Wednesday, January 16, 2013

We had an unexpected snow delay yesterday morning so I thought I would enjoy the slow down and catch up on some blogging.  I'm starting with our beach vacation we took in August! We went back to our favorite spot in Florida.  We've been going to Seaside since Connor was 4 and we try to go every year.  This momma gets cranky if we skip a year!  This summer is still up in the air-it all depends on when we will be traveling to China. One of our best family friends went with us this year. We are so blessed to have this family.We live on the same street and not by accident! Years ago I met Dena through a group of women from church I played pokeno with. When it was her turn to host I came home from her house and told Eric "we're going to live on that street some day!". I fell in love with this neighborhood and the bonus is that I would be living next to a great friend!(Little did I know that my favorite neighbor from my old neighborhood- Jen Coco-would move here too! How lucky am I?) So our families met when we moved here and hit it off perfectly! Her husband, Matt, built our house-and yes we're still friends! Their twin girls and our 3 boys love to be together.They are like brothers and sisters-they rarely have any disagreements, but if they do, they work it out between them. It is so amazing to watch the 5 of them-they can hang all together or they will break off in pairs.It's never the same pair either, they all have individual relationships with each other and as a group. Little Miss is a much anticipated addition!  I think the girls feel like they are getting a baby sister as well! I love it! Here are a few pics of The BEST week ever!
and just because he's the only son I have that poses for the camera now...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Yes we know who our daughter is and we are waiting on official letter of approval!  She is beautiful and perfect and we can't wait to meet her! As soon as we have LOA I will post her pictures.  I can tell you that she will turn 2 in May and we expect to be traveling to China between April and June. 

We did not get "the call" like most adoptive parents receive from their agencies.  When we started our process, I had several people tell me we should look at waiting child lists from various sites.  I never did simply because I had a sense of peace about our daughter and I knew we would find her at just the right time.  To all of my friends out there you know this is not my typical personality.  I'm a planner and I like to be in control and take action to make things happen! Don't get me wrong-I was very anxious to move the process along and find our girl so we could get this show on the road! God has given me peace throughout this process to be patient (again, not my strong suit), and to listen to Him.  I read recently that "coincidences are just tiny miracles that occur every day".  I don't believe in coincidences.  I do believe that God speaks to all of us and guides us...if we will be still and listen. So that is what I have been trying to do.  I also listened to some words from my very wise younger cousin, Angel.  As you know, there are so many twists and turns and decisions to be made when adopting.  One day I was struggling with one of these decisions, and she simply said "Jen, you can not mess this up."  What??? She said "God has already chosen your daughter for you and nothing you do will change that.  Any decision made and any road taken will lead you to her." Wow.  I used to babysit her and now she is a beautiful adult woman telling me exactly what I needed to hear that day!  That being said, here is how we found our girl...

In November, after the fog started to lift a little, I realized the list had come out twice and we had not received a referral.  Since we were LID in September, I knew we should expect the phone call at any time.  All of the families I have known to adopt from China have started the process and been back home with their child in 12-16 months total.  Up until now, I had not asked my agency any questions about our expected wait time for a referral.  So, one morning I just decided to email and ask how much longer they thought we would be waiting. They told me to expect it to take another 6-12 months before a referral! What? Eric quickly informed me that we would be old by then! Haha! Now here's where the normal Jen stepped in-we are sponsoring a child from Pearl River Outreach and I have been following the PRO blog.  I remembered that a few weeks prior, Diana had posted on the blog a contact person and email in case anyone wanted to inquire about adopting any of the PRO kids. I emailed the agency that afternoon and by the time I got home from carpool, I was viewing their waiting child list!  I kept going back to one little girl they were calling "May".  There was just something about her! By 4:30 the next day, we had her entire file to review.  I knew she was meant to be our girl!  There were a few steps we had to take before I could let people know since we were having to switch agencies and get a new pre-approval/LID from China.  We have our pre-approval from China and we are just waiting on LOA!  I expect it to be another 3-6 weeks.  Looking back at all of the details surrounding these few days and weeks prior, it is so obvious that God was leading us to this precious girl waiting to be ours. 

The last several months have been an emotional roller coaster for me-I can't remember a time that my emotions were so raw. Adoption opens a part of your heart you didn't even know existed. With this journey, and the death of my sweet nephew, I am on the verge of tears any given day. But with the tears, whether of joy or sadness, have come many beautiful moments. I am so happy to be living this life God has given me-even in my heartache. I feel privileged that He has called me and my family to adopt and to give this sweet child a home. I pray that she becomes an example of orphans and it leads many others to adopt a child.  

If you are in process and have ANY questions please feel free to send me a message.  I have no complaints about our first agency and I would use them again-but my daughter was with another agency!  I am so thankful to the ladies I have met thru blogging and my friend Jen Coco (A Place Called Home).  All of these ladies were so helpful in the week we had to make a decison about "May".  God has placed a wonderful group of adoptive moms in my life that have been such a blessing to me and are so great at helping me thru the days I am full of fear and "what if's".  God placed them in my life to lead us to our daughter.  It is because of these women that I started following Pearl River Outreach!
Very soon I am going to catch up on my blog and post what's been happening.  I felt this post needed to be first! Hopefully after that, I will be posting updates that are getting us closer to China and our baby girl! I can't wait to share pictures!