Thursday, April 26, 2012

i800A - check.

Today we finally expressed mailed our i800A application in to the Department of Homeland Security.  Essentially, they approve us to adopt.  It isn't a matter of whether or not we'll pass - just how quickly they'll get it back to us.  It could be anywhere from 6-8 weeks.  Once that is back we can get our dossier in to China.  It seems that we have about a 7 month-ish wait from here.  I know that sounds excruciatingly long - trust me - I K-N-O-W.  But our homestudy process took twice as long as it should have for what ever reason(I think that reason was the need to find Esther) and so we are finally getting off the ground.  That puts us at picking the girl's up right around Thanksgiving of this year.  And even though it sounds SO far away I know it will come really fast.  And I'm still hoping that everything will go faster than that BUT I know it's in the Lord's hands and it will happen according to His timing.

And so far, we've been so blessed.  When we've needed the money to keep the process going - it's been there.  And we have been so blessed at both Mike's work and mine.  So, we know the Lord is on our side and that we don't need to worry.  Just work hard, be grateful, and believe.

Last night our friends skyped us from China.  It was early afternoon for them and they has just seen Pearl while touring their son's orphanage.  They talked to her, took video of her and talked to her caregivers.  The caregivers said they knew she has a family(!!!) which I think means she knows too.  They asked the McComas's to please tell us to send them a photo of our family so they could start preparing her.   We are so excited to put together a book with photos of our home, our pets, their future room, and of course, the family.  Which means I want to hurry and make their new quilts for their beds so it's in the pictures.  I want the room to look exactly like the photos when they get home.

Here's two of the images Jessica took with her phone.  I haven't seen many smiles like this from Pearl.  Isn't she beautiful?  And she's getting so old.  She'll probably be 6 before we get to her...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Azure has a family!

In January my agency sent out an email listing 5 or 6 children that had just made available for adoption.  One of those children was an 8 year old girl with the alias name of Azure.  For what ever reason I just couldn't stop looking at her and requested her file that afternoon.  A file contains more information about the child including their real name, a BRIEF history, their medical records and often more photos.  I really liked her and felt something was special about her so I printed out several photos and put them on the fridge next to Pearl's.  But by that afternoon the idea of not only coming up with the money for one but TWO children was so stressful that I abandoned that idea and threw the printout away.  But she just kept popping up.

Because my agency has a yahoo page with her info on it I would get email any time someone commented on her photo or anything else and every time it happened there was a tug.  Over and over again.  Which meant that every once in a while Mike and I would talk about her.  Sometimes in passing  - sometimes late into the night.

And once again a couple weeks ago I started thinking about her and brought the topic up with Mike.  We talked about it again, more seriously then ever, and got SO stressed out and agreed that adopting another was just too much to handle and that we were only going to bring Pearl home this time.  And it was such a relief.  It felt so easy and good.  I was excited to put everything into one child.  And I moved on.  I even posted about her one here because I thought maybe the reason I couldn't stop thinking about her was because I was supposed to help her get a family!

And then, everything changed.

The Lord stepped it up a notch at a church meeting.  Seemingly out of nowhere He revealed to me a glimpse into who she IS, not just who I saw in the photos.  It was a powerful moment and kind of hard to describe.  Of course it's such a personal thing but the point of this blog is to open up about the process of adopting.  It wasn't a stream of words or ideas - it was instantaneous.  I suddenly knew her - or remembered her.  It was overwhelming and wonderful and terrifying.  I knew what it meant.  I knew that Mike and I needed to talk again.  And I knew her name.  Her name was Esther.  So I drove home and we talked - through tears, fasted the next day, and felt full of joy about finally realizing she was ours.

And then there were two.  And how sweet is our joy.

You can read my post about her here.