Wouldn’t you think that we would have this adoption process down?  Third times the charm, right?  Well, as it turns out, there is a big difference between domestic infant adoption and international adoption – and a lot of little differences in how different agencies handle international adoption, and we are working with a new agency this time.  A few times, these little changes or differences in the process have left us at a loss and needing some explanation when we felt like we should know just what to do.
We have even lost a few documents along the way –
and although we have our share of crazy around here, this is pretty uncharacteristic for us!
So, I am glad to share with you that we are done with our part of completing the dossier!

We recently sent this very precious package to our Family Coordinator and it has been confirmed that it made its journey safely to our agency, AWAA.  Hooray!!  Included inside were an application letter, birth certificates (Jason and Kirstin), General Physical Forms (Jason, Kirstin, and Becca), Marriage Certificate, Financial Statement, Employment Verification letter (Jason), Non-Employment Letter (Kirstin), Police Reports (Jason, Kirstin, and Becca), 3 reference letters, our homestudy, I800-a approval (US Immigration), family photo pages, photocopies of the signature page of passports (Jason and Kirstin), two passport photos each (Jason and Kirstin), homestudy agency’s COA accreditation certificate, license, and nonprofit letter…
and a few misc. things for AWAA, the placement agency.

Last week, we ask our Coordinator what she thought our timeline to the next few milestones might look like.  She had the following to say about
DTC (Dossier to China) and LID (Log In Date):

DTC will take around 3 weeks.  We are only allowed to take 15 documents to the State Department at one time, so your documents will go in two batches. (We have 18.)  We already have 15 documents going for another family tomorrow, so yours will go next week.  After that, they are taken to the Chinese Embassy the next Friday.  I will keep you posted on how things are going.  I try to be loose with the time because sometimes the Embassy doesn’t have documents ready on time.  Hopefully we’ll have you DTC on May 13th, but I will keep you posted.  Congratulations on getting to this point!  You’re so close!

**We heard today that our documents are at the State Department and
we are still on track for this time line!**

After meeting these two milestones, we will be getting close to being matched with a precious child who waits in China for a family, for a home.

We share (some of) the details of this amazing process with you so you can get an idea of the scope of this undertaking and understand the miracle
that the completion of each and every adoption is!
Without God’s heart for the fatherless and his mighty hand,
this could never all come together.

We cannot wait to bring our “New Little Birdie” home to its nest.
Because this is what HOME is…

“…I think God meant the home to be one of the primary places into which His Kingdom comes afresh, His life made known again on the scale of the everyday… home is not only a refuge from evil but also a place for a new beginning after evil has done its worst, a place where hope breaks once more into human existence –
not just as an idea, but as a refuge.”
Sally and Sarah Clarkson
The Life Giving Home


“Now it’s time for story time, story time…”

Lucy loves to sing!
I love music…
and she and Michael bear with me when I sing!

We learned a little song last year at the library that we sing after lunch sometimes…
“Now it’s time for story time, story time, now it’s time for story time, welcome one and all.”

Some of our favorite books around here lately are The Jesus Storybook Bible,
Walt Disney’s Cinderella (a Little Golden Book), 
Richard Scarry’s: What Do People Do All Day?
Give, Save, Spend with the Three Little Pigs and
One Morning in Maine.

We usually sit on the couch or maybe on Michael’s bed and read and then head to roomtime for some rest and quiet for mom everybody.
Michael sits on one side of me and Lucy on the other so I am sandwiched in the middle.  Then they both LEAN way in and rest on my arm so I cannot hardly even
turn the page of the book!
I wish I had a picture… it’s very cozy.

This last week, I have been blessed with a new wonder at all that God has done in our family over the last 5 years.  I look at Michael and remember reading this:

A child born to another woman calls me mom. The depth of the tragedy and the magnitude of the privilege are not lost on me.” – Jody Landers

I look at Lucy and am absolutely amazed that there is a cute little Chinese girl growing up as part of our family.  How did God do this??

I look at Becca, Spencer, and Hanna and remember reading this

“…And the most beautiful thing is happening.  These kids of mine have seen evil, tasted its lingering grasp, and instead of being angry with their Creator, they miraculously shower love where evil once ran freely…They believe deep within their souls that love is stronger than any injustice… They breathe out the love of Christ and
fearlessly embrace what the world is throwing away…”

They amaze me.

Perhaps a collection of quotes
heard around here recently could tell some of this story,
His story…

Michael:  “Mommy, am I speaking English?”

Lucy:   “Those boys, I’m glad to have them.
They make laughs.”

Michael (this one is in heavy rotation):
“No, no, no… Can I TELL you something?”

Lucy:   “Yeah, I chose heaven.
I chose to be with Jesus.”

Michael:  “Mom… I had a thought bubble.”

Lucy (When told she would have to wait for something…):
“Then we won’t have ANYthing ever.”

Michael:   “Thank you, God, for a good day.
And everything you made, all of it.
We love it…

Lucy:  “I had lots of fun in China.
When I came here, I lost it.
I miss it and I can be still happy about here at home and the people.
I can be happy here but sad about there.”


at the river