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

Sunday, June 30, 2013

We are here!

We are in Guangzhou, China.  We left Kansas City at 7:00 a.m. Friday morning (June 28th) for San Francisco and then on to Hong Kong.  I have not had time to update the blog because all of sudden everything went so incredibly fast.  There were many things that I did not get done before we left, but getting Mason became the top priority.  We received our travel approval Friday June 21st, our 16th wedding anniversary.  We could not request a consulate appointment until Sunday night so we waited.  Monday morning we still did not have a confirmed date.  We had requested July 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 24th and the 25th.  The embassy is closing for almost two weeks to move so we were really hoping to beat the move.  Monday evening I emailed the embassy and told them if there was any way we could get an appointment before the closure that would be great due to Mason needing to have his heart surgery before the end of the summer.  Tuesday morning we were up at four so Richard could go to work so he checked the email before he left.  The embassy emailed us back saying we had an appointment on the 8th of July.  I got up and by 6:00 a.m. had emailed six travel agents.  By noon I had heard back from all of them and we had decided which one we were booking tickets through.  Right about that time I received an email from our agency that they had received our confirmed consulate appointment. If I would not have emailed the embassy we would not have been able to afford the plane tickets because the travel agents that got back to me later in the morning, their prices were much more expensive.  God was watching over us!  All through Mason's adoption journey we have discussed taking some of the kids.  Seth was desperate to go.  He wanted to eat "real" Chinese food and shop for some more school books.  The kid is always studying something.  Riley also really wanted to go, but we had told him if we did not have the money he was not going to be able to go.  The day we had to buy the tickets he prayed and fasted that morning because he wanted to go so bad.  God provided a way for him to go and he has been so excited about being here except for the traditional food.  He wants McDonalds.  Samantha and Maylin had no desire to go at all and then little Jayden has just gotten to the point where he will let us leave him for a few hours at home with the other kids and not cry when we leave.  He also has been very excited about getting his new little brother. 
We finalized all the rest of the details of our trip by Thursday morning except for what we were going to do between landing in Hong Kong on the 29th and checking into our hotel in Guangzhou on the 30th.  We either needed to rent a van to take us from Hong Kong to Guangzhou (3-4 hours) or stay the night in Hong Kong and take the train the next day.  We opted to stay in Hong Kong and take the train because it would be cheaper.  We ran out of time before we left for the airport to book a hotel.  We decided we would do it once we got to San Francisco as we had a four hour layover.  
Jayden watching the planes in San Francisco.

When we got to San Francisco the internet on our computer would not work so we could not book a hotel.  Richard ended up having to use Seth's computer which is all in Chinese.  After at least an hour of Seth trying to translate what his computer said they book one of the cheapest hotels we could find.  We were going to have to find a taxi to take us to where we would sleep and then the next morning take a taxi to the train station.  I was a bit nervous about doing all of this on our own without a guide, but God has been watching over us and we have not had any problems navigating the city. 

Richard and Seth trying to find us a hotel in Hong Kong to stay overnight.

Jayden had been up since 4:00 a.m. so he was beat!

We arrived in Hong Kong at 6:00 p.m. and to the "hotel" at 8:30.  It was more like a bed and breakfast without the breakfast.  It was a room with three sets of bunk beds, a sink and a toilet.  The beds were clean and we were exhausted after not sleep much during the 13 hour long flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong.  Jayden slept about 5-6 hours on the plane and did not sleep at all the first night.  We are keeping him up today so hopefully he will sleep tonight and we will be back on schedule. 

Our very spacious room in Hong Kong...NOT!!

The hallway outside our room.
View from the window
Outside the door of the Hong Kong hotel.
Looking at the street out the window

The view from the front door.  The bathroom was off to the right
 of where the picture was taken.  I will not even post pictures...not pleasant.


We all were awake by 6:30 a.m. and ready to go find a taxi to the train station.  We grabbed a snack from Circle K and were on the train by 7:25 a.m. headed for Guangzhou.  Because we were so early our guide was not there to meet us, but we have become quite comfortable at this point getting a taxi.  We were at the Garden Hotel by 10:00 and in our much nicer room with a shower, hallelujah!!  We have all showered and had a big bowl of noodles at a restaurant that Seth chose.  He has been so excited about coming and we have done some incredible bonding already.  We are so blessed to have him in our family.  Jayden has had some moments where he has struggled especially when we got on the airplane in Kansas City.  He started crying and telling me he was scared.  We said a prayer together and he calmed down.  He has done much better since and today while we were on the train he asked me to pray again with him.  He is such a sweet boy.  I will write more later with more pictures to share.  I have to go organize all of Mason's adoption paperwork.  In less than 24 hours we will have him!! 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

We have travel approval!

It has been a crazy couple of weeks.  Our paperwork has been flying through the system.  Our embassy paperwork was completed in three days instead of the standard two weeks and was picked up on the 7th of June.  Then it was sent to Beijing and dropped off on June 13th after the Dragon Boat Festival to get travel approval.  This step normally takes 2-4 weeks.  We received it in eight days which was extremely fast considering all the computer problems they have been having.  

We got the called yesterday on our 16th wedding anniversary that our agency had received our TA.  Praise God!!  We were one of many families that received this wonderful news and we are all hoping to make it before the embassy closes for two weeks to move.  Our agency will request our consulate appointment Sunday night and hopefully we will know Monday if we made it before the closure which means we will leave Friday the 28th or if we will have to wait and leave the 12th of July.  I am ready to go now, but financially we are not ready.  It has been a very difficult road this time.  Last time we received five adoption grants.  This time none.  We were even told by one foundation that because of where we go to church they would not give us a grant.  That was a pretty devastating blow, but God will prevail.  Some where, some how Mason will come home.  God has given us too many testimonies along the way to stop now.  He loves orphans and satan does not so and satan has been working over time to discourage us.  

A big, big thank you to all of you who have supported us.  Please keep praying for our family. 


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Give 1 Save 1

We have been blessed enough to be the feature family for one week on a wonderful blog called Give 1 Save 1.  They ask people to donate $1 or more to help save a child.  What an awesome ministry they provide!  Your donation will go directly to our adoption agency.  You can click on the link below or go to the Pure Charity website link on the right of this page to watch a video we put together and donate.  If you would like to read our testimony about Mason click HERE.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  We are anxious to get Mason home so he can have his heart surgery and plan for a long, long wonderful life. 

Garage Sale and more!

We had another busy week at our house.  Tuesday we found out that our file had been sent electronically to the embassy in Guangzhou, China and then by Friday our Article 5 had been completed a step that normally takes two weeks.   God has been working on some miracles this week!  We are officially waiting for TA (travel approval) from China.  We hope that we will travel in the next 3-4 weeks as the embassy is closing for two weeks in July to move.  If we do not make it before the move, it will make it more difficult to get Mason's surgery done yet this summer.  We have been denied by five grant foundations, but we still have several grants that we are waiting to hear from.   

We also had a two day garage sale at our church which was a huge success (thank you God!).  We could not have done it without the help of several church members Angie, Dan, Ray, Adele, my grandparents, my parents and our kids.  We were blessed with so many donations!!  The first day we made $220 which was good for our little town of Sibley which only has a post office.  The second day was going so slow... I was a bit worried, but started praying and God sent the people. We went on to make another $530.  We were so amazed and all the praise goes to God.  

Monday, June 3, 2013

Happenings at the Sanders house

What a busy week we have had.  We decided to enroll Jayden in summer school hoping he would learn some of the objectives he needed to pass the kindergarten test at the school where his brothers and sister go.  I was a total wreck.  I felt sick all day long, but he was brave and went with the teacher.  At the end of the day, he wanted to go back.  This is the boy who still struggles with not crying when papa and mama go out and leave him at home.  I have been so proud of him.  He has grown up so much in the last several months.  

Also last week, we got our I800 approval stating we were provisionally approved to adopt Mason according to Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  We are now waiting to have our file cabled or electronically sent to the embassy in Guangzhou which should happen any day.  If the embassy expedites the next step (Article 5) we could be officially waiting for our travel approval in the next week or two.  Our agency is still telling us we could travel by the end of June which is not very far off.  We are having a garage sale this weekend to help raise funds and we are praying mightily that some of the grants we have applied for come through.  Please continue to pray with us. God has given us many testimonies that Mason is supposed to be our son so we will continue to have faith that 

God has got this!!