In a way I think our adoption journey started way back when I was in 6th grade or so – when I never thought I’d be interested in giving birth (could not fathom the pain!) but instead thought that adoption would be a wonderful idea. Then in junior high, I became “pen pals” (yeah, remember way back when that was done via snail mail?!) with a girl in France when I started taking French in school. Soon after, I began writing to a girl in Ireland (still close friends to this day and blessed with multiple visits to each other’s countries) and then it grew and grew to about 11 different pen pals all over the world.
Japan, South Africa, India, Jamaica, Egypt… I was so intrigued by other cultures and loved the thought of one day traveling around the world. Several years later, I remember sitting in a class during my freshman year in college and learning about China’s one-child policy and it breaking my heart. Then, junior year in college I was blessed to spend a semester studying in the south of France. I lived with a host family and then traveled all over Europe with the help of a Eurail pass on the weekends with a couple other girls that I befriended through the study-abroad program. While at times there were challenges to get where we wanted to go, it was such a treasured time to be able to see so many sights and experience so many different cultures (thank you, Dad, for trusting in me and letting me live out that dream!).
About 12 years later, I met my husband. From very early on when we were dating, we agreed we wanted to have children and ideally wanted to have three kiddos, if it was to be God’s will. We were both open to adoption from the very beginning. We were very grateful to be able to have two biological children. But after giving birth to our second child, we really felt God speaking to us to step out in faith and begin to look into adoption more seriously. I had a friend from high school who had adopted from China who helped me begin to do some of the research like becoming part of various Yahoo groups for special needs kiddos from China – for which I am thoroughly grateful. Then, another friend suggested I meet up with a woman named Amy from our church who had two biological children and then adopted two children from South Korea. This sweet soul gave up the precious little free time she had (she was about to move from the Chicago suburbs down to the Dallas area and her husband was already there) and met with me just a couple days after I left her a voicemail.
It was during that get together where I felt like the Holy Spirit was speaking through Amy and convicted us to absolutely move forward. I had told her about how I kept having this thought in the back of my mind…like in 10 or so years from then, that our family would be walking into a restaurant and every time that would happen and we would say “party of four” to the host, I would have this sinking feeling in my gut that we were supposed to be a party of five. Amy basically said that she believed there was no doubt we were being called to adopt – but that the question was would we be obedient to His call?
That meeting was on March 15, 2012 – I still can see the get-together scheduled in my Outlook calendar. That night, I shared what Amy had said with Chuck and we felt fully convicted to move forward (despite all of our concerns, fears, questions, etc.). Nearly a year later our little Lucy was born in Xinyang City, China. And now, here we are in the middle of December 2014 – praying that we just might be there for Gotcha Day before this precious little girl turns two at the end of February.
Please, please keep us in your prayers! We are thrilled to report we just received our I-800 Provisional Approval today. Wahoo!! It looks like we only have seven more steps left:
- Get our email from the National Visa Center
- Complete the US Visa Application for Lucy
- Our agency then delivers our paperwork to the US Consulate in Guangzhou and they issue our Article 5
- Our agency then mails our paperwork to the CCCWA for Travel Approval
- While the above is going on, Chuck and I will go downtown Chicago to apply for our Chinese visas
- Receive our Travel Approval
- GO TO CHINA & GET OUR LUCY!!!