Our Letter of Approval arrived today!! It is so exciting to have the official adoption approval in hand. It is already on it's way back to China... no wasting time on moving forward!
We are anticipating traveling to China in later February or early March. Now we wait for immigration approvals from US*CIS and the Invitation to Travel from the CC*AA. I'm glad we have lots of holidays to distract us from more waiting since March seems awfully far away!
Anna Kathryn is ready to go get her sister now. We went out to dinner to celebrate (Cracker Barrel. Sure hope Olivia develops a taste for biscuits and chicken and dumplings!) and we told her at dinner. She got SO excited- her eyes got real big, and her mouth made an "o" and she just said, "Ohhhhhh, Ting Ting, my sister!"
The best part is... we can finally start communicating with our girl!!! And we believe the orphanage will tell her and begin to prepare her now, too. Please be praying for her as she begins to learn about us, and faces so many changes to come.
Off to scope out Care Package options now... woo hoo!
We are THRILLED to announce (officially) that we are adopting again!We are planning to adopt a nine-year-old girl from Hunan Province, China, to be called Olivia Ruth YuTing. Yes, she's another Spicy Girl!!
Olivia is active and restless (exactly what AK's referral said about her-- and boy was that true!), enjoys playing games and singing, and is a good student. We cannot wait until we have our Referral Approval so we can finally begin communicating with her. We are so excited to add another daughter to our family, and Anna Kathryn is really looking forward to having another big sister-- and traveling to China to meet her.
It took about a year of adjustment for all three of us, but Mark and I began to seriously discuss adopting again last fall. However, we had no idea how we could afford to adopt again, and we originally felt led to request to adopt a child younger than Anna Kathryn.
Last January, I decided on a whim (so I thought) to look at our agency's waiting child list. When I saw Olivia's picture I felt my heart just leap; I began to cry and told Mark that I felt very drawn to this photo of a young girl with sparkling eyes and a shy smile. I wanted to know more about her. We prayed and agreed to take things a step at a time, as we felt the Lord leading us. The Lord kept opening the doors to proceed, including providing the first 1/3 of our adoption expenses so we could start gathering our documents and get our home study done. Gathering our paperwork has taken longer than we anticipated (honestly, doesn't it always??), but even in our impatience we are confident that the Lord's timing is perfect.
We sent our dossier to China on September 10 and were logged in on September 17, and now are waiting for all the remaining approvals. We are hoping that we will travel by the end of the year (miracles can happen!).
We are praying specifically that no matter when we do travel, we will be home before Olivia's 10th birthday in mid-February. As well as being an older child, Olivia has a manageable but significant medical need, and she has been waiting a very long time for a family. We feel a sense of urgency as we prepare to adopt her and bring her into the family.
Please join us in praying for Olivia as we prepare to bring her home, as she faces a huge number of changes and adjustments. We are also praying for a kindred spirit between her and Anna Kathryn; that Mark and I would be wise and compassionate as we deal with the parenting challenges before us and we walk through this new territory together.
We will keep you posted as we get closer to bringing Olivia home!
... we rejoiced over Anna Kathryn. In our arms. At last.
And today-- two short years later--
Today, she is even more firmly embedded in our hearts. Our home is noisy with laughter, games, reading, singing (and because she is a hard-headed toddler, a good bit of wailing), filled with toys, and always time for snuggling. Life continues to be SO GOOD with our Snickerdoodle.
The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.
If you feel like a trip down memory lane, read about our first family day here.
I know it's been a ridiculously long time since I posted, and this isn't even a current photo in the screen below! (It is one of my faves, though.) I am testing out this super-fun tool, VoiceThread, for a project at school that I am collaborating on with another teacher, and realized that I could post VoiceThreads here really easily . I made this in about 2 minutes, no joke, and uploaded it to Blogger in no time. This is the busy mom's way to blog: upload a photo, speak, and voila: a post! Hmmm, I may start blogging again after all!
Anyway, M and AK and I are having a wonderful spring. We are heading into the home stretch of another school year, I am finishing my third-to-last class for my Master's degree, and AK is potty training sloooooooowly. Busy days, for sure!
And, we have a few other things we are working on... but that's another post for another day!