Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Swallows Nest

SHE'S THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They emailed me pictures of her being picked up, pictures with her nanny at her orphanage, updated measurements, traveling to Swallow's Nest, and pictures of her settling in there - first bottle, etc. I am so blessed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She is pretty much exactly the same size as Simeon - though maybe a pound or two lighter at this point, but just about on the same track. The interesting thing was that they told me that while she doesn't talk, she does imitate the sounds she hears. They also said she hasn't had the chance to walk yet - which is encouraging to me.

I don't know that I am allowed to post the pictures I was emailed, but let me know if you want to see them - I can share them privately. I am just so thanking God right now for His hand of providence on this little life. I can't wait to see what He has in store for her :)

Why adopt?

Here is just one reason. If the Church stepped up and did what we are called to do, these orphans wouldn't be suffering the way they are. We as a whole body have failed.

James 1:27: Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Swallows Nest and T-shirts

Today we received news that Liliana will be moving to Swallows Nest on Tuesday, Ch*na time. What an answer to prayer!!!!! We have had concerns that Liliana has made little to no progress developmentally since this past summer when she left Maria's Big House of Hope and returned to the local orphanage. The opportunity to spend the rest of her time in China at Swallows Nest is such an incredible blessing that God clearly orchestrated. Once again, Maryanne was instrumental in the process. I am so relieved to know that she will receive the care she needs while she waits for us.

If you get a chance to swing by their website and see what they do, I would strongly recommend it!

On another adoption related note, we have a store front with Adoption Bug to give family and friends the opportunity to buy adoption related t-shirts. Your purchase goes to support our adoption and if you choose a Show Hope t-shirt, your purchase not only supports our adoption but also Show Hope - which is the organization behind Maria's Big House of Hope. You can find the link to our store here.

If you want to share the link on your blog or with your friends and family, you can let me know, and I will send you a link to banners or other links.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support in this process. We know that God is at work in this adoption and we are so excited to see how He orchestrates this whole process!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Adoption process

So, we have officially done EVERYTHING we can do to this point. All of our paperwork is done for the home study and NY and NJ are busy certifying their portions of our dossier. We completed our home visit and our book reports and our parent training. Done. Now begins one of many waits - though fortunately this one won't be too long.

I received an email from our social worker today that told me that she plans to have the home study done and reviewed by her social worker, and maybe CCAI too, by the end of next week. Woohoo! Of course, I want it done now, but seriously, she is doing a great job and getting this done quickly.

Once we have the home study, not only can we apply for grants, but more importantly, we can file our I800A with immigration that gives us permission to bring an orphan to the USA. That process has been reportedly speeding up lately - moving from 90+ days to 30-45 days. While we're waiting for that, we will move ahead with sealing the rest of our dossier in Harrisburg and then sending it to the Chinese Consulate in NY for their authentication.

One big unknown right now is whether I will have to get a letter written from my previous therapist about my depression from 2002. I know, crazy right? But there are certain cultural stigmas and depression is one of them. It doesn't seem to matter that I have never suffered a relapse (despite three post-partum experiences). We'll see. Hopefully, I'll find that out quickly once CCAI reviews the home study. They told me that depending on how the social worker addresses the issue, I may not need anything. I'm praying for that route.

In the meantime, we got a new video of our baby girl in her orphanage. It shows her sadly shorn head (that's how they do hair in the orphanages with the younger kiddos) as she crawls around the room. That in and of itself is amazing because the amount of clothing they layer on the kids (lack of heat in the orphanage) it would be like trying to crawl in a double snow suit. Impressive! She is so precious and we can't wait to get her home.

I would love to post it, but I'm going to keep playing it safe..... :) Stay tuned for our first fundraiser coming up this weekend - adoption t-shirts!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


In case I haven't seen you in the past two weeks and pestered you with photos :) I wanted to give some photos of our baby girl. She is almost 2 and has some special needs, but she is our daughter.

Since November, I kept noticing this picture on my agency's website, but her write up was a little scary and I kept pushing the urge to ask more about her aside. Unbeknownst to me, B.J. was also finding her jumping off the page every time he looked at the kids on the website. Neither one of us said anything to the other until January (great communication, I know). When we found out we were on the same page with her, we requested her file for review that same day. Unfortunately, it was the weekend, so we had to wait until Monday to receive it. Once we looked at the file, we both knew, as if God had audibly spoken, that Liliana was meant to be a part of our family. We had to have her file reviewed by CHOP to make sure we knew what we were getting ourselves in for, but as soon as that was done (1 week later) we submitted our official Letter of Intent. Shortly thereafter, we received our preliminary approval.

So now we are working on paperwork. Other than pictures (do you know how hard it is to find pictures of both B.J. AND me?) and the final write up of the home study (which is waiting for us to finish our adoption training), our dossier is complete and I am starting the sealing process.

Below are a few of my favorite pictures of our little blessing. We can't WAIT to get her home!!!
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Time for an update

We have our official PA (preliminary approval) and now we need to get our home study together and dossier finished. Both entail lots of paperwork chasing. We are also working on our mandated training and should have that done this week. The slow up in progress is starting to get frustrating! I know this is nothing compared to the immigration wait and the wait for travel approval, but I just want to go get my baby girl now!

So, I was looking around the web and came across this video and lo and behold, our baby girl is in it. She is called 'Liliana' and she is so precious. I absolutely love the ministry that Maria's Big House of Hope is doing in Ch*na!

Friday, February 3, 2012

God's provision

I just received an incredible financial blessing! My Grandfather randomly handed me a check this afternoon. When I asked why he was doing that, he told me to go get his new great granddaughter from Ch*na. I was speechless. Not that my grandfather isn't an amazing, giving man because he is all that and more, but because he didn't have to do that. I never asked him to do that.

All along, B.J. and I have been trusting that God would provide the finances needed to make this adoption happen. And He is. In completely unexpected ways, He is showing Himself to be the faithful provider.

I have heard it said "where God guides, He provides" and I have known that to be true in the past. It was just such an encouraging reminder to me that God has His hand on this adoption. That he has truly planned for our little girl to join our family. That confirmation was especially encouraging today. Thank you, Lord!

My awesome Grampy :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Scrambling to get things together

Now that we have a kiddo in mind, my sense of urgency is even stronger to process through all the adoption paperwork in record time. I want to just get everything done NOW! Have I mentioned that patience is NOT a strength of mine? I hate 'just waiting'. As long as I have things to do, I feel like I am making progress - getting closer. But when I have to wait, it is frustrating. I know that the waiting hasn't even started yet, really, but all I want to do is have everything done and be on a plane to go get our little one! I know that God has lots to teach me in this time and I need to trust Him and His timing, but my mother-heart just wants to go get my baby. Please pray with me that my home study is completed in record time and passes all the checks to make sure it is right. Also please pray with me that our immigration form is processed in RECORD time (instead of the current 3 month wait). Finally, please pray that God will grant me the grace I need to trust His timing and provision.