Monday, August 24, 2009

PA for sweet Christina!

It is with great JOY
we announce that we have
Pre-Approval (PA) from the
China officials to
pursue the adoption of
DuJie .... Christina
who lives at
Shepherd's Field Langfang Village!

It is a long God story in how we went from deferring to another family for the adoption of Gregg to pursuing the adoption of Christina who we have been sponsoring .... and John has been smitten with .... since last year. We met Christina in February 2008 while visiting The Village prior to adopting Jeremy - same time we met Gregg. There will soon be a blog where I will write out the story behind this announcement. We are so happy to know that it is a pleasing thing to God to have this child placed into our family.

Christina will be 10 on November 9th - our oldest child from China, but will always be our smallest .... her special need is that she has a form of dwarfism and presently stands at 38 inches tall and wears 3-4T clothes. I simply can't wait to send her a new outfit and the family photo album I have already put together for her - to let her know that SHE finally, after so very many years, now has a family of her own!

The Beginning of the Story

While John and I were pursuing Gregg, John had said that he had a heart for ALL the kids at Philip Hayden, but if he had to bring just one child home, it would be Christina. We met Christina while visiting Philip Hayden just before we picked up Jeremy. I reminded him at that point that "she already has a family!" We have been sponsoring her since last year and have rec'd updates. She had a family pursuing her even when we had met her back in 2/08 so I did not allow my heart to go out to her - mom's don't tread on each other's turf. So after we deferred to the other family in regards to Gregg, I asked Deb Padden who is aware of what family is going for what child (I didn't even know she did this until we were pursuing Gregg) - I asked her what was up with Christina's family - they have been "adopting" her for nearly two years. She responded that this family was never able to find Christina's file - that they searched and searched - and unfortunately not long afterward, the father had lost his job. They were still not able to find her file and now would not qualify to adopt from China anyway. I asked her why Christina's file was never found - she said others tried to find it and never could - that she thought her file must have gone to Europe.

I asked for any info she could give me - the director of Christina's originating orphange said her file had gone to "American California Children of the World Adoption Agency for Orphans" - no such agency. I searched EVERY registered agency in California - no such agency. I emailed acouple agencies whose names were similar - even ones in other states - but they did not have her file. I have a Christian friend in China - I emailed her and she was able to personally ask this director for the agency's name .... same long name was given. My friend requested if she could ask CCAA for the name of the agency - verbatim.

It took acouple weeks for this to happen - meanwhile I regoogled parts of this long agency name and found an agency in California named Bal Jagat - their name in Hindi means "Children of the World" and my heart jumped - I emailed them - they never had her file or any file with a child with that special need. My friend got back to me later and said the special needs director at CCAA read verbatim what agency had Christina's file ... but that they must be mistaken because the letters didn't seem to make any sense .... "Bal Jagat". After another week's worth of emails CCAA conferred with Bal Jagat and it was found that Christina's file was totally lost in transit. Her file had been sent out 2 years ago and never landed anywhere - and then within less than 4 weeks, God unveiled the truth. I asked CCAA via my China friend if I could have an agency request her file ( CCAA frowns on "pre-identified" adoptions) - but they totally said we could! On July 27, we received word that an agency of our choice could request her file - our agency {one that I searched out in this waiting time period so we could have an agency that was reputable, less expensive and would be willing to request a file (not all do)}. They requested it on Monday night and we had Christina's file the next day - Tuesday morning. LOI was sent to China on Monday, August 3.

We are not sure why CCAA did not keep track of her file - agency's usually can only hold a file for 3 mths and if they can't find a family for the child, they must return the file to CCAA - but the file was never returned, but CCAA did not search it out either. God hid her file for 2 years and then opened door after door. We knew that if we continued to walk through every door that opened, we would have to commit to this child --- or the agency would never request her file. John saw this as a real God thing and amazingly (or not so amazingly) all of our children are so very excited about this adoption. Especially Sarabeth - Christina is 2 1/2 months older than Sarabeth so Christina will be the eldest of the adopted kids from China, but will always be the smallest. : )

The following Monday while our Letter of Intent to request permission to adopt Christina was going out to China, I fasted and prayed for God's direction. I asked Him for verses to guide me especially as to the money - He whispered Ps 127 - I did not know what was in Ps 127, but opened up to it. It states that it is vain to build unless the Lord builds and it is vain to stay up late or rise up early working to make bread/money that "the Lord gives to his loved ones even in his sleep" - this is the way it is in the NAS - other versions say it differently - and then it goes on to say children are a GIFT from God, a heritage from Him. He really spoke to me and assured me that He can provide any/all money for this even while I sleep - don't I remember that children are a gift from Him - you don't have to pay for a gift.

So we step out again in faith and will watch to see what the Lord provides - we will continue to walk as doors open. And if for some reason, the doors close, then it will be His will - at least Christina's file is now found.