A Letter to Luke
We are so close. I look at your picture and just long to touch your head. I want to hug you so close and smell the boy sweat in your hair. I want you to know that I have waited so long to be your Momma. I can't even imagine what that day will be like when you walk through that door. I will be waiting and anticipating and just full of every emotion known to man and God. I bought you some airplanes today. They are made of foam and we will have to punch them out and put them together. It came with two which is good because I always break one of the pieces when I punch them out. I looked at your backpack hanging on the wall. It has your dog and crayons and some fire trucks in it. There is a book too. I bought you some long johns today too. A 4 and a 4T just in case you got big on me. I am good at shrinking clothes so I can always shrink the 4t to fit your brother if they are too small for you. It is midnight and you are probably in lunch at a table. Are they having your favorites today? Apples, Pineapple, Fried Chicken? BABA is already planning your first trip to KFC. He will probably have the address before we get to China. The girls are trying to figure out whose buddy you are going to be. I think being shy you will be with AG, but Flo has big plans for you. I think Barbies may be in your future. If you play nicely, you may get to be Harry Styles. I would push for that. Otherwise you may end up being a Kelly doll. Harry gets all the ladies you don't want to be a bratty little girl. I miss you so much! Every morning your sweet face looks at me on the fridge. It seems like decades you have been up there. I am sorry this has taken so long. God has a purpose in his timing and it is hard sometimes to understand that. It is hard for your Momma, but we have to believe that His will is perfect. I love you my boy, my sweet, sweet, boy! I will see you in just few more weeks. Santa would say, "52 winks or less". You will have a new Christmas my boy. It will no longer be the day you were orphaned it will be the day we celebrate Jesus' birth. I am counting down to your new Christmas and your new forever. I love you! MOMMA
Christmas Card Fundraiser
We are selling Handmade Christmas Cards to help bring our boys home. If you are interested in purchasing Christmas Card sets, please email me. firstname.lastname@example.org
All proceeds go toward our adoption expenses. Please continue to pray for us.
Bring Our Brothers Home Fundraiser
We are selling pieces of the below puzzle to bring our brothers home. We are fundraising for their orphanage donation fees. These fees help pay for the next little ones that come into care. Please consider donating to our puzzle fundraiser. When you purchase a puzzle piece your name will be placed on the back of the piece. The puzzle will hang on the boys wall so they will know how many people helped bring them home. You can donate on our fundraising website below or email me email@example.com
Our Paperwork is on it way to China. We are DTC.
It has taken us months to get to the point. We started this process in October of 2013 and finally this part of the process is done. Now we wait. We will wait for up to six months for everyone to check everything we have sent and decide if we can come and get our boys. Continue to pray for us. It is our goal to get our boys in September, but God may have other plans for us. It may be November before we travel. Pray that we are patient and believe in God's perfect timing.
I-797 Woo Hoo
To the general population this means absolutely nothing, but my adoption friends are jumping up and down because they know how hard it has been for us to get this. We have had no less than 3 delays trying to get this one sheet of paper. It has been a crazy, crazy insane journey to have this in our hands.
I thought I might list the steps we have gone through to get here and let you know what we have left to do.
1.) Application with WACAP
2.) Application with Home Study Agency
3.) Home Study Process (this took us six months alone)
10-01-13 until 2-18-14
4.) Home Study Approval 3-24-14
5.) Pre-Approval from China for Luke (10-24-13)
6.)Approval for two 2/2014
7.)Pre-Approval from China for John (4-2014)
8.) Prep Dossier documents ( took 4 months)
9.) I-800A sent to USCIS
10.) USCIS approval to move forward (5-30-2014)
This is where we are now.
11.) Dossier To China (DTC) 06/20/14 Logged In Date (LID) 07/03/14 Out of Translation (OOT 7/17/14)
12.) Letter of Approval (LOA/LSC)
13.) I-800 Application USCIS
14.) DS-230 to Consulate in China
15.) USCIS (basically homeland security) issues provisional approval
16.) provisional approval is sent to US Consulate in Guangzhou, China
17.) US Consulate issues Article 5 to CCCWA (these are the people in charge of all orphans in China)
18.) We apply for our Chinese entry visas
19.) CCCWA issues their final approval to our agency & the provinces where the boys live
20.) Our agency receives travel invites for us to come to China
21.) Our US Consulate appointment is set up
22.) We make all travel plans
23.) We go to China and get our little boys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WE GOT TRUCKS, CARS, AND PLANES OH MY!
A dear sweet friend showed up at school today with a box of boy toys! A big boot box of boy toys. I could not believe it. I just did not know what to say to her! She is just an amazing lady to start with and we are so blessed by so many people. It hit me when she handed it to me that its real. I guess all of the mounds of paperwork and running around everywhere getting things sealed and signed and verified, certified, authenticated, notarized, etc. etc. makes it seem like a job. But today it was not a job it was two little boys that will be playing with real little cars and little trucks and planes. These little matchbox cars will have 4 little hands holding them tight and they will probably travel countless miles with us. I just cried. It hit me all of sudden that at the end of the paperwork, at the end of the grant applications, the t-shirt sales, and the yard sales lies two little innocent fatherless boys that will be fatherless no more. Sweet little faces with a truck in each hand every where we go. My sweet sweet little boys know that this Momma around the world is doing everything in her power to get you here. She is counting down the seconds to see your sweet little hands holding on to some slightly used cars that were given with so much love I can not wrap my head around it. I think my hubs cried a little too. I am tearing up now. It was honestly one of the best Mother's Day gifts I could have gotten. Jamie if you read this know that I love you. You are awesome! Every time our little boys play with those cars you will be in my thoughts. You gave me reality today! A real dose of reality. You have no idea how much we treasure this gift. It seemed I am sure very small to you but it was awesome to us. Thank You!
The Sweet Times Two
We are at the point of no return. As I sit and think about what could possibly be going on in two orphanages around the world, an adoption friend is flying to her new little girl. She will be visiting the orphanage on Thursday where our Sweet Boy resides. Hoping and Praying this momma sees my boy and gets us some updated pictures. We would love to see how much he has grown since November. Those were the last pics we got. So hoping she sees him. I can not comprehend that he could get any cuter but I bet he will. We so love that boy! I am afraid all the girls will too. He is so stinkin cute!
We are hoping and praying one of the families traveling this summer will see our Sweet Bunny and give us some much need information. There are not many families that travel there and so it is hard to get pics at this orphanage. Our Sweet Bunny needs us and we want to love on that boy too.
We can not wait to get these boys in our arms. We would love to be on the count down but it is not that time yet. We still have a few more hoops to jump through before the count starts. It is frustrating but we will get there and I keep reminding myself everything is in God's perfect timing. It is not ours it is His.
So as I type this it is 3 am in a small cold room and in a small metal crib lays a tiny little guy who will be Sweet Bunny! Sweet Boy is getting a brother. Sweet Bunny is not the plan we had as parents. One older boy (age 5 is older in the adoption world) and that's it. As the paperwork mounted and mounted, I had a breakdown. I told my loving hubs that I could not do this again. This would be the last time so Sweet Boy would never have a brother. I think my heart ached over that possibility as much as it did over the possibility of doing the paperwork again. In my quest to figure out how to fund raise for our adoption I came across the cutest little guy I had ever seen. He just pulled me in and a few days later he was in my inbox. I told Mark that he had to be our boy number 2. He was like, no! You said easy, you said minor special needs, you said no cleft surgeries, you said easy. He was right and I could not deny that. I asked if I could get his file and take it with me to our plastic surgeon at Children's when I took Flo for her check up. He said, "Yes, but I am not promising anything and I am sure what he says will not change my mind." I told him to please pray that this little guy will get a family and if he does he was not meant to be ours. We prayed for this boy every night and I could not stand it. I had to email the file to the plastic surgeon. I thought it would be easier than for me to spring it on him. So the conversation ended, but I did have photos of this boy all over our house. He was six months older than Sweet Boy so we would still be doing the older child thing. We finally went to the appointment and I am not sure if I was more excited to here how our Flo was doing or what he thought of this little guy. Flo was doing awesome and does not have to go back for a year. The boy was another story. Good news he is still in the window for a surgery of this magnitude. Bad news this is serious surgery and way different from what Flo had to deal with. The brain and skull would be involved and it could be very scary. I was excited and scared to tell Mark. I got home and shared and he said, "I thought we were doing easy this time, I thought we were doing not a lot of surgeries this time." I again could not argue except to say, "But every child no matter how hard deserves to have a family and when we bring him home he will still be in the surgery window." Response," I am still praying he gets his family." I knew he was and I was praying just the opposite that we would be his family. God listened. The boy got a family and it was not us. I had a crew of ladies praying that Mark would change his mind. He did. He wanted to go younger and he wanted a child with a grant. We were given 3 files to review. All three were adorable boys, but in the end our little Sweet Bunny was the little guy for us. He had cleft palate and he was born the day before our AG. God placed his file in our hand for a reason. We had applied to adopt two and were still not sure the agency would agree. The agency agreed, but would not agree for us to adopt Sweet Bunny without an update. His file was 2 years old and they had a few concerns because of that. We got the update and it said a few sentences. "Does not have Cleft Palate. Does not walk or talk. Developmentally delayed, but sharp boy." So everything we thought we knew about him was completely wrong. We could have run, we could have given back his file, we could have said no, he is not the boy we thought he was going to be and just ignored his sweet face and his beautiful eyes and walked away. We didn't and we couldn't because God placed him in our hearts and we could not let him go not for a minute. We now loved him and he was now our Sweet Bunny and we know that God will prepare us for whatever the future holds for our Sweet Bunny! We know that our family, Church community, school community, adoption community, and our beautiful circle of friends will be there for us and will help us on this journey. We know God started this and He will be with us til the end. We have the two boys that were meant to be ours. We were chosen by God to parent them and we will not give up until we bring them hope. We are asking for prayers for us and our boys. That they will be safe until we get them home and that the money will be there to bring them home. We are continuing to fund raise and we are applying for grants and we have faith in God to move mountains for this adoption. He has moved so many, we are all still amazed.
I feel like we have been working on this home study for years. It seems like it has taken forever, but it appears we are almost done. So, step 2 in this process is to get out Dossier put together. We have already started that process and we plan to move full speed ahead with that next week. Once the Dossier is assembled it will be basically written in Chinese and sent to China. The big LID is what we will what for once it is sent. We appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers as we continue through this process. Pray that our next two steps happen quickly. We also are going to start the application process for grants. Pray that those go smoothly as well and we get good news. We appreciate all of you who are supporting us through this journey.
Here is the shirt design!
A wonderful friend of ours had this designed by her brother a graphic designer. Anyone who is interested in a shirt. Please email me or make a comment below.
We are working on our paperwork and our homestudy will officially start next week. We are so excited as we get closer to our boy. Thank you all for following us on this journey to Sweet Boy!
I am still not believing this, but we are adopting again. We have started the process to bring home our son, "Sweet Boy". We received pre-approval from China on Friday! We have been filling out paperwork for a month now and will continue to do so. We had our first fundraiser October 5th. Some good friends allowed us to have a yard sale at their house. We are so grateful for that. We are working on a t-shirt that we plan to sell for the month of November. It is national adoption Month! We want shirts to be in for Christmas. They are really going to be cute and if anyone is interested in purchasing one, please let me know. I will ship it, if you live out of state. I will post the design here as soon as we finalize the shirt. We have the design but are re-thinking the Bible verse.
I can not post photos of sweet boy yet. Hopefully in January or February we can debut our boy! We are excited. He is a Christmas baby. He will be five in December. We hope it will be his last birthday in China. Our girls are very excited. Flo is extremely excited. Please continue to pray for us and Sweet Boy as we start this new adventure!