Things are really moving along in our adoption process. We are happy to report that our homestudy should be completed by the beginning of June! The homestudy has been more paperwork than we ever could have imagined, so we are so excited to be reaching the finish line for this step! After we receive the official, approved copy of our homestudy, we will be sending in our immigration application to the U.S. government. The good news is that our immigration fee will be completely covered by all of the amazing support from everyone who bought our t-shirts! Thank you again to everyone who has been supporting us! We are so encouraged to see everyone posting their t-shirts on Instagram and Facebook. It is such a blessing to know we have so many people praying for our little girl!
The process is going even more quickly than we had anticipated. When we started all of this in the beginning of March, the wait time for a little girl with a cleft palate was 6-12 months from the time of paperwork acceptance, or Long in Date, to China. Now, however, there have been more and more orphans with special needs in orphanages in China, so the wait time has significantly decreased. Many other families in the program are receiving referrals within weeks of submitting their paperwork. We know that God’s timing is perfect, so we are ready whenever He sends us to our daughter.
This does, however, put us on a tighter timeline for fundraising. We will be working hard in the next few months to raise money for our agency fees, dossier translation, visa fees, orphanage fees, doctor costs, and travel expenses to pick up our little girl from China. We know that God will provide what we need, so would you pray with us that we would raise our needed funds to bring home our daughter to her forever family?
I’ve always loved when foreshadowing is used in books or movies. It’s my favorite thing to pick something and then excitedly tell Dan when we’re watching a movie, “look, that’s going to mean something later!” For example, in the last season of Breaking Bad when the cameras just kept focusing in on the Stevia in the coffee shop, I kept thinking, something is going on with the Stevia. What on earth could be so important about sugar substitute? I’ll spare you the details, but it was definitely significant to the resolution of the story later in the show. Writers often show us little things that hint to the big picture of the story when we can’t yet see the big picture ourselves. I think that God does this in our lives, too.
In my life, I’ve been feeling like there have been so many things that have led up to this point. There are things that I feel like have been similar to foreshadowing, but I know that it was God giving me hints at what He wants me to do. About ten years ago, when I was in college, my brother had a book sitting out on the table that he was supposed to do for a high school summer reading assignment. I picked it up and starting reading. It quickly became one of those books that I just couldn’t put down, and Chad made me a deal that he would wash and wax my car if I gave him a rundown of the “Cliff Notes” version of the book. I definitely got the good end of that deal, because I was going to read it anyway, and I love talking about books.
The book was “The Good Earth” by Pearl S. Buck. This is a book about a family in China. It’s about China, the culture, poverty, wealth, materialism, and true happiness. It made me fall in love with China, the culture, and the people. Right before we moved from Lynchburg, I made Dan pull over on Main Street, because there is a Pearl S. Buck sign there that I had always wanted to read. Pearl S. Buck attended Randolph Macon College, just a few minutes from our home. I was so excited! She was a missionary in China, and loved the history and people there. I’ve always put that book on my list of “most influential books” in my life, but I never could really explain why. Now, I know.
I’ve also felt God telling me that adoption is the plan for our family for a long time. Whenever I was silent and my brain stopped racing (which isn’t too often), I could just hear the whisper of a thought telling me that we would adopt. This week I read in my Bible about when God spoke to Elijah on the mountain. There was a strong wind, but God did not speak through the wind. Then, there was an earthquake and a fire, but God did not speak through them, either. Then, there was a gentle whisper, and God spoke to Elijah. I think that if we are quiet enough and slow down enough, we can hear and see him, in the quietest of whispers and in the simplest of ways. I’m so glad that God has called us on this journey, and I am confident that He will keep showing us how to continue on this path He has planned for us.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers out there! I’ve been a mother for almost four years now, and I almost can’t even remember what life was like before my kids. I do know I was a lot less tired, though! Being a mother has made me more proud, scared, happy, and anxious than anything else in my life. It has also made me understand more clearly the extent of the sacrifice God made by sending His Son for us. I am so thankful for these two little guys who have made me a mom, and I can’t wait for our little girl to join them.
I know a lot of amazing moms. But, I want to thank a few moms in particular for their love and strength as a mother. My mom is the most thoughtful, selfless, and loving mom in the world. She is my best friend, and I really couldn’t survive life without her. She is always there to help me, and she is an amazing grandma to my boys! I love you, Mom!
Sunday is Mother’s Day, but this Saturday is “first” (or birth) Mother’s Day. I am so thankful to our daughter’s birth mother. I don’t know her circumstances, but I do know that she was brave enough to choose life for our daughter. I know that, as a mother, there will always be a hole in her heart from missing her. I will never know the details, but I know she carried her for 9 months, and for that, I will always be thankful. She will always hold a special position in our family. I will be praying for her now and forever, that she will know Jesus and that He will heal her heartache.
All National Parks: Our Travel Bucket list
X Acadia National Park