Beyond tonight, I am doubtful I will have much of any time to post to the blog until we are in China. Yes, it is now that soon!! Well, we think it is. Our agency received our soft Travel Approval from China on Friday afternoon (I let out a scream so loud I scared Chuck). 🙂 Yep, that loud. It called for a few happy dances around the house as we were all together – well, almost all of us – save that one precious and oh-so-important little girl in China. Next steps:
- Agency should receive our hard copy of the Travel Approval in the mail hopefully on Monday. Then they can request the soonest available appointment with the US Consulate.
- We can put a 24 hour hold on airfare.
- Within about 24 hours the appointment should be confirmed and our trip is set. Then we can purchase our airfare.
Our agency thinks we will still be able to depart on January 28th so that we will get our precious Lucy on February 2nd!!!
So, those are the main timeline updates, but we now would GREATLY appreciate your prayers over all of the below:
- That the Lord would bless all of the above so that we truly can have our sweet daughter in our arms on Feb 2nd. May He be preparing her heart to know that her forever daddy and forever mommy are coming for her. May her foster family know when the right time is to show her our family picture book that we sent to her back in November. We very much know and expect her transition to us to include much grieving as she has been with a foster family since March ’14, but despite that, we pray for God to work in her heart, to give her a vision of us and most of all, to give her peace. Our cutie is only two years old. There is no way she can understand all that is about to happen to her. My heart breaks for her. But, while we expect these initial days, weeks, and months to be challenging we pray for her to have the peace that only our sweet Lord can give:
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7
- Please also cover Henry and Audrey in prayer as well as all of their caretakers while we are in China. Henry is almost 7 and Audrey is almost 4. We know they will miss us deeply (and us them), but for many reasons, we made the decision to not bring them on this trip. We have been blessed with wonderful and generous friends and family and our sitter who will work an extended schedule so that our children will always be with someone we trust in our absence. But we have never been away from the kiddos for more than one night at a time. Yep. One. Night. At. A. Time. This trip will be 16 or 17 days. Granted, I am so very thankful for all of the ideas shared by BTDT adoption families for countdown calendars and other visuals, little pressies to leave behind, a list of little fun ideas for the caretakers to pick from while we’re away, etc. And last, but not least, we are thankful for FaceTime. As we’ve been told that FaceTime works VERY well from China so we hope to be able to FaceTime with Henry and Audrey every day if at all possible. Please also pray that they would stay amazingly healthy and that their teachers at school would just give them a little extra attention knowing that they are going through a hard time with mommy & daddy away for so long.
- Please pray for our preparedness. From the little stuff like not forgetting the 2nd memory card for the camera (where did I put that?) to the big, big stuff like being able to love on Lucy exactly how she needs it when we meet her, being able to get her comfortable in the evenings in Zhengzhou and Guangzhou so that she will get a good night’s sleep, being able to convey to her that the scary car, van, train and plane rides really will be OK (and that God does protect us every single place we go) and ultimately making sure that she absolutely feels at home in our house one day. Truly a part of our family. Loved equally not only by our immediate family but also by our extended family.
- Regarding the above, we know this will be a journey. While we may get to a point a few months…several months…after she is home and be able to say that she really seems to come into her own, has learned lots of English, bonded and attached well to all four of us we know that THIS TRULY IS A LIFELONG JOURNEY and we don’t take this lightly. I remember roughly three years ago – that moment when Chuck and I agreed that God was calling us to do this. It was not something we just “wanted” to do. There are so many reasons not to adopt. We could have tried for another biological child. But we didn’t feel God calling us to that. We felt Him calling us to China. Recently, there have been a number of articles about the challenges that face adoptees, especially those in transracial families – sobering articles like this one: https://redthreadbroken.wordpress.com/2014/12/19/in-memory-of-emilie-grace-olsen-and-all-adoptees-gone-too-soon/
Please do read this article. And if nothing else, please, please, show love every time you are in the midst of an adoptee. But it is articles like this that drive me to pray that one day Lucy will believe that her key identity is that which comes from Jesus Christ. All who call him Lord have been adopted into His family. I am adopted. I pray you are adopted too. (Ephesians 1:5) You see, God can do amazing things. I believe He is still in the miracle business even though society doesn’t much believe in those things these days. It is my hope and prayer that despite the huge challenges Lucy has already had to endure in her short, little life, that God can bless her beyond belief, that He can instill in her a purpose for her life and bless her with a wonderful life to come. You see, even ~2700 years ago this was written of how our Lord cares for those who mourn:
To all who mourn, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for His Own glory. – Isaiah 61:3
We know that Lucy will mourn and we will mourn with her. But we pray that one day, she will have a new identity that is all about being adopted into God’s family, that she is filled with MUCH joy and that she radiates His peace and glorifies His name.
- Finally, please pray for the Lord’s financial provision for our trip. We pray that we can find airline tickets that might be via those last-minute sales. We pray that we make wise decisions about transportation in-province when we can choose a bullet train rather than another plane and save a bit there. We pray for our jobs. 2014 was a very hard year for Chuck’s all-commission job. Please lift him up for financial blessing in 2015. Please pray we would be able to get Lucy into Shriner’s Hospital in Chicago as there is a surgeon there who is not only renowned for his extreme surgical success but also his excellent bedside manner. Lastly, please prayerfully consider providing us a small donation via our GoFundMe account – http://www.gofundme.com/adoptinglucy.
Thank you ever so much for your prayers. Honestly, I feel like I have another 1,000 I could lift up, but this entry is plenty long, it is late and I need to crawl into bed and the Holy Spirit certainly knows how to intercede for us. We know the evil one does not want this adoption to happen. Nearly every other day lately it feels like he is throwing darts at us, trying to derail us, wanting to make sure we are not prayed up and prepared for what is about to come. But we call upon the Lord and know He is with us and will be there every moment on this blessed journey!!
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear… for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. – Deuteronomy 31:6
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice… The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. – Philippians 4:4-6