Sunday, March 28, 2010

Exciting news!!!

Well, we have some exciting news!!!  We have found Marisa!!  She was on the China waiting child list!  We didn't expect to go that route but here we are!  So let me tell you the story...

On Feb. 15 I decided to submit an online application to our adoption agency for the waiting child program.  I thought I could at least look at the waiting children and their special needs and see if any would be a good fit for us.  I didn't tell Ron what I had done yet at this point because I didn't really feel a need to discuss it unless a child came up as a possibility and then we could discuss the possibility of adopting a child with special needs.  The application was very specific about checking the medical conditions or special needs you thought you'd be able to handle and work with.  So I looked up the medical conditions and special needs to see what they were if I didn't already know and was very careful to mark things that I thought we'd be okay with.  The application also asks how you would take care of the child's special needs, etc.  So I looked over the list after the application was accepted and didn't think too much about it. 
Then on March 11 we were contacted by our agency with a possible match of a little girl with special needs.  (I forgot that the staff at our agency would also be looking at our application and the waiting children to see if they could find a match.)  I went on to the waiting child list and found her.  I read the little bio on her.  I had Ron read it and we decided we would like to review her file.  So we notified the agency and they emailed the file to us the next day.  We read over her file, prayed, did research online about her medical conditions, prayed, reviewed the file with our doctor, prayed, talked to others, prayed, asked others to pray about our decision, and prayed some more.  Ron and I discussed the worst case scenarios and not so bad scenarios.  We talked about what we could expect but yet we agreed it's hard to know because there are unknowns.  Do we just trust God with her special needs?  We did feel called to adopting her.  Of course, I did fall in love with her when I saw her picture.  So we notified the agency on Wed., March 17 that we wanted to move ahead with adopting her.
So the agency called us and told us what we needed to submit to them in the next 48 hours, and then they would submit that to CCAA (China Center of Adoption Affairs).  So we wrote a letter saying we wanted to adopt YiChen (that's her Chinese name), and we explained how we would take care of her needs.  We also had to fill out an information sheet about us, sign an agreement, get some pictures around to send.  We submitted everything by email that evening.  I wanted to make sure they had time to look everything over so that if we needed to make any changes we would still have time to do that.  Everything was okay and the agency was going to submit it on that Friday (March 19).  Well, on that Friday the CCAA's website was down or having some difficulties so they were unable to submit it that day, so they waited until Monday, March 22.
In the meantime, I notified our homestudy agency in Indianapolis that we needed to update our homestudy to show we wanted to adopt a special needs child.  Our agency sent that to us and we received on March 23.  So we've already completed most of the paperwork for the update and hope to get that sent off later this week.  
After we submitted our paperwork to China we were told it would be about a 2-4 week wait to get our PA (Pre-Approval).  I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to wait that long to hear back but knew there were things we needed to do in the meantime and thought time would probably go quickly.
Well, yesterday (Sat., Mar. 27) I woke up with a terrible headache and ended up staying in bed most of the day not doing anything.  Not even checking email.  Later that evening when I started feeling better, I checked our email and man!  was I surprised!  There it was an email from our agency and in the subject line was "Pre-Approval!"   Oh my word!  That was less than a week that we heard back!!!  We couldn't believe we had heard back so quickly on a Saturday! 
The next step is waiting for our Letter Seeking Confirmation (LSC) from CCAA.  This could take 30 to 100 days depending on the status of our dossier at the CCAA.  Well, we have been through the whole process of having our dossier translated and reviewed and approved for the regular adoption route so I wouldn't think it would take them long to review it for this adoption.  So after we get that, sign it, and it's returned to CCAA, we could be traveling to China two months after that to pick up Marisa!!  
After waiting so long it seems incredible that we are actually going to be parents soon!  I have thought every year, "Is this the year Marisa will be home for Christmas?"  And now this is actually the year!!  Of course, there's still some paperwork to do and hopefully we can get it all done so it doesn't delay anything.  
Today in church the message was about Hope in Faith.  We have had faith this whole time that God was getting Marisa ready for us.  Not to say that at times we were really wondering what was going on that we had to wait so long for our little girl.  Did we not have enough faith or was our faith not as strong as it needed to be?  Was that why God was having us wait?  Or was He wanting to prepare us for something that maybe a couple of years ago we weren't ready for?  Lately I've been praying for a miracle.  Is this the miracle I've been praying for.  We know that God is good all the time!  And we have always prayed that God will bring the child that is perfect for us into our lives.  I just pray that we can give this child the wonderful life she deserves and be able to show her and teach her how wonderful God really is, so that she will come to love God and lead a life of faith in Him.
I wanted to post a picture but it's not letting me upload a picture to this page.  I will continue to work on it and hopefully can get one uploaded later.  
Here's a little about her:  She is two years old, turns 3 in November.  She has been living with a foster family.  
Please continue to pray for us as we work on finalizing her adoption and plan to make the trip to China.