Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Big Milestone and Hats for Faith

The FedEx man with our LOA
As many of you have heard, we have received our official Letter of Approval from China!  This is a HUGE milestone in the adoption process!  It was on Day 99 from the time our documents were logged in that we got the phone call.  All we lack now is going through several steps in immigration followed by receiving travel approval from the adoption authorities in China.  At that point we make an appointment with the U.S. Consulate in China and book our tickets!  We fly out about 2 weeks later!  Our agency told us that right now it is taking about 10-12 weeks for families to complete the final steps before they board the plane to China.  We are praying we may get to go in February, but Chinese New Year is in the middle of the month, and all offices will be closed.  Because of this will not be allowed to travel for the first of the two weeks this most important holiday in China is celebrated.  If our approval comes before the offices close, we will still be able to travel in February and be home in early March.  That is our goal at this point.  Anna Faith will be able to be home for her biggest brother Josiah's 7th birthday on March 14th!  That has been his wish all year long.
At this point we'd like to share with you some special information about Anna Faith.  The program we entered to adopt her was a mild special needs program.  We did not make this public because some of our family members would have worried that our child would have medical problems that we could not handle in our already full family.  Now that we are in the final stretch of waiting, we wanted to prepare all of you who will be seeing photos of and/or meeting Anna Faith about her special need and ask you to do something special for her as well!
As mentioned in a previous post, we found our daughter on a list of children who were "special focus".  These are children that China sees as difficult to place due to either age or their special need.  Anna Faith was born with what is called congenital nevus.  Nevus are common, and are often surgically removed so that there will be no risk of cancer in adulthood.  They can be flat, raised, different colors, and be few or many.  Anna Faith has large nevus on the back of her head and the right side of her face and neck.  In China appearance is very important.  We believe that due to her appearance, those who decided which list she should go on thought that most adoptive parents would want a child with flawless skin, so they put her on this list.  We know that was God's sovereignty, or we would not have been able to choose her (we were still on the waiting list to be called with a referral).  We think she is beautiful!  We have consulted with several physicians about her condition and how it can be treated.  Specialists in a dermatology office answered all of our questions.  To prove God's timing is perfect, a panel of physicians and surgeons that only meet periodically were discussing cases in the Dermatologist's conference room when Anna Faith's file was faxed to their office.  The compassionate nurse Kris talked to on the phone brought her file into the meeting, so that all the specialists could evaluate her.  They advised that she go to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville to have plastic surgery as soon as she comes home. The ideal age to have nevus like hers removed is between the ages of 1 and 2.  She will be 18 months when she comes home!  Praise God again for His timing!  She will likely have to undergo a few separate surgeries but when they are completed, she should have very minimal scarring and live a healthy, normal life, free of any risk of cancer in the future.  What an amazing God we have, who has blessed us with medical technology to do what looks impossible!
Anna Faith's first hat, given by a sweet girl who is in our homeschool group

We would like you to get involved in Anna Faith's early days home.  Because she will have to be prepared for surgery and will have several months of healing, we would like to collect hats for her.  We will call them "Hats for Faith"  The hats will serve a few purposes: 1- protecting her head from injury or infection, 2- keeping others in public from staring at her and asking awkward questions, 3- showing her support and love during her surgical/healing process.  Used hats, crocheted hats, silly hats, lacy hats, we want to collect them all!  We will have a special page on this blog that will show photos of her hats, and eventually display her wearing them!  It will be a special memory for us and her to keep.  If you wish to remain anonymous we will respect that and not list your name.
Thank you again for all of your support and prayers.  Even though a few people close to us still do not support us or wish to talk about Anna Faith with us, the outpouring of love, encouragement, and most importantly prayers from the rest of you fills our hearts.  Prayers are getting our daughter home.  We firmly believe that!  We know that all of you who have invested in her joining her forever family will reap blessings and be a special part of her life.
In case you haven't seen it yet, here is a link to a video we made for our daughter this Christmas.  It is dedicated to Anna Faith and all the other children who are waiting for their forever families this Christmas.


  1. Sweet video, Tonya and Kris! Good job! It will always be special! Praying for you!

  2. What a precious story and video...bawled my eyes out. Can't wait to hear the news of your invitation to pick up your sweet baby girl. We'd love to send her a hat. PM me your address when you get a chance. So moved by your love as a family.