Adopting a child won't change the world, but for that child their world will change.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Another update!!

We had asked for an update on Jayden over a month ago and it finally came today!  In April when our agency visited him his foster mom said he was behind in his speech.  He was only saying mama.  Well the update said he is saying all kinds of words now and loves to sing children's songs.  It also said again that he is such a sweet boy.

I think I counted four layers!

Between the update and spending so much time with Jesiah who has recently come from China, we are so anxious go get Jayden!!

Kaylee, Samantha, Jesiah and Eli

Jesiah likes Richard's whiskers!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

We got our I800 approval

December 21, 2011

Time just seems to be flying by.  Christmas is only five days away and my birthday is tomorrow which I don't plan on celebrating haha!  Nathan, Michelle and Jesiah have been home for about five days.  He is such a cutie!  We look forward to getting to know him and loving him as much as we do Kaylee and Eli.

Yesterday we got our I800 approval from Dept. of Homeland.  One more step down and only a few more to go.  Our agency sent their copy to the United States Citizen and Immigration Services and they will send it to the National Visa Center to be processed.  I am starting to get a little nervous.  I know we have done this before and God was there every step of the way.  He provided what we needed and oh how we were blessed.  We are praying that some of our grants come through.  We could be traveling to China to get Jayden in 8-10 weeks.  Oh my goodness!!

Can't wait to kiss those cheeks :)

Map of Jiangxi
Jiangxi is the province Jayden is from.  He lives in Nanchang.  

LOA is here!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

While Christmas shopping with my 3-year-old niece I got the call from our agency that our Letter of Acceptance had arrived after only 53 days.  All I could think was WOW, that was fast.  Our social worker would be sending several documents to be proofread and signed and then we had to FedEx them right back.  I immediately called Richard to give him the good news.  Then I called Michelle who was making final preparations to leave for China on the 30th to pick up Jesiah.  We were so excited for them to finally be making their trip after 14 months.  Our next step is getting our I800 approval from Department of Homeland Security to classify Jayden as an immediate relative.  It is supposed to only take a couple of weeks.  With Maylin it took over six months.  We will also be applying for our visas to get into China.

Brian and Milana's wedding

October 12, 2011

I know that this has nothing to do with the adoption, but it was an important event in our lives so I want to share.  It is hard to believe after months and months of planning the wedding is finally over...woohoo!!!  We love them both and are so happy for them.  It has been such a busy year with all of the adoption and wedding stuff.  

Brian and Milana

Our Paperwork is on its way to China!!

September 30, 2011

After filling out lots of paperwork, physicals and TB tests for everyone and then getting everything notarized and certified our dossier is finally on its way to China.  Because the company I work for is in California my employment letter had to be certified there and it took an extra couple of weeks.  We were logged in to the system on October 8, 2011.  Now we wait some more.  Our best friends Nathan and Michelle waited over 120 days for the next step which is letter of approval.  We are praying that we will not have to wait as long, but it is all in God's time.

More pictures

 Our agency sent us a 12-minute video of Jayden that they took in March of this year when our social worker went to Jiangxi, China.  His foster mom brought him to the orphanage so our adoption agency could get pictures, video and interview her about Jayden.  The foster mom answered all of the questions very Chinese and the translator answered in English, but he was so quiet I couldn't hear him.  So...Maylin's wonderful Ayi (Patricia) translated the interview for us.  His foster mom talked about how sweet and helpful he is.  There are other foster kids in the family and he helps out getting them dressed , throwing diapers away etc.  I asked Richard to get some pictures off of the video and here are a couple.

He was posing for the camera!

Playing ball with the translator.  He sure can kick that ball.

Jayden Update!

Since I am running so far behind on this blogging thing, lets just pretend I am writing this is August :) On August 1, 2011, we told our agency we wanted to move forward with Jia Jian Hong and sent a letter of intent to adopt to China. By August 8, 2011, we had our preapproval back and on the 10th we surprisingly got an update on him. It contained his updated measurements and two new pictures. The foster family cut off all of his hair! It made him look much older.
 Jia Jian Hong (Jayden Matthew Sanders)
He is a whopping 3 feet tall and 30 pounds.  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Garage Sales and more...

Okay, so when it comes to blogging I need to be fired. After my last entry we started working on fundraising ideas and applying for grants. Plus with four kids going to two different schools, two girls playing volleyball with four practices a week, scouts, handmaidens, babysitting my niece and nephew and my transcription job, I've been a little busy. first idea for a fundraiser was lets have a garage sale. Of course those of you who know where we live know that we could not have a garage sale at our house. We live in Sibley on five acres surrounded by trees. Not the ideal location for any type of sale. We asked people to donate items they didn't want anymore and then asked Independence Branch Church if we could use their parking lot on August 20th. We were so blessed with so many amazing items. Once again God provided for us. We raised over $800 in about eight hours!

After our one day sale we still had so much stuff left that we decided to find another location to do it again. We had a family from our church volunteer their driveway and their garage the very next week for four days. Again, God blessed us so much even though I think a couple of the days were the hottest of summer. Rowena even cooked dinner for us one evening.

We then had two-day sale at Independence Branch in September and another two-day sale in October at a church in Buckner. After nine days of garage sales, I was DONE!! We raised around $3000 with junk that people did not want. I don't think I could ever say thank you enough.

The last fundraiser we did was a shared taco dinner our best friends, Nathan and Michelle. They are, at the time I am writing this, in China with their newly adopted son Jesiah

Thursday, August 4, 2011

We have found the child that God wants us to bring home!

So it has been quite a while since I have written anything.  That is because we were waiting on our approval from USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Service).  An application was submitted at the end of May, we were fingerprinted on July 7th and we received our approval the last week of July. Woo hoo! We have been approved to adopt again.  So in the meantime, about three weeks ago we had received a newsletter from our adoption agency with photos of waiting kids who were looking for their families.  I kind of glanced through them and then put it away.  A few days later I came across it again so I decided to read through it.  When I got to the page with the boys, this time one really caught my eye.  I immediately called Richard and he said lets look at his file.  So, I emailed the agency and they sent over his file for us to review.  The social worker also said there was a video of him that she would mail us.

His name is Jia Jian and he will be four in November.  It stated that he has developed pretty much right on track physically and intellectually.  He is a little behind on his speech, but so was Brian at his age so we did not view that as too big of an issue.  He also loves music and dancing as well as books.  We felt he was perfect.  I emailed his file to the pediatrician who gave us the thumbs up.  We decided before we made our final decision we would wait for the video which took forever to get here.  I actually think they forgot to send it, but on Friday, July 29th via FedEx we received it and I couldn't wait to watch it. Richard and Riley were at scout camp and I was instructed that I had to wait until they got home so it sat unopened on the counter for 24 hours.  Well,they finally came home Saturday evening and after watching the video for about five minutes, I was in love.

Monday morning I called our agency and told her we wanted to adopt Jia Jian.  Our social worker was very excited because she has actually met him on a recent trip to China.  She told me that he is so sweet. So this week has been spent filling out more paperwork and gathering the last few documents and photos that we needed for our dossier (paperwork being sent to China).  Today I went to the pediatrician's office to get her signature that she has counseled us on his medical history, then to the health dept. to get copies of our birth certificates, the court house for a copy of our marriage license and then to the post office to mail everything to the agency.  Now we wait some more and get busy raising money.  God has truly continued to bless in this journey.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Why we have decided to adopt again...

Three years ago this past February we decided to adopt Maylin from Taiwan.  She has lived with us for almost two years and has truly been a blessing in the lives of everyone who knows her.  Then almost nine months ago our best friends made the decision that they were going to adopt from China.  We have been with them every step of the way and it has been amazing to watch them in their journey.  It has seemed so easy for them.  Yes, they have still had to fill out the endless paperwork and then there is the waiting, but they have not had people telling them "no, you can't do that" or "I don't know the answer to your question."  With Maylin we did not use an adoption agency as she was living with her grandparents.  Because of that fact, we did it all ourselves.  Trying to find answers to some of our questions was very difficult, but God directed us every step of the way even though sometimes it seemed  like the long way.  We have many, many testimonies from God that she was meant to be a part of our family.

So back to why we are adopting again, my friend Michelle suggested a website for me to check out just for fun.  After a few times looking at all of the waiting kids that just want a home, a family and just to be loved I felt God tugging at my heart that we needed to adopt again.  I talked to Richard about it and he said I was crazy.  Brian had just moved out, Destiny is getting ready to start her senior year and our babies are ten years old.  Why would I want to start over again.  I don't want to start over again because I don't want to do the baby thing again, but 3-5 years old would be just perfect.  So, I started praying that if this is not what God wants us to do then could He please take the desire out of my heart.  After about a week, Richard said okay lets do it.  This was about the end of February.  So I called our homestudy agency and had them send out the massive amount of paperwork that we had to fill out.  It seems like I remember saying after Maylin's adoption that I was so happy that I would never have to do all of that paperwork again.  Ha ha! 

This is when we started to see that God has had this planned for a while.  When Brian moved out against our wishes, we told him that he was going to support himself.  He had no job at that point, but he did have a free empty house to live in and he was ready to be on his own and not doing the week on, week off between his dad and me.  If we had continued to support Brian even though he was living on his own, we would not be doing this adoption.  I assume it is China's rule, but with our income we can only have four children living in our home that we are supporting.  

At this point in time, we have completed what seemed like endless paperwork, background checks and physical exams complete with TB tests for everyone.  I think the kids complained more this time getting the TB tests than last time, but they all survived!  This is where our next big blessing comes in.  When Maylin was in Taiwan and had her TB test done to come here, she had a reaction to which she had to get a chest x-ray that turned out negative.  Well this time we knew there was a possibilty it would happen again so we were praying about it.  48 hours after she had the test placed on her arm, we went back to pediatrician.  There was a small blister and the doctor had to look it up in one of medical books because she had never seen a positive reaction.  She measured the spot and it was 8 mm.  If it was 10 mm or bigger she would have had to have an x-ray, but it wasn't.  Praise God!  Her completed physical was the last thing we needed to complete our homestudy paperwork.  So the next day, April 21st we turned everything in to our agency.

We have completed our 10 hours of adoption parent training along with a home visit with the social worker and our homestudy report should be finished this next week.  Then we will have to wait for our immigration approval and then our paperwork (dossier) will be sent to China.  Last time it took us over six months to get approved by immigration, but that was because Maylin's adoption was so unique.  That was one of the most frustrating things that we dealt with.  This time we are hoping for 60-90 days.  I have only shared a couple of the many blessing that God has given us so far, but we continue to see Him guiding us every step of the way.  This has been a big leap of faith for our family because Maylin's adoption cost about a third of what this one will, but I know that He has a plan!