Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Travel approval & travel dates!

This past Monday we got the great news that our travel approval had arrived to our agency!  I expected to see them this week but Monday was a bit of a surprise.

Then yesterday we got our specific dates of travel:
We are leaving the US on September 5th and arriving in Beijing on the 6th.
September 7 will be a tour day in Beijing.
September 8th we will travel in Guiyang, Guizhou.
September 9th...GOTCHA DAY!  The day that Mia Jade is finally placed in my arms!

The following two weeks are filled with some tour days, official appointments to finalize her adoption and appointments to get the required documentation to bring her home to the US and become an American citizen!
And finally, we should arrive back home on September 21st.  What a great homecoming that will be!

This time is so exciting!  Two weeks from today we will be on a plane heading for China.  It's still a bit unreal.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Post Referral Phase

It's been just over 7 weeks since "match day" and it has been busy!  The first few weeks were filled with more paperwork with crazy names like I800, PA, DS230, & A5 issued by places called NBC, NVC and ACIVU.  Now we are waiting for the all important TA.  That one I will explain; our travel approval!  It's the last thing we need to be 'invited' to China to go get Mia Jade.  We are hopeful that it will come next week and then we can start making plans...which means hopefully leaving for China the first week of September!  

This has been a very exciting time.  I love to look at her picture everyday and speculate when I will hold her in my arms.  I recently got more information about her which was very exciting.  One of the things that I wondered most about was where she was during the month or two from when she was found to when she turned over to the orphanage.  It is required to search for family members of abandoned children for approximately two months.  After notifying the police about her finding, a "finding ad" is placed in the local paper giving family the opportunity to get her in the event it was not intentional.  I wondered where she was during this time and just found out that she was kept by the couple that found her.  This warmed my heart so much.  My prayers have been filled with thanks for these strangers; key figures in my daughter's life who I will never know anything about.  I am so very thankful to them for taking part in her care and her future.  How I wish I could tell them "thank you" and tell them she has a home.  

I want to add a little education about abandonment and "findings" in China.  This is something that sounds so cruel to us in America, but this is how adoption as we know it can be initiated in China.  There is no legal path for a birth mother to choose a better home through adoption in China; another right in the US that we take for granted.  The only option is "abandonment", but this also is illegal.  So babies are often left where the will quickly be found, sometimes with notes explaining why the child had to be given up.  The reasons are the same as birthmothers in the United States or anywhere in the world - one or more parent may have died, they are too young to be parents, they can not afford to feed the child or provide appropriate healthcare.  Of course there are also some cultural reasons that too often are assumed to be the reason of a female abandomment.  More often than not, children "abandoned" in China are done so out of love, not left as if they are trash...which the term "abandoned" often conjures. 

Mia Jade did not have a note but this also is not surprising.  She comes from one of the poorest, uneducated areas of China.  When even the people in China say its extremely poor, you know there is nothing like it here in the US.  So is it very possible her birthmother/family were illiterate.  Some minority groups in the area (which she may be part of) don't even have a written language to this day.  I can speculate what her first days were like but I like the things that I know; when she was found, she was a healthy weight, so she was well cared for.  I am a person who does not dwell on the past or the unknown and I hope I can pass this gift on to my daughter.  Besides, God put her in the perfect place at the perfect time to end up in our lives where I get the privilege of teaching her about Jesus Christ; something that surely she would not have received if she did not already walk the challenging path of her young life.