Monday, February 23, 2009

Anticipatory Anxiety

In the last month, we were in such a celebratory mood. We were telling everyone about the great news of "Hope." (No, it ain't Obama's stimulus package). We were so excited, we virtually told everybody about our adoption news.
But this week, the stark reality of this last phase of the adoption process has hit me.

We are getting a 2nd kid!!!! AHHH!!

Travel Arrangements and packing- I can't believe that in a month or so, we're going to lug suitcases and baby "stuff" to China. We're going to do the diaper thing and jars of tasteless baby food all over again.

Jet Lag- Owen just came back from his missions trip from the Philippines.
His sleeping pattern is still slightly off. I'm just wondering how it'll be when all 4 of us return and how Faith and Hope will adjust?

Attachment- In our hearts and mind, Hope is our daughter. But, will she like us? Will she emotionally attach and connect to our family? Will she get along with her older sister Faith? What's her personality going to be like?

Going Back To Work- Like all families that have a new baby, you have those first few weeks (maternity leave) to adjust to the new child. But, we won't have that. We will go back to work immediately. We're going to have to be a tag team, working some hours from home and taking turns being at the office.

Having A Second Child- The ratio was 2:1, parent to child. But now it's going to be divide and conquer. It's going to be one on one. Scary, the little muchkins can gang up on us.

After some breathing exercises (breath in, breath out), I had to turn to the bible for some comfort. "Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them,. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?" Luke 12:24-26

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Traveling To China

Our agency informed us that we will be traveling around the end of March. Meanwhile, we wait for our travel approvals. We just renewed another Homeland Security clearance. There's visas to apply for and other travel arrangements to prepare for. The big shocker is the 'In Country Fees" of $7000 still needed for the final stage of this adoption. Man, with this severe economic crisis happening around the world, don't they know that it's hard for people to get that kind of cash. We are totally at their mercy. Gee, do we pay for our property tax or do we pick up our daughter from China.
Well, it is what it is and we will not lose hope. We are determined to make this work. Thus, we are naming our new daughter Hope. So grace-full-lee, faith-full-lee and hope-full-lee, we will travel to China soon. Maybe we'll rename Owen to truth, than he'll be truth-full-lee.

Referral News

Then the day finally came. It was Jan. 28, 2009. It's called the "Referral." It was a total shock to us when we received the phone call. Our adoption agency, America World called and the exact words were "Grace and Owen, we have a referral for you." They said, "we have a girl for you and her name is Ling Wu Qian. She's from the province of Jiangxi, from the Shangrao Children's Welfare Center. To the best of their knowledge, she was born on 1/15/08, (it's Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday for those of you keeping track of African American History).

After we hung up, I (Grace) could not breath. I needed a paperbag. I sat down, I got up. I paced. I was hyperventilating. I was crying. I was laughing. My heart was pounding. I was a mess. Mind you, we had been waiting for over 3 years. You just don't treat this type of news nonchalantly. We were beyond excited. I was going to explode. We have a baby girl waiting for us in China. I think the earth stood still, the angels rejoiced and God was estactic along with us.

Paper Pregnancy Phase

This is the process where you began to turn your paperwork in. There were fingerprints required. Police clearance needed. Homeland Security approvals. A social worker had to come and complete a home study on our family, insuring that we were loving and capable people. Most of the documentation had to be notarized, certified and authenticated. We started in 2006 and officially our dossier was accepted by Feb. 2007. The Chinese government had every conceivable document on us.

Then we began to wait and wait and wait. While we waited, China received bad publicity on wheat gluten in pet food. Then toys had to be recalled because lead was found that surpassed the safety levels. We continued to wait. We had to renew a certain document. More money. Then a terrible and tragic earthquake occurred in China. Then there was this thing called the "Olympics" that preoccupied the entire nation of China. More waiting. Our home study had to be renewed. Some more money. We were waiting so long, we had forgotten we were waiting.

Our Lee Family Adoption Story

It all started more than 3 years ago. Well, if you're counting the one year of praying before contacting an adoption agency than it's more than 4 years ago. Owen and I felt incredibly blessed when we gave birth to Faith our daughter in 2002. Her story is a miracle in itself. But we felt there must be more. Granted we wanted a sibling for Faith, but it was more than that. We thought if we already sponsor a child from Quito, Ecuador and a child from Thailand, maybe it's time that we did something more, much much more.

We made the decision to adopt and started involving our wonderful friends. They say "it takes a village to raise a child," well in our case, it took a village to start the adoption process.

We had a garage sale and all our friends brought their "junk," oops I mean their treasures to our house. We raised enough money to start the application process.

The front our house were full of things and people. The "professional" garage shoppers came at 6:45am!!! We were hardly set up. Boy, did they bargain.

Friends and family came to help out that actual day. Others had sold their prized sports memorabilia on Ebay. One dear friend (Janice & her 2 kids) set up a lemonade stand in front of their house to raise money for our adoption.

Thus, began our journey of adopting.