I have been a bad blogger of late...so much going on around here (school, kids, laundry, meals... the nerve...). Anyway I had to blog today to share the news that our Article 5 (don't ask me - I have no idea what that is but it is some form) was express mailed today from the US Consulate in Guangzhou, China to the CCCWA (China's Children and Women's Agency) in Beijing. Once there, we wait another 2-5 weeks to be given our travel notice (called the TA). This will give us a window of dates in which we can plan our trip. I can't believe it! We will probably be given a window of late Feb-midMarch. We will opt for early March.
This week I will be sending our agency a list of questions, and a request for updated photos of our little one! I will be asking things like - what does she like to play with, how does she comfort herself, what sort of personality is she, what does she weigh and how big are her little feet! Can't believe we are this close and that it has been nearly a year since we first saw her little face.
At this point we have so much to do - we have prayerfully decided to take our four oldest children with us on this trip! These four treasures are my heros - I will devote a post to them soon on that matter. They have given up so much, endured the last three years of ups and downs while adjusting...and have hearts to allow it to happen again! They have gained so much in their characters through our experience traveling to Africa and having awareness of the orphan plight and need. We only feel as tho' they should experience this trip - we see it as continued training - a mission trip in many ways.
Our little girls will stay home for this trip. We would love for them to be a part of meeting Ting and seeing her homeland but they haven't received their citizenship papers yet (should come any day now) and thus still have Ethiopian passports...don't need to have anything about us flagging us for extra scrutiny during out travels! lol Not sure they would be up to the stress of a trip like this and we will need to devote so much to Ting and her emotions.
I am sad to leave them. Very sad. They will probably miss us for about 15 minutes and be off to play with the cousins and have a blast at Aunt Jill's. My sister is a saint...enough said....
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP???
So glad you asked...
1. PRAY! We are in the midst of lots more paperwork, planning for the trip, logistics of the girls going to my sister's and missing school. We are getting some needed immunizations, and organizing money needs. We still have one more social worker visit before we travel, and a bunk bed to make and dressers to buy...
But mostly we crave your prayers for Ting's little heart, for safety when we travel, and for our little girls at home to adjust well. We know we will probably see some backsliding on some of their behaviors. The return to real life once we are back will be tough I know. Not looking forward to jet lag and parenting 7 kids who are cranky and starved for affection. Please pray for John and I!
2. BUY A T-SHIRT or COFFEE! We still have our stores at the right. Our t-shirt store will close soon. If you have been meaning to do so, or just want to help us in that way - just click on the icon to go to our stores.
3. DONATE! We are still receiving Cha-ching for Ting banks back full of our wonderful friends' and families' loose change. If you have a bank, now is the time to return it. We will be rolling coins soon. I am excited to see the final count - we have already received A LOT of change! If you didn't get a bank or have wanted to help in some way, we still have our Pay Pal Chip-In on the right (you will only see it if you are logged onto a computer). Many of our wonderful donors have just mailed us their donations rather than use the Pay Pal Chip-In.
I have been blown away by the way God has moved people to help us financially. Adoption is expensive, traveling is expensive. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and can't wait for you to see the little girl whose life you have changed forever.