Monday, June 25, 2012

All Things

One of the best parts of my adoption journey has been the connections I've made with people- from long lost friends to complete strangers.  And the interesting thing is that God has used those connections to answer prayer...many times over!

About a week ago, I received a comment on my blog from someone who had been following it for several months.  She wanted to donate to M.'s adoption and asked if she could email me.  Well, we exchanged emails and found out what an awesome God we truly have.

You see, this woman, "C" is about to be married :)  She and her fiance have a heart for orphans and they want to adopt from Ind*a.  She has spent time there in the past serving the children.  Ind*a has a 2 year marriage rule, so they still have to wait before they can start the process.  This is what I love about her- she has been scrolling the waiting children websites, praying for children, and supporting adoptive families until it can be her turn.  I can't wait until she and her new-to-be hubby start the process because I will be first in line to pay it forward!

Here's where it gets crazy :)  I posted the picture of Sweet M on the one year anniversary of me seeing her for the very first time.  Since she is not yet legally mine, I can't show her face so I put a heart over it.    C saw the picture and called her fiance into the room to confirm with him.  About a year ago, she saw M on the waiting children website.  She too, was struck by her expression and prayed that this sweet little girl would find a family.  She said there was something about M that just tugged at her heart.  Fast forward to about 4 months ago when she found my blog.  She started following it.  It wasn't until that post when I put her picture up that she saw the answer to her prayer!  And do you know how she knew it was M?  By the scar on her forehead.  This is the second time that her scar has played a major role in answered prayer.  If you remember, right before Christmas, I found out that she was in my caseworker's daughter's referral picture.

Sweet M has had a traumatic background with scars all over her body.  The one on her forehead is very distinct and obviously since it's on her face, the most noticeable.  When I first got her file, I cried and cried over what had happened to her.  It's beyond horrific.  However, through this past year I see how God truly can use ALL things for good.  And even though someone meant that for evil, God has used it for good.  He has answered prayer.  He has connected me with the right people.  He has showed me that HE LOVES HER and that he has people praying for her all over the world!  And little by little he is revealing that to me.  What once used to make me cringe has now become a symbol of the hope that we have in Jesus-  He truly can make all things new.  She is going to have a new family, a new life in the US, and a new beginning.  But most of all, she is going to have a new hope.

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good." - Genesis 50:20

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God." - Romans 8:28

I would encourage you today that if you are struggling with something very difficult in your life, you may not see it yet, but God can and will use it for good.

It doesn't mean that I'm not sad about what happened to M.  If I could take those injuries and scars for her I would.  A thousand times over.  But what God does is make the good that comes out of it GREATER than the evil.  I love Jesus so much and when he does things like this, it makes me want to scream in Satan's face, "Take that sucka!!!!"

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


My I800 Provisional Approval arrived today!!!  Well, actually a copy of it was emailed to my agency and they told me!  I'm still waiting on the hard copy to come in the mail!!  So, what happens next is that  the approval is sent to the National Visa Center in New Hampshire, where my case will be entered electronically and cabled to the US Embassy in Delhi.  Once Delhi has received my file they will email me a request for the DS-230 and Visa photo of sweet Miss M.!!  I already filled out this info and sent it to my agency.  They will fill out the rest of the packet for me and submit it to the Embassy.

The Embassy will process my application and then issue the Article 5 letter (this is what gets sent to C*RA so they can issue the NOC!!).  Currently, the Embassy's processing time of the A5 letter is 3-4 business days once they have my complete file!!!  I'm so THRILLED!!

The hard part will be the time from when the Embassy issues the A5 letter and when C*RA issues the NOC.  I am hoping and praying that they will follow the new guidelines... which would mean a turn around time of 15 days from receipt of the A5 letter.  I am praying for a miracle!!

The best part?  I can NOW start working on my photo book for Sweet Miss M.!!!!  I am SO EXCITED!!!

Please pray that the NOC would be issued expeditiously!!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The First Time I Saw Your Face....

I fell in love :)  There was something in your eyes that grabbed me and wouldn't let go.  Today, a year ago, is when you captured my heart and a day hasn't gone by since when I haven't prayed for you, thought of you, and loved you.  Very soon you will find out about me and you will see my face for the first time.  I hope and pray that when you see my pictures you will know in your little heart HOW MUCH this mama loves you Sweet M !!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Going Solo

About a month ago I asked for prayers for clarity and peace.  I have made a decision and even though it was a hard decision to make, I do feel that it was the best decision and I have a lot of peace about it.  And until Baby Joaquin is home, I can't go into many details.  I don't want to say anything that would jeopardize his adoption.  Once he is home, however, fair game and I will share my story in the hope that it will help even just one family bring a child home from the C*ngo, or anywhere else for that matter.

So what I can say is that there has been an uncovering of information from parents who are now home with their children, the children themselves as they learn more and more English, parents who are still waiting, and some government employees.  The information that has been uncovered has led me to make the decision to terminate my relationship with my agency.

I will instead be doing an independent adoption with a facilitator and attorney.  In the end, it will end up being cheaper (YAY!!) faster (YAAAYYYY!!!!) and more importantly, ethical (DOUBLE YAAAYYYYYYY!!!!!).

If you are interested in adopting from the C*ngo and/or are considering it and would like someone to talk to, please leave me your email because I would be more than willing to share all that I have learned.  Just not on a public forum.  Yet.

I want to thank everyone for the prayers because I truly believe they were essential to leading me to this decision and the people that I will be working with to complete the adoption.

I do have another prayer request.  I don't want this to get ugly and it's starting to head in that direction.  My agency has paperwork and money that is legally mine.  When I first started communicating my concerns to them, I asked what all I would get in return if I did terminate.  I have it in writing from them so I'm hoping that they won't drag their feet and also that it won't get nasty.  I'm already dealing with unreturned phone calls and emails so I'm really praying that they would just send everything back to me and be done with it.  Thank you for praying about this because I really don't like confrontation.  At all.

Monday, June 11, 2012

More Happy Mail :)

Today I received my notification from USCIS that they received my I-800 application and that it has been sent on to the NBC center in MO.  I *think* once it's there, then my officer can pull my file and issue the I800Provisional Approval.  I already found out that I have been assigned a very nice and efficient officer so I'm hoping that he is on the ball!  The next step is for them to send my file to the National Visa Center for processing and forwarding to the US Embassy in Ind*a.  The process to issue the Article 5 letter usually takes about 2 weeks from the time the I800PA is issued.  Here's where it gets tricky.  According to the new guidelines, CA*A is *supposed* to issue the NOC within 15 days of receiving the Article 5.  Man o man am I hoping that everything moves rapido!  As soon as that NOC is issued, M. will find out about me!!!  I'm going to CELEBRATE that day!  So things are moving and I'm really happy about that!

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far!

I have a special request:  Please pray for my sweet friend Mer, that she would be able to get everything processed and sent out this week!  She is going through a mountain of paperwork and I know how overwhelming that can be!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summertime, Alanis and a Little Exegesis...

I should be used to this by now.  It's a revolving cycle of hurry up and wait.  It figures that May was a flurry of activity, during the busy time of winding school down for summer.  Isn't it ironic (those of you who are old enough are probably singing Alanis Morissette in your head) that now June is here and school is officially out, I've got a lot of time on my hands to.... sit around and drive myself crazy with wondering.  I recently came across this verse in Proverbs 27:17

"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."

To my delight I realized that I had stumbled upon a major gaffe on the bible translators part.  See, my classes on Biblical Theology and Apologetics did teach me something!  I remembered all about the semantics, exegesis, and lexicons and can you believe it?  They got it WRONG!!  What is should read is

"As iron sharpens iron, so does paperwork and waiting sharpen another."

Crystal clear, right?

All joking aside, I feel really at peace with waiting.   I keep praying for my two love bugs every day, trusting that God is working on both of their cases and moving in hearts who are decision makers.

For Sweet Miss M., I am still waiting to hear about my I-800 approval which is needed so the US Embassy can send my Article 5 to C*RA so they in turn can issue the NOC.  I really, really, really want the NOC ASAP!  I want her to know that she has a family!!!!  I was telling my mom the other night that if it takes longer to get a court date, I'm fine with that because it will give the social worker more time to prepare Miss M. for all of the changes that are going to take place in her life.  But on this end of it, I just want her to know AS SOON AS POSSIBLE that she indeed has a family!  I pray every day that God will put hope in her little heart.  I just wish I could be a fly on the wall the day the social worker tells her she has a family coming for her.  I wish so badly that I could see her face at that moment!

For Baby Joaquin, there have been some changes in the C*ngo program.  I can't go into detail (for now) but I think that by the end of this week or early next week, I should have some concrete answers and a better understanding of the direction I'm heading in order to bring him home.

Will you please continue to pray for wisdom and guidance in this area?  I really believe that the Lord is answering these prayers and in a few weeks I will be able to divulge more information about how he did that.

I hope everyone is enjoying summer!!  Today was my first day and my goal was to be a lazy as possible.  I have a giant to-do list for my summer so I really did enjoy taking it all in.

Tonight I'm going to try and catch some lightening bugs :)