Sunday, June 12, 2011

On My Heart

These Sunday posts seem to have morphed into a recap of what is(or isn't) going on with the adoption coupled with a post on some aspect of faith simply because there hasn't really been enough going on to make many separate posts.  I am hoping that at some point that changes but for's where we are.  We are waiting for our I800 approval.  Basically that is the US Immigrations Department approving Min as an orphan to be brought into the US and receive citizenship.  We think it is being expedited and are hoping to hear that it is approved at the beginning of this week.  Then USCIS mails that approval to the National Visa Center who logs it in and cables(emails) it to the appropriate Consulate, in our case the US embassy in Guangzhou China.  Once this has been emailed to them, our agency representative will hand deliver all of the supporting documents that we have already sent to the Consulate so that they can approve everything to give Min a visa and citizenship.  The Consulate takes a standard two weeks.  Then the approval goes back to the Chinese Center for Adoption and they will issue an invitation to travel, then we can go.  A few more steps and we will be on our way to Min!  The nice thing is that these steps are short and defined so there are little milestones to hit quickly over the next few weeks.

We sent a photo book and a letter to Min, it might arrive this week.  It was interesting to put it together; we went out to the ocean and took pictures of our sons and our family by a waterfall that feeds into the ocean so that they would be current pictures.  It was fun to have them say "Hi Min" instead of "Cheese".  We are lucky to live in a beautiful part of Alaska, an island surrounded by the Pacific Ocean which is dotted by hundreds of mountainous islands.  It is fun to drive a few minutes and be at the water.  While we were enjoying the  day together, I couldn't help but wonder if Min will enjoy being out near the water as well.  I wonder what she will think when she sees all of that water, or the mountains.  I've been thinking of all of the firsts she is going to have with our family.  We built a fire and had s'mores after the pictures and let the boys work on some of their scouting skills, will Min want to have her own fire steel?  Will she want to flip over rocks looking for small sea creatures and delight in finding an eel or small crab or buried clam?  Will she enjoying finding starfish or collecting shells or sea glass?  Then I think about her health.
This adoption has gone quickly since we started from scratch and found Min's file before we had even signed on with an agency. I'll be honest, we really debated long and hard about whether it was fair or right of us to lock her file when she has a serious heart issue and we would have to do the entire paperchase.  Surely a family who was further down the adoption path would be able to bring her home sooner.  Since we chose her it was a concern that we were potentially making her wait in an orphanage for longer than necessary simply because we wanted her in our family even though we were not paper ready.  Well, we prayed a lot...and I felt peace.  And at least from the information we had we were the only family reviewing her file.  And I have done everything I could to get the paperwork and everything else done as fast I could.  I feel that I owe that to her.  My prayers of late have been begging God to bless her heart.  From the start of this process we have prayed for her to be able to hang in there and for her heart and especially her lungs not to be damaged additionally.  Now, as we are nearing the homestretch of this adoption, I am starting to get the doctors appointments lined up for Min, it is a little staggering to know that there is simply so much we do not know about her health.  It is a little humbling  to know that we don't have control over so much of this process and that we are at the mercy of someone else's time frame.

A friend was asking me about how the rest of the family is doing with the adoption and if we were getting nervous.  I can honestly say that this adoption has changed our family.  It has made us a better family.  It has made us more aware of the blessings and comforts we enjoy.  It has made us more thankful for each other.  It has made us more aware of the hundreds of millions of orphans around the world who lack the things we sometimes take for granted.  It has made us much more aware of the power of prayer.  It has solidified our belief that God not only cares for us, but that HE knows us.  He loves us.  He hears and answers our prayers.  I have felt His peace every singe time that I have started to worry or doubt or question anything about the way this adoption was going to work out, financially, attachment wise, health wise, and in all the little details that I don't know.  I know that we are Min's family.  I truly don't believe that God makes bad things happen, but He does allow them to.  And He can make great things out of bad things.  I can't wait to see the great thing He makes with Min in our family because I know that He has a plan for us.

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