Friday, August 10, 2012

Milestones From Above


July 3oth. I was watering flowers.  Kris was casually getting the mail a few yards away. As he glanced through various envelopes,  I'll never forget the tone of his voice when he looked up at me and said "Is this what I think it is?!"  It had only been 31 days since we had sent our immigration request to U.S. Homeland Security for approval to adopt our daughter from China.  The average time for approval is 2-3 months.  He and I tore into the envelope and my eyes found the words "approval notice".  We jumped up and down and cheered!  I immediately called our agency to tell our facilitator the great news.  She was shocked as well and told us to fax it immediately.  She would begin processing all of our documents that same day.  We started figuring out dates, months remaining, and embraced as we realized that our daughter may be home only 12 months after beginning the process!  That's not the end of our good news this month.  Our agency told us "It will take three weeks to process, then 3-4 weeks to get logged in through China when your documents arrive".  One week later, we received an email.  No, it won't be 6-7 weeks until you get matched.  You just had another two weeks shaved off!  God is so good.  In less than four weeks we should be getting matched with our daughter and finally lay eyes on her precious face.

What will she look like?  Will she have hair yet?  Will she be smiling in her picture or look sad?  Will she be walking yet, talking yet, have a mouth full of teeth yet?  Will she be shy or outgoing?  Will she love hugs and kisses, bedtime stories and getting into her jammies?  How will she feel in my arms?  I often notice when holding girls that they "feel" different from boys.  What will it be like to rock her to sleep, to sing "Jesus Loves Me" and kiss her forehead each night after praying over her?  Will she like hair bows, dolls, and princess dress up clothes?  

The days pass quickly as we wait.  Our lives are always in fast-forward mode as three energetic, curious boys preoccupy my daily life.  They are enthusiastic about learning in homeschool and love cuddles and story time.  I cherish those times, because soon they will be spread thinner by Mei Mei (pronounced may may, meaning little sister). And sooner than I want to admit they will no longer be little.  I won't refer to our kids in general as "the boys" anymore.  My shopping won't be just in the boys' section at Christmas time.  Matching outfits on holidays will become a little more interesting, and getting ready on Sunday morning for church will become much, much longer (whew).  

It is so apparent that God is already blessing.  We have received so much encouragement from dear friends and supportive family members.  I love affirming remarks from those close to us and opportunities in the community to share our developing adoption story and how it is similar to how God has adopted His children through Christ.  How much easier will it be to share of God's amazing goodness when Mei Mei is with us!  Nevertheless Satan tries to quench those feelings of hope with his arrows of apathy or avoidance in others.  He never gives up trying to hurt or discourage, but "...greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4).  

Our next post will be when we are matched.  I will not share details about our daughter due to security, but what I know I will be sharing is the joy that will be in my heart!  Please continue to pray, please continue to encourage us and others you know who are either prospective adoptive parents or just those with a love for orphan care.  Please don't forget the need: in China alone there are over 700,000 fatherless children.  Mei Mei is just one of them.

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