Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Update #11

My agency heard back from China today. Please keep praying because it's a little more of the same --- another agency requested the file at the same time that my agency did. CCAA gave preference to the other agency because the family interested in her was married and I'm single. I understand this, though it doesn't make me feel any better. My agency's in-China coordinator will follow up in a few days because families usually only have 72 hours to hold a file.

I still feel very positive, but it's a little hard now and then throughout the day. I'm trying to stay VERY occupied to keep my mind from dwelling on things. I've also continued my diligent praying and hope that you are still hanging in here with me on that. Your prayers are working because I've gotten this far. I have just a tiny bit more to go...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Keep Running, Rats!

While my aunty was here, we started sealing up my garage so that the rats couldn't get in. We found a nest and got rid of it, empty, thank heavens, and reattached the warped siding to the frame, with fine wire mesh inbetween in case the rats chew through the siding, and expanding spray foam over the mesh to really hold it in place.

We only got so far, so today I did another big section. It was the second-largest hole and after I was finished and putting things away, I actually saw a live rat, in daylight, mind you, running away and going under the fence into the neighbor's yard! It must have been hiding in the garage and finally saw its chance to escape before being found.

I also took down a small section of fence so that I could access my property that is on the far side of my garage and becomes my neighbor's back yard. This enabled me to access the area without having to go all the way around my neighbor's house and I was also able to run an extension cord out there and use my weed wacker to chop down some foliage that was too near the garage and trapping water against the siding, causing damage and warping. I disturbed an ant colony that was eating my framework and siding so I had to spray and next I'll need to wire and foam that spot.

When I'm finished with this project, I will make a skinny gate or removable section where I took down the fence so I can maintain that part of my property. I'm big into prevention and maintainance to I don't end up spending more in the long run.

Update #10

I am so blessed to have the Light of Christ in my life; to know there is a living God who is always there for me - no matter what. Today another prayer was answered in seconds. My agency has agreed to contact the proper authorities in China and request the file of the Child of my Heart.

It's been ten days since the file was supposed to have been released from an agency's Special Focus program, but since we truly don't know how an early-released file gets back to the Shared List, we don't know if we should wait longer or what, so we've agreed that it's time for action. Funnily enough, though, we didn't all agree together. I was going to beg for this, but they had already decided to do it!

I had put out word on boards, forums, egroups, etc... but no one came up with anything. The charity sponsoring her also hadn't heard anything, which led me to believe that her file was not with any agency.

I hope to know in a few days if I can apply to adopt this precious child.

Earlier, I felt scared, afraid that I wouldn't receive this wonderful gift of life. A short time later, I felt an elation in my heart, a blessing from God, that spurred on my hope to new heights and is still burning bright within me.

I don't presume to know God's plan, no matter how strong my faith, but I hope and pray that it is for this little child and I to be united as a family. I asked that you please pray for us, for this, but that God's will be done and we accept it with peace in our hearts.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!

I hope your Thanksgiving was great. I had a very nice day, cooking with my aunty, who drove up yesterday, and then eating. We made enough food for a family of 6, at least, so we'll have a lot of left-overs and I'll make babyfood and meals for my daycare kids, too.

I was hoping that my agency rep would look on the list today, magically find her file and lock it and then call while my aunty was here, but it didn't happen.

I'm off for some pumpkin pie now...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Update #9

So far, no file. The new list came out today and she wasn't on it. She can pop up on it any time, but I had high hopes since it was "new list day." If only my agency would ask CCAA directly!

This is what I need specific prayers for today, that my agency contact CCAA directly to find out the status of her file and if it's not locked, to request it moved to their own Special Focus list so I can lock it.

If anyone in the adoption arena hears anything, please let me know.

And, as always, please keep praying! She's definitely worth all of this!

Monday, November 22, 2010

About My Minivan

I LOVE IT!!! No reservations.

I love having a heater that works. Especially because over the weekend we had a winter storm from Alaska blast us with rain and cold.

I love how it handles.

I love how insulated it is. I could barely even hear the thunder outside.

I love how the center middle seat can come forward so my child will be almost next to me.

I love how strong the engine is. I made it up a hill that my old car hasn't been able to climb in a long, long time.

Update #8

So close, so close!

I had an email this morning from someone helping me who found out something this morning that should be extrememly helpful.

I'll say it again, there is a miracle at hand here, please keep praying! If I ever learn the full details of what's happening, it's going to be a terrific story to tell my child some day.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

More Details

Okay, here's the progress that's been made:

The agency holding the file in their special focus program emailed someone in charge of a group that is advocating for this child and told them that they are releasing the file back to the Shared List and that it should appear some time this weekend. That "someone," who knows how much I want to adopt this child, emailed me to let me know that I should get my agency on it, which I did.

My agency is checking the Shared List, online, all weekend long, waiting for this child's file to appear so they can lock it. Meanwhile, I've started getting the necessary documents ready so that once it's locked, I can e-submit my Letter of Intent (LOI) immediately and get the adoption ball rolling.

Please pray that in between my agency's checks, no other agency grabs this file and that my agency gets it for me!!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Update #7 Pray, Pray, Pray

All of your prayers are working! Please keep it up! It's still a little too early to go into details, but I hope to have good news to post within a couple of days. A miracle is at hand...

Have you ever laughed and cried so hard at the same time that your cats looked utterly and completely alarmed? I just experienced this today. I swear, the breath in my body stopped.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Update #6

I've yet to drive my car in the daylight, and I'm looking forward to doing so this weekend. The car-buying process was a good distraction from my adoption issues.

I do know that the child's profile has been updated, though some information still may not be available, but I don't know if the interested family's agency has received it and if they have, if they've shown it to the family yet.

Please keep praying. I have such high hopes that this little girl will be my daughter. I have made a certain request of my agency and I'm waiting to hear back from them, gotta love that word since it's my constant companion.

Meanwhile, I'm continuing along the very familiar path of waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting...

I say good morning and good night everyday to her picture and imagine a life with her in all that I do.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Car Shopping Successful

Yay! It's done! I have a new (used) car sitting in my driveway. It's a 2006 Toyota Sienna CE 8 passenger minivan. White. It already has a name. I call it The Pachyderm.

I'm thankful that I have great credit that allowed me to finance it...

...but, I'm hating going further into debt.

Want to know something funny? I have yet to see it in daylight! These pictures are from the dealer who sold it to me.

Come on a test drive!

I'll drive.

You sit here.

Center row.

Third row.

Like any smart pachyderm, it can do tricks.

It's even got some bling!

It's sure going to be nice this winter to have a heater. And, of course, windshield wipers that always work when it rains will be handy. I don't have to park it over a huge pan of kitty litter in the driveway to catch leaking coolant, transmission fluid, and oil. The radio and interior lights do turn off. The windshield does not have a crack. The door panels are securely fastened down on the inside. The bumper isn't cracked and about to fall off. I can see how fast I'm going and how far because the speedo cable is intact. The transmission doesn't slip gears either. It's got a working air conditioner, too. Wow, this is a total luxury car!!!

43 Months Waiting for Apple

One month past the 3 1/2 year mark.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

CIS is Rocking for Me

Do you love your CIS officer? I love mine! My agency told me to that my ammendment to my I-600A, to make is say two children instead of one, would take at least a month. They said that that's how long everyone else's has taken. I called my CIS officer and asked her (she has always returned my messages promtly!) and she said it will only take one week.


My ammended I-171-H arrived yesterday! Allowing for mailing time, it took one week.

Strength of Prayer

It has been tense here at home lately. This is an understatement!

Deciding to commit to adopt The Child of my Heart.
Finding that child inaccessible.
Discovering there is a small measure of hope in adopting the child.
Shopping for a new car without a way to pay for it.
Not wanting to spend a dime so I can save for The Child of my Heart.

My tension has a physical manifestation in the tight wad of muscle down the right side of my neck that won't relax and feels like a charlie horse. I call it my money pain. When I things are tight, the muscle gets tight.

I went to church last week and again today. I used to go every Sunday, but after moving into the house, there seems to be too much to do or I simply need to rest. Not any more. I need to feed my spirit to maintain the strength of my faith. Faith takes energy!

Today, one of the lessons mentioned this:

"Divine covenants make strong Christians. I urge each one to qualify for and receive all the priesthood ordinances you can and then faithfully keep the promises you have made by covenant. In times of distress, let your covenants be paramount and let your obedience be exact. Then you can ask in faith, nothing wavering, according to your need, and God will answer. He will sustain you as you work and watch. In His own time and way He will stretch forth his hand to you, saying, “Here am I.”"

I've discovered it's my time to be more obedient to God and to reach for the next level of ordinances He has set for me to attain. I'm asking so much of Him lately and He is definitely working overtime for me. I feel His comfort and His love for me and He has directly answered each of my prayers. He has put people in my life, even if only over the internet, who have inspired me, supported me, and who have helped me on my journey toward The Child of my Heart. So many people have prayed for me and for her and continue to do so. Please, I beg you to continue to pray for us!

This miraculous journey is in a hard phase right now. I am waiting for others to determine my fate and the fate of The Child of my Heart. This kind of waiting is much, much different from my waiting for Apple. I already know that Apple will come into my life with a certainty that is unwavering. I am secure in my wait for her because I know she will be waiting for me at the end of my long wait.

I do not know if The Child of my Heart will be waiting for me at the end of this journey. I am fighting a system I can only influence through the power of prayer.

This was a journey I instigated, a path I have to forge, a road I have to pave myself. It's not my easy road to Apple, but one I have to forge upon unforgiving ground, through thick, unyielding brush. This is the road I hope to walk soon, that will lead to The Child of my Heart. It is upon this road where I will prove that I am worthy to be her mother.

*********1 hr. 10 min. later: As I prayed a few moments ago, I suddenly realized that God is carrying me on my new road because the it is such a hard road. I am too grateful for words.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Car Shopping

Ugh, my car is gasping its last breaths. The windshield wipers barely work, which I discovered when it recently rained, and the transmission slips like the dickens.

I am looking at minivans, but they are so BIG...

I don't know what else to do unless I get something small and reliable just to get around in until my finances improve, then go for the van.

On the other hand, I do need something that can hold a lot of carseats for those rare times I need to do something during business hours and take the daycare kids. I'd also like to be able to take them on field trips again, which means the minivan.

I'm off to go tire-kicking...

Update #5

Keep praying, it's working! I have been in touch, via email, with the family who is considering the child of my heart. Yes, they seem nice, most people are, but...

They have not even seen the CCAA file! Not one single thing! Not even the picture of her affected area, pre-surgery! Their agency is holding on to everything until they get a medical update, which has taken two weeks so far without any word.

I emailed the family with all I know and they said they will wait and see what their agency comes up with and then make their decision. They have also agreed, if they don't go forward with this child, to ask their agency on my behalf to release the file so I can lock it.

God is definitely at work here!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Update #4

Good news and bad...

The good news is that her file is NOT locked. Her file is on an agency list.

The bad new is that the agency won't release the file.

It is very tempting to release the name of the agency and let everyone email and bother them, but I think that with this particular agency, that would anger them and it would backfire.

Please continue to pray. This agency can keep the file for only 3 months. If they don't find a family, then they have to return it to the Shared List. This is actually falling into my original time-frame that I had planned out, but it's still very hard to wait and see.

Please pray specifically that the hearts of those in charge of keeping this file be softened so that they release the file.

Thank you, All!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Update #3

I'm afraid her file didn't pop back up on the shared list this morning. However, I have not given up and neither has the group of very special people helping me. I did email her SWI tonight and explain that I cannot find the file and that this little girl might end up with different parents. Another thought is that her file was picked up by an agency and is now on their private list. Emails by all the right people to all the right people have been sent out. If this little girl and I are meant to be a family, then we will be! Please keep praying for us!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Update #2: Please Pray!

It's 2:35am and I'm still up. No big deal for me, right? Wrong! I was in bed by 11:30pm tonight, slept about 45 minutes, dreamed of the child I'm hoping to adopt, in detail, and now I'm still wide awake.

I didn't mention it, but late last night, I received an email from her SWI with four pictures of her attached. She looked pretty little so I thought they were older, maybe from last winter so I emailed them back and asked. They were actually taken the same day!!! Nov. 1, 2010 and they were such good resolution that I could see the IV wounds still on her hands from her recent surgery.

I have prayed and prayed all day for strength in my faith to trust that whatever happens is right, hope that she becomes my daughter, peace to accept whatever happens, charity for the family who has her file locked and love for God and for my little child and all the needy children.

This is very, very hard...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Update #1

It's in God's hands. The file was already locked by another family. However, I think this family contacted me for more information and I let them know my intentions and still offered to share what I know with them if they are truly, truly interested in pursuing this child.

If the family who locked the file doesn't take action within 72 hours, the file is automatically returned to the shared list.

Please pray the this child will end up with the best family, even if it's not with me.