We are have finally completed all our paperwork for the entire process! The last step was the fingerprinting and from other's experiences, we heard that may be a little stumbling block along the way. Thank God it went very smoothly for us! We received our official notification a few weeks ago from US Immigration Services that we were authorized to adopt!!! Wow! And, then reality sets in! It has seemed all like a fantasy until now. Right now our dossier is being translated into Mandarin and being sent to her governmental officials for approval.
We have also gotten so much support from our friends and family. They often ask where we are at in the process and are excited much like we are. Just that is encouraging to us. What an experience this has been. It has been great to talk to so many others who have been or thought about adoption. You would never realize how many friends have told us that. One couple has even asked how we knew it was right for us.....it is hard to put into words but you just know because God places you- face first- into that position and if you have that intimate relationship with Him, you will know. Of course, I would say that we are nervous about it all- especially the trip to get her, the adjustments when she comes home with us, and answering questions when she asks. But what parent is not nervous? We are comforted feeling assured that it was not our decision but God's calling- even in our early years of marriage- even when we didn't even talk about adoption. One of our friends asked, do you feel like it was a call from God? To us there is no doubt at all, but to some they may not realize God's will and plan...it all depends on where we are at in our relationship with the Lord I believe. Little things reinforce God's call I think- for example, we went out to eat dinner with some friends a couple of weeks ago. We were all stuffed from dinner, but for some reason we decided to stop by the Dairy Queen for a little taste of heaven, they call it 'Brownie Earthquake.' HA! As soon as we walked in and found the only tables left open in the place, it was right beside a lovely couple with 3 little adopted girls- girls that are from the same country we are going to- and to top it all off, they just got back with their youngest daughter only 2 months prior to that night. They opened up and shared their story with us and we with them. Was that a coincidence? Some might say yes, but I say no; hinged on the fact that we had just received our official acceptance from USCIS the week before! Wait- it gets better! Mandy went shopping to the mall the next day and guess who they saw in the food court amonst hundreds of people? Yes, that same couple! We have a testimony to God's call on our family!
Just think, our soon to be Ava Grace is somewhere in this world right now and I can only imagine what she's doing. Waiting seems to be harder and harder the closer we get, but we are trying to focus on the here and now at this moment- our current family that will forever change on a 2 week trip overseas. A change that we are all looking so forward to, but a change that we will never forget either!