earthquakes and packages!

I wanted to let you all know that Lydia is safe and sound. Lots of you have asked about her and how fun it has been to have so many people already loving on our little girl! She is from Guangzhou which is in the very southern part of China, about 60 miles from Hong Kong – a long way from the earthquake action. So she is running around without a care in the world!

We have received pre-approval from China, which is the second to last piece of paperwork that we need before traveling. This came 10 days after our referral which was miraculously fast (am I even surprised?) We are now waiting for the Letter of Approval which says we can TRAVEL!!! We really have no idea how long this is going to take – could be a month, could be several months. Because China just transferred to a new online system, there is no precedent for the timelines. So…we wait and pray and know that God’s timing is perfect! And if there were ever a situation to believe that God could do the miraculous, it is with our Lydia!

Part of the joy of receiving pre-approval is that we can now send her things in the mail. So we packaged up some fun things and sent them her way. It was exciting especially for the kids (well, I was pretty excited too!) and they are now constantly asking when she is going to come! We sent her a blanket, a little dress, some shoes, 2 disposable cameras which we will get when we pick her up, some candy and nuts for her foster family, an Asian rag doll, and lots of pictures of us. We have been told that her transition will be made a lot easier if she is prepared by her foster family for adoption. So hopefully, once they get our box, they will begin to show her our pictures and teach her “Mama” and “Daddy” (I’m told they at least know those 2 English words). The more she is familiar with our faces, the more comfortable she will be when she is in our arms for the first time.

Today we went down to the beach with the kids. Eric’s sister was with us and took some pictures of our family. I couldn’t help but think that someone was missing. It wasn’t really our whole family. And then as I looked around at all the “normal” families I thought, I wonder what this will be like when Lydia comes? How many stares are we going to get? How many dumb questions like, “Is she your real daughter?” What is it going to be like to have a little girl who looks so different than us? How is she going to react to looking like she doesn’t belong? We know how much we love her and how much God has orchestrated events to place her in our family, but how do we communicate that to her? How do we raise to her to believe, despite all of the unknowns and why’s of her past, that she is our daughter; and God’s plan for her, from the beginning of time, was to be with our family?

These are the questions we find ourselves talking about now. It is no longer the anticipation of who she will be, what she will look like, when she will come. We are now thinking how in the world do we do this? This adoption thing is huge, it is lifelong, parts of it are very heavy, it is a situation that will take all the wisdom God can give us (as if just regular parenting wasn’t enough!) But…we are loving the adventure! We can’t wait until we hold her sweet little self in our arms. And almost as much as we anticipate that moment, we look forward to that first time we can share her with you all. God has done a miracle and we absolutely can’t wait to shout it from the mountain tops with the proof right there in our arms!

Lots of love,