Tuesday, May 31, 2005

A change of plans--China!

Perhaps God was just waiting for our act of obedience in going online at Christian Adoption before He showed us the next step in His plan. We sent out our Lifelink application at the beginning of April and received notice of our approval by mid-April. The first step was to complete several pages that would comprise our "self-studies". By Friday, April 22, they were finished. Next we had to attend a mandatory day of cultural training classes in Moline. I tried to avoid the training day, but since it was only offered once yearly, we decided to do it now rather than later.

We met with Kris and Braxton for Friday evening's supper and then stayed at The Abbey. It was a great evening. Saturday morning after breakfast we arrived for our training. What a blessing that turned out to be! We learned a lot more about foreign adoptions and many of the specifics about countries with which Lifelink is involved.

After the long day, we got in the van to start the drive home. Steve said that he thought we should really consider China. I had been thinking the same thing, although somewhat grudgingly. To be honest, I wasn't thrilled with a 14 hour plane trip or a 10-14 day stay there. We decided to pray about it, and discussed it at great length during the drive. Over the next few days, we just both kept coming back to China for many reasons. It appeared that maybe God was trying to open a door for us in China while closing the door on both Guatemala and domestic adoptions.

On May 3, we had our first meeting in Moline with Linda. She sent us home with a huge folder of paperwork and information. We signed papers that evening to adopt from China.

On May 19, we had our first meeting with our Social Worker, Laura. All paperwork had been completed that I needed to do. By the end of the next week, I had collected all papers completed by other people ( police department, doctors, employer, etc.). This was also the last day of homeschool for the school year. Yea!

On May 24, Steve and I were each interviewed individually by Laura. Now we wait on the fingerprints and DCFS's approval. Then the homestudy can be completed.

Today the I-600A receipt arrived, but no fingerprinting appointment came with it. My hope had been to have the entire dossier completed by the beginning of June and ready to send. I didn't realize how much we would need to wait for things to process through the state and government agencies.

We are trying to get enough money together to take our kids to China with us. What an experience that would be for all of them! How neat for our whole family to be there for the moment our baby is handed to us for the first time...to bond with her right from the beginning. Also, the kids would get to experience a different culture firsthand. What an opportunity! I really hope we can all go!

[The Chinese characters above say "baby".]

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