Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Introducing Samuel Xiaofu Allen!

The day I fell in love!
We are so excited to introduce you to Samuel Xiao Fu Allen.  His Chinese name, Xiao Fu, means "Little Blessing." and Samuel means "God listens."  For over a year we asked the Lord to bring Xiao Fu into our family.   I held him in my arms the day we visited Anna's foster home and we bonded instantly. From that moment I knew that I was his mom.  
In January we began sponsoring him and in July filed paperwork requesting his file.  The day before Thanksgiving we learned that his file had arrived at our adoption agency!  But good news was quickly followed by bad.  We were not first in line to receive his file, in fact we were told that there could possibly be several families in line ahead of us. We prayed, I cried. So many prayers had been answered to bring this child into our family and it seemed that only a miracle would bring him home. Almost two months passed and there was still no word from our adoption agency. I had given up hope and was trying to move on. The Lord gave me peace to let him go.  
Exactly two months later, I got a call from our adoption agency!  I burst into tears, asked tothe agency representative a few questions, and in an hour I had finally received the thing I had been praying for for so long.  The file of Zheng Xiao Fu- our son.  We hope you will enjoy following our journey to bring him home.

Samuel Xiaofu Allen
Born May 24, 2012 Zhengzhou, Henan China
Referral date: January 27, 2014
Pre-Approval from China: February 12, 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Exciting news!

It's been six months since my last post and so much has happened! If you haven't heard yet, Anna is going to be a big sister! On February 12th we received pre-approval from China to adopt our son. We are so excited to introduce you to Samuel Xiao Fu Allen. His Chinese name, Xiao Fu, means "Little Blessing." and Samuel means "God listens." For over a year we asked the Lord to bring Xiao Fu into our family. There were several difficult months where it seemed that only a miracle would make that possible and we pretty much gave up hope, but in the end we got our miracle! He is a constant reminder to us that God truly listens. You can read more about Samuel and his amazing story on his blog- Xiao Fu's Blog I haven't decided yet if this will be his permanent blog location, but will let you know so you can follow along on our journey to bring him home.

We have been very busy getting a home study update and last Friday our documents were received at the USCIS Immigration office. This officially starts the (very long!) countdown to bringing our little guy home. We plan to travel to China sometime this fall.

Anna is super excited to be a big sister! She carries a little laminated picture of Xiao Fu around and prays for him every night. She can't understand why he can't come home to play with her right now. It is so cute to hear her praying about what toys she doesn't want to share with him and that he won't be naughty! I'm sure they'll be best buddies and worst enemies. It will be an adjustment for our "little princess" to not be in the limelight so much, but we think she is going to love having a sibling who shares so much in common with her. They even both spent their first two years in the same foster home. Swallows Nest has been such a blessing to us. We are so thankful that Samuel is being loved on and cared for by such wonderful ladies until we can bring him home.

Anna continues to brighten our lives and challenge our parenting abilities! She is a clever little girl and we still can't believe her vocabulary. A few days ago she told K.C. that she was jealous of Esther and I because we went shopping without her. What three year old uses the word jealous in context!? She loves to be the center of attention and is so used to people commenting on her cuteness that she waltzes into stores and restaurants as if she is the queen happily saying hi and introducing herself to anyone that will listen. She currently uses forearm crutches to help her walk and really gets around so well with them. About a month ago she decided that she wanted to start feeding Chloe our dog. It is quite the process, but she loves to be independent and responsible. Here is the video clip.

Because Anna is doing so well her feet are requiring more surgery. On April 3rd she will have surgery on both feet. She will be in hard casts for four weeks and then in walking casts until her new leg braces arrive. I will create a separate post with more details and prayer requests for her surgery. Also, please continue to pray for her excess spinal fluid to decrease. The October MRI showed no increase in fluid which was great, but we would really like to see it decrease. This of course is not possible without medical intervention, so The Great Physician is who we are trusting on this one. On June 23rd she will have another MRI of the head and spine to see if anything has changed. Please pray that the MRI will show a decrease in fluid.  We know God listens. He hears our prayers and answers as He sees fit. We ask that our Heavenly Father would see fit to heal Anna in this way and keep her from a spinal surgery.

Thank you for all of your support for Anna and our family.
Since I tend to lean toward being an optimist I know that reading my posts might make it seem like raising a child with Spina Bifida is easy for us. In reality it is not. It is a lot of hard work and both physically and emotionally demanding. Thankfully God sustains us every day and blesses us with the joy that comes from seeing the impossible made possible. Anna helps us to see how to rise to the occasion, how to adapt in difficult circumstances, and how to trust God for everything. Her joy and excitement for life are contagious and even though there are many tiring and difficult days we can't imagine even one moment of our lives without this little girl.