Monday, October 23, 2017
Here is the short of what's going on!
Our LOA (or Letter of Approval) was completed October 20th. Today we got a soft copy (electronically) of the document so we could go ahead and complete the next step in the process: completing the immigration procedures in the United States to allow her to become an American Citizen upon arrival on U.S. soil. Today I will overnight mail another 39 pages of documents to U.S. Immigration in Texas. Within two weeks they will complete their final approval and then we will have information wired to the National Visa Center. That will begin a chain of events with a couple other documents along the way to get Lottie's permission granted for a Visa to enter the U.S. After all of that is completed our profile waits to be carried back to Beijing so we can be granted Travel Approval and ultimately an appointment with the U.S. Consulate office in Guangzhou, China. Then we can purchase tickets and fly out about 2 weeks later!
All of these "tiny" but important steps are very complicated and seem to be getting tweaked every time I get information. But the bottom line is we are on an approximate 10 week countdown to getting our "baby" girl!
We still have not received any updates on Lottie from her orphanage. We've been told it may take another month before her orphanage takes photos and/or gives information about how she's developed this year and her height/weight/shoe size, etc. I can't wait to see what she looks like at almost 5 years old and possibly even get word on if she understands who we are and is excited about her Mama and Baba coming to get her!
Today we celebrated Lottie's big brother Nathanael's 8th birthday. She wasn't here to celebrate with us, but we were all talking about her. Nathanael asked if we could freeze a cupcake for her to eat when she gets home. I told him we'd freeze a piece of her own birthday cake for her! Her 5th birthday is December 6th, and she's getting a party! One day she can look back at the photos and know how much we were thinking about her as we waited to bring her home.
Someone recently asked me what it feels like to be adopting a child I've never met. Many people choose adoption of a newborn, who they can meet from their first days. Others adopt foster children who have lived with them for months to years. There are some who host their children and bond with them before adoption plans are started. We actually tried every one of those options for two years, but door after door closed! But with Lottie, we are in love with a little girl we've never talked to or seen face to face. We have a handful of pictures and a brief description of her personality. Yet we want to fight for her, pray fiercely for her protection and nurture, long every day to hold her, and know the moment we meet her she will be forever ours, no matter what surprises or failed expectations await us. She is our chosen daughter, hand picked among millions, to be entrusted into our family to be forever a Dixon. And God's working of bringing her to us is written all over our journey.
This past Sunday Anna Faith sang a solo with her choir in the morning church service. As I saw her stand there with her microphone, glancing over at us with a big smile and a thumbs up, I beamed with pride. But when I heard the beautifully sung words come out of her mouth for all to hear "You give us life, You give us life, You give us life everlasting," tears welled up. Yes, our beautiful girl is alive. Her birthmother gave her life, and I am the blessed one to raise her as my child. She has a life filled with love, nurture, and best of all, the upbringing in a Christ-filled home. She has the opportunity to receive ETERNAL life! Lottie is going to have the same, very soon. She will be redeemed from a life void of family and love to a home that can't wait to have her here. She will learn about Jesus with her siblings, and also have the opportunity to receive Jesus as her Savior and have life. A beautiful life.
Please pray that God's will be done in the timing of our travel. We have some still praying for a Christmas Gotcha Day for us, and while that would be completely amazing, we trust God knows best. It is in His hands.
Thank you all for your many words of encouragement through this long process. We love you!