Friday, March 18, 2016

Darling Video of Little M Singing

Video of Little M Singing in Mandarin

**Please be aware that this video requires a password to protect privacy.  If you would like to view this video contact me via Email, Facebook or Instagram to request the password to view the video.  

I have wanted to share a video with family and friends for quite awhile but I needed to find a way that I could share it without it being available for anyone to view, I found Vimeo and realized that I could upload the video and require a password to view it.  I am thrilled to be able to share this with all of you who are following our adoption.

Small Adoption Update

Our dossier was sent to China last Friday and we are anticipating our Log in Date some time next week.  I thought it might be helpful to outline the average timeline for you so you can understand where we are and what we still have to do before traveling to China to pick up Little M.

Log in Date - This just means that our dossier has been logged in to the CCCWA 7-10 days
Translation - All of the documents in our dossier including a 36 page Home study, birth certificates, marriage licenses, background checks etc..... all have to be translated which is a lot to translate.  3-4 Weeks
Review - Once the documents have been translated they will then review all of our information and ensure that everything is in order.  2-3 weeks
LSC - Letter Seeking Confirmation, this means that our Match with Little M has been approved and our Dossier has also been approved.  

Total Time - 2-3 Months

I-800a - This is the approval for Little M to come into the U.S. 1 month
Article 5 - All immigration papers, documents and letters are sent to the Chinese Consulate to ensure all documents are in order.
Immigrant Visa for Little M

From today until our Travel Date -  Approx. Travel date End of August.

Sometimes it feels like we are nearing the end of the process, but in reality we still have a lot of waiting to do. The translation of our Dossier alone will take a month, so even though we are getting so very close there is a lot of waiting and processing of documents to be done before we receive our approval to travel.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

A plea for understanding

My Plea for Understanding

Many of you have been very supportive of our adoption journey and we are so grateful for all of the love and support we have received.  Unfortunately our adoption journey has also triggered negativity, judgement, gossip and vocal opinions of opposition and it is to these that I make a plea for understanding.

Adoption is a deeply personal, and in my experience, a deeply spiritual journey.  As with all decisions in life, it is not something that another person can decide for you.  Another person cannot decide how, when, where or whom you adopt, plain and simple.  I am quite shocked that others seem to believe that their opinions should direct how, what, where, when and in some cases whom we should adopt.  This is as ridiculous as believing that you should tell a couple IF they should have children,  When they should have children, or how many children they should have.....  No individual has the authority to receive revelation or guidance for anyone else.

You Know Where your Child is....

I posted this picture because as I was scrolling through the waiting children, this precious little girl with her beautiful smile caught my eye and in her smile I saw something so familiar that I could not forget her face.  It was as though this little face had been written in my heart and when I saw her I knew that she was my child.

I spoke with a woman about adoption when we were just beginning this journey and I was blown away by the wise advise she shared.  She said, ¨Do NOT choose how you adopt because of finances, a child that is referred to you or any other outside source, you will KNOW if it is to be your child and you must follow that inspiration.¨   

When she and her husband felt guided to adoption, they ended up spending HALF HIS YEARLY SALARY on the adoption!!!  The adoption fees were paid in the form of LOANS!  I am sure that anyone looking at this situation would have severely judged and criticized them.  I have heard the comment often...

If you can´t afford it.....don´t do it!   

However, the beauty in this is that God is in charge and I know with every fiber of my being that HE provides when He calls us to do something!  God doesn´t call only those who can afford it, where is the faith in that?    In fact, I would be willing to submit to you that God rarely calls those who can afford it.  We all have a path to take in life and God does not determine our path based on how much money we make.  If we do as He asks, He will provide a way.  He is not bound by finances or any other limitation of our world and if we truly profess to have faith in Him, we should not judge those who are striving to follow His path for them. 

The amazing part of this story is that this couple was able to pay off the adoption loan in 4 years!!!  When you have a loan that is half your yearly income it is not your own efforts that allow you to pay it off in 4 years. God provides for those whom He calls.  We cannot judge the decisions of others, it is not for us to decide.

As I prayed and pondered on all that we had discussed that night I came to really understand how deeply spiritual adoption is.   

I will give you an example:  I am sure you have heard stories of individuals who had been adopted and they say that they had a wonderful adoptive family, they had wonderful parents and a good childhood......but they never felt that they ´fit.´  They felt lost, they can´t quite explain it but something felt off.  

When any couple feels guided to adoption, I know in my heart God has a child out there that is to be part of their family.  The problem happens when the couple, so anxious to adopt, forget to ask, ¨Is this really our child?" and if the answer is NO, no matter how hard it is to let the opportunity pass by, we must trust God.    I am not trying to point fingers or blame, it simply is what it is...there may be times when you have to turn down a birth mom, a referral from a foreign government, or even not move forward with the adoption of the children you have been fostering because you know in your heart that God has a family for them......but it is not yours.  

Going through this process I can tell you that if you let God guide you, you will have the most powerful, amazing experience in finding that child that is absolutely meant to be in your family.  

The only way I know how to describe it is this: 

 If you were to walk into a room full of you scan the room your eyes would immediately stop when you see your child.  You KNOW in your heart that is your child, you recognize them immediately amongst a room full of strangers.  Adoption is no different, it doesn´t matter whether a birth mom chooses you, a foreign government gives you a referral, you select a waiting child, a foster child.....whatever your adoptive situation may be, you know, you know in your soul that THIS is YOUR child!  

We did not take this decision lightly

I had the deeply personal and spiritual experience of knowing deep in my heart and soul that we were supposed to adopt a child, I knew there was a child God had prepared us for.   Dave and I both moved forward prayerfully, we started on a journey trying to find the path that God had prepared for us to find this child.  

We started out looking into Foster to Adopt - This decision unfortunately was not made based on an ¨answer to a prayer¨ it was actually based solely on finances, which as I have come to learn should NEVER be a deciding factor.  I am so grateful though that as we pursued this avenue that we did so prayerfully.  We had our first home visit and even went to the first class for foster parents.

As Dave and I walked out of our first class for foster parents and got into the car I turned to him and asked, What did you think?  I was so relieved when he expressed EXACTLY what I felt.  We both knew with 100% certainty that this was NOT the avenue that we were to take.  (Can I underline that ¨NOT¨ like 5,000 times so you do not mistake what I am saying)   It was like God was saying, ¨This is not where your child is.¨

I will not go into all the details of how we both knew this, but please, please understand that as prayerfully as we approached this first avenue we looked into we both knew 100% that it was NOT right!!!!  I do not know why so many continue to try to direct our path for themselves, to ask us why we chose what we did as if they are judging our decision and somehow they feel that they know better than God.  I am sorry to tell you but you do not.

We then moved forward looking into LDS Family Services - This was again, a decision made on finances because LDS family services based the adoption fees on your personal income.  I may say that deciding based on finances is not what should be done, but I can say that by doing this in the beginning my faith was strengthened and so I am thankful for the lesson.

 As we continued to pray about this it wasn´t some Ah Ha was really just a simple knowing that this was not the avenue either.  We both were in agreement.  I must say my heart sank a little because at this time in our lives finances were more than tight and as the affordable options quickly became a dead end I started to question.....I knew what God wanted me to do...the question was HOW?

As we continued to ponder, pray and question what God wanted for us answers were at times elusive.  At that time I must admit I was impatient and did not understand, we are only getting older....

But God knew all along, He knew what He  had in store for us.....and his answer was.....WAIT 

I have never claimed to be patient, but alas, God never intended to leave me as I am.  As those winds of trial whirl around me, my patience is tried, it seems as though my prayers don´t make it beyond the ceiling above those moments of struggle each step is illuminated before me and I continue to cautiously step into each illuminated footstep, waiting upon the Lord.

I wish I could say that the time frame from the day I knew in my heart that God was calling us to adopt a child to the time in which we began our adoption was short.....but it was was THREE YEARS!  In the grand scheme of life, not significantly long, but in the middle of the winds of trial it seems an eternity.

I never lost sight of what God had called me to do.....

In the midst of confusion and doubt, deep in my heart I knew, I knew what God had called me to do.  I continued to press forward, not knowing what God´s plan would be, but knowing that somehow, in some way, He would show me.   I wish I could shout from the rooftop how God opened doors, how he led me to know that the time was NOW!  However, it is such a deeply personal and spiritual journey that I do not want to share it in such a public forum.  

I want you to know, that there was no doubt, no question in my mind, nor in Dave´s mind that now was the time.  We both talked at length, for hours at night in our room, we prayed, we fasted, and we began to move forward in faith that God would show us the way and Oh how He did!  

Dave´s hesitation was finances....he knew that we were to adopt, but finances seemed to be an insurmountable obstacle.  What a miracle, what an awe inspiring miracle that happened....doors opened to provide, not all, but enough to help Dave take that next step in faith.    I will hold this experience dear to my heart all the days of my life!  If you could peer into my life and see all the absolute miracles of  God that led us to move forward, to select the adoption agency we used, to finding our little girl amongst a list of waiting children.....every moment, every step of this process has been so divinely inspired and so intensely spiritual and dear to my heart.

I cannot express to you how heart wrenching it is to have well meaning, however misguided, individuals question an adoption process that has been so dear and precious to our hearts, as we have seen the hand of God in every step of this process.  

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Exciting News........

Dave contacted the adoption agency on Thursday asking if our documents had come back yet.  We anxiously awaited any news....we had been praying all week that our documents would come back this week and that they would be sent to China.

We waited all day Friday and as we were just about to leave to go out to dinner my phone rang and I immediately recognized that it was the adoption agency.  A million thoughts raced through my mind, I wondered if our documents were back or maybe they weren´t yet...... I picked up the phone with a prayer in my heart that it would be good news....

Documents Sent to China 3/11/16

As I picked up the phone anxious to hear the news I was so thrilled I could hardly contain my excitement when I heard her say......¨Your documents are back and are being entered into the China system this afternoon.  They should receive them on Tuesday next week!!!

My first thought was Praise God!  I am so grateful that our prayers were heard and our documents are finally sent to China!    Dave and I were both on cloud nine as we left for our date night Friday night.  We were smiling ear to ear and felt a huge sense of relief that everything was finally sent to China.

We should receive our Log in Date about a week after our documents are received so about a week from March 15th.

It is generally 4 1/2 to 5 months from date to China to travel so we still have quite a bit of time to wait but we celebrate each step closer.

More wonderful News....

Little M is the one sitting down in the black & white shirt

This morning we woke up still thrilled with the news that our documents are finally on the way to China and after a long morning of cleaning, doing a Pilates workout, and spending an hour studying Mandarin I open up Facebook and see that Little M has been placed in an English Immersion program!  How exciting!  It will make it so much easier for her to transition even knowing a little English before we bring her home!

We are studying Mandarin and we are doing very well.  I know how to ask are you hungry, are you thirsty, do you want to go to the park.....we are learning a lot trying to ease her transition and now that she will also be learning English I think it will really make it a little easier.  We are so excited!

Friday, March 4, 2016

And....We Wait...............

And We Wait..........

Updated Picture:  Little M in the background learning to do some cooking.....

Many of you have asked where we are in the adoption process now and how soon we will be traveling to China.  Well.......we have hit a delay!

When we sent our documents to the Chinese consulate we were unaware that we were missing a required document.  When we were made aware of it we printed it, signed it and sent it back overnight.  This was just over two weeks ago.  When you send documents to the consulate you overnight them to a courier, the courier then hand delivers them the day they are received and then picks then up at the consulate the next day and overnights them back.

We figured this would be a minor setback.....however, for some reason it has turned out to be a lengthy setback and we are not exactly sure why.  The documents were sent over two weeks ago and should have been authenticated and returned by now.

Now before you go accusing us of being just another crazy adoptive couple so frustrated by the adoption process that we become entirely over-dramatic at every delay.........I must make you aware that we have become professional International Adoption Blog Stalkers ;-) 

Well, me not so much but Dave spends his free time reading every blog he can find trying to figure out a reasonable time frame for everything from our date to China to our travel date.  In all his blog stalking he has never seen anyone take this long from I-800 approval to date to China.   This past two weeks has been exceptionally difficult and in the last few days both of us have had this fear that something is wrong.
Did it get lost?  Overlooked?  Something else?

It seems as though it is taking much longer than it should take but we aren´t sure why.  We are trying to remain patient but if it is not back by Wednesday of next week there must be something wrong.  We are praying to have our date to China next week.

What is the ¨Date to China¨?

I know it sounds like this means our date to travel to China, and you have NO idea how much I wish that were the case, but it is not.  Date to China simply means the date that your Dossier is sent to China.  We have been waiting for this for the last month or so........Unfortunately the document that was missed has led to a 3 week delay so far, so we are anxiously awaiting, hoping and praying that our Dossier will be sent to China next week!

I hate to admit but it is hard for me to be patient.  There were many, many years that I waited with the hope in my heart that I would be able to have another child and after NINE long, painful years of waiting and then realizing it was never to be......waiting is excruciatingly painful at this point in my life.  If you have never been through such an ordeal then please refrain from commenting as it probably will just end up in more hurt than help.  

I am truly grateful for the opportunity to adopt and to add another sweet child to our family, however, the long, arduous process has proven to be enough to overwhelm my already raw emotions.  When Dave and I talked about the delay last night, I held back tears and today as I was cleaning, home by myself, I continued to hold back tears.  Somehow it seems as if there is this fear in my heart that this promise of adding to our family will somehow be ripped away too.  I know it seems silly, but when you have been through what I have been through it is so easy to fear that somehow every ounce of the Universe is working against you.   I just pray in my heart that the documents will come back next week and everything will start moving forward again....