Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Hello! We received our passports today! Also we had our last meeting with our social worker, Stacie, and we are nearly done with the home study process. Just waiting on updated medical letters.

We're getting there!


Saturday, November 26, 2005

Spoke Too Soon!

Just thinking that I spoke too soon regarding Thanksgiving! Turned out to be a bummer for me - with a migraine, "losing" my, and a painful sore throat and 101 temperature to follow. All while having out-of-town guests at our house. They managed fine without me but I was sad to miss out on spending time with them. Makes me remember that I should be thankful for my health!

Thursday, November 24, 2005


It's Thanksgiving today and we have so much to be thankful for. We are celebrating with both sets of parents today, which is great! I am really looking forward to that.

We are hoping to have our daughter by next Thanksgiving, and I have no concept of the gratitude that will fill my heart then! As each item on our adoption checklist gets checked off, I feel thankful that no major problems or issues have popped up. As it stands, we are waiting on the following: corrected medical letters, our passports, our fingerprint report and our final homestudy report. When all of this is received, we send everything to get authenticated by the US government, and then it is off to our agency and to CHINA!

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and take the feelings of gratitude that you recall today into the days ahead.


Monday, November 21, 2005

Worries or Prayers...

Everyone keeps asking me if we are worried about the Bird Flu in China. The answer is NO! One in FIVE people on the earth lives in China and the odds are greater in general that confirmed cases will come from there. And, only TWO cases have been confirmed to date.

We have met families who got their daughters during the SARS epidemic and all was fine for them then and is now. The truth is, there is no end to things that we could worry about! New thoughts pop into my head all the time that hadn't occured to me before! Or I hear or read something that causes anxiety. I just read an article about a family adopting from Korea and all was put on endless hold because the wife's fingerprints were rejected since her fingers were "overused"...ummm, WHAT? What does that even MEAN? Then my brain starts racing, "Oh NO! Lee and I just got our fingerprints taken! What if.........."

Every day, sometimes every moment, I need to remind myself that I can worry or I can pray. One causes stress, because I take all of the burden on to my shoulders; and one relieves stress, as I cast my anxiety on the Lord (1 Peter 5:7).

Well, I heard that sleep also relieves stress, so off I go! Good Night! Or in Mandarin - Wan An! (phonetically wahn ahn)

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." John 14:27

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Interesting Article

The following article appeared in The Beijing News two years ago:

    Foreign Parents and Their Adopted Chinese Babies

    Statistics show that more than 50,000 Chinese abandoned babies have been adopted by foreign families since the 1990s, and the number is keeping rising. Foreign-related adoption not only helps release the burden of Chinese orphanages, but gives family love to the children who badly need it. ...
Click here for the full article.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Fingerprints Done

Well, Lee actually got me out of the house before 8:30 on a Saturday morning! We went over to St. Paul and got our fingerprints taken. I felt a little violated! :) All for a good cause!

They said to allow up to two hours and that if there were too many people, we might have to go back another time. Luckily we were in and out in just under an hour!

When I went through our dossier packet with Lee's family today to see what was done and what was left, I was thrilled to realize we have only our financial statement to do ourselves and we need to get new medical letters from our doctor. Unfortunately, this will be the third time that they have been done, but we need a lot of detail and "layman's terms" for things. Hopefully our medical providers will still take us as patients as we try their patience!

When the homestudy meetings are done, our social worker will write a report on us and our home that has the remaining info that we need, then we send everything off to the US government to be authenticated and then, off to China!


"The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace."
-Numbers 6:26

Friday, November 11, 2005

On the Education of Children

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction." - Proverbs 1:7

The adoption process has compelled us to think seriously about how our new daughter will be educated. Do we homeschool or send her to a private, Christian school to make sure she receives a God-centered education, or do we drop her into a government-run indoctrination center (a.k.a., public school) that does everything in its power to undermine the authority of scripture and our duty as parents?

You can probably tell where I'm going with this. Check out my latest essay, "The Education of Our Children Should Not Be Left to the State."

And to think that people call me opinionated!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

*** SIGH ***

In our email today...

To America World Families:

There has been an uncertainty regarding the timeframe from log-in to referral that needs clarification. As stated on the Weekly update, the CCAA is experiencing some delays for several different reasons. In the beginning of October they had a national holiday; at the end of the month the trade fair occurred. The Center is also expecting to move to a newer facility to enhance their productivity and improve service to families. This move will occur from the middle of November to the middle to end of December. It is expected that things will be slowing down in the coming months due to these changes. We do not have specific confirmation on the length of the delay, but we estimate approximately 9-10 months from log-in date to referral. When we are given more specific information, we will notify families accordingly. While this is difficult to accept at this time, this delay will be of benefit to increase productivity and efficiency.

We pray that the Lord will give you all peace during this time of transition for the CCAA. Please feel free to contact your Family Coordinator for prayer requests or questions.

Birth Certificate Update

Great news! We received the following e-mail from our adoption coordinator:

    For your birth certificate part of your dossier, a photo copy of your original birth certificate along with the beige "Notarized Copy of an Original" form will suffice with China and for your dossier. I have attached another form if you need it. If you want to send me a copy of Lee's original birth certificate to make sure that is fine, that would be great! I hope this helps.
That does help, and it's an answer to prayer. Now, rather than having to wait for who-knows-how-long, we can forge ahead.

We're nearly done with everything needed for our dossier, and it appears as if the home study will be completed before Thanksgiving. Once all of the documentation is authenticated by the U.S. government, our dossier will be off to China!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

"Keep Plugging Away..."

This is a quote from my Dad, which we have all heard routinely throughout our lives no matter what task was at hand. The task at hand right now is completing our dossier as soon as possible. This weekend we worked on our photo pages. I got a call from the doctor's office that the health reports were ready...hopefully all is filled out properly now.

If you recall, China requires four face-to-face meetings with a social worker, so we are on our way. We have had our first meeting with our social worker, Stacie; Lee has had his one-on-one and we have the next couple meeting tomorrow. My one-on-one is in another week since our calendars didn't mesh well for this week.

Below is a quote from AWAA. I am trying to stay happy after reading it - knowing that no matter what "delays" come about throughout this thing, that we are in God's hands and His timing. He knows which precious child will live here. That's on one, very logical hand. On the other hand, the maternal, achy-heart-ready-to-be-a-mama-finally hand, I cry simply because my chest hurts from wanting to hold my baby. One of the reasons cited below, however, is actually a very positive one...if it is taking the CCAA longer to log dossiers because of the sheer volume of applications, that means more babies are going to homes and to Mamas, Daddys, siblings, grandparents.

Log In Dates

"America World China paperchasing families are asked to be aware that it is taking longer for Dossiers to be logged into the CCAA (China Center of Adoption Affairs). Routinely, it is common for a delay of several weeks between the time the Dossier is sent to China (DTC date) and the time the Dossier officially begins to be processed within the CCAA (LID-Log In Date). However, due to the high volume of Dossiers recently received by the CCAA in addition to the recent Chinese holiday (the Center was closed), further delays have occurred. The most recent two groups of Dossiers sent to China by America World received login dates which were over a month from their DTC dates. The China staff anticipates these delays might continue into the future and are asking families to adjust their expectations accordingly. The China staff extends its deepest sympathies and regrets for these delays, knowing the heartache additional delays will bring. Families are requested to please direct all further questions about this and related matters to individual Family Coordinators."

We read Galatians 4:4-7 as a congregation this morning - 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

We are all adopted as children of God and an interesting thought - Jesus himself was adopted by Joseph.

I curiously watched two very beautiful, well-behaved boys in church who had dark skin, sitting on either side of a blond woman. As she passed by me after the service, I said, "Are these your sons?" She beamed and said, "Yes - we've had them for three weeks!" I believe she said they were from I can't remember! What I remember is that she said that their dad was killed in the war there, their older sister had died, their mom and new baby died in childbirth, so they went to live with their Grandma. Their Grandma died of old age and they then lived with a neighbor, until she died of AIDS. These boys, 10 and 7 years old, then lived in several different orphanages until they came home to Minnesota! They were so sweet and well-adjusted already! Their Mom said that the conditions that these boys were living in would break your heart. To see kids who have gone through so much getting an opportunity for a new start after such sadness and devastation is simply beautiful. Yet, from what I hear from every adoptive parent, it is the parents who feel blessed.

I feel such peace in my heart about this decision - I told Lee that never in my life have I felt such a conviction about something - that this is the right path for us! I pray every day for our baby and for her birthparents - she could be born anytime!

So in the meantime, I guess we'll just "Keep Plugging Away" and know that, as in Galatians 4, when the fullness of time has come, our child will be brought home.
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