Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lots of Big News!

My first bit of big news is that yesterday we received our Letter Seeking Confirmation, aka LSC or LOA! This is China's official approval to adopt Lily! She is ours! We can now move on to the final steps of completing the adoption process.

For those of you who have not adopted from China, this is a big deal!

We can probably still travel this year, but it will be most likely the end of December and that is only if the remaining steps happen quickly enough.

My second bit of news is that we have moved the jewelry sale to a real website and also changed the name to something a bit more professional. My goal is to continue selling to raise the rest of the funds we need for this adoption but also to help other families adopt by offering a percentage of our sales through a fundraising program.

The new online store is called Designed For Hope and you can visit by clicking the name.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Update on the Update

We heard from our agency yesterday and found out that China has requested one document to be resent. This is good! It means they are looking at our dossier! The document they requested was just proof of payment of the dossier processing fee that was wired to China before our dossier was sent and our agency has already sent that along. Hopefully this means our LOA will arrive soon. I doubt it will be this week but maybe next week? I guess I need to update the timeline again :)

Our agency also tells us that the orphanage to our request for an update on Lily. To make a long story short- our questions need to be routed through another agency so it will be a few weeks before we hear anything. 

While this is not the news we were hoping for this week, we are encouraged to know that someone is looking at our case and that now our update will be processed through the proper channels so we can expect to hear something soon.

We are also encouraged every time we take the time to remind ourselves that God is at work here. He has a plan. He might not have the same plan that I have, but He has a plan and He has gotten us this far. He will not let us down. Yes, we get frustrated and forget this at times but when we remember that God knows what he is doing, it helps us relax a bit and enjoy this crazy ride. 

Speaking of enjoying the ride, it is to be enjoyed. Yes, it is hard but it's not THAT hard. It is no harder than living in an orphanage, I'm sure. Yes, there is paperwork but so what? We are adults. We can handle some late night paperwork sessions.

Money? God will provide. For us that means we have had some very generous donations, plus a new-found love for jewelry making and customers to buy that jewelry. For some, that means the 401K money is really not going to be used for retirement and for others that means a whole lotta yard sales, ebay sales, giveaways and relying on help from strangers and friends.

What we have gained through this process is so much more than the hard work and the frustration that we have endured. We have learned to trust God. There is NOTHING like looking to HIM and just giving it all to HIM and then watching HIS plan unfold before your eyes. It feels like a miracle, but to God it is not a miracle. It is just His way of doing things. 

I want to go on and on about the other gifts we have been given through this process, but my time on the computer is over. I have three kids waiting on me to start our day so I will end here and write more later :) 

Friday, September 7, 2012


I feel stuck.

We are now on day 51 of our LOA wait, 5 weeks since we have been moved out of translation. 5 weeks ago, the agency said we'd wait 3-5 weeks for LOA. Maybe today is the day and I'll be able to write a new blog post later, rejoicing in our good news.

 It's been a month since we requested an update about Lily. I sent a list of questions to our agency and our agency sent them to the orphanage. We want to know how big she is now, what they call her in the orphanage,  how she falls asleep, what the nannies do to comfort her when she is sad, what are her favorite foods and toys.

We are getting a little tired. We miss her.

I had a dream about her the other night.

We were in the hotel in China. We had just gotten back from being out for a long day. I was helping her take her shoes and socks off. I untied her shoes, peeled off her little socks and tickled her toes. She giggled and then broke out into a belly laugh. And then I woke up.

Ever since that dream, I have felt like I should be looking for her. As if she is in another room playing with toys and I need to go check on her like I do with my other kids. It's weird.

But today I feel stuck. Stuck waiting for LOA, stuck waiting for updated information. Please continue to pray for us.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

More on Special Needs Adoption

Speaking of special needs, HIV is one special need that really is not a big deal, yet for some reason people are so afraid to raise a child who is HIV positive.  Children who are HIV positive need daily medication but that medication is so advanced that the virus does not really affect them in any negative way. They can live normal lives and will live as long as the rest of us. With medication the virus is undetectable in the blood stream. They can grow up to get married, have babies, and do all of the things the rest of us can do.

Because of the low maintenance of this special need, our goal when we began the adoption process was to adopt a child who is HIV positive.  HIV positive people need to take medication twice a day and visit the doctor every few months to make sure things are checking out okay.

God had other plans for us, but since we've had so many questions lately about special needs adoption, I thought I'd share that here. Also, this is a perfect time for me to share this news story about my dear friend Kate, who is in Eastern Europe right now adopting her daughter.

Please click on the link below to see a great video about Kate and her family.

ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Monday, September 3, 2012

Special Needs Adoption

We are often asked about the process for adopting a child from China. Typically, families wanting children with no known special needs wait several years for a referral, while families open to special needs can complete the process in about a year.

There are two ways to do a special needs adoption in China. If you are interested in a very young child with a very minor need, then in most cases you'll complete your homestudy, compile your dossier, and send it to China (aka DTC) to be logged in (aka LID) to the system. After you are logged in, your agency will put you on the waiting list for the special needs that you are willing to accept. If you are open to a wide range of needs, then you will probably obtain your referral quickly. If you have a narrow list of needs you will accept, then it may be a few months. It really all depends on what needs you are comfortable accepting. This process can take as little as 12 months but sometimes takes longer.

The other way to do it is to adopt a "Special Focus" child. You can be matched with a child on the special focus list at any time, even before your homestudy is complete, provided you are willing to share some basic family information with China and submit a letter of intent (LOI) In response to your letter of intent the authorities in China will grant you pending approval (aka PA) with a deadline to have your dossier in China in six months. This process usually takes about 12 months but in some cases when a child is in need of medical assistance, an agency may be able to expedite the process.

Please take a few minutes to watch this video about special needs adoption.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

And The Winners Are......

The Kindle Fire goes to Amy Carrier!

Michelle Enskat and Julie Choat each won a $100 gift certificates to our jewelry.

The $50 jewelry gift certificate goes to Mendi Jones!

 Thank you all SO MUCH for your donations, shares, prayers and words of encouragement! Your help means more to our family than I can ever express to you on this blog. 

Please continue to pray for us! This giveaway covered our current agency bill, but we still need about $10,000 before we travel. If you are considering giving jewelry as a Christmas gift this year, please check out our jewelry page.

Blog Template by Delicious Design Studio