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Friday, October 26, 2012

Great News - Log in Date Received!!!

We have been told over and over again that there are many ups and downs in this journey. Yesterday, we had one of those downs. We have been so excited to know that there is another family in China this week and that we would soon be getting even more pictures of our sweet girl. We were so excited to see that this family had posted pictures. We eagerly began looking for Faith. Just last week, we were looking at pictures and talking about how much her hair had grown out and how pretty it looked. Today, we got new pictures that show her with her head shaved again. While we know that shaved heads are really the least of our concerns, something about that picture had us both in tears.

I cannot imagine the logistics of caring for hundreds of children. I can understand the benefits to the staff if they keep everyone's hair as short as possible. However, it still made us sad. It was one more reminder of how far removed from us she really is and that while we love her and are preparing for her arrival, we still have no way to shield her or protect her from anything. We try not to dwell on this because it is very frightening to us. Concerns for her safety, comfort, and emotional well being are frequent sources of conversation these days.

After discussing all of this last night, we again discussed our yearning for a log-in date (LID). We received an email today telling us that our official LID is 10-22-2012. This is HUGE!!! From LID to travel takes no more than six months. We have been told that it should be a bit faster than that because we have already been matched with a child and have completed a few steps that usually take place during this six month period. So, hopefully, we will travel by March 22. This would be an ideal time for us. Arriving home in late March would allow me to take the last few weeks of school off to be with Faith as she adjusts to her new life. She would then have the summer to continue acclimating before she starts to school in August.

We are both absolutely giddy. We have longed for this day! Now we move on to the next steps. Many of you have asked what is left in this process. The steps the we will take from now to "gotcha day"  are listed below.

  • Letter of Acceptance received from China (3 months after LID or PA whichever one is received last)
  • 800 paperwork submitted to USCIS
  • 800 provisional approval received ( approx. 3 weeks)
  • information for visa sent by USCIS to National Visa Center (NVC)
  • Information for visa cabled to the US Embassy in China by the NVC ( about 2 weeks after the information is sent to the NVC)
  • Article 5 letter received (about 2 weeks after cabling info for visa)
  • Article 5 letter couriered to the CCCWA (government office is China that processes adoptions)
  • Travel Approval received from the CCCWA (approx. 3-4 weeks from paperwork being received by the CCCWA)
  • Apply for Consulate Appointment
  • Receive Consulate Appointment (approx. 2 business days after application)
  • Travel (approximately 2 weeks after receiving travel approval)
We have been told that we will receive the information needed to begin working in these next steps early next week. We cannot wait. Bring on the paperwork!!!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

We received these pictures from the Healy Family that returned home this week from adopting their sons in Xuzhou, China.  We are so grateful that they were able to take pictures for us.  We are also appreciative of the orphange staff for their dedication to these precious children.

"Give thanks to the Lord, call on His Name; make known among the nations what He has done." 
Psalm 105:1

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Jesus was adopted too!

For several weeks, Christy and I have been kicking around various fundraising ideas for our adoption.  We decided that one of the things that we could easily do was a puzzle fundraiser (see the previous post for details).  We wanted to find a puzzle that had some sort of adoption or Asian theme as it would ultimately be framed and have a permanent place hanging in our home.  I had searched the web but just had not found the "right" puzzle.  Saturday, Christy called me at work and said that she had found "the" puzzle.  It simply says, "Jesus was adopted, too."  That statement stopped me in my tracks.  I've spent a lot of time during the last six months thinking about adoption from both a world view and as a bibilical doctrine.  I had never even given any thought to the fact that Jesus was adopted, too.  Have you?  Joseph was Jesus' earthly father---yet they did not have a biological connection.  Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18) and born of a virgin.  According to the law and customs of the times, Joseph could have ended his relationship with Mary after learning that she was with child.

Dr. Russell Moore wrote on this subject:

"With full legal rights to abandon Mary and her unborn child — perhaps to a fate worse than death — Joseph obeyed the Father in becoming a father. When Herod — the Roman Empire’s precursor to “Planned Parenthood” — sought the destruction of the infants, Joseph shielded this child from the murderous rage of infanticide (Matthew 2:13-18). In his obedience, Joseph demonstrated what his other son would later call “pure and undefiled” religion, the kind that cares for the fatherless and the abandoned (James 1:27)."

I am so thankful that Joseph chose to follow God's plan.  As believers, all of us can praise God-our Heavenly Father-for the incredible gift of his Eternal Son and the amazing grace that allows us to be adopted as His children.

"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.  And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"  So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, than an heir through God." -Galations 4:4-7 ESV