Preston Party of Six

Preston Party of Six

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Waiting with a Grateful Heart

Adoption is a HUGE lesson in waiting and patience.  Since receiving our LOA (Letter of Approval) on August 6th, we've been waiting on approval from the USCIS (immigration).  Today we got a letter in the mail stating they have our paperwork, so HOPEFULLY next week it will be approved.  But then more waiting will happen for additional steps that need to take place before we begin more waiting on Travel Approval.  So at this point in time, we're still hoping to travel to China at the beginning of November.  Thankfully September and October are SUPER BUSY months for our family, which will help the time go by quickly, because I am SO VERY READY to jump on a plane and head east to bring my sweet Jenna HOME!!!

However, during these long days of waiting, I have a grateful heart.  The wonderful people at Lifeline, our adoption agency, are such HUGE blessings to us and are walking hand-in-hand with us through this long journey.  In fact, many times when the kids hear my cell phone ring, they ask "Is it Lifeline?" because they know we are waiting on further approvals until we can bring their sister home.

Speaking of my kids, I have been SO VERY BLESSED, especially lately, with their hearts being so open and ready to having Jenna at home with us.  There are many times when Andrew comes up to me and kisses the picture of Jenna that I wear on the necklace around my neck...and not a prayer time goes by that he doesn't remind us to pray for her!  Although Nathan doesn't say a whole lot (that's just his personality), he gets so excited when we get the next update/approval and I know he's looking forward to the day Jenna is here with us.  Then tonight at Shelby's school open house, this math worksheet was hanging up on the wall and the fact that she put 6 people in our family MELTED MY HEART!!!!!

So as we continue to wait for further paperwork to be completed and approvals from both the U.S. and China, I have a grateful heart. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Some days are just overwhelming.  Today began a new school year for Nathan (3rd grade) and Shelby (1st grade), and as much as I know they're both going to have great years, I was super emotional leaving them at Elm Street.  Summer seemed to go by WAY TOO FAST, but thankfully we were able to pack in a lot of fun times and great memories were made. 

Andrew and I enjoyed our day together while they were at school (thankfully, he has a few more weeks until Pre-K begins).  And then at lunchtime, I felt the urge to send an e-mail to Helen with our adoption agency since I still hadn't gotten pictures from the birthday care package we sent for Jenna's 2 1/2 birthday on August 1st.  And in Helen fashion, she responded IMMEDIATELY (at 1 in the morning China time!), concerned that I hadn't received the six pictures of Jenna.  She e-mailed them to me again and HOLY COW...we got to see pictures of our precious 2 1/2 year old little girl surrounded by other beautiful children and nannies at the orphanage, celebrating Jenna's life.


Tears welled up when I first saw these pictures, and they are now as I write this hours later.  It brings me so much emotion seeing Jenna and these other children that also need forever families.  I pray the nannies show them ALL love.  I look forward to the day, hopefully soon, that we'll be able to visit this orphanage to see where Jenna has lived for the first 2 1/2 years of her life and to share a smile and a hug full of God's love with her nannies and all the other children.  I love the fact that Jenna is wearing an outfit that we sent her a few months ago in a care package.  And as much as I was hoping to see a smile on our sweet girl's face, I'm thankful that she looks well cared for and happy on her special day.

And then, as if this day couldn't get more overwhelming, we got an e-mail from Karla with our adoption agency saying that our LOA (Letter of Approval) had arrived in her office and was being sent by FedEx to us!  This 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper is China's final "stamp of approval" for us to adopt Jenna and we've been waiting a LONG 125 days to receive this AMAZING news! 

Now we'll begin the final phase of this roller-coaster journey to bring Jenna home, which involves more paperwork for immigration purposes, with the hope of traveling to China in 2 to 3 months!!!

It's days like today that I can only stand in awe of my amazing Heavenly Father.  I do NOT deserve these blessings, and yet He continues to lavish them on me.  Great is His faithfulness...I'm OVERWHELMED!!!

Jenna...I am so in love with you and cannot wait to hug you and bring a smile to your beautiful face.  We're coming soon, baby girl!!!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Light at the end of the tunnel

Yesterday was a special but hard day.  Our sweet Jenna turned 2 1/2 years old, but since we couldn't be with her (that's the hard part), I took the kids to get a cupcake at a local bakery to celebrate in her honor.  We cannot wait to celebrate LOTS of birthdays with her!!!


Today marks 121 days in the LONG wait for our Letter of Approval (LOA) from China so we can bring our sweet daughter home.  I have begun to dread Fridays, like today, since there is never any news during the weekend.  But after I fed the kids breakfast this Friday morning, August 2nd, I got a call from Karla at Lifeline and she shocked the stew out of me...our LOA is on its way from China!!!  I was speechless, stunned, and SO VERY THANKFUL! 

What this means is that in a few days, this most important sheet of paper will arrive at Lifeline in Birmingham; it will be scanned and e-mailed to me for Jason and I to sign;  we will scan it and e-mail it back to Lifeline who will in turn send it to "the powers that be" with the USCIS (immigration) to begin additional processes in order to finalize our adoption.  And the VERY GOOD NEWS is that this also means we will be traveling to China to bring our sweet Jenna home in approximately 2 to 3 months!!!!!!!!

Other than not being able to share this great news with my precious mom, who would be SO THRILLED, I am one happy momma tonight, for there is finally a light at the end of this tunnel!