There is a lot of talk today on the adoption boards about the swine flu. There is talk that China my not issue TAs (travel approvals) because of this flu. My initial thought was, "Well, does this mean if they are held back does our wait get pushed back also?" After I was saddened by that thought the verse that God gave me at the beginning of this adoption process came to my mind.
Habakkuk 2:3 (Amplified Bible)
For the vision is yet for an appointed time and
it hastens to the end,
it will not deceive or disappoint.
Though it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come;
it will not be behindhand on its appointed day.
ITS APPOINTED DAY!
The day we are to meet our beautiful baby girl has an appointment made by my Father in Heaven! He made the appointment, not me, not my agency, not China! Who could change that appointed time? This is all part of the wait He speaks of in the above passage. It was always planned to be this way. Knowing this gives me peace. If we are "delayed", I now know that we are not truly delayed we will be there on the "appointed day". I will just continue to pray that the day is soon.
We are on day 30 of our wait. On one of the sites I check it seems that people are now averaging 50 - 60 days for their LSC (formerly LOA) approval. That means that we are half-way there. I can't believe that we could be in China in August! That is only three months from now! I still have a bit to do to get ready for our baby girl, so three months is not looking like a very long time. I do miss her, though. It is so hard to think of your child being half-way around the world from you. I do pray that God shows her love every day through someone in her life.
I did get a surprise in the mail today. We received Ashlyn's finding ad! She is such a beautiful baby! I also received a translation of the ad and it did answer a question I had about the information we received with her file. She was not abandoned on the day of her birth. She was abandoned when she was three days old. There was a little confusion in her paper work. One paper said she was found the day she was born and one said she was found three days later. The second one was the correct one. I am glad that I was able to find out. I am a very detailed person. I need to find as much information as I can on anything that I am involved with. God knows this about me and blessed us with alot of information on our little girl. What a blessing this will be to her when she grows up. The two years she was not with us will not be a complete blank for her. She will have enough information about her time in China to feel like that part of her life is not completely missing. There are a lot of holes, but the significant parts are there. I do not take this for granted. I do know what a blessing it is for my daughter.
So as you see, we are closer to going and getting our little girl. But my heart reminds me several times a day of just how far away she is from her Momma right now.
The teacher in me is coming out so here is a little bit of Geography for those of you who want to know where Ashlyn is right now (and where we will be going in a couple of months). Ashlyn is in the province of Guangxi. It is the yellow province in the southern part of China on the map above. If you look on a map it is a little bit further south than where we are in Florida. It is actually comparable with climate in Florida but it follows on the same latitude as Cuba. This is a map of her province. The capital is Nanning, which is where we will be traveling to when we go to get her. She is actually in Yulin, but from what I understand they do not take us to Yulin. We will stay in Nanning for the week that we have to complete the China side of our adoption.
Here is some information about where she is from. Located in the southern part of the country, Guangxi is bordered by Yunnan to the west, Guizhou to the north, Hunan to the northeast, and Guangdong to the southeast. It is also bounded by Vietnam in the southwest and the Gulf of Tonkin in the south. Guangxi is a mountainous region. Rice is an important crop in Guangxi. South China Karst (mountains) represents one of the world's most spectacular examples of humid tropical to subtropical karst landscapes.
Karin, hope this helps fill up some of that inquiring mind (smile)!
I have so much going on with trying to get the most information I can on our baby girl. We have already sent her out a care package. It had a little outfit in it, a blankie, a toy, candy for her foster family, a photo album of us and her home, and four disposable cameras. Yes, four. They come two to a box so I figured I'd send them all. If her foster family doesn't use them all, that's ok. At least they have them in case they do want to take lots of pictures. We should get these pictures back on Gotcha Day when we get our little girl.I have also contacted someone who is sending me her finding ad and the actual newspaper it was printed in. These are invaluable since it would have her very first picture in it. The finding ad is placed in the local paper the day she was found. It is in an attempt to find her family. Since she was found the day she was born this will be a very important picture for us.
We have also contacted a company that is asking the orphanage if they can interview the foster family that our daughter is living with. They will go and visit her and take LOTS of pictures of her. They will send us an extensive update on our little girl. We , as you can imagine, can not wait to get this report. It will take them about two months to get it to us. That actually works out pretty good because that will be about half way through our wait from when we saw her until when we travel.
I have also contacted Grace and Hope. This is an organization that works in China to get children that live in orphanages into foster care. They have told me that our little girl is in their program, but that is all of the information that I have so far.
So what's next......
The next thing we are waiting for is our Letter Seeking Confirmation(LSC - use to be LOA). Right now, that seems to be averaging around 60 - 65 days. That would put us at the last week of May / first week of June. We then need to send paperwork to Homeland Security so they can approve her for this adoption. After they approve her, China will send our Travel Approval (TA). So our best guess would be that we can travel in August. As we get closer we will be able to look at the current trends and gauge our time a little better.
So that's where we are...all over the place. I have to say that this is an amazing journey that God had us on. I feel very blessed that He called us to experience such an amazing gift. Adoption truley is a gift to all that are involved.
I received our updated homestudy in the mail today. I will get my paperwork together today and send out my package to USCIS tomorrow. Last night I was able to finish my Hagaue credits so now we are just waiting for our PA.
Please continue to pray for little Kate. She still has a fever and her body is still not retaining the fluid that they are pumping into her. She is still on the pacemaker...they would like to get her weaned off of that soon. Thank you all for praying for this amazing family.
I just have to post a prayer request for my dear friend. Her little girl, Kate, just had heart surgery yesterday. You can follow their story at Our Treasures from Afar I know you will read this, Karin.....so I just want you to know how important you are to me, my sweet friend!
I really don't have anything to post. I am just posting because I have become aware that there are quite a few people that are following this blog and want an update. Thank you so much for praying for us!
My agency says "No news yet". So I am waiting alot better than I was the other day, thanks to my wonderful friends who encouraged me with their very loving words. All of your comments greatly touched my heart.
Right now we are in the process of updating our homestudy, so hopefully I will be able to send that out this week for approval. We needed to change her age on our homestudy. The only other thing that I am doing now is finishing up my Hague credits by taking courses online. Only two more of them to take and I am done with my 10 hours of training. I am also in the process of learning more about where she is from. It helps me to feel closer to her. She is so far away. Noah asks me where Ashlyn is all the time (as he walks around with her picture). I tell him she is far away in China. He tells me she's waiting in a vroom vroom (car). It tickles me to listen to a two year old explaining how he thinks things are.
I must say that after I wrote my post yesterday I started to have that downward spiraling of saddness come on me. I'm sure we all know the feeling. The one where you have just taken something back from God's hands that you had already given to Him to do as He willed. Thinking that you know what is best in the situation. You know, I have been so good at not doing that during this entire adoption process. I truley had peace in knowing that His timing was always perfect and there was nothing that I was going to do to make it go faster or slower. Everything would happen right at its intended time. I don't know what happened yesterday. I saw two people get their PAs and they had sent out their LOI when I did. I am extremely happy for them. I guess I was just thinking all day that "this is the day". Honestly, I know why I am having a hard time now. I have seen my daughter's face and my heart has been so deeply touched that I am truley connected with this child that is somewhere on the other side of the world from me. My motherly instincts want to get her NOW! So, I guess I thought that since God had made everything, up to this point, move so quickly, why would He stop now? This is where He knew I would have the hardest time letting go of "my timing" and depending on "His timing". I guess deep down I knew it too. I prayed about it last night, and I still know that His timing is best for everyone involved. I will continue to place it in His hands (sometimes on a moment to moment basis) knowing that it will come to be in its appointed time.
Ok, it's day 11. Where, oh where is our PA? I know it hasn't been that long, but I am hopeful. I did see that someone got their PA today and they only had to wait a week and a half. That's where we are. Maybe, just maybe, ours will be here by the end of this week. You know if I find out anything I will definately post it for all to see! Until then, keep praying. Thank you, my bloggy friends.
Has it only been 6 days? It sure does feel like it has been a lot longer than a week. I can't believe a week ago I saw my sweet baby's face for the first time. This week has been a very long and busy week. Thankfully, I did get caught up with the kid's homeschooling. At least I'm not behind in that. Now I am finding that I already need to plan for when we will start next year's schedule because we should be travelling to China right around the time school is suppose to start. Everyone tells me that five to six months is a long time to wait to travel. When you have four at home that are homeschooled it really won't be that long. I know I will be using every day that I have to prepare in one way or another. I have so many lists going that it is hard to keep up with which one is which. Today has been a slower place, which I welcome. I actually got a full night sleep last night. So hopefully this weekend can be somewhat normal and then I will be ready to tackle next week.
Please pray for a quick pre-approval (PA). Like I said, we are day 6. I think they are taking about 10 -14 days right now. As soon as we get PA I will post more information and her picture!
"We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands." ---Kristi Larson
"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." - James 1:27