Well, if anyone could take my fingerprints and have a legible result in the end, it would be the capable employee working at USCIS this morning!
“Have you ever had fingerprints done before?”
“Have you ever had …”
“Well, I wasn’t sure how to ask…”
She could tell right away that my fingerprints were not very clear and then proceeded to roll and re-roll them many times! In my limited experience with such things, she really seemed to know what she was doing and do a thorough job. She also seemed to think we would be ok! We should hear in the next month or so, and we will keep you posted.
On another topic, I must say that The Department of Homeland Security Building is very intimidating. I was nervous and everyone was speaking English and for the most part friendly! It made me think that our various appointments in China will also be a bit nerve wracking. I also had the thought that I should have more empathy for the immigrants in our midst and also the refugees that Becca works with. I am sure they have endured countless appointments and visits to similar places when they did not always know the language and when the faces were not always friendly.
He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.
We will be visiting USCIS Omaha as part of the I800 A process.
Will you pray that our fingerprints will be legible?
Some of you may remember that I do not have the best track record!
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Names are such an opportunity for moms and dads to speak words of life into their precious children! I suspect that even if they were not aware of it, many times God has helped guide the thoughts of parents as they named their children. My father helped choose my name when I was born, and Kirstin means “follower of Christ” or “one who is a Christian.” How could he have known then how precious that would be to me as knowing my Lord and Savior, Jesus, is the most important thing in my life? Jason’s parents named him Jason which means “healer” or “to heal.” This is such a perfect description of who he has been in my life and the lives of so many others! How could they have known? We hope that the Lord is guiding us in choosing a name for our Sweet Sparrow. We so want to speak life to her and give her a name fitting for who she is, who she can become. We have chosen to name her…
Lucy Joy *** Rothfuss
We plan to keep her Chinese name for her as a middle name, but as we are not at liberty to share it with you yet, I represented it with the (***)!
Lucy means “light,” “graceful light,” or “illumination.”
As we look at the few pictures and videos we have of her, we already see a spark, a light shining in them. Our prayer is that she would someday shine the light of Jesus living inside of her to the world!
The Lord is my light and my salvation…
One of the ways we have available to us to try and make a connection with Sparrow before we go to China is by sending care packages. It would most likely be costly and difficult to get anything through customs, so one of the guides who helps families while they are in China also offers care packages which families can order for their soon to be adopted children via email and paypal. Despite being hard work, sometimes adoption is just plain fun… like emailing our order to Helen the other night at midnight, but since it was 2:00 in the afternoon (the next day!) for her, she quickly replied, and then sent us a paypal bill (in Chinese)!
We chose a little photo album for Sparrow. We emailed Helen 14 pictures of our family which we captioned in English with things like “our family,” “mother,” “father,” “big sister Becca,” “big brother Spencer,” “big sister Hanna,” “little brother Michael,” “biking at the park,” “swimming at the lake,” and “sisters cooking.” Helen printed them and translated our captions into Chinese. After assembling the album, Helen sent us this picture so we could see it. Don’t you love the Chinese characters?
We received word today that Sparrow’s orphanage did indeed receive her care package and we are praying that they will share this little photo album with her and that she would be able to see it often. We pray it will help to begin to prepare her heart for the adventure and transition she has ahead of her.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
By Susan TeBos and Carissa Woodwyk
My new book arrived in the mail today! The Subtitle is “Discovering Your Adopted Child’s Lifestory.” So far I have only skimmed it and read the Foreword and Introduction, but I have already cried! Oh, dear! Here is a little selection from what I have read so far:
All adopted children, whether they are adopted domestically or internationally, have some sense of connection with their birth families… Why is a child’s birth story so important? Many adoptees have questions and feel like something is missing: “Information is proof that I am a real person who was born at a real time and in a real place.” The bottom line, however, is that adoptees need to know their lives are not a mistake… This book is unique because it gently weaves a biblical foundation throughout the center of every adopted child’s story and emphasizes a child’s life before he or she was adopted – a part of the story that is so often forgotten. It reaches the spirit and heals the hearts of adoptive parents and children… Consider this… What if adoption was an opportunity that God created to reveal himself through each adopted child’s story? What if in the very act of receiving a child into our arms was an image of God receiving us into his arms? No judgement, no criticism, just pure love and acceptance. What if the very fragmented and broken pieces of our children’s lives were put back together again and again? … Could it be that God would use the very thing that was so difficult for our child’s birthmother and our child for good? Is that possible? We say, “Yes!” If God is a God who is about restoring all things, he must be passionate about restoring our child’s missing pieces and his or her heart.
I look forward to reading more and am hopeful that this book by TeBos and Woodwyk will help us to piece together our children’s stories … the part that came before us.
Make visible what, without you, might never have been seen.
I am so glad that we asked you all to pray concerning our agency, Lifeline Children’s Services, giving us permission to adopt two children concurrently! The leadership team met today and discussed our request. We received the disappointing answer that, no, they did not give us permission to pursue adopting a second child on this same trip to China. We really felt this on our heart and wanted to follow through on it, but with so many praying that the leadership at Lifeline would make the right decision, I am resting in the idea that this must be what is best and that God is sovereign in this situation. This is an encouragement to me! They mentioned that in part, they felt that Sparrow would be best served by coming home alone as she is an “older” child. Our social worker explained to us that any child over 3 years of age is considered to be an older child. They also mentioned that since this is our first international adoption, they felt a single adoption would be best. We appreciate them being so thoughtful in this situation and looking to what is best for our new daughter! Thank you again for your prayers, we appreciate you!
For now, we are excited to continue on our journey to bring our Sparrow home! Our I800A was submitted last Tuesday on February 4. Typically it is a 2-3 month wait to receive that approval from US Immigration and during that time, we will be fingerprinted again and also finish our Dossier so it can be sent to China. The Dossier includes our medicals, criminal clearances, family pictures, passport photos, birth certificates, marriage license … and finally we will add our I800A approval when we receive it.
We plan to send some pictures of our family to Sparrow this week and appreciate your prayers that God would be preparing her heart to join our family and become a sister and a daughter.
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
1 John 5:14
OK, here’s the deal. We have asked our agency to allow us to adopt 2 children. This is a big deal to them because they have seen families struggle with simultaneous adoption. Not just struggle, struggle and suffer and break apart and fail, so they are VERY cautious about allowing it. This means they spent time talking to us about what adopting 2 children concurrently looks like, and asked us to answer questions about it.
Lots of questions. (Our official response to them was 16 pages long).
And actually, we appreciate that quite a bit. Struggling is no fun and we know they want what is best for us and the children, they have a tremendous amount of experience in this area, and they are seeking the Lord’s will, as are we.
So, please pray with us in the coming days that the leadership at Lifeline would make this huge decision for our family with prayerful and Godly wisdom.
Many Thanks, Jason and Kirstin
We hope that our anonymous donor is a reader of our blog so we can say thank you!
We appreciate you!
Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young – a place near your altar, O Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house…