Friday, January 20, 2012

Next steps....

We got our I800 approval last week....which in non-adoptive English, means Judah's U.S. Immigration Approval. Hooray! Now, we wait for what boils down to a few steps of communication between the US and China, and then await our Travel Approval from China, which means we are clear to go get him!!

There are a few complicating factors that we may have to deal with. There is a huge trade fair in Guangzhou which starts in mid-April (we ran into the same ordeal when adopting Rylie, although with her it was the fall trade fair). During this time, hotels are 2 or 3 times more expensive than usual, so we are really hoping to avoid that! However, we are trusting God's timing in this. His timing was absolutely and completely perfect with Rylie's adoption, down to the last detail, and we have no reason to believe it won't be the same this time around!

We did get an update on Judah a few weeks ago and sent him a care package. I can't even explain how thrilled I was with his update! New pictures of my boy gave me just what I needed to keep plugging along, especially in the midst of the weariness of waiting. He looks fantastic! I had been so concerned about his nutrition and weight. At a year of age, he was only about 13.5 pounds. I was hoping that with his cleft lip repaired, he would be able to eat a little better. Plus, we got confirmation that he has been in foster care for about 3-4 months. I had mixed feelings about that, but apparently, it is just what he needed! He now weighs close to 20 pounds, and is 19 months old. He's still small, but I think the extra attention from his foster family and time to feed him has made a world of difference! I had been concerned we were going to come home to medical issues from a nutrition standpoint, and now those concerns are mediated for the time being! Seriously...could not be more thrilled.

We had some questions answered as well...and learned that he is not walking yet, he is closest to his foster "grandmother" and has the nickname "Fu-Fu." Cute....(his Chinese name is He Fu). We are hoping we will be able to get another update before we travel!

In the meantime, we have finally started buying some clothes for him, which I am convinced are going to swallow him up. And who says nesting is just for pregnant women? I have been purging and cleaning and organizing like crazy. Still have a long way to go, but I am making progress. I guess the little man needs a place to sleep, huh?

We've also been planning on a little bit of a surprise.....I am 99% sure Jonah is going to come to China with us!!!! There are many reasons we decided on this. Primarily, leaving 3 kids here to be cared for while we are gone for over 2 weeks is a big deal. We thought taking one of them at least with us would help on that front. Also, he is fairly independent and helpful and could not be more excited to have a little brother. And I think as a 7 year old, the opportunity to, in combination, see another culture, different living conditions, and be present for the "birth" of Judah into our family will be amazing. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I just don't feel like we can pass it up. I think the girls are too young, and would present challenges during the trip that would prevent us from fully helping Judah transition, and I think Jonah will be a big help in that area. We've already talked to his teacher and principal about it, and they are fully on board! He is so excited. Now, to get him a passport!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Adoption Train is Rolling Again!

I have to admit, I've been away from my blog on purpose. Because blogging and reading blogs makes me think of adoption. And recently I haven't wanted to think about adoption. It's been too hard. It's a lot easier to just go through my day-to-day and NOT think about Jude. Or at least TRY not to think about Jude. I really didn't want to think much about him, because the past few months, waiting for China to officially approve our request to adopt him, has been tough. There is so little about adoption that is in your control....we learned that much with Rylie....but it still drives me crazy. And knowing that you have to just sit....and wait.....and wait....and wait for an approval that might come this week, or in two months from now, just makes me insane. So I guess my way of dealing with it has been to not deal with it.

That is, until a few weeks ago.

Rylie's 3rd birthday was December 15. That day just so happened to be Jude's half-birthday as well. For whatever reason, that day just set me off. I had been patiently waiting on China. But that day, my baby, who I couldn't be with, turned 18 months old. And I just felt the sense of him getting older and older....while we just waited and waited.....and it suddenly just became HARD to wait any longer. Hard to not know exactly where he was (we heard a rumor he was in foster care). Hard to not know if he was gaining weight (he was SO tiny when we got his file). Hard to not know if he was thriving. Hard to not know how much longer it would be until we could bring him home. Hard to hear silence. Hard to have no updates. Hard to have no new pictures. Just HARD.

So, I got desperate. I felt like I was at the end of my rope. I just had to find out something.

I'll spare the details. But I think God took pity on my and how crazy I had become.

Friday, December 30, I got a call from our agency. Our approval was here.

I worked that night. 3 new pictures came in an email. He looked awesome. And happy, and healthy. 20 pounds almost! In just a few short months, he gained about 6 pounds!!!

It was just what I needed. To see his longer with sunken eyes, and scrawny limbs. But a full, smiling face with huge was the best possible way to end the year! God is so good and loves so extravagantly!

So, let me share his pictures! :)

I love this kid so much already! He has grown so much. And while part of that makes me sad at what we've missed, it makes me thankful that the prayers we pray for him every night are so obviously heard.

Hopefully we will travel in March or April to bring him home!! Up next comes more paperwork and more waiting for approvals (US Immigration approval, a few other things I won't bother to explain, and finally, Travel Approval from China).

Finally, I have to share this worksheet Jonah did for school. How awesome! My heart is full.