|Pink paint going up in Mei Mei's (little sister's) room!|
O Lord, you are my God. I will exalt You and praise Your name, for in perfect faithfulness You have done marvelous things, things planned long ago. Isaiah 25:1
The room is painted, the crib is assembled, the clothes are hanging in the closet. Every day gets us closer to holding our baby girl for the first time. At this point, we see February 14th as the day we are "full term" in the paper pregnancy. It is the soonest day we will be getting on a plane to China for our delivery (gotcha) day. However, we could also leave as late as mid-March. That would be like waiting for an induction two weeks after a due date! It all depends on one last step: getting travel approval from the adoption authorities in Beijing! Next Tuesday, the paperwork is supposed to be delivered to their office. They have been known to approve for travel in 1 1/2 weeks, but other families have been known to drag to a 4 week wait. When the approval comes, we buy tickets and fly out 2 or possibly 3 weeks later. Gotcha Day is always on a Monday, so we hope to fly out on a Thursday so we can spend a couple days visiting Kris' old stomping ground in the same province (where he lived from 2001 to 2003) before taking a train on Sunday to the provincial capital city where she will be brought to us on a Monday. We will fly out that weekend to Guangzhou, where we will spend around 4-6 days getting Anna Faith a physical and American consulate appointment to seal her U.S.A. citizenship so we can fly home. Kris and I will be going without our kids. They have already spent 2 winters in China with us, so have experienced China. Going for two weeks will not be very enjoyable since they will have major jet lag on both ends of the trip. Kris' parents and several of our friends have graciously offered to watch the boys so we know they will be well cared for, though it will be difficult to be apart for so long.
Today we got Anna Faith's measurements. She is 31 inches tall and 22 lbs, the same size Micah (our second born) and Nathanael (our third born) were at their 12 month check-ups. For a Chinese girl, that is pretty tall! Now we know how to pack for her clothing wise. We also saw 3 new pictures of her, a pleasant surprise! She has grown so much: no more baby cheeks and pulling up against something. She was bundled up in a pink snowsuit and had a shaved head. There is likely no heat in the orphanage, so seeing children bundled like this is very common, especially in Chinese culture. Even if it is 60 degrees outside, it is 60 inside, and the children will be layered with lots of clothing. They shave babies heads in China to let their hair grow back thicker. I can't wait to put her in her many beautiful hats and let her hair grow after her surgeries! She looks healthy in her pictures, and her growth is a big reassurance that she is being fed and cared for.
This Friday, I (Tonya) leave for 8 days to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. I'm going with a team from our church, Second Baptist of Union City, TN. It will be a whirlwind of non-stop ministry to children, women, and impoverished families. While I am there, I'll get to spend half a day with Honduran orphans. It is very difficult to adopt from Honduras, and it will break my heart to see children that very likely will never know the love, security, and belonging to a family like Anna Faith will soon experience. May God change hearts so this soon will not be the sad story of many countries of the world that make it nearly impossible to allow their orphans to be grafted into a forever family.
Our Hats for Faith page is up to 20 hats donated! If you haven't read the story of her special need, please check out the post "A Big Milestone and Hats for Faith". We have plenty of winter hats at this point, but would love to have more wide rimmed or visored hats for the spring and summer! New or used, it doesn't matter! If you live out of the area, please email us at Krisandtonyadixon@hotmail.com or message via Facebook to get our mailing address. We would love for you to be a part of Anna Faith's story and to have an opportunity to be a blessing to her life.
Thanks so much for the prayers and support! It warms our hearts to be approached by so many people, some whose names I don't even know, who encourage and cheer us on in this emotional process. After she comes home, our daughter's story will just be beginning. As we go through doctor's visits, surgical consults, surgery and healing, we will covet your prayers and continued support. Adjustment in so many realms will likely overwhelm not only Anna Faith but all of the members of our family at times and we will need encouragement as well. We will be posting daily updates while in China and frequent reports after we get home so you can see the fruits of your prayers. We love you and thank God for you!