Q & A

Just to help provide some insight into the adoption process and to foster understanding before my little girl’s ears are here and listening. I am learning that when you are adopting people have lots of questions for you. That’s not a bad thing! In fact many times it’s a wonderful thing because perhaps someone else may then see that it is very possible once they are comforted with some facts about it and pursue a child of their own. I know my husband and I did this. I think we have asked questions of our uncle and aunt for nearly 10 years trying to figure out what we needed to do and when we could do it, etc. Then we held that dream until God gave us permission and actual command to go get her. I hope by answering questions for others I too can provide that comforting insight to another family hoping to have a child to love. Sometimes though questions can get sticky and sometimes don’t always come from a genuine desire to learn. We have been reading and reading, watching videos, training seminars, and getting professional advice on how to handle those questions, especially when little impressionable ears are listening in. So, to answer some common questions for our friends and family before she is with us here you go.

The million dollar question:
Often one thing that keeps people from pursuing adoption of a child internationally is the costs that are associated with it. Obviously this is a sensitive topic in itself because it is financial and our culture squelches that discussion topic anyway. If you want to learn more about answers to this question you can look up the criteria to adopt from the location you are considering and you can easily find out what is needed. And yes it is expensive. So is giving birth and so is infertility treatments. One thing I want to make clear is you do NOT pay for a child. Children are not commodities and yes it is offensive if you suggest that, just don’t. Costs involved with adoption include agency fees, orphanage donation fees for caring for our child, travel costs, and legal fees associated with the different organizations for paper work. I read an article on an adoption site from another mom who made such a perfect comparison that I want to share with you all. She said that yes, there is a financial aspect to adoption just like there is one for giving birth. Hello- do you think that hospital stay was free? the pediatrician costs? the obstetrician appointments? She indicates as adoptive parents we pay for a social worker and nonprofit adoption agency to help bring our children into the world instead of hospitals and physicians. There just isn’t health insurance to cover it all. Take that insurance aspect out and the costs would be very similar. She goes on to discuss paying for food, clothing, medical care for the first 22 months of your child’s life. Those things are expensive. I am paying the orphanage for having done all of that for us for our child. Furthermore there were filing fees for social security, the birth certificate and more with the birth of my other four. I am paying government filing fees as well just different ones. The bottom line is children are expensive regardless of how they come to be yours, whether they grew in your uterus or your heart. I don’t mind discussing the various fees but many you can find out yourself by just googling adoption agency fees and the country you have in mind. Perhaps avoid this question if I have my sweet angel with me though and she will not be old enough to understand what you are asking, especially if it comes out wrong.

Another common one is why did we choose to adopt internationally. I will not go into detail here to answer that one. I love many of you dearly but this is a personal question and if you know us well we will engage in that discussion because it is a beautiful and clearly God directed answer. However, what we are finding is this question comes not so much from genuine wanting to learn or from a desire to perhaps adopt yourself. Actually, this question may indicate some personal prejudice or judgement of our decision. Perhaps avoid this question all together and use some sensitivity. Simply put our daughter is in China so we are going to get her. Thanks.

Many other questions that are common for adoptive parents include asking if our kids are really ours or if they are really siblings. This blog is not intended for strangers so those are not relevant to this post. The answer of course to those are easy anyway. YES. ;) Additionally, there is the racial and cultural comments. Again, I would hope our family and friends would not show such ignorance. If you do, be prepared to no longer be our friends and family haha! For strangers, we will deal with them at the time. I believe everyone answers to these moments when they get to the pearly gates ;)

One more thing while I am thinking about it. When she is here and you find yourself introducing us or talking about our family to others. Please do not refer to our sweet baby girl as our “adopted daughter” or an “orphan” or anything other than OUR DAUGHTER. She is simply our baby girl just like Taylor and Lilly. She doesn’t need another title to indicate she is different somehow. Would you introduce one of your children as the vaginally birthed Sally and cesarian delivered Sammy? No? Why? Well of course, it sounds a bit ridiculous to define someone by how they came into your family. If she hears this what will she think? Will she pick up on that fact you gave her a conditioning title before saying her name in the list of family members? Will that make her feel less than? Will it hurt her little feelings and make her feel disconnected? of course she is adopted! We all know that! You don’t need to define her as such. It is a fact about how she came to be ours simple as that. Trust me we will have challenges enough from strangers pointing out the obvious differences between our family members. We are prepared for that as much as we can be and are smart enough to realize it will happen at some point. It would be great if our family and friends would do the opposite and focus on the love we share that IS the common string that connects families instead of the insignificant differences.

Thanks for supporting us, loving us, and praying for us. We are getting extremely close to travel and are desperately trying to prepare fully for her to be here and ease the transition as much as possible. We are hoping these questions help each person in our support network understand and support her.

Oh so close!

We are getting ever so close to travel! Today our article 5 was picked up. The significance you ask? Well once we had the full approval of the US immigration and had our I800 approved and NVC letter cabled over to the US Consulate in China we had to wait for our agency to drop off the article 5 (part of the Hague Treaty for adoptions) and then picked back up once ready. Typically this is a 2 week process. However, MeiLin is a medical expedite adoption so we prayed they would grant her a quick approval! I sent out the prayer request to our immediate family members who have been my intimate prayer warriors when I hit my knees and need help. That request went out yesterday afternoon and at 4:54 this morning I had an email that said it was approved and already picked up by our agency rep! I didn’t see the email though in my busy day until I got smacked in the face with a ladybug (literally) and knowing that was a symbol of good luck and closeness in our adoption I checked the email!

This season has been such a whirlwind of emotions for our family and honestly, very stressful, yet it has also been full of hope and faith. Adam’s grandfather passed away from his battle with cancer in the early hours of this past Saturday. Our hearts have been on the floor and bleeding and then God has given us rebirth and renewed hope for joy again in milestones to our daughter. The Friday prior to his passing we received our notification that the visa letter was cabled over from the US to the consulate there. Every time we are devastated HE picks us up. We have felt the relationships so interconnected. Our journey to her and feeling of God giving us permission to pursue our dream of another little one through adoption came the same night we traveled to visit Papa in the hospital at his first biopsy. It was that night we distinctly felt God with us in the car ride home and felt a joy and peace take over. We knew we had a daughter to pursue. Even though our race to her did not get her here in time to meet him in person we know he loved her and will always have a bond that supersedes our human touch. Our race to her is going to result in getting her home safe and in the best possible health we could ensure. This little tiny blessed orphan will no longer be identified as a “foundling”! She will forever more be a granddaughter of Papa and a precious child of ours.

Tonight we have held our flights tentative until the final travel approval comes and have booked our hotel stay. We know what our itinerary probably will look like but nothing is set in stone yet. It is really happening. I don’t know how though looking back on everything. It has been so very stressful, so busy, so complicated, so detailed, so heart wrenching, and SO WORTH IT!!! I sat in the floor tonight rolling her little outfits in air tight bags for easy packing in a carry on and jumping around to appointments. It becomes very real to look at her tiny pink onsie and know soon we will have her sweet little body filling it out.

I will tell you we are under a great deal of stress right now. We have never flown and I think we have both read everything flight related we can to try to understand what in the world we can and cannot do. Once we do finally get the travel approval we have a ton to do! We have to finish the house I have torn apart in my nesting storm. We still have to get a bunch of different medications to take with us. We have to actually pack OUR clothes and things. I have to type out daily schedules for 14 days for four beautiful babies I am leaving at home that each seem to have a ton of events during the expected time frame. I have to assign adults to be responsible for said children for all of those necessary events. I need to prepare meals for those same children to eat while I am gone since this may turn into serious birth control for my sister who is caring for them most of the time if I don’t try to do something to ease the complication. I still need to take the four kiddos here to get their flu shots because again- tragic if that happens while mommy is on the other side of the world! I need to contact all the teachers, coaches, my collaboration team members from work related events, family, and oh so many more to let them know of our absence and to warn them if my kiddos look a mess or are missing homework, late to practice, or missing lunch money to speak kindly, be patient, and pray for them because their parents are on the other side of the world and they are probably worried, apprehensive, and anxious for us to come home.

While we have these stressors, we are faithful and hopeful. We know somehow just like every other moment in the journey when it all seemed impossible, it will all be okay and in the end we will hold our little girl finally safe in our arms. God has us all so wrapped up in his arms and we have felt him, seen his work, and been given his blessings and signs so clearly in our adoption of MeiLin that we have zero doubt he will carry us through this last step to make her ours.

Finally, as I finished packing her bag, I placed a tiny little pink elephant that I bought her the week we submitted our letter of intent in early July. Adam and the kids made fun of me because they said it looked more like a pig than an elephant because it had a curly tail. As I placed it in the bag I noticed it still had the tags and as I went to pull them off I took the time to read them. The brand was called Bunnies by the Bay. Inside it said proud supporters of Half the Sky and committed to supporting the needs of orphans in China…. Thank you God. I love how you remind your poor weak daughter over and over of your love and presence.

Counting my blessings tonight and choosing faith,hope,and love.

Blessings,
Heidi

Coming Soon! The big LOA today!

Coming soon to our town is this little girl!

meilin alone at the toddler gate in orphanage

Her lonely little face will be lonely no more very soon. This picture along with several others was shared with us a couple weeks ago from another sweet momma who was my angel that day. I can’t help but look into those sweet little eyes and just feel her soul begging us to come hold her. We have another photo that we will not share for privacy but it broke our hearts. When we first got the photo we didn’t know it would have her in it. As soon as the image uploaded on my computer I saw one tiny little girl on the end of the row of children waiting lined up at the gate with only her arms stretched up as far as they could begging to be held. I couldn’t believe it, she was our little girl. She needs her mommy and daddy to get her fast. We want her to crave that love from someone but know if she doesn’t get it, eventually little ones give up and stop striving for it. We are ready to run to her and scoop up that little princess and hold her until she is 25!

It has been a very emotional and busy past few weeks in our family but today we were blessed with some amazing news. In the midst of illness,travel,big decisions, and heartbreak we received notice that we had our letter seeking confirmation or letter of approval as some call it (LSC or LOA) showing up in computer system! This was the last big wait for us and a big last hurdle. From here we still have lots of paperwork with various government agencies both here and there but the average from now to travel for most in our situation is just 4 weeks! We can barely believe it! I have been praying for another little girl waiting and her family that are facing a scary situation and became worried about MeiLin. I emailed our agency yesterday and there was no news. Today…. BLESSED! This came WAY before what is typical timelines. God answers prayers without a doubt and I have been on my knees many times in this process and not once has he left me to cry on my own.

Thank you God for the amazing way you comfort us and give us exactly what we need when we need it. My trust and faith in you is forever.

Little MeiLin we are coming soon for you! Everyone here cannot wait to love you for eternity!

To the rest of the world, get ready because I am going to look like a mess the next few weeks. We still have LOTS to do and prepare to make her transition home easy and our travel happen.

Keep us in your prayers and pray that our baby girl stays healthy and well while she waits for us.

Blessings!
Heidi

We got LID!!!!!!!!

Sweet MeiLin,
Baby girl we are trying so very hard to get to you fast. We pray for you day and night. We pray you are well taken care of, that God softens the hearts of those that come in contact with our paper work, and that he quickly brings you to us. We also have family and friends everywhere praying for you too! Today once again we found out how prayers work. God must have some really great plans for you sweet girl because today we got an email that read:

“……..Your prayers must be working. Your dossier is logged in and already in China! (we couldn’t believe it either!)…..”

For everyone reading this we were DTC Friday, getting a log in date (LID) is usually a minimum of a week and around two weeks most of the time. We just got it in a weekend!

There is still plenty of steps to happen yet but we celebrate milestones to our baby. This girl is no longer an orphan. She is a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, a niece, and cousin, and more than anything this girl is loved! Soon, her world will change and she will feel every bit of this love for herself.

walking with tree in background

Three Little Letters for One Little Lady

Folks in the world of international adoption some of the most amazing uplifting days happen when your agency tells you that you have three letters. For us today was one of them. We are officially DTC!!!!!!!

DTC means our dossier (the paper version of every aspect of our entire life documenting each little moment in this process thus far and all the details of our family since the beginning of our time on Earth including medical exams, financial documents, letters, a home study including our life stories, photos of our family and our home, criminal clearances, immigration services approval, and sooo much more is ALL approved, done, and in the air to CHINA!!!!!!!

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered

This photo was taken by Adam at a random post office he mailed it all from RIGHT after he picked it up from the China Embassy! This photo took him an enormous amount of work. You see, last week when we received our approval from US Homeland Security we thought we could be DTC really quick. Then we found out that using the system from our agency to complete all the state seals and Chinese authentications was actually going to take at least another month if we had them do it. There was a huge moment of disappointment, crushed hearts, and tears. THEN we went to action. We only get knocked down for a little while before we get up swinging and swinging we did. We called everyone, emailed everyone, and wrote everyone learning how to do it ourselves. We put a POA in place. Remember our POAs? Plan of Action. Hawkins family necessity. The plan was for Adam to run to Richmond (our state capitol), get yet another marriage certificate because the first was rejected, then run to the Secretary of State’s office and get the marriage certificate and approval from US Homeland Security sealed by the state. Following that he needed to drive straight to DC to the US State Department to get all the documents authenticated by the US then run over to the Chinese Embassy to get all the documents authenticated there. It all had to happen on this specific day because I was traveling out of town and he had to work. HOWEVER, in order to get the US State Department seals you have to get an appointment and they only give an appointment if you are traveling within 48 hours OR if it is a life or death situation. Here’s where things got real. You see, this is a life or death situation for our daughter. She must come home and we needed the appointment the next day.

Adam spoke with a not so nice person who would not give him an appointment. He told her it was life or death and she said she needed a letter from China saying so but agreed to let him email what we had (several letters from US physicians, specialists, and a national agency on her condition.) She finished with telling him the next available appointment was two weeks away. Again, tears, frustration, and get up swinging! I texted my prayer worriers and told them to get on their knees! Prayers work! We sent the letters via email and another containing our phone numbers because I left that part off. I then had to send another email with MY phone number because Adam was so tired I was afraid he would miss the call. Not seconds after I emailed my number, my cell rang. It was someone at the US State Department and she was LOVELY! She said she had received the medical documents and agreed to give us an appointment the next day!! Guess what her name was??….. Ms. Hawkins!!

Thank you GOD!

Game on again. I am telling you now this is a roller coaster of a lifetime. The next morning Adam left with his father driving him at 3:30am and me texting the prayer worriers again. He got the marriage certificate without delay then headed to the Secretary of State’s office. They nearly rejected one form but let the minor detail go and they all received their state seal!

Image 2

Off to Washington DC he went then! Prayer worriers were again updated and called to action. Through traffic and getting lost a bit, he made it to the correct office eventually for his appointment at the US State Department and all the documents received their authentications that they were all correct and signed by true officials in our country!

US State seal

Now his last stop was at the Chinese Embassy but it turns out the authentications really happen at a different office location for them. When he finally found it he only had 20 minutes before they closed. Again, all the prayer worriers were notified we need this big time! He walked in, took a number, and waited. Once he was called up the gentleman pointed out two problems. We were missing copies of the other seals (we already had copies of everything else for them along with the originals) and we had an outdated translation form. He handed him a new form and sent him off. Adam sent me a message to tell everyone to pray. So I did. He then ran to ask around for a copy location and was told by the security guard to go upstairs. There he found a worker who helped him copy everything while he completed the new form and put it all back together. He then ran back downstairs, went back in the line, got another number and waited. At that point it was 3 minutes to closing. They called him up at the last minute. They took his documents and gave him a return date. The next gentleman in line was turned away.

The next few days we prayed they would not reject anything. It had taken us months to get each of those documents completed we just couldn’t think of losing more time from our daughter. Then the day came to pick them up and learn of their fate. Prayer worriers once again were called to action and our God delivered!

Image 1

They were approved!!!! Every document received the Chinese Authentication!!

That was the last step in our dossier journey. Adam sent it overnight to our agency and they shipped it today off to China. Our dossier will be logged in (LID: log in date) translated (OOT: out of translation) and reviewed by the authorities that protect the little ones waiting for forever families making sure we are a suitable family after all for our little princess. Once the final review occurs we will receive a letter of approval (LOA) which will be followed shortly by travel approval. There are some steps in between we will need to do once we get LOA but no need to bother you with those right now. Let’s just celebrate and praise GOD we are DTC!!!

We also received an update today on our little pumpkin! We learned she drinks from a cup, likes to play with other children, is attached to the nannies in her area, and she falls asleep alone and “naturally.” We also gained some insight into her medical state, received measurements of her size, and perhaps most moving…we learned where she was found.

An emotionally full day for us around here but getting closer to our baby girl gives up so much hope and excitement to see what God has planned for her. We cannot wait to bring her home where she is going to be so loved by so many of you. It moves our hearts to have you with us on this journey of finding our daughter and getting her home. We could not have done without many of you. Saying thank you is not nearly adequate to express our gratitude.

Please continue to life her up in your prayers and pray her home fast :) While you’re on that calls with God, we ask that you also praise Him! He has blown us AWAY with his work through every single step and moment. He has rescued us so many times and without a doubt moved mountains to get her here. It is crazy to step back on it all and realize she was ours all along and he knew that she was there waiting for us and now is clearing paths for us to get her. Thank you my Lord for all your blessings!

He did it again!

Oh my goodness folks, God is moving mountains! We have been waiting for our officer at the USCIS to get out application so she could process it and send us our biometrics appointment. Well our officer went out of town and another has been filling in. She has been fabulous!! What a blessing this woman has been! She emailed us this morning to tell us she received our application and was working it. We replied and asked her to send us our fingerprint appointment by email if she could so we didn’t have to wait on it to be mailed and we would try to walk in earlier to get the approval processed quicker for our daughter. We told everyone we know to pray for her to say yes and send us the appointment! You see our daughter desperately needs us and we are committed to working very hard and doing whatever it takes to get her here asap! Would you believe we received another email this afternoon with the fingerprint appointment tickets!! I did a quick search to see if the office we were assigned to accepted walk ins and read that they did for some and for other parents they were turned away to wait for their official appointment often weeks away. Well we pulled out that mustard seed moment again and finished work, printed those bad boys, picked up the crew, and drove 3 hours to TRY to walk in for our biometric fingerprinting. I thought it closed at one time and we arrived an hour and a half before closing. HOWEVER, as I walked to the door the hours were actually different and we had pulled up just 30 minutes before they closed!! They were mopping the floors and no one was in there but us and the employees. They were so kind and helpful and took us right in (except the intimidating guard but she was lovely in her own right I suppose. She did let us in after all!! ) Anyway, we were in and out in 10 minutes and back home another 3 hours later. On the ride home we told everyone who had prayed to then send up praises to Him because he just did it again!! Time and time again when we put our faith in Him and just go with it He has pulled through the most amazing ways! I simply love watching His incredible work and find so much comfort in Him. Sitting here blown away….yet again.

PS Ya’ll send up some praises and tack on a little prayer that we get approved tomorrow so we can get our stuff out and officially be Dossier to China (DTC)!!!!!

Blessings,
Heidi

Ladybug Love!

The past couple weeks have been busy! Lots of news. We picked up our home studies in Greensboro, NC. All six of us road tripped down and walked in for that 30 second exchange proudly. When we got out of the car Lilly asked us sweetly “Are we in China Mommy?! Do we get her today?!”…oh poor baby girl, no I had to tell her we were not in China and she was not coming home today but we were getting some papers to hurry it up.

We shipped off the home study to our agency to go with the rest of our dossier docs and shipped another copy off to USCIS to get our I-800A (our permission to adopt internationally form immigration services.) We emailed first before sending it and sent over extra documents for expedition application. We tracked the package as it arrived the next day and called but they said it went to lock box first in Texas before being sent to their office in Missouri. So we emailed the lockbox with our expedition info as well. This was Friday and then Monday we received our receipt that it was received and our SIM number and called and emailed the center again applying for the expedite. Tuesday we received notice it was approved for expedite!! YAY!! They said as soon as they received the package from lockbox center(who said they sent it to them Monday in response to our email) they would send us our fingerprint appointment. Once we get that we can truck it up to Charleston and get that done and once completed I think we will be approved pending any RFEs. PLEASE pray there are no RFE (requests for evidence.) Once we have the I-800A it will go with our dossier as the last piece to be shipped off to China! Our agency is expediting the China side of things so we are hopeful we can get out little home soon!

I am seriously struggling with the wait. I had no clue how hard this would be. I knew it would be “hard” but had not idea it would DARN NEAR IMPOSSIBLE TO BEAR type HARD! One day I was all stressing because I had not heard back from USCIS and went for a run after work with a lovely coworker. As I was puffing around the track a bug smacked me right in the face and stuck! I went to swipe it off and it flew to my shoulder. My friend said HEY IT’S A LADYBUG THEY’RE GOOD LUCK! Oh my gosh… they are more than good luck!! In the adoption world they are VERY good little symbols of luck and time drawing close to seeing our little baby!! EEK! So thanks little lady bug I needed to be smacked in the face :) I am working on patience but feel pretty confident I will never be any good at it. When it gets the best of me perhaps I just need a good smack in the face…with a ladybug.

Introducing….

We would like to introduce you to OUR DAUGHTER!! MeiLin is our sweet baby girl waiting for us in Shenzhen City, China. We received our official pre approval today and can now officially announce our paper pregnancy with her to the world!!

walking pink coat pic

A few facts: Our adorable princess is expected home this winter when we will travel across the world for 2 weeks to scoop her up and love her to pieces! She is 19 months old right now and from her videos she looks to be doing amazing. MeiLin is pronounced “May-Lynn” and was selected by ALL of us (can’t believe we all agreed on that) to preserve her culture but also give her a name that fits in with the rest of our little southern crew in sound.

Her first picture in the orphanage.

Her first picture in the orphanage.

Please lift her up in your prayers and pray for a QUICK process and to keep her safe and loved until we can get her. Pray also for her sweet family that had to make the difficult selfless decision to give her up so she could be loved by us.

We can’t believe she is ours!! Thank you to each of you who have been with us on this journey and have supported us in our paper chase to get her here!!

Blessings!!!

Adam and Heidi

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”
James 1:17

How do you know God is working?

As I sit to write this I am still shaking with disbelief about what has transpired. Then when I put it into context with all of the other amazing things that this adoption journey has included it simply blows my mind. We are LOI today folks! That is officially letter of intent requesting permission from CCCWA to adopt our sweet girl!

A week ago I prepared for a Stella & Dot trunk show that I was doing to help raise money for our dossier fees. I set up a Facebook group for the guests and shared a sweet adoption video I had seen on one of my sleepless nights. From there my S&D director shared the video with another Stella & Dot stylist who had also adopted two girls form China. Then that stylist messaged to say she actually knew the family in the video. We were connected on a private message with each other (all of us fabulous Stella & Dot stylists ;) ) and I learned she was actually an adoption advocate and had all sorts of helpful information! She added me to a group that shares waiting children’s information in hopes their family will see. I kid you not just moments after adding me to the group a little girl meeting all of our requests popped up. No way right? So I looked at her, tried not to get too excited, prayed about it, talked to Adam about her, and prayed some more. Part of me couldn’t believe that had just happened. It had to be too good to be true! PS She was ADORABLE!

Before I fell asleep I emailed my home study agency, my placement agency, and the agency that has the little one listed. I inquired about the status of my home study final document which still wasn’t here and asked about how to get more info from my placement agency. Then before shutting the computer down I decided to pull her up again and was able to access her medical information. I shared the file with Adam via email with the file named “dimples” because she has some cute ones! I prayed again. He messaged back go for her, whatever we need to do. I told him let’s sleep on it and in the morning I would check in. So I did. I called but learned the woman I emailed about her was out (explains why I didn’t hear anything before the call) but I spoke with another lovely woman who explained I would need to fill out a form to be in line and that this little girl had several other families already interested in her. Okay so I tried to really not get excited then because several other families… So I couldn’t work the fax machine and ended up taking a picture of my form with my moms iPad and emailing the picture to the lovely lady who accepted it so sweetly. I showed my dad the medical file, we chatted about her, got excited, tried hard not to get too hopeful, and prayed HARD! Longest pray in history may have went down in a form of intermittence. I prayed if she was ours that God would send her to us quickly but if not that we would find peace in knowing she was not ours. Oh that was hard because every part of me wanted to pray please God give her to us!!! I didn’t though. I prayed for His will because we have trusted him through everything and not once has He ever disappointed us. So there it was putting all my faith and trust in my Lord again and resting it in his arms. I left my moms, drove home, went to say hi to Adam who had been out all day with Tay at a golf tournament. I told him I checked on her but there were several other families in front of us and we probably didn’t stand a chance but let’s just leave it to God and we will know if we are meant to be her parents then we will be so no worries. At that moment my email dinged! It was the agency telling me she was ours if we chose so!!! They could put her on hold so we could get a medical review but the decision was ours if we wanted her. Are you KIDDING ME! Did that just happen?! I still can’t believe it. We immediately had a social worker advocate, our NP aunt, and our cardiologist uncle all combing her file! We had our cousin later review her Chinese file too in which we found some fabulous news including the beautiful meaning of her name! We are very blessed with these people in our lives!! :) All couldn’t believe how amazing she was!! We can’t either but we may already be partial ;)

So yes, that just happened. I don’t know all the details of the next steps but the agency will walk us through them. I am not afraid of a thing. God has had us every step. And we have such a big ole mustard seed ;)

That is how God works and how we know he is working. He does things so ridiculously inhuman and seemingly impossible that there is no way to deny his hand was in control. We just had to let him have that control and trust in his plan for us. By all means his plan is way stinkin’ better than mine which was waiting forever to be matched old school! I mean WOW he just gave us our daughter!!!

So officially we wait to get the official pre approval then we can share her sweet face but for now pray for her and for us! Pray for an easy paper process from here, a quick paper process because she needs to be home, and pray for her care while she waits for us. Pray for the sweet selfless family that gave her up so she could get the care she needs and pray for her to transition well to leaving everything she has ever known. I can tell you this much: she is beautiful, doing amazingly well, and a gift from God and already SO very LOVED!!!

(and she has dimples!! awwww!! )

Thank you all for your continued support, your kind words, your prayers, and your love.

Blessings,

Heidi

They’re Here!!

Wooohooo!!! Okay, so I know many of you well traveled souls already have glamorous passports stamped with amazing places however, ours are magical! They are going to take us across the world to get our next child!! Their arrival signifies there is an end to this journey and we are one step closer to meeting our little one. They are tangible tokens of our milestones. We don’t get sonogram pictures this time so these are our treasures.

This has been the most incredible learning experience for us overall as human beings in this world, as spouses, as Christians, and parents. Traveling will be a large aspect of that learning process. This trip across the world will be a huge milestone for us. Neither of us have ever been out of the country, we have never even been on a plane ya’ll!!! Our first flight will take us across this world to experience another culture, learn as much as can while there, and GET OUR CHILD!!! Oh. My. Gosh. Of course, this is SO my style. I ALWAYS set big giant seemingly impossible goals and dreams, feel very overwhelmed in the intermittence trying to forge forward by my own accord, and then have the most incredible things happen as God makes it all reality and overcomes the impossible. We are living life a little fearless you might say but really nothing is impossible with Christ. Not even two country high school sweethearts who had their first child as unwed seniors in high school flying across the world for the first time to get their fifth child. Adam has a terrible fear of flying to boot so this will really be a new experience, conquering fears, and persevering to get our child home where she belongs. 

Currently here is our status: Waiting. I know, so exciting :) Apparently that is what adoptive parents do a lot of. We are learning to be patient people in this process as well ;) Our home study work is done, we are simply waiting for it to go through all the edits and to have a final document to send to immigration. In the meantime we have had time to do some fundraising for our dossier fees through my Stella & Dot business. That has been an amazing blessing and we are so thankful each order and hostess who help us shorten our red string to China! 

Please continue to lift us up in prayers that nothing is wrong with any of our paperwork and that it is all processed quickly and efficiently. Pray for our little one wherever she is. That she is found quickly, being loved, & well nourished until we can get to her.

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