Thursday, November 17, 2011

One Step Closer

Anyone who's been through this adoption "journey" and waited and waited and waited for paperwork to arrive from a foreign country knows that when you see your agency's phone number pop up...it's gonna be a good day.
Our LOA (Letter Of Action) from China was stamped on November 14, 2011.  This means our dossier has been translated and reviewed, and we are now officially approved by China to adopt our little Princess Petals.  She's already ours in our hearts of course, but this was an important step.  There are no more concerns that China will stop us from making her our daughter because they didn't like something in our file.  In total it was a 63 day wait to have this beautiful letter in our hands.

I hadn't expected this news to hit me the way it did.  I felt overwhelmed and very emotional - like the joy I felt the first time I saw each of my babies on an ultrasound for the first time.  Princess Petals' wait for a family is getting shorter with each step we complete.  Hopefully she is being shown our pictures from the photo album we sent to her so she knows who's coming for her!

Our agency dropped our LOA in the mail to us today and as soon as we receive it we will send off all of our I800 documents to USCIS.  They've approved us to adopt from China and now we need to get approval to adopt this specific child.  I think they really just check to make sure there's no evidence of child trafficking and that she fits within all of the Hague Treaty requirements.  We expect this approval in about 3 weeks although with the Thanksgiving Holiday coming up we won't be surprised if it takes a little longer.  Disappointed, but not surprised.

I am so happy to have this part of the process behind us!  I am so thankful that I didn't let fear take over and cancel the check back in January.  Wow...what I would've missed out on!  Not only am I gaining a daughter through this process, but I am gaining knowledge.  I have learned about another culture.  I have learned about the rich history of a foreign nation.  I have learned about the needs of the orphans and I have learned about myself. 

In Proverbs 24:12 it says, "Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do.  God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know, and holds us responsible to act." 

There are no words for my prayer of gratitude today.  All I can do is smile and wipe away my tears of joy...and eat cake.  The boys are really looking forward to our LOA cake.  They think these milestone celebrations are pretty awesome!  :)