Friday, September 21, 2012

Let the Children Come

I had the opportunity to write in a guest post for Give1save1 Asia today.
If you have a chance be sure and check out their work. They are amazing for any family that is adopting. I love,love,love what they do!

Let the Children Come

Matthew 19:14
But Jesus said, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

When we started our journey of adoption we got a lot of questions, from well meaning people, about our current biological children. I think there is still the stigma of adoption belonging only to couples that have no children. So, when some of us that have children step out to adopt we are automatically watched simply because we are out of the “norm.”

A few people thought we shouldn’t tell our kids anything at all until we were further in the process. Some, when we they discovered the severity of our new son’s (still waiting in China) medical condition questioned if we were acting in the best interest of our children.

So, I want to take this chance to expound on children in the midst of adoption. First, I honestly don’t see how it would be possible to keep such information from them when it consumes your life for months while you work on paperwork and have an agency come into your home and even question your kids. Throw that thought out the window…not gonna happen. If your kids are above the age of two, they will know fairly quickly exactly what is happening. Keeping them in the dark will only add confusion.

Secondly, life is hard, really hard. Sometimes it is full of heartache. As parents we naturally want to shelter our children from things that hurt. We hover over them constantly on playgrounds. We pad them from head to toe when they head out on their bicycles for the long trek…down the entire driveway. So, the thought of doing something that you know is going to stretch them and possibly bring heartache is something very foreign to our minds.

God tells us in Matthew to, “Let the children come.” Let them be near to the heart of God. Let them join in the work for His kingdom. Let them sit at His feet. Can we really say that dressing them up in expensive dresses and sending them down the hallway to Sunday School Class really teaches them about serving their Savior? Being near to the heart of God means seeing things as He sees them.

My purpose as a parent has changed through this journey. I want to stop teaching my children to be Sunday morning Christians. I want to teach them to be in the trenches serving their Savior. I want to teach them to love the Lord their God with everything that is in them.

Should the day come when we bury our son, their brother, then we will guide them through grief and teach them of how great God’s love for them is and how much He loved their brother. I want my children to know deep within their souls how God loves the “least of these.” I want them to see how He would go to such great lengths to place one dying child into the arms of someone who will love them even if it is for a short time. I want my children to understand that this life is short. This life is just a picture of the beauty that is coming. I hope they will learn what it truly means to be the hands and feet of Christ. I want them to see and understand that following Christ is not always the easy way, but it is the most beautiful, the best way to live your life as a Christian.

Let your children be a part of your journey. Let them sell cookies to help you fundraise, let them see your grief and watch you lean on Christ. Let your children see the heart of Christ through you. Let them serve right along side you.

Let the children come.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The process

I've been asked a few times now where we are in this process. Sometimes I don't even know myself! There are so many steps involved and paperwork gets sent here, then there, then somewhere else, then who knows!

We have our fingerprinting appointment for immigration set for the 25th of this month. I don't know why but they did not agree to expedite it. We're trusting that God is going to watch over this process and help us get everything to China in time.

That's called the I800a.

We collected all our paperwork for our dossier and sent it to our agency. It has to be notarized and sent to the consulate in Washington D.C. and then back to our agency and then to China before the 15th of November. They have to wait for our fingerprinting to come back from immigration to mail any of that.

That's called the dossier.

After that all gets to China then we wait for our Log in Date.

Known as LID

Then we wait for the official referral. Then we are sent a letter of confirmation and usually you are matched and then send in a Letter of Intent, and are given back your Pre-approval status.

We have already done the Letter of Intent and Pre-approval.

Those are known as the LOI and PA

So after our dossier is sent in to China then we will be waiting for our referral and Letter of Acceptance. (this can take months)

Then we file for I800 immigration and visa. (about 3 weeks)

Then we wait for Article 5 from China (2-3 weeks)

Then we wait for travel time!!! (2-4 weeks)

On the really short end of things (which we are praying for) it could be as little as three or four months after our LID. It could also be much, much longer before we are allowed to bring him home. I've been told to throw out the timeline and I consider that good, sound advice so that I won't be upset when it doesn't go as I had planned in my mind. We've done our part at this point and just have to wait and pray for each step as it is given to us. I'm learning a whole lot about patience on this journey...a whole lot.