Back in 2005, I think I was a blogger. Today, well, I occasionally finally edit or post; or I just hit send and give up on spelling and grammar check. And I've been irritated at myself for missing so many fun things. I am using my FB & Instagram account as my journal for our milestones. However, here are some basic updates.
Our Article 5 was picked up on January 30th. That means our final formal form was stamped and approved in Gu***hou and sent to the C****A in Bei%%g. I think that was a fancy step because it was hand delivered by over night courier. I also love that my paperwork was in the same envelope as our friends, the Rylands, and their paperwork for their two boys.
So, once, the A5 and the rest of our paperwork was sent to the C***A
in Beijing. We are just waiting on Travel Approval. Our agency will get
this in the mail and call us.
So, then what? Glad you asked.
We will then scramble and call the family
who is donating their bazillion frequent flyer miles and points and ask
them if there are any conflict fly dates for the next 3-4 weeks. We'll
probably put a flight on hold at that time. Then we'll quickly request a
Consulate Appointment with the Consulate in Gua***ou. They'll approve
our CA appointment (takes about 24 hours). We'll call back to the family giving us the miles; book our flight; and cry and scream. In the middle of that, I will send a flurry of text
messages and probably half of Mount Pleasant all the way to the Battery
will hear me. They might even think it's another Revolution.
also like you to know that my hair stylist and friend, Heather, will be
getting one of those first text messages. What?! Vanity you say? After
all this fundraising, and pleading for the cause of the orphan, etc, I'm
going to get my hair done. You bet your bottom dollar. I am not about
to meet my daughter with 80s prom hair and roots 4" long. Priorities,
Then, we'll get on the phone to schedule the rest of our trip/coordinating flights from BJ to GZ and all that jazz. Then, I will start freaking out over all the things I should've have been doing when I was hitting "refresh" on my phone and email.
And I'll make my Mom & Dad a 16 page list of notes on the boys. And I'll sing our final Power of Attorney, Will, etc. Pack our bags, finish shopping, and hop a plane with my husband!
So, we are only on day 7 of our wait. And
everyday, I have to admit, I'm obsessively watching all 4 of my Ch*** FB
Groups. Every time someone posts a TA, I study the agency name, and how
long they waited. Today marks Day 7 for us. Today is the first day that
we could MAYBE get a call. I know this because our agency got a batch
of TAs last Friday.
The catch is that Ch(((se New Year
is next week. So the C****A is closed til the 18th. And then the
Consulate is closed on the 18th because they celebrate US holidays.
Seriously, that is the gig to have? You celebrate in-country holidays
& the country you represent. Genius!
So, back to what I was
saying. We could get our TA as late as Feb 12th if they mail them Feb
8th (and if we are in that batch). And then the Consulate would be open
the 13th -15th (Ch**a) days, so really only the 14th & 15th here (8
hours a head over there, I think).
So, that's what I'm totally NOT obsessing over. Sigh.
In other news, we had an amazing shower for Meili Joy on Monday night at my Mom's house. She preached a little adoption theology and hosted with some of my best girls. I appreciated every person who was there and who has walked this journey with us. We wrote names on the blocks from Meili Joy's block party, and we wrote notes for CNYear on special envelopes (Mrs. Gregory, you are brilliant!). Cherry blossoms were everywhere! My first pink shower! All of our gifts for her are so special. Adorable clothes, bows, leggings, shoes, dresses and art work and custom clothing, just so very special! And a special skinny car seat for her (since she's only 22 lbs) that we can fit 3 across our backseat!
(Here are the boys sitting in it to the right.)
My favorite moments was to sit in the middle of these wonderful women, I honestly almost fell over, just from the emotion of all the women who prayed for me, Travis, our family, my parents as they keep the boys, MJ's TOF heart condition, etc. I am carrying those prayers of the Saints with me.
Thank you, ALL! Your Thank you cards are coming w/ our Meili Joy is home announcements! Um, yes, it'll be our 2011/2012 Christmas Card/Thank you Card/ Announcement Card!
I know that my Father loves me even more than I love our Meili Joy. And I know he knows every detail. I can't explain, though, how absolutely difficult this is to just wait and know we can go at anytime. I totally am claiming 9 month adoption/preggo hormones! I just want to get to my Baby. Again, totally a paradox. I believe that God knows exactly when we'll go and has drawn out each step, and I'm also letting myself be super eager to leave NOW! In the midst of this, it's been so much fun to soak up our boys. Stand and watch them. Stare at our family of 4. Big transition ahead. We've been an "all boy" family for 6 years! Every time a family grows, there are changes, ebbing and flow.
But, the wait.is.really.painful. Almost physically. I had no idea that it would hurt this much. The anticipation. Our little girl leaving her foster family. Thinking of them and the empty home they will return to. Oh, Jesus, please let them come to the orphanage the day we visit. We hope they come. We want to hug them. It'll hurt, oh, boy, will it hurt. And our baby girl might not want us when she sees them; but, Jesus knows we hope to see them!
I also have not blogged about this; but I absolutely can not stop
thinking about our I800 approval that says "Petition to classify orphan
as immediate relative". Oh, wow! Seriously! Do you not see the parallel?
"Petition" granted- Jesus on the Cross- "to classify orphan"- oh, y'all
know by now we were slaves, orphans, lost, etc! Then "as immediate
Yup. To the KING! Y'all to the King of the Universe! Not the President
of America or anywhere else. THE King. My Jesus. Oh, it's so
overwhelming! You see what I'm doing here. Preaching the gospel to
myself. Preaching it so I can hold on and not grow wear or sad or tired.
That's our Hope. That's our Joy.
(And there is also a photo of how Rockstar my agency is above, too.)
Dear Meili Joy,
We are coming. Your brothers are talking about your daily. Austin said he isn't even going to miss us. Your brother, Justus, says "pray" every night before we go to bed and says "Mei-Joy home". Your Daddy is working his tail off, so he can take time off and orders can keep rolling in; and your Mom. Well, she's a hot mess obsessed with holding her cell phone for the call and refreshing her internet feed for a hint of a "TA" batch coming. And she's sad for you foster family, and she's sad for you. And she knows you may not think she's that great at first. Hey, your brothers don't always think I'm a rockstar either!
We are fully embracing our absolutely crazy-selves and just going to love you with full hearts. They say "Go Big, or Go Home!" Yup, that's what we are doing! And we are so excited. And we may be a little scarey at first; but we love Jesus and we know that He'll shine through. And in our imperfection and weakness, He'll be our strength, hope and love as you join us!
We love you,
Mommy, Daddy, Austin & Justus