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.