Friday, March 30, 2007

Where oh where could our hs be??

Well, after almost 3 weeks, I decided to contact USCIS to make sure they had all that they needed to process our 171. Good thing I did. Evidently our homestudy is floating somewhere in the building but not at the desk of the lady who actually does the processing! Our agency has record of it getting there but she has never gotten it. I'm glad I didn't wait - I could have been waiting a VERY long time! Our agency sent another one over today so HOPEFULLY we'll get this 171 in another week or so. I was angry this morning but am over it now. God pulled me back and let me look at the big picture. He has to keep reminding me it isn't about the process, it's about our next child and things have to work at the right time to get him/her! A new group of special needs kiddos arrived at our agency this week and are being translated. We have no way of knowing if we'll get a match in this batch or not - we should know in a few weeks. Of course it is exciting but we are realistic. Just because we were called last batch doesn't mean that we'll get one this time. It all just depends on the children in the batch and those families who are on the waiting list. We don't know where we are in regards to other families on the list because each family individually notes what special needs they are comfortable considering from a list of probably 20 or so. Many prefer girls over boys so that is certainly in our favor (we don't care either way) and most are only willing to consider very minor special needs. So, the wait continues (which really should be the mantra for most international adoptions!)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Be Still

Ok, those of you who know me are probably chuckling at the title of this post. I've never been good at being still. To just sit seems like such a waste to me. But God's thoughts aren't my thoughts - He wants me to be still! So, we have all been suffering throught colds, asthma (thus sleepless nights) and the like for over a month. We are still waiting for our 171, even though everyone of our friends have recently gotten them in 1/2 the time that we have already waited. Those same friends are already dtc, even though they all started 4-6 weeks after we did. You get the picture. Nothing is moving quickly here at the Weikel house. God is forcing me to be still and wait - not something that comes naturally. Yet He loves me enough to teach me this lesson. Let's hope I'm a better student than I have been in the past. I just want to be done!!! (yeah, I've got some work to do.....)

Monday, March 26, 2007

April or bust

Well, today is the day. If we don't get our 171 (INS approval) today, we won't be dtc (dossier to China) until April. I thought we'd be dtc by now but obviously God has something else planned. We'll just keep sitting back and waiting for God's timing...

Awesome Book

Just wanted to pass along an awesome read. The Heavenly Man is the story of Brother Yun, the founder of the house church movement in China. You will not be able to read his story without being convicted and astounded. This isn't a light read but one I highly recommend. Those of us who are believers have a responsibility to pray for our fellow brothers and sisters (and once you finish reading this book you'll realize we need just as much prayer!). Family Bookstore had it for $5 with any purchase for their Family Perks members.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

They've been found!!

Fed Ex found the missing package! It was in a wharehouse in Biejing with a missing shipping label. The documents were hand delivered on Friday. This was a day after the families had been told that they would have to start over again. Praise the Lord!!!! I can't even imagine the rollercoaster these families have been on this week and we are rejoicing with them!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Urgent Prayer

I know that there are lots of prayer warriors who will check this site so I want to let you know about something that you can lay at our Father's feet...
Fed Ex has lost our agency's dossiers from last week. 15 families are involved. For those of you who don't right away understand the severity of this situation, let me tell you what goes into a dossier. It takes several months to put together the documents needed, several hundred dollars for document authentication and lots of time, sweat, tears and prayers. Most of the documents involved would have to start all over from the beginning if they are not recovered. Our agency is working round the clock as is Fed Ex to resolve this and find this missing package. For those of us who have done this before or are in process, this is one of our deepest, darkest fears. I can only imagine what they are feeling right now. But we know that God knows where that package is and our prayer is that He would give Fed Ex the eyes to see it, our agency the perserverance to see it through and GRACE to all the families involved.
On a personal note, we could have very easily been in that batch. Our homestudy took longer than I thought it should and I was irritated that our process was taking longer than it should have. Well, I have been humbled and have now given close friends permission to deck me if I complain at the timing of this process.
I will keep you posted as we learn more. Thanks ahead of time for lifting this situation up in prayer!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Ken's new baby

No, this has nothing to do with the adoption... But as many of you know, our store was blessed to win Chick-fil-A's premiere sales award this past year. Along with the recognition comes a car! Ken and I drove his new mustang convertible back from Atlanta a couple of weeks ago. He's had a great time driving around and has even let some of our customers drive it! The timing couldn't be better - he turns 40 in a couple of weeks so this ought to satisfy that mid life crisis!

Look Out American Idol!

Friday night was our homeschool group's talent show. Being the introverts that we are ;) we took advantage of the opportunity to be on stage.

Jacob sang "Respect" by Aretha Franklin and Anna and I were the backup singers. I'm sure there are a great many things we could say about this but sometimes the fewer words posted, the better. Jacob was in his glory - give the boy a mic and a stage and he's in his element!

Anna did some cheers with one of the older girls in the group. She wants to be a cheerleader sooooo bad and can't wait until next year when she'll FINALLY be in 1st grade and can cheer for Upward Basketball. She did an awesome job!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Getting Close

The end is in sight! Today we ventured up the the USCIS office and had our fingerprints done for our 171. Today makes the 2nd time we've had our fingerprints done this time (a much better record than last time when we had to have fingerprints done 4 different times!). The office we went to today was not the downtown Baltimore office that we've gone to in the past. These people were nice, quick (less than a 1/2 hour!) and treated us like people. No parking garage, no security check point. It was an almost pleasant experience. You have no idea what a breath of fresh air that is in this paperchase! I have gained a level of compassion for those who are trying to be in this country legally or who are trying to become citizens. It is not always an easy task to navigate the world of immigration, and we were born here, speak the language (most of the time :) ) and have college degrees. I can't imagine what it is like for someone who doesn't speak the language and is new to this country!
Our homestudy was sent off on Friday so we're hoping that the great alignment happens on Monday morning and that they get all the pieces together in one spot. A quick review (a girl can dream) and then they send us our 171! That is the document that allows us to bring home our child. Can't do it without that magic piece of paper. It is kind of like the holy grail in the international adoption community. It is always the last piece of paperwork that you need and without it, the whole thing is a no go. It is at this stage that people have been known to start stalking their mail person and camping out by the mailbox. Of course I've never done that, I've only read about it in books....
The record right now from the Baltimore office is a week - we're blown away that it could be that quick since it took us 6 weeks last time. Other offices have a wait time right now of up to 3 months so we are very blessed! Since we live here in the DC area, we can do all the authentication and hand deliver our dossier (all the documents that go to China) in 2 days. Yeah!!!! I'll be thrilled when that happens - the end to the paperwork (for now...)!
If all goes well, we should be dtc (dossier to China) by the end of March. Three years ago our dtc date was the last week of March. How cool is that? Now let's see if we can make it to China by the end of the year...

Monday, March 5, 2007

Growing up!

This has been a big week for the Weikel girls! Finally, after much distress, Anna has lost her first tooth. It hung on for a day or so until she finally let Daddy do his magic and remove it with one little wiggle. She was so excited about the Tooth Fairy leaving her a $1 that she woke us up (:[) to let us know in the middle of the night. She looks so cute with her tongue squeezing through that little space :)
Sarah's big news is that she is now in big girl underwear!!!! Evidently Grandma was a saint while Ken and I were gone and helped her improve those potty skills. She's on day 8 with only one accident so we are quite excited. That means I will not have 2 in diapers ever again - Hallelujah!!! It also means that she gets to take dance class in the fall - something she's wanted to do for a long time now.
While I'm thrilled for the girls in their accomplishments, they are always bitter sweet. It means that my girls are growing up and I don't have any babies in the house anymore (at least for awhile!). This mama bird knows that in 10 short years I"ll have a house full of teenagers - YIKES!!!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

More testing.....

Ok, so you'll have to "suffer" through more photos of my kids while I figure out this blog thing. It continues to amaze me that despite the normal sibling squables, my girls really are good friends. They normally play so well together. Ken and I love to watch them at night when we say prayers together as they cuddle and giggle and, in general, act like silly little girls. Our prayer is that they will continue to stay close as the grow older. That kind of relationship is such a gift. Sweet sisters!

Ok, this is a study in contrasts.... While the girls look sweet and silly, the boys are just plain goofy! They are best friends (most of the time) although they are typical boys. Gotta always touch each other or something! We haven't had a formal family picture in years - maybe this is why?!

This is Jacob. Nothing more needs to be said (except that he is probably wearing a pink shirt underneath - no problem with expressing himself!)

My favorite photo from Sarah's birthday party and the perfect picture of her personality - Pretty princess dressed in a party dress, packing a machine gun.... We don't ever worry about Sarah getting pushed around!

Friday, March 2, 2007

Ok, so this isn't the most current photo of all of them but it isn't easy to find one that has all of them in it. I'm still trying to figure out the uploading photo thing...

They do look so sweet Christmas morning, even if they are half awake :)

Of course we know that someone is missing - hoping that we might have our newest kiddo in the picture this coming Christmas!

In the beginning....

Here it is, my first blog post. Probably a dangerous endeavor but here it goes ;)
We've started this blog to journal our journey for the newest addition to our chaotic but happy family. We can't wait to head back to China and meet our newest addition, whoever he/she is!