Loving Lily

Our journey to China to bring a little girl home to her family.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Odyssey

We really don't go looking for adventure. Like Prince Odysseus just wanted to go home to his wife, we just want to get our daughter and bring her home. No, we haven't met any Cyclopses or had to fight off any attacks of the angry god of the sea, Poseidon, but we've certainly had obstacles at every bend in the road. (I really do need to re-read Homer's "The Odyssey," maybe I'll take it with me for the plane ride!)

Anywho, since we've received our travel approval, we seem to be fighting one battle after another. From having to rearrange our childcare plan for Caleb and Gabriel--which is going to work out great--to getting enough money into our account to purchase airline tickets, to finding out that our insurance will not let us switch to a PPO and still cover Lily's medical needs...and on and on.

Today's adventure is actually a continuation of last Friday's. When we got our consulate appointment and knew exactly which days we were going to be leaving and returning, I spent the ENTIRE day on the phone and computer, getting quotes, comparing prices and the like. By the evening, we had found a quote that beat the rest by like $100 (which is a lot to us) and I gave them the go ahead and my debit card number to reserve the seats. She came back on the phone and said that she could not get the original quote, and it was going to cost an addition $100. That made me a little upset, so I said forget it, and I called the next guy and booked with him. If I was going to have to pay the extra $100, I wanted to pay it to the guy who didn't change his quote on me.

The next morning, I received receipts for our e-tickets from the first company I spoke to. And wouldn't you know it they ran our debit card through. Ugh. That took all of that day to work out, but since they had gotten to our bank account first, I had to call back the second guy and ask him to cancel our order. Which he said he did. There's a lot more, like them not having a ticket for Lily after all, blah, blah, blah, but you really don't want to hear the gorey detail.

This morning, my bank calls, and our account is overdrawn by something like $1300. Yes, the second guy ran our debit card through after all. And of course, I can't get him on the phone today. I've left several (very polite, yet firm) messages on his voice mail. Our bank can have us refute the charges, but they cannot put any money back into our account for 10 business days. We'll be on our way to China by then.

I asked Rob today, "Why does everything for us have to be a battle? I mean, you book tickets, you pay for them. Shouldn't that be the end of the story? Why can't we just have a normal day?"

He responded with, "Because adopting a little girl from another country is not normal." I stopped and thought about what he was implying, and he was completely correct.

I firmly believe that adoption touches the very heart of God. James says this in chapter 1 verse 27: "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." Now please don't misunderstand our movtives for adoption. We have long, long wanted to build our family in this way, and we are truly the ones who are blessed to bring this precious child into our home. We are not out to "rescue" her, but that doesn't change the fact that we are indeed providing her with something she needed but didn't have: a family, a future, true hope.

How can the enemy not respond with one obstacle after another? He's figured out that he can't get us to budge from this path, but he sure can do what he can to try to discourage us in our journey, to keep us looking at our obstaces instead of looking to God, and to provide just enough irritation in our life to make us snappy and bickerish with each other and our children.

In no way do I want to make Lily the "poster child" for adoption in our home and community, but I have the deepest desire in my heart to devote the rest of my life to promoting adoption awareness and orphan relief. I don't know yet how or what that is going to ultimately look like in my life. Writing, yes. Financially supporting those types of ministries, yes. As the mother of small children, I know that the number of minutes in my day are quickly consumed, but I still get to spend them. And my children will not always be small. I'm not undermining, either, the magnitude of the job I have in nurturing and raising my small children. It's the grandest job in the world. But it is one that will eventually result in a layoff, if I do my job right. :o) Even before then, I truly desire my life to be marked by action on behalf of the oppressed.

It starts today.

I apologize for these leakings from my heart, but they had to come out before the pressure valve blew!

In him who sets the lonely in families,

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Our little princess

We received new pictures of Lily yesterday, and we are quite smitten. She's grown so much! In just a few short weeks, we'll be able to kiss those chubby cheeks and stroke her sweet hair and love her forever.

We should be getting our consulate appointment today, and then we'll be able to make our fliht and hotel reservations. And pack. Lots to pack.

So much to do!


Monday, January 16, 2006

We're cleared for take off!

I'm so happy to announce to you all that we have received our Travel Approval. Our agency has it in hand as of this morning, and they are working hard to set our US consulate appointment, which will determine the rest of our itinerary. My mind is going a million miles a minute, and my body is having difficulty keeping up, as I find myself running in circles today. They are tentatively scheduling us to leave around February 8 and returning about two weeks later. We'll be in China in three weeks!!!!!!! This all seems so surreal. I have MUCH to do, including packing for two toddlers and one husband and myself, scheduling Lily's initial doctor's appointment for a day or two after our return, solidifying childcare for Caleb and Gabriel (who REALLY want to go, but we just can't swing it), etc.

I also didn't get a chance to tell most of you that we received word last week that we were approved for TWO grants! Can you believe it?! One is from Shaohannah's Hope and the other is a matching grant, and we have to raise $1500 so that they will match it. I'm sending out the fundraising letters tomorrow. We were notified of both of these grants on the same day! What a gift from the Lord! Isn't that just like him?

So I will keep you all posted when we receive our itinerary. I feel like I'm pregnant...and my water just broke. This is really happening!

Thank-you for your prayers and thoughts.

Hang on tight and fasten you safety belts, because the exciting part of the journey is about to start!!!


Sunday, January 08, 2006

Scanning the not so distant horizon

I hate to make myself so vulnerable to being incorrect, but I have a feeling that this week will be the week. Chinese New Year starts on January 29th, so I think that CCAA is going shove out as much paperwork as they can so they don't have so much waiting for them when they return from their week of vacation. Today is day 72, and the average wait for travel approval is 73 days...I would love to get a phone call tomorrow. (Actually I would love to get a couple of phone calls, one from our adoption agency and another from a grant provider saying we've been approved!) I know in my heart that we won't travel in January, but the first couple of weeks in Februray look good to me, and we'd love to give Lily lots of cuddles on Valentine's Day and tell her that our hearts belong to her.

We'll be posting from China, but we're not sure if we'll be able to connect to blogspot or not. If you would like to follow our journey, you can also join our yahoo group by going the following page:


(You may have to copy and paste it into your web browser.)

We'll keep you all updated!

Waiting not so patiently,