Wednesday, August 15, 2007

California Pacific Coast Beach,Sea Foam in Rio Del Mar Beach

Friday, August 10, 2007

Well, I'll be darned!

We received PA (pre-approval) from China -- we get to adopt Addison!!!!

PA actually means that the China Center for Adoptive Affairs has given us an informal approval and will issue a formal approval once all our paperwork is in, reviewed, etc. -- provided that our dossier supports the statements made in our Letter of Intent.

Holy Moly! We have a son. And a really cute son, at that. More later -- LOTS to do! In the meantime, take a gander at this handsome guy. Addison ShengJun -- our baby boy.

REMINDER -- In summary, here's the process:

  • Send in LOI (7/9/07)
  • Receive PA (hopefully!) (8/10/07)
  • Get fingerprints in order to receive the I-171H (permission to bring a child into the country)
  • Complete home study and send it to the immigration office in Orlando (which gives us the ever-coveted I-171H) GOAL DATE: October 1st
  • Recieve I-171H, send dossier to Chinese consulate the next day
  • Send dossier to agency, they send it to China GOAL DATE: October 25th (our 2 year anniversary of meeting Kate in China)
  • Wait 3 - 4 months for LOA (Letter of Approval) which is China's formal approval of us as Addison's new parents GOAL DATE: Febrary 25th (Scott's birthday)
  • Sign it and party it up for a little bit while waiting for TA
  • Receive TA GOAL DATE: March 25th
  • Panic because you haven't done anything productive while waiting for TA
  • Get consulate appointment (the last step of the process in China, our oath at the US Consulate) The travel dates are all coordinated around this consulate appointment
  • Go to China GOAL DATE: April 15th (Hey, tax day should be a good day for someone)
  • Let the fun begin!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Adoption Ministry Update

I'm in the middle of a HUGE project for work, but wanted to let you all know that the meeting went very, very well. Our pastor definitely realized that there is a big need for this ministry and our next step is to meet with the director of the Children's Ministry, so that we could find a way to be under that "umbrella" instead of starting out on our own. She said that new ministries are far more successful if they can "spin-off" of a more established one.

More updates later and I'd be happy to share our PowerPoint with any who are interested in taking on the same project.

Just had to share the Good News!

And, here are a few quotes to keep you thinking....

"Every child born into the world is a new thought of God, an ever fresh and radiant possibility." -Kate Wiggins

“Without… permanent connections, …children are far more likely than their peers…
to endure homelessness, poverty, compromised health, unemployment, incarceration
and other adversities.”

"Open your mouth for the mute,
For the rights of all the unfortunate.
Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And defend the rights of the afflicted
and needy." Proverbs 31:8-9

Have a great day, everyone!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Important Meeting!

Tomorrow, Kate's godmother and I will be speaking with our pastor about starting a Foster, Orphan & Adoption Ministry at the church.

Our goals are as follows:

  • Coordinate 5th Sunday Efforts (our church raises money for the Methodist children's home)
  • Raise awareness about foster children & orphans
  • Educate the congregation about what the Bible says about adoption and taking care of orphans
  • Assist people in prayerfully considering becoming foster / adoptive parents
  • Aid families on their path to adoption (support system, helping to organize fundraising, etc.)

Our motivation...

Both of us have already adopted once and are currently in the process of adopting #2 -- both children with special needs. Of course the fundraising aspect is daunting, so that's where it started. The more we researched and learned, the more we realized how often people dismiss the idea of adoption -- especially special needs adoption --because they are not well-informed, they think that they are alone, etc. We feel called to opening the door for people to consider their role in the lives of children of the world.

Does this mean that everyone should adopt, fund adoptions, etc.? No. But we want to provide an avenue for people to explore, reflect, consider.

Does this mean we adopt in order to save our children? No. We didn't adopt to "save" anyone -- except maybe ourselves. We adopt because we want a family and we know, without a doubt, that we (the parents) get the best part of the deal. Adopting our children and parenting them is our greatest privilege.

That being said, however, I will say this: I truly believe that adoption saved Kate from a life of potential abuse, neglect and discouragement -- not at the hands of the beautiful nannies at the orphanage, but as a nonverbal adult someday. And I feel the same way about Addison. When we saw him, he was on the THIRD agency list -- very likely not to be placed if he wasn't chosen this time around. He would very likely be considered "unadoptable." (And you know what? I didn't know that until later. I just knew that I loved him and that we could care for his needs.)

A Great Resource:

Here's a great book I read over the weekend if you are considering approaching your church about starting a ministry. I highly recommend it!

Adoption as a Ministry, Adoption as a Blessing by Michelle Gardner

I will say that the authors have a few beliefs that I am not in accordance with, such as believing that those who have not claimed Jesus as their personal saviour not being allowed into heaven. My beliefs just don't fit with that, but the author and her family are amazing people who have certainly listened for their God to speak to them and tried hard to follow through on that calling.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we approach our pastor. We know that she already has a lot on her plate, but we've worked hard at coming up with a plan that needs her blessing but not her labor. We have a PowerPoint, handouts and a positive attitude.

I'll keep you updated!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Oh Dear

You Are Miss Piggy

A total princess and diva, you're totally in charge - even if people don't know it.
You want to be loved, adored, and worshiped. And you won't settle for anything less.
You're going to be a total star, and you won't let any of the "little people" get in your way.
Just remember, piggy, never eat more than you can lift!