Thursday, May 24, 2012

Getting Closer

Things are still moving along in adoption land.  Although I still haven't received any official updated information on Hannah, I did sign up to get the newsletter from the home where she was living and receiving medical treatment in Beijing and the April newsletter had her listed as one of the children who received surgery that month!  You can see the newsletter here. If you scroll down, she is listed as "Jaclyn Ruth," the name the two families who sponsored her care while there decided to give her! While you're over on that web site, nose around a bit. This is an amazing ministry to orphans in China! They also have so many needs on an ongoing basis. They need one time donations of various items, regular donations for operating costs, and monthly donations to sponsor specific children.  Someday I hope to be able to sponsor this place in a big way - they are the ones who began to repair my daughter's cleft and also gave her a loving and safe environment to grow in.  They have no idea who I am, but they have ministered to me in a huge way by loving my daughter. If you are looking for a ministry to support or for a way to care for orphans short of adopting one of your own, I hope you will consider supporting them! Anyway, as far as surgery goes, in February, we were told she was being transferred to this home to get a palate repair surgery, so I assume that is what she had done, but I won't know until we either get an official update or until we are in China! As of yesterday, her picture is no longer on the "Babies" page, so I think she has been transferred back to her orphanage to await adoption.

ETA: I just got an e-mail from our adoption agency stating that our Article 5 has been issued and will be delivered to the CCCWA (the Chinese agency that governs all adoption).  Once they have this document, they will have everything they need to issue our travel dates!!!!  Yea - God is good!

A recent family picture on a field trip to the Dallas World Aquarium.

Me and 2 giant crabs!

As far as travel is concerned, we did get our visas!!  We got a letter that we also forwarded to the US Consulate in Guangzhou and we are expecting to be issued an Article 5 tomorrow from them.  Once we have that document, we can request travel dates from China!! We have been told that once we request travel dates, we will receive an invitation to travel in 2-4 weeks, and can expect to travel 10-21 days after receiving that invitation!  That puts us in the end of June or beginning of July for travel.  We both have our heads and hearts stuck on June 27 to travel for some reason. (We've been told we are most likely to leave on a Wednesday.)  Please pray that everything comes through quickly and that we are able to leave on the 27th.  We have tickets on hold for that day using our miles to travel.
Isn't that so cool???

We have almost finished Hannah's room, too! I still have to sew curtains, and we have a friend coming over to help paint a tree with owls and birds next week. Once it is done, I'll post pictures.
Ever wondered about all that "adoption paperwork" people talk about? This is a picture of my paperwork file.  It is expandable, but I don't think it could expand more if we tried! And this doesn't include all the things we've mailed off to this agency or that office!  This isn't to scare anyone off, though - it is totally worth it.

Finally, I heard something that basically sums up how I feel about adoption and orphan care.  Perhaps you've heard about the book, Kisses from Katie.  This book was written by a young woman with a true heart for missions, people, and orphans.  After moving to Uganda to do missions work, she started her own organization to help Ugandan children have their basic needs and educational needs met.  Here is a quote from her book description:
To further her reach into the needs of Ugandans, Katie established Amazima Ministries. The ministry matches orphaned children with sponors worldwide. Each sponsor’s $300/year provides schooling, school supplies, three hot meals a day, minor medical care, and spiritual encouragement. Katie expected to have forty children in the program; she had signed up 150 by January 2008; today it sponsors over 400. Another aspect of the ministry is a feeding program created for the displaced Karamojong people—Uganda’s poorest citizens. The program feeds lunch to over 1,200 children Monday-Friday and sends them home with a plate of food; it also offers basic medical care, Bible study, and general health training.
Anyway, I was watching videos on  YouTube of her and I ran across this short interview clip:

It is only 3 minutes long - please listen to it.  It completely sums up my feelings about adoption, the spiritual significance of adoption, the Christian's responsibility, and I love, love, love what Katie says when asked to speak to the person who is on the fence, but has been considering adoption!  

I plan on buying her book for my kindle to read on the flight over to China - if I can manage to wait that long! :-)

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