Thursday, September 27, 2012

Blessings in Disguise

Psalm 111:1-4 "Praise the Lord! I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty. His righteousness never fails. He causes us to remember his wonderful works. How gracious and merciful is our Lord!"

The last few days have been crazy...and emotionally draining. We received our NVC last Wednesday. In record time...2 days!! We have had wonderful support from our Agency, as well as, our congressman's office. Our papers were sent to China with the NVC cable and arrived Monday to our contact in GZ, who was to drop it all off to the Consulate on Tuesday. Well, Monday we woke up to an email from our agency saying we forgot to sign the second page of our DS-230 and that the consulate would not accept this without the signature. We scanned a copy of the page with the signature to our agency, who forwarded it to China. Then we overnighted the original to AGCI for them to send to China in case the consulate would not accept the scan. Normally, they will not accept copies. I was heartsick thinking I had delayed our journey possibly by two weeks. One week for the new papers to arrive and the second week because China is on Holiday and everything shuts down. Tuesday came and we did not hear if the consulate accepted the scan. Wednesday came....still nothing. I emailed AGCI and they felt no news was good news, but I didn't want to lose more time. So I emailed our congressman, who got right back to me saying she would contact the consulate for an update. So, this morning I woke up to a WONDERFUL email form the consulate stating we had in fact received our Article 5!! God is good! Not only did my mistake not hold us up but we received it in 3 days!! We thank the Lord for His Grace and for removing blocks that could have delayed our travel! And for Heather and Tiffany, who so willing have helped us expedite our adoption!

We are now waiting for our Travel Approval. This normally takes 3-4 weeks, but with the Chinese holiday coming up this next week, we may be an extra week. We will see. God may have other plans!

AGCI just emailed and it's even cooler than I thought! I guess when Jack droppped off our papers, the consulate agreed to accept the scanned signature, but said the Article 5 would not be ready for pick up until October 16th.  Jack requested an expedite and they said, "they would think about it."  Well, two days later the consulate called Jack saying they would expedite our case and that the papers were ready for pick up! Praise God! The papers are now on there way to Beijing for our Travel Approval!   

Friday, September 7, 2012

Time Draws Near

"Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a real blessing." Psalm 127:3

Our travel planning is drawing near. We received an email today letting us know our immigration paperwork has been reviewed by the USCUS in Texas and is now on its way to our USCIS officer in Missouri. We are figuring she will get it on Monday or Tuesday and she has agreed to process it immediately. Once she has approved it, she will send it to the National Visa Center. Then we wait for the NVC letter of approval, which we should receive within the week, and lastly, the article 5. Then Travel Approval will be issued by China. We are talking weeks folks, not months!

We are excited and scared all at once. We can't wait to meet our son and hold him. To welcome him into our family. Yet, in our excitement, Levi's world is going to be turned upside down. For two and a half years New Day has been his family. He has had two sets of nanny's who he's called "Mama." They have loved him, held him, carried him, tucked him in bed at night, and played with him. They have watched him reach milestones we have missed. Celebrated his birthdays. They have sat up with him at night, rocking him back to sleep. They have spent months in the hospital while he was recovering from his first heart surgery. They took an underweight, sickly, baby boy in at 7.5 months old, who is now thriving in spite of his serious heart condition. He is definitely loved. I can't imagine how Levi is going to feel leaving his home that he knows. Going with people that he has only skyped with a few months, not speaking their language. Traveling half way around the world to a new country with strange sights and sounds. Strange foods. We pray that the Lord would be preparing his little heart for our family. That he would know that we are his family. We pray that our other children would be prepared for their new brother and that they transition well to their new roles. That they would develop a special bond with Levi, as they did with Samuel. And, we are so thankful that the Lord placed Levi with New Day! He would not be alive today without the care and love that New Day has provided. We will continue to keep you all abreast to our happenings, and still hope to travel in October!