It's been a little while since we first shared our little secret so I thought I'd take a few minutes to update everyone on our process....and the answer to the first question, yes, we are still in process!!
Our home study was officially approved two weeks ago and our I 800A was sent to the government office last week. This is where the US says, " yes, you can adopt a child from China!" This is also the process that has created multiple headaches for us in the past because of one little thing required by the US government called fingerprints...of which, I have none!! Please pray with us for this portion of the process. We have until December 19 to get our Dossier to China or we loose Liam's file. This is completely doable but we have to work in high gear from here on out and the fingerprints have to go through!! Our prayer is that either the fingerprints will process through or the officer reviewing our case will look back and see that this has been an issue in the past and move us through anyway.
Once the 1800A is complete, our documents will be prepared into the Dossier which will go to the Chinese government. It is here that they will formally match our file with Liam's and we will then get what is called the LOA or letter of approval. Our time frame all depends on how quickly each of the government offices processes our paperwork. My guess would be that we would travel sometime around April of 2016. The funny thing is, when we told the kids about Liam, Mei said, "momma, getting this little boy would be the best birthday present ever. I can teach him everything I've learned to do and I can even teach him how to play baseball." At the time, I really didn't think about it happening around Mei's birthday but if I'm calculating the time frame correctly, we could seriously be in China around Mei's April birthday! He may very well get his wish!!
We've had several folks ask how they can be a part of this process with us again. Many of you will remember when we initially shared our surprise that the biggest reason we knew God was calling us to Liam is that a lady who we know only through the adoption world sent us a message and said, "my husband and I are too old to adopt a child this young but we'd like to pay for your adoption if you are serious about bringing this little boy home." This was where we had to put action behind our prayers as our prayer for Liam over the last two years had been, "God, If you drop the money at our door, we will go." This seemed to be a far fetched enough prayer that we'd be kept out of the loop. God has moved mountain after mountain since we took this step of faith and He will he will continue to move until Liam is handed into our arms.
We are praying now about how we will travel to China, what child or children will travel with us? Having at least one child to bond with the new adopted child has been a huge success for us. We would love to take at least one of our kids...but which one? Our first thought is Caleb because he's been left out of the last two trips and we think it would rock his world. He's still very playful and would be a great help. We would love to take Briena as well if money allowed. She is incredibly mature for her age and would be a great help as well. Here is where the questions begin....I would love to take Mei. I am not sure we will ever be able to afford to go back to China and I desperately want to take him back...back to his culture...back to his orphanage... so that they can see what a child like Mei can become. They are not unlucky....they are not throw away children...they have amazing potential and I want Mei's people to see that! I want the same for all those who currently work with Liam to see what a child like Liam, like Mei can become. Obviously...it would be incredibly expensive to take all three kids and I also question if Mei is ready. Is his self esteem ready for that sort of staring, touching, gawking?? I can't even begin to explain the stares over there but it is tough....but then....they would be staring at a little boy who brings joy to everyone he comes in contact with....and the opportunity this might invite for us to share Mei's story and the gospel in that culture....so I am torn!! Please pray with us that God would make it very clear to us who needs to go...if anyone....2016 is also Tracey and mines 20th wedding anniversary year so maybe we go alone and make it our anniversary trip!!! Who doesn't want go through the roller coaster of adopting a child on their 20th anniversary trip????
So, getting back to how those who have asked about joining us in this step of faith...there is one way, aside from prayer, that would be a huge help to us!! The family that is helping us adopt also felt God nudging them to adopt an older child after they committed to helping our family. They are still 100% committed to helping us but I know that their burden would be eased if others wanted to help as well. A sweet friend set up a gofundme for our family which would be used only for travel expenses, in china expenses such as orphanage fees, and to help us while we are actually adopting as I don't have paid maternity leave since I just work part time. Our gofundme address is https://www.gofundme.com/wf5bma34. Any and every contribution is a blessing...no amount is too little!! Should God lead you to help us in bringing little Liam hope, we would be incredibly grateful!! My brother is also in the process of designing a t-shirt for us that we can sell to help raise travel expenses as well.
Honestly, the biggest way you can join this process with us right now is to pray....pray for fingerprints...pray for quick government processing and pray against any red tape that may stand in our way. God is obviously in this (although Tracey and I question regularly why he would want us to raise ONE more??) and He is going to provide every penny just as he has before. He is a good good father....and He loves Liam more than we could imagine. My prayer is that he is rocking and loving on Liam while we can't and that Liam would feel His presence. My heart truly breaks for the number of children that live every day without a mom or dad to love them, to wipe their tears or snuggle with them, to encourage them and to keep them safe. So many children tonight will go to bed with hungry belly's in substandard conditions. No one will come when they wake with nightmares. Orphanages are no places for children. Children need to be in families and our prayer is that many other kids like Mei, like Liam, Like Eli and Zoe will have the opportunity to experience the comfort, security, and love of a family.
I love this quote...and it describes well how I feel about our family..."safe, who said anything about safe? Course he isn't safe, but he's the king I tell you." CS Lewis. He is the king...and he is good.