I’ve been writing this post in my head for weeks. We’ve been sitting on a secret. One I was hoping to share with y’all much sooner than today, but had to wait. And wait, and wait. I am so thankful to be able to share some things with you today! Yes things- plural! During the time we’ve been waiting, many wonderful things have been happening, and so, in addition to the big news, I also have lots of mini updates. (I guess it’s weird to call them updates since you’re hearing about this for the first time now, as you read, but just go with it!)
Back in December, we requested to see the files of a few kids on our adoption agencies waiting child list. There were two little boys that I was especially curious about. The next day, I waited and waited to get a response, and got nothing. The following day, about an hour before I was logging off of work and heading home, the files came over. I looked them over briefly and headed out to start the long ride back home. I was especially hopeful and nervous. More so than the other times we’ve looked over files. It was a busy night for us, and I had a Christmas dinner with my life group to attend. Before leaving the house to join those ladies, I asked Chris to look over the files while I was gone. Then, I went and enjoyed the potluck with my friends.
Instead of rushing through the dinner to get home, like part of me wanted to, I relaxed and enjoyed the fellowship of my girlfriends. I told them that I was anxious and excited about these files, and they were hopeful, as well. They told me they’d be praying for our family as we wished each other Merry Christmas and parted ways. I got home, and Chris and I chatted about my dinner and about things Austin did during the evening. I finally asked Chris if he had a chance to review the files, and he had, but wanted to go over them again with me. So we sat down and reviewed them. We talked a lot. Did lots of online searches over medical terms and things of that sort. And we prayed. We prayed hard. That night we emailed our case worker and asked her to put the file of a little boy on hold. Putting a file on hold is similar to checking out a library book. While you have the file, nobody else can move forward with trying to adopt that child. You have 7 days to talk to doctors, pray, do research, and figure out whatever you can before making a decision. Our hold was going to coincide with Christmas, so we were given an extended hold period.
But we knew… We knew we wanted to move forward with him. We did send his file to a doctor friend of ours, and he responded quickly, and also had another doctor review it, too. We prayed and researched, prayed and researched…. And didn’t take the full 7 days to decide. We wanted to bring this boy home. We just knew he was our son! Because of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, and other documents we had to gather, our Letter of Intent (LOI) wasn’t officially submitted until January 7th. In the meantime, we have been completing education, gathering documents, working toward completing our home study, and trying to get a head start on our dossier.
During this time of waiting, we were praying and praying, and praying some more! But, I was also joining groups on Facebook and other internet forums, and making connections. It’s kind of crazy how many people the Lord has brought into our lives that are able to lift us up during this hard time. We met an American woman who lives in the city where our hopeful-son lives. She volunteers at his orphanage! How crazy is that? When I was given her name and reached out to her, she responded that she knew exactly who he was and loves him dearly! That made this momma very happy! She has been able to tell us about her interactions with him, and about how he is spoiled by his nannies. She says he’s a charmer! She will speak English to him, now that she knows an English speaking family is adopting him, so that is wonderful! She will also talk to him about our family and our pictures (that we plan to send the form of a Photobook in a care package), and will give us updates and measurements and the like, when she can!
I also connected with a Lady on Facebook who was leaving to pick up her child from the same orphanage in mid January. She was able to find him and send me a couple of photos of him. It was a wonderful blessing and surprise, and came just when I was starting to feel lost in this wait. It was enough to tide me over for a few days. Another lady on Facebook that had adopted from the same orphanage last year told me that she had met our little guy, and that he was wonderful. She said our kids are in a Half the Sky program, which was music to my ears! The Half the Sky Foundation teaches nannies and caregivers how to nurture children so that they can better form bonds, attachments, and relationships. They are also able to work on their development since they are forming relationships based on lots of interaction with the kids. They have school programs for the older children, too. I was so happy to hear that they were involved in the orphanage where our hopeful-son lives.
So we’ve had lots and lots and lots of good news to tide us over until today, when we finally got our Preliminary Approval (PA) to adopt this little boy from China! It’s been a longer wait than we anticipated, and it was hard. We know there’s lots more waiting in our future, but hopefully the next months will go as smoothly as possible. We will just be loving our second-son from far away, and focusing on the little one we have with us now. It won’t be too long before this family of three is a family of four, so we will be making memories and enjoying the time that we have just the three of us. The ball is really rolling now! We have a face and an approval to keep us moving forward! We would greatly appreciate your continued prayers.
This post is already too long, but I have so much I want to share. You’ll be seeing several posts from me in the coming days. I’ll be sharing what I’ve been writing, but unable to post, as well as giving updates on the process and next steps. We are so excited for what’s in store and are glad to have you with us on this journey!