For 27 days we only received bad news after bad news. There was no update on our situation, other than that the Embassy wanted a medical update on Lottie before they would send her file on to Beijing for Travel Approval. The embassy will not tell anyone what warrants their scrutiny of the orphans' medical files and justification for this. They only say they want to expose any corruption in the Chinese government.
Our agency only gave us one update in this entire time period, and it was bad news: no medical report has been turned into the adoption authority office for translation yet. That was the latest we received, two weeks ago. Since then my heart has been despairing. The end was not in sight. Updates that were supposed to come didn't come. I felt that silence just meant more bad news. For some reason Lottie was not getting taken to the hospital for updated medical information.
Yesterday was the worst day yet. I felt so beaten down, so ashamed of my lack of faith, that I didn't even want to face my friends. Satan was winning this battle of faith in God and I knew it.
Then last night, on a whim, a thought crossed my mind. I should check the embassy database to see if Lottie's case had been updated recently. That was the only way we could get information on our own- to see if her immigration status had been revised. We hadn't checked it in about 3 weeks.
I looked, and to my amazement, on January 3rd, there was an update to her case. That's all I knew. I told Kris, and we immediately began looking for the embassy phone number to ask personally what was going on. Kris got a hold of an agent, and as soon as he introduced himself, she knew exactly who we were! She said, "Yes, you have Article 5 Approval now". The entire kitchen broke into emotion. Kids were crying, hugging, jumping up and down, it was so loud Kris had to leave the room to continue to talk to her!
For those who don't understand what Article 5 Approval is, that equates to: "the medical update
was turned in to Beijing, translated, sent to the embassy, and was approved and sent on for pick up for Travel Approval". All of these events happened over the last few weeks and we were completely in the dark until we called!
So our Article 5 is on it's way to Beijing and will be arriving tonight!
Within 2-5 business days we expect to have Travel Approval!
That's when things get tricky. Unfortunately, Chinese New Year is February 16th. Because of the upcoming holiday in China, there will be lots of closures to offices. We have a chance of slipping in to get a Consulate Appointment before the New Year, but we may have to wait until the week after. That puts us at a 3 week range of when we could travel.
But at this point, it doesn't matter that much! We are just overjoyed we're going to get our girl!
When we have Travel Approval and a Consulate Appointment (usually comes the next business day) we can buy tickets and make all the needed plans. We will share all the exciting details with you then!
I have been told we have LOTS of people praying for us. I know some of you really didn't know what to say during this month of discouragement, heartache, anger, and waiting indefinitely to hear something. We know you still love us. We know you were praying. God answered, in HIS timing, not ours. But we are once again overwhelmed by His faithfulness.
So much lies ahead. Our journey with the newest member of our family is just beginning. There are so many unknowns before us. But we know who is holding our hand, and we know many are bridging the gap for us. We are so thankful for you all.