Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas, With Love

Merry Christmas baby! We love you, and hope someone is giving you sweet kisses and hugs this Christmas. Sending our love to you,
Daddy, Momma, Emma, Silas, Lucy, and Joseph

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Nervous Anticipation

I have been waiting... impatiently waiting, for 2011 to get here. There are so many questions filling my mind: Have we picked the right adoption agency? Will we be approved? How is our child being treated during this time? Who is our child?

I know to some, it doesn't make any sense. How can I be nervous for a child that I have never met? Well, while carrying my other children, I had never met them, but experienced the same anticipation. Not regarding their care of course, but about who is this little person? When will I meet them? I thought I was nervous then, but oh goodness, is this much much more than anticipated. Now I have the added, is he/she being well cared for? Do they feel loved? When will they hear the name of "Jesus?" When will they hear our voices, telling them that we love them? When will they feel the warmth of our hugs?

So many questions and so little answers. I feel as if I NEED to do something. But right now, there is nothing to do, except wait until we are both of age in March to begin the paper process. Yes, we are saving right now, and that is something. But I feel as if I should be doing more. I am scrambling through adoption blogs, looking for clues as to whether we will be approved or not. And I know we meet all of the requirements set forth by the CCAA, but I still worry. I guess it is just part of my nature.

Here is a quote I stumbled upon, and loved:

I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something I can do. - Helen Keller

Little Wu, if you are out there right now, I pray God sends our love to you through your caretakers. I pray that you feel the warmth of our love. Amen.

God bless,

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Proverbs 24:12

"...once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know, and holds us responsible to act."

I stumbled across this verse today. Such powerful words. I know without a doubt, it is God who has called us to find you Wu. We love you and continue to pray for you, wherever you may be. It won't be long until we can begin our paper trail!!

Love you,

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Twist

So the twist in the adoption process is that when our dossier is completed, we can look at a database of children that have not been matched with a family. If we find a child on this database that we want to make a part of our family, we can request them when we submit our dossier. This will shorten the time period because we won't have to wait for a match to be made.

We aren't sure what we are doing. We want to leave control in God's hands. Whenever we are about to submit the dossier, we will look at the database and see if we feel God pulling us toward a certain child. If not, we will let the agency choose for us.

We are getting closer and closer to being able to submit our applications. Please pray for us as we make the final decisions on which agencies to use for the homestudy and child placement. Thank you and God bless!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Maw Maw always told me my eyes were too big for my stomach...

Okay, so I am realizing that I am a little too ambitious for my own good. I will post about the requirements and our adoption twist as soon as I can. However, right now, I will sleep. We are working very diligently to complete the house by the end of this weekend, and sleep is a must.

Although, right now, I am feeling so anxious about starting our paper trail. Even with everything going on right now, little Wu is still a top priority.

God bless,

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Process

I try to think of the adoption in terms of a pregnancy (granted, this will be a more drawn out process compared to a pregnancy). This is what I have come up with:

1. Announcement: This is the phase that we are currently in. We just announced to everyone that we will be seeking to adopt.

2. Paperwork: When you intially go in to the doctor, there is all of this paperwork to fill out regarding insurance coverage and health concerns. Well, with the adoption, the paperwork has multiplied tremendously!! We have to apply to several different entities to seek approval for adoption. The US government, the Chinese government, an adoption agency, and a social worker will all be involved. This phase is also known to be called the "paper trail."

3. Dr. Visits/ Social Worker Visits: Either one sounds unpleasant. I have never been too fond of going to the doctor, but it is a necessity when you are carrying a little one. Well, as unpleasant as it is to have someone coming in to our home to judge us sounds, it is necessary. We understand that it is for the well-being and in the best interest for our little Wu. I have been told to think of the visits more as someone coming in to lend us a little insight on how to cope with all of the anxiety we will be feeling while we wait. The social worker will be compiling a report that will be translated into Mandarin (Chinese), and all of our paper trail will be translated into Mandarin as well. Together, they are called a "dossier." This dossier, is what we will be working so hard to complete next year. Hopefully it will be done by Joey's birthday (more about this later).

4. Due Date/ Log In Date: Instead of a due date, we will receive a log in date or LID. This is the date that all of our paperwork has been turned in to and accepted by the Chinese government. This will be a HUGE day for us, because it will mark the beginning of our official waiting period.

5. The wait/ First Glimpse: Like a mother waits for her impending labor, we will be waiting as well. Not for labor of course, but for our child referral. A child referral, is the child that the CCAA (chinese adoption people... I am putting this in simple language so I can understand as well LOL), has picked for us. It is a file, that will arrive by presumably Fed Ex... and in it will be a picture and complete medical history of the child once it arrived into the care of the Chinese government. I have read that the Fed Ex deliverer is sometimes called the stork by other adoptive parents. I really like this. Joey and I both think that it is very cute. Anyhow, we will then look over the child referral and contact a medical proffessional if necessary to help us with the terminology. Then we will either accept or decline this child. Or I should say that we will have the opportunity to accept or decline the child. I don't think Joey and I could ever decline a child, but it is in the process so I am writing it here for you guys to learn about.
So I compare this first glimpse of the child to be like the first ultrasound. You finally get to see what your child is all about. How many fingers? How many toes? Are they healthy? What do they look like? All of this answered in one little photo.

6. Delivery/ Travel to Hospital/ Travel to China: After we accept our child, we will then wait for a travel date (TD). This is the time that the Chinese government has approved us for travel to their country to pick up our little one. It will most likely be months inbetween the time that we see our little one's photo and we see them in person. But eventually, we will be there with many other adoptive parents, seeing our child in person for the first time. And like hospital stays, where parents have the benefit of having nurses there to help them learn how to care for their child, we too will have people there to help us with helping our child transition to being with us. We will be in China for approximately 2 weeks. During this time, all of the paperwork will be finalized for the adoption and we will have one on one time with our little one. We will also get to tour China and learn about our child's unique culture. Towards the end of the trip, we will take an oath to care for our child and basically give them the best American life possible. Which we intend to do! :) More on what happens while in China when the time comes. We plan to blog while we are there to let people know what's going on.

7. Going Home: Once everything is finalized in China, we will go home with our child! And once he/she enters the country and places their little feet on American soil, they will be considered an American citizen!! How exciting!!! This idea is just coming to me now, but I may have a little footprint card ready for our child to step on to document this moment! :)

So this is the process... to the best of my knowledge. I will edit if I find anything that needs correcting. I try to blog once a week, but I may get back on here to tonight to discuss the requirements, and let you all know why we are hoping to have our LID by Joey's next birthday. Also there may be a little twist with our adoption process... once again, more on that later.

Little Wu... still thinking of you!

God bless,

Friday, September 17, 2010

Why China?

So this week, I spoke to a social worker and she seemed really nice and helpful. She asked me the inevitable question, "So, why China?" My answer, our answer, is not real definitive but I will try to explain.

There has always been something about adoption from China that has attracted my attention. The plight of their orphans has always been on my heart. I could not imagine living with a one child policy, and finding myself in the predicament of having to risk jail to abandon my child because it would not be able to care for me when I got older. These birth mothers, are somewhat heroes in my opinion. They risk so much, with the hope that someone... some foreigner would adopt their precious little one and give them a loving home and most importantly a LIFE. How better to honor their sacrifice, then by giving their child what they could only hope/dream to give them?

Little Wu, your birth mother is a wonderful person. I hope you grow to appreciate the sacrifice that she has made. I am sure, she desperately wished to keep you, but found herself in a predicament where she could not. We will always teach you to and hope that you will cherish her forever.

Some people ask why not adopt in the United States? And our answer, is that we believe whole-heartidly that God does not draw boundary lines between orphans or races. We are all loved, and we are all cherished by the Lord equally. He made us as we are, an image of Him... all beautiful in each our own way. He designed us all to be unique... no two the same. He took so much care and thought in creating each of us, and He wants us to do the same for each other. God does not delight in the fact that there are orphans. He wants us to care for orphans and widows especially.

Is this adoption a mission? NO! By no means, do we consider this to be a mission trip. It is simply a way for us to have another child, and we feel that this is the way that God wants us to do so. We strive in so many ways to let God plan our family. This is the way that we feel He is calling us to do so.

Do you think you could love another child as if it were your own? YES!! There is no doubt in our minds that we could. You are our child. DNA does not make you a family. LOVE does.

So these are some of the "hard" questions that some people have asked. Some we will have to fill out the answers for on forms. I wrote the answers here for you, to know that we have chosen to love you, just as we have chosen to love your siblings. We have allowed God to lead us to you, just as we have allowed Him to lead us to your siblings. You have each grown in our hearts... true gifts from the Lord. And we cherish each of you the same.

Love you,

Friday, September 10, 2010

Beginning the Journey: Contacting References

So recently Mommy and Daddy have made the decision to find you, our precious little Wǔ (five). There are no guarantees in this journey as of yet, except for the fact that our family yearns for the day when we shall see your face, learn who you are, and cherish you for the rest of your life.

We have applied to several agencies for their information packets. Our top pick arrived with several references. We have contacted every single one, and each of them have such positive things to say about this agency. I think this will be the one we use.

We are still trying to figure out who to use for the home study. There are a few to choose from, and we have heard conflicting information about our top choice. You see little Wǔ, not everyone likes the idea of big families, but we love it! We are trying to find an agency who loves big families as well. You will soon see, big families mean that there is more love to share. That's not to say that there aren't crazy times; every family has those. But we will take the crazy times anyday if it means that we get to rejoice in all of the love we share for each other.

Baba, or Daddy, just turned 29 this week! That means that we can start our paper trail in just 6 months!! And, it also means that in hopefully less than a year, we will be able to submit our dossier and receive our log in date (LID). Our goal is to have it submitted on Baba's birthday next year. Mama has already started to fill out the application for the adoption agency. We pray that it will be approved!

We wonder if you are already out there somewhere. Are you in an orphanage? Are you in your birth mother's womb? We are praying for you. We love you. We can't wait to share with the world that we've found you. Right now, only a few people know that we have started this journey. We are waiting until our paper trail has officially been started. Hopefully by March of next year, we will begin.

Until we meet,
Baba, Mama, Emma, Silas, Lucy, and Joseph