

Also....this could be a big week. It will be 30 days on Thursday that we have been waiting for our LOA (letter of approval) also known as Seeking Confirmation Letter (SCL). It appears that MOST people wait between 30-50 we hoping for the shorter end of that timeframe.

We have been trying to learn some basic mandarin phrases to communicate with Elizabeth. Here are some phrases we are trying to get better at saying:
I love you
Are you hungry/thirsty?
Do you like that food/drink?
I am Momma/Dada
This is big sister/big brother.
Do you need to potty (we don't know if she'll be potty trained??)

I'm terrible at Mandarin. I've been praying for God to perform a miracle in my mouth and ears so I can hear, learn, and speak. It would be a miracle but that is what He is known for!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Meeting Elizabeth

On March 31, 2009 we were introduced to our 2nd daughter.
She was born in November 2007 and is waiting for us in Fujian, China.
We can't wait to hold her in our arms!