4.27.2013

Highs and Lows

What a week this has been in our adoption journey! It has truly been a week with the highest of highs and some of my lowest of lows. Let's start with how the week began, which was my low.

On Monday I was enjoyed the day at home with the boys. While Liam was napping, I was in my office paying bills and trying to get organized. As I've mentioned before, I have joined a few private adoption Facebook groups. When I found out we had our Log In Date (LID) of 3/20, I also learned that many other women from my adoption agency also had been notified that they, too, had a 3/20 LID. There were so many of us that we said we were the 3/20 club! So on Monday, I had Facebook pulled up on my computer when I saw one of the 3/20 mommas announce she had the HUGE surprise of receiving Letter of Acceptance (LOA). On average, LOA takes 60 days, but lots of people wait 90 days or more. Monday made Day 32 of the LOA for all of us 3/20 girls! Before I could really process what was happening, another 3/20 momma announced that she had LOA, too. Then another. And another. And another. I was on my knees, pleading with God that we also were going to find out we were LOA that day. It would mean that we could bring Tucker home a month sooner than expected. My friend, Kelley, and I both have boys living in the same orphanage, and we have been hoping and praying that we can go pick the kids up together. I was praying SO hard that she would be LOA, too, as she had been waiting even long than me. You should've seen the tears of joy when she announced that she got LOA! I was SO happy for her. I had prayed that even if we didn't get our LOA that day, I was praying that she would get hers. And when she did, I was truly overjoyed!

Soon after, I learned from our social worker that we did not get our LOA. I was so heartbroken. This is the last LONGGGGGG wait we will have in the adoption. All I keep thinking to myself and saying to others is that I just want my son to come home. I just want him home with his brothers and his parents who love him forever. I learned that the reason we did not get our LOA and others did is because those families had Pre-Approval to adopt their children before LID, as they are considered "special focus" children. Tucker's designation is "special needs," so we could not get Pre-Approval until after LID. Therefore, our paperwork is being processed more slowly.

So much red tape. So much waiting. And so much paperwork.

When I feel frustrated, which has happened more than once this week , I just remember that Christ endured so much pain, so much heartache, and so much sadness to bring US home. When I look at my situation from that perspective, I feel encouraged and strengthened. We are officially 37 days into our LOA wait, and I would appreciate your prayers that we receive it VERY soon and that while we wait, our hearts remain strong and our trust for God's timing always outweighs the aching in our hearts to bring Tucker home.

The high point of the week happened the minute I woke up this morning! We received pictures from Tucker's birthday party at the orphanage! Yes, Tuck is officially two years old! We contacted a lady named Ann from Red Thread in China a couple weeks ago, as she puts together care packages to send to children living in orphanages and foster homes. We decided that our first care package would be for his birthday, and a few days after placing our order, Ann sent us pictures of the items she sent Tuck.


A flash drive for the Nannies/Director to load pictures of Tucker


A momma and baby panda set



The last gift is something we have wanted to send him since we first saw the idea. This is a pillow he will sleep with during naps and at night, and Ann ironed on a picture of our family. When he opened his gifts, it would have been his first time seeing a picture of his Mama, Baba, and brothers. 
 
So today when I woke up, I had pictures of my beautiful son celebrating his birthday with his friends (who I have cropped out for their privacy). 

 

Looks like he swiped a quick lick of his cake before blowing out his candles! The nanny (who I also cropped out) was clapping in the picture! Isn't it beautiful? I just love the cake they chose for him. Two long skinny candles for the BIG two year old boy!

Stop growing, sweet boy! You're getting so big.
I truly hope he felt special the day he received this package. I have no idea if Tuck has ever celebrated his birthday before, but we will make sure his next one is extra special.

 
I have just stared at this last picture all day today. My son could seriously not be more beautiful! It was my first time seeing him in something green, and he looks so darn cute! I try to memorize each detail of his face, his hair, his ears, his little hands. All day my heart has just ached for him. I just want him to come home. In our package, we also sent a letter introducing ourselves and thanking the nannies for taking good care of him. We asked 10 questions about Tucker, as we want to get to know him as much as possible. Each time you see the name Tucker, know that his letter had his Chinese name. We just cannot share it at this time.
1.       What do you call Tucker (for example, does he have a nickname)?
2.       Has he been around any animals, specifically dogs?
3.       What words is Tucker saying now?
4.       Is there anything that he is afraid of?
5.       How does he get along with other children?
6.       Which nannies does Tucker have a close relationship?
7.       How would you describe his personality?
8.       If Tucker gets upset, are there certain things you do to help him calm down?
9.       What are his current measurements (for example, height, weight, head circumference, shoe size, clothing size)?
10.   What are some of his favorite things (for example, toys, foods, drinks, games)?
 
We have not yet received answers to our questions, and we may never know the answer to any of them. We are hoping and praying to receive something back soon, though.
 
Oftentimes, on my Noah's and Liam's birthdays, I will write them a letter to share how I feel about them, and I post them on my blog. I want to do the same for Tucker, so hopefully I will be ready to share that tomorrow. Until then, thank you for your prayers and support while we continue to wait.

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