In May we were waiting for our provisional immigration approval from the US government. The wait was averaging 45-60 days and it seemed we still had a long way to go. Our family was blessed with the opportunity to take a beach vacation- which was amazing- but also a fantastic way to pass the time waiting for paperwork that is completely out of your hands. Upon our arrival home, I discovered our I 800a approval in our mailbox and we were very happy- 37 days total wait time!
It took another week or so for me to rush the last few parts of our Dossier through the authentication process. Despite a misinformed notary requiring me to meet a courier on the side of the freeway with part of our adoption paperwork, we made it- compiled and copied multiple times- a complete Dossier! And then I fedexed it to our agency's office in New York after praying over the fedex man and threatening bodily harm if anything should happen to it (j/k... kind of).
June 16th we were officially DTC- Dossier To China. Fancy adoption world talk for saying all of our paperwork was on its way to China.
We were told to anticipate about 10 days for China to 'log in' our Dossier- the next acronym milestone in the adoption community (LID). Ten days came and went.... but there was a Chinese holiday in there so I wasn't worried. We enjoyed mail from our agency.
Twenty days passed. From adoption Facebook groups, I 'met' another family who was on our same timeline. We lamented the wait together. Misery loves company-right?
After a month of waiting for China to recognize our Dossier, I started to get nervous. The doubts crept in- "What if China doesn't approve us to adopt at all?" "What if our Dossier was lost?"
I went a little crazy. Mostly depressed crazy. I knew- KNEW- that there were long wait times involved in adoption. I just didn't think we were at the 'long wait time part' and so I began to question if God really wanted us to pursue this crazy endeavor. "Did I miss something God?"
After a lot of hand- wringing and soul- wrestling I came to the conclusion that if this was the end of our adoption journey- if for some crazy reason we had committed to giving a child a family and a home, implored our friends and family to support us through prayers and finances, employed major discipline in living on a budget and cutting out lots of the extras- and then it all ended here, that God would still be glorified and our lives made better by choosing His way. It would be awful. Absolutely. Because while we are adopting out of obedience to our Lord, we are discovering the true joy and desire of our heart is to love a lost child. So we would grieve that loss. But God would still be God in the end.
The night before the beginning of our fourth week waiting for LID, I felt an urgency to pray for our paperwork. I don't like making too many public, emotional appeals but the need was too great to keep silent. I posted a photo of the ginormous crafty mess I had made to keep my mind of the 'what ifs' and asked our friends and family to join us in prayer. I also added praying for our Facebook adoption friends and their Dossier to my personal prayers. The outpouring of love was overwhelming.
More overwhelming was the next morning I received a message from our friends that they were finally logged in and that I needed to check my email. I quickly checked but there was no news. I was disappointed. But strangely at peace about it too. I was thankful that God answered my prayers- for our friends who are working so hard to bring their son home. I went about my morning- busy driving Corbin to VBS, running errands with Leo, and then waiting until I needed to pick Corbin up. I had a chance to chat with our adoption friends and they urged me to call our agency. I had been holding off, not wanting to convey that they weren't doing their jobs but I finally agreed. I sent a message asking about our Dossier- as politely as possible. In response:
"Anna, you are logged in. Call me ASAP!"
We were indeed logged in to the Chinese computer system. Four weeks of waiting, LID on July 14th. The best part was hearing the cheers of our family and friends when I posted thanking them for storming the gates of heaven with their prayers and the awesome way our God answered- the very next day.
Every step of this process has taught me something about God. Waiting has taken my desires and held them under a magnifying glass and looked for selfishness and pride. Its looked into my motivations and made me scrutinize my actions in a whole new light. Waiting has brought others into my life who are on the same journey and share the same passion for putting children into families. And it has given me a deeper appreciation for God's heart for the orphan. As my own heart has ached for an unknown daughter, I am comforted that God's heart has held her since before she was woven together and longed for her. My yearning is small in comparison- but instead of feeling insignificant, I am awed by the greatness of our God.
So many more steps ahead on this journey. So many more opportunities for God to continue to show up and remind us that He had really been there all along.