Sunday, January 20, 2013

Thank you!

So Matt told everyone the news of our LOA.  Remember that acronym?  It's like the Chinese adoption authorities saying, yes, you officially can have this little boy.  What's next?  More paperwork!  We signed the LOA, added US government immigration paperwork to it, and sent it back to Lifeline Children's Services.  Lifeline will forward those documents to the USCIS (immigration services).  In approximately 3 weeks, we should receive provisional acceptance.  In the meantime, we are applying for Visas to go to China.  After that...more steps.  I'll fill you in when they come.  My brain can only handle one step at a time ;)

After the elation of receiving LOA, I will again admit to some panic setting in.  Why?  I opened up the fee schedule to see what comes next monetarily.  Now is when the big bills start coming. 

We are very grateful that we received a $1,000 grant from Oklahoma Hearts for Adoption recently.  We have had some incredible friends contribute to our fund in recent months as well.  Humbling and amazing!  It is all safely tucked in our adoption account.

Such great gifts and I still seem to have the propensity to panic.  As I looked at the big bills this week, I had to say a prayer that I've read in the Bible (Mark 9:24), "I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief."   I know He CAN provide, I've seen Him do it miraculously.  I find myself asking why He would do it for me?  I know, unbelief.   Humbling. 

This morning, God gave me what He knew I needed.  The sweet lady that takes care of the financial day to day at the church brought me an envelope.  She then waited to see me open it because she said she loves to deliver good news.  We received a card with an anonymous gift of $500.  I'm telling you it was like God whispering to me, "I've got this.  I've really got this."  I am assuming that whoever our anonymous donor is reads this blog.  I hope so because this is our sincere thank you!  Not only have you helped us get one step closer to Samuel, you have been the voice of God speaking into my life, "I've got this."  My prayer today is that God will bless your generosity beyond what you can even imagine.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Humbling again.

For those of you who have donated financially - a little or a lot - thank you again and again.  For those who have prayed us to this point - thank you again and again.  Please keep praying.  We have a financial mountain looming and God has told us to trust Him.  Honestly, we have tried to get a few fundraisers off the ground and they just seem to fall flat.  Maybe it's because we haven't tried hard enough.  Maybe God wants to make sure that everyone sees His provision had nothing to do with anything we do.  I'm not sure.  But I know He led us here and he has promised to never leave us or forsake us.  For whatever reason, God has chosen us for this precious little boy and He will complete this.

"If you have a problem that you absolutely cannot solve, don’t worry about it because that qualifies you for a miracle from God." - Joyce Meyer

Have I said thank you? 

~ Martha

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Leaving the Wilderness!!!!

This last Sunday, our awesome pastor at OBC, Scott Palmer asked us how the adoption process was going and where we were at in it. Trying to sound super spiritual and such, I likened it to the Israelites wonderings in the wilderness. After our dossier went to China, we had done everything we could at that point. There was no more paperwork, no more discussions with our adoption agency – all that was left was to wait. So that’s what we’ve been doing…. waiting and waiting and waiting… No calls from our agency – they had nothing to report. Cricket…Cricket… Families who had sent their paperwork in quite some time after us got their final approval (LOA) BEFORE us, while we waited… Tumbleweed…Tumbleweed…

Well, we are ecstatic to report that today we received word from our agency that our LOA has arrived!! Sitting in Full Moon CafĂ© eating lunch together, the moment was so surreal – kind of like we’d received our pardon from the wilderness. There was much fist-bumping, hugging and crying. Martha was even a little emotional too!

So what does this mean? Number one, it means that we have FINAL approval. No more nagging worries that we would be turned down for some stupid reason (i.e. my bald spot is too big – who knows??). Number two, it means that the wheels of the process are going to start turning again. We will rejoin the paper chase for travel approval (TA). Paperwork to be completed, visas to be obtained – all of the final steps to obtain TA. Third, it means that we can actually narrow down our timeframe for traveling to China – which is looking like it will be mid to late April.

Finally, and most importantly, we are a huge, giant step closer to being united with our son! Now we can let ourselves dream for real. We can actually picture the day we finally meet Samuel. I know he will never truly understand all of the hopes and prayers that have carried us to him, but we do. And we thank you all so much for standing in prayer with us!

Well, that’s all for now. We’re gonna go celebrate.

The promised land lies ahead!
~ Matt