Monday, May 14, 2012
I want to thank everyone for praying for us and for our daughter over these past few days. In spite of the fact that we are still not where we would like to be in this process, we have not been tempted to despair. And thank you to those who have donated to her adoption. I cannot tell you how much we appreciate your generosity, nor how much encouragement that has given us. Thank you, and I pray that you will all enjoy peaceful, restful nights tonight.
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Along those lines, we are now feeling a strong sense of urgency to complete our pre-approval paperwork. Technically, we have another two-and-a-half months before these papers are due, but we don't want to wait that long. Isabelle has a heart condition that has deprived her of fully-oxygenated blood her entire life. Her blood is part-oxygenated, part-deoxygenated, and that means that her little heart has been working overtime since she was born. We don't know exactly how bad her condition is, but it certainly isn't helping her. Moreover, we long to have our daughter home with us. There's a hole in our house right now, an empty bed in her bedroom, an empty seat at our table, that needs to be filled by this little one. She needs to be home with us because this is where she belongs, to put it simply. We are nearly finished with this pre-approval application, and we expect to have it done by the end of the day tomorrow. (FYI, the application for pre-approval will be submitted to the Chinese authorities. If they approve us, then Isabelle will be officially matched with us and we will be allowed to continue her adoption. If they reject us, then we won't be allowed to adopt her. Please pray with us that they will grant our pre-approval request!) The problem with this is that we have only 1/5 of the money needed to submit this application. Rather than wait for the money before completing the paperwork, we feel that we need to complete the papers first, so that we can be ready to submit it as soon as God provides enough money. I don't say this to try to influence anyone to give towards her adoption. I mainly ask that you pray with us and for us, that we would look to God and God alone as the One who will bring our daughter home to us, and that He would work in such a way that not one step of this process will be delayed because of a lack of funds. Right now, that isn't the case because we are not ready to submit for pre-approval. But we hope to be by Monday, and something is going to have to happen between now and then if we are going to be able to send everything in that day.
Thank you for your prayers for us and for our daughter. It means a lot to us to have you all coming alongside us in this incredible journey.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
What difference can $50 make? Apparently, a rather large one. Before I get to that, however, I need to back up about a week and start the story there.
Unfortunately, we have our posts a little bit out of order here. Greg posted earlier today about some encouragement we received during the first few days if Isabelle's adoption, and now I am writing the post that formally announces that adoption. I guess it is just more evidence that we still aren't very good at this whole blogging thing, right. :)
As Greg said in his most recent post, we have been convinced for a while that God was calling us to adopt again. We looked through many different lists of children, and fairly quickly narrowed our decision down to four children. Then, it took days of praying, talking, thinking, reading, and praying some more before we finally chose our daughter. She is a little girl in China who will be three years old next month, and like Mikaela, she has Down Syndrome. The initial uncertainty was a little strange for us, because with Mikaela's adoption, it was clear from the very first time we saw her that she was supposed to be ours. Even though it took us a lot longer to make the decision this time, we both felt completely confident in it once we did decide.
Our next step was to choose a name for our new daughter. Even that was harder this time around. We both looked at this little girl's picture and felt that she needed a name that was very soft and feminine, and we both liked the names Isabelle, Sophia, Lydia, and Alayna, but couldn't seem to come up with the right combination of first and middle name. On Saturday afternoon my parents kept our four kids, and Greg and I sat down at Panera, each with a copy of a baby name book. We read though the girl sections from beginning to end, and did finally find a name that seemed perfect for our little girl. We chose Isabelle Noelani (No eh LA nee) which means "beautiful girl from heaven, consecrated to God." This seems like the perfect name for this precious child that God has given to us, while also reminding us that she ultimately belongs to Him.
The next step in the process is to submit our packet of information to China to request their pre-approval to adopt Isabelle. We are almost finished filling out the forms, but we won't be able to submit the packet until we have the $1300 fee that goes along with it. We are praying that God will send that money soon, because until we have that, we can't even officially begin her process. We know that the timing is all in His hands, but it is so hard to wait when we want so badly to bring this little girl home.
Isabelle's picture is attached below. This photo is about a year old, but we don't have anything more recent right now. Isn't she beautiful.