Thursday, November 24, 2011

Choosing to be thankful

It's Thanksgiving, and I woke up with the worst attitude.  No gratitude.  The reality of leaving my children over the next upcoming holiday had hit me again, and I apparently am not any more reconciled to it than I was 2 weeks ago.  I'll say it again.  God has a plan.  But without seeing what good things He must have in store, I've been getting angry (or sad or anxious) because God could have brought our Jada home sooner.  So I started making a mental list of things I am thankful for, in spite of how I'm feeling.  For my own benefit, I wanted to record my reasons for why I should be thankful.

1. I have Jesus, my Savior, and without Him my life has no purpose.
2. I have Laith, my sweet husband, who is willing to find out the hard way if I can be a good mom to 5 children.  You will not meet a man with a bigger heart or harder working hands.  You won't, go ahead and try.  I'm tempted to gush about him because he has been truly wonderful to listen to my fears and complaints, but I'll move on.
3. We have extended family who have bent over backwards to help us in life in general, but also with this adoption.  Our Jada will join a family that joyfully anticipates her arrival just like they did her brothers and sister.  They are making this time of being away as painless as possible.  Oh Jesus, what a mess I would be if they weren't supporting us!
4. I have amazing kids who understand why we will be gone and are being mature and optimistic about it all.  They want their little sister home more than their own way.  They're awesome!  And cute.  And funny.  You can see why I'd want to spend Christmas with them...but I digress.
5. We get to bring Jada home THIS YEAR.  Finally.  She's the bonus here.  We will have her in our arms for Christmas. 
6. There have been so many financial blessings that I don't have the energy to list them all right now.  They're big though.  Bigger than we imagined, more than we deserved...isn't that God's M.O.?  And we should qualify for the adoption tax credit this year.  Shew.  Praise you Father.
7. We have our tickets and travel all booked.  We are going to China!  I still can't believe this.

There's more. I didn't even mention how many wonderful friends we have.  That can be another day's list, but truth be told I think it just didn't occur to me because I just consider them family.  Sorry friends, I guess I just adopted you too. 

So why so downcast, oh my soul?  Put your hope in God, and bless the Lord oh my soul!

Monday, November 14, 2011

New picture!

 Isn't she so super cute?!
A friend got an update on her cute little blonde Chinese girl, and our Jada just happened to be in the picture!  Thank you Mandy for sending me this new picture!  (I cropped out her cutie because I didn't want to post without permission.)  I'm thrilled to see a recent picture of our girl, and honestly a little disgusted that they buzzed her hair again!  Poor pumpkin!  It's a good thing I keep buying all of those head bands & bows, hee hee! 

Friday, November 11, 2011

It's not about me.

It's about her.
It's about God's plan for this girl.
The sooner I can grasp this, the sooner I will have peace.  This has been the theme all along!

Isn't she cute?  It's possible that she knows it!

Travel Dates Confirmed

Well, once again God has another agenda laid out for us than we had planned for.  We will be leaving for China on December 14th, and returning on the 29th.  Leaving three behind over Christmas and missing our Hopi's birthday was not our ideal plan, but obviously it is God's plan for us.  I've been continually reminded recently of God's sovereignty and my short-sightedness.  Whatever He has in store for Jada and the rest of us must need a couple more weeks to work itself out.  My chest literally ached most of the day, giving way to my realization that I care more about this timing issue than I even care to admit.  I've been waiting for my heart to catch up to my mind, you know?  I'm trying to choose to trust and waiting for the feelings to follow.  I hate it that I'm not just excited to be going.  5 weeks just feels so far away!  It's silly I know.  But we have set dates now, so we can plan, prepare the kids, and get things ready for our sweet Jada girl!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Travel Approval, also known as: TA, also known as: The day the heavens opened!


Praise You Father!  We have our travel approval!!!

December 16th

My agency, Holt International, is working hard to get us to China earlier, but it is likely that we will not get to China any earlier than December 16th.  This is bittersweet news.  We have a date to fall back on and our agency is planning this before we have travel approval, which is wonderful.  The down side is if we were going to any other province, we could be heading out on Dec. 2nd and returning in plenty of time to be home for Christmas.  So unless the actual director of the agency can pull some strings for us, we will be gone over Christmas and miss my little girl's 7th birthday. 

So I'm praying for favor with the public affairs office in our province.  (They are hard to schedule with.)  And so I'm asking for a Christmas miracle.  I want to be home for Christmas, with my Jada in my arms.

This shames me as I have scoffed that someone would make it their goal to have their kids home by a certain date because of the absolute (ridiculous) uncertainty about adoption.  Yet here I am eating some humble pie, and begging God to let us bring her home by Christmas.  You see this was never my plan.  I thought that the adoption would be completed last summer, but as we moved through this process it slowed to a screeching halt for a couple of months.  So no more scoffing for me. 

And I'm praying for a Christmas miracle.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I can't think of anything else!

I am consumed.  I can think of nothing but adoption, and when this adoption will finally take place.  I dreamed last night that while my mother stayed with my other children while we were in China, she repainted the girls' room a bright yellow color...OVER the lovely flowered blocks handpainted around the room.  I was horrified and then woke up.  If you know my mother, you know this is not a real fear of mine because there is no danger of my mom repainting my house.  It does show, however, that I am starting to get nervous about leaving my babies.  They will be fine without me.  Maybe that's it.  They will be too fine without me.  I've never been away from them for longer than 3 days!  It's hard to give up control and trust someone else to do my job, even though it's the perfectly capable grandparents who managed to raise us somehow! 

Holt sent a generic email today saying they're planning for a group of us to enter Beijing Dec 16th.  That is no dang good in my mind because we won't be home before Christmas.  God, I'm crying out!  Please, please let us get there and back before Christmas!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Officially waiting for travel approval!

We got confirmation that our Article 5 went through on Friday, so we are now waiting on travel approval!  YAY! 

Now the trick is calmly waiting to see when we'll be leaving with 2 major holidays and 2 of my children's birthdays coming up.  Good grief.  So glad to finally be here, but this is the worst time of the year for us to travel!  I never dreamed we'd be in a race before Christmas.  I just finished all of the birthday and Christmas shopping for my kids though.  That's a huge relief.  I sure wish we could be home by my Adler's birthday on December 3rd.  From talking to Holt, I guess that would be nothing short of a miracle though.  A mama can dream though, right, and definitely pray....  God, could we please leave and come back before Ad's birthday?  In Jesus' Name, Amen