Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Letter of Approval! Samuel we're coming!

On Thursday July 24th we received the amazing news that our official Letter of Approval (LOA) was on it's way to our adoption agency. We have waited for this day for so very long! On Monday July 28th our agency received the official document and we were able to sign a copy in order to get the ball rolling for the next and last steps in Samuel's adoption. It will take about two months for Samuel's immigration approval to be processed and then we will receive our official Travel Approval. We are so excited to finally welcome Samuel Xiaofu into our family! We plan to travel in mid-October as that is the earliest we will be able to travel due to the October National Holiday in China.

We are busy busy busy preparing our home for Samuel as well as getting all the kids ready for school next
week. Esther starts high school this year, Micah starts middle school, Luke is in 3rd grade, and Anna starts Pre-school. I hope Samuel gets used to his car seat quickly because we will be spending a lot of time in the van driving everyone to and from school and activities! K.C. and I had a fun night out for his birthday last week. He was so sweet and told me he would like for us to go shopping for clothes for Samuel. I am truly blessed by my amazing husband. We had a great time finding cute little boy clothes at the outlet mall. Between that, the clearance rack at Target, and our local consignment store I think we are well prepared for our little guy. Whoever said that shopping for little boy clothes isn't fun apparently has never adopted a two year old boy!

I was telling K.C. last week that I wish that I could be less stressed during these two last months of the adoption. The large part of the waiting is over and we are on the final stretch, but the combination of excitement and so much to get done in a short amount of time feel overwhelming much of the time. I am such a task oriented person and this last leg of the race seems so hard some days. I want to enjoy these next few months and not wish them away or become so stressed that I can't fully engage with my kids and husband. Please pray that God would bring me peace to my spirit. Pray that I would be able to celebrate these next two months instead of dread them. A few days ago K.C. was encouraging me in the fact that when we finally have that little guy in our arms all of this stress will become a memory. Adding a new little one to our family is not without stress, but my gifts are in loving on little ones. It is where I find peace and fulfillment. Having all of my kids finally together is going to be the most amazing feeling. Yes, it won't be easy, but it will be much easier than loving a child for two years and watching him grow up in pictures. Having my heart on the other side of the ocean for nearly two years has been very, very hard.

Recently, we have been attending a Chinese church. I just happened to find it while Anna and I were out for a walk. It is literally just four blocks from our house. This is the first church we have really felt at home in since we returned from China eight years ago, and thankfully they have an English service! The past few months the sermon series has been on Hebrews. A few weeks ago the sermon was on Hebrews 12. I felt like God had set me there in that church for this very purpose and time.

Hebrews 12:1 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."

This adoption race has not been easy. Welcoming Anna into our home and learning how to connect with her and care for her many needs has been both wonderful and difficult. Adding to that my love for and desire to adopt Xiao Fu and then the financial and emotional strain of the adoption process has added an intense amount of stress to my life. I know that the sin of worry and control has often entangled me. Please pray that I would finish this part of my race well. It is not easy and I need constant reminders to keep me from falling into Satan's traps. Your prayers over the last month have been so helpful. There have been stressful days and exciting days. After my posts a few months ago sharing my pain with you I have truly been rejuvenated. Thank you for being my "cloud of witnesses." It is so amazing to feel that peace that comes from the prayers of the saints. Thank you for joining me on this amazing journey of adoption. This month marks exactly 4 years since we began the process to adopt Anna. God has taught me so much about Himself in these last four years.I am truly humbled that He has chosen me to love on these precious ones. And I am truly grateful to God for allowing our family to experience the amazing joy that comes from following Him even when it is difficult. 

If you have been thinking about donating to our adoption fund now would be a great time to do it! The bulk of the cost of a China adoption is the travel expenses and they will be due very soon. Our children are busy making and selling dog treats and toys to raise money for their plane tickets, but that will only cover a small portion of what we need to travel together as a family in October. They love their little brother so much and just can't wait to go to China and bring him home. If you would like to join with us in helping bring Samuel home we would be so grateful. Here is the link to our tax-deductible donation site. 

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