Friday, December 21, 2012

We are waiting for Travel approval


We are officially waiting for our TA (Travel approval for those of you not versed in adoption speak!). It is an amazing feeling. We have been matched with Elias since October of 2011 and the wait has been long, but at the same time the wait has been full of GOD!  As I mentioned before we first saw our precious Elias when he was just 6 years old, he turned 9 years old in September. It is hard to know that we have had no say in his life for 9 years and that we have not been able to protect him or love on him for 9 years. BUT one thing I have clearly learned from this crazy process we call adoption is that even though I have no control over things.. Guess what? God has everything in control.

I darn near made myself crazy during Luke's adoption trying to make everything happen my way and in my timing. I would like to say I did amazingly better this time around but I would be lying. I think I did much better this time around but not amazingly hahah. I know I made myself nuts worrying about Luke and his safety and his health and what was or was not happening with him. I have since learned that even though I have no control over those things our God is busy protecting our children and loving on them and softening their hearts and preparing a way. There are things that Luke experienced that no child should ever have to and he has wounds that run deep. YET Luke has the most remarkable out look, attitude and heart. I know this is of God for he has every right to be angry, bitter and running scared. I pray that Elias is being guarded, protected and his heart is being prepared for this crazy journey that is getting ready to uproot him from all he has known (be that good or bad) and send him on a crazy ride.

Tom and I are busy preparing for our son to come home and we are preparing our hearts and those of Elias's brothers and sisters for this journey. I cannot even begin to imagine the thoughts that whirl through a child as the adoption process begins. Some children are prepared the best the can be by their orphanage or foster family and some know nothing about what is going to take place. I cannot imagine what it feels like to be taken from all you have ever known and be put in the hands of strangers all within a few minutes time and told they are your family. It must be horrifying. I know most people think that the adopted child will fall at our  feet and praise us for "saving" them.. Just place yourself in the child's mind for just one and I mean one minute and you can see how this is NOT the reaction that we receive when we finally do meet our child. I would think fear is the residing initial feeling that most parents ( I do not say all, I say most) are greeted with.. understand all children handle fear differently, some lash out, some cry and some just retreat internally, some are just curious of what is going on and some are happy to see someone showing them love and gifts.. but trust me the fear is there... there are many ways fear can be manifested. I know for a fact that when Luke was brought to Tom and I we were excited as heck, but also scared out of our pants. We were literally handed our child by strangers in the lobby of a crowded hotel and the people that brought him left within seconds.. there he was.. no introduction, no stories of what he likes and does not like, what his routine is.. nothing.. we were scared out of our pants.. now imagine the child's perspective.. whoa it is mind blowing to me. Tom and I now look back at how amazing Luke handled this process and we know that we saw an inside glimpse into Luke's strength and courage and resilience and didn't even realize it at the time.

We excitedly prepare our house, hearts and yup even our very not happy school district for the changes that are soon coming. We cannot wait to meet our son and to finally get to know him. We know challenging times are ahead but we know that blessed times are also ahead.  Adoption is not easy, but it is beyond worth it. We are just a few short weeks away from having our son in our arms and just cannot cannot wait. The wait to travel is said to be the hardest as you know it is so right there, but you cant go just yet.. I personally am fine with the wait as it is giving me time to prepare my heart, my mind and pray, pray, pray... it is giving me time to prepare the hearts and minds of my children and to pray over them. We are bursting at the seems with excitement! Oh our sweet sweet Elias we are so soon going to be there. Last night I sent out one last care package with a letter letting him know we shall be there soon, with a jacket (he lives in southern China and it is Florida like weather there, so he will have some adjusting to do to get ready for New Jersey :), we sent some more photos of our family and we sent him a toy.  Praying these things give him some peace and allow his heart some time to prepare and say goodbyes that need to be said. We have told him we know that his life is about the rapidly change and we promise to love him through the changes and try our best to help him adjust to everything.  ( we know this is no easy journey for him, we dont think he yet knows this is not an easy journey...) Lord prepare our sons heart. We are leaving soon!!!!!

My name is Elias and I have a family and am coming home soon! I am soon to be an orphan no more!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Hang on Sweet boy.. we are coming Oh so soon!

We are barreling towards our Elias at what feels like warp speed. It has been since last year October that we were matched with this precious little face. We are expecting to travel in the beginning of January!

It has been 3 long years since these pictures of Elias.. these pictures are when our adoption agency had a camp in China and actually met this precious little one. Elias was 6 years old and we were in the process of adopting Luke. We thought he was adorable and he captured our hearts but we were adopting our precious Luke.... so we vowed to advocate for Elias and pray for him, pray that his family would find him quickly.  We kept track of him for awhile as he was bounced from agency to agency over time and then we heard no more of him. We were under the impression he had a family.  Then one day last year his little face showed up on an advocacy website I belong to. His name was different and he looked older but it was surely him and he still had no family to call his own. My heart was torn in two.  
 This is the face that we saw last year.. The face of an older boy looking so sad.. Where had the smile gone.. why had the smile gone... This sweet face sang out to me....again my heart broke. 
 Now 8 years old and still no family to call his own.... The fact that the bubbly smiling boy was no longer smiling made me nauseous............honestly  it broke me in two. It didn't take but a short time for my husband and I to realize that the family we have been praying for.. for two years to find this precious boy... was none other than our own.. We spent two years praying for ourselves.. Guess it is nice to know we unknowingly covered ourselves in prayer.  We contacted our agency and asked them to find him for us.. He was being bounced around still. They found him with another agency and requested that his file be transferred to them. We were not willing to try a new agency for our adoption. We love and trust our adoption agency and knew they had to be the ones to help us bring this boy, that they had met and loved so much, home.  Some agencies will transfer files and some will not. Some agencies (like mine) their focus is the children and helping the children find a family to call their own. We were very blessed that the agency that had his file said if we were truly willing to commit to him they would transfer his file for us. You bet we were willing. We had his letter of intent already written out (his LOI in the adoption world).  The transfer was made and we submitted our letter for him. It did not take long for China to give us the go ahead to start the process to make this little boy our son officially. We already knew he was our son in our hearts now we just needed the powers in China and the USA that be to know that too.  Soooo over a year ago we started the process to make him our own and here we still are. We swore he would be home before his 9th Birthday and when that day came on September 27, 2012 oh how I felt like I had failed this little one. He is now a big boy, a gorgeous 9 year old. BUT he did find out on his birthday that he does have a family to call all his own. That he has a momma, a daddy and 3 brothers and a sister that already love him.  We sent a care package through an amazing organization (well I say organization it is really two woman with hearts of Gold) named Lady Bugs N Love (if you are adopting I recommend them with everything in me.. I love them love them love them).. We sent Elias a birthday cake, a present and some treats to share with his friends. Since Elias is dormed in the school for the Deaf we were not sure he would get these things. Much to our surprise not to long after his birthday we received 10 emails from Angela with Lady Bugs N Love and she was forwarding me 86 pictures of our precious son and his Birthday party that we sent for him. This is the day Elias found out about us. 

 AHHHHH there is that smile that we have longed to see! Our son knows we are coming for him. He knows it wont be to long now and his life is going to have some HUGE changes. We are ready to see him, ready to love him, ready to get to know him. Ready to find out what he is like, his personality, his likes, his dislikes, what makes him laugh. His favorite things, whether he is an athlete or not. Is he left or right handed (although from the pics he is eating the cake with his right.). Does he like to draw? Is he quite? Is he loud? Is he calm, hyper, sweet, naughty, silly, serious.. and the list goes on and on.............................................I am ready Lord I am ready.