Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Big News!

Quite unexpectetly, we received our letter of acceptance on Monday!!!  We were told that it is normal to wait about 60-90 days for this document--ours was processed in 37 day!! I think that this is the first time we were ahead of schedule on something. As I mentioned before, the letter of acceptance (LOA) is a huge step in the process and it ushers in the final steps of Tulip's adoption!!  Here are a couple of pictures of our LOA:

We had to check one of the boxes with our decision---um, I can't imagine anyone getting to this point and checking 'We cannot accept the adoptee mentioned'. 
When I called our adoption agency yesterday I was told that our file, which has been in IMMIGRATION department for the past 6 months, has been moved to the TRAVEL department!! This made me happy and a little sad--happy to be moving on but sad that I can't call any of the friends I have made in the immigration department because they can no longer answer my questions.

So, now our focus is on travel--which we hope to do in about 10 weeks (could be up to 14 weeks).  
Once again my computer desk is filled with forms to be filled out and paperwork to be read and understood.  My to-do list, which had gotten pretty short, is suddenly filled back up! 

Monday, March 11, 2013

What Do You See?

I mentioned ever so briefly in my last post about where we are on the journey to Tulip, "We are on day 40 of waiting on our Letter of Acceptance from the Chinese government.  And since the typical wait is about 60 days, we I am happily nesting--cleaning and organizing every single square inch of the house."
This morning I have the urge to write a little more about Tulip.  Last week we received a video of her--just her.  It was sent so we can see a little bit of her development to this point.  At first we weren't going to post the video--we wanted to keep it private.  Why?  Well, we were trying to protect her and ourselves (mostly ourselves if I am being honest) from people who may watch it and see the opposite of what we see.  When we watch it (ten times every day) we see our daughter.  We see a child who almost died 2 years ago but now is full of life.  We see a child who has lived in an orphanage for most of her life but despite that is strong and healthy and my friends, she can walk backwards!!! We see that she has blocked tearducts and we wonder if that is something we will need to correct.  We see a nice row of bottom teeth. We see a pudgy little tummy that peeks out under many layers of clothing.  We see those signature pig tails which keep getting longer and longer.  

We have changed our minds about posting the video.  We want you to see everything that we see.  We want you to love this child too.  We can't be afraid of what other people see or say.  We know how God sees her--He created her in His image and she is perfect.  We agree.  We hope you will too.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Not Afraid

One of the first adoption questions we were asked was 
'Aren't you afraid of how this will affect your other children?' 

While initially this question bothered us we did admit that of course we had thought long and hard before making a final decision to adopt Tulip--and some of those thoughts centered around the effect a child with Down Syndrome would have on the lives of our other children.  The thoughts haven't turned into worries or fears though.  We are confident that this adoption is teaching our children lessons that will only benefit them.  Lessons that need to be taught in order for our children to experience true JOY in life.  
Anne learns fast and furious--she always has.  Her journey through this adoption has been wonderful to watch.  Already we can see that she understands some of the deeper truths of adoption. God is using this experience to shape her future.  Anne's favorite song right now is 'Kings and Queens' by Audio Adrenaline (a contemporary Christian band).  
She says it speaks to her heart :)
She made up these motions and movements herself and agreed to let me tape her. I hope they help someone watching understand why we are not afraid to adopt.

Audio Adrenaline - Kings & Queens Lyrics

Little hands, shoeless feet, lonely eyes looking back at me 

Will we leave behind the innocent too brief

On their own, on the run when their lives have only begun
These could be our daughters and our sons
And just like a drum I can hear their hearts beating
I know my God won’t let them be defeated
Every child has a dream to belong and be loved
Boys become kings, girls will be queens
Wrapped in Your majesty
When we love, when we love the least of these
Then they will be brave and free
Shout your name in victory
When we love when we love the least of these
When we love the least of these

Break our hearts once again
Help us to remember when
We were only children hoping for a friend
Won’t you look around these are the lives that the world has forgotten
Waiting for doors of our hearts and our homes to open

If not us who will be like Jesus
To the least of these
If not us tell me who will be like Jesus
Like Jesus to the least of these
Boys become kings, girls will be queens
Wrapped in your majesty
When we love, when we love the least of these
Then they will be brave and free shout your name in victory
We will love we will love the least of these