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Adoption Update: On the Waiting, The Paperwork, and My Chinese Son

17 April 2018

I feel like I owe you an update, but there’s isn’t much to update — not that I’m allowed to share anyway, because I am dying to show you his adorable face and tell you how perfectly he fits into our family and how so many of our prayers have already been answered in him! (If you see me in person and I don’t force it on you, totally ask I will gladly pull it up on my phone!)

On Waiting

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china adoption waiting

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We’re currently waiting for our Letter of Acceptance from China. We’re not totally idle – there are still grants to chase down and there’s some new paperwork to prepare – but after the last two weeks it feels completely stagnant by comparison.

This waiting period is a little more welcome, though, because we really need some time for fundraising and *fingers crossed* to be chosen for some grants.

The process typically goes something like (A) prepare paperwork, (B) send paperwork, (C) wait months and months, (D) get matched with a child, (E) send more paperwork, (F) wait a few weeks, (G) travel. We did it more like (A) prepare paperwork, (D) get matched with a child, (B) send paperwork … Totally skipped C.

Which was an answer to prayer, but we’re also feeling like it’s time to stop praying for, “as fast as possible,” ’cause … dang.

On Paperwork

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china adoption paperwork

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There’s more. There’s always more. I have accepted that my life is about paperwork for the foreseeable future.

We got initial approval from Immigration to pursue the adoption, but now we need to actually apply for permission to bring this one specific boy into the country. Once we get that approval, we (and our agency) start making travel plans.

On Timing

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The long game puts us in China in six months. SIX MONTHS! (Assuming the finances show up.) But honestly, the way this whole thing has been going, I’m almost nervously anticipating paperwork in my mailbox and/or inbox every morning.

We were told one-and-a-half to three months for the Letter of Acceptance. Three months = mid-June. Then we submit to Immigration, and were told two to three months after that is usually when we travel. Three months from mid/end-of-June = end of September/October.

I 100% cannot wrap my head around the possibility of having two boys this holiday season.

On My Chinese Son

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I’m not allowed to share photos or personal information until we get our Letter of Acceptance from China, because he’s not really ours until then. But I cannot wait to tell you all the little ways we know he belongs with us and all the amazing ways God has answered our prayers for him — ways that God answered our prayers for him years before we started praying them.

I will tell you that he’s a little older than I initially envisioned. He’s not older than our Man Cub, but he’s hardly a toddler. That age comes with lots of implications about the transition he will have to make and everything that goes with it.

I never expected that he would run to us with open arms when we meet for the first time, but I’m trying to brace myself for the reality that he might actually dislike us as we come in to take him away to a strange place where everything is unfamiliar.

We knew he would have to deal with some initial separation from the world he once knew, but it will likely be more dramatic than we thought. He has a routine. He has some language. He has little friends. There will definitely be grieving, and I have to choke back a sniffle just typing that sentence. I wish I could shield him from that pain, or just absorb it for him, but I know I can’t. I’m going to spend a lot of bedtimes crying with him.

I’ve also been reading a lot of adoptee testimonies lately, which just solidifies the burden to do this right. Of course we know it will be hard for him, and so much of our required training has been about remembering and honoring his story, etc. But something about reading testimonies and first-hand stories makes it extra real.

(I’m thinking about ways to collect and help share some of those stories—and I’ve thought about everything from blog posts, to a podcast, to videos, etc.—but I’ll save that for later.)

Parenting any child is probably the most sobering responsibility a person could take on, but the reality of what it means to parent an adopted is really settling into my soul lately. I’m down for it. But it’s a heavy settling.

On Finances: T-Shirts, Art Shows, and Grants

God’s got a plan, and I rest in that reality – whatever it looks like. Even if we never saw a last-minute miracle or a serendipitous answer to prayer, we know adoption is his jam and that he’s going to provide as quickly or as last-minute or as “late” (by our standards) as he knows is best.

Still, my preference is early or on-time. And we definitely want to be diligent to do our part.

T-SHIRTS

So there’s just under one week left for these awesome shirts –

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… which are also raffle tickets for some awesome art that will be given away at the show in May. Wear your shirt to the show or just post a pic of you wearing your shirt on the night of the show if you can’t make it and we’ll toss $5 worth of raffle tickets in the bucket for you.

ART SHOW

And about that art show.

We went to look at a cool space on Milwaukee Ave in Wicker Park over the weekend, and we’re super honored that they want to help out by hosting the show. Hoping we can agree on a date that works for everyone, and get it on your calendar!

The art is already coming in. We have pieces from Biafra, Alecks Cruz, and Thomcat23 in the house already aaand I’m already not comfortable with the idea that they don’t get to stay in my house.

It’s gonna be a great night, so pretty please come hang out. No admission fee at the door, and even if you don’t have money to donate or buy art, just come and hang out with us!

GRANTS

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I’m starting to feel like I could have open office hours every Saturday morning at Craft Donuts + Coffee. Except I don’t have time to engage in deep, meaningful conversation (but chit chat between forms is a possibility). I tend to camp out in a booth, which means there’s an empty bench available. Bring a book or a computer, sip coffee, and eat donuts with me.

Grants applied for: 19
Grants awarded: 1
Grants we definitely didn’t get: 5
Grants possibly still in review: 13

We found out last week that we were chosen for a grant from The Sparrow Fund! It’s a small grant to help pay for the medical review of di-di’s file, but we’re super thankful. It’s also a really unique program, because their vision is to partner with adopting families and be a resource throughout the process. Just getting started with that, but it’s awesome just to know that our prayer partners have increased exponentially.

How Can I Help?

You’re a darling.

Prayer requests first, ’cause we’ve always believed in the power of prayer but we have a renewed confidence after these past few months:

  • Finances — So excited that it’s moving so quickly, but also so many things to pay for. I’m honestly not sure where it’s going to come from, but God’s got a plan. Pray for favor with grant boards and selection committees.
  • Paperwork — There’s really no reason why we shouldn’t get a Letter of Acceptance from China or approval from Immigration. Our agency is reviewing all of our paperwork, etc., but still … pray for favor. Pray that it all gets to where it’s going safely

You can also help out by sharing the t-shirt campaign. Even if you’re not going to grab one yourself, it would be awesome if you wanted to share it with your people.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Jennifer permalink
    19 April 2018 8:35 AM

    This little guy has such an amazing life in store for him. I know he will be grafted into your family perfectly and can’t wait to share in the joy of his arrival.

  2. Gloria permalink
    21 April 2018 9:39 PM

    Can’t wait for the art show! And I’m still praying. We’re gonna pray that sweet little boy home to you where he belongs!

    • Lex permalink*
      22 April 2018 1:26 PM

      Thank you! Hope you guys can make it to the show. 🙂

  3. Patty Sullivan permalink
    21 April 2018 9:50 PM

    Everyone who loves you is excited for your family!

  4. Annemarie permalink
    22 April 2018 8:05 AM

    Now I totally cannot wait to run into you so I can see this little guy who captured your heart. Looking forward to continuing to see God move in amazing ways so that you can bring him home soon. 😊

    • Lex permalink*
      22 April 2018 1:27 PM

      Thanks for reminding me this morning. 😉 I can’t wait until I can just show him off to the whole world!

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