Sunday, August 31, 2008
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
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
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
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
Thursday, August 14, 2008
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.
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
Anna RoughChild Advocacy Program Manager
Joint Council on International Children's Servicesannar@jcics. org(703) 535 8045
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
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:
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.
Monday, August 11, 2008
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
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.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
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".
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.