Monday, November 29, 2010

One Step Closer

One step closer .... we are almost there.

We received word from our agency today that our Article 5 was issued on November 26. I can't believe we are at the end of our paperwork journey and almost to the point that China tells us we can come to get our son. So again we wait .... we are waiting for TA (Travel Approval). We are so close yet I know this is going to be the hardest wait yet. I am so glad there is the business of the holidays and preparing for a trip to China to keep us busy and pass the time as we wait. After we get TA we will be making plane reservations. We are hoping to be on a plane in January to bring our little boy home.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Giving Thanks

This year we had a very relaxing, quiet Thanksgiving. We had Thanksgiving lunch with just the 5 of us at home. As we were preparing the Thanksgiving turkey I couldn't help but reflect on the fact that just a year ago we sat around the table at my parents and shared with our extended family that we were just starting the adoption process to bring a little boy home from China. A year later we are so close to bringing our little boy home. We have seen his face, we have fallen in love, we know his name ... now we just need to know what it feels like to hold him in our arms.

As we went around the table and each of us prayed about the things we were thankful for our new son and brother was on the top of every ones list. Shane was so cute he thanked God for his baby brother and made sure to ask God to make sure Max has a good day with his friends and that they take good care of him at his home.

As I looked around the table and saw the spot on the end that Max with soon fill it was so surreal to think this is the last Thanksgiving meal as a family of 5. We are so thankful for God's plan in bringing Max into our life. Soon our little man will be home to fill the 6th spot at our table and fill an even bigger spot in our hearts.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
Psalm 100:4

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Name .... His Name

What is behind a name? Our little boy was given the name Fu Zhi Da after he arrived at the orphanage.

傅 Fu means wealthy

志 Zhi means will or purpose

大 Da means to attain or achieve

Fu is considered his "family name" or more like our last name. Fu is given to the kids that are brought to this specific orphanage. Zhi or the 2nd part of the name is often given to a child and represents the year that he came into care. Da was the name given specifically to our son. Zhi Da means to achieve purpose. From the day we began our journey we began praying for our son knowing he was probably born. We pray that as he grows he understands that he was born with great purpose and that God has a plan for his little life. I am thankful that God has called us to be part of that plan.

Now that his visa is in process we have had to firmly decided what his name is going to be. Names are hard. We knew we wanted to keep part of his Chinese name and after we received his referral "little Fu" became the name we called him and still often call him when we talk about him and pray for him. So we decided we wanted "Fu" to be part of his name. One night Eric and I were sitting out by the fire pit before our referral and I said we should probably start talking about names. Eric said what about Max? I began to smile and told him that was so funny to hear him say because that is the name that I kept thinking about. Max had been on our list of boy names before Alexa was born but then hadn't been brought back up with Emma or Shane. When we saw his picture we knew Max would suit him perfectly. We decided to have his middle name be Lei Fu. We wanted to honor my friend Leigh Ann in the way that she has helped mold me as a woman, wife and mom. We wanted to honor her in the legacy she lived and left behind as she was taken tragically from this earth. We loved how Lei Fu just worked and looked together. So it is official! Our sons name is

Max Lei Fu McDonald

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Year Ago Today

Today marks a year that we were accepted into the China program and began our journey to our son. Somedays it feels like we have been at this forever and in other ways it feels like we blinked and we are so close to holding our son in our arms. This year may be marked by the lowest of lows and the highest of highs. This was the year that I lost my best friend in a tragic car accident but it is also the year that God has given us the blessing of a new son to call our own. My friend Leigh Ann was our cheerleader and we talked almost daily. Leigh Ann and her husband were in the process of adopting domestically and so you can dare bet that something about adoption came up almost every day during our conversations. I miss her so much. I miss having her on this journey. I miss sharing each milestone we meet on the journey and yet I can still hear her voice or know what she would say when fear of the unknown creeps in. I so wanted to call her the day we got our referral and yet I could hear the words that would have come out of her mouth. She would have cried with me as she looked at the picture of our son. We both shared such a passion about being moms and wishing our kids didn't have to grow up and go to school. We always joked that we would just keep adding little ones and have a very full house. I am so thankful for her fingerprints all over my life. I am thankful for God's hand in my life even when things are hard and I don't understand things that happened around us.

Today marks a year that we have been in process but God had laid adoption on our hearts many years before November 7, 2009. In August Eric had actually brought up pursuing adoption which you can read about earlier on our blog. The very month we began discussing moving forward with adoption, researching agencies, emailing and talking with others who have adopted from China and praying about God's plan for our family was the very month our son was born and was found and brought to the orphanage.

So today marks a year. It is a year of incredible loss and incredible gain. It is a year that I hold tightly to the fact that God gives and he takes away. The taking away still hurts and it is hard to understand but I continue to trust that it is he who is holding me in the giving and the taking away! I know the days ahead will be filled with joy and yet there will be hard days on this journey. I am so thankful that God is walking before us on our journey. I pray that we can continue to put our complete trust in him.

Friday, November 5, 2010

2 Steps Closer

We were able to take 2 steps in the right direction this week. On Thursday the National Visa Center cabled Fu's visa information to the consulate in China. We received the letter from them on Friday. We emailed this piece of paperwork to our agency the minute it was in our inbox and it will go with the rest of our paperwork to the US Consulate in China.

What next?

In 2-3 weeks the consulate will issue our Article 5. The Article 5 is the consulate pre-approving Fu for an immigrant visa. After Article 5 is issued it will be brought to the CCAA (China Center of Adoption Affairs).

Once the CCAA received our Article 5, they will contact Fu's orphanage to make sure everything is in order and he is ready for adoption. Once the orphanage gets back to the CCAA, our TA (Travel Approval) will then be issued. That means that China is tell us we can travel to China to get our son. That is when we book flights and know the day that we will finally have him in our arms. I can't imagine what that day will feel like.

We are getting so close!

Pray with us that things continue to move smoothly. We are hoping to travel in January. February is when the Chinese New Year begins in China. Adoptions and travel is affected greatly and so we would love to be in China and home before February. We originally thought we would be traveling in late February or March when we looked at the average paperwork processing time. We are so thankful that we have been on the fast track through post referral paperwork instead. Now it doesn't always feel like the fast track but in the paperwork world things have moved really smooth. It is hard not to get our hopes up that that will continue. We know God timing is perfect. Pray that we continue to trust in his timing!

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