Monday, April 28, 2008

634 days and still wishing, praying, and hoping

634 Days we have been waiting to just have this door closed? I am praying so hard that God will reveal Himself to us. We started this journey in 2006 with excitment and confidence that we would complete this journey with a daughter. I have never prayed so much for something as I have prayed this weekend. We are choosing to stay put for right now and see what God will do. There are moments of peace and dreaming, then moments of doubt and fear. My heart is still telling me that she is in Vietnam. I will say that I think the media has misreported some facts and I for one am only going to take heed in what Children's Hope informs us of. It is their committment to us to provide us with factual information and I think they have done a great job so far with immediate responses to rumors, etc. God can work a miracle for us in four months, even if it is on Aug. 31. I am praying so hard that we may receive our referral. We are so close and have waited for so long. I feel we work with a very ethical agency and when we do get our referral, it will be on the up and up. I am just asking for unity in prayer for all the waiting families. My heart is aching for this child. My tears are welling every moment. I have had this child in my mind and heart for two years now. Maybe our miracle will come.

Friday, April 25, 2008

It is not the size of the mountain....

Wow, I am truly amazed at the the love of God poured out on us today from the friends we have made on this journey. Today has probably been the hardest day so far in this journey. It has almost been a given that we had nothing to worry about since we are so close to getting our referral, but God in His loving goodness, has brought me back to reality. There are still alot of things I don't understand in regard to the two governments, but I have resolved today, after two boxes of Kleenex, nose spray, and chocolate (remember that survival kit I encouraged you to make? Today was an opportune time to put it to use!) to put my whole trust in my Savior to lead us to our daughter. My email box has been flooded today with so many encouraging words, most from families waiting for a referral just like us. I guess it just makes it more real when you are actually working under a deadline. I know that God can perform great miracles in four months, after all, it only took Him ONE day to create the sun and the moon, and in ONE day He made all the animals of the earth, and in ONE day He created us.

It is not the size of the mountain, but the strength of the mountain mover that matters. "Behold, I am Lord. Is anything too difficult for me?" Jeremiah 32:27.

God is amazing. All day today I have been looking for answers, for a reason He would have us endure this trial, this uncertainty. Then I came upon a few encouraging words.

It is only though the hard times that we often rediscover that our hearts can only be comforted by the One who invites us to come to Him.~Roy Lessin

God does allow us to edure trials and heartaches so that we will call out to Him for help in our time of desperation. It is when our vision is clouded by our circumstances that God is able to see clearly. When our understanding is shadowed by our questions, He knows perfectly. And when our path is shaded by uncertainty, God leads faithfully. God writes every detail of our lives with love, He has it planned. We have to sit back and let God work His plan. This in itself takes faith and trust. He wants us to call upon His mercies in our time of need. He cries our tears and hears our prayers, but it is in His time only that things will come together. I am reminded of a verse in Psalms that says " When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I" Psalms 61:2 We cannot let the strorms of life overwhelm us, rather we need to be overwhelmed by God's love and mercies. There is hope in prayer, but there is power in the promise of prayer. Sometimes He wants us to get on our knees with our faces to His feet and petition Him for His power and His grace. I believe God is calling us to do this now. There is something so reverent about falling on our knees before the Most High God and asking for His power and glory and grace in something He is clearly in control of. He already knows what is in our hearts, but He wants us to put it to words in His name for what we would have Him to do. I will be on my knees, in Kaylee's room, crying out to My God to provide healing to my aching heart. He rewards those who are faithful. But it is often the faithful who are tested through trials to bring us more strength and more faith. He loves us, He created us, it is His desire to pour out His love on us. His mercies come each and every morning along with the trials and tribulations. He is a just and loving God and I honestly do not think it is His desire for His children to hurt. It is His desire for us to trust Him with our whole being and know that He is God. My heart is at peace now, not to say the peace has come after a day full of tears and questions and doubt, but through the love and encouragement of the people He has placed in my life, I know He is telling us to hold on. I am not giving up on Kaylee. I will not abandon my daughter. I trust God to lead us to her.

"Whatever you are facing, He knows how you feel. When you turn to Him for help, He runs to you to help. Yours is the hand He loves to hold, the same hand that touched the needy on His first journey to Earth will touch your cheeks and shoulder your burden."~Max Lucado

My Father God,

My heart is heavy and yearning for answers only You can give. We do not understand the reason for all the uncertainties surrounding the Vietnam adoptions right now. Help us, Lord, to trust only in You for comfort and guidance. Yours is the hand that created every living thing. Yours is the hand that calmed the raging sea, please, Lord calm our raging hearts. Lord, our prayer is not only for us, but for all the precious children that are waiting and needing families to care for them. These children need families. We are waiting Lord for You to scoop up these children and place them specifically into the hearts of the families predestined to love them and care for them. You are Almighty God, Abba Father, we cry out to You. Please hear our prayers, Lord. We need you to intervene on our behalf. Show us the way, Lord. Your mercies are beautiful, You are beautiful. Even in the valleys, Lord, You are faithful and true. We know Lord that You will carry us through this trial. Help us Lord to keep our focus on You. Your almighty hand is over our hearts. We lay it down at Your feet Lord. Please bring us peace. We love you and thank you for what You are going to do. Amen

My Heart is Aching

With the recent announcement today from the US Embassy that only families with referrals by Sept 1 will be allowed to complete their adoptions my heart is aching. My heart is aching for the faithful families that have been waiting for their referrals. I am not sure at this point that we will have our referral by then and I simply don't know what God is trying to tell me. Is this another test of faith and trust in Him? He has never led us down another avenue, He has always given me peace with this Vietnam journey. I know that should we ever receive this child, it will be to God's glory that she comes to us. I feel exhausted with all the tears I have shed this morning. A zillion thoughts going through my mind. How could we stayed on this path so long for us not to reach the end? I am always the positive encourager, I am told, and I know that right now I am not being very encouraging. Our agency has stated that this is not the information that they were told and they are trying to find out what exactly is going on. They have also said that the president of Vietnam is scheduled to come to the US in June and one topic is the adoption arena.

But here is a question from another statment made today. The US Embassy stated that they will only allow dossiers to be submitted until July 1. But why would they even continue to process dossiers if they plan on canceling out all dossiers not matched by Sept 1 and returning them to the agencies after that time. It just doesn't make sense. There is no way with all the current logged in dossiers (like ours that has been there since June of last year) that these dossiers would even be matched with a child, unless of course, it is for a waiting child. I just don't understand it. My mind is mush right now.

We have not gotten our regular agency update so I do not know if we received any referrals this week, but one can hope that things will be smooth even up to Aug. 31 if this statement is true. Our adoption options are limited, so I really hope that God's plan for us is to find Kaylee in Vietnam before Sept. 1.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Today I saw a dragonfly

It is not often I see or notice a dragonfly, but as dragonflies are significant or symbolic to Vietnam adoptions, I seemed to notice this one as it was just hanging from the ceiling of my mother in law's carport, like it was there for me to notice it. Just call me corny but, on every other occassion I have noticed a dragonfly imparticular, there has been significant news on the adoption front. So word has it that the update is coming out tomorrow afternoon. Maybe some good news is around the corner, or maybe it was just a dragonfly hanging out. Check back tomorrow I will give you my theory. Have I mentioned lately that we have been waiting 630 days?! 630 days!! Where is my sweet, sweet Kaylee?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Adoption Survival Kit

Each year for Vacation Bible School I assemble a Survival Kit for all my workers to hold on to through the week. Well, this has inspired me to create a Survival Kit for Waiting Adoptive Parents. So, here it is. It is really cool to gather the items and place in a box or ziploc bag and when you are feeling despair in this journey, pull it out and remind yourself of what each item stands for.

PAP Survival Kit
  • Rubberband: To remind us of FLEXIBILITY in all stages of the process
  • Marble: So that when we have lost all of ours, we will still have at least one left
  • Pretzel Twist: Resembles praying hand, to remind us of prayer
  • Smile Face sticker: To help us keep a positive attitude
  • 100 Grand Bar: because our children will be worth MORE than that
  • Balloon: To help keep our spirits inflated
  • Kleenex: For the really hard days
  • Bandaid: To help heal our heartaches
  • Aspirin: To help heal our headaches
  • Gift bow: To remind us that our child(ren) will be the best gift ever
  • Gluestick: To help put ourselves back together after we fall apart, for the 100th time!
  • Nosespray: To unstop our noses after we have cried for hours!
  • Your favorite candy bar: Because when all else fail, eat chocolate! (Be sure to replace it for the next time you need it! hehehehe)

Hope you enjoy my little "kit". I am going to assemble mine and keep it with in reach for the days that I need it. Just wanted to share. If anyone has any ideas for additional items, I would love to add them to my kit! Happy Saturday!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sometimes not knowing is a blessing

If we had known from the beginning how long and hard this journey was going to be, how many uncertainties still lie ahead and how heart wrenching the love for this child was going to be, would we have still taken the journey? I honestly don't know. I think I would have doubted how much I would let my heart handle on the front end. I might not have known how much my heart could grow to love this faceless child. I might would have said that it is not for me because I am a pre-planner, all ducks in a row kind of person. I would have honestly thought that I could not handle all the uncertainty. I do know that if we had not taken this journey that Kaylee would be an orphan forever. I am glad we are enduring heartache for her. She is waiting for us. I don't know where she is, I do know that we will find her.

I do have to admit that I had a meltdown today. I cried out to God and asked Him why we are having to wait. I asked Him if I would ever get to hold my baby. I wiped my tears in the warmth of the sun and looked up as if to see Him. There was a peace that came over me suddenly. A cool breeze brushed across my face. I could feel God's presence right beside me like He had his arm around me. In that instant, my fears were calmed and I thanked Him for comforting me. I think sometimes God allows us to trust Him enough and we really feel like we have a grip on everything and then He asks us for more. I don't know how anyone could make it on this journey without having God to lean on. He knows my every thought before I think it. He knows my heartache. He takes care of the smallest living creature, why would He not take care of me?

Sovereign Lord, Thank you for allowing us to walk through the valleys in order to trust You. You know me because You formed me with Your own hand. I know that You want us to be parents, Lord. And I trust that. You know when the time will be right. And I trust that. Please give me the strength to endure the uncertainties that still lie ahead for us. Please keep Your loving hand on my sweet daughter. Wrap her in your arms and let her know that we love her. Lord, You are all-knowing. You plan each day, ones with happiness, and ones with tears. For each I am thankful. Without the tears, we would not know the happiness. And one day there will be tears and happiness. I trust You, Lord. You are my stronghold. Thank you for loving me and for leading me on this journey. For I know the plans You have for me, I will trust in You. Amen

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It is the glory of God to conceal the matter

"It is a glorious thing to know that your father God makes no mistakes in directing or permitting that which crosses the path of your life. It is the glory of God to conceal the matter. It is our glory to trust Him, no matter what." Joni Eareckson Tada

Wow! How beautiful is that quote? And how appropriate it is to our adoption situation. God makes NO mistakes. He directs everything and permits everything that is put in front of us. He is choosing right now to conceal the matter of this adoption, He is choosing to conceal Kaylee right now. But it is MY glory and praise to trust Him no matter what. And when the time comes for her to be revealed, it will be for His glory. It is so hard to be patient and wait for God to act, but it is His commandment. Trust in the Lord with your whole being and lean not to your understanding for He will guide you all the way and lead you down the straight path. My God is a wonderful God, He is loving and compassionate. We are going through this valley right now so that we can learn to put our whole heart into our trust in Him. He will be given the glory when our baby is revealed. For He has already chosen her for us. She will be revealed soon.

Monday, April 14, 2008

620 Days and counting....
Kaylee where are you?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Prayer for Vietnam

Our update from our agency today did bring good news of a 13 month old girl and an 8 year old boy! I am thrilled for the families. Our update also made mention of the continued tension between USCIS and Vietnam. The Vietnam orphanages are reluctant to continue giving referrals to the US because the US is being demanding in it's requirements for orphan placement. This really saddens my heart today because there are so many families wanting children, and so many children needing families. Vietnam prefers working with the countries who are not making so many demands on them. Who can blame them really? I just pray with my whole heart that the US will come to some type of agreement soon so that we all know what we are facing. It is not that the US is not getting any referrals, they are just becoming fewer and farer between. Which in turn, is tremendously increasing our wait time for our referral. I am really setting my heart to not have a referral until sometime this fall and if it occurs sooner than that then it will be by pure grace of God. I am not losing hope, only feeling saddened that the US government officials seem to not have much regard for the waiting families, both that are waiting for travel and referrals. Don't they know how much we want our children? I just don't understand why there has not been some kind of announcement as to what the intentions are from both sides.

I am still holding true to God's promises for me. He does have a plan for me and I know that Kaylee waits for us in Vietnam. She will be the most precious, cherished thing in the whole world to me. She will be the child for whom I have prayed for so long. I know there is a reason that God is chosing to wait longer than we are wishing to wait, and I have to keep my faith strong that we will come full circle in this journey. The ever-constant "Have you heard anything about the baby?" questions are wearing me so thin. I just poise and smile and say that we are still waiting. That we are one of the top 10 families waiting for a referral right now and she will be here before we know it. And then, I come home and break down in tears for her because I don't understand why we are having to wait for so long. I get on my knees and pray to God that He give me a sign that she is coming, I cry to Him and ask Him to forgive me for my failures. I tell Him that I trust Him to bring Kaylee to us. Sometimes the wait is simply hard and I break down in tears and sob for my daughter, and then there are days that I am at perfect peace in this process. That I believe in Him, that He didn't bring us this far to leave us. I know that I can lay this burden at His feet and He will provide. It is just frustating, and human nature allows us to be frustrated even though our faith is rock-solid strong. We were supposed to have our referral by now, if you count the waiting months. When we went on the waiting list, the wait was projected at 15-18 months. We have now been waiting for 20 months, just for our referral, and it has been 25 months since we started the whole process. Oh me, I don't mean to bring anyone down. And I am confident in the future. I simply am just having a down day.

Most Gracious Father in Heaven,
I know that you hear our prayers. Please Lord, reach down and place Your hand on the minds and hearts of the government officials that hold the outcome of this process in their hands. Please help them see that these children need home and these families need resolutions. I know that You already know the outcome, Father, but You call on us to put our faith in You and petition You our prayers so that we can see Your mighty hand at work. Please Lord, soften Vietnam's heart to continue to refer babies to the waiting families here in the United States. So many hearts full of love for these children who we don't even know yet. Your hand, Lord, calms the raging ocean and puts each individual star in the sky. You create these babies, You have already planned their future, You have already hand-picked each baby for each family. Please, Lord, allow these adoptions to continue. Please send our children home. We are petitioning You with our hearts to calm the raging waters and bring us some sunshine soon. Thank you for listening to our prayer. Grant us patience to wait for You to act.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Today I met a Vietnamese Sweetie! **** Video added to the bottom!

I had anticipated the moment for a long time. What would she do when we finally met each other? It was far more amazing than I ever imagined! She hopped out of the car and came right to me and gave me the biggest hug! That would be Sweet Caroline! Her mom and I have been blog buddies for almost a year. And they have just been home about a six weeks. They live about 2 hours away, so, I hopped in the car and drove to meet them for the first time. It was surreal! This vietnamese cutie was more than I ever imagined. We hit it off in the first moments of meeting, that is after her mommy came running out of the car and we hugged each other and screamed in the Cracker Barrel parking lot. I am sure everyone thought we were crazy! Caroline grinning the whole time. We went to Starbucks for cofee and muffins, (I drank sweet tea and ate a yummy lemon bar!). Caroline was hilarious! Laura tore the muffin open and offered her a piece of the inside. Caroline was shaking her head "NO". Then Caroline pointed to the top of the muffin. She wanted to eat the top! After the top, the middle would logically be next. Not for Caroline! She turned over the muffin and ate the bottom and then the sides! She wanted the crusty part! She was too cute. Sharing her muffin and her milk with her stuffed Elmo! (Oh, I just cannot wait until we get Kaylee!).

Then we went over to Toys R Us for a minute. While we were walking in (holding hands!) she started making the sound of a horse! What was she doing? Well, in just a few moments I knew! There was a horse ride right inside the door. Yep, that is what she wanted! Too cute!

We spent all morning together. She is just so cute and precious. Her mommy and daddy sing the "Sweet Caroline" song to her. Oh, this is adorable!. You sing "Sweet Car-O-Line" and she goes "Ba, ba, ba" right on tune with the song. Then at the end she says "never feels so gooood". Too Cute. Check out the video. She is so sweet. Her mommy got her a new Elmo plate and fork set which she LOVED. I just had the most wonderful time. Somehow being with Caroline brought my heart closer to Kaylee.

By the time I left to go home, she was throwing me kisses and waving bye. Her mommy said after I left she was saying "Bye, bye, Luv you". Oh, it just melts my heart! She had the deepest most beautiful eyes and the LONGEST eyelashes. She is simply adorable.

So I know you want pictures, so here they are and the video of her singing "Sweet Caroline". Her mommy has a journal on the Journey to Me website. Their link in posted on my "Completed Families" sidebar. The Wooleys are a Children's Hope Family. Caroline was adopted on Feb. 21 of this year.

Here's the video. The second time we sing, Caroline realizes she missed her cue. So we started over and she was right on cue. At the very end she goes"Gooood"! I am IN LOVE with this girl. She is pure sweetness. Just what I needed. She gives me hope in the wait for Kaylee. We are the biggest buddies now! Thank you, Laura, for sharing her with me!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

If God waits longer than you wish....

"Be assured if God waits longer than you wish, it is only to make the blessing all the more precious" - Unknown

I borrowed this quote from another blog but so much to think about in this simple quote. So often I find myself asking God why we have had to wait for so long to get our referral. Often times I hear Him tell me that it is for my own good, or for the good of the daughter He wants to bless my family with. You see, I have endured 14 years of infertility, the last 5 years have been spent pursuing adoption. The first question I had to answer to myself was "Do I want to birth a child, or parent a child.?" Either way I was going to be a mommy. I will admit that I had a very hard time letting go of this obsession of wanting to get pregnant. I fought God tooth and nail, through tears and disappointments, month after month of ovulation tests and NO BABY. It was simply tearing me apart. It was causing a lot of strain on me and Dwayne as a couple as our time together soon became dictated by this predictor test, and be it a good time or not, we were supposed to try to concieve this child. I simply could not take anymore. Infertility treatments I feared would tear us apart before the child was ever conceived. It was then that I conceded to realize that maybe God had another plan for us. Trying to have a baby should not be this hard. If it was meant for us to have a natural child, things would fall into place. It was becoming evident to check into other ways of growing our family. First we pursued a domestic adoption and our profile remained in the active file for 15 months with sorted prospects here and there and nothing happening. We decided to take the leap into international adoption after the prompting of a dear friend. I started doing my research and was drawn to the China program. Upon applying for this program we were told we would not qualify simply because of our height and weight. How much more was God going to have me handle? I mean, here are all these little orphan baby girls in China, and China is going to choosy about who gives them a home? My heart was aching. I truly felt at that moment that we were not meant to be parents. Then the agency representative suggested the Vietnam program. Would we like to consider that program? I told her I did not know. Were they as beautiful as the China babies? Well, she said, they were simply the beautiful children and we could actually get a younger infant than we could in China. She herself had two children from Vietnam. I asked her to email me a picture of her kids, and when she did, my heart opened and I started listening to God again. "I will bring you children from the East". I began to find websites and adoption blogs of families with children from Vietnam. It was love a first sight. Could this be where God was leading us? Is it possible that our child was in this far away land? How He does change things in ONE day!!!!

After countless hours of prayer and decision making, we decided to pursue this adoption. This was really a huge decision. The fact that Dwayne has never been on an airplane was a decsion in itself. And the fact that there were no birth mother issues was really staring to appeal to me. The country had just opened back up just 2 months before we applied. This was a sign for me. Because if we had decided to pursue international adoption any sooner (God having us wait longer than we wish) we would not have been lead to the Vietnam program and maybe not international adoption at all, as there really are not other programs for us. Referrals were buzzing right and left. It was an exciting time. We can do this! At the time we had applied to our agency, we were told the wait for a girl would be about 12 months. On it to the process, it became 12-15 months and by the time we were added to the waiting list, the wait was projected to be about 18 months. I was really okay with that. This was the one thing I felt so strong about. All I have ever wanted to be was a mommy, and this child was going to be my wish come true. So, here we are 20 months later and still waiting. Why has God chosen to make us wait? Haven't we been faithful to everything He has asked of us? Doesn't He want us to be parents?

Yes, He does. He has chosen to wait longer than we wish, because He wants us to call on Him for assurance is this journey. He wants us to believe in Him, that He will take care of us and what we need. He provides the smallest living creature with all that it needs, He will provide us with a child. He never promised His children roses and sunshine every day. What He promises us is that He will never leave us, He will be by our side in the most trying times and in the happiest times. God has chosen to wait longer than we wish, because He is placing people on our path that are going through this same journey that need encouragement from us as we need encouragement from others. God has put some very special families into my life that are my stronghold through this journey. We are all going through or have gone through the same worries and concerns. I thank Him daily for these families. If we were no waiting, I may not have ever met these wonderful people. God has chosen to wait longer than we wish because He wants us to wait on Him and trust Him to place the blessing in our arms at the most perfect moment that He has planned. I am chosing to wait out this journey because I know that God has brought us down this road and He will allow us to walk through the gate at the appropriate time. Inside the gate will be the most beautiful perfect baby girl for whom I have waited all my life.

We did not choose adoption, rather adoption chose us. You see, I believe that there are special families handpicked from God for adoption. Adoption is not for weary or faint at heart. Adoption is for the strong and faithful. He chooses families with a heart for special needs children and He chooses families for the healthy children. He chooses for us what He knows we are capable of and He puts are minds and hearts at ease that this is the path we are to be walking. This is the most emotional life experience I have ever endured. I truly thought it was as easy as applying, getting approved and waiting for a referral. Boy, was I wrong. Adoption teaches patience, trust, and endurance. With every new obstacle we just have to conquer it without judging it. Each hurdle makes us stronger. When we finally reach the finish line, the prize will be treasured forever. The prize will be this child we have longed for for 14 years.

This child will be handpicked by God for our family, that is why we have to wait for longer than we wish. He has planned it and He will surely do it. I pray every day for my daughter. God hears my prayer. When He is ready, He will choose to act. I thank Him for every day He gives me. Every day draws us closer to Him through our faith and our prayers. One day we will hold our dream in our arms and will thank Him for waiting longer than we wished so that we could have what we have been wishing for all along, the most wonderful beautiful daughter He wants us to have.

We have been waiting 612 days so far......

Friday, April 4, 2008

Referrals and a little hope

Our agency recieved two more referrals, boy boys under 12 months! I know the families have got to be ecstatic! I am truly happy that there has been some hope the past few weeks. We are still holding at number 10 since the referrals were boys. We have also been instructed to go ahead and notarize, certify, and authenticate our updated 171-h. So, I am off to paperchase again on Monday. Go ole Fed Ex will be employed again, along with the Assistant Stork. This is just one step closer to our little girl. Our agency had a meeting with an official from DIA and they are very hopeful that dossiers will be allowed to be submitted until Sept. 1. I am praying this is true for my friends Carra and Casey who we hope will be able to submit their dossier for sweet baby Miya by then. We have had no further word on the DNA procedure, but we do know that it only applies to babies whose birth parents are known. So this procedure will not affect all families.

My heart is warm and full of wonderful thoughts for my daughter. I know she is waiting for me somewhere in Vietnam. How ever long it takes, we will be here waiting for her. I just cannot fathom what it is going to be like to be someone's mommy. I know what I THINK it means, but I guess I have no idea what emotions I will discover the day that little face is presented to me. I do know that she means the world to me already and we talk about her so much that sometimes I forget she is not here yet. I find myself saying all the time "If Kaylee was here, ________". Here are some of the fill-in the blanks:
  • she would be sitting at the end of the table throwing food!
  • I would have someone to snuggle on damp rainy days.
  • we would be exploring the zoo and finding momma's favorite animal, the polar bear.
  • she would make all my heartaches go away
  • she would be the sunshine on my cloudy days
  • we would be going to meet Aunt Laura and Caroline, Aunt Carra and Uncle Casey, our adoption buddies
  • I would have all these cute pictures of Kaylee up on my blog!
  • I would be on my knees thanking my Father above for the most precious gracious gift for which I have waited all my life

If Kaylee was here, I would finally know what it is like to be a mommy.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Take a pinch of hope, add a dash of trust and mix with prayer **Revised- see bottom*

Here is what we know for sure. The Memorandum of Understaning did not get signed by the deadline of March 31st. However, this doesn't mean that negotiations are not taking place and that an agreement will be resigned in the future and there may only be a slight hold on Vietnam adoptions after Sept. 1st. We are hopeful that all dossiers logged in to the country before the cutoff date (be it May 1, but more likely Sept 1) will continue to matched with children and adoptions completed regardless of the resigning of the MOU. We are hopeful that at this time Vietnam has decided to continue working with non-Hague accredited agencies, although our agency is pursuing their accreditation anyway. It is not to say that Vietnam becoming a Hague Convention member would not be a good thing. The Hague Convention works in the interest of the children and ethics for the whole adoption process. There is a very real possibilty that Vietnam sometime in the future will sign with the Hague Convention. The real current issue seems to be the process time of the I-600 form, which is filed once a referral is accepted. This approval process seems to be taking quite a while, meaning that the time between referral to travel seems to be increasing, however, time in country seems to be decreasing by a day or two. Now it seems the Bring Our Children Home website has released a statement that a memo is being released that DNA testing of the orphans will be required before an adoption can be approved. This is going to be an addition expense for the adopting family. How it will work and what delays it will cause has not yet been defined, and our agency has not rendered a comment on this procedure, but I find it quite curious that if a child is abandoned, how are they going to process a DNA test to confirm that the parents indeed are relinquishing their rights? It seems to me that this process could only be used if the child was born and given up when the parent(s) identity is known. I suppose we will see where this process takes us.

Here is what I will say. I trust my God in Heaven to take us through whatever valleys lie before us. There is no reason to get upset at the agency because they don't pass on information as quickly as we would like. Part of the problem is that we spend too much time taking rumors for facts. Rumors spread like a tumor and I am resolved to only listen to the information that my agency forwards to us. As soon as something has validity, they will pass it on. I have never participated in the Yahoo or other chat groups for this very reason. I get an inkling of what is going on through reading and browsing the blogs. I understand that it is hard NOT to take concern of the rumors, but that is exactly what they are. Until Vietnam issues an OFFICIAL statement about anything, I am not going to worry. I won't say that I haven't passed through alot of valleys in this journey, there have definitely been alot. But, I also know that God has a plan for my life, and Dwayne's life, and my heart knows that our Kaylee is waiting in Vietnam. We are just so close to a referral that I have to trust God to bring her to us. There is no other country option for us. There is peace in my heart that this is the path we are to walk, and we will stay focused on the prize. Whatever comes in the meantime, be it ANOTHER set of fingerprints, or a new form, or additional money, there is nothing to do but accept it and go on. In the end, it will all be worth it. The love of my life, my dream come true waits for me at the end of the journey. The Bible tells us to not borrow trouble from tomorrow for today, because today has enough trouble of it's own. One day at a time is all you can do in this journey. Speculation about what the future holds can bring unncecessary worry. More time is spent worrying about something that will never happen anyway. Honestly, how many times have you worried about something and then it never happened? For me, gazillions. So for this, I will trust that God is in control and that He will bring Kaylee to us in the near future and whatever we have to do to get her, we will just have to do. I will keep savoring cheerfull and positive thoughts about my daughter and trust that God will bring her home.

My gracious Father in Heaven, there is so much turmoil right now in the world of Vietnam adoptions. Please, Lord, bring us some good news and hope for a future with our children. For many of us, this is our first child and we want so badly to bring our children home. You are almighty, you are the Prince of Peace. If you can calm the ocean with Your hand, then you can calm the Vietnam waters. I trust You, Lord, in bringing our Kaylee to us. She has been in our hearts for such a long time she is real. You are a gentle and caring God and You have commanded your orphans to be cared for. We are waiting, Lord, and listening for Your instruction. We need hope, we need happiness. Please bring us some referrals, Lord, even just a few. I ask You to calm the hearts of all the waiting families and keep our children safe, many of which we do not even know yet. Thank you for your graciousness and your mercies. We love you so much and we know that You hold our future in Your hands. Thank you for loving us. Amen

*** An update about the DNA testing-- this is in fact true, however only the children whose parents have relinquished them will require the testing. Obviously, children whose parents abandon them or dissert them and the birth parents cannot be found will not undergo this testing for obvious reasons. Actually, this could prove to be a great step as far as ethics are concerned for Vietnam. Yes, it is another fee, but, in the long run there will be no worries that this child is adoptable. I think it is a good thing. You just have to roll with the flow and not look at everything negatively. These new rules are probably a result of trying to work out a new agreement. You could look at it as the new rules means adoptions are hopeful to continue. Not every new regulation means something negative. Just roll with the flow, keep positive, pray for your child and we will be okay!