Adoption Timeline

Friday, September 30, 2016

To My Village

They say it takes a village....

I don't know where to begin to express my gratitude to everyone who has supported us in bringing our daughter home.  But, I will give it a shot...

Matt...Just 9 years ago, we sat at a table together, and I had just come home from Zambia. I was eager to share what all God taught me in Zambia, and one of those lessons was the awful truth of all the children without mommies and daddies. I was ready to move across the world and somehow that didn't scare you off. Quickly would I learn, that adoption was not ever something I would need to convince you knew first hand the beauty of a family built through adoption.  So, we "planned" our may not have all happened exactly like we thought, but we always rested that God saw the bigger picture.  Now here we are...a dream that is about to come true.  Thank you for loving me through my crazy days. (I know there are many). Thank you for leading our family through this.  Wyatt, Xander and Morrissey are so lucky to have you as their daddy.  

To my are my joy. I am scared to leave you.  2 weeks is a long time.  But, as much as I want daddy to be with me in China getting your baby sister, you need him more.  Yall are going to have fun.  I will miss you dearly.  I can't think about it too much, or it overwhelms me.  But, daddy's got you.  And on October 27th...when our family of 5 is united for the 1st time...I think my heart might explode.  Get your tissues ready...

To my parents and family...thank you for raising me, for teaching me to love. Thank you for teaching me about how much God loves me.  Thank you for believing in me. I know you are scared too. Mom...thank you for coming with me.  Dad...thank you for letting Mom come.  Terry and Charlie...thank you for helping watch the boys. 14 days, we leave.  Mom...get ready...I am a fun travel buddy. :) Thank you all for your support too with all our crazy fundraising efforts.  Dad...that was the mother of all garage sales.  Only you could pull that off.  Go big or go home.  We went big.  Little did you know that on that garage sale weekend...Matt and I had just saw our first glimpse of Morrissey. She was no longer in our imagination...she was our baby, waiting for us to fight to bring her home. get a first hand look into this beautiful journey. My mommy gets to watch me become a mommy again.  There's not much more I can say than that. This will be a trip we will never forget. Make sure you packed your tissues...

To my dear friends....some of you have heard me talk of adoption since college and some of you are just learning about this desire the Lord put on our heart.  Where do I begin?? You've seen my ups and downs.  You've bent over backwards to support us through prayer, fundraisers, showers, phone loved Ri before you knew her too.  You have given so generously that it has literally left me speechless at times.  I know I have been consumed by this lately, and haven't been able to show each of you the love and support back.  But know, we could not have done this without YOU. Each prayer, each phone call, each gift, every dollar, every tear you shed for us, each smile you beamed through the past 15 months...thank you. Actually...this goes way before 15 months. Regardless of time, God brought each of you into my life, at a different time, for a different reason. And I needed and still need each of you. I love you and thank you for loving me and my family.

To everyone who has given clothes, toys, meals, prayers, everyone who supported us everyone who donated to our garage everyone who bought necklaces and shirts. Thank you. I must say, I think my daughter is going to be pretty fashionable thanks to some AWESOME clothes!! :)

To the strangers who I have met that have shared THEIR story of adoption, thank you. To the strangers who have listened to me share OUR story, thank you. 

To all my new China Mom friends...thank you for keeping me sane, sharing your insight.  The adoption community is small, the China adoption community is smaller, and the China congenital heart disease community is even smaller.  I have learned so much from all of you. And I can't wait to see us all with our babies soon.

To Melinda...the mommy who took a leap of faith and reached out to weren't just fighting for your daughter to meet her friend. You were fighting for my daughter.  You gave me the key to a HUGE missing piece of our daughter's life.  Before the night our path's crossed...I had 3 pictures and knew nothing but a name of where she was found, and where she was now.  Because of you, searching for Ri, searching for Ri's mommy, you gave me a chapter of her life...a chapter that I will now be able to share with her.  It really still is almost unreal to me that you found us.  BUT GOD.  The author of the unreal stories.  To him be the glory.  Thank you for listening to his voice. 

To my village...thank you. In 14 days I leave, and I still will need you. In 27 days I will step foot off the plane, with our daughter, and I will need you.  Our first few months home, as we are getting to know our daughter, learning about her and her health, adjusting to jet lag, twins and 3 kids...I will need you.  As my heart grows weary and I am tired...I will need you.  God gave us community for a reason, to not live life alone. He is my rock...but you are my village. 


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Another month closer...

I can't believe September is here.  This post might be all over the place, as my mind tends to be all over the place lately.  Here's what we have been up to...

The boys both started a new school in August.  Wyatt started Kindergarten at a local private school.  We plan for him to do Kindergarten twice, since he is a summer birthday.  So, after lots of research we found a great small Kindergarten program right down the street from us, at a local church.  He is in a class of 11, with his own little desk, and they still take naps!! Curriculum ends at 12:30, so you can either pick them up then, or they can stay until 3:30. If they stay after 12:30, the kids have lunch, take a nap, play and work on homework.  This works great for our family! On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, he stays until 3:30, because I am working. But on Monday and Friday, I get to pick him up at 12:30 and enjoy some extra TLC.  They also have a preschool program, so we moved Xander there as well.  It is much smaller. Xander is having a little harder time adjusting, but I think it is just his age. This will also be the program Morrissey will start in January.  I am hoping that having her and Xander in the same class (which only has 6 kids currently) will help her adjust.

Maternity/Paternity Leave - That's a whole other blog. But basically, we are going to try our hardest to cocoon her at home between me and Matt both taking time away from work.  We want to do this through the end of the year. Hopefully she will attach to us quickly and her immune system will be strong enough for a childcare setting.  If not, we will look into finding a nanny for her on the few days I work.

WE HAVE TA!!!!!!!!! What does that mean??? Basically, all approvals have happened. We got our GUZ#, then our NVC letter, then TA (Travel Approval) and then a confirmed CA (Consulate Appointment).  Travel approval is China saying yes for us to travel. The consulate appointment is our last appt in China. It is highly suggested that you wait to buy any plane tickets until you have these dates.  (Unless you plan on buying refundable flights or flights that you can change without a charge).  So, we got TA on September 6th and our CA was confirmed on the 7th.  Those 24 hours I worked with our travel agent to book our flights! If you are on Facebook, you can join the group by clicking here This is where I will be posting daily updates as we travel through China!

Booking flights is NOT easy. Of course you want, good seats, the fewest layovers, layovers that are long enough to change flights and go through customs, but not too long. You want a good price and with all this you are buying LAST MINUTE! But, I think we found the best option.  We will be flying Delta for majority of the trip. We have 2 layovers (2-3 hours each) and we got pretty good seats I think. are booked! Hotel is booked!

So you would think I would be on Cloud 9 and gleaming with excitement, right?!? I am. But, it's also been a weird situation, where I am watching other families, getting TA's at the same time I am, leaving this week.  It's a long story, but in short, that wasn't really an option for us.  At least, it was never really presented as an option, and now, we are so close to the dates, that everything else at home that needed to have been organized (work, childcare, etc) would not be feasible for a one-week notice to travel.  And, our agency only travels once a we wait. Again.

I just want her in my arms.  And if I can't have that, I want an update. Someone tell me that she is ok? Someone send me a picture and tell me she is eating ok and gained a little weight. Someone tell me she got the pictures I sent of us. Someone tell me she has seen a doctor recently. No updates. We are praying for an update this week. But, we have to prepare ourselves too, that updates are few and far between, and not always accurate.  Which leads me back to...I just want her in my arms.

God, I know she is yours.  You know where she is. You have her in YOUR arms. You know the number of hairs on her head.  You created every perfect cell in her body.  And the hard truth is, even when she is in my arms, I still must hold an open hand.  My arms will give her love. I will do everything in my power to get her the best medical care, to love her, to help her grow, to teach her about Your love. But, tomorrow is not promised to any of us.  My grip on her, or any of my children, family, friends, has to be open.  May I serve you Lord each day you give me. And may I teach my children to do the same.  My heart aches for the days I lost with Morrissey.  But I thank you for letting me be her mommy now.  Your timing is perfect.  I may have lost 20 months with her, but I prayerful and thankful for many years ahead.

36 days until you are in my arms sweet girl. I know you may be scared when you see me. I know you may not trust me yet.  I know you may not see me as mommy.  But your mommy loves you and she is coming.

"Why even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, you are of more value than many sparrows." Luke 12:7