Saturday, March 28, 2015

Opening Day

Today was Connor's first baseball game of the season.  He is playing machine pitch through our church's Upward program.  So far, we have been really happy with Upward baseball!

He missed practice on Tuesday because he was sick and Tuesday was their first practice to use the machine for batting.  So, he had not ever practiced hitting when pitched to by the machine.  All of the kids had a hard time at first with the machine, but by the end of the game more and more kids were getting a hit.  Connor actually got a hit at his first at bat and he was so excited!  His second at bat was not as great (struck out), but overall, he did a great job hitting!




 




Connor played 3rd base, catcher, 2nd base, and left field.  He really liked all of the positions except left field!








Tuesday, March 24, 2015

In Process of Translating

Our case worker called today to tell me that we are now showing in the CCCWA system as "In Process of Translating".  So, they are translating our dossier to Chinese (Mandarin I believe).  This is the first step after being logged into the system in the LOA process.  This will take several weeks I think.  

Just so you know, these are the steps in the LOA process:

Registered: the dossier has been logged in
In Process of Translating: the dossier is in translation
In Process of Review:  the dossier has been translated and is in review
To Be Matched: the dossier has been reviewed and will transfer to the matching department
Matched: the family’s dossier has been matched with the child’s file and the Letter Seeking Confirmation will be issued next
Seeking Confirmation:  the Letter Seeking Confirmation has been issued

The Letter Seeking Confirmation is the letter we will receive that we actually call LOA.  It becomes LOA officially when we sign it.  The letter is seeking confirmation that we still want to be matched with that particular child.  Once we sign it, it is a letter of approval that we are approved to adopt that child. 

So, since we have not matched with a child at this point, our dossier can only go so far in the process before it cannot go any further.  Our dossier can be translated and then it can be "In Process of Review", but it cannot go to the matching department until we have a child to match it with.   

This is all just part of the process, but I like documenting each step for my own records!
 


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Bike Riding

Bike riding on a beautiful day!








Don't worry...we are not letting them ride bikes in an active parking lot.  We took them to the back parking lot at our church to ride.  The church allows the car dealership next to our church to park a few cars in this back parking lot, so those are the cars in the background!


Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Little of This and a Little of That

On Monday, my parents came to town and the boys and I met them in Thomson at Andrew and Davis' baseball game.  I never could get a good shot of Andrew, but here are a few of Davis running the bases.







On Tuesday, we went to Kyle's school for his St. Patrick's Day Parade!  It is so cute to see all of the 3, 4, and 5 year olds!







On Wednesday, we had to check Connor out of school early to go apply for Connor and Kyle's passports.  After applying for their passports, the boys and I headed to the park for them to ride bikes for a little while.  We have loved the beautiful weather we have had lately (well, except for the cold, rainy day we had today!).

 




Hope you are having a great week!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Book Review - "Bringing Lucy Home"

Our adoption agency has a private Facebook page for Lifeline families that are adopting from China.  I had heard of an adoptive mom and her story through that Facebook page, but did not know the whole story.  However, she wrote a book based on their adoption journey that was released a couple of weeks ago and she asked if any Lifeline mamas would want to read her book and review it on our blogs.  I LOVE autobiographical books and knew I would love to read her adoption story, so I immediately replied that I would love to read the book.  However, I also made it clear that I have a small blog for friends and family, not a popular, fancy blog!  She sent me a code anyway so that I could download the book and I started reading as soon as I could.


The book follows the adoption journey of Jennifer Phillips to bring her daughter, Lucy, home.  However, home for Jennifer is Australia!  Jennifer and her husband left the comfort of a life that they knew in Alabama to become missionaries in Australia a few years ago.  When they moved across the world, she thought her desire to adopt might not be possible because Australia does not encourage or allow many adoptions each year.   But, after prayer and research, she found out that since they are U.S. citizens living abroad for a period of time, they could in fact adopt a child from China!

Jennifer and her husband, as well as Lifeline Children's Services, did everything they could to make sure that the process to adopt Lucy would be as seamless as possible.  Many expatriate families have made this journey before, so they dotted every i and crossed every t to be sure that they were following the same procedures that other families living abroad had followed.  They knew that Lucy would have to enter the U.S. after China in order to become a U.S. citizen and receive a U.S. passport.  So, they planned accordingly.

The plan was for Jennifer and Lucy to fly to the U.S. after leaving China, spend a few days in the U.S. with family, get Lucy's U.S. passport, and then head home to Australia to meet back up with her husband, Brian, and their three biological children.  Seems simple enough, right?!  Hundreds of families have done this exact same thing.  Unfortunately, Jennifer received the one passport agent who decided to research further and deny citizenship to Jennifer's new daughter! 

The book is a wonderfully written story of a mother's fight for her child and to be reunited with the rest of her family.  At one point she talks about when Jesus tells the story of the shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine to find the one missing sheep.  She says, "This choice would seem foolish to most, but Jesus is no ordinary shepherd.  He knew that one was worth it. I was worth it.  You are worth it."  She goes on to say that even though it was a struggle to be away from her husband and children, Lucy was worth it.  She was worth the costs, the pain, the tears, the heartache.  She was worth it!

As a mom who is adopting, this book was an encouragement, but I don't think it is just for the adoption community.  It was such an encouragement to my faith and it reminds me to trust God through the hard times because it is through these hard times that God teaches us the most!  Also, as a Christian, this book is an encouragement because it reminds me of God's pursuit of me to bring me "home" one day, just as Jennifer pursued every means necessary to bring Lucy home. 

"It might be a mess, but that doesn’t matter because the most beautiful things in life are created through struggle and hardship.  The greatest joys are birthed through tears.  A tiny fifteen-month-old life in Lianjiang is a life worth saving, regardless of the tornado of distress and discomfort she might possibly bring with her.  It might be a mess.  That doesn’t matter."

This story shows the gospel lived out by a mom who would do everything she could to bring her daughter home...just as Jesus did everything He could to bring us to Him!

I hope that you will take the time to order this book, read it, and be encouraged by it!

You can order it HERE through Amazon and HERE through Barnes and Noble.  It is also available HERE through Lifeway.

I would loan it to you, but Jennifer was kind enough to provide me with an e-book through Lifeway Reader, so I do not have a physical copy to loan. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Glimpse of Spring

We have had several days of beautiful weather lately.  And, we have enjoyed several days at the playground!  I am so thankful for these days when it is not cold or rainy and when it is not too hot (like in the middle of a Georgia summer!).  
















Hoping for a more and more warm, beautiful days at the park!