Sunday, August 31, 2008

Kaylee, Where are you and what are you thinking of? Are you tired of the waiting too? Please tell mommy where you are. We want to know you. We want to see your face. We have been waiting a long time for you. Please let mommy know you are there!

God keeps bringing families together

My heart if full of so much happiness for all the families around me that God is bringing together. My friend L. received a referral for a little girl from Vietnam and her DIA letter by the deadline. Truly God's doing. My friend Tina, a fellow CHI family, has been blessed with a pregnancy while they wait out the Vietnam program. Others have been able to receive the proper approvals for their Vietnam babies or approvals with other country programs. God is good. I just have to keep focusing on the fact that God is never late, He is never early. He has every single solitary detail already planned. How much longer are we going to have to wait to be a family? I don't know. When will I finally see my little plum's face? Only He knows. I find myself going to the One who made me to begin with and trusting in Him to bring to fruition my only heart's desire right now. I have no idea how much longer we are going to have to wait but I do know that He is giving me the strength to hold on.

I do look at those around me and silently wonder why it has not been our time yet. Why has God chosen for us to continue this waiting process? Is there anything I could have done differently? Is there anything I can do now? The only answer I know is to keep my face to His feet and with ferverent prayer lift my daughter up to Him that He will choose to bring us together. My heart hurts for her, my eyes long to see her face, my faith will waiver and then grow strong. He is my provider and strength. This too shall pass and I will have my joyous day.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Welcome little peanut!





video

My sweet baby niece was born today at 4:11 a.m. She weighed only 6 pounds and 3 ounces. Quite the little peanut. This was the most amazing and incredible experience I have ever had the privilege of being a part of. It is absolutely a miracle. This little tiny head, peaking through, ready to come into the world. Then all of a sudden she is here, right here, quivering and crying. I loved her before she was born, but I LOVE her like no other love. My niece was such a tough little thing, not one single solitary complaint. I am so proud of her. I cannot wait to be a part of this little angel's life. She is just so incredible. No words can express how much I love this little girl. She has an amazing mommy and nana. I am truly honored to be her aunt. She is more of a blessing to me than she will ever know. I will say she took her own sweet time making her appearance, though. Lyndsey was in labor from 9 :30 a.m. on Tuesday till 4 :11 am on Wednesday. I don't think there is any greater miracle than that of childbirth. I am so grateful to my niece for allowing me the opportunity to experience this with her. I never dreamed I would be sharing in her motherhood joys before my own, but God is always on time, and today was Sophia's day. Hopefully one day soon will be Kaylee's day.

Sophia Scarlett Renee,

You are the most amazing little girl. Thank you for being in my life. I will count it as pure privilege to watch you learn and grow. You have an incredible mommy and you couldn't ask for any more love. We love you and look forward to watching you grow and learn so many things. I love you so much, little peanut.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sweet baby


My heart was really broken tonight to watch a 15 year old walk into my office at church with her new 2 month old baby. This baby was so precious, the mother so young. I scooped that little baby up and she just snuggled me close. Very content. I asked if I could take care of her during church and the mother immediately agreed so she could go and sit with all the youth that she had not seen in a long time. For 66 minutes I was in pure heaven. This little tiny baby reached up and wrapped her tiny little hand around my pinkie finger as I was feeding her a bottle. Dwayne was sitting beside me and happened to look over and see her holding my hand and he quietly shed tears. Sitting there, holding her in my arms, listening to her sweet little sighs, and patting her little diaper bottom, my eyes welled up with tears for this moment to be my own. I felt in this time somehow a great peace came over me that Kaylee was somewhere in the near future. That I would have my own moment soon.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

God is blessing families!

Well, God is good and He is definitely hearing some prayers! My friend Melissa did get her letter on time! YAY! However, some prayers still need to go up for her and her son since her son was born in Tu Du hospital and this announcement was released yesterday :http://www.jcics.org/Vietnam.htm

I am anxious to see if any new information is available with our agency's update tomorrow. I did have one fellow Vietnam PAP tell me that her agency (not CHI) has encouraged them to look into some other options and are not being very optimistic about an agreement anytime soon. There are certainly going to be alot of families making hard decision in the next few weeks. My prayer for all my fellow PAPs is to listen to what God would have you do. All of our lives are in different places and some of us will have no choice but to wait it out, through the closedown. Some of us may have other country options, domestic options, or fertility treatment options and may be able to move on to another choice. However, we are all in this together and need to support each other, even if God is blessing some now and having some wait. We just have to remember that He already has everything planned out and we just have to wait to receive our blessing when He wants us to. God is good.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Protected post: Could it be?

Click here for post

As the deadline approaches.......

I am interested in seeing what other Vietnam waiting families are going to do as the deadline approaches. I just really do not understand why there has not been more communication on this issue. My heart is really going out to the families who are waiting on their DIA letter. If you are out there reading, how are you doing? Email me or leave me a comment, or if you want your comment to be protected, you can click on the other website and leave it there! Just wondering where every one's thoughts are.

GREAT NEWS! My friend, L., got a referral for a baby boy! He is 7.5 months old! We need to send up some prayers for the DIA letter. Hop on over and lend your congratulations!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Houston, we almost had a problem!

Try again! My post disappeared, but it is back now!
Protected Post: Click Here

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Honesty and prayers

I just read the most honest post from a family who is waiting to travel to get their boys. Short form is this: They have had their referral since about Feb of this year and they have just now received their travel approval, which means their boys are considered orphans. However, they are now being told that they could wait up to an additional 8 weeks for their Giving and Receiving date, which is the date you have to have before you can travel. They have been up and down through this whole process, the boys' paperwork had delays, etc. and I just know they are exhausted already with what seems to be needless waiting. My heart is very heavy for this momma. I need prayers for this family. This family's heart cannot take waiting another 8 weeks. I know she is hurting because little River was in the same orphanage that Sam and Eli are I can only imagine how heart wrenching that would be to know that someone was right there with my babies and could not bring them home for me. My only words of encouragement to this family is that God is all knowing and He is compassionate and He knows all our hurts and holds all our tears in the palm of His hand. He says " NEVER will I leave you or forsake you" "Trust in me with all your heart".

When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow." --James 1:2-3

And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perserverence, perserverence produces character, and character produces hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us." Romans 5 :3-5.

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

It is in our pain that God will reveal Himself to us. I will choose to be very honest here. Although my trust in God is prevelant, there have been some VERY hard days. With every tear that I have shed, has also been a prayer for the daughter that I so long to hold in my arms. There have been A LOT of what ifs in this journey. What if we had listed with another agency? In our time frame we could have probably already completed an adoption. What if we have chosen another country? We could have already completed an adoption. What if we had started our adoption journey years before we did? we could have already completed an adoption. And the list goes on. Here is God's answer:
This journey is MY journey for you. My timing is perfect. My ways are not your ways. You choose the path, but I plan the steps. You have to trust me that I WILL lead you to your heart's desire. It is NOT my plan for you to never be parents, it IS my plan for you to wait right now. It will be my blessing alone to give you the most precious gift. You can do nothing to speed up the process so , let Me show you my greatness is giving you the most precious treasure ever. I promise you that I will take care of you, I will never leave you to go at it alone, I want you to need me. I want to hold your tears, I want to hear your prayers. I want to have the chance to reveal myself to you in the most unexpected moment. You are my child, and I will take care of your every need. Trust me, I take care of the smallest bird I will surely care for you. I am always here for you, always listening for your call, always wiping away your tears. Your day of joy will come, but only after the tears. Let me hold you and show you how great my love is for you. You are my child, I am your Father. I never break my promises.

This is what God tells me. Talk to Him, ask Him for comfort and direction. He already knows what you are going to ask, give Him a chance to answer. I am finding peace with facing the possibilty of starting over in yet another country to find our daughter. Yes, I am exhausted, Yes, I am tired, Yes, I just want to be done. But, the love for my daughter, wherever she is, is so strong that I will press forward to find her. In the midst of what we thought was the end of a journey has turned out to be yet a new beginning, a new hope, and new comfort. We are praying for the will of God to be done in our lives, that He will help us make the right decision. It is hard not knowing what to do. I still wish He would send me an email or stick His hand down from heaven with a sticky note telling us what to do, but He does not make it that easy. This is where the endurance in our suffering comes in. This is where I lay it at His feet, literally. On my face at His feet in tears asking for His grace and mercy for the child we so desperately long for. Will we find our daughter- YES, when, I do not know. But I will look to God for direction and He will bring her to us, and He will recieve all the glory and she will never be taken for granted.
I thank God for bringing us on this journey, for meeting so many wonderful families and children, for allowing me to shed tears, for touching my face with peace, for wrapping me in His loving arms of comfort, for all He has yet to do.

PAP s requested to fill out survey

Dear Families, Friends and Colleagues,
As we all know, the families who lovingly made the decision to adoptfrom Vietnam or Guatemala continue to face unimaginable challenges.Joint Council, through such initiatives as the Guatemala 5000 and AChild's Right Campaign, has continually advocated for families and thechildren who need them. As part of our ongoing efforts, we havejoined forces with Ethica and the National Council for Adoption toprovide a new tool in our collective advocacy initiative. Twosurveys, one for families trying to adopt from Vietnam, and one forfamilies trying to adopt from Guatemala, are now available through theJoint Council website. These surveys are a vitally important means ofgathering the information our three organizations need to properlyadvocate for adoptive families.Unfortunately much misinformation exists regarding the number offamilies still waiting to complete their adoptions. In Vietnam, forexample, no reliable information is available on the number offamilies with dossiers registered with the Department of IntercountryAdoption. In Guatemala, no one knows the number of families stillawaiting the release of their case by the PGN. With calls asking forassistance continually coming into Joint Council, Ethica, NCFA, CCAIand Congressional offices, it is vitally important that we, asadvocates, have the information needed to fully support adoptivefamilies and children.These two surveys will allow us to gauge the situation in eachcountry, assess the number of families in each stage of the process,and provide accurate data to those seeking to advocate on behalf offamilies and children. The cumulative data (no personal informationwill be shared unless specifically indicated on the survey) will beprovided to organizations such as the Congressional Coalition onAdoption Institute and other advocates such as the CongressionalCoalition on Adoption and individual Members of Congress. Thecollection of similar information was gathered during the closure ofintercountry adoption in Cambodia and was instrumental in thecompletion of virtually all adoptions. While no one can make promisesof such results, we do feel confident, through our discussion with keystakeholders, that the survey results will be an important tool inpositively resolving many outstanding issues. These surveys willassist the families as well, by providing them with a new, accurateperspective, as well as relevant information regarding the status oftheir adoption compared to other adoptive families.In order to be most effective with the survey results it is criticallyimportant that all families currently in the adoption process withVietnam or Guatemala complete the appropriate survey by Friday, August22, 2008. The surveys can be found via a link on the homepage of theJoint Council website (www.jcics.org) or directly at Vietnam Survey orGuatemala Survey. Joint Council, Ethica and NCFA encourage allfamilies to participate in this very important initiative.We also encourage everyone to distribute this information to allfamilies via email, websites, blogs and other media. Copies of thisemail announcement may be forwarded as needed in order to distributethis information.Lastly, Joint Council, Ethica, and NCFA offer our thanks for your rolein making this initiative successful as we continue to advocate forevery child's right to a safe, permanent and loving family.

GO TO www.jcics.org for survey

Tom DiFilipo, President & CEO, Joint Council on InternationalChildren's Services,
Linh Song, Executive Director, Ethica, Inc.
Chuck Johnson, Vice President for Training and Agency Services, NCFA
Sincerely,
Anna RoughChild Advocacy Program Manager
Joint Council on International Children's Servicesannar@jcics. org(703) 535 8045

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sign this petition please!

This is one last effort to plea with Vietnam to hold all dossiers at DIA instead of returning them to the families. This petition does not guarantee an agreement to be reached, only that Vietnam not return the dossiers. This will benefit waiting families to not have to pay to have a new dossier sent back to Vietnam. So please take one small minute to click on this link below and petition the Prime minister of Vietnam on this issue. After you sign and submit, just close your window. It will ask for a donation, but you do not have to donate. The petition will only be open until Monday so please copy and paste this information and get it to anyone who would be willing to help. Thank you so much.

http://www.ipetitio ns.com/petition/ continue_ vn_adoptions/

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dept of State responds to letter

Here is the response to the letter that was sent to Condelezza Rice to all members of Congress.
It does not sound like we can expect an interim agreement before Vietnam asseeds to the Hague Convention. In fact, they are stating that this process could take several years. You can read the actual letter here:

http://www.jcics.org/response%20from%20DOS%20to%20vietnam%20adoption%20letter.pdf

I will be anxious to see what our agency has to say about this. There is also a quarterly meeting our agency rep is to be attending I believe tomorrow. I sure wish they would make a final announcement already so everyone can make much needed decisions and move on.
Some of you are still asking for the password, which is fine, but you are not leaving me your email address. So , if you still have not gotten the word- I probably need your email address because I could not link a blog to leave you a comment. Thanks!

Monday, August 11, 2008

A kiss and a prayer

Protected post. Click here

God is amazing!

God has been making Himself evident in the past few days! I have seen one dear family finally become a family of three with their son after 15 weeks of prayer. Now, my friends, the Leonards, to whom I just asked for prayer last night, woke up to their approval this morning! Can you believe it? They are waiting on their G & R. God is answering my prayers one by one. All the families that I have become close with are all being united with their children. This is so fantastic.

Now, I have two friends, Melissa and Tracy that are both needing their official DIA letter before the cutoff date! I also have a dear friend Lori who is #2 on her agency's list for referral and they are hoping for their referral by the cutoff. So this new set of prayers is to make everything official for these families so ensure these babies find their way home!

I don't ask for a lot of prayer for Dwayne and I, but God is working right now. You will have to go here to learn more. Just keep us in your prayers that we are listening to God and following the direction He would have us go.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sweet dreams

Over the past few days I have had this really overwhelming feeling of calmness. I really don't know why because nothing has changed in the Vietnam world. There is a meeting set for this week with all the agencies in Hanoi, so maybe some new information will come from that. But, it would seem that there would be some kind of indication by now what we could all expect from this situation. Not only the Vietnam situation, but I am just really bothered by the fact that our agency is having trouble getting Hague approval and we have not been given a status on that situation. We are keeping our face to Christ and our faith strong to know which way to go.

Now that River has been united with his family and God has answered that prayer, I would like to offer up many prayers for Sam and Eli. They have receive acknowledgement that their i600 has been received, so now we must pray for a swift referral. It is time for these boys to come home already. I know God can bring these babies home in the wink of an eye. Please keep this family in your prayers.

I dreamed of a sweet little baby with dark hair sleeping. Still faceless. But close to my heart. I love these sweet dreams.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Isn't this the most beautiful sight?


The Biehoffers became a family today. They waited 15 weeks for their I600 approval. This is the most beautiful sight I have seen in the longest time! Congratulations, River! You are such a cutie pie! This picture was taken 1 1/2 hours after they got off the plane! I think they look great! Of course, long awaiting happiness might have had something to do with that!
Password protected post: click here

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Day 730 has come and gone!

I cannot believe that I missed posting on our 730 day anniversary or 24 month anniversary. That's right, 24 months have passed filled with days of hope, followed by days of tears, followed by days on my knees in prayer, followed by renewed hope, followed by heartache, followed by days of tears, followed by days on my knees in prayer, followed by renewed hope. That is where we are right now. In a place of total trust in God the Father to bring to us the most incredible little baby girl, my heartsong, my little joyful plum. God's plan may still be for us to find her in Vietnam, after all, there is still 3 weeks until the impending shutdown, and God did create the whole entire world and everything in it in only 5 days. You see, it would be just like my God to open back up the Vietnam door on August 31st. It is often when we are at our lowest point- reaching up to Him, that He will reach down and pull us into His arms and say " I told you, my child, that I would never leave you or forsake you. For I created you and I will always take care of you." Isn't He awesome? Or, it may be His plan to send us to another place, only He knows. And all we can do it keep searching for His ultimate guidance in our journey to our daughter.

Let me say again, that I am still so enamoured with the thought of all of you who want to continue on this journey with us. It has just amazed me how many people know our story and think of us. I received the most beautiful handcrafted dragonfly today. It came from a very special friend who recently traveled to Vietnam for her twin babies. I am just so overwhelmed at her remembering us while she was in Vietnam, when she was meeting her babies for the first time. Thank you, Heather, for such a beautiful gift that I will treasure forever.

Speaking of dragonflies, my goodness, for the past few days there have literally been swarms of them in the yard. One stopped in midflight right in front of me as if to say "She's out there waiting for you" and then she flitted on her way, so happily. Of course, one or two have found their way to the front grill of my Tahoe and I don't think they were very happy!

There was no new information released today from our agency. The only thing they did say was that all agencies were asked to be at a quarterly meeting in Hanoi in a few days and our rep was going to be there. There was a meeting last Friday between the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, the US Dept of State, and USCIS with members of congress about issues related to intercountry adoptions in Vietnam and Guatelmala, and the whole meeting reportedly was focused on Vietnam. The meeting was led by Michael Valverde, CIS-Chief of the Children's Issues Branch, International Operations, Michelle Bond, Dos- Deputy Assistant Secretary for Overseas Citizens Services Carrie Rankin, CIS- Presidential Management Fellow, Children's Issues Branch, InternationalOperations, and Gerry Fuller, DoS- Unit Chief for Adoptions.

The following was reported from the meeting:

There was "standing room only, two people deep" and though it was scheduled to last 1 hour in total, tocover Ethiopia, Guatemala and Vietnam, 1 1/4 hours were consumed by discussion of Vietnam. DoS members in DC seemed "compassionate" and "get it".
2. DoS appeared "shocked" by the overwhelming turnout and "'intensity" of the crowd
.3.One of the staffers attending (no name available) is himself attempting to adopt from Vietnam.
4.DoS "painted a stark picture of how difficult it has been to work withthe Vietnamese government." The frustration is that there not acentral authority from which to obtain information. DoS is currentlywaiting for a response from the Vietnamese government on the following:- how many of the 1,729 applicants are waiting to be matched -what are Vietnam's intentions regarding PAP who are not matched bySept. 1, Could those families not matched by Sept. 1 be placed first inline for upcoming referrals? Could children be matched prior to birth?
5. DoS has received authorization to permanently double its staff size inVietnam in anticipation of an potential flurry of referrals by the endof August.
6.DoS will enhance communication on all levels via the internet, possibly establishing a specific website for Vietnam adoption,
7. CCAI is following up on this meeting by writing an other letter to the Vietnamese government addressing the concerns brought up at today's meeting.
8.DoS, again, voiced concern about using its limited time for answering questions versus processing adoptions.

Again, no one has made an official announcement to any of this, these were just notes from an attendee as to what was discussed and this is NOT an official announcement. Some are encouraging, some are discouraging. But we will only take it for what it is worth and until an official announcement emerges, we will keep following the current path we are on. Did I mention how big my God is and that He can do whatever He wants? So, well, God we are listening!
Don't you just wish God would reach down with a sticky note on His hand telling us what we are to do? I am still up for sitting on the street corner with a sign that says "Will Work for Baby".

What will tomorrow bring?

Well, first of all I had absolutely NO IDEA how many of you were out there rooting for us! I just can't get over it! I think I have sent all of you that requested the password. You can still leave me a comment with your name and email and I will send it to you.

Our update from the agency comes out tomorrow. Since our program director was on vacation last week, I will be anxious to hear what the latest is. I have been reading about a few referrals from other agencies, so let's pray for these families that they will recieve all the approvals they need before Sept. 1. I am still trying to soak in the fact that we are facing starting all over with another adoption if this one does not pan out. So many what ifs right now not only with the program but with our agency.

Again, your kindess has overwhelmed me and knowing that you all are praying for us means a whole lot. I truly believe God listens to every prayer, but He really listens to multiple prayers about the same thing. I do trust Him in and for everything! He is taking care of my daughter right now. I am listening for His direction.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The word is out!

The password that is. I tried my best to get the password sent to everyone that requested it. If you did not get it, leave me a comment here so I can include you. There is no big news yet, but I just wanted to get the other blog set up.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Finally...Good news from a far off land!

My dear friends the Beihoffers are FINALLY going to get baby River. They waited 104 days for their travel approval, too long in my book, but that is all behind them now and River is coming home. Hop on over to www.wheretheriverflows.wordpress.com and give them your congratulations. If it is password protected, you can leave her a message here and I will send it to her.
Another bloggy friend, Tracy, recieved her referral of her 4 week old son! Her agency is hopefull all the letters will come through by Sept 1. Hop on over to www.seniorfamilynews.blogspot.com and lend your congratulations.
We are still pursuing our options and as soon as I have some news, I will be password protecting my post, so make sure if you want to be included that you have left me a comment with your email and blog address. I have had several of you respond and I am overwhelmed at the number of people who are wishing and hoping for a referral for us from somewhere in the near future!
I also gave my blog a facelift, sometimes it takes a while to load, but I think it is pretty cute. Want a cute background? Click on the link in the top left had corner for Cutest Blog on the Block and grab you up a FREE background, tons of them= FREE! I will be changing my background pretty often.
Don't forget to shop my AVON store (link on the sidebar at the very top). Email me and I can give you a code for FREE DIRECT SHIPPING! You can't pass that up. Lots of great things! You can shop the brochure or shop by product on my site. Thank you to some of you that have already been to my store! You should have received your products! This month, if you place an order by the end of August, you will be entered into a drawing for some great FREE Avon products valued at 20-30 dollars! Isn't that fabulous? I will automatically enter you when I receive your order! My four long distance online customers that ordered in July will be entered into this drawing as well! This has really been good for me, to keep me busy!
I know this post has been just a little of this and that, and not a whole lot of encouragement, but I will be posting a more serious post in a few days!