Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Precious Baby Girl

Today, my baby girl is two years and two months old.  She is waiting for us in an orphanage half a world away (literally).  My heart so longs to hold her.  I pray that this journey to her does not take too long.  But any time away from your child is just too long.

Today I received six pictures of my baby's birthday party.  We sent her a cake so that she could celebrate her belated second birthday.  She turned two right before we actually found her.  Four days before to be exact.  I am so looking forward to celebrating her third birthday at home with her next year.  At home...right where she belongs.

Yes, she does have dots of icing on her cute little face.
(Her nanny put them there.)
Yes, she is wearing a Santa hat the reads,
 "Merry Christmas" in English.
Yes, these pictures were just taken
 this March.
I absolutely adore everything about these wonderful pictures of my beautiful, chunky-cheeked baby girl!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Homestudy Approved!

I was just notified that our agency has approved our Homestudy! 

After I get a copy in-hand this week, I will be mailing it off to USCIS with our I800A application.  It is taking them anywhere from 45-60 days to approve this.  Praying for 45 days or less!

At this point it is looking like we will be travelling around November of this year!

Friday, March 11, 2011

How It All Began

Back in January, my husband and I were having a conversation about our family's future and where we thought we were going.  We knew that God was leading us to add to our family again, but we were not exactly sure how He wanted to do that.  We had conflicting directions and for months we had gone back and forth on them trying to follow God's lead.  We were actually finally putting our finger on the direction that we felt we were suppose to move in when Donny told me that even though we were moving in this direction God was telling him we were suppose to adopt. 

To back it up a bit, we have always felt that we would adopt again.  We knew when we were adopting Ashlyn that this would not be the last time we would walk this road.  We actually were praying for our "other" little girl while we were in the process of adopting Ashlyn.  There were many times that I would feel so burdened for this child that I would just cry.  I told my husband on several occasions that I felt like we were leaving our daughter in China.  (In actuality, we were.  Makinley was born the year that we adopted Ashlyn).  I also wrote in my journal that I would never forget her.  I would go back for her.  I would fight for her.

So after our conversation, I was having a casual conversation with a dear friend of mine and was asking her about the process to adopt in China.  I run an adoption and orphan care ministry and I like to stay informed so that I can answer people's questions when they come to me.  Somewhere in the midst of our casual conversation I was scrolling through the Waiting Child list.  All of the sudden I saw the most beautiful face and I stopped on her information.  Her information read:  VSD, brain injury at birth, and high muscle tension in the right side.  Ok...any other moment in my life I would have said, "OH...ummm...this is not going to work for our family dynamics at this time."  And then I would have just moved on....but I didn't.  It did not scare me off.  That in itself is a miracle.  I could hear God whispering to me, "It's not what it seems."  Over and over for the next two weeks I would hear this.  It was always washing over me.  Knowing that sometimes these sweet kiddos are tagged wrong I asked for a little more information.  Then I talked to my husband.

That evening I presented all of the tiny bit of information that I had.  We both agreed that this could be God leading us to adopt her, but we were definitely not sure.  We would ask to review her file and see what happens.  Now in being truly honest, we were both thinking that something in this file was going to tell us "no" that she was not our daughter.  But we both knew that if we did not adopt this little girl, God was still trying to tell us something.

We received the file on a Monday and I poured over every little detail about this sweet baby girl.  There was a lot of it too.  Out of all of those medical reports, pictures and even a video (I know, a video, unreal isn't it?), I could find absolutely NOTHING wrong with this child.  Except for her description...HIE...lack of oxygen to the brain at birth.  Ok, I'm not gonna lie, we were scared to death!  We looked up all the information on HIE, and folks, it's not pretty.  Ninety percent of children in the world born with HIE have severe handicaps and severe mental retardation.  The brain just can not go without oxygen.  If this child's issues were minor like they seemed, she would be in the ten percentile in the world for not having severe issues from the HIE.  MIRACLE!!! 

We needed more information (since her file was from 6 months ago).  With it being smack dab in the middle of Chinese New Year, we were going to have to wait.  WAIT....not my favorite word.  We did a lot of praying.  We did a lot of crying.  Well, I did a lot of crying.  Then more praying and more crying.  How was this going to affect our happy little home?  How was this going to affect our children?  We still have two little ones at home...3 and 4 years old.  God, really?!?  But there was that whisper, "It's not what it seems."  I could not ignore it.  So after MUCH talking, we decided that if she could walk, we could do this.  We felt very good about that.  We kept saying over those two weeks (which by the way felt more like two months) that at this point God was going to have to show us why we should NOT adopt her.

We went to church on Sunday, right before Chinese New Year was going to end.  We were hoping that we would be hearing more information on her that week.  That day God met us at church.  He spoke so loud and clear I felt like He was about to shake me.  When I left church that day I had my answer.  We went home and I told my amazing, obedient to the Lord husband what God had spoken to me and he just smiled.  He said, there is our word that we were waiting for.  Want to know what He said to me?  Well in our class the message was on fear.  Hmmmmm....I have never been so fearful in all my life.  But more fearful of making the wrong decision and letting God down.  Fear is not from God.  God has shown me time and time again in my life that His ways are always better than mine and that He is not going to harm me or my family.  Yes, it may be extremely hard to walk the road He calls us to, but it is always worth it.  And it is always the best way.  He wants to give us blessings.  I knew in my heart that if this was where He wanted us to go, He was going to bless us with it.  I have faith in my God.  He loves me greatly.  He told me that morning that I needed no other information on this child.  I was to trust Him and follow where He wanted our family to go.

So that Monday we told our agency that we had to decided to adopt Makinley with no other information than what we had.  That same morning more information on our baby girl had arrived from China.  She was WALKING!!  She was TALKING!!!  WOW!!!!!  That is all I can say, WOW WOW WOW!!!  God just wanted us to follow in obedience before He showed us that she is indeed a MIRACLE child. 

We received all of her hospital papers from her birth.  All of the papers from the NICU hospital she stayed at for a month were included also.  We know her China mom was 40 weeks pregnant when they had to give her an emergency C-section to get the baby out because the baby was in distress.  Who gets this information????  There were many more details that God allowed us to know about our daughter.  I am in awe.  With what we see in her information she now falls into the 2 - 3 percentile for HIE of children that have very little affects from the lack of oxygen to the brain.

What I am hoping is that our story will give someone hope.  I pray that someone reading this will take a leap of faith and adopt a child that seems to be to hard for them.  In the end, we chose this route because God told us that this little girl needed a family.  And that our family needed this little girl.  I pray that this helps someone to trust God and follow in obedience.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Where is Makinley?

Makinley is in Zhongshan, Guangdong.
The province right to the left of hers
 is where Ashlyn was born.
Guangdong is where the American Consulate is located, so on this trip we will be spending two weeks in Guangzhou, Guangdong.
One week for province paperwork, and one week for American Consulate paperwork.

Please Pray

Today in Yunan, China a 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit. 

This province is in the southwestern part of China on the border of Myanmar.

So far 22 people have died and many other are wounded.  Hundreds of buildings have collapsed.

Please pray for these people.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Paper Work...How Quickly We Forget!

So I just spent a bit of time...can't remember how long....putting together my paper work for my I800A.  Everything is done and waiting for my Home Study to be finished and approved. 

Driving full steam ahead to get to my baby girl.  I refuse to be delayed by anything on my part.  On the other end, well, I can not control how fast everyone else goes.  Praying for a super fast adoption journey!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


It is with unbelievable honor that I
 introduce my 6th child
Makinley Faith Chun Ying Sloan!!!!
(Her chinese name is Wan Chun Ying)

Born on January 23, 2009

She is in the
Children's Welfare Institute of Zhongshan City
Guangdong, China

Isn't she just gorgeous!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Care Package Number One

We are currently awaiting our Pre-Approval from China for Makinley.  We are anticipating that it will be arriving any day now.  In the mean time, I have gathered some items to send to her in her care package.  For Ashlyn's first care package I sent her a toy, an outfit, a photo album, a blanket and some candy for her foster family...along with some cameras, of course.  With Makinley being in an orphanage I did not know exactly what she would be able to keep for just herself, so I limited it to a teddy bear and photo album of her new family.  I am also sending candy for the kids and candy for the nannies.  As always, cameras are in there too.

As far as our paperwork goes, I am almost done with our home study.  We have a couple of items left and then it will be sent to our agency once it is all written up.  I am very happy to have this part almost done.  It is the most tedious part of the whole process.

Having now started an adoption two different ways, I must say that this way seems so much more unnatural (if there is such a thing as natural).  I guess when you do this part first without a referral, you have time for the anticipation to build.  By the time you receive your referral you have been waiting for a while.  This time around we were not waiting to be matched.  We were not even thinking about adopting right now.  God told us that this was His plan for our family and in obedience we stepped forward.  So having her pictures and just now starting the process seems very off.  It also seems like everything is going way to slow.  In actuality it is about the same pace as last time and is moving fairly well.  It just seems so SLOW!!!!!

I know, I need patience.  I don't feel impatient, but I guess I just want it to move we all do.