• 60 Days

    Date: 2014.06.18 | Category: Adoption, Elyse, Kelly | Tags:

    We have 60 days left.


    If you have ever adopted internationally, you know how long all of the paperwork takes.  You fill out reams of papers and send them off only to wait for someone to get to them.  You do some more paperwork, get fingerprinted, get police clearances, order birth and marriage certificates, have physical exams done, fill out more forms, get forms authenticated by the Secretary of State and the Chinese Consulate, wait, do some more forms, wait again, even more forms, wait, etc.  It usually takes close to a year from start to finish.

    adoption timeline

    With an adoption, every single time there is the worry that this may be the time that it is too hard or too messy or just too much.  Which is why when God placed Kelly on my heart and everything in me said, “we don’t have the money, it’s too soon, we’re busy, are you kidding me Lord?”, we still proceeded.  Because His ways are not my ways and His ways are so much better than my fearful, “I can’t do that” ways.  So we proceeded, trusting in His plan, because although I say “What if it doesn’t work out?”, He says, “Ah, but what if it does?”


    Every time we have entered into an adoption, we have proceeded on trust and faith.  We have followed where God was leading and He has done some amazing things on our adoption journey.  This journey has been no different.  This journey our eyes could not see a way for this to work.  We knew it could only happen by God’s power.

    1st Corinthians 2:5  ….so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. 

    Dan and I did not think we would be adopting again, let alone this soon, but our hearts were taken, first, by Kelly and then by Elyse. Our plan was to pay off the debt that we had incurred with adopting four the previous year.  We wanted to find our new normal and let everyone settle in.  Then maybe we would see if God wanted us to do more.  But then  I saw Kelly’s picture and my heart was taken.  I knew what we had already talked about: no proceeding with adopting until the debt was paid. But God provided just enough from a bonus to make that a non-issue.  We had to ask ourselves “Ok, now what?”.

    We prayed about the adoption because, to enter into this process and to file a Letter of Intent (LOI), meant Kelly was no longer able to be adopted by anyone else.  What if we couldn’t finish in time?  What if someone else already in the process wanted to adopt her?  Would we stop her from having a chance at a family?  But she had been advocated for by others for quite sometime and no one mentioned trying to adopt her.  We prayed some more, felt God’s lead, and decided to proceed.

    I sent an e-mail to our agency and said, “Is this possible?  We have 170 days.”  They said, “It is possible if everything goes perfectly.  We will do our best.” Having been through this process twice before, I knew things rarely go perfectly, but God was leading so we followed and trusted.

    The first issue was getting the file transferred to our agency.  We know this doesn’t always happen, but sometimes in aging out children they will allow it.  We heard that the other agency would allow the transfer and we sang praises.

    With our last adoptions, we were delayed by the rejection of the fingerprints of our handicapped 27 year old son.  Each of those rejections can add six weeks of time to get a new set of prints done.  You have to be rejected twice and then to have them run manually.  We didn’t have the luxury of time with Kelly’s adoption, but then the most amazing thing happened.  I heard from our social worker, Jan, that she knows someone who can get these prints done with a three day turnaround.  What an Amazing God provision!

    Not only were Codey’s fingerprints rejected, but Linda’s (Dan’s mom) were too.  What a mess.  We are at a loss.  We have to start all over at square one.   I called customer service at the FBI.  I asked to talk to supervisors.  I talked to the people who ran Codey’s prints to start with.  Everyone said there is nothing they can do.   But then Jan remembered something from a previous inservice she had attended, she placed a call and amazingly, something we were told could not be rushed and would take another six weeks, gets done the very next day.  God provides again.

    In the middle of Evie and Eli’s surgery we were trying to complete our 1-800A to be able to get it authenticated at the Secretary of State’s office and then the Chinese Consulate so we could complete our dossier and send it to our agency for review.  The goal was to have the dossier done, translated, and set to China by the end of May.  We had to get them to agree to expedite the 1-800A, which is usually at least a 30 day turnaround.  They agreed to expedite and went above and beyond in helping my daughter get things together since we were out of state.

    We have had this happen over and over again.  Just recently we were told that it would take 2-3 weeks to get LID after they mailed our dossier.  The timeline was to have our dossier reviewed by our agency, sometimes this can take 1-2 weeks.  Mail said dossier to China which takes 3-5 days to arrive and then wait for China to log in dossier, which can take 2-3 weeks.  Our dossier was mailed on the 6th of June, arrived in China on the 9th and was logged in on the 10th.   More provisions.

    We are now waiting on our Letter of Acceptance (LOA).  These have been taking 60-90 days.   The quickest turnaround our agency has seen was two weeks.  Refer back to our time frame….60 days left.  This is not doable by man’s hands; good thing it is in someone else’s hands.

    Praise the Lord, we received our soft LOA yesterday, the 17th, one week after being LID!  How could we not stand in awe of a God that can move mountains for one sweet little girl half-way around the world?

    Our LOA is needed to file the final immigration papers (1-800), which allow us to bring two children into the U.S.  After that we still need to get our Article 5 (which informs the foreign central authority that U.S. competent authorities have determined the prospective adoptive parents are eligible and suited to adopt), which will then allow for travel approval (TA) and our consulate appointment (CA).  We will then be set to travel.  The only catch?  Evie’s surgery has been rescheduled for July 17th and we need to be in China before August 17th to adopt Kelly.

    But as with everything else in this crazy adoption, things change.  Evie’s teeth look pretty bad.  We decide we need to get her teeth done before heart surgery and her dentist graciously works Evie into the schedule.  Yesterday, we got to claim the blessing of protections unknown.  Evie had an abscessed tooth.  We didn’t even know it.  She had no fever and no pain.   Had Evie not gotten the cold and had we proceeded with her surgery, then we could have been looking at endocarditis right now.   There’s a proven correlation between oral health and heart health. If you have dental problems, it can cause bursts of bacteria into the blood stream and if you have any artificial material, like Evie’s BT shunt, bacteria can stick to it and it can be very difficult to treat. It’s not just the shunt but kids with heart defects in general are at risk for endocarditis.

    An abscessed tooth means removal of that tooth and a possible delay of surgery.  I am unsure of what will happen now, but I know that God knows and I am trusting with all my heart.

    Since the beginning of this crazy adoption journey, we knew it was going to be all His doing.  I do know that sometimes He brings you to things to learn and to grow and it doesn’t always necessarily go the way we had prayed or hoped.  I have learned a lot about older child adoptions, about expediting adoptions. I have learned that children don’t always want to leave their country and we can’t assume we know what is best all the time.  I have decided that there are changes that need to be made.  There is so much redundancy and extra unnecessary cost, which in turn makes children wait for longer than necessary.  There has to be a better way.

    Elijah’s surgery has been scheduled for September, well after the time we get home with the girls.  All that remains is Evie’s surgery and this process.  We specifically want to travel before the surgeries.  Please pray for things to move as quickly as they can.  God has heard your prayers and we are forever thankful.

    In the meantime, I have received pictures of Kelly that make my heart smile.  We are still waiting on an update for Elyse.

    Kelly 2

    This mama’s heart is hopeful and joyful – expectantly waiting on the Lord.