Since we have been waiting so long for the adoption, our friends, the Spenkers, invited us to their farm. They thought we might like a distraction. Some baby goats had been born, and they let us hold them. There were also tractors working to help them build more space to keep their goats. The boys loved watching them work. The Spenkers are going to open a creamery soon. So that is why the tractors were there. They’re building the new place to milk and make cheese and such. It was a very fun visit. Here are some pictures:
Henry is our family dog. I thought that I might write about something random since nothing is happening with the adoption. We’ve had Henry since as long as I can remember. My mom even saw him be born. He was just a puppy when we got him. Now he is about eight years old and still just as jumpy as the day that we got him. We thought he’d grow out of his jumpiness, but he never did. He is really sweet though, and has never bitten anyone- except for me when he mistook my hand for food. But he truly is a great dog.
For those of you who don’t know, we are still waiting for the referral. It is really wearing on us. But life in the meantime has been good. We went to my grandparents’ cabin for the weekend. We had lots of fun. My mom taught my sisters and I to make baskets out of magazine pages. My grandpa helped us fold the papers, and I stapled some pages together to make bigger baskets. The boys collected rocks and we had a lot of fun playing in the snow for one of the mornings.
The boys are loving their spring break from preschool. My sisters and I are not having a spring break because we want to finish school early. That way we will hopefully be finished before we go to China. We don’t know when we will go, but we’re hoping for June. I can’t wait. The boys keep praying for a van many times a day. We are still looking for a big passenger van that seats 15. You can pray that we will get one soon.
So as we continue to wait, I get more and more jumpy. But God will give us a child at the perfect time.
We have been waiting for the referral for a while – since two weeks before Christmas. The referral is when you get a file with a baby’s picture and you can say yes or no. You have doctors look at the medical file and the pictures and then you give an answer. Any day now our adoption agency will give us a phone call and tell us we have a referral. And they will send us the file of the baby in an email.
It’s not very fun to wait. I jump every time the phone rings. I can’t wait to see the face of our sweet Baby Eby. It is hard to wait, but I know that it’s all in God’s hands. Sometimes I get tired of waiting. And other times I feel like I want to control everything and I don’t want to wait. But I know that God will give us patience. It’s fun to wonder what Elijah or Bethany might be doing. Those are the names we have picked out, depending on if it’s a boy or a girl.
We are also waiting for a van right now. We want to get a passenger van with 15 seats. This would mean we could take out the back seat for storage and drive my grandma and grandpa places with us too. We’ve been looking for a van but have not found one that fits our needs. I have been praying that God will give us a van for free soon. I know that that seems crazy, but I believe that God can do it (most of the time).
Even though it can be hard to wait, and even though it’s hard to trust God at times, I look forward to the day we will get the referral. I hope that baby Elijah or Bethany is having fun right now in China. But I also hope that we all get to go get him very soon. Sometimes I feel like I miss Baby Eby, but that could be strange because I’ve never met him. The waiting definitely gets to me at times. But I can thank God for the hope of getting the referral the next day. I sure do hope we get the referral soon though. I want to see Baby Eby’s sweet face soon. Even the boys are getting anxious. It’s very hard to be patient, but it is all in God’s hands.
I sure am looking forward to having another little brother or sister. I love hanging out with the boys, even when they hit or are in a bad mood. They are so sweet. And I sure am looking forward to having another one.
I love China and I’m definitely looking forward to going again. It’s such an adventure, especially with my little brothers. But the best part is getting a little baby. But it definitely is really fun we finally get to go home. It’s also fun to show the new baby our house. I can’t wait to meet Baby Eby.
We celebrated Peter’s Gotcha Day on January 26. His Gotcha Day is on the 27th, but we celebrated it a day early because Mom’s birthday is on the 27th. And it really was the 27th in China because they’re aday ahead of us. We ate Chinese food at King Tsin and Peter made us chocolate and sprinkle covered fortune cookies.
How did we celebrate the Chinese New Year? Well, we had some friends over and ate Chinese food. We decorated our dining room with Chinese lanterns. We had black and red lanterns at first and soon after realized that was a big mistake. You never use black on the Chinese New Year. So we just used red and other colors. We had lots of fun dressing up in our Chinese clothes. We ordered food to go from King Tsin, our favorite Chinese restaurant, and had lots of fun with our friends.
The adoption process is a lot of hurry up and wait. It has been exhausting filling out all the required paperwork, getting letters notarized, meeting with the social workers, getting doctor exams, running to Sacramento to get paperwork certified, then taking that paperwork to San Fransisco for authentication, etc. etc. etc. I felt sometimes that I was so involved with getting the requirements for the adoption accomplished that I did not have time to sit down and think about what all this busywork was leading to in the end.
I must tell you that waiting is not one of my strong suits. I am the kind of guy that accomplishes the task as soon as it is given. I don’t let the grass grow under my feet. When I have to wait or rely on other people before I can finish my task, I get anxious. After all, no one can do it better the me! Am I right, or am I right?
We have had, and continue to have, periods in this process that require my patience. Up to now the most difficult wait has been waiting for our homestudy to be finished. We are currently waiting for God to provide us with a bigger van since we will soon be a family of eight.
Yet, there is a point in this whole process where I do not mind the wait so much. The wait for the referral is one of the most difficult, yet exciting waits in the adoption process. The referral is when the agency calls us with our child’s file. When my Sarah was pregnant with our first daughter, I remember being so excited that any day could be THE DAY! It’s kind of like waiting for Christmas morning- except you’re not sure what day Christmas will come. Any day now we will get THE call that there is a baby in China who will be the next member of our family. HOW EXCITING!!!
As we wait I am reflecting on the many blessings God has provided during our adoption journey. He has laid on the heart of our entire family that this adoption is where He is leading us. Any of you with children know that everyone agreeing on one thing is a miracle in itself). When we thought we would not be able to get our dossier to China before some of our paperwork expired, God enabled Homeland Security to approve our I-800A in record time. The government never works that fast. God also continues to provide the financial assistance to make this adoption happen. It is amazing how God provides when we are in the center of His plan.
I have learned that God’s timing is always the best. I am convinced that the extra time it took to complete our homestudy was because our baby was not in the right place to be adopted by us. So God had to slow us down. I am content in waiting for His perfect time and will count my many blessing as I wait for THE phone call. Then the hardest wait of all will begin. The wait to hold our baby for the first time.
Each year we spend a whole day making Christmas cookies. Cookie Day has always been my favorite. When I was a little girl I couldn’t wait to get home from school on this special day. My mom and grandma would be rolling and cutting cookies in the kitchen, and the whole house smelled like anise (the special ingredient in the cookies). I would get to decorate one whole tray of cookies that would be just mine. I loved it. My mom has the same memories from her childhood, and the tradition carries on with our family. This year was especially fun as the cookies were once again made in the house where I grew up.
We can’t wait to have another little cookie maker in the house!
Our I-800A approval arrived in the mail the Monday before Thanksgiving, well ahead of schedule! We were in Oregon for the week, so we got it notarized, certified and authenticated when we got back. It took Steve 1 trip to Sacramento and 2 trips to San Francisco to get the job done, but now it is done. Our dossier is finally complete and it arrived safely at our agency in Virginia on Tuesday. Tomorrow it will be off to China! We couldn’t be happier to have it out of our hands and on the move. God is so good. And as of tomorrow, we could be matched with our little one any time. It could take three months or more, or it could happen tomorrow. It’s in God’s hands. But it feels good knowing that each day could be the day we will finally see our little one’s face.
***I wrote this post last Thursday but didn’t publish it. The picture of Steve was upside down and I didn’t know how to flip it right side up. My sister fixed it for me and now here it is. But since Thursday, our dossier arrived in China and has already been logged into their system. Getting logged in usually takes 1-4 weeks, but this time it only took 1 day!
God has blessed us with faithful friends and family. They freely gave their time and talents and resources to make our fundraiser on November 12 a beautiful day. We had adorable ladybug cookies. (The ladybug is a symbol of Chinese adoption.)And a sweet ladybug baby.A little guy who’s excited to be a big brother.
A very special delivery from Jane’s husband- hats knit by Jane. I wrote about this wonderful friend a couple blog posts back.
We are thankful for a beautiful day with our friends and family.