July 7, 2009 - We saw the face of Yan Zi Bing for the first time - and it was love at first sight! The Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA) just released a new Special Needs list and I (Joli) looked at it during the children's nap/rest time this afternoon. When I saw her picture I immediately started crying. I called Jas at work (still crying)...and he said "Have you found our daughter?" (Now did the Lord know what He was doing when He brought us together...or what?) We called our agency and let them know that we wanted to request to adopt Yan Zi Bing, and they were able to "lock" her file for us. Zi Bing, soon to be known as Lily Kay Zibing, turned 3 in March and is waiting for us in Nanping, Fujian. We are almost done with all our paperwork (a.k.a. - the dossier) - we want to get it into China ASAP to start "the wait" to bring our new daughter home!
First picture we saw of our new daughter
August 12, 2009 - Our dossier is officially logged-in with the China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA). Our agency says our total wait from now until we actually get to bring Lily Kay home is approximately 7-9 months. YIKES!!! That could be as late as May, 2010! But, the Lord tenderly whispers to my spirit, "January". I hold onto that...
The next specific thing we're waiting for is our Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from the CCAA. Our agency says this should take 75-125 days. I claim "75" for us!
September 25, 2009 - We received 4 new updated pictures of our Lily Kay! While I'm so thankful to receive new pictures, it makes my heart ache. She is getting bigger right before our eyes...without us. To someone who has never adopted, this might not make sense - how you can know that a child, half-way around the world, that you've never met in person - is your child. I would not have understood that before we adopted - but I can now attest to the fact that it is true! Recently, I commented to Elisabeth that it was so hard to know that Lily is ours, and not be able to have her yet...not be able to hold her yet. Elisabeth asked me why I was smiling even though I was sad and had tears in my eyes. I told her that if I didn't smile, I would cry. My precious 6-year old said, "It's o.k., mama - you can cry." And I did. She hugged me, and I cried. And then, that same precious girl held up her three fingers (in the shape of a "W") and said "W, W, W, mama! Don't forget our "W" verse: 'Wait for the Lord...be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14' " The Lord has blessed Jas and I, in many ways - but chiefly through our precious children!
Flashing the peace sign - apparently all children in China think you have to do this for pictures
October 26, 2009 - Got the call that we've received our LOA! I get out my calendar and quickly calculate - yep, God showed out again - today is Day 75!
November and December, 2009 are taken up with MORE paperwork on the US side (with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services and the US Consulate in Guangzhou, China) more waiting, and MORE waiting...now we're waiting for our Travel Approval (TA) from the CCAA...
January 4, 2010 - Got our TA call! We're leaving January 29th to go bring that precious girl home!