Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Where We Are At

It's the middle of the of Monday, our dossier was not logged in yet.  It should be logged in this week, hopefully sooner than later, and China is expected to expedite for Min's health.  So we don't know what the expedite will look like or what the time frame will be but I might admit to doing a preliminary packing of Min's suitcase to bring with us:)  I am sure it will be packed, repacked, and gone through again, but it made me feel a little more prepared to be on our way, even though realistically we are at least a month out from travel after we have official approval of our documents from China.  And that is an expedited time frame, so we will have to see.  It is kind of nice to have our schedule cleared for the summer.  My boys are being really kind.  They understand that we don't want to be committed to a sport season if we are traveling or at the hospital and they just smile and say 'next year.'  They are fantastic brothers and can't wait to get their little sister, although they may have a skewed view of girls.  They think she will like princesses and pink and 'girly' things like mushy Disney movies and lots of dolls.  We shall is obvious that we have a largely male household.  Yesterday, at dinner one of my sons was saying that we almost have enough for a soccer team and that Min could be the cheerleader...ummm, not sure where that came from, the boys play on coed teams and usually the top players are actually female so we talked about that a little bit.  We have started to talk about the importance of treated Min carefully after her surgery since she will have a recovery period and won't be able to jump on the trampoline immediately or join in to a full fledged Nerf battle.  Which brought up the point that we need to get Min her own Nerf gun and squirt gun although there are plenty of offers to share.  We are fortunate enough to have a video with Min.  I'm not really worried about her holding her own.  We can't wait to meet her.  Thank you for your prayers,  we feel them and know they are heard.

On a side note, the Thirty-One catalog party ends tomorrow, the link is on the side of this blog if you are looking for any fantastic bags or organizers:)  Thanks Anne!

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Happy Easter! 

It is early Easter morning and I have two children already up and sent back to bed:)  It is not raining(we live in a rain forest) and it's a beautiful time to reflect. 

I have been blessed with faith.  It is a part of who I am and how I try to live my life.  I am not a perfect person, nor do I have a perfect faith but there are beliefs that I have based my life on and I am so grateful for them.  My faith in Jesus Christ brings me peace in a world that is full of chaos.  My faith that prayers are heard and answered makes it possible for me to never feel alone, even when people, or myself, let me down.  My hope that Christ can make something wonderful out of me and of my small attempts to do good things lets me know that my life has a purpose to be far greater than what I could be on my own.  My faith that because of Christ's resurrection, death is not the end of my existence allows me to live life with an eternal perspective, not fearing for an eventual tomorrow.  Believing that Christ's atonement  is something I can count on lets me feel sorry and ask forgiveness for mistakes and try harder to do better, knowing that those past wrongs don't have to be held against me.  Faith gives my life purpose and hope.  Prayer gives me strength and a feeling that I can always be upheld even when things are not perfect in my life.  On Easter Sunday, I am so grateful for this hugely important aspect in my life and wish everyone a very Happy Easter.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

No news is .....

Well, no news is no news.  And admittedly it has been a very short time since our dossier was sent(last Friday) so I am not truly expecting news at this point.  It would be nice to know though.  Adoption is a leap into the unknown in so many ways.  It is kind of nice to be keeping our summer free from plans though, just in case.  It has been nice to know that our schedule is free and we are able to go to China whenever we can.  So now we wait.  Without updates or ways to check on the progress or any kind of definitive time frame or estimate.  We just wait.  Hmmm....maybe patience is a virtue I am supposed to have strengthened since it really isn't a strong suit with me.  So I wait, and hope, and pray, and pray some more, and practice my Mandarin phrases and think about packing the suitcase with the things we want to take for Min, and enjoy holding my boys close and doing fun things with them and reading stories and coloring and cherishing this peaceful lull in activity and adoption rushing.

And we wait...hopefully not for too long.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Faith Post

In so many ways this adoption process has been like a pregnancy.  I have put on baby weight(emotional eating is my downfall!) and cry at the most simple things.  It is funny to me how in so many ways I am finding that there is an amazing bond when you are a parent and it is part of your makeup and adopting has added another child to the makeup.

We are at the wait portion of this process.  We wait for people to do their jobs without really much input or oversight from us.  I'll be honest, I think I might be an anxious mess for the next few weeks and I am trying hard to let it go.  I am grateful for the peace about Min that I have been blessed with.  I have no idea about timing...I have hopes and I have average times at this point, but really I have no set in stone, concrete time when we get to go get Min.  I have no idea what kind of adjustment she will have or how long it will take.  I have no guarantee as to her health or lack thereof.  And really I have no way to impact those things at this current time.  Nothing I can do right now will make a difference...except for one thing.  I can pray.  I can pray for Min's file to be translated quickly.  I can pray for it to be logged in quickly and get on a person's desk who is efficient and fast and will have a heart to expedite her file.  I can pray that our file will be approved quickly and we will receive our Letter of Approval quickly.  I can pray that we will have the funds we need when we need them for this adoption. I can pray that Min will adjust and attach fully to our family quickly and that I will be a good mother to her and know how to parent to help her to attach and heal and become a wonderful person.  I can pray that I know how to help my sons during the attachment phase to know how loved and important they are and that our family is as great as it is in large part because of them.  I can pray that Min's heart will be strong and that the damage done by continuing to function unrepaired will be minimal and will stop increasing as we work to get her the care she needs.   I can pray that Min will be able to know, accept and return our love for her.  Right now I can't do much to expedite or oversee this process, but I know ONE who can and I can pray that HE will.

It's funny how what is on your mind ends up in your dreams.  I had a dream two nights ago that we were meeting Min for the first time.  I woke up wanting so badly to remember the details of that dream but they had slipped away, but I remembered that my husband and I were so happy and that Min was so happy to be adopted...the feeling of joy and peace in my dream was a gift as we wait.  I do not know that events will play out the way they were in my dream.  But I can pray.

Friday, April 15, 2011


AAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  WE ARE DTC!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our documents are on their way to China!  Please keep us in your prayers that all will go smoothly with our review, translation, and approval and that it will be expedited!  We are on our way!  Can't wait to hold our little girl:)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Loose Tooth

My youngest son, who is 9 months older than Min, has a loose tooth.  This is his first loose tooth and he is excited for the tooth fairy to come.  He is so thrilled to be a big boy and get to have a loose tooth like his big brothers.  It is so cute and funny to watch him think that a loose tooth, that he wants to pull out himself, equates with being almost grown up.

Min hasn't lost any teeth yet.  I so hope that that first is with us where she can put it in the tooth fairy pillow and wake up to a dollar.  It is so interesting to think of all the first we have missed with her.  First smile, first step, first laugh, first walk,  first word.  I can't wait for the firsts that we will get to enjoy with her.  First beach day, first barbecue, first camp out, first family night, first swim, first ice cream.  I don't even know how many firsts there will be.  I am sure I will be surprised by all of the little things that she has never experienced that we get to share with her as her 'firsts'.

Our paperwork is going to China this week.  Please keep us in your prayers that China agrees to expedite and let us bring her home.  It will break my heart if we get her home and she can't have surgery and the amount of 'firsts' she has is cut short.  I am sincerely hoping and praying that is not the case.  I can't wait to go meet my precious little first.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Faith Post:)

Our documents are all sent to our agency!!!  We didn't get our I800A state certified in time to be DTC(dossier to China) last week...not sure why the turn around time was so long, but we should be DTC this week which is FANTASTIC.  I am feeling very happy now that all of the paperwork is out of my hands and passed on to our wonderful agency coordinator and I don't have to keep track of it anymore:)

Twelve years ago today my fabulous husband asked me to marry him...I said yes, obviously.  We have been very blessed as a family and it has been a pretty great last twelve years.  There have been ups and downs and smooth times and bumpy ones.  We have been blessed with plenty and lack.  We have been blessed with health and sickness.  We have been blessed with immediate answers to our prayers and trials of our faith.  Most importantly we have been blessed.  I love to think of the tender mercies of the Lord.  The little things that happen in our life that let us know that God is mindful of us.  Once you start noticing these tender mercies you will be aware of more and more and realize that life is full of those moments where you are blessed.  I am extremely grateful for the tender mercies in my life.  I am grateful to have a wonderful husband who I love.  I am grateful for my healthy, fun children and that I get to stay home with them.  I am grateful for the gospel and for my testimony of Jesus Christ.  I am grateful for wonderful friends who impact our family in wonderful ways.

Some of the tender mercies that I have seen these past few months have been people who more than just do their job.  Our homestudy writer is a tender mercy to us.  She went above and beyond and wrote our homestudy quickly(in less than two weeks)  I don't know how long the process would have taken without her speedy work.  A wonderful pediatric cardiologist, who is on the opposite side of the country and most likely will never meet Min, has reviewed Min's medical file, consulted with us, and written a wonderful letter that has helped us get steps expedited.  For free.  Our amazing Immigrations officer who took this letter and got supervisor approval to expedite our I800A application, plus she arranged for us to be able to walk in for early fingerprinting.  A HUGE tender mercy was the amount of people that participated in our 10-10-10 fundraiser.  It made a world of difference in getting things expedited.

One of the biggest blessings in our adoption has been a woman named Ann.  She adopted her own little girl with a heart problem, her blog is linked at the side.  This woman has been a blessing to me in so many, many ways.  She advocated for Min, and introduced Min to us. She has given us pictures and even video.  She has gotten us updates.  She has helped us with Immigrations and doctor referrals.  She has been such a gift to us, when she has so much else to care and think about.

I know that God is mindful of us.  I know He hears our prayers.   I can't wait to see the rest of this journey unfold and am grateful for the many tender mercies I know we will experience along the way.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Still no certified I800A from Juneau.  Arrggg!  I finally did get a hold of someone and they said it was mailed...granted it took them a week to turn it around instead of the one day it should have, but it is on the way.  What that means is we won't be DTC this week:(  We will be next week though.  So I am going to trust that that will work out for our good.  Maybe it will end up on a more receptive person's desk?  I can hope.

I posted last month about a fundraiser offer that I had.  An adoptive mom wants to help other families by using her Thirty-one business to donate the proceeds to the adopting families.  These bags are SUPER CUTE and have great organizing features.  There is something for every one.  There are also GREAT hostess gifts.  So if you would like some catalogs for your own work party or to order, let me or her know.  The link on the side of the blog is good through the last week of April and all the proceeds go toward the adoption fees that are remaining.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Anna's Forever Families Grant!

On the side of this blog is a link to Anna's Forever Families Grant.  They are a non-profit organization that raises money to give to  families that are adopting children with special needs who could use some financial assistance to bring their child home and they also help offset medical costs for those who are likely to have high medical bills upon arrival home.  The story behind the grant is inspiring and they take their task to decide who to award grants to very seriously. 

We applied to receive a grant from this fund to help bring Min home.  We received our homestudy, which you have to have to apply, right before the cut off date to be considered so we were not sure if they would consider us.  But they did:)  We got news last night that they are giving $1000 to help with Min's adoption and they offered us $3000 toward medical expenses when we return home.  Wow!  We are so grateful for the grant...and this goes along way towards our insurance deductible which is truly a blessing not to have to deal with those expenses, which we are planning on, right when we get home.  What a load off our shoulders!   A HUGE THANK YOU TO ANNA'S FOREVER FAMILIES!!!

And guess what?  We talked to our agency coordinator yesterday and she said we should be DTC on Friday...this Friday!!!!!!!!!!!  I am so excited:)  Hopefully we'll find out soon if China will expedite the adoption process. Thank you for your prayers on our behalf, please keep them coming that China will expedite Min's adoption.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday Faith Post

I have decided that I should start doing Sunday 'Faith' posts.  I hope to have this blog made into a book at the end of this adoption since this is really the extent of my journaling about this journey:)

Saturday was a busy, crazy day.  We had a swim meet for two boys, major play rehearsal for everyone and one sick son.  Little sleep, scheduled family participation in the events or cheering and fun watching my sons excel and show progress and use their talents.  My husband and I were timers for the swim meet, there are three per lane, and I sat next to a friend of mine.  She asked how the adoption was going when I admitted to staring at pair of Chinese sisters who were swimmers, wondering if Min would look like them, or be interested in swimming.  I tried to be covert and not stalker-like, but yes, I did stare at those two beautiful girls.  This friend  and I talked about how you just have to trust that God is in control of timing and that He knows what He is doing.  And I do.  I don't think I could make it down this path with any sanity intact if I did not truly believe that God is in control of this adoption.  I believe that He prepared us and led us to Min.  He worked out so many little things to bring her to our attention and our hearts.  I am amazed by all of the seemingly small and inconsequential things that happened in Min's life but that have brought her into our hearts.  I do NOT believe that God makes orphans for families.  I don't think He says...'Oh, that nice family in Alaska is going to want to adopt a little girl  I need to make an orphan for them.'  No.  I absolutely don't believe that.  I believe that God makes families for orphans.  I believe that He cares for the widowed and fatherless and knows them by name.  I am convinced that He has Min in the palm of His hand and has cared and protected her and let her hang on with an extremely damaged heart, and that He prepared us to love her.

Faith, to me, is believing in something you can not see but is true.  I have faith in a lot of things.  I have not seen God, except through the actions of others, but I have faith that He is real.  I have not seen Jesus, except when I serve someone with love, but I have faith that He is real.  I do not understand why this world is the way it is, but I have faith that God will make it all right in the end.  I have faith that He is directing my path through life.  I have faith that He is mindful of me, and of my family. 

I heard a song by Josh Wilson yesterday and it really hit home.  The lyrics went like this:
Sometimes I just want to close my eyes
And act like everyone's alright when I know they're not
This world needs God but it's easier to stand and watch
I could say a prayer and just move on like nothing's wrong

But I refuse 'cause I don't want to live like I don't care
I don't want to say another empty prayer Oh, I refuse

To sit around and wait for someone else to do what God has called me to do myself
Oh, I could choose not to move but I refuse

I can hear the least of these crying out so desperately
And I know we are the hands and feet of You, oh God

So, if You say move it's time for me to follow through
And do what I was made to do show them who You are

My faith is in God, to make me the woman that I could be.  Not only is this adoption about a little girl halfway around the world, but it is about the change that is happening in my heart and in my family.  The awareness of others and the gratitude for the things and relationships that we have that is increasing in our lives.  The way that others have reached out to help us makes us want to reach out and help others.  This has become so much more than a journey to adopt Min. It is a journey of faith.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Yesterday was my birthday...suffice it to say I am over thirty:)  It was a nice day and I appreciate all of my friends and family who sent birthday wishes my way...I am looking forward to an awesome year! 

I was REALLY hoping to be DTC by my birthday and I'm not but it is going to be close.  I am back in stalking the mailman mode.  One more document to get out to send for authentication and we are done.  We got our docs back from our fantastic DC courier so our dossier is about done so it will be in China's hands.

We keep getting asked how long now...the short answer is????  We have no idea.  It will depend on if China expedites.  We hope they will but we just don't know.  It is our hope and prayer that they do.  Right now the average wait from where we are at is 4-6 months...we are really hoping that it is much less but we will have to see.  Please pray for us:)

We can't wait to have this major paper chase over with.