Monday, August 12, 2013

Reality strikes - Video link

I received some very good advice yesterday.  I am so glad.  I tend to try and be so positive yet adoption can bring much heartache and I need to remember not to get my hopes up.

This difficult reminder that I know but somehow forget is that our little girl is coming from rural China. She may or may not be getting the packages I send, she gets 3 small meals per day, she may or may not sleep in a bed, she may or may not know love, ............Back to the packages - Even if she does receive the packages they may never put the clothes on her or let her play with the toys.  We just don't know as many families have adopted and each have had different experiences.

Again - it is wise to Realize (as difficult as it is) that this is a difficult place.  I don't think any of us can even begin to comprehend.

This video tells the truth of the mother that must give up her child and the gift of adoption.  This is the reality:

I will keep my eyes focused on God who has brought us to this place of adoption.  I will not forget the difficult place she came from.  I will keep the faith and hope for her future.  God goes before us ....... I see this in the people that I come into contact with as we prepare for this journey.  Thankful.

I know in my heart that no matter what this precious girl has gone through - we can not take that away - her history will be her history and with that comes great possibilities for a great future.  We can give her a forever home, a loving stable home, education, medical care and so much more.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

All in His Plan

He reveals himself more and more in this process.

Today in the mail Brennan received a free supplemental learning package from Highlights magazine. We opened the package and much to our jaw dropping disbelief we found this:

What a Surprise!

Yes,  the Guide to China! What timing!  It came with all kinds of activities - world maps, play passports etc...  I was in awe.  What a great tool for the boys to enjoy before we travel.

Just had to share.:)

Also - today received an email from our adoption agency stating that our girl had the TB skin test as a proactive measure.  They do this ahead of time to try and catch medical conditions so they can be treated prior to our arrival.  Since she is over the age of 2 the medical checks to leave the country involve more.  She will have to have a blood draw add to all the other screenings.  Good news as -   ---initial screening was negative.  Praise God!

We are counting down the last few steps:
  • Finish last documents for Dossier
  • Agency review and translate Dossier
  • Mail Dossier to China and get Logged in
  • LOA Approval of Our Girl
  • 800 - Immigration for our girl
  • Article 5
  • Travel Approval -  to China in 3 weeks (I am guessing by end of year)
Please continue to pray over these last steps specifically:

  • That if it is in God's will he will continue to provide us with a smooth and timely process
  • That we will continue to embrace each of these last steps and learn from each and every experience
  • That our girl is being well cared for and staying healthy
  • That our girl is being prepared for our arrival and calm will come over her when she meets us (this is a very difficult one - need extra prayers in this area - not sure who will be crying more - me crying of joy, happiness and amazement or her crying in fear as she leaves everything she knows to be with her forever family - such tug of emotions for all of us)  Please ask God to comfort us and give us peace in this time
  • That God will continue to provide for this process.

We are extremely grateful for this journey and very grateful for everyone's loving support and kind words.  We could not do this without all of you.  Thank you. 

Love - Traci xoxox

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Blessings found along the way

Yes, summer flew right by.  I can't believe the boys will be back to school in less than 2 weeks.

We have really had an awesome summer.  I will have to say I was very nervous about having them home all summer.  How would things go?  I knew we could not spend any money on camps - so this was our option.

I have come to the conclusion that this adoption has been super beneficial for us in so many ways.  God is working out his plan to grow and shape us in so many ways:

1.  The boys being home for the summer was of great benefit as the brothers became very close and really learned to get along as well as respect each other.  They are truly best buds and show love for one another.

2.  The boys learned to cook, clean, take care of plants, help out with the dogs, juicing, eating healthy, a little gymnastics here and there,..........  I know it is kinda of funny to hear.  Sounds like I am domesticating them - but truly they are learning about everyday life responsibilities this summer.  Reading and school enrichment activities were included as well but I have seen a huge difference in their "life skills"the most.

3.  Brennan learned to help mow the yard.  He was very excited to earn his wage of $4 (he set the wage).  Carson did not get off Scott free.  He helped pick up sticks and with weeding a bit.  He was so proud that he pulled 20 weeds.  Great job Guys!

4.  Couponing - I was never huge on coupons.  I enjoyed finding a good sale but I never really worked at coupons.  I am forever grateful for friends encouragement to keep me going and trying this Art!  It is an Art and a blessing!

5.  Attending Church as a family - for the first time ever in 8 years we have been attending church together as a family.  Brian would go here and there but not as regular until the adoption process.  Now we all Go - Miracle!

6.  Budgetting - I have to tell you we are trying our very hardest to make this work financially - but it is not easy.  Fund raising is very difficult and options and support are becoming slim.  I am staying very positive and persistent that God will provide. We are budgeting like crazy - happily cutting out many things that we would not otherwise.  Blessing in Disguise!

7.  Even the most frustrating things such as all of the paperwork and running around were all blessings in disguise.  I can see us growing everyday in this process.

8.  More time at home means more Board Games - yes, the boys are obsessed with Monopoly.  They have learned to make deals on properties - manage money etc....  Once again lots of life lessons.  Their love managing and developing their own cities in Megapolis as well.  I laugh when I hear them state that they need to go check a contract or they need to collect taxes.

9.  Forts and generally house disarray.  I have learned to be OK with a little mess day to day.  As my husband says - kids thrive in mess as it makes them comfortable and creative.  Creative yes I will agree with  - creating forts and all kinds of mazes and obstacle courses with blocks and dominos.  This has been work for me though - another one of God's plans as I tend to like everything cleaned up but realize I would take away from their "work of creativity"  if I was constantly frustrated with the "creative messes".  Soon enough they will back to school and things shall be tidy again.  Soon enough they will be grown and out of the house and I will probably be looking for a "mess" to enjoy- Ug

10.  I enjoy/like to have control - be proactive on things.  Wow!  this situation has taught me that no matter how fast I prepare the paperwork, no matter how fast i send off papers - this is all very helpful of course but ulimately there are things I can not control such as - the agencies preparation of papers, the governments preparation of papers, China's preparation of documents etc....  So much of it is out of our control and we give this all to God and know that it will work in his timing.  This has been such and comfort in these times.

11.  We submitted to God when he called us to adopt - even when we did not know financially how it would all work.  There were many fears but we moved forward resting in the comfort of God's love that this would all work out.  Trusting in Gods plan and not our own - Blessing!

12.  I have had to become very strong to fight for what I believe in.  That orphans are important to us and they deserve a life, a forever home and loving family.   This was difficult - but it was part of God's plan to make me stronger in what I /we believe in and to be a Voice for the least of these.

I could go on and on about the many Blessings of this Adoption process.  I am so amazed already about God's work in all of this.  I can't wait to see what is to come as we Grow through next and last bit of challenges.

Thank you again for all of the prayers.

Love -
Traci xoxo

Monday, August 5, 2013

July 20th - Good News - I797 received.  This means that homeland security has received our paperwork to begin the immigration and fingerprinting process.  Just another step in the process to check off.  Yeah

Today is my younger sister Shawnda's birthday as well!  Two great things!

We are on our to visit my mom for the week.  This will be very nice to spend some family time and have a change of scenery.

I have really enjoyed having the boys home this summer.  Everything has worked out well.

We have worked on summer workbooks, lots of reading (mostly obsessed with the Magic Tree House Series), audio books in the car (again Magic Tree House mostly), attended vacation bible school, grew lots of plants (tomato, pepper and various flowers), lots of swimming, a little gymnastics and fitness, baseball throwing and catching, Monopoly, the game of Life and most recently the Megapolis game.  Yes, they are learning to build cities, manage them, collect taxes etc. It is really something else.

My favorite deals for the summer were - $1 movies at the local theatre and Free weekly bowling.

Another big hit was a trip to the Science Museum.  Our local Science Museum was recently remodeled and now includes a larger aquarium section that is very nice.  That was a great day!

Last but not least we have worked on nutrition.  Lots of smoothies and juicing over the summer.  I can say both of the boys do not mind wheatgrass.

Moving right along

We are moving right along in the adoption process.  Today we completed our fingerprints to receive I800a immigration approval.  1800a approval document is the last paper that we need to complete our Dossier for China.  Hip Hip Hooray.

We are getting down to the last final steps:

i800a approval - 1-3 weeks
Certify and Authenticate the last few docs - 2 weeks
Review and Translate Dossier by Adoption Agency - Not sure how long this will take.
LID - Dossier Logged in with China
LOA - Final Approval of our Girl
i800 - Immigration process of the child we wish to adopt
Article 5 - Yes, the child is able to immigrate to the US
Travel Approval by China - Yes, we can come get her

Hard telling how long this could all take.  I am sure we will know more once we are logged in with China.

Very Excited!

Please continue to pray over this process.  We truly feel that God is on our side in this process.  When we walked into the immigration office today 10 days before our actual fingerprint appoint and requested that we go early - we were immediately accommodated.  The process was very speedy.  We were very leary about going early but knew we had to try as 10 days makes all the difference.  Praise God!

We will be planning a yard sale sometime in September to help raise funds for this adoption.  If you have items that you would like to Donate, please let us know.  We greatly appreciate it.

Traci xoxox