We received amazing news last Monday. I received an email that stated that we were OOT (out of translation) which basically meant our dossier (big pile of Haun family documents) was done being translated…and the wait was on for our LOA (Letter of Acceptance aka Letter Seeking Confirmation). The official wait for our LOA started on 3/20, when received our Log In Date from China saying that they had received our Dossier and that it was starting to be translated. The LOA wait, we were told, can be anywhere from 30-90 days and we were expecting it to take 50 plus days. This specific letter is the official piece of paper that China sends to our agency and then they send to us and we must sign it and check the box that says: Yes, we want to adopt our Lucy! Then we send it back and we start our immigration paperwork to work on leaving this country!
Well…I was elated that we were officially OOT and then…a few hours later… I get the email that our LOA had come!!! I could NOT believe it…on day 32!!!! That kind of wait is incredible!! I was so thankful and so excited and we were going to be traveling sooner than I thought we would!!! I was thanking Jesus for that time being shorter and not longer, because I feel our wait for Lucy has been longer than it should have been because of the age rule in China. 🙂 So, on Tuesday I received our LOA packet from our agency at 3:30pm. I literally became a crazy person for two hours and sat my computer and did all the required paperwork and got everything required for our packet, signed everything, drove down to Chad, had him sign everything, and took it back to FedEx to overnight back to our agency by 7pm! I was exhausted, but I didn’t want to waste another second of getting to travel to go get our girl!
You might be wondering, Why have you had to wait so long for Lucy? For those of you who don’t know…here is our story to finding Lucy…
In May 2012, Chad and I had been talking and praying about when to start this adoption process. We knew the process would take time and we wanted our children to be close in age and so we decided to apply at the beginning of June. For a couple of months, I had been researching different agencies and trying to decide which one to use. We really had no clue where to even start and I tried to ask some different people and get some good advice on which one to go with. I had requested info from about 5 different agencies and many of them looked like they would be great ones to use.
Well, my friend, Amy had told me about a friend of hers who worked for an agency in Birmingham, AL. Her friend had contacted her via FB and the message said if she knew of any of her friends who were wanting to adopt from China, that they should look into using Lifeline because they were about to open up some more orphanage partnerships in China. This means there were going to be so many more children available to adopt from China. So, I took this as a sign from God to look into Lifeline Children Services and after receiving info and praying about it, Chad and I both felt like that is definitely the agency for us! (and I’m SO glad that we are with them!! Lifeline is simply and AMAZING agency!!!!)
So, we applied, and was accepted into the China program in June. Our homestudy would be the first item on the agenda and it would take a couple months to complete and then we would move onto the next step and so on…
Little did I know that late one night in June, I was looking on the Waiting Child list on Lifeline’s website. (Anyone can go onto their website and view their waiting children, just go to www.lifelinechild.org and click on China and then Waiting Children. You have to agree to the terms and then you can view them and you will see all the different orphanage partnerships they have.) So, I’m looking on their waiting child list and I see a picture of a little girl who was at that time, 7 months old, and she immediately grabs my attention. I think to myself: could this be our daughter? And then I think, I’m crazy, we just started this process…No way I would find her this soon! And I’m thinking, this is just my emotional self, because I would bring home 5 if I could! So….I go on with life and starting our homestudy, but this little girl never leaves the back of my mind.
About mid July, I end up showing Chad her picture and he says: She’s cute and that was about the only response I got from him. I know he was thinking, we just started this process and you are already finding our kid??? Woman, you are crazy!
Well, if you know me at all…I didn’t let this go…because just about every night before I would go to sleep, I would look at this little girl on the list just to see if she had the word “matched” beside her name yet…and every night she did not! In August, we were close to being done with our homestudy, I decided to look once again at the waiting child list and there was this precious little girl once more, staring back at me…I decided to just email my social worker, Morgan. I just wanted to see if she was available and see what kind of info they had on her. On the waiting list is stated that her special needs were: ASD, VSD, patent ductus arteriousus and a polydactyl thumb. And none of that really seemed to bother me. 🙂 After I had emailed Morgan, in just a few hours, she had sent me a reply telling me that this little girl was definitely still available and asked me if I wanted to put her file on hold so I could view it??
I know I should have asked Chad first, but I didn’t and I of course said, YES! So, Morgan sent me her file and I begin to fall even more in love with this child! I knew I was in trouble because Chad still had no idea the love I already had for her. So, me being the crazy girl that I am sometimes, I call Chad at the store (IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY) and start telling him about her and how I have her file for him to view, etc, etc… and He was not very happy with me…for one, he was so busy it being the middle of the day and all…and two, I had not asked him first…uh-oh…I thought I was doomed…
Later that night, once the kids were in bed, we get a chance to sit and go over her file and talk about it. I know and realize I totally should have not jumped and asked for her file without talking to Chad first, but we were past that now. Chad just couldn’t get over how soon this was happening because in His mind we would have probably not received a referral until after Christmas. Little did we know, we would find this little girl on the list who fit our only exceptions (1: female, 2: younger than Emmalyn). So, Chad says we need to pray about this and give me some time to think about it. We also needed to seek out the consult of some doctors to gather all the info we could about her heart conditions and what we would be looking at for possible surgery(s) when she got home. I was already in 100% and I knew that Chad did need time for God to also lay it on his heart. So, we held her file for a weekend, contacted a couple doctors, a few nurses, and close family and friends and that Sunday night Chad and I sat down, once again, after the kiddos were in bed and He told me that He felt like she was supposed to be OURS!! I, of course, lost it and could not believe we had found our Lucy.
I immediately wrote Morgan an email telling her we wanted her and what do we do next?? (although I knew she wouldn’t read it until the morning)
The next day we submitted a Letter of Intent for this precious little girl…I was so excited…and then two days later I received devastating news…
to be continued….