Saturday, July 26, 2008

The agony of waiting... a laugh in the midst

     Have you seen the SafeAuto Insurance commercial?  The guy, Bob, doesn't believe they are really available 24 hours a day.  So, he stays awake all night calling them to see if they are really there.
     At the end of the commercial, they show the office with all the cubicles of people who answer the phone, and someone yells out, "Who's turn is to talk to Bob?"

     Well, that's what they do at FTIA when Paul calls.  Why?  Because he calls EVERYDAY!!!  Everyday I tell him, if they have something for us, they will call us.  Seriously, as if they are going to harbor information.  So, when he calls, he alternates between two different women who work there, Maury and Salome.  Maury is the SN Senior Coordinator and Salome is the Director of Programs.  I am not even sure how or why we began talking to Salome.  She doesn't really even have anything to do with the SN program.  I think it was to help Maury take some of the heat from our crazy case.  Anyway, as if they don't know he switches back and forth between the two of them.  
     So, of course, yesterday he calls and talks to Salome.  He says, "Salome, I know you've heard something, but you just haven't had a chance to call me, right?"  She said, "Paul, when your TA comes,  Maury and I are going to knock each other out to be the first to call you!!"
     I have laughed about that since yesterday!  I just had to share!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Can this PLEASE be the last long weekend??

     No news this week!!!  I am praying that this is the last long weekend.  I just want to know when we are leaving!!!!!!!  That's the part that's killing me.  I can't plan and there so many things coming up.  I am trying really hard to trust that God is in control of the timing.  It sure doesn't feel like it though!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

American Idol and Webkinz

     **************************** SPOILER ALERT*************************************

Just in case anyone is going to an American Idol concert, I didn't want to ruin anything for anyone.  I was able to go to the American Idol concert last night in Columbus (thanks to birthday presents for the girls and myself from Grandma!!)  Anyway, I was terrified I was going to be in China and miss the concert.  Silly, huh?  So, the good news about this whole long China process was the I got to go to the concert.   My good friend Amber gave me tickets last year, even though I didn't even watch American Idol.  I loved it so much, without evening knowing the people, that I decided to become a fan of this show this year.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE David A's voice.  He could sing me to sleep every night.  I was however, a bit disappointed in this year's concert.  It was really good, don't get me wrong.  I just did not like the format at all.  They started with #10, Chickezee (spelling very wrong) and went to #3  Seyesha, letting everyone sing three songs each.  David A and David Cook sang 4 songs each.  The 10 of them only sang one song together.  Last year, two of them would sing together.  Then 5 of them, 8 of them, 3 of them, etc....  I just really didn't want to hear Chickezee and Ramielle sing 3 songs in a row.  So, if one wanted to go to 10 different concerts, it was fabulous.  I just wanted them to sing together more.

     Now, onto Webkinz...  I feel like instead of a little girl from China,  I feel like I have a Webkinz.   I get on the computer periodically, look at her, and then close the computer.  That's what I see my kids do with their Webkinz.  Well, they do feed it and make it do jobs, and put it to bed.   But, you get the idea.  Sometimes, it just feels like she's not real.

Hoping against all odds to hear some great news this week!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


WE'RE GOING TO CHINA!!!!!!!!  Someday soon!:-)  I just wanted to see how it felt to write that.  I'm practicing.  It felt really good by the way (or BTW as my girls say).

No new news.  But, I was rereading my own blog and read that I was going to talk "tomorrow" about God's timing.  I was just letting you all know how I feel about communicating about Chinese tomorrow's.  What tomorrow really means is "whenever I get around to it.'

So, I am around to it now.

I was contacted by some people telling me about a ministry called Grace & Hope.  They are an amazing ministry that gets sponsors to pay for children to get out of orphanages and get them into foster care.  It works a little bit like Compassion International or World Vision.  It takes about $40/month to get a child out of an institution and into a home.  Our Emme happens to be one of their babies.

What that means for us is several things.  First of all, a home is almost always better than institutional living.  A child living  in foster care often has less problems with attachment.  Furthermore, they have been held and spoken to and played with.  As good as the orphanages are, there is not enough staff to go around.  In this case, it also means that Grace & Hope will provide us with reports about progress and milestones as well as pictures of Emme throughout her first year.  G&H have social workers (for lack of another term) visit the foster families to get the reports and the pictures.  It is then their goal to get it into the hands of the parents adopting the child.  What a blessing and a gift!!!  How great is it that we will have pictures we would have had no other way of having without this organization?  Plus, our daughter has received quality childcare.

This brings me to God's timing.  I am sure I will never understand all the reasons things didn't work out with Mylei.  As time goes on and as I am still part of a yahoo group for Chinese children with spina bifida, I can only think that maybe part of God's plan was protecting me from some of the things that will be lifelong issues with these children.  Sometimes it overwhelms me just to read the conversations going back and forth.  I still believe God would have given us the grace and the resources to handle whatever was thrown our way with her.  And, we would have loved her and given her a great home and made sure she got great care.  But, I would lie if I said that sometimes I also feel a great sense of relief.  Emme will have issues I am sure.  But, she is the child God chose to give us and at least at this point, her needs seem much less severe.  And, then the icing on the cake, is that God sent angels, Grace & Hope, to provide care for her and pictures of the time we missed with her.  Why do I ever doubt his timing and goodness??

I wonder if he knows I can be ready to leave in a week??:-)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Documents on the way back

    We received our documents on Saturday morning.  They were filled out and sent right back. We had to write her official name.  So, now it is definitely Emme Mei Kathryn.   The papers should arrive at FTIA tomorrow morning.  From there, FTIA will send them off to China.  Then, the really long wait begins.  The wait for TA.  We didn't make it that far last time.  We'll be sitting on pins and needles until then.  

   On the way to church this morning, we said it already feels like it has been 3 months since Friday.  We did the math and it only took 7 days to get a PA.  12 days after that we received an LOA.  So, it really is moving fast, but every day feels like a year to us!

    If you are praying for us, first and foremost, pray for God's timing.  It is always the best (more on that tomorrow.)  But, also pray that it might be his will for us to go really soon!  The mid to end of August/ beginning of September seems like a horrible time for us to leave.  It's the beginning of the school year for Paul and in college ministry, one really wants to be around.  Also, with school starting, I feel like there will be real complications getting our other three scheduled while we are gone.  I try to remind myself that God knows all this, but 5 minutes later I try to take charge again!

Friday, July 11, 2008

One step closer

We received our LOA today!!  Yippee!  FTIA already has the paperwork in the mail so that we receive it in the morning.  We sign it and overnight it back.  In other words, hurry up and wait!! Next, we wait for travel approval!  Don't ask me how long that will take- nothing has gone as it was "supposed" to go.  We think the worst case scenario would be the first week of September.  We are praying that we don't have to miss her 1st birthday- August 30.

Monday, July 7, 2008

It will be soon

    "It will be soon." Is it just me or do you feel like I have had to hear that a million times??  We called FTIA today and they said they have received a correspondence from China and that our LOA would be on it's way soon.  What is soon?  Soon to me would have been getting it all done in one week!  Instead we are working our way through the steps all over again.  We got a PA on the 26th of June.  Are they telling me that now we are waiting on an LOA together with a TA or are we waiting on the TA separately?
     I would have been fine if they would have just told me I would be working my way through all the steps again.  But, instead, everyone kept saying soon.  If you ask me, soon has come and gone.
     I really need to keep this is perspective.  At least they gave us a new referral and a relatively healthy one at that.  And, if I really trust God like I say I do, then why am I having such a hard time trusting him with the timing?
    I bet God gets so frustrated with me.  He proves himself over and over and over again.  Then, when things don't go as I want them to go, I want to throw myself down on my bed like a spoiled brat, cry and not function the rest of the day.
    That's pathetic!  Forgive me Lord!

     On a happy note, I have some very good and gracious friends throwing me a shower tonight!  So sweet!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Praying for news

     You probably didn't need me to tell you this, but we have no news as to when we will travel! FTIA received 3 LOA's on Wednesday, but we did not have one in that batch.  They said they weren't surprised by this.  They think our LOA and our TA will come together and it will not be with  any others.  Thursday they were asking (China) for the status of our paperwork.  That has made for another long weekend.  The weekends are actually getting longer.  Why??  Because the longer we go without LOA/TA, the closer we get to the Olympics.  The closer we get to the Olympics the more expensive airfare and hotels.  Also, it probably means we won't either A).  make it to Beijing (how disappointing to go all the way to China and not get to see the Great Wall!)  OR   B.) travel at all.  No one knows what is going to happen to adoptions during the Olympics because nothing is scheduled that far out.
     And, even if we can go later in August, it still isn't the best timing for us.  I wonder if God knows this?  Paul's needs to be on campus when school starts.  (For those of you who don't know, we do college campus ministry.)  Also, Paul's parents have paid for us to go with them to the beach the very beginning of September.  Plus, Emme's birthday is August 30.  I can't miss her first birthday.
     So, will you pray with us?  Will you pray our papers come this week?  Will you pray we can get in with the next travel group and get a consulate appointment for Aug 5.?  The group from FTIA is scheduled to leave July 24 and return August 6.  We would love to travel with this group.
     We look forward to having great news to share with you this week!!