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We Might Be Closer Than We Thought

19 March 2018


Update: This has since become the “prelude” to a crazy, wild ride. God did the impossible in five business days and we will never forget it. The three parts of this story are here:

I got an email from our adoption agency last week and I swear my heart has been racing ever since. (Emphasis mine)

We are excited to announce that there is currently little to no wait time right now for LID families open to adopting a boy with commonly seen medical needs! … There is now little to no wait time for boys designated by China as “LID only” (minor medical needs). If your family is LID or getting ready to be and you are on the fence about adopting a boy, now is a great time to consider making changes to your waiting child application. It is also important to note that if you are building your dossier and are open to a boy, please work diligently to get your dossier completed and submitted ASAP!! We know that we still have more agency boy files coming, so there are more matching opportunities ahead for families in coming weeks!

I’m almost crying just re-reading it.

“LID” stands for “log-in date,” which essentially just means your dossier (the big, final stack of paperwork) has been officially received in China.

I responded with a few questions, one of which is where we are on the waiting list. It’s only been six months, so I assumed closer to the bottom of the list than the top (or the middle, best case, but I was almost afraid to hope for that). And I got this in reply:

As far as where you are on the waiting list, at this time we have very few families who have their dossiers logged-in and are open to adopting a boy, so once your family is logged-in, you will mostly likely have very few families waiting for a referral of a similar request ahead of you.

I have been hyperventilating ever since.

The next day we got this email (’cause we’re part of the China mailing list for our agency):

Good afternoon! We wanted to reach out again today to share about 4 more little boys who are in need of a forever family. … We understand that it is unusual to receive 2 referral announcements just hours apart, however, we do not want to delay sharing about these precious little ones in hopes that their files can be under review by families as soon as possible.

I scrolled through four pictures of three-year-old boys with, mostly, very minor medical needs/conditions.

I’ve been doing paperwork as fast as I can for six months, but all the while telling myself, “Early 2019 at best, woman. Don’t. Get. Excited.”

Buuut … 

Our Dossier Progress

When do we get to send in our dossier? Hopefully in the next few weeks. We are waiting on two things:

  • The Wisconsin Secretary of State
  • U.S. Immigration

My employment verification letter was notarized in Wisconsin, which means it needs to be certified by the Wisconsin SOS. I thought, briefly, about driving to Madison, but, as I’m also waiting on Immigration approval, decided Express Mail would be fine. I almost wish I had driven to Madison now.

They got it on Monday, though. It hasn’t been mailed back yet (I have the tracking number for the return envelope and you can bet I’ve been watching it more closely than the CIA watches ISIS), but their 7 to 10 business days for processing is almost up and then I starting making phone calls.

UPDATE (Tuesday): I double-checked and there’s actually no expected processing time on the site (7 to 10 business days was for Illinois), so I emailed. And a very nice woman named Ann was super helpful. It’s done. They’re mailing it back today.



The Immigration paperwork has been in progress for weeks. We had our second fingerprinting appointment two weeks ago, so – fingers crossed – that should only take another week or two.

Update (Tuesday): I double checked on this expected wait time as well … 90 days. I’m not sure where the “4 to 6 weeks” idea came from. 90 days from their confirmation of receipt is mid-May (Mother’s Day, actually). So a little longer than I thought … potentially.

Then those two pieces of paperwork get driven to the Chinese Consulate in Chicago. They take four days to authenticate, and then the whole stack goes to China!

I’m still hyperventilating.

You’ll never believe what happened next. >>>

Our Financial Progress

While it’s all very exciting and I’m trying to move it along as fast as possible, each step also comes with fees and payment installations. And travelling will, of course, have its own host of expenses.


First, we have been blown away, bowled over, and completely humbled by the response to our MudLOVE campaign!

It started at a $500 goal, because that’s their standard. You guys went crazy the first couple days, though, and when I asked some, “What if …” questions about limits, etc., our MudLOVE rep immediately bumped the goal to $1000. Not my intention, but OH MY GOODNESS! One day before the end of the campaign we were at 149%, and when I mentioned we were one wristband away from 150% of our goal, you guys jumped in AGAIN.

It’s super helpful, of course, but it’s also so so so encouraging to know that so many people are with us in this. I can’t even tell you. All the social media shares and pics of your MudLOVE gear meant as much to us as the dollars given.


I am working on something fun for April. Stay tuned for those details.


And Timothy is lining up the troops for an art show at the end of May! He asked some artist friends if anyone would be willing to donate art and we were, again, amazed at how many people responded! We’re sourcing and finalizing a venue (hopefully in Chicago), and then we’ll get you an official date. We’ll also then put out an open call for artists, and accept a few more via submission.


Still working on the grant applications too. Current tallies:

Applied: 9

Applications in-progress: 7

Awards: 0

Nos: 1

Undecided: 8

The financial paperwork for adoption is a weird thing. During the initial application, you’re pulling all the required numbers and hoping that you look valuable enough on paper to meet minimum net worth and income requirements. During the grant application, you’re pulling all the same numbers and hoping that you look poor enough to excite the sympathies of the grant reviewers. It’s a weird thing.


Our is always open. Anything we get there is free of fees and goes toward paying down costs that we have put on a credit card.

Any grants we win, or fundraisers – like MudLOVE – that use a third party, get paid directly to our agency. I totally understand that no grant organization is going to just cut us a personal check, and we have lots of fees and payments coming up through our agency.

But we also have quite a credit card balance too.

“How Can I Help?”

You’re really too kind. First, prayer requests:

  • Paperwork progress — Please pray these last two pieces get finalized quickly and without complications.
  • Finances — As urgently as I am working to get our dossier submitted, it comes with some big payments and fees. Pray that at least some of these grants come through.
  • Di-di — Please keep praying for our son. We pray every night that God would guard his heart and mind, for health and strength, etc.
  • Caretakers and biological parents — We also pray every night, no kidding, for the fear of God all over his caretakers. I want to believe that every orphanage worker is a sweet Chinese lady who loves children, but we know that’s just not the case. We also pray for his biological parents. We may never know the details of their family’s circumstances, but it can’t be easy.

There isn’t much else to do but pray, right now. Unless you know of a gallery or other suitable space in/near Chicago that would be willing to donate their space for an art show fundraiser.

Most art shows have an opening night, and then keep the art up for a month or so. If someone was willing to donate space, though, we’re happy to just have the opening night, and then move the “show” online until everything is sold. Donating a space for weeks is prohibitive, and we totally understand that.

Thanks for all your prayers and thoughts and love and questions and hugs and reference letters and mugs and wristbands and shares! Absolutely could not do this without our awesome community.


Photo creds:

Maarten van den Heuvel

One Comment leave one →
  1. Bianca permalink
    12 June 2018 7:49 PM

    Bless your heart. Such patience and faith is needed for this journey.

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