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Adoption Update: Travel Plans, Timelines, and Panic

6 August 2018

I owe you an update.

Everything We Were Waiting on is … Done

True to form, everything went super duper fast.

Last time I updated, we were waiting for our “Article 5” approval, which could have come any time from then (the 17th) to July 25. It came the next day, on July 18.

Then, we had to wait for Travel Approval, which could take, “up to three weeks.” Three weeks from the 18th would have been August 8. It came in three business days, on July 23.

Our agency was already putting together two travel groups for China when we got the call. We could leave August 15 or August 22. I wanted so badly to say the 15th, but I knew we would need that week – to prepare things at home, to hopefully get another grant in, to try one more fundraiser, to get myself responsibilities at work handed off well, etc.

Travel Arrangements

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Next we had to book airfare, which, of course, is more complicated than just booking airfare. I’ve purchased plane tickets before, but nothing is that easy.

We needed to arrange airfare, send the itinerary to the adoption agency so they could review and approve, and then book/confirm. Our coordinator recommended a couple travel agents that they frequently work with, and while I’m not generally one to use a third party for something I can do myself, I thought it was worth investigating.

I looked up both agencies and Adoption Airfare has a big “Get a Quote” button at the top of their homepage. (Excellent UI, guys.) I filled out the short form and in a few hours was talking to one of the most helpful, communicative individuals I’ve ever met in my life.

He found us an itinerary. I sent it to the agency. Our travel coordinator pointed out that we would be landing just before our first day of sightseeing. “You could go straight to your travel group, or you could miss your first day of sightseeing.” I didn’t want to do either of those things, so the travel agent moved some things around and we got all the thumbs ups.

We leave for China Tuesday, August 21 and we’ll be back Friday, September 7. 

Last week, my sidekick and I went back to the Chinese Consulate and submitted applications for our visas. Tomorrow (Tuesday) we go ONE LAST TIME to pick up our passports with visas!

Send-Off Movie Night! Saturday, August 18

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I am panicking at everything I need (/want) to get done before we go. Saying, “three to four weeks” was crazy, but then I realized that’s three weekends. And now we’re already down to two.

So we’re going to be crazy busy, but we want to see our locals before we go and hang out one more time. And we have one more Kung Fu Panda movie (we have to finish the trilogy!), so …

Saturday, August 18, we’re going to get together for one more movie night before we go! H2O Church has graciously lent their space for the evening, so come and join us for Kung Fu Panda 3, some snacks, super awesome raffle prizes, and one more chance at a few fundraiser leftovers that we have.

Let us know you’re coming on Facebook, and invite all your friends!

Wish List Deadline: August 11

So we kind of took a chance by making our packing/adoption Amazon list public, but dang you guys – thanks! We’ve gotten a couple gift bags and a couple boxes have shown up at the door, and it’s so awesome!

There are a few things left (and I’ve added a couple as I’ve thought of things we’ll want/need when we get home), but we need time to get it here before we go. So we’re setting a cut-off date. (Which is even an awesome thing to have to do, seriously. I did not expect to actually get random Amazon boxes in the mail! You guys are awesome.)

This is the last week, if you want to check out the Wish List. After midnight this Saturday, August 11, I’m going to clean out the list and order whatever we still need to get.

Matching Gift!

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One of my aunts has a birthday this month, and she’s donating it! Any gifts given will be MATCHED 1:1. So if you donate $5, it becomes $10. $30 becomes $60. $50 becomes $100 … you get it.

Nothing special to do. Every gift will be matched (up to a certain amount)!

Countdown: Two Weeks

I am so, so excited and also so, so terrified. Partially for the reasons that I wrote about last week. Partially for reasons that I’ll probably share more about in a few days.

As excited and eager as I am, I am nervous to the same degree about the huge transition that all the people I love most are about to make. It’s enough to sow seeds of doubt. “Are we doing the right thing? How on earth are we going to get through this?” etc.

But we remind ourselves of God’s provision and faithfulness. We talk to adoption friends who have done this already. We remember all of our amazing family and friends who have our backs. We know God has his hand on this, so we choose faith and we let go.

Prayer Requests

I’ve never felt the power of prayer like I have these last 11 months. It’s something beyond seeing a prayer answered, and into recognizing a peace and a strength in my soul that I cannot account for except to say that God is with us and people are praying. I don’t know how exactly to describe it, but I feel it, so a million thank yous to our prayer support!

  • Jude — The transition he’s about to go through is easily the hardest thing he’s ever done, and may be the hardest thing he’ll ever have to do. It’s for the best, but it’s going to be very, very hard on him. Please pray that God would prepare his heart these next couple of weeks and that he would know the power of prayer in his spirit the same way that I have been. Also: Healing. The Lord knows, and we’re believing that he won’t need surgery when he gets home.
  • The foster family — He’s been with the same family his whole life, and they love him. They are excited he is getting adopted, and also know it’s for the best, but imagine losing your four-year-old … Please pray peace and comfort over their hearts as well.
  • Niah — His world is about to be rocked too. He’s excited for the good and probably ignorant of the difficult. Pray for strength in him.
  • Husband and me — We are nervous. Even we are not 100% sure what we’re walking into. We need wisdom and patience and peace like we’ve never needed it before. Pray that we can do this well and get our family through it.
  • Finances — This week is our last chance to win a grant. After we pay for our travel package, we won’t have any more big payments to the adoption agency, which means we won’t have any more payments that grants can help with. We have plenty of credit card payments to make, and a minor surgery in our future, but those will have to be funded by other means. If we’re going to get one last grant, we need it this week.

Thank you thank you! People often say they don’t know how we do it, etc etc, but the truth is we’re only still in this game because of you. Our community has been all-in since Day 1 and I do not exaggerate when I say that I don’t know if we would have made it this far without you!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Gloria permalink
    6 August 2018 9:45 AM

    There’s really nothing TO say, except AAAAHHHHH!!!! I’m so excited for you!

    • Lex permalink*
      6 August 2018 11:18 AM

      My sentiments exactly! “AAAHHH!!!” 😉

  2. Annemarie permalink
    6 August 2018 2:09 PM

    Continuing to pray for favor with those grant committees. Looking forward to seeing how all this comes together as you near the finish line. Looking forward to watching you walk into church with little Jude in tow.

    • Lex permalink*
      6 August 2018 5:53 PM

      Thank you! I keep reminding myself how our God likes to show up in the 11th hour. 😉 And GOSH, just the thought of having him here with us is so crazy!

  3. Casey permalink
    7 August 2018 11:14 PM

    Oh Lex, as usual when reading this I am just so thrilled for you guys. We are praying for you and sending our love from Indiana. How to get our 3 boys together at some point.

  4. Amber Rodriguez permalink
    8 August 2018 8:13 AM

    You and Tim are so amazing! So excited for your family. We will be praying for you all!

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