Yesterday, my family and I welcomed the first of the four children from Mother's Love orphanage. It has been over a year since the opportunity to adopt was first made open to our church family at Evergreen SGV. I don't even know if I could explain how I felt as I watched Samuel walk up the ramp after going through immigration and customs and to see him for the first time, smiling and waving. I'm not a big crier, but this sight made the tears well up in my eyes. Our journey is nearing the tail end as well. We received our long awaited letter of approval (LOA) from China a week ago. This letter is China's acceptance of our application to adopt Anah. After another exchange of papers, we are waiting again. (I'm not exactly sure for what, but I believe it has something to do with immigration.)
Up till now, we have not received much information about Anah. For awhile, we didn't even know if she knew she was being adopted. We had sent her clothing and gifts for Christmas and for her birthday, but we had no idea whether she had received them or not. We didn't know if she was in school, how she was doing, anything about her health, etc. All we knew is that she is in a foster home until we will pick her up. That, plus some dated information from old evaluation reports.
But yesterday, after we got home from the airport, we received an email from our adoption agency that contained photos and responses to questions that my husband asked regarding Anah. We learned that:
- she is probably the size of our youngest son, but weighs about 10 pounds less! That means that at age 7, she is probably wearing a 4T in clothing size! (Now I can be on the lookout for cute girl clothes!)
- from her photos, we can tell that she's lost several teeth! It seems like physically, they go through the same stages as all other children.
- she knows we are coming for her and has received our gifts
- she attends kindergarten at the orphanage school and is doing well. She is learning how to read and draw, but is not much of a talker. She can follow directions when requests are made.
- she loves puzzles and will do them over and over. We learned from a previous report that she also likes shiny things like zippers and is fascinated with them. She's a true girl!
- she will finish a task before starting something new. Maybe she can teach some of that to her older brother... (as he is goofing off now and not doing his writing assignment...)
- even though she is friendly and greets her teacher, she is happy being by herself. She's used to being around kids, so that won't be an issue coming to our house. But Jonathan has a tendency to always want someone to play with him. I hope he'll know when to leave her alone!
- she is a happy girl. All our reports have said this about her. That is such a blessing!
Like I mentioned, we are waiting for two pieces of paperwork from China, which will then allow us to move on to the next stage. This may take 5-8 weeks from the time our agency sends it in for us before we get approval from China to travel. Then, it will be another 3-6 weeks before we actually arrive in China.
Our home is nearing completion as well. We are getting the tile finished up this week, then we will get our kitchen appliances installed, and the carpet put in. My husband would also like to paint the boys' room while everything is still out of the house, but we'll have to see. Hopefully, we'll be back home in a couple of weeks.
The Lord's Goodness
God has been so good to us. We have received gifts to help us with our home renovations as well as for the adoption paperwork. We've had checks appear in the mail, gifts as we have remodeled our home, and generous donations made on our behalf. We are praying that all five of us will be able to travel. We are trusting that despite the summer airfare rates and the busy tourist season, God will find a way for all of us to be present to welcome Anah into our home. He has provided for us over and over. We keep telling ourselves that adoption is His idea. He will see to it we have what we need to complete the process.
Thank you for your support and friendship, your words of encouragement, your gifts and sacrifice on our behalf. We know that we may be adopting Anah, but as the church, we work together to make it a reality.