I’m excited to share the adoption slideshow that I created for the Burgess Family! They chose to have their entire trip documented in their slideshow!
The Burgess family provided me with about 50 photos and under 10 minutes of raw video. It might take a few moments for the video to start depending on your connection speed, the finished video is about 5 minutes long.
I’m excited to share the adoption slideshow that I created for the Sullivan Family! They chose to have their entire trip documented in their slideshow!
The Sullivan family provided me with about 250 photos and 15 minutes of raw video. It might take a few moments for the video to start depending on your connection speed, the finished video is about 18 minutes long.
The past few weeks have been quiet. Quiet is hard for me. Quiet is not natural for me. I’ve even been quiet on the blog. God made it pretty clear to me that I needed to be quiet. I needed to be still. It was time for him to speak, and me to not.
An update is way overdue.
We have been pre-approved to move forward with the adoption of our sweet boy by the China Centre for Children’s Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA). Our next step is a huge one, signing contracts, first agency fees due, etc. I continue to pray that we are truly following God’s plan here…. That BOTH my husband and I feel that this is the right path for our family. (This is BIG). We had both felt comfortable enough in the process up to submitting our application with the adoption agency. Getting to the point of being 100% all in is coming at different paces for my husband and I. Because I tend to let my heart lead, I’ve been all in for quite a while. My husband is the voice of logic and reason in our family. His path to 100% is a bit slower than mine. That doesn’t mean that it’s better or worse than mine, just slower and more purposeful. He’s more apt to consider all the what ifs.
We learned earlier in our marriage that we just process things differently. Take for example if we start talking about building a house. Ten minutes later I have the house designed, I’ve picked out the carpet, chosen paint colors, began to plan where all the furniture can go, and have started the landscape plans. My husband on the other hand hasn’t given any of that a thought. He is still just starting to think about it. He’ll process each step of the decision thoroughly, one step at a time. Together we make a great team. I tend to stretch him. He keeps me grounded.
I’ve spent the past few weeks giving him space to process. Being still. I’ve been trying to hold on to a thread of hope that he’s still processing and on the path to 100%. He’s also had some medical appointments these past few weeks and I wanted to make sure that those were all going to turn out ok before we continued on our path. The appointments went well and I breathed a sigh of relief.
Sunday we sent our grown daughter back to finish her last year of college 1900 miles away from home. I loved having her home for Christmas break. She and her dad were able to take several day trips, and they talked. He was able to ask her some of his questions. She spent time in China this past summer with Show Hope. She was able to learn about the world’s orphan crisis first hand. She was a great resource to have around while I was quiet.
While our daughter was home we took family photos! It was our one chance with all four of us in the same state. I LOVE them. We also took photos that we will be able to use as adoption announcement photos when the time is right. This was a thread of hope for me that my husband was willing to take these photos. (My funny story about the photos…..I had a bit of an ace up my sleeve. I wanted a child’s chair and a globe for the photos. Several years ago I closed the photography studio that I owned. I figured that I could put out a request for a chair and globe for a photo shoot and no one would think twice about it. Success! Along with a note from the lender that they were glad I was still doing some photography! I guess I’ll have to come clean someday.)
During the past few weeks I’ve avoided most social media. It’s been hard. I follow so many families that have either already adopted or are in the process, most of them from China. As excited as I am for these families, and as much as I love following their stories….. it hurt to see them.
Today the silence was broken. Today we talked. Today I cried. I ugly cried. We’ve had pre-approval for two and a half weeks now. I haven’t had contact with our agency in those two and a half weeks. He and I haven’t really talked about the adoption much since pre-approval. This morning as we talked I asked him if he knew how hard it has been for me to not push and to wait. I think he knows. I told him how hard it had been to try and hold on to a thread of hope. His reply…… I’ll never forget his reply. He assured me that I had more than a thread to hold on to, he told me that I have a rope. I’m holding on to a rope of hope!
This evening we began to look over the contract and start to understand what an undertaking this paper chase will be to bring home our boy. Next step, complete our contract, get it notarized, and we’ll need to work on getting the first fee paid to our agency. We talked about when we could start fundraising. We talked about when to start telling people. (So far this blog is fairly anonymous, and we’ve told only a select group of people)
I continue to be reminded that God is sovereign, and I will continue to trust. I’m learning to be still and let God work and speak. And I’m falling more and more in love with a little boy on the other side of the world.
I’m learning to hold on to my rope of hope. I have a ROPE!
To my sweet boy,
I want you to know, more than anything, you are loved. You are wanted. You are chosen.
We just celebrated Christmas and while our family celebrated the birth of our Savior and enjoyed time together, there was something obviously missing. You weren’t home yet. You were fervently missed. My heart longed to have you with us. As we celebrated your absence was never forgotten.
We are still in the early days of the process to bring you home to your forever family. We were hoping to be locked in with you for Christmas. I wanted to be able to share your picture with friends and family for Christmas. I wanted to declare to the world that I have a son halfway across the world that I am missing on Christmas. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. There were a few procedural delays that were out of our control that have prevented that lock from happening before Christmas. It has all been straightened out and the process is once again in motion. And I am once again reminded to remember that God is Sovereign. He knows the timing and the reasons, and I will trust Him.
On the day before Christmas my mind was consumed with thoughts of you. Knowing that it was 7am on Christmas morning where you are. Thinking about you waking up not knowing you have a family. Spending yet another Christmas dreaming about having a mama and baba to call your own. Dreaming of a mama and baba that would call you theirs forever. I wept for your Christmas. I wished with all my heart that I could fix it right at that moment. But once again, God is sovereign and I need to trust in His timing. I wish you could have known that you have a family. You have a mama and baba that already love you, a brother and a sister that can’t wait to have you come home.
I wept again on Christmas morning knowing that where you are the clock was striking midnight, and another Christmas was coming to an end. Eight Christmases have passed for you without a family to share it with. We are praying that the adoption process goes smoothly and quickly. We want you to be home for next Christmas, my sweet boy. What an incredible celebration that will be! I pray that this was the last Christmas that you will wake up as an orphan. I pray that next Christmas is spent surrounded by your forever family.
I love and miss you, sweet boy. I can’t wait to hold you. I can’t wait to establish new holiday traditions with you. I watched so many families that have grown their families through adoption this past year posting photos of their holiday celebrations. It made me miss you even more. But it also made me excited for what is yet to come.
Amongst the tears I was also thankful. I’m thankful that you were surrounded by people that have loved you while waiting for a family. I know that those caring for you have loved you the best that they can. I can see it in your smile.
Waiting is so hard, I’m sorry that you’ve had to wait for so long. And although you aren’t with a forever family you have never been alone. Psalm 68:5 says, “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.” I hold tight to that promise for you, sweet boy. May you feel the presence of your heavenly baba holding you tight as you wait for us to come get you.
I love you, sweet boy.
We received an exciting email today! Our adoption application has been approved by our placement agency, CCAI (Chinese Children Adoption International). This is just a small step in our very long journey. But, although it’s small, it’s progress. It’s one small step closer to bringing this little boy home.
We also submitted our next round of paperwork today. Our Family Worksheet, our Letter of Intent, our passport like photos, and a small fee to have all of them translated into Chinese. Once they are translated they will be sent to China to be reviewed by the CCCWA. (China Centre for Children’s Welfare and Adoption) We are told that there will be about a two week wait to hear back. We are hopeful that we will get news at that time that we have been pre-approved by the CCCWA to be mom and dad to this little guy. Then the next round of paperwork and fees begins.
Our journey is a little different from most adoptive families. We have started with a specific waiting child. It flips the process a little bit for us. For families that do not start with a specific child they must wait until they are much further in the process to be matched with a child and be able to share photos and information about their child. Because we are starting with the child we will get to that point a little sooner. I can’t wait. I want to be able to share pictures! I want you all to see why I’ve fallen in love with this little boy. Wait until you hear his giggle! It melts me every time I hear it. I can’t wait to see his smile and hear his laugh in person. Until then, you can find me watching the one minute video clip I have of him over and over and over……….and I might rewind and replay the three seconds of his giggle more times than I can count.
Isa 46:9-11 (MSG)
Remember your history, your long and rich history.
I am God, the only God you’ve had or ever will have—incomparable, irreplaceable
From the very beginning telling you what the ending will be,
All along letting you in on what is going to happen,
Assuring you, ‘I’m in this for the long haul, I’ll do exactly what I set out to do,’
Calling that eagle, Cyrus, out of the East, from a far country the man I chose to help me.
I’ve said it, and I’ll most certainly do it. I’ve planned it, so it’s as good as done.
(The Message paraphrases a bit, but I like how this version can be easier to understand.)
The title to this post is a bit misleading. Today my husband and I took the first official step in pursuing the adoption of a little boy from China. Today the “official” journey began. To be honest, this is a journey that began long ago.
I have always had a tug on my heart for children. Not long after my husband and I were married we began the process of becoming foster parents. We felt a call in the direction of caring for children that needed a home. During that process, we found out that we were expecting our first child. We decided to move our plans of becoming foster parents to the back burner and focus on our biological children. Our children are now 22 and 19 years old. We are on the edge of an empty nest. During this past year the tug on my heart has resurfaced and is getting stronger. We began to discuss resuming the process to become foster parents. Over the summer our daughter served on a short term trip to China with a non profit organization whose mission is to end the orphan crisis in the world. Her trip was life changing. It was life changing for her, but what surprised me is how life changing her trip was for ME. Her trip WRECKED me. What had been a constant gentle tug on my heart has turned into a full on tug of war.
Today, our “official” journey begins. This morning we submitted our application and paid the initial application fee for adoption with an agency. This week we need to also submit our letter of intent, a family worksheet, passport like photos, and pay an additional small fee to have our initial documents translated. (As a side note, I’m glad that we don’t have to submit our actual passport photos. I look like I’m mad at the world in my passport photo. It is time to take a new photo, passport like, but with a smile!) Most of what needs to be completed and submitted this week is done. We still need to have the photos taken. I think we’ll head to the local UPS Store to have those done. My husband has an existing doctor appointment later this week. Since a physical exam and doctors report is required for this process, we’re going to take advantage of this appointment. We’ve printed out the forms required by both our adoption agency and the agency that we are going to work with through our home study for him to take with him. We’ve begun to gather pertinent documents that we’ll need to have for our home study.
I have so many emotions running through my being right now. I’ll share some of them with you in future posts. We’ll also share more about this amazing little boy in future posts. At the moment we are still waiting to be officially “locked in” with this little boy and are limited on what information we can share. As much as I would like to be a proud mama bear and share photos of our little guy, I won’t do ANYTHING to put his adoption in jeopardy.
So, welcome to our journey. It’s going to be a wild ride.