Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dossier Review

So today we did a Dossier Review with Lifeline. I'm seriously so clueless about the "normal adoption process" it's quite funny. Having adopted before, internationally...you'd think we'd be pro's but we did an independent adoption without an agency...yes...the hard way but it's the only way we know. It was good to go over the steps ahead of us as well as the financial steps.

So here's the rough timeline:
We should have our i800a approval in about a month from now let's say March 25.
From then to Dossier submission it's about 3 weeks.
Then we are DTC (Dossier To China).
Takes about 3 weeks from DTC to LID (Log In Date).
LID to LOA (Letter of Acceptance) is anywhere from 60-150 days and we'll pray for closer to 60-100 :)

From LOA to Travel is 60-90 days.

Logan said we are looking at October/November travel from what we can see right now.

Dean and I looked up flights tonight as we'll be responsible for booking our own flights to China. Living on the west coast helps...we were surprised to see $800 return right from Pasco and it's non stop from Seattle!

Please pray for our grant applications that we recently sent off...it would be amazing to receive a grant. Regardless...we know God is going to provide.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Be still...

And know....
I am God.

A few nights ago...feeling overwhelmed in a few ways...I read...when I didn't feel like reading.

God is so good. He gives things just at the right time. I've read this verse many times but it didn't have significance at that moment. This night...it did.

Ps 46:10. Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.


I can't tell you how difficult it was to 'be still' that night. I would start to go to sleep and then realize I was anxious about something. Oh...be still. Know that I am God. I think "know" is a powerful word there. When you 'know' that He is God...everything changes. You haven't heard. You didn't just think. It's not what someone else believes. You know. He is God.

And He is with us.

Peace.

The fundraiser....wow. To Courteney who felt strongly about this fundraiser and gave of her time and resources so willingly...for one reason...to help bring Taizi and Zihao home....the humblest of 'thank you's.

To each of you that bought a beautiful handmade necklace...thank you.

To each of you that gave...above and beyond...our hearts simply say...thank you.

20 necklaces.

$1540.

Jonah 2:8...Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.
9...but I...with a song of thanksgiving...will sacrifice to You...

Thank you. Thank you...and thank you. From the bottom of our hearts...you gave a gift that goes so far beyond a beautiful necklace. You gave a gift...of life.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Last call on the bird's nest necklaces...

We are ready to close this fundraiser...please let me know if you want a custom bird's nest necklace before we end it :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pictures!!

Was surprised today to get some photos from Jenny... here's our little Zihao. His hair has grown out since the last pictures and he is wearing the Thomas sweatshirt we sent :) Just to show you how little he is that sweater is 2T and looked tiny. I LOVE his little face in the picture with the pink chair. So precious. Our little Zihao~our heroic boy.








Fundraiser questions

***14 sold...6 remaining***

Fundraiser questions. No my friend doesn't yet have her site up for you to view custom options. We have shown a few here but it's really up to your imagination. Most people are ordering them with the 'eggs' representing how many children they have etc. I've posted some new options included copper wire etc. It really is up to you what style you want (limited to the items she has on hand :)

After you do purchase it with your donation I will give you her email so you can work out the details with her.

It absolutely can be shipped to Canada and you can pay either by Paypal (direct to our adoption account) or check or money order mailed to
J Walker
4916 Malaga Dr
Pasco WA
99301


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Fundraiser!!


**3 sold...17 left**







One of the sweetest girls I know...not only came up with this fundraiser but she is making it and she is *talented*! She made me one...a bird's nest necklace with 9 colorful eggs in the nest for all 9 of our children.

I. Love. It!

She has offered to *custom make* 20 for a fundraiser. 100% of the money will go to bring Zihao and Taizi home. She sells them for $30 including chain...we are selling them by donation. We are not setting a price...you set the price. Again...only 20 available and it is custom. Have one with a pearl and 2 charms! Do a gold nest! A silver nest! Have a boy and a girl? Do a nest with a blue and a pink pearl. You can do several pearls...or colorful beads like is in mine. Just so you know the one with 9 colorful beads is about the size of a nickel...the others with 1 or 2 pears are about the size of a dime. Very well made and unique to you!

I will post updates with how many remain here on the blog. Please use the paypal button here on the right of the blog and specify that it is for the bird's nest fundraiser. From the bottom of our hearts...thank you. Thank you to Courtney for her generous heart and total sacrifice to help us bring our babies home. Thank you to YOU. For being such a part of the process.



Friday, February 17, 2012

My dream.

Last night I really had a great dream...

we had just met this kind lady and she asked about our family which led us to talk about our adoption process. When we left she handed us an envelope....with a check for $14,333 (not sure about the three's...?). I woke up so excited and relieved that we can breathe because wow that took a LOT of pressure off. And then realized...it was all a dream :)

Sooo we send off 4 grant applications today. That was some serious intense pile of paperwork...!

Nothing breaks me more.


Than this little face. Little Taizi Fu'An ...ahhh...

Measurements:
weight: 8.8kg 19lbs 6.4 oz (he will be 3 years in June...he's tiny)
height 80cm 31.5 inches
head 48.5cm
chest 47.5cm
foot 11cm 4.3 inches
teeth 13





It's funny to see the different emotional reactions I have with each child. With Zihao ... I smile and my heart smiles. He exudes pure joy. With Taizi.... my heart breaks. Instantly when we see a photo or even just talk about him I have a lump in my throat. We were talking about them last night and Dean saw the reaction. He said "you love the broken"...it was an interesting conversation. Did I have more feeling with Azlan as a baby? I adored our babies. Then there was something different with Azlan. Not more love. A different emotional pull. He was a picture to me of imperfection in the ultimate perfection-focused society. His beauty was real and raw and my love for him was as well.

I'm the same way with adults. Last night we saw a grown man who's one ear was identical to Azlan's. It stuck way out and was deformed to the same extent as Azlan's. Just something off. But very noticeable. Instantly looking at him I could feel the lump in my throat. Was he teased his whole childhood?

The song that came to mind this morning as I was so excited to see the new photos of Taizi is Toby Mac's "Get back up".

There's a line in the song that kept coming to me this morning.. and I love it.

"..This is LOVE calling...Love calling...
out to the broken ...
this is Love calling...Love calling...."

Then it ends with this...

"This is Love calling...Love calling...
I am for broken...
This is Love calling..."

Ahh. He is for broken. I know His heart breaks for the broken too. Emotionally broken. Physically broken. Heart broken. Definitely spiritually broken. He came for the broken.

My heart says he is deaf. There is something in his eyes that is very empty. Something that reminds me of Azlan yet so much more. He looks like he's living in silence to me. Pray for our boy.

Taizi...you are beautiful. You break this heart of mine. You look so broken in every way. Physically broken. Emotionally broken. Desperate for love. This is Love calling...out to the broken.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Keeping busy with applications.

Many of them. Most people that know me know how much I really dislike stacks of paperwork. Especially on my desk. EEEK can't wait to have it in the mail!

Tomorrow we go to our pastor and pick up all the reference letters necessary. Then we get all the documents together and package it all in the mail. 4 grant applications ready to go. The down side? Most you don't even get a reply from for 8-10 weeks.

On to good news...

Jason and Rachel posted pictures of meeting Josie for the first time...so so so beautiful....

Tonight a friend called me asking for some help b/c she received a call about 2 siblings that were taken from their home tonight and need to be placed into a foster home. The infant has a cleft lip and palate. I'm not joking when I say my heart skipped a beat. I wanted to get the next flight over there and help her with this little baby. I can't do that...but I'm praying for them all and especially these little children...neglect, abandonment...so much hurt. So much pain. Breaks my heart. And that beautiful little cleft lip that I mourned over saying 'good bye' to...and someone just turned their back? Oh my heart...

Ok. random post. I know. My desk is messy. My heart is full. And hurting. I have lots to pray about tonight. I'm asking you to join me.



Monday, February 13, 2012

:)

The payment of $890 was cleared from our account today for the i800a. I don't know if that means anything but made us smile :) Something is at least being processed! Or...maybe they are just in a hurry to get our money ;)

Sheltering Trees.

The two best parts of my day are homeschooling and bedtime. They are the ultimate bonding times for me with each child. Yah you think I'm crazy. True story.

So tonight at bedtime, Zion wanted to sing. We sang an older song: Sheltering Trees by Newsong.


After we sang it....I asked the boys if they knew what a sheltering tree was. Lots of cute conversation followed but after a few minutes I told them to imagine it was a big snowstorm and you were outside far away from home. I asked Zion if he saw a big tree what he would do. He said "run and hide behind it!" I asked him 'why' and he explained that it probably wouldn't be as cold and windy behind the tree. So I told them that's what the song was about. Friends...are like sheltering trees when they pray. They really entered into it. So before we prayed I told them tonight we were going to be "sheltering trees for each other". I told them to each tell me which boy they were going to pray for. With no hesitation they each picked someone and we began:

Zion: "God I want to thank you that you make NO mistakes. Mama and Daddy say the Bible says you are perfect, you never lie and you never did bad things or make any mistakes. I know that when you made Azlan with a cleft lip, it wasn't a mistake. You made him like that because you wanted him like that and I like his cleft lip. I like him like that. Thank you God. Thank you that Azlan and I play together and you made him special."

.... tears are starting down my cheek....

Chazano: "God thank you for Duka. I love him. He's my brother and we play together lots. I love him God."

Zunduka: "God thank you so much for giving me Zion as a brother...a big brother."

Azlan: "thanks for Chazano and how he plays with me sometimes. Welll...not really. He doesn't play with me very much...but anyways....AMEN".

:)

Thank You for pure hearts in children and thank You for giving us the opportunity to be sheltering trees for each other. We pray for a young father with cancer...and his wife and three young children. We pray for a miracle in his health. We pray for peace. Sometimes blessing comes through raindrops...
We pray for a soldier in critical condition...for his wife...their families...
We pray for our friends Rachel and Jason in China. For all the emotions of being in a different country and so far away from their children. We pray for them meeting little Josie tomorrow for the first time and that You will go before them and prepare her little heart for all the things You have in store for her...
We pray for those that mourn...those that are in need...
Keep us on our knees. Sheltering trees.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It's in my hand...!

I know. It's the homestudy. Not that exciting? Well it took almost 5 months so it's exciting for us! :)

And...pray for our sweet friends Jason and Rachel. They are in the air ... left CA today at 12noon PST for their 14 hour flight to China. So excited for them.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

oh... a great big PS...

In the very beginning of this journey...it was Starfish Children's Home that God used to speak to us about adopting from China. It is run by an amazing lady named Amanda who has saved hundred and hundreds of Chinese babies lives....babies that would have died in the orphanages that she took in and selflessly served. I got an email today that she was diagnosed with cancer and they are desperate for help. Please pray for her and if you know anyone that can help PLEASE call Patrick.

Here's the email from the President of Starfish:


From the Starfish Board of Directors; Tuesday end of day EST, Feb 7th, 2012,


Dear Starfish Friends and Family,

As you know, our Executive Director and beloved friend Amanda has cancer, and is in great need of immediate, top quality medical care.

We need to get her to a modern facility /hospital in the United States or Europe as soon as possible. We are urgently asking each of you for a very specific kind of help.

If you or someone you know has contact with a top senior level administrator at a quality cancer center, please let us know immediately. We need to know if they would be willing to let Amanda come and receive the complicated care she needs - pro bono - as their way of helping a person who has given the past 7 years of her life saving hundreds of babies through donated, medical care. Perhaps they would be willing to now do the same for her. This can only be the very highest level of hospital contact - we are short on time and need answers immediately.

If you, or someone you know, has this kind of highest level connection to a top cancer care center, please contact Patrick McLaughlin as soon as possible, at:

Patrick
917-494-7691 or paddymac0130@gmail.com --any time of the day or night -- time is of the essence.

Sincere thanks,
Patrick and the Starfish Board


Amanda de Lange
Starfish Foster Home

Specific prayer requests.

So today in between working hard...at life, work and being a mama to the most amazing 7 kids on the planet ... ;)....

I started grant applications. Is it weird that it makes me want to cry just looking at them? They are detailed. Long. And...feel like a long shot at best.

So... if you would be so kind as to pray for us. Looks like fees are starting to have deadlines.

Pray re fundraising. If you have ideas...feel free to suggest them.

Pray re grants. We are applying for several including Lifesong that gave us a matching grant with our Zambian adoption which was wonderful...

And enough about us...

Jason and Rachel are leaving on THURSDAY for China!! Eeeeks so excited I can hardly stand it
!!! Little Josie is going to meet her forever family for the first time...!


To keep the theme going...BEST news!

Got word that we are now have our homestudy approved and i800a is sent off this morning to USCIS and we are moved on to the next stage of Dossier! Ok...WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOO! :) There. I feel so much better ;)

Now we are able to apply for adoption grants and praying we get awarded some. We know God knows how this is all going to come together and we will do what we can on our end.

Monday, February 6, 2012

And....better news!!!

Yesterday I took Azahria and Tirzah out for a bit and was feeling, for the first time in this process, a bit panicky. I know processes get delayed and I fully get that and get that there's little you can do. That doesn't stress me. What was stressing me was the complete perfect storm that was about to happen all because supposedly we had the wrong document. My passport expires 2/12 which is totally fine as long as we are in process of renewal and everything was submitted prior to expiration. Soo...we have a matter of days or we get delayed significantly. ....

So I'm driving around and I'm praying and asking God for something. Do You want to delay us? Is there a bigger purpose in dragging this out a few extra weeks? We definitely feel a sense of urgency for a few reasons but one being when God clearly tells us to do something...we believe we should do all we can to do it quickly. And then there is Taizi's physical condition...lump in throat....

And I reluctantly turn the radio on as the girls wanted to sing...

Here it is...(take the minute and watch and listen...)


I had total chills and sang my heart out (thankful only Tirzah and Azahria were with me...)

I'm fully aware that many many times things don't happen the way you want or the cry of your heart (I did spend 28 days in Africa with many doors slammed in my face)...but the truth still remains. Never once. Never. Once.

From Lifeline this morning:

Hi Janice,

Good news… this is what I have determined as well in my research. I spoke with a lady at the Mexico Consulate who confirmed the need for a Criminal Record. I am writing up a formal statement now to be inserted into the home study. We have to incorporate a formal statement because Immigration is going to look for a child abuse clearance instead of a criminal clearance. This added statement should meet requirements for immigration.

Thank you for your hard work!

Thanks,
Logan Gibbons


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Good news...and hoping for more...

We received an email from our friend in Mexico re: this whole document error. The good news is the summary of what he found is this IS the correct form in the sense that if there was a child abuse accusation that would show up on the criminal record. Here's the letter:

I called the DIF and when I finally got to talk to a human being, this was
their response.

You need a "carta de no antecedentes penales." You already have that. They
say DIF does not have a "base de datos" Abuso infantile is a crime, so it
goes to the Procuraduria. Therefore such an action is immediately turned
over to them. This is all I could get out of them. Government services
between countries is a difficult thing. I hope you can convince the agency
of this.

Now we are praying that we get the go - ahead from Lifeline to proceed with what we have!