Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Huge "Thank You", A Big Step, and 13 Golden Seals

Many of you celebrated with us last month when we received our i800a approval, our official notice from the US Department of Immigration that our family is approved to adopt a child from China!

Today we celebrate an even greater milestone!  The USCIS approval, along with all our birth certificates, our home study, employment letters, doctor's statements, recommendation letters, and other documents supporting who we are and our desire and ability to adopt have made the journey through our agency's county and state certifications and the Chinese Consulate in Houston for authentication!  Documents can be rejected during this process for a number of minute things, such as dates not matching, the notary not using their full name, a stapler hole out of place... thankfully we knew much of this going into it and were able to be watchful and let others know what to look for as they notarized documents for us.  Our doctor happily filled out our medical forms twice because they removed a staple the first time!

All of our documents are in order and have been SENT TO CHINA today!!!!!
<insert happy dance>

All of these papers back up the initial information we sent to China when we requested "Provisional Approval" to adopt Titus.  The next steps are for these papers to all be translated, then our match with Titus will be reviewed and China will send us an approval letter.  This process usually takes between 2-4 months.  Ours may be on the longer end, as China's businesses will shut down soon for the Lunar New Year.

Here is where we are overflowing with joy to extend a HUGE THANK YOU!!!!
Thank you to our employers and references who we have had to ask on more than one occasion to write letters for us, and then to have them notarized!
Thank you to everyone who is praying for our process!
and Thank you to everyone who has given financially to make this possible!  The amount of funds donated through The Source in our year-end giving request totaled $4800!  Guess how much we needed to get these papers sent? $4238  With what is remaining and personal gifts given directly to us, we are well on our way to our next payment.  (Another complete funding update coming very soon!)  Without your contributions we would be greatly delayed in sending these documents.
We want to thank you very much for following God's call to give toward providing a home for the fatherless.  YOU have brought us to this huge milestone.  YOU are in the business of partnering with God to turn this orphan into a SON!

Here are some ways you can continue praying for us at this point in the process:
  • Pray that our documents arrive at their destination in China before mail services close for Lunar New Year.  We prefer that they not spend a week or more locked in a mail truck or sitting in a pile.  We'd love to know they're safe and sound before the holiday begins February 18!
  • Pray for our endurance.  This is a long and emotional process, and (we think) we're a little more than half-way there!  But of course, we have no "due date" and any number of complications and delays can arise.  This paper pregnancy requires additional high doses of chocolate.  
  • Pray for a quick translation and review process.  Truly, at this point a travel timeline is still unpredictable.  Please join us in praying that quick approvals would allow for July travel.  This would be the best case scenario for our family as Eric will have a bit more free time than usual to dedicate to attachment, bonding, and our family's adjustment.  
  • Pray for favorable reviews of our grant applications and for the complete funding of Titus' adoption through grants, gifts, savings, and opportunities for extra earnings.
  • Pray for God to be preparing Titus' heart for adoption and us for parenting him.

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