Sunday, April 22, 2007

Travel dates

Last week was like a roller coaster ride. There were lots of highs and lows. Monday was wonderful because we received TA. Having been told by our agency that as long as we had TA by April 17, we would be able to travel on May 11, we quickly assumed that we would indeed get to travel then. However, on Wednesday, the agency called and said they were unable to get a consulate appointment for us until May 29 which would require us to leave on May 18. We were all disappointed, but I was heartbroken. After an e-mail from my friend, Jennifer Barbee, I decided to at least request an "appeal" to the US Consulate. I did not expect our dates to change, but I felt that I had to at least try. The agency agreed to make an appeal on our behalf. By Wednesday evening, I had accepted that we would not travel with our friends the Barbees, and that it would be an additional week until I saw Lilly. On Thursday morning I said to my husband (who always checks e-mail first thing in the morning) "Let me know if you hear from Jane." (An agency rep. who is in China.) As I was reading my Bible, David calls out "I think she did it!" Sure enough we had an e-mail from Jane saying that the consulate had "squeezed" us in due to our daughter's special need and health concerns. What a wondeful surprise!
I know that God turned the impossible into the possible! As my daughter said, "It's kinda like a miracle Mom!" A miracle indeed and for that I praise God!
We are leaving May 11 and "Gotcha Day" will be Monday, May 14- David's birthday!
Thank you for praying for us and for following our journey.

Monday, April 16, 2007

YEAH! My family got TA and will soon be on their way!

TA arrived today!!!! We have been waiting for this day for over 4 months now. It was a time of great celebration at our house, and the children and I had a ball jumping up and down and yelling "We have TA." Even Ethan, our 3 year old, said "We have TA." in his very cute little way. This picture of Lilly is one that we received on April 4. It is the first picture of her that has shown any personality. We thought it was perfect for this post! She definitely looks older and oh so cute!

Our agency is working on obtaining our consulate appointment in China. The date of that appointment determines our travel dates. It appears that we got TA just in time to make it with the May 11 group, but we will not know for sure until our agency hears back from the consulate regarding our appointment. If we do get to travel on May 11, "Gotcha Day" will be on Monday, May 14 which is David's birthday. It will also be the day after Mother's Day. What a special day that will be.

We are so thankful to God for calling us on this journey to adopt one of His precious children.
It has been an amazing journey so far, and the best is yet to come- when we finally get to see and hold Lilly for the very first time! James 1:27 has become a very special verse to us. I guess you could call it our "theme verse" for our adoption journey. "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." May God be glorified through this adoption.

Now that we have our TA and will soon be on our way to bring Lilly home, we have some new prayer requests. Please join us as we pray: for safe travel, for our boys as we will be leaving them for 2 weeks, for Lilly's attachment to us as her parents, and for good health for all 7 of us as we make this journey. Thank you for sharing this journey with us.

Monday, April 2, 2007

A Letter From China

Today was a day of celebration for our family. We received the much awaited phone call from our agency saying that our Letter of Acceptance had arrived. We decided to drive to CWA in Charleston to sign the letter so that it could be sent back to China by UPS today. It was wonderful to read the letter which listed Lilly's name, Kai Shu, and her date of birth, 10/17/2005. The letter stated that this child had been assigned to us, and we had to mark whether we accepted this child or mark that we did not accept this child. Of course we checked the box to accept Kai Shu as our daughter because she most definitely already is! After driving home and then heading to Fulton's t-ball game, we picked up Chinese food to celebrate. The children love eating with chopsticks as it is quite challenging, and they enjoy knowing that they can experience a small piece of Lilly's culture right here at home.
Of course now we must wait on Travel Approval before we can begin to make final preparations for our trip to bring Lilly home! We were told today by our agency that in order to ensure that we travel with the next group on May 11, our TA needs to be received by April 17. It will be close as it usually takes 2 to 3 weeks to get TA after LOA. We know and believe with all of our hearts that anything is possible with God. So once again we put our faith and our trust in Him.
And we wait yet again!
Our friends from NC who are also adopting a baby girl from Chenzhou orphanage received their TA today. Lilly and Lainie are just a few months apart in age, share the same special need (VSD), and probably share the same crib room at the orphanage. God has blessed me with getting to know Lainie's mom, Jennifer, over the last several months. Jennifer has been such an encouragement to me, and I am so thankful for having the opportunity to share this journey with her. We will be meeting Jennifer and her family this Thursday, and we are praying that we will be able to travel with them on May 11 to get our girls.
Please join us as we praise God for granting our LOA and for Him sustaining us these last 3 weeks as we waited. It was not easy and we give Him all the glory! Also please pray that if it is God's will, we would receive our TA in time to travel on May11.
Here are a few of the verses which I relected on today as I waited for the phone to ring not knowing if it would or not:
". . . but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31
"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself ' The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait on him.' " Lamentations 3: 22-24