First Update for 2013!

Happy 2013 to you! We are looking forward to the year ahead as we hope & pray get to hold our baby girl in 2013!
I realized today that’s it’s been almost 3 months since we officially began adoption paperwork and amazingly enough the end of the paperwork is in our sights!
files of adoption paperwork Jan 2013
(our two accordian files where all instructions and documentation has been held – One for home study paperwork, and one for dossier paperwork)

I just got some new updates today, so thought I would share. Allot has happended since I last wrote.
For our Home Study (Ohio side of things) – we got news today from our social worker Therese that she will finalize our Home Study in the next week or so. Then, we will meet with her one more time. With the Waiting Children Program-China, we’ll be albe to get a referral (an email with picture and medical description) at any time after our home study is finalized and on file.

How CWC (China Waiting Children) Program works– we have filled out an application and will submitt it once our Home study is complete. (in next few weeks) We have already filled out our application ahead of time because it takes some thought and time to go through the long list of special needs and decide which our family feels we are well suited to care for. This took allot of prayer, and thankfully John and I were in agreement on every one….just another thing showing us God is the one in control. Our daughter could have anything from a cleft lip, repaired cleft lip & palate…missing limb…birth mark…minor heart condidion ect… I can’t list them all or it would take forever. We prayed that our hearts would be open to accepting the things God wanted us too, and we trust Him again that we’ve planted our seeds of faith. She will be perfect, no matter the special need she may have.

The question we get most often is…
“How long?” And our answer is usually that “We can estimate & guess, but we really have NO clue!” It really depends on what babies are waiting now to be refered, what needs they have, and how many families are ahead of us. We are praying to get to our daughter as soon as possible, but trust that God’s timing is always perfect! It could be months, yet we are preparing if things stretch beyond a year. We’ve heard stories of things happening very quickly, and others that took much longer. For a healthy referall the wait is over 4yrs now! Many families that decided on a healthy referal and realize the wait, decide to switch to the Waiting Children Program….and they would be ahead of us. We know our daughter is there…and God will get us to her at the right moment. If we have to wait for her, it will be difficult, but most definately worth every moments we are required to wait.

For our Dossier (documents that go to China)- Last week I took our documents to get county certified at the courthouse – clerk of courts….
Court House - clerk of courts where we documents go county certified Jan 2013
(I took this pic so our daughter could one day see all the steps we took to get to her & I think our courthouse is so pretty)

We just got news today from Amy (our America World family coordinator/ expert in all things adoption:)) that she has looked over all our dossier documents that have been notarized & county certified, and they are ready for our final “hands on” step—we will have them state certified!! John will be taking them to be state certified in Columbus, OH on Thurs. After this, we mail them to our adoption agency headquarters in VA & they will handle sending our documents to the Chinese consulate for another certified stamp. (they have to be walked in by a hired courier) Finally, our documents will be sent to China!
Dossier documents, ready to be st. cert.
(all our Dossier documents, ready to be state certified)

I can hardly believe we are at this place already. So many months ago it felt like there was a mountain ahead of us. We’ve been climbing and realize we have much further to go, but there is something amazing about looking back and seeing where God has brought our family. He has been amazing! Things have gone smoothly, that really could’ve taken so much longer! We keep our eyes set on that day we will gather her into our arms!

Personally, this may sound crazy but I do to feel pregnant, even though I am not carrying a baby. She’s so much in my heart it hurts! I was doing Jenna’s hair one day and she just says “Mom, how can I love her so much already, even though I don’t even know her yet?” I wanted to jump for joy….because that’s exactly how I have felt! Every night Ryan and Jenna pray for their sister and have the faith she is there right now waiting on us. They understand when I say I am doing paperwork, that I am working so we can get to her! They are just as excited as we are to finally board that plane to China and have been busy collecting change in our adoption jar for our rountrip airfare for all four of us, and for our baby-for the return flight.
Adoption $ JarOct Adoption Jar (2)
(As soon as we decided to adopt the kids immediately worked at decorating a jar & collecting. Change does not sit around our house…lol)

For now, we can’t go to Baby’s R Us or even pick out clothes ahead of time, because we haven’t a clue how big she will be! We have agreed that we can’t even let ourselves think of names, until we lay eyes on her & see the name she has been given. Most everything will wait for now. But, we keep oursleves focused on what we can do for today. I watch adoption videos from time to time to remember why we are working so hard! We’ve learned to be nonrelenting in getting things accomplished and have found it’s really been a joyful work! I don’t think we’ve ever felt so close & joyful as a family! It’s amazing but we feel the bonds with our children growing stronger as we share God’s heart together for a little girl a world away from us. We can’t see her, but we know she’s there and God is taking care of her.

It’s hard to let go of all you have no control over. It’s been a season of letting go, and trusting God. If I begin to feel fearful that something will go wrong with our paperwork, I immediately pray “God even if it does, it’s your plan and I trust you.” We are praying for little or no delays, but preparing ourselves just in case. God knew years ago our family would be here today, and can see our family 10 years down the road. Who knows, we may grow to be quite colorful. 🙂 Our hearts are open to wherever God may lead. He may not lead us the easiest way, but we know it will be the most fulfilling. As long as He is our guide and we get to share his love and gospel along the way…we will be lacking nothing.

Thank you for being with us on the journey. I will try and update more often as we hit these milestones. If you have any questions or comments, don’t be shy! Feel free to share! I have met so many people, since this journey began for us, that have opened their hearts to share amazing stories…..funny how God brings just the people into our lives to confirm in our hearts that this certainly is His plan.

Finally, I thought it would be kindof neat to share some of the videos we have watched to make all this feel like reality to us! They give you a little taste of how things work. For me, it’s like when I was pregnant with Ryan and I watched a “Baby Story” on TLC every day, so I could see other women going through labor and delivery. I wanted to remember it would happen, I would live through it, and I would get to one day hold my baby too! Whenever I watch these, I am reminded that this really is going to happen!

Hope you enjoy watchin a few. I think all of them are children adopted from waiting children program. (there are also a couple more videos under our tab at the top called Waiting Children China Program.) Grab your Kleenex.

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