Thursday, July 31, 2008

Update on Ellie

I was hoping that the above "Super Heroes" might could fly to China and check on Ellie for us and perhaps even bring her home!!! They are really cute, but they can't fly! Since that idea didn't work, I'll share what I have learned about Ellie from a very special friend.

As of yesterday, Ellie still had not had surgery. She is still in the hospital awaiting surgery to repair her cleft lip. It seems in China that it is customary to check into the hospital and then meet with the doctor and wait for surgery. Definitely not the American way! She is being well cared for, and we are so grateful to have that knowledge.

Our LOA was finally mailed back today which was 2 days longer than necessary in my opinion, but it is now on its way to the CCAA. Now we wait for TA and then we schedule our flights and go get our girl! It certainly looks like it will be September 5 at the earliest and with the Olympics, that could cause us to be delayed another week or two. Praying hard to have her in our arms for her birthday- Sept. 20!

Thanks for praying for Ellie.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ellie is Having Lip Surgery Now

We were informed this morning that Ellie is in a hospital now in China and is having her cleft lip repaired. We are relieved in some sense, but we are also concerned for her. We specifically ask you to take a moment and pray for her surgeon- that God would guide his hands as he operates on our daughter. Also please pray for Ellie's pain to be managed well, and that her surgical site would be well cared for after she is released from the hospital and would remain free of infection.
It's difficult to imagine her there hurting without us. We hope that her foster mom can be with her, but of course we have no idea who is with her. Surely someone is. I can not bring myself to even think of her being there alone.
Our God is the Great Physician and a God of comfort to those in need, and we trust now that His will is being done for Ellie and that He will bring her (and us) through this. Thanks for praying yet again!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

LOA Today!

No doubt about it, we were all ecstatic to get the call today informing us that our much- wanted and much- delayed LOA was here! We were actually wrapping up our annual week at our favorite beach when we got the call. Boy, did we have yelling and jumping and all kinds of displays of pure joy and happiness from each of us! Lots of praises were lifted up to our Heavenly Father for providing our LOA and for sustaining us during the arduous wait. We are heading out for ice cream for supper- not after supper- tomorrow night to celebrate.
Thank you to our many friends and family who have prayed for and with us during these last several months as the wait dragged on and on and on. (108 days to be exact!) We are so excited to be that much closer to meeting Ellie and giving her the love that has been growing in her hearts since October when we first saw her sweet little face.
Our agency expects us to travel in late August or early September so it looks as though Ellie will at least be with us on her second birthday although we may have to celebrate it in China. She turns 2 on September 20th and my birthday is the 22nd. September should be a great month for our family!
A special message for my dear friend Kim who has endured this long wait with me for LOA. Unfortunately, her LOA did not come today so her wait continues, and being that this is her first adoption, I truly think that makes it even worse. This is for you Kim: "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:14

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Still Waiting for Our Newest Member

Our Team Needs Ellie!!!!"Sermon on the Mound" was our theme for this year's Bible School. Of course that meant a lot of baseball stuff - like the T-shirts- as the kids learned about the Beatitudes from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5). I thought this was a cute picture of our "Team" except that we are missing one key player- Ellie!

No news on our LOA! Where is our LOA?! Again, we know God's timing is perfect and although we wish it was His plan for us to be united with our daughter now, it simply is not. So we must continue to wait and trust Him. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. . ." Proverbs 3:5 I have known that verse for years and sing it with my children, but I ran across it this week and have "seen" it in a whole new light ever since. I don't understand why we are still waiting, but my God does. I know He has it all worked out perfectly. Maybe this week will be the week He has in mind. I hope so!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

New Pictures of Ellie

After waiting and waiting, we finally received an update on our Ellie girl. . . We received the update last Monday, and we were all elated to finally receive new pictures of our little girl and sister. The other pictures we have were taken when she was approximately 7 months old. This new picture was taken on May 15, 2008 when she was almost 20 months old. She has certainly grown quite a bit- which is good. That's what babies do, right?

According to her measurements which may or may not be accurate, she is 24 1/2 pounds and is 34 1/4 inches tall. If they are correct, she and Lilly will be very close in size. Her cleft lip has obviously not been repaired and neither has her palate. For those who do not know, Ellie was also born with a patent foramen ovale (atrial septal defect) and a VSD (ventricular septal defect). Lilly also had these 2 heart defects. Ellie was fortunate enough to receive surgical repair of her heart defects last September and was discharged from the hospital on her first birthday. We were so thankful that she did not have to suffer as long as Lilly did with unrepaired heart defects.

The recent update we received only included new measurements and 2 new pictures. We would have loved new information on her development and personality, but we are most grateful for what we did receive. In her original referral information, her personality was described as "outgoing, lively, and full of joy." We simply can't wait to go and meet our newest bundle of joy! When will we go you might ask? Well we have not heard any new information regarding our Letter of Acceptance (LOA). It is really "overdue", and there has been some speculation that the delay may be intentional on behalf of the CCAA in order to prevent adoptive families from traveling during the Olympics. LOAs were coming out every 10 to 14 days for a few months, and this Monday will mark one month since the last batch was received. So our best guess now would be that we would leave sometime after August 15. The sooner the better in our minds, but again we know God's timing is always perfect and so we find great peace in that promise!

In the mean time, we have started school and been staying very busy. My goal is to have 6 weeks of school completed before we head to China. When we get home with Ellie, I'm sure none of us will be in the mood for school. But doing school in summer is a little tough!

I have realized after receiving the updated measurements that Ellie will most likely not be able to wear Lilly's hand-me-downs so once we get LOA, I will have a good reason to do a little shopping. I have only purchased 2 outfits for Ellie, and I'm so glad I have waited. Since our travel date is still unknown and summer will be over before we know it, she may not be here in time to need any summer clothes. SO the wait continues, and we just admire her sweet face and long for the day that she will finally be with her forever family!