My Family

My Family
Summer 2015

Sunday, January 16, 2011


So, the latest news (for the past 5 years) has been that we are in the process of adoption from China.  I think everyone probably thinks we've lost our minds by now.  We've had comments varying from "why China?" to "you ARE getting older you know".  Um.  Yep I do know. and Yep. I do think I'm a little crazy. Ok a lot crazy. But, God set out a plan and He continues to show us how much HE is in control and we are not.
The original "plan" at ages 40/42 was to adopt a baby girl 0-12 months.  The younger the better and to get her home in a year - at the latest.  Our sweet china girl.  That was 2006.  We thought we'd be done by 2007.  Older parents yes, but doable.
We waited, and waited and watched as China slowed the program down to a crawl.  We spoke about things like special needs but the word scared Peter and Isaac a lot.  I thought I was brave even back in 2007 to say "it's no big deal really".  I've since been humbled.  Um it IS a big deal.  It took time.  It took continued healing from the loss of Jacob.  It took God changing hearts.  It took a girlfriend in my son's life that has a passion and heart for people and even animals with limb issues.  =) It took my obsessing over yahoo groups and blogs that I sinfully spend way too much time hanging out on.  It took research.
And in 2010 I think we finally all got on the same page and were at peace (as much as one can be) with venturing out into the special needs realm.  
Our LID (log in date) with China is Sept. 1, 2006.  Basically, if we stay in the non-special needs (nsn) line that we've been in, we wait until that date comes up--sort of like ducks in a row--nobody jumps ahead in that line--ever!  The China Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA) controls how many people get referrals (children matched with families) each month.  And they match One child (reportedly "healthy") with you and send you a picture and information.  You either accept or reject that.  Others from around the world are also logged in on that date and also get their referral.  Very few people reject nsn referrals because it is very difficult to get another child once they've made that match and sent it to you.  And you've waited soooooo long.  There really isn't a lot of "choice" in that matter.  Currently CCAA has matched children with families with LID's through the end of May 2006.  It is anticipated we would not get matched with a child until early 2012. 
Then there is the Special Needs program.  It operates completely differently in the matching process.  This has changed over the past 5 years also and CCAA has really made it a more flexible program than NSN.   Right now, adoption agencies from around the world can have lists of SN kids AND there is a master list called the "shared list" that all agencies get access to.  Currently there are about 1900 kids on that special needs list.  So sad, so hard, so true.  Any agency can go to that shared SN list and get access to the kids--name, age, sex, "need", location, pictures, etc.  Technically the public does not have access to that list.  Once a month, lately, China has been adding to that list.  Some months there are several dozen kids added--other months not many.  These are all SN kids that are in orphanages or foster care in China.  Their "needs" can be profound--or NOT.  Some have limb issues, spina bifida of all stages, cleft lip/palate-some repaired some not, cerebral palsey of all stages, birth marks, facial deformities, sight issue, hearing issues, hepatitis B carriers/or full blown, and the list goes on.  
People like us can talk to our agency and say--yes/no/maybe to specific needs and levels of care we are willing to "take".  That is a TOUGH process.  Can I just say that?
Then our agency (not the CCAA) goes and looks at that list.  Our agency, who knows us better and who we can talk openly with, goes to find a child, they ask us "do you want to consider this child for your family based on the "needs" you are looking at?"  We say "no" and they go looking again.  We say "ok" and we have a choice of "locking" the file which means nobody else can look at it for 36 hours.  In that time we can consult doctors, research the need further, etc.  Or we don't have to lock the file and can do the same research, but we take a risk that someone else will lock the file and we won't be able to continue with that child.  That happened to us back in November 2010. While we waited, someone else "locked" a file and we were unable to proceed. 
Once we say an official "yes", they lock and then we scramble to get some official paperwork complete and send our intentions to China in something called an EA (electronic Acceptance) or LOI (Letter of Intent)--two names for the same things.
Then we wait for the following:
PA--Pre Approval--from China-this is an electronic approval given by CCAA and approve the application to be moved forward in the process
RA-Referral Acceptance- otherwise known as “LOA- Letter of Acceptance.” This is a mailed approval given after the CCAA has reviewed and approved the dossier and family’s EA documents.  
TA: Travel Approval. This is a mailed approval given when the CCAA has received the signed RA from the family and can invite the family to travel to bring their child home. 

So, why do I explain all of this?  Because so many people don't understand the process.  I want friends and family who read this to know how it all works.  

Now let's make it personal:
We have accepted the referral of a little boy age 7 from the special needs list.  We sent our EA on 1/11/11 to China.  We are awaiting our PA which can take up to a month.  We cannot give a lot of personal info (ie location, name, etc yet)  He is a special needs child because he is missing the fibula of both of his legs and his feet are deformed.  The physicians we have spoken to have told us he will require amputation of both of his legs from the knee area down and then prosthetics.  Our plan is to take him to Shriner's Hospital in Greenville, North Carolina (about 2 hours from here) for care.
God has moved mountains to bring us to this point and to this specific child.  He has removed financial barriers, he has opened our hearts, he has changed our direction (girl-boy), none of it by our own will or strength.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bread and Other Provisions

I've been told to start a blog for some time now.  So here I am.  

I thought the best thing to start with is why

Bread and Other Provisions

Well, one of my favorite hobbies is baking bread.  I love to try to master the next thing, I love to grind wheat and make whole grain breads for my family and friends.  It's a hobby, but it's also much more.

Why bread?  
In a world that tells us that carbs are so bad for us,  why is bread such a big deal to me?  

Well, I had a boy...
His name was Jacob...
he loved to cook, he loved to bake, he loved to stand beside me in my kitchen and "help" as much as a toddler and preschooler can "help".  But, as God would have it, this boy unfortunately developed cancer (Wilm's Tumor) at the age of 4 in 2002.  By April of 2004 this active "helper" was struggling to cling to life. 

I had friends that had introduced me to the art of bread baking.  And as timing would have it I ordered my Bosch Mixer and Nutrimill Grainmill just a few days before Jacob took a turn for the worse.  I made my first loaves of bread the day before Jacob's life on this earth was transformed into a heavenly realm while he was on our couch clinging to life.  He wanted to help, but he just couldn't.  I stood in my kitchen that spring day, wondering "what am I doing?"  and knowing he really wanted to help.  I thought he would love to "play" with me in the kitchen, but he was just to sick that day.  I felt helpless and like I needed to "do" something.  Why bread?  I'll get into that more later...

April 29, 2004, Jacob was released from this life into eternal life with Jesus.  He Won!

I am certain my little "helper" would have been right beside me if he could have been, baking bread, and playing with me.

So, ever since, I bake bread and I think of my boy.  The one who taught me about the word "generosity".  

"Moreover, we will bring to the storerooms of the house of our God, to the priests, the first of our ground meal, of our grain...."  Nehemiah 10:37

So everytime I bake bread I give at least one of the 4 loaves away.  The "first fruits" are given  out of my love for my God and out of my love and memory of my boy.  God has provided, so we give back.  It's what we do.

As I set up this blog today I searched God's word and found this:
"And this is what he sent to his father: ten donkeys loaded with the best things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and other provisions for his journey."     Gen 45:23

So, please join me on this journey as I share about "Bread and Other Provisions" from the Lord.  For I could not be here, I could not take my next breath without the Provision of my Lord Jesus Christ.  It is because of Him that I live and breathe.  

I will share life
I will share my heart
I will share my faith
I will share bread with you

Come ......partake with me.