"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance.The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break." -Chinese proverb

Sunday, February 26, 2012

You belong to me

Today, our pastor gave a great sermon called Belonging.  He spoke about early in his marriage when he would question his wife about why she loved him.  No answer that she gave was good enough.  One night, he asked her again and she told him, "I just do, now shut up and go to sleep."  He prayed about it and felt God's answer was, "I know why she loves you, the same reason I do.  Because you belong to me."  A couple of things hit me when I heard this story.  One, how poor Erik can probably relate to our pastor's wife.  I've asked him the same question many times.  The second thing was that this is exactly the thing that I'm so worried about getting across to our new daughter.  The thing about adopting a toddler is, more than likely, she will have attachment issues and struggle with grieving the life she's known all this time, no matter what it may be like.  I don't know who she is yet but I already feel that love for her.  The love of a mom for her child.  I've asked Erik if he thinks that it's possible to love her yet or if I'm just crazy.  He says he thinks it's possible but he may just be being kind.  But I know she's out there and I know that God knows who she is and has chosen us to be her forever family.  She belongs to us.  I think today's sermon gave me the confidence to believe that yes, I really can and do love her, just like I loved Ella and Ethan the second I knew that they were growing inside of me. 

Here's a poem that I love and have read many times on this adoption journey:

Not flesh of my flesh,
nor bone of my bone,
but still miraculously my own.
Never forget for a single minute,
you didn't grow under my heart,
but in it.
-Unknown Author

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Well, it's official, the U.S. has said that we are okay to adopt a child from China!  Our I-797, which is the form they send saying that they approved our I-800a (confusing, no?), came on Saturday and apparently spent the weekend in our mailbox.  Oops!  I called USCIS on Monday to find out if we had an officer assigned to our case and lo and behold, we had been approved as of February 8th!  I ran out to the mailbox and there it was, just staring out at me.  This is seriously the quickest approval I have ever heard of!  It usually takes 2-3 months and it took less than a month for us!  Wow, enough with the exclamation points.  Can you tell I'm excited?!  But so many things have felt to us like we can just see God's hand in them and it makes me wonder, is our girl almost ready for us?  Is that why things are happening quickly?  So, our I-797 form has been notarized and should be arriving at the Texas Secretary of State today to join our other forms.  Or maybe it passed them in the mail on their way back...who knows?

More good news, I got our documents back from Oregon and Washington today and it looks like they certified them correctly!  So, tomorrow I will send them to the San Francisco Chinese Consulate to be authenticated.  Whew!  All of this certifying and authenticating business is a bit of a whirlwind!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

End of the paper chase...?

Well, we did it...almost.  We have finished getting all of the documents together that we need for our dossier, except for the approval from USCIS.  Today, I sent off all of our documents to the Secretary of State offices that they need to be certified at.  Some for Oregon, one for Washington and the bulk to Texas.  After this, we have to send them to the Chinese consulates (the San Francisco one for the west coast documents, the Houston consulate for the Texas documents) to be authenticated.  I should be doing a happy dance, right?  But I'm a little on edge (err...maybe a little more than a little) because all of these precious and important documents that we worked so hard to get together and get done right are now out of my hands.  Oregon has already tried to screw things up by being the only state in the whole country that changed the way that they certify documents.  China is the one country that is not okay with the way they are doing it so it's causing problems.  I talked to someone at our adoption agency and they weren't sure exactly what was going to happen either but right as I was about to leave our house to send everything to the Secretary of State offices, she emailed me that if I request them to do an "old style" certification (old, as in, prior to January 26th when they changed it), they are now willing to do that until they work it out with the consulate in San Francisco.  When I talked to them 2 days ago, I didn't have that option so this change just happened.  Thank you, God!  Now, I'm just praying that everything is certified correctly and nothing is lost and when I get them back, I'll ship them off to the Chinese consulates and pray some more.

As for our wait with USCIS, we were fingerprinted last Friday so now we're waiting for them to assign an officer to our case.  Hopefully this happens soon and they approve it quickly.  Somewhere in China, there's a little girl just waiting for her family to come and get her.  Hurry up, USCIS!