Thursday, August 28, 2014

the one with the reflection

now all the arrangements are made, and we have picked out all the amazing sights we will see ...great wall, forbidden city, kung fu show, safari park, temples...and we even found out we get to see the orphanage and her boarding school!   so it should be a fun filled time.

I am also keenly aware right now, of the emotional trip this will be.  we have been through a range of emotions this last year. but Xiangting, she has only known of us less then a month.  by the time we show up it will be just over a month. she has a lot of adjustments to make.  I wonder what she thinks of all this.  I wonder if she is excited, scared, angry, confused....maybe all of the above. (I know I'm feeling all of those too)

we see adoption as this great thing, but to a child who's whole world is getting torn away...they don't always see it that way.  and I don't blame them...this is hard.  I can't imagine suddenly being in the midst of people who I don't understand and who don't understand me.(I'll find out soon!)  I don't know what they expect, I can't ask questions...what happened!?! (at least we get a translator some of the time) she is older, it's probably been explained to her...but how can you really be prepared for this change.  she has suffered so much loss in her young life...loss of her mother and father...loss of multiple friends and "nannies" as I am sure some have come and gone over the the loss of all that is familiar.  it is breaking my heart.  I feel a bit guilty.  how can I cause her so much pain?

I think about our loving Heavenly Father and how sometimes He has to rip us from all we hold dear, to teach us what we've been missing. it hurts...the loss of comfort and familiarity...but there is so much more waiting, that we never even knew existed.  but I fight Him too...I don't want to let go of my routines, my safety, my picture perfect life to go traipsing of to the other side of the world...

but He's teaching me...about trusting...about letting go...about love...about stretching myself

and so, we ask for more and more prayers over the next few weeks...they are going to be hard weeks....but we know all will be done for the glory of Yehovah! and this precious girl doesn't know Him yet...but I hope He will comfort her heart all the same, til we can teach her about the love, sacrifice and redemption of the One Who Holds All These Things In His Hands!

Monday, August 25, 2014

the one with the travel approval

so things moved rather smooth and they are supposed to...over the last month and a half.  We sent our visa applications in and they came back promptly. We sent our immigration paperwork came back a bit faster then expected.  A few steps of emailing and getting letters and official visa stuff for Sarah moved around...right on time. then miracle of miracles...we got travel approval in 2 days!!!!!!!  this is unheard of!  it usually takes 1-3 weeks.  we are so blessed.

this was last thursday.

then, in my mind, we would start making travel plans and go at the end of this week.  well, I won't go into the gory details but NO we can't travel for 3 weeks!  very frustrating!  I don't believe the reasons given me by my agency are totally real.  I am not sure what the real story is but I know of people with appointments on days they say offices will be

but, as I have had to get over that...because, apparently,  no amount of arguing and crying is going to budge them....I have accepted it and made our flight plans today.  We leave Sept 10 and return Sept 26. YAY! not what I would have wanted but I am at least excited to have an official date!!

we will go to beijing first do some sightseeing (great wall) and then to Sarah's province, Hunan.  we will meet her on monday september 15th! we were told we get to tour her orphanage as well as the boarding school she attends.  we will also have a bit of sightseeing and as soon as her passport is ready (by the 19th) we will go to Guangzhou which is where the U.S. consulate is and where she gets her visa.  we will sight see there and then fly home on the 26th ... and because of some wibbly wobbly timey wimey...we arrive home on friday as well.... after 18-20 hours of a matter of fact, we travel from hong kong to seattle and arrive 2 hours before we left...whoa!

all in all i am just happy to be traveling in september and not october, though my agency is still being frustrating about hotel and other travel arrangements...nothing is easy apparently.

Please continue to pray for us in these final couple weeks.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

the one with some good news

last week was a rough one. we found out on tuesday that our payment had cleared our agency's bank, but was  not showing up in the CCC WA account.  basically that meant our dossier was stuck.  in limbo.  and the agency was seeming all casual like "these things work themselves out" and I was freaking out!  how long would it take?  and this is the third time in the last 2 months it has happened to this agency!  I thought someone should do something about it...NOW!

so, after 2days of back and was the 4th of July holiday weekend...a three day weekend.  now, ch*na doesn't have a holiday of course, but no communication would happen between them and the agency until monday. devastating news of course because they would not be able to figure this mess out until this week.

well, we prayed and we prayed and we prayed through the weekend.  and lo and behold...monday morning we learn that our dossier was moved to the matching department!  yay!  still no record of payment but they are moving us on anyway! we still anticipated it being another week or so before finding out any more information because there was still no payment recorded.

but wednesday morning we learned we are match reviewed which means they matched our file to the file we chose and approved us to adopt XiangTing!!!!! the letter is in the mail!!!! we are approved!!!!!

I am over the moon excited!!  also scared, overwhelmed and a bit stressed!  all good things though :)

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!! His timing, His way....I am just a vessel.  Thank you Lord for your lessons and patience with me.

so, the rest of this process has a more defined timeline.  8-10 weeks is standard until travel, though it could take up to 12 weeks. but that lands us mid september.  still not by her birthday as I had hoped, but I am so happy to not be waiting any longer.

I have A LOT to do in the next 2 months!!

Also, one last plea...if you have ever thought about donating to our adoption, we are still in need of the required orphanage "donation" of $5800. so we are still selling puzzle pieces for $10 each or you can just donate.  please use paypal to my email address or send a check to Deanna Peterson 16755 E Mercer Dr Aurora CO 80013

thank you all for your support and prayers...keep 'em up!! we still have a long way to go...all the way to CH*NA!!

Monday, June 30, 2014

the one with the silence

I have not written here in a very long time.  last I updated we were in the beginning of some very long waits.  I was angry at the system... I still am. but I had to take a break from sharing.  I still stalk all facebook adoption boards to keep up on timelines and any and all tips about travel, adoption and of course getting to know your child.

but I was finding myself so focused on how bad the system was I wanted to change things!  I was angry that everyone's answers were just...that's the way it is...everyone goes through this...hang in there...

you see, the problem is, you do what you have to, pay what you have to....and when you get your child you are so happy, you don't look back. it's over. phew...

I knew as angry as I was, that would be me too.  who has time to fight the system?  or the energy? or the know how?

I had to pull back and try hard to focus on the next thing.  and sometimes the next thing was just getting through our schoolwork.  sometimes it was planning meals, or a trip or simply holding my babies tight....sometimes it was crying ...

so, a lot has gone on since I went silent...

we got our I800a approval on march 5th I think. then lots of paper trading and finally our paperwork was sent to China (DTC) 4/1.

then it took 24...yes 24 loooong days for us to be logged in to the system.  you see you can't officially start your wait for approval until you are logged in (LID). that happened on 4/24.

then a whopping 26 days for us to be out of translation (OOT). once you are OOT you are "in review". and there we remain.

it has been 67 days since LID. the averages are 44-88 days the agency keeps reminding me.  so we are in the normal range.  this somehow doesn't comfort me.

no, what I think about is a little girl, waking up right about now. with no one to delight in her. no one to help her greet the day and all its potential, and her potential.... I think of how lonely that must be. and when I wake up tomorrow, on day 68...I will be thinking of a little girl who has to go to bed with out the prayers of a mother who loves her and asks God's protection and guidance for her as she sleeps and dreams.

my heart breaks each and every day for this little girl who doesn't even know she is missing these things.

I am still angry at the process, but now I am just an aching heart desperately waiting for each next step to get me closer to showing this precious girl she is not forgotten by the God who made her...she is loved...she is wanted...and she is saved!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

the one with some progress

we finally see a bit of movement as we got our pre-immigration filing sent in Jan 21st.  their official receipts date is the 23rd.  now, when we started, we were told that could take up to 3months to be approved.  but we got a call from our home study agency on Tuesday and she said she talked with someone at immigration on Monday who said they are running about 5weeks!!  that is such great news!  no guarantee, but, much sooner then expected! 

so looking ahead I think we will travel to China in July, though it could be June if things keep going fast!

China's approval still seems to be running around 60days...but I know with lots of prayer, if GOD will allow, we can get that faster :)

I also want to say, that although I kick and scream that I want this to go faster and things frustrate me along the way...I know I am not in control...GOD IS!  He's got this.  we will not get this darling one minute before or after HE has ordained!  Does that mean I can't wish it was different or be sad when my desires aren't coming true?  NO!  Does that mean I can't want to change the legal processes?  NO!   as long as I continue to go to God in prayer with a humble, trusting spirit... I can ask Him for what I want, but be accepting of the perfect timing.

and so we continue to wait and love her from afar...

love this smile!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

the one where I'm a blubbering mess

I knew there was a lot of waiting in the adoption process.  I knew it would be hard.  I knew there would be times I would be upset by the waiting....what I didn't know is that it would be during this part of the process.

when we started, brendan and I said we would do whatever it takes to do the things dependent on us as fast as possible. we wanted our part to be done as fast as we can because we knew those on the other end of the equation don't have the same sense of urgency we do.  so if we could do our part quickly it would, theoretically, shorten our wait...even a little.

our initial application documents and medical exams and fingerprinting was complete in 3weeks, which they say is fast. we waited on brendan's employment letter the longest. then the home study visits got moved up...GREAT!  then we spent a long month waiting on someone to review it.  IT SHOULD NOT HAVE TAKEN THAT LONG! then we got to review it...I thought that was it and in a matter of days we could send off for the immigration approval I had heard takes so long.


the state had to approve it, that took 2weeks.  at the same time our primary adoption agency had to review it.  they finished today...and they have revisions!  meaning the social worker has to re write some things, maybe question us again!  she says she hopes to have it done by MONDAY!  we already hold state approval...that should be enough!  this review process is bordering on the ludicrous!!!!!!!!!  

crying...lots of crying gone on in the last 2 weeks...month...LOTS!   and no one cares.  all I get from anyone in the process is...everyone has to wait, it's part of the process...hang in there...

this is not ok! it should not be...but we tolerate it because we have to...there has to be a way to change this...there HAS to!  I am paying A LOT of money to these agencies to do this service for ME!  there should be a way to demand their timely review and completion. they work for me...right? 

apparently not. because according to them, I have to tolerate the wait, and it upsets them when you question why it's been so long.

I'm a mess...this isn't just isn't right!

Monday, January 13, 2014

the one with the pre-approval

 it is our pleasure to FINALLY introduce our sweet girl to the world!
we got our PA this morning and are so excited because now we are allowed to share some pictures.  We still can not disclose her full chinese name until we have our official approval, but at this point we are planning on calling her Sarah.

she seems like such a little ham, and we do have a video (which I may post at a later date) in which she is making these silly faces as she reads and we feel like she may have a bit of a sassy side :)

we are waiting now to be able to file our pre approval with immigration, that should go out this week.

thank you everyone who is praying for our journey...we are so grateful!  we now pray for quick approvals by immigration (i800a) and then by the chinese government on our official acceptance (called LOA)

at this point I think we could be traveling in June, or sooner if the approvals come quickly :)