Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

It's hard to believe it is the end of 2011.....what a busy year it has been! It has been full of a lot of work, waiting, paperwork, heartache, excitement and blessings. In some ways, I am thankful to say "goodbye" to some of 2011...

- the stress of starting an adoption
- the overwhelming mountain of paperwork
- turning 30 (ha ha)
- the anxiety of waiting for a referral
- the agonizing wait for LOA (it's not over, but we have almost made it to day 80!)
- the completion of my National Board portfolio and assessment...and the LONG wait to find out that I had passed!
- Jason's unexpected illness and surgery
- the grief we felt - and still feel - for friends and family who have suffered unfathomable losses this year

However, despite this year being a stressful year, we obviously have so much to be thankful for and we had many, many wonderful and memorable moments to savor!

As we look forward to 2012, we know our little world will drastically change this year. So, we enter the new year with excitement for...

- our LOA (which will get our process rolling again)
- Alexis' 4th birthday (how on earth can she be 4 already?!?)
- traveling to China and meeting our SON!
- my sister's WEDDING and all the fun, related festivities

We know this adoption journey is far from over, and I'm sure there will be many surprises yet to come. Thanks for being a part of this experience with us so far! So many people have supported and encouraged us through every step and it helps to know Jaxson is already loved by so many people.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

One year ago...

One year ago we officially began our adoption journey. I started this blog and ironically named it, "Our Waiting Journey." My, how we have waited....

- We waited 2 months for a home study to be finished
- We waited 3 more months after that to have all of our documents ready to send to China
- We waited 65 days for US Immigration approval (1-8ooa)
- We waited two weeks after our dossier was sent to China to be "logged-in"
- We then waited five months to be matched with a young girl

Then, we saw Jaxson's sweet face on Lifeline's blog and started inquiring about him...
- We waited two weeks to see if we could transfer to Lifeline
- We waited two more weeks to transfer agencies
- We waited almost three weeks for provisional approval for Jaxson
- we have now waited 66 days for our Letter of Acceptance

So, the wait continues.

It has been quite an emotional year in many ways, but a year of learning and changing. A year ago, we never thought we'd be waiting to bring home a 2-year old boy, but now I can't imagine him NOT being a boy! I still do not like waiting AT ALL, but I can tell I am more patient (although Jason would probably disagree!).

I do wish things would speed up, as we worry about him and think about him all the time! I especially hate it for Alexis! I know our day will come, though.

I often think about what a big responsibility it is to bring a child into your home - whether biologically or through adoption. It's scary, exhilarating, frightening and exciting - all at the same time! I've thought about Mary a lot lately - and how hard her journey was, how much she had to wait and what a challenge she had ahead of her as Jesus' mother. Look how God was with her!! I know he is with us, too.

Thank you for following our journey for the last year. I am so anxious to see the next chapter unfold.

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Clarity and Thankfulness

It's been a few weeks since I posted, and life has been a bit crazy! Two weeks ago today, Jason went to the hospital with what I thought was a stomach bug, but it was actually his appendix! After a long wait, he finally had an appendectomy to remove the ruptured organ. Some infection had leaked into his abdominal area, so he ended up spending five days in the hospital. It was a long, tiring that included me being pulled over (thankfully no ticket), a trip to Target without my wallet (I came to this realization at the checkout with a full cart), respiratory issues for Alexis, and an unusually long wait to receive my National Board scores due to a technology complication.

The week ended with a healing Jason AND I found out I achieved National Board certification! Throughout the chaos of managing the week without Jason (who is wonderful and helps me tremendously), several people asked me a powerful question, "What if this had happened in China?"

I cannot begin to express how thankful I am that we were NOT in China when this happened. I can't even fathom how stressful or frightening that scenario could have been! Last summer, when we were awaiting a match, we were told we would most likely be matched in June or July. As those months passed, including August and part of September, I was quite frustrated and bitterly disappointed, as each passing month just seemed to taunt me as I saw other families being matched left and right. I didn't understand how we could be at the top of our agency's list, month after month, with no "luck."

A few months later, and it is amazing the clarity we now have. If we had been matched in June or July, we'd likely be in or traveling to China at this time. We are so thankful that God knew we didn't need to be there right now AND that he knew we needed more time to find little Jaxson!

Many people have asked me where we are in the process right now. My answer? More waiting! We are waiting on the Letter of Acceptance from China that will go to U.S. Immigration. It's commonly referred to as LOA. It is an official notification from China that Jaxson is our son. The wait for this paper is around 45-100+ days. There appears to be no rhyme or reason as to why some receive theirs quickly and others wait the agonizing 100+ days. We are on day 49 right now. I saw, on a message board I read, where some families received theirs this week after 35, 46, 73 and 83 days. Who knows!! We WISH we would have it by Christmas, but we will be satisfied with receiving it by Jason's birthday (January 22nd). After LOA, it should be 2-3 months until we get him! The wait is very hard - we just want to get him and start this new chapter of our lives. Patience......patience....patience.....

I wanted to share a picture from Thanksgiving at my Aunt Mary Beth's house. Jason looks a little tired, but much better than a week before! The final pictures are from our Christmas decorating after Thanksgiving. Alexis posed with a photo of Jaxson for us!