Does the title seem like some secret coded message? I think it is, at least a foreign language spoke in the international adoption world.Should I shed some light?
LOI 5/27/2011 - received our "Letter of Intent" . Basically we were matched we Mia and ask permission to adopt her.
DTC 12/16/2011 - "Date to China" . Our paper work went to China to be reviewed and processed.
LOA 2/20/2012 - "Letter of Acceptance" China has reviewed & accepted the paperwork.
I800 3/18/2012- United States approves us to bring specific orphan into our country.
NVC 3/15/2012- National Visa Center approves paper work to apply for a visa for Mia.
TA- 4/20/2012- Travel approval issued by China, allowing us to come into China to adopt Mia.
CA- arrived 4/23- Consulate appointment sent out by the US from the US consulate in GZ ,China
actual CA- 5/29/2012- This is the final step we do in China before bringing Mia home. They look one more time at the paper work and issue her the VIsa to come in to the USA.
So really the wonderful news is that after many months of code letters and abbreviations...our flights are booked!
We will be leaving the US on May 17 and return home with more in our family and one less orphan in the world on June 1,2012.
Sugar vs Sweet & Low
Diamonds vs cubic zirconia
Cool whip vs homemade whip cream
Fresh flowers vs plastic flowers
Strawberries vs fruit snacks
Grandma's meatballs vs frozen meatballs
Designer jeans vs Kmart jeans
Prada purse vs Chinese copy cat purse Real parents vs adoptive parents Real daughter/son vs biological child
Did the last two comparisons make you cringe? They sure would if you are an adoptive parent or child. I know what makes a REAL parent. I love you unconditionally, I hold you when you need it, I wipe your tears away, I am up at night with you to sooth your fears, I clean your boogers, I cheer you on, I love you unconditionally, I discipline you, I read to you. I love you unconditionally, your pain is my pain, your joys are my joys, I love you unconditionally...did I say I love you unconditionally!?!?
As we journey to adopt again there are tons of things I think and pray and honestly worry about. I pray-think-worry about bonding, attachment, safety as we travel, hearts of all my children, home schooling 3 little ones, up coming surgeries,,,. So I prepare by praying, reading, making doctors appointments, ect.,
But one thing I never never never worried about was this conversation between Lily (age 6) and "other 5 year old kid"
Other 5 year old kid says to Lily
- Are they taking you back to China to bring you back to your REAL parents?
Lily tells him "these are REAL parents! My Chinese parents had to give me to my REAL parents because they were too old, or too sick, or just could not take care of me.
(I know that we will most likely never know why my girls were relinquished but these are some of the reasons that I thought a child may understand) Yes we have had the "why" conversations. And as hard as they are, boy am I glad we did. Lily was prepared. It is our responsibility as their REAL parents to prepare our adopted kids for the world but more importantly to prepare them for doubts and questions that may arise within themselves. Are they real daughters, real sisters, are they worthy? So my prayer now is that all of my children will always know they are REAL, and worthy. Not so much in the eyes of others, but in the eyes of Christ, their one perfect REAL father.
Some books that we read that help in our conversations about adoption are:
PS yes, when I told my husband, Lily's REAL dad, he wanted to knock the 5 year olds head off because that's what REAL dads do-protect their kids.
I leave most of the political banter in our house to my husband. Not because he is smarter or better than me, it is just his "thing". But I found my self thinking all day (in my free time... between making school lunches,getting the two little ones dressed & washed up, two dentist appointments, home schooling two of the 6 kids, grocery shopping,feeding my children, going to appointed play date, collecting more paper work for our taxes, going to the bank, picking up children from school, talking with our accountant, talking to the insurance company, paying some bills, doing some adoption paperwork, ect., you get the point!) about the woman democratic operative who condemned Ann Romney for not ever having a real job because Mrs. Romney had chosen to stay home and raise her 5 children. I am NOT complaining about MY JOB because unlike lots of people in this world who do not like their jobs regardless of what they do I LOVE MY JOB! and yes being a mother is my full time job! Why do we feel like that my job needs to be defended?!? Because of dumb talking heads on TV getting paid big money to say stupid things!
Our country has come so far left that I think some Americans are going off the deep end. I heard one person say well... "they have lots of money so she did not really raise her kids, they must have had cooks and nannys. So now we are bad mothers if
we have money. NO I do not have a cook or a nanny but boy have I wished for one from time to time!! And a fairy God mother too!
I do not have a great memory but I do remember some conversations more than others..these are two of them...
When I was pregnant with our first daughter I was teaching middle school. I loved my job. I worked for an excellent woman administer. She was a super mentor for me as I was just starting out in that career. I was nervous about going into her office and telling her I was not returning to work after I had delivered our daughter. After all she was a "career woman" who was actually leaving at the end of that school year to work for the Department of Education in Washington DC. She looked me straight in the eye and told me what a wonderful decision I was making. She said her children were grown, fine and healthy and they held no ills against her for working outside of the home BUT SHE missed those days of being home with them as children. And she could never get them back. She had a sadness in her eyes. That was 22 years ago...
Just last year I had a conversation with a woman, mother of 3 young adults-2 in college, one in high school. She asked me if I have other interests besides my children. She went on to add, that she had friends that lives revolved around their kids so she could barely talk to them any more.I felt like I had to defend my self worth. So I listed...I read, I garden, I blah blah blah blah... That conversation stuck with me for several days. I decided that I have not too much to talk to HER about and that was OK with me. I am now in my late 40s so I am more confident in MY job choice.
But why is motherhood being attacked?!? What little worth society has placed on our children, our families, our marriages. I am NOT for one minute knocking the moms who work INSIDE and OUTSIDE of their homes. Hats off to you, I know it must be overwhelming, and exhausting. But why in the world would another WOMAN condemn the work of motherhood. SHAME on you!
So yesterday AM, we sent out our Visa applications. It took a few hours to get the papers together.
I am a stickler for making copies of everything I send out-so that takes time.
New passport photos-so that takes time.
Since C and L were born in China, more papers to gather-so that takes some time.
I check and recheck that the documents are in order-so that takes time.
Drive to the Fed Ex office, recheck,-so that takes time.
All in all it took a few of hours.
Good its done, one more item to check off the list.
No wait, later that day I get an email from our agency letting us know that that the Visa fees are going up, effective THIS Friday, yes, I sent out the packet on Tuesday. It should be delivered on Thursday. At this point I don't care about the amount of money. It's just that I am hoping that since I sent out the packet, there won't be a delay since the fees were changed, literally hours after I sent it out. Always something to keep me on my toes!
Our Article 5 was officially delivered to CCAA in Beijing this week!
This is what the next 6 weeks or so should look like-
Week of April 4th-Article 5 delivered
Week of April 7-21 -Travel Approval received
Week of May 5- request Consulate Appt.
May 12- Tylar graduates college
May 18- Travel to China
Week of May 18th- Meet Mia- Fujian,China
Week of May 25th- trav to GZ to the American Consulate
Sometime around May 31, travel home.
This is most likey what our schedule looks like, but in the world of international adoption... you never know what may pop up.
Please pray -
for the loose ends that need to be tied up
peace and calm in our home
And ofcouse for Mia's heart as she transitions into our family, her new forever family.
Just got an email from China letting me know that our Article 5 is ready! Our agency needs to forward this to CCAA and we wait for our travel approval (TA)
TA normally takes about 3 weeks to be issued by China.
Then we request a consulate appointment (CA). Once our CA is issued we can make our plane reservations and bring Mia home! We seem to still be shooting for the May 18th travel date. My pre adoption insomnia has kicked in and is driving me crazy! Praying for some peaceful sleep in the weeks ahead. Please pray for me!
Photo from Mary Beth Chapman's trip to open Maria's Big House of Hope
Christmas Eve 2007
Our Christmas gift was Cali's referral!
Cali is home!!
Mommy and Lily 6/9/08
CALI'S FIRST PHOTO !
Can Cali be any cuter?
Look at that pout-we are in trouble! 6/19/2008
Maybe she is looking for us-we'll be there soon!
A helping hand
Lily at the beach
life is good!
Our journey of a thousand miles began with one step...
We are so very happy to announce the addition of our newest daughter, Cali Christine. We felt strongly that Cali have a family name so we chose Christine, Greg's maternal grandmother's name. Cali is a beautiful 22 month old (DOB 10/12/2006). She is from the Fujian Province of China. She is being cared for in the Xiamen SWI orphanage.Fujian is a southern coastal province of China. As we are about to embark on another incredible journey of adoption from China we ask that you come beside as prayer partners. We pray for Cali, her caretakers, her biological family, and the other children that are still waiting for their forever families. We thank you in advance for the blanket of prayers that you will place over our family. Funny 20 years ago when Greg and I got married our wedding invitations were inscribed with "A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step" How were we to know then how tied we would be to this ancient Chinese saying. Cali has a cleft lip and a cleft palate. She has had one surgery in China. Her follow up surgeries will be done at UNC Medical center. I have heard the staff there are just incredible. How blessed we are to be so close to such a great medical center. We hope to travel this summer but international adoption always has an element of uncertainty as far as travel dates. We ofcourse will keep you posted.
Cali's Gotcha Day was September 1, 2008
wonder why we adopt?.. love, jody (to listen-pause the music in the pink box below)
Every call has a beginning A quiet moment when God whispers a promise to a mother's heart A holy place where a father bows and faithfully accepts the journey set before him. A miraculous morning that unexpectedly dawns....... Casting its first light on a chosen threshold. A gentle knock...a closed door opens. A sacred invitation sent by the Father... Leads to the other side of the world. Where lonely hearts stare out orphanage windows Praying for someone to care.... And then one morning, On an ordinary day An orphan's life changes...... God sends them a second chance........Through YOU.....
Peter and Lily goofing around.
Legacy of the Adopted Child Author Unknown
Once there were two women who never knew each other One you do not remember the other you call Mother Two different lives shaped to make you one One became your guidingstarthe other became your sun first one gave you life and the second taught you to live it The first gave you a need for love The second was there to give it One gave you a nationality The other gave you a name One gave you a talent The other gave you aim One gave you emotions The other calmed your fears One saw your first sweet smile The other dried your tears One sought for you a home that she could not provide The other prayed for a child and her hope was not denied And now you ask me through your tears The age old question unanswered through the years Heredity or environment which are you a product of? Neither my darling neither, just two different kinds of Love.