Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Adoption Update

I was hoping to have some new pictures of Elizabeth to ring in the new year, but no such luck.  :P  I can tell you that we received our I-797, which means US Immigrations has our application.  With the Christmas/New Years vacations, I don't know if they are doing anything with it yet, but at least we're moving towards the next step.

There seems to be a number of steps still to go, but I think from now on, they tend to move a little faster.  Of course we've received estimated time frames for everything from our agency, but given how quickly we got our LOA, not to mention all these holidays, I feel like anything is possible.  I just wish I had a better feel for what exactly WE are supposed to do during these following steps.  Sometimes it's hard to remember we are following God's timetable.  

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

A while ago, I decided that Hark the Herald Angels Sing was my favorite Christmas carol.  It has such a beautiful message of hope and amazement.  I love the way it speaks to who Christ really is, yet also shares what he does for us. 

With all the adoption craziness, it's been easy to forget that we are all waiting for one special child to return in His glory.  I feel like waiting for this adoption has kind of opened my eyes to the true wait we have, and this song makes me excited for when the wait is finally over.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

All In

I made the call today to our agency, and our counselor said everything is on its way to US Immigration.  The clock kind of starts ticking now...3ish weeks at USCIS, then another 3-6 weeks until our travel authorization from China.  Yikes!

It's funny (of course) how we wish and hope for things to move more quickly, all the while mentally preparing for the long haul.  Now that we've skipped a few months, I'm actually feeling a little rushed.  Our holiday plans add even more of a pause to this time frame, and once we get into the New Year, it will be hard not to feel like things are moving too quickly.  I'm getting this feeling again, like I'll be swept off my feet.  All the things I'm thinking about...

...rearranging the rooms

...finding a minivan

...rereading "Parenting the Internationally Adopted Child"

...potty training Luke?

...what size clothes to wash for Elizabeth

...knitting a blanket for her

...organizing the freezer

...and so many other things.  In some ways, it's not that different from being pregnant.  :)  You plan this huge, life-changing event...and despite that moment when your life changes forever, the days go on.  We still throw ourselves on the mercy of God every day, and the day before we hold Elizabeth in our arms, and the day we meet her, and the day we fly home, and every day after that won't be any different in that regard.

Monday, December 16, 2013


Between trying to get ready for our trip (not to China...no, we have an equally long trip before that), practicing and performing our choir concert, and, you know, signing and sending all our paperwork for Elizabeth, we did not have the most restful of weekends.  It doesn't help that I'm terrible at turning it all off once I get into bed...

We did get all the paperwork signed and sent off, and now I am trying to remember that the letter will not just be sitting in the hold of a plane on its way to Colorado, but more importantly, it is resting in God's hands.

As I drove back from mailing it off, this song was playing on the radio.  A good one to remember right now.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Our Baby Girl

Elizabeth Perkins!
LOA:  December 9 (meaning we are officially her parents!)

12 months

15 months

I know, you probably just want to gaze at her little face...but for those of you with questions, here's a little update.

Wait...LOA?!  What happened to the referral step?

Oh, you caught that, huh?  We actually received Elizabeth's file on November 11, but we were asked not to share anything until we had our official LOA.  It's been killing me to sit on this news, but it's kind of like just finding out you are pregnant--we told our family right away but had to wait a little longer to tell the internet.

So what happens next?

It could move pretty quickly at this point, although the holidays (both US and Chinese) don't help.  Once we sign the LOA and get it back to our agency, they send everything to US Immigrations.  Once we receive our I-800, we can request travel authorization from China.  We'll need our visas, etc., along with a consulate date before we can buy our tickets.  With Christmas and Chinese New Year in there, we're not sure how long things will take, but we could travel as early as February now!

How are you feeling?

I'm still a little in shock--we really expected the time from referral to LOA to be more in the 3 month range (it was a month).  This step also feels a lot more real than all the others so far...even compared to seeing her picture!  I think maybe it's the fact that we are officially her parents, but mostly it's the thought that February/March is just NOT THAT LONG!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Third Day--Merry Christmas

Last Christmas we were still in the waiting period before beginning the adoption process.  Now, it's Christmas-time again, and we certainly hope this is the last Christmas she not here.

Um, just to warn you, you should have a box of tissues handy.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Trading In

(I just hit 4000 views over the weekend.  Thanks for keeping up with us!)

We're wrapping up our commitments for the fall.  Our life group finished before Thanksgiving, along with my running group.  I finished teaching last Thursday--finals all graded and submitted.  It's one of the nice things about teaching one little lab section.  :)

We're trying to be really careful about committing to things for the spring.  We don't know when we'll travel, but we want to a) be ready for really fast progress in the adoption! and b) if not, have plenty of time to get 'ready' (whatever that means).

So that means no teaching and no leading life groups.  That does not mean, however, that I will be commitment free...since I've already joined choir!  I love singing, and I really enjoy being in a choir.  I've been able to be a member off and on since I was a child, and the Hope choir was an extra selling point when deciding on a new church.  Unfortunately, between teaching in the evenings and leading a night life group, I haven't been able to join.

But, as soon as our life group was done for the semester, I signed up...just in time, since they started the Christmas music that week.  We have our concert this coming Sunday, and even thought we have a grueling practice schedule over the next week, I'm pretty excited.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thanksgiving Acrostic

Impatience attenuated
My sweet kids

Old Friends
Relatives near and far
Vision through writing
Early morning coffee

Ten years of marriage
Adoption support group
New babies
Knitting for the shop
Fitting in at church
Unending wonder of chemistry
Love came down

*When I was pregnant with our first child, we decided on Katherine or Elizabeth for the girl's name.  Since we've used Katherine already, our adopted daughter's first or middle name will be Elizabeth.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Buckle Down and Knit

If you notice there's a bit of a communication gap in this blog, it's probably because I'm knitting.  :)  I had a big custom order come in before Thanksgiving with a shipping deadline of December 4.  Normally I don't like knitting on a deadline, but I'm willing to put up with it for certain special people. 

I was making pretty good progress but got bogged down a little in the design phase.  One part of starting the shop that I've really enjoyed is learning to develop my own patterns.  I think I've discussed this before on the blog, but most patterns include a request not to sell completed items.  Request or copyrighted, I try to honor that.  Still, when you have to come up with something from scratch, sometimes it's hard to make the decision and start knitting.

I hope to spend this Christmas break putting the finishing touches on a few patterns I've written--a seamless V-neck vest, the fingerless gloves, and a few of the dresses from the shop.  I've already recruited one test knitter, but if any of those sound interesting to you, I'd love a few more.  Just let me know!

And yes, I'll post my Thanksgiving acrostic tomorrow, after I ship these scarves.