"HOLY COW...this is really happening!" Those were my first thoughts when I got the e-mail yesterday morning from Karla at Lifeline saying she had received our Travel Approval (TA) from China. HOLY COW!!! And PRAISE THE LORD!!!!! Now that we have our TA, Karla will contact the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China, when they re-open tomorrow after a holiday to apply for our Consulate Appointment (CA). Once we get our CA, we can book flights to fly to China and meet our baby girl!!!
As of right now, our plan is to depart from Atlanta on November 7th or 8th, have "Gotcha Day" (the day we first meet Jenna) on November 11th, have our Consulate Appointment sometime the week of November 18th, and fly home shortly after that appointment, just in time for Thanksgiving...and what a special Thanksgiving this will be!
So in the meantime, I have a lot of preparing to do--starting to pack (the packing lists are a mile long!), writing lists for grandparents who will take care of the boys, contacting the bank/cell phone company/credit card company, and many other important duties to get ready to travel. But I also have a lot of other things "to do" this month--Andrew turns 5 this weekend and Shelby turns 7 in two weeks, so I'm in full birthday party mode for them; soccer season is still in full swing so between practices and games for all three kiddos, I feel like a taxi-service; and Halloween in our little town is a REALLY BIG DEAL...we get nearly 2000 trick-or-treaters every year and Jason's family always comes up from Florida for the festivities. So the month of October will fly by and then it'll be November, our time to finally go get our daughter in China!!!!
Thankfully, the Lord has been teaching me a lot lately about slowing down and cherishing the special moments that each day brings. So amidst the busyness of this coming month and the many changes that will take place in our family staring next month, this verse is what I will cling to:
As much as my heart longs to finally hold Jenna in my arms, especially now that we are finally getting so close to that moment being here, I must focus on this precious time as a family of five. In order to do that, my heart must be still, recognizing that God is in control. All the packing, preparing, and many others things that must get done will happen in due time and they will happen in a much smoother way when my heart is still and focused on Him.
Lord, I am so thankful that you have brought us this far...we are almost ready to travel to China to meet our precious Jenna and bring her HOME! Please give me the wisdom to spend my time wisely over the next few weeks...there is much to be done, but help me to focus on what really matters with each new day. AMEN.