My Family

My Family
Summer 2015

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Being Real

Is. 41:10 (NASB) is my landing spot lately:

‘Do not fear, for I am with you;

Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

The adoption process is a tense and scary journey sometimes. 
There are anxious moments as you fill out paperwork in hopes that you will somehow "pass" the test--whether it is a blood test at the doctor, a homestudy inspection, a financial review, a fingerprinting appointment, a USCIS "exam" of your documents, or a review of all your paperwork from a foreign government. 

Finally, you get to the "end" of the paperwork journey and you realize---wowsa, our whole life is about to change.  Yes, we pondered this and prayed for over 2 years before we decided to move forward.  We know it is a privelege we have been given.  But, now that the days have started counting down and we are in the last 30 days before travel and not all the finances are there yet, and the rooms aren't quite ready, and we need to pack and plan the actual hotels, plane tickets and such, anxiety creeps in.

It's a sneaky little critter--anxious thought.  
It invades sleep.  It creeps up in the middle of the day.
It makes your heart pound unexpectedly at strange times.
It tries to distract from the Greater Purposes.  
It makes blood pressure rise and fuses get short.
and sometimes
Priorities get skewed when anxious thought invades.

Sometimes it's almost as if we seek out the anxious thoughts.  We let them run wild and untamed.

I'm just being real.

Thoughts about managing kids with special needs that I have no experience with.
Thoughts and reminders of the journey we had with Lucas--particularly at the beginning.
Thoughts and reminders about how "fun" the language barrier is.
Thoughts and reminders of the bills yet to be paid. ($15,000 still needed is crazy)

That old friend anxiety has come for a visit.
It wakes me up in the morning and I need to go to battle against it.
It rushes forward and floods my mind.
Scattered disjointed thoughts race around.
And other times thoughts get so focused that nothing else matters.
I almost can't hear the world around me.

I've come to realize I can:
1.  stay there.  be overwhelmed. let my heart pound out of my chest.
2. remind myself..."You've been here before" "You know what to do" "throwing up isn't an option" "laying in bed all day isn't a good choice" "a beach getaway ain't happening right now"

and "God is Faithful----most importantly----Remember----He IS Faithful"

Suddenly a song floats through all the noise and clutter of my mind.
A verse of scripture floats to the top.

"I know who goes before me, I know who stands behind...The God of Angel armies is always by my side...."
"Promise Maker, Promise Keeper...You finish what you begin..."

"Do not fear, for I am with you;

Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." (Is. 41:10)

" Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:6-7)

...and these are just a few.

What a waste of time to be anxious. I want the "peace that transcends all understanding".  I've had it.  The most prominent time I remember...the day/moment Jacob died.  It was surreal, and palpable.  But, God gave me peace that day.  Tears flowed don't get me wrong.  But there was a confidence and a peace.  Where did it go? Ah yes, once again, I need to return to scripture, God's Word, and Listen.

That is what I'm talking about when I say "God is Faithful".  It's not fluff.  It's real.  And I am needing to remind myself these days that he offered it then...He can offer it now.

"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen."  Eph. 3:20-21
It's real people.  And it's truth.
deep breath
disclaimer:  I think I needed to write this today and put it all out on "paper" because I needed these reminders.  When I write, God reminds me how He puts all the pieces together.  Thanks for coming inside my head and my for a minute or two.  
Just Being Real.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Our Adoption Stats--

Some people like to know the stats of the adoption process.
Each layer carries with it varying piles of paperwork and time. (can't really begin to calculate the time).  Sometimes it's just a matter of waiting for something to show up and other times it's time filling it out or running around getting things certified, notarized, authenticated, etc.  For those who like the they are....

May 27, 2014 decision is made after over 2 years of prayers and research and more prayers.  
We are adopting QJF and QYM from China.
Spent some time researching Agencies and making decisions about some other details.  Put in our application, began Homestudy process and...

PA on July 8, 2014.  
Sept. 9 I800a and Homestudy sent
11/13/14 I800a approval (last piece sent through Chinese Consulate in Houston directly to Agency) 
11/13/14  DTC 
11/21/14  LID 
12/4/14  OOT 
1/21/15  In Review-
1/27/15  LOA (in China system “soft LOA?”) 
2/3/15   LOA (in hand)
2/4/15  I800 sent 
 2/14)  Receipt Notice dated 2/9/2015  (rec’d hard copy 2/14)

Sent 2nd set of $$ to USCIS didn’t know I needed to send a second check.  
3/11/2015-  1800 approval (verbal) 
—-FINALLY recv’d verbal approval for 1800!!! yay!
3/18/15   GUZ number recd (filled out ap and submitted)
3/19/15   Article 5 Drop off 
4/2/15  Art. 5 Pick up 
4/9/15  TA (soft) 
4/14/15   CA  (for June 2)

Someone asked me how many pieces of paper we have actually touched and "done" in this process.  I can estimate, but there is no way to completely know all of them.  Keep in mind we are adopting TWO kids so some of these items were doubled because of that.  And we haven't been to China yet...


we are at approximately 575 pieces of paper...not including all things we've had to photo copy but including the 2 full Dossiers.  
It's A LOT OF PAPER....let's just say that.  It's a bit hard to fully calculate.  And we have more to do in China--although most of it is done now.  

It is definitely quite a process and not for the faint of heart.  But, God is Faithful.  He carries us through.  

With our CA now determined, we hope to leave May 19.  But, final plans are still in the works.  

This is a bit of a dry post, but those stats are important pieces of information that I wanted to be sure to have centrally located.  

Stay tuned for more "personality" in future posts.  I promise, I'm really not this boring.