Thursday, July 18, 2013

So much exciting news...

Greg and I just celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary. My parents kept the kids for us so that we could have a little weekend getaway before the trip to China. We had a lot of fun, and accomplished many of the things that were on our list of things to do before leaving. One of the things that I accomplished was to write a long and detailed blog post explaining all of the things that have happened since my last update. Instead of posting it, I saved it to let Greg have a chance to look over it first. Last night, I went into the blogging app to post it, and it was gone. I don't have any idea what happened to it, or why my usually reliable blogging app decided to delete my post without my permission. Thank goodness it wasn't any thing more important than a blog post. We do have lots of wonderful news to share with everyone, and I am going to try once again to type that information up in a post.

When I last posted, we had just gotten our LSCs and were waiting for approval from the US department of immigration. We have gotten our provisional approvals and sent those on to the US Consulate in Guangzhou, China. They have processed our papers and issued our Article 5, and we are now just waiting on our travel letter from Beijing. We are hoping very much that will come next week. As long as it does come by next Friday, we think that we will leave for China on Friday, August 9th. If the travel letter comes later, then we will have to wait until August 16th to leave. Either way, one month from right now we should be in China. We think that we are going to finalize Hallie's adoption first, and then travel south to get Isabelle. A month still seems like a very long time to wait, but we know that it will go quickly. We have a lot to accomplish between now and then.

The other wonderful news that we have to share is that our adoption is fully funded!!! We can still hardly believe the wonderful news. Several friends of ours made very generous donations, and we did receive one more grant. We have enough money to pay for the adoptions and the 6 post-placement reports that are required for Chinese adoptions. We can continue to accept donations to help with their medical expenses etc, but we have every bit of the money that we need to bring the girls home! We both keep reminding ourselves of this again and again, because it just doesn't seem possible. We knew when we started this adoption process that God would provide everything we needed, but knowing that He can provide is different than actually seeing Him do it.

I mentioned earlier that we had spent a good bit of our anniversary weekend preparing for the trip. We both feel a lot less stress now that we have accomplished so much, and in addition to that, we had a lot of fun running those errands. It is fun to shop for our new girls! They now each have a new doll with two extra outfits, a little ball, some books, snacks, and I don't even remember everything else. We didn't have to buy them very many clothes, but we did get a few new things. We also bought some small gifts for our children who will be staying here. We hope that having my parents give them little gifts from us periodically while we are gone will help make the separation a little easier for them. And we had to buy birthday presents for Gabriela and Mikaela, my sister Shannen, and my brothers Ethan, and Owen, since all of them have birthdays in July or August. It was pretty crazy! But so much fun! We even managed to find time to hit the dollar theater to see the new Star Trek movie. It was our best anniversary ever!

Please join us in thanking and praising God for providing everything that we need to bring Isabelle and Hallie home where they belong. We will never be able to express how much we appreciate all of the gifts and support from people during this process. Please also pray for our little girls. We are asking God to work in their hearts to prepare them to be part of a family. They have never known the love of a family, and it will be an unfamiliar and frightening thing for them. Pray that they will adjust, and that God will give us patience to love our girls when they don't want to be loved, (even if they fight against our love at first), and that He will teach them to love us back. Our next update will probably include definite travel plans.