Monday, July 30, 2007

The Infamous Brown Envelope

Today was a rough day. One of those days ya just wish ya could have a do-over on. I spent the majority of the day on the phone with my insurance company, a lab that did my lab work for my routine physical for our adoption and my incompetent doctor's office. To make a long story short, they are trying to bill me for close to $500 for my routine physical that is covered by my insurance. Very, VERY frustrating.

Anyways ... so the day was progressing kinda like that - when I decided to leave the phone for a while and go check the mail. Usually I am all like "Ahhh - the sun feels good, the fresh air is great..." but today I was all "The stupid sun is so hot and this air is too freaking humid..." See what I mean? I was frustrated.

But then I opened our mailbox and golden rays of edible light shot out as harps began playing in the background. Because right there, along with 2 credit card applications, 2 junk magazines, a letter from my cool nephew and a Guitar Center flyer was the infamous brown envelope I had read a little about. Yep, there it sat - addressed to Laura and me from the U.S. Consulate General, Guangzhou. I gotta be honest with you - I had no idea what this magical brown envelope contained. I just know some people in the yahoo groups have discussed it and sometimes posted when they got theirs. And now we had ours.

So I jumped up in the air, clicked my heels and skipped back in to the house. I immediately called Laura at work and after apologizing for being a stupid monkey on the phone with her earlier (frustration, remember?) I told her we had the magical brown envelope. I told her we needed to hurry up and open it cuz magic pixie dust was spilling out of it all over my desk and I was sure I heard our little baby from China in there - I mean how did they fit him/her in that envelope and why didn't they punch any breathing holes in the thing?!

Laura assured me our child was NOT in there and then directly ordered me NOT to open it - "Call CCAI" she said. "Ask them what we should do."

After doing as I was told and speaking with the great folks at the CCAI-GA Office, I found out there wasn't really a reason to be too excited - this envelope contained more paperwork (is that even possible?) and it was stuff we would probably see again and again before this journey was over. But she did say we could contact the travel department in CO and give them the reference number in the letter in the envelope - so there was something we could do with it! We HAD reached another little milestone!

Like I said in my previous post, this journey is all about those little milestones. And each one should be cherished, remembered and celebrated. Not everyone is chosen to be sent on this incredible journey - this Odyssey of ours. And we are proud to be on it - and I don't care what anyone says - i think a lttle tiny bit of our child showed up today in that brown envelope.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Our 4 Month LID Anniversary

Okay - so today it was 4 months since we have officially been "logged in" as they say - all that means is 4 months ago today we officially got in line. And to put that in to perspective for ya, they are currently matching referrals to folks who "got in line" in November of 2005. Yep, that's right. I said 2005. I know what you're thinking - "Wow - I knew it took a long time but that long?" Yes - it takes that long. But that's why we celebrate these little milestones, like 4 months Logged In. These little anniversaries come with both sadness and joy.

Joy because it brings us that much closer to fullfilling this wonderful journey that God has chosen for us. We feel more and more blessed every day that God would pick us to send on this amazing path through life. Yeah - the circumstances around it have been tough - but the outcome is going to be so amazingly incredible.

Sadness because - well come on - that's obvious - I mean holy cow - we're talking about 2 more years at least here. Whew - I will tell you what - it is sometimes really hard to trust God - I find myself asking Him "Why?" - Why would He give us the desire to be parents but not the physical ability to make that happen? Why would He make this journey take so long? I have no answers. But I do know God is good, no - scratch that - God is GREAT - and He is making this happen in His time for His will to be done.

Last sunday at church it really seemed like God was talking directly to us - and one of the verses He threw at us was this:

"The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride." Ecclesiastes 7:8

How perfect is that? We'll keep waiting. We'll keep celebrating little milestones. We'll keep praying. And no doubt we'll keep wondering a little and maybe even questioning God - but He is so good that He gives us our answers all around us if we just open our eyes and hearts to Him. And for that I am so thankful.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sheridan's Shower

Ya know what's cool about being part of something like the International Adoption Community? You get to take part in all kinds of exciting things and share in other's excitement along the way. It's actually one of the best ways to cope with this wait - living vicariously through the excitement of others. Like I have said before - this journey is like a race that we can't quite figure out how to pace. So what better way tp deal with this than to run alongside someone else who sees their finish line coming up? It's pretty cool.

So this past weekend we got to run the last leg of someone else's race as we attended a baby shower for some new friends we have met. Michael and Kim will be heading to China somewhere around the first of August to finally pick up their little boy Sheridan. We have gotten to know them through our First Friday gatherings and we couldn't be happier for them. As Laura continually says "I can't wait to get my hands on Sheridan!"

Their shower was great - lots of people came - several we knew - lots we didnt. They had good food, got lots of gifts and I sealed the deal by eating a piece of cake that was the size of my head. I had a sugar rush the rest of the night.

Michael & Kim - thanks for allowing us to take part in this special event with you guys. We will be praying for you as you travel to China and back with Sheridan and can't wait to meet him!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

First Friday (from Laura)

Well, once again, tymm and I went to our 1st Friday adoption group meeting last night. It is not so much as a meeting, but a get together to chat with others who are either in the process of adopting from China or already have their children.

Each month Tymm & I walk away from that meeting ready to take on "the wait" with a new found confidence. We just love talking to the other parents and seeing all those sweet little faces.

Last night was especially great because little Laney was with us! Just one month ago, at the last meeting, Jay and Angela, now known as Laney's mom and dad, had not even left for China yet, and here they stood, right at the door when we got there last night with their sweet little girl! What inspiration to see God working in their lives. Here is the link to their website, so you can see Laney, www.journeytolaney.blogspot.com .

We also got a chance to meet Sha-Lu (not sure about the spelling). She is 4 years old and just got here to be with her forever family this past April. She is just the sweetest little thing with an amazing story. Her new mommy found out about Sha-Lu by donating money to a foster program in China. Sha-Lu was not available for adoption, but Rebecca could not get her out of her mind. Through many talks and much paperwork, Sha-Lu was put on the list for adoption under the Waiting Child Program (special needs). Rebeccah was able to petition for her and GOT HER!! So inspiring! I asked Sha-Lu her name and she held up 4 itty bitty fingers and smiled and said, "Four." I guess she didn't hear me, but I didn't care because at that moment, my heart was hers! She had Tymm's heart once she gave him a high five. He then asked her how old she was and once she answered she quietly asked how old he was!! How funny is that!!

We also went to dinner with 2 other adopting parents prior to the meeting. It was great. One set of parents may be traveling to China THIS MONTH to get their son, Sheridan. Here is their website: www.sheridans-shenanigans.info . We are going to their toddler shower next Saturday. I just cannot wait to get my hands on this boy! Maybe it is because I have a gut feeling that God is going to bless us with a son. I will take WHATEVER God wants to give us.

The other couple we ate with, Amy and Michael are just wonderful! Amy suprised me with the sweetest card this week just to let me know she was praying for us. She is just awesome! And so funny, too! I just love her personality.

Another neat part of the night was meeting a young couple, Diane and Chris, who have 2 young boys but truly have the heart for adoption. It was the very first time that Tymm & I got to share our story with someone contemplating adoption! See how this circle just goes on and on and touches so many?! I felt so good after talking to them.

Our desire to become parents is growing each day. I know God is gonna show up, well He already has, but this is going to be BIG, I mean, BIG...

Thank you so much God for making us dream big...we love you and our child is yours.

Thank you all for loving us and for your continued support and prayers during this exciting time in our lives. You have no idea what it means to us.

Friday, July 6, 2007

First Friday (from Tymm)

Well - it's that time again - first friday of the month. Which means we get to go see where everyone else who has been chosen to go down this incredible path of adoption is at in their journey. This month was extra cool because some folks who we have met through this group and who happen to go to our church actually just got back from China with their little girl - Laney! What an inspiration.

We started off the night by meeting up with some fellow soon-to-be-parents for some dinner before heading to the Chapman's house. It's really cool to be around people who understand what it is we're going through and who are actually experiencing pretty much all of the same emotions we are. Not that our non-adoptive friends and family don't get it - but they don't fully understand the magnitude of this incredible process - and it's probably because we simply can't put it in the right words. But to experience it is to know it - and that is one of the things that makes First Friday at the Chapman's the awesome experience that it is. Thanks again Dan & Susan for what you do for this community.

Laura and I got the opportunity to meet and talk with a young couple who are currently considering adopting. They have two kids of their own and they were cool - we shared with them how God has led us down this path and hopefully we can be of any assistance or support if they need it. We also got to chat some more with some folks we have seen and probably met but never talked much with - that was cool. And I think I now have someone to run the Cobb County 10K Classic on Labor Day with! Laura said she was in for it too.

All in all it was another great meeting - and with the referrals coming out at the pace they are right now, the support couldn't have come at a better time!