Thursday, March 5, 2015


Fear has turned to joy.  Overwhelming joy.  We are filled with love for our little girl already.  

We have been unofficially matched - on January 15th we got her file.  And she is absolutely perfect.  It is like God picked her out for us she is such a great fit for our family.  I am so wary to write anything because there is always the "what if it doesn't work out..." fear, but whatever...  I am going to walk in faith and assume God will be faithful as he has been every step of this journey - like amazingly so...  

Do you want to see God at work?  Adopt a child...  Seriously, I have never experienced God moving mountains and speaking more directly than now...  through this process - hallelujah!

So about her...  She turned 2 in September 2014.  She has a cleft lip and gum line, but no visible palate.  Her lip was repaired when she was 1.  Do you know how amazing that is?  We were definitely expecting both a cleft lip and palate - and it seems like she has no palate?  We are assuming she might still have a small hole that isn't visible, but this is such a wonderful thing for her.  It means fewer surgeries and hopefully better speech development/less speech therapy.  She is 6 months younger than Cooper, but will be a year behind in school because of her September birthday.  Cooper will have a virtual twin - how fun is that?  

Her advocacy name is the same name as my brother's unborn daughter (due in May) and it's not a common name at all.  How weird is that?  Just another way of God showing us she is our daughter.  Also the date that we received her file is significant in a way I can't divulge - but let's just say the coincidence is beyond coincidental.  I really can't believe God has been so direct with telling us "Yes, this is your daughter.  Have no doubts."  I didn't even realize the significance of the date because I am dense like that and bad with dates and so God had someone email me to remind me...  He has left no room for doubts and for that I am so grateful.  I am such an over thinker.  One to second guess where I am being led.  And God has indulged me - indulged us - because let's be honest, my dear husband needed the same confirmations...

And miraculously he has changed the hearts of those around us.  Many close people to us have not been on board or supportive - for loving reasons...  They worried/worry about our bio boys and what this might mean to them...  They worry about the unknown and how big the unknown can be...  All real worries and concerns...    But then, all of this directness...  and of course her picture has changed hearts.  I finally released control to Him.  Said to Him, "Lord, I can't convict them that this is your path for our family, so I ask for you to...."  and he has!

So, nothing is final and nothing is sure...  We still have a long road ahead, but knowing who our daughter is and knowing that we are not that far away from getting her (hoping for 6 months or less), gives us JOY...  

So, just to give you insight into what's next...

1) First, our agency has to actually get her file assigned to them from China.  They expect this to happen this Spring...
2) Once that happens, the agency officially "matches" us and we send a letter to China telling them we want to adopt her with our plan to care for her, etc...  There is no exact timeline for this, but I have been told to expect 2-3 months typically...  Until this happens, though, there is a chance that she is not ours.  I was given a 95% odds that she will be ours...  but nothing is for sure until China approves our match to her.
3) Then once China approves us, the U.S. has to approve her immigration which takes another 2-3 months...   Once, we get it, we have travel approval and can go get her!
4) So we will then schedule our travel - probably within 2 weeks of getting travel approval and then we will go get her in China.  That trip will take ~15 days because you get there, go get her, then you have to file all this paperwork while you are there with required wait times/processing times...  You have to do things like go to a doctor and have her evaluated, etc...  But by the end of the trip, we will have officially adopted her and we will fly back to the good 'ol U.S.A. where she will be our child and an American citizen.  Woohoo!

We don't plan to take Mack and Cooper just because we worry about traveling with 3 children.  All of the China stuff doesn't happen in the same city, and we want to be able to focus on her and our bonding with her while we are there.  Our boys are awesome, but they can be.... distracting?  Ha...  We debate this, because we know she will LOVE to have playmates like Mack and Cooper - and they will love having a little sister...  I also think it would be awesome if Mack (who is now 5 and would be able to remember) would be able to witness her "gotcha" day and be a part of it.  But we really want this to be her birth story and for us to be focused on getting all the information about where she is from, the information from her nannies about her sleeping, eating, etc.. schedule.  We want to get good pictures and videos...  And we just see Cooper continually pulling us and telling us "Mommy, I have to tell you something..." like he does now...   Or if they get sick...  And honestly, 3 kids in one hotel room?  Can anyone say - nightmare?  Ha.  We might change our minds, but Andy is pretty adamant about not bringing them...  But we also have to figure out childcare then...  So we shall see!

So right now the main thing I want to figure out is what her name will be because we want to start referring to her with that name.  Believe it or not, I have tons of boy names figured out, but I am not good at girl names.  Think we have one we are close to agreeing on - I hope so.  We love her advocacy name, but my brother has dibs on that as it is my SIL's mother's name so the claim is legit.  (And she has never gone by that name.  It is just used on websites to advocate for her since an English name sticks in Americans memories better than a Chinese name...)

So, our current prayer is timing.  That we can get her as quickly as possible.  That she doesn't spend one day longer in that orphanage than is required...  If you would like to pray for us, please pray for that.  I have a feeling that will happen to show us yet again how God is working in this journey.  Our agency is telling us to expect her file late Spring/early Summer, but I'm thinking late March which would be early Spring.  All we can do is pray for that and that she is well tended and loved by the nannies currently caring for her.  She is in a Half the Sky orphanage which is the best situation we could hope.  Praise God!  

When we are officially matched, we will post pictures!