Joel and I have sensed a calling to international adoption for many years. In May, 2009 God made it abundantly clear that it was time. After much prayer, research and wise counsel we began the process to adopt a daughter from China. God directed us to an incredible agency that was founded by a family with an amazing testimony. This blog is a chronicle of our journey, to inform our friends and family and as a record of events for our daughter to read one day. Join us in the journey... it is sure to be an adventure!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

An End In Sight

God so often provides things that I need, before I even realize that I need them. Last March, Joel's phone contract was up and he decided to upgrade to a Blackberry. That month, Verizon was running a Buy One Blackberry/Get One Free Sale. (Crazy, right?) So we went the next day to get mine. I thought it would be fun to have, but I never dreamed that I would need it.

We learned about Grace early on a Saturday morning through an email on my Blackberry. We were going to have a family day out that day. Without mobile email access, I would not have seen that email until late that night. From the time that I read the email on Saturday morning, I had 18 hours to gather paperwork and get it sent to our agency so that our referral could be locked in. I very well could have missed that opportunity and lost our referral.

Yesterday, on an interstate somewhere below Atlanta, I received the email that informed us that our LOA (Letter of Acceptance) had arrived at our agency. This document had to be overnighted to us, and I had 4 hours to let them know if it should come to an address other than our home. I would have been too late for that one also, and our precious LOA would have been sitting on our front porch in MD until we found someone pick it up and overnight it to us in MS.

Thank you, Lord, for providing a tool for this adoption before we even decided to begin the process.

Oh...and we have our LOA!!! It is the final approval to confirm that she is ours, and a document that we must sign and return to China confirming that we still want her. (It is also called the Letter Seeking Confirmation.) Our agency estimates that we will travel in 10-13 weeks! We will be waiting for two documents now, one from our own USCIS (Customs and Immigration), and the Travel Approval (TA) from China. The USCIS document is the confirmation that her immigration paperwork is in order. The TA is our invitation to come and get her! I have a ton more paperwork to get together over the next couple of days. We have about a day and a half of down time before our mission trip gets into full swing, which is a blessing. So, I am going to try to find a business center in this hotel so that I can get it all printed out and get started!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Grace Project

Recently a precious friend of ours approached me and said, "How is the Grace project coming?" Then he said, "Grace Project...I like that!" I like it too. God is certainly using this adoption as a means of exhibiting His grace in our lives.

Did you know that adoption is a beautiful picture of the redemptive work of Christ? Without Jesus, we are fatherless. Without Jesus, we have no hope. Without Jesus, our future is tragic.

Just as God gave us the gift of marriage to help us understand the relationship between Jesus and the church, He has also given us adoption so that we can understand and reflect what it means to become a "joint-heir with Christ."

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

Romans 8:14-17 NKJV

Those of us who have chosen to turn our lives over to Christ are adoptees!

A few months ago I contributed to a devotional book that will be published in the fall. My contribution is quite brief, because of the space constraints of the published work. But, the message of this passage applies here. Forgive the choppiness of this post...

Background Passage: Psalm 82

Focal Verse:
“Provide justice for the needy and the fatherless; uphold the rights of the oppressed and destitute.” (Psalm 82:3)

This Psalm is meant to warn national leaders of their responsibility to protect the weakest and most vulnerable among those in their charge. When coupled with James 1:27, it is clear that this same responsibility lies at the feet of every believer.

My husband and I have felt a calling to adoption for many years. Recently God made it clear that the time had come for us to begin that journey. As we began delving into the adoption process, we were surprised by the reactions of many of our Christian friends. All have been supportive, but few seem to realize the Scriptural mandate that we have been given as believers to be active in orphan care. Many have never considered their own position as a co-heir with Christ, and the beautiful reflection of that which we are given through adoption. Paul Pennington, in his blog, Hope for Orphans, stated, “Caring for orphans is God’s will for everybody. Adoption is not.” Consider what role God would have you take in the care of the weakest among us. Whether it is through foster care, adoption, advocacy, or financially supporting those who choose adoption, God’s calling is clear and unavoidable.

So, it's the Grace Project...in more ways than one.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Man, I thought waiting was hard before we had ever seen Grace's picture. It is a very odd feeling to have a child on the other side of the globe, whose care you have absolutely no say in. How is she doing? Has she been sick? Has she had surgery? Did she sleep well last night? Did she laugh today?

If anyone out there is in need of a lesson in patience...I can tell you where to find one.

This week began in China with the Dragon Boat Festival. Any of you who have young children may have seen the Ni Hao Kai Lan episode about this celebration. All government offices were closed Monday through Wednesday, so very few approvals have shown up this week.

We are on the 55th day of waiting for our LOA from China, which is the final step in the approval process. Then there will be a few more hoops to jump through regarding her citizenship paperwork and our travel appointments. I'm excited to have found an online community of people that are in the same *dragon* boat, waiting at various stages of this process to go and get their little ones. We all compare our time lines...hoping that we might gain insight into when we might see some forward progress. Though it could come at any time, I am trying to tell myself to not expect anything before the end of July. Thankfully, the next couple of weeks will be pretty hectic as we go on mission to the Gulf Coast to continue Katrina relief. My mind will be filled with feeding hungry mission teams, so there will be little time for worrying about the paper chase.

That said, I am ready with the next step. And, our agency is on alert to call us for info on where to overnight the paperwork, depending on where we are at the time. So, who knows, maybe we will have to track down a notary while we are there!