Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Waiting on Him has not been the easiest thing to do. I know He has a plan. I know that becoming a mom is His plan for me and my daughter is in Ch*na. I love to have my ducks in order. At this point, I don't even know when the ducks will be coming in muchless how many will be arriving. Not very easy for me. I am trying really hard to trust in Him and the fact that where He guides, He provides.
The world can't understand why I would want to return to Ch*na to raise my daughter for the next year. In their eyes, I make more money in the states and could provide so much more for her here. It made it even harder when I didn't get approved for the loan that I applied for. All along, I kept working on getting my debt lower and my credit record better so I would be elligible for a loan when the time came. Never did ever consider that I wouldn't be elligible because I was making so little and didn't have enough to make the payment.
I love how He loves me though. When they declined me for the loan, I immediately thought "Well, this is just going to be a bigger G*d story!" It definitely is! I had continued to hope for the loan to go through even though I should have figured out I wouldn't get it when I filled out the forms. He continued to let me hope for it until the right time. Now He just wants me to wait on Him and faithfully do what He asks.
I love that while you wait on Him, He blesses you along the way. I have received a few tokens for good. Today, I received a donation check for $3000. I was blown away! I love how He uses people to do His work. He has touched so many people with the spirit of adoption. Those people want to share in helping others receive that joy as well. I am getting so much closer. This is all due to the faithful out there pr*ying and doing as He guides as well. Thank you all for being a part of Jade's journey home!
I still have some last minute grants that I am going to apply for. I am waiting to hear from A Child Waits Foundation and Show Hope. He knows the needs for the adoption, for the travel needed later in the year to make her a US citizen as well as the needs for our year in Ch*na. There is nothing HE can't do. So for now, I wait on the L*RD! He continues to give me confirmation after confirmation that where I am stepping is His plan and no matter what door closes, I will step where He guides.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Over the past 4 1/2 years of waiting for this adoption to actually come full circle, I have read several adoption blogs. There is not a mom out there who hasn't had to wait for things...papers...decisions...certifications...TA's. The list goes on! I now know where they were and for some of them, presently are!
I too am waiting for my TA! I can't complain about that as I have only been waiting 2 weeks. Many families under the new Hague Treaty are waiting for many, many weeks! I sympathize with them. I am under the pre-Hague Treaty rules and my TA is projected to take only 2-6 weeks. My prayer is that my TA takes it's sweet time! I guess you might ask why?
For me, there are lots of things that still have to get put into place before I can travel to get my daughter. You wanna hear the list? Good...let me share it with you!
1. I am waiting for my Home Study Update to get finished. Today it was finally agreed on that I didn't have to try and get Child Abuse Clearance from Ch*na as they don't have anything like it in place. This was a HUGE challenge for me. I won't even begin to get into it but it wasn't pretty!
2. Once my Home Study Update is finished, it needs to be sent to USCIS (Immigration). A week before I got my RA/LOA, the policy changed. After living in Ch*na a year...I understand how policies change before you have finished taking a breath. Adoptive families used to be able to just bring their updates with them to Guangzhou. Now they have to have Immigration approve it before it is sent to Ch*na.
3. From what I understand, even if my TA came in now, I can't travel until Immigration approves it.
4. Even if my TA arrives, I am still waiting on grants and loans to come through. G*d has been the Great Provider, Jehovah Jireh. He has raised over $7000 in donations. I totally missed the fact that I will need to return to the states within the first 6 months of her adoption to complete my home study visits and to make her a US citizen. This means I have to raise enough money for two of us to travel to the US in the middle of the year.
5. Just to add some more to my plate...I am trying to get my house rented so I can return to Ch*na next year. I also need a home for my two cats again. I could use a little wisdom on whether it is wise to sell my car and van or not. I also have a business that I ran before leaving for Ch*na. If I am not going to do anything with it when I return, then I need to do something with all my stock.
6. Many of the things I have collected for Jade are packed away in boxes/bins in my house. Hmmm, which room is it in? Which box shall I start on? Guess she doesn't need most of that stuff until we are back in the states anyways.
7. Oh yeah...did I tell you I am working full time at summer school too? :)
Lots to deal with...Lots to do. It is all in His hands. He figured it all out last year. When He calls you to do something, He will equip you with all you need...finances...a renter...a foster home for your pets...patience...strength...wisdom... I'm just glad that this is HIS plan so He already has it all figured out. He will fill me in when I need to know...unfortunately it won't be when I WANT it...like soon if not now.
For me, the hardest part is ALL the unknowns. The list is extremely big and people are asking...it's their job. I don't mean to get frustrated with them. I guess the more I can't answer questions, the more I realize how little I have control over. Some days...I am ok with it. Lately...lots of frustration. Please pr*y for me. My heart knows He is in control...my head is somewhere else.
I was talking to a friend of mine on Facebook tonight. I was sharing with her how exciting it is to see G*d working through this adoption. She has two adopted little ones too, so she personally knows the miracle of adoption.
She was asking how the financial situation is coming along. I want you all to know how amazed I am! I have watched Him work greatly in many people's hearts to want to join in helping to bring home Jade. I was telling my friend how excited I was to tell my daughter about "her story." People don't even know her yet they feel an attachment to her. I don't know her but I know without a doubt she is mine. We are all thinking about her and anxiously waiting for the moment when I get her! It will be that moment when she truly comes to know she has a mama...one who loved her before she ever saw my face...a mama who has only wanted the Lord to bless her abundantly.
I started thinking about how this must have been for G*d with each of us. I think about the time I lived before I knew Him...knew His love. Before I knew Him, He was thinking about me. I didn't know Him but He knew that I was His. (Isaiah 43:1) He was anxiously waiting for the moment that I would one day see Him and come to know Him as my daddy (Romans 8:15). He taught me how to patiently (some of the time) wait for my daughter as He waited 36 years for me. I guess my 4 1/2 years of waiting pales in comparison.
I remember listening to Mary Beth Chapman speaking in an interview of when they handed her their daughter Shaohannah. She said "I get it Lord." Today was that moment for me...I get. I get how much He loves us as He waits patiently for us. Not all will come to Him. For those of us who have, we too have been adopted into His family. He is our papa...our daddy...our father...who lovingly waited for us. He is so glad to wrap His arms around His children.
May you wrap your arms around your little ones tonight. Remember how you waited for them...weither it was their birth or their adoption...Can you remember those feelings? If you have not yet met my maker...He too feels that for you. He wants you to come into the family. He wants to wrap His arms around you and say "I love you my child." This is there for anyone who shall believe in Jes*s Chr*st as their savior. May you come to join us in this amazing family.
Monday, July 6, 2009
It's official! I re-read the paperwork and I can finally show you who my daughter is! Woohoo! I have the pleasure of introducing you to my daughter Jade Mingcong Rittenhouse!
Jade when she was around 1 year old
Since she is an albino, she will not look very Chin*se but she is precious to me! She will have pale skin, blond if not almost white hair and probably blue eyes. Some who have seen her think her eyes are pink. Mother's whose children are albino have said that in some light, their daughter's eyes are pink. I will not know until she is in my arms but either way...she is PRECIOUS and she is MINE!
This is my favorite picture of her
These two pictures are the first ones I received. The rest are on facebook so check it out there. (Dawn Rittenhouse-friend me if you haven't yet) I have found that things upload MUCH FASTER here than in Ch*na but I am sitting in a public location as the place I am staying at doesn't have internet so I am trying to be as quick as possible. I know so many of you have been so patient in waiting for this moment! I am so glad that I am finally getting time to sit down and share it all with you! You have all been here through my journey. May you be sharing in my joy!
This is the most recent picture I have of my little one, who is actually supposed to be at least 34 inches tall! She only weighs 24 lbs so she is going to be tall and thin...something her mother NEVER was or will be! She is sporting the traditional summer buzz cut! Boys and girls get these depending on where they are living. You will note that the girls at SFCV will always have long hair and look girlie! My daughter too will one day have pretty little hair bows and clips but for now...no maintenance hair cut it is! :)
I want to thank all of you out there who are pr*ying for us and who have donated to her adoption. You have been a part of raising over $5000! Praise G*d! We still have a long way to go but He has given me tokens for good with hopes of grants and loans. I just spoke to someone at A Child Waits Foundation (http://www.achildwaits.org/) and had very encouraging news. He is so faithful! I can't wait to see all that He is still going to do! The time is getting close. My agency projects a possible travel date of July 30th but I still need to finish a Homestudy Update that must be approved by Immigration and Ch*na before I can travel. If He is sending me at the end of the month, He has LOTS to finish...grants/loans approved, a house rented, new home for two cats, car possibly sold, and lots of decisions to make. Fortunately I know He is not too busy to handle this really BIG list! He will direct me through the doors He wants me to walk through in HIS perfect timing. Just pr*y I hear and am obedient!