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.


WRONG!

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 right...it 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 :)

Thursday, January 02, 2014

the one with the patience

it has been a long couple of months.  the things I thought we would breeze through for the adoption took longer then I expected. (makes me nervous for how long it will take for the things that usually take a long time)  the home study visits went quickly but the writing and reviewing has taken sooooo long!  finally on dec30 we got to review it ourselves and sign off on it.  now it goes for approval from Dillon (our placing agency) then the state.  then we can finally send it to immigration for their pre-approval!  sheesh!  and in the mean time we are sending in a letter of intent (LOI) to China for pre-approval (PA).  that should only take a couple of weeks while the US pre-approval takes up to 2months!!  uggg!  this is so frustrating! 

please pray with us that these approvals come faster then average.

so, I will TRY to be patient as we wait for all these things.  we will begin some adoption education in Feb.  at least that will make me feel like I am doing something towards the goal.

fundraising isn't going so well as I had hoped either....  and that's fine.  we know God will provide.  I think brendan may get to work a bit of overtime in the next month or so, so that will help.  we have gotten one donation so far, which we are so grateful for.  we will be starting to build our puzzle with that donation. 

I have been collecting spare change in a half gallon jar.  it's almost full.  I can't wait to take it in and see how much it is.  I deal mostly in cash so I just take any and all change I get and dump it in the bottom of my purse, then when I get home I dump that in the jar :)

it would be great, if anyone else out there deals in cash and wants to join me in filling a jar, we'd love the support :)  I'd be happy to give you a big jar like mine or you can just use any jar you have.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

the one with the fundraising


as I've said before...we don't want to ask for money.  but this process is very expensive. and we know God will provide all we need...but it might be through you that He does that. we know so many people out there might have a heart for orphans, but not know quite how to help... 

there are big organizations, and I have donated to them before.  there are some good ones, but I always wonder how the money is used and I'd like to be more connected, invested.  I love donating when I know it's going to help someone follow God's plan!

some fund raisers involve buying something and the person who is raising money gets a tiny portion of the price.  I always feel like my money would be put to better use if I just gave the $20 to the family instead of buying a t-shirt that will sit in my closet and they only get $5.

 but that's just me.

 I think everyone is different.  I want to just donate, but some people want some thing in return for their "donation".  and that's ok, that is why there are so many options!

so, because everyone is different, we will be having some different fundraisers.


we have decided our first fundraiser will be purely donation based.  it is fairly simple and something that we will do for a long time...

the puzzle fundraiser.

how this works is that we have this beautiful 500 piece puzzle of a pagoda and plumb blossoms...


and for a $10 donation, you can be a piece of the puzzle that brings our sweet girl home to us. we will write your name on the back of a puzzle piece and start building it.  I will give updated pictures as we build so we can have a visual of how far we've come. Then when it's complete we will frame it in a double sided frame so we can see all the names on the back and remember all the wonderful support we have received from friends and family.  then we will hang the finished puzzle in our home so we can have that reminder always! if we build the whole puzzle that is $5,000!  (the price of two plane tickets to China)

you can donate by cash or check, in person or by mail, as well as you can use paypal to give us a "personal gift" to my email address (chikkadea at gmail dot com).  you can buy one piece or many. but anything helps us towards our goal!  If fund raisers aren't for you, don't worry...you can help just by praying for us and our journey....  it is hard!  but sooooo worth it!  and we thank each and every one of you for your love and support! so please, pray and ask God if you are meant to be a part of our puzzle.

we will have more fundraising opportunities to come...so stay tuned!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

the one with the home study

hi!  we had such a busy week here last week!  first we received an amazing update on our girl!  she looks so big in the new pictures and we even got a video!  I can't share them just yet since we haven't gotten our approval from China for her yet...but soon, I hope!  but we now know the other pictures we had were older because she looks so grown up!  we also learned some great news about her upbringing; for at least some of the last 7 years it is believed she was fostered through love without boundaries.  that is contradictory to what the initial report we got said, but all the pictures and the video was done by them, so I am inclined to believe they have been involved.  this is great news as it means she was probably well cared for!

so, next, we had our first home study visit last week!  FINALLY!  I feel like we should be past this point by now so it has been frustrating feeling like we are moving so slowly.  I keep having to remind myself....God's timing, not mine...

I was so nervous thought, wanting the house and the kids to just be perfect, I know they say not to worry about that, but I was ....but the visit went great! our social worker has adopted from China too so she has been in our shoes which I think is great. she also lived there for 4 years!  I think she will provide some great insights as we go along.  our next visits are not going to follow as quickly as I hoped either, our social worker is just too booked ... God's timing, not mine...but if you think about it please pray her schedule opens up and we can move the visits up :)

UPDATE: I had meant to post this yesterday but got distracted...today I got a call that the social worker had a cancellation and we are moving our visits up...we will be done with the home study by Thanksgiving!!! Praise the Lord!

Sunday, November 03, 2013

the one with orphans

november is national adoption month....today was orphan sunday...

the church we go to did not even mention it!  and there are several adoptive families!  I was very disappointed.

I have so much I want to say but  she says it better...so does she.

my heart is aching today for my girl.

she is alone, abandoned, without a family. God has called us to be his hands and feet...all that stands in the way is several thousand miles...and lots of red tape!  I am so disheartened with how far we still have til we can even think about going to get our sweet daughter.

one of the hurdles we have is paying for this process.

as stated in the blogs above...maybe you aren't the one to bring a child home...maybe you are to be the pocketbook to others who are the hands and feet.  for years we have supported ministries we felt God leading us to, because that is something we could do for them at that time.

so, I encourage you to see if you are being asked to help support an orphan, and if helping us bring our girl home is one way God is nudging you, we would be so grateful.

I don't want to ask for money, but I know God has a plan and that HE will provide...maybe through you.

we will be conducting some fundraisers over the next few months. pray. see what God is asking from you and if you feel led, please consider helping us make a difference for one.