Wednesday, February 28, 2007

New Pictures of Lilly

As we have been waiting for TA to go get Lilly, we decided to send a care package through Blessed Kids. Our package included 2 disposable cameras, and we requested their "camera retrieval service." As a result, we were able to get additional photos of Lilly, and her life in the orphanage. We just received these in the last few days. There are about 40 or so pictures of her including her sleeping in her crib, eating, taking a bath, and playing. We are so grateful to Lilly's Nannies in the orphanage for taking the time to take such precious pictures of our daughter. These pictures are priceless to us, and I know they will be so meaningful to Lilly when she is older.

We did hear that the CCAA is now reviewing our dossier. This is good news and can only mean we are one step closer to TA! We know God's timing is perfect, and we put our trust in Him.

I also want to thank my dear friend and fellow China mom, Sharon because she actually set this blog up for us. Thank you!!!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Update on Lilly

Our "letter of intent" (LOI) to adopt "Lilly" was mailed on 12/19/06. Then the waiting game began. Since we already had a "log in date" (LID) of 11/21/06, we did not receive "pre -approval" (PA). We are waiting on "travel approval" (TA) from the Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA) which is final approval. We hope and pray to receive it by the end of March and travel in April or early May.

We received an update on "Lilly" on 1/30/07. This was so exciting because we got 2 new pictures of her. She has gained weight and is now sitting alone. The update also said that she is continuing to battle respiratory infections so we are focusing our prayers on her health. We pray for a speedy process, and for God to protect her until we are allowed to bring her home.

Katie, our second child, has been on a mission to help the orphans in China. She has donated money to "Love Without Boundaries" which helps provide surgery for orphans. She has also collected donations of money, stickers, and lollipops to take to the orphans. She and her big sister, Shelby, have been buying clothes from the clearance racks to take to the children in the orphanage where "Lilly" is. They are using their own money and donations from friends and family. We are so proud of them.

Our Adoption Journey Begins

Since 2002, I have been praying about international adoption and whether this was God's will for our lives. My husband did not feel the "call" to adopt back then. We had our fourth biological child in October 2003 and thought our family was complete. In the spring of 2006, I began to desire more children and once again my heart was yearning to adopt an orphan. I began to pray for God's wisdom, and I also mentioned the idea to my husband. He quickly responded that I must be crazy. Well, I knew I could not adopt without my husband's support. Thus I prayed that if this was indeed God calling me to adopt that He change David's heart as well.
From the beginning, I felt drawn to China because I kept "seeing" an Asian child in our family. This was before I ever looked at the individual countries' requirements for adoptive parents. However, when I did research the various countries, China was the only country that made practical sense for our family.
By June 2006, David had begun to talk openly with me about adoption and had committed to attending an adoption seminar. We were both praying for God's will to be done in our lives. The seminar was sponsored by Christian World Adoption and was held on July 22, 2006. We went to the seminar looking for a reason NOT to adopt from China. We left the seminar with many new reasons why we should adopt but not a single reason why we should not.
We started the paperwork at the end of July and turned our dossier in on October 21. We had set out to adopt a healthy baby, but we also decided to look at the Special Needs lists of Chinese children that our agency received every few months. On December 7, I saw my daughter's face for the very first time. As I looked at her, I knew she was meant to be our child. David and I quickly conferred over the phone. Then I e-mailed the agency requesting the medical information on 06.12.4. After an agonizing hour of waiting, we found out that she was ours!
We were all overjoyed. We had been calling her "Lilly" for months but now we had a face to go with her name! God is so good!