Skip to content

Happy New Year! (A Few Pics and an Update)

16 February 2018

We cancelled the party, but we celebrated at home.



We made dancing dragon puppets and hung lanterns in the windows and piled mandarin oranges in the center of the table.



And we ate dumplings, but they did not survive long enough out of the pot to be photographed, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. I’m gorging myself on almond cookies and green tea as I type, but you won’t get a picture of that either.

A feeble first Chinese New Year’s Eve, maybe, but a start nonetheless. Fingers crossed our di-di will be with us for the next one, and then we’ll really celebrate.

We talked about him as we colored our dragon heads, which I probably should have planned but which caught me totally off-guard and unprepared. Because we went from, “Why dragons?,” to different ways Chinese people celebrate their new year, to, “Do you think brother got a dragon? Did he get to see fireworks? Why not?”

I don’t find it difficult to tell him. I’m just honest with him and he gets it. What’s difficult is being forced to think about—not just acknowledge, but really consider—toddlers in low-income orphanages. And not even just the general population of children in orphanages, but mine.

There is one small boy in a Chinese orphanage somewhere who belongs with me. And this will probably seem excessive—and I hesitate to even admit it—but I almost feel slighted, or hurt, that my son is currently being required to survive there. Maybe that sounds just a little extra, like I’m really digging for a victim card to play, but it’s true. My son doesn’t belong there; he belongs with me.

I know that I don’t know him. He has not been referred or chosen for us, so I don’t know his face. He is in no way, in the natural, ours … but I know he’s there, and I know God is working his will to bring us together, so he is ours. And being made to consider how he might be living makes me want to start kicking down doors to bring him home.

But I can’t.

So we pray for him, and we continue to trust God, and we push paperwork as fast as we can.

And we make paper lanterns to hang in the windows because, somehow, it seems to bring us closer.



Paper Pregnancy Updates

We got our completed home study in the mail a couple weeks ago and I fired off the immigration paperwork to the USCIS the next morning. By Express Mail. That envelope included yet another fat check and at first I felt silly writing a number that big on a Green Lantern check, but after a second consideration decided it was either apropos or ironic to send a superhero check to the Department of Homeland Security and I was equally delighted at either interpretation. 



The tracking number indicated delivery that Monday. The government texted and emailed (’cause I filled out a separate form so they would do so) verifying receipt on Thursday. Last week I got the official letter that said our paperwork was received and being processed.

Praying hard.

Next, we play a little game of Simon Says Go Get Fingerprinted. The government makes an appointment for us to get fingerprinted and then sends a letter to let us know when and where our appointment is.

Negotiation, I’m told, is nigh unto impossible. Everyone keeps saying, “Yes, technically, you can reschedule if you have to,” but then following it immediately with, “but really, just do whatever you can to keep the appointment.”

So that’s what we’ll do. All of my plans for the next four to six weeks are hereby tentative, ’cause the mysterious fingerprinting appointment has yet to be revealed.

“Didn’t you already get fingerprinted?”

Yes we did. That’s touching that you remember. Yes, we paid a decent sum of money to get fingerprinted, but that was for the FBI so they could tell the State of Illinois that it’s okay to approve us. These fingerprints are for another federal agency, and they, apparently, do not share.

“Well they won’t charge you a second time for more fingerprints …”

You’re adorable. They will and they have. We’ve already paid for the pleasure of being fingerprinted a second time at an appointment that we do not get to schedule.

At least it was via superhero check.

Anyway, then we wait to get approval from the USCIS, and we pray that the paperwork is all good and that nothing gets sent back to be re-filed. It’s been reviewed by three people on four occasions, but still …

Fundraising Update

Have you seen this beautiful stuff that MudLOVE made for us?!

28 days left to get you some, and today is the last day to get free shipping on orders of $50+ using the promo code ADOPT.

Awesome organization, made-in-the-U.S.A., supports clean water initiatives, and helps bring our little guy home. All you do is win. (It’s stuck in my head too, for typing it. You’re welcome.)


Extra ask: If you did order some MudLOVE gear, we would love see pics! We don’t see anything behind-the-scenes, so we have no idea who has ordered anything. If you post on socials, please tag me. If you don’t want to post, I would love it if you would send me a pic directly. (I would like to put a bunch together to share, so if you don’t want yours shared, just say so – but I’d still love to see!)


We did decide, last weekend, to cancel the New Year’s Eve event. Lots of reasons, but it just wasn’t looking like it was going to be worth the time and effort. And between drowning in work for the past three or four weeks, and now spending Saturdays on grant applications, I just didn’t have the energy to (A) pull it off and (B) deal with a less-than-awesome result, which it was bound to be.

Still hoping to do an art show in a couple months. Definitely doing another movie night or two.

Grant Updates

Speaking of grant applications.

Remember how I was all anxious to get started filling out grant applications?

Why didn’t someone shut me up?

It’s almost like applying for an adoption all over again. There is lots of coffee and spreadsheet-ing involved, and each application takes anywhere from one to two hours. Several of them are currently in various stages of completion because I need to find my 2015 tax return, or gather more reference letters, or create a short video …

And I totally get it. These organizations are handing out large sums of money and they need to know that we’re legit. I completely understand that they need a comprehensive financial picture, and that they want to know about our family so they can choose which one family out of hundreds of applicants gets their contribution.

But once you’ve done three or four …

Some have deadlines, some do not. Some are paper, some are online. Some online applications will save, others have to be done in one sitting. Trying to keep track of it all is like being back in college again, but without the boundless energy of a revolutionary 20-year-old.

How Can I Help?

So if you see me, and you ask me how it’s going, and I say something trite like, “Great!” it’s because I’m trying to spare you. Push me, and I promise you’ll unleash an avalanche. I’m getting better at the 90 second updates, but not all the time.

Current prayer requests:

  • The immigration paperwork — Pray that it is reviewed quickly and mercifully, if necessary. Pray we get approved.
  • The fingerprinting appointments — Pray that we can make them happen. I’m 95% sure we will, but still.
  • The grant applications — Pray for favor.
  • Di-di — Pray blessings on him for comfort, strength, and peace.
  • The caretakers — Pray for his caretakers and orphanage, that they would be blessed, honest, fair, merciful, and compassionate. Pray for his biological mother, for comfort and peace.

If you want to do something else:

  • Share the MudLOVE campaign page! The URL is long and messy, but you can also use for a simpler string of characters.
  • Send me your pics! If you got MudLOVE gear, remember to tag me if you post it on socials, or send it directly to me (if you don’t mind me sharing it).

Thanks for being here.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Raynna Myers permalink
    16 February 2018 12:10 PM

    It doesn’t sound anything but true. Very true. Your son, does belong with you.

    Much love, Raynna


    • Lex permalink*
      19 February 2018 6:53 PM

      Thanks, lady. *mama heart high-five* 🙂

Well?! Don't just SIT there! SAY something!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: