Even before we were married we began talking about adopting…and in 2011 we started the process. Now we are mere weeks away from getting our precious Amelia!
We turned our application in to Great Wall China Adoption in June 2011 – we opted to go the “waiting child” route…meaning she would have some sort of special need. The application was probably the hardest part of this whole process, aside from the waiting, because in the application we had to go through a really, REALLY long list of potential handicaps/issues/problems that our baby girl might have. To be honest, we had to google nearly every single word. It took us days, if not weeks to pray over, talk through and come to a decision. When it was said and done, I was blown away by the number of check marks that we had on that application of things we were willing to accept – only God could give us the peace we felt about our decisions.
We began pouring over adoption articles, blogs and books. One night we read that it is typical for adoptive families to give their son or daughter a Western name…to help them identify with the culture. This was huge to Jay for some reason and that night as we went to bed, Jay prayed that God would give us a bold name for our baby girl. Well…a few short hours later, around 3 am, I woke up with the name Amelia burned into my brain, my first thought was “its pretty…Amelia Motley, I like it”. I quickly googled it, and thats when I fell in love with ‘Amelia’, it means “work of God” in Hebrew. She would most certainly be a “work of God”! So in pure excitement I rolled over and began to shack Jay as if he were having a seizure…”Honey, He gave us a name, HE GAVE US A NAME!”, “What? What are you talking about?”, “God gave us a name for our baby girl….Amelia!”, “Amelia? Like Amelia Earhart?”, “Oh hush up and go back to bed!” And just like that, we had the bold name we had prayed for!
A month or so later I declared that Amelia’s room would be yellow and white, not sure why, other than I had this strong desire all of a sudden for her room to be yellow and white…and although we had no clue who she was or when we would get her, I began ‘nesting’ and before you know it, I had her room in Dubai ready for her…in yellow and white! There were days that I would go lay on the bed in her room and dream of who she was and what she would look like…some might say I was a little off my rocker, but I am who I am! Now fast forward to March 19, 2012 at 5am – this is going to be TMI, but you’ll get over it – I got up to wee, I never get up before 6:30am, not even to wee, I have a Texas sized bladder that can wait until 6:30am, so it was highly unusual for me to get up, let alone to wee. Once I got back in bed, I grabbed my phone to check my email (side note: I hate that I have become one of those psychotic iphone people that checks their phone WAY too often!) and I remember thinking, “put your phone down crazy, its 5am for crying out loud!” but I didn’t….and there it was an email from our adoption agent with the Subject: new file. (I just got goosebumps as I typed that) I screamed…yes, even at 5am. Jay nearly had a heart attack in response to my scream. “They have a file for us to look at”, “who does?”, “the adoption agency!”, “cool”, “cool? Jay, it says she is only 13 months!” We had put in for her to be 3 years old or younger, we thought she would be 2-2.5 best case scenario, so 13 months was completely outside of the realm of possibility….we were blown away. It gets better! As you remember we checked A LOT on our application for things that could be wrong with Amelia, and in the days leading up to March 19th, I started to have doubts about our decision, doubts that we had checked too many things….”what if she has all of them…will it be too much for me to handle?” After much prayer, I had the same peace that I had the day we signed our application. So not only did this email say she was only 13 months, but that she ONLY had a cleft lip and cleft palate, and the lip was already repaired. This was all just in an email, we had to email back saying we wanted to view the file…we are in Dubai at the time and it is 8:19pm in Texas when I replied back…dang it, we would have to wait until 5pm to get a response. Good luck getting back to sleep! I went downstairs and started making coffee, and calling everyone in the US to tell them we had a file coming our way! And to my surprise at 6:46am Dubai time (9:46pm Texas time) I got an email back – “Heather, you are in luck, I am working late tonight…here is the file”. Cue uncontrollable crying and some shrieking as I run upstairs to get Jay out of the shower – I couldn’t look at the pictures without him. “GET OUT OF THE SHOWER!”, “What? Why?”, “WE GOT HER FILE! GET OUT!”, “I’m almost done, give me a minute.”, “I CAN’T WAIT A MINUTE, I’M LOOKING AT IT WITHOUT YOU….HURRY UP!” By this point I am shaking and crying and I pull up her picture…she is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen! I am now sobbing, snot running out of my nose, but I can’t stop staring at her long enough to get a tissue. Then McKayla comes in, having just woken up thinking the sky was falling, and the only words I can get out are “We found her!”, now M has tears in her eyes “We found Amelia?”, I could only shake my head yes at this point. McKayla runs in the bathroom screaming at her daddy “WE FOUND HER! WE FOUND HER! WE FOUND AMELIA, DADDY”, “Please get out so I can dry off”. Don’t you love the enthusiasm!
I don’t know if you have ever struggled like me to grasp the verse Luke 12:7 “the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” But allow me to give you an example of this verse to help you understand a little better. In June 2011 we began the adoption process, in July 2011 I started working on my daughters room in yellow and white and in March 2012 we were given Qing Tian to be our daughter….”Qing Tian” means Sunshine! Did you just get goosebumps?
Qing Tian Dang was born on February 20, 2011 with a cleft lip and palate and she is our baby girl! Thank you God for loving her, protecting her and giving her to us!
June 2011 – Signed application with Great Wall China Adoption
July 2011 – Mailed 1st Packet to GWCA
October 2011 – Homestudy done by Randy Barlow
November 28, 2011 – Homestudy Report Completed
December 2, 2011 – Mailed I800a to USCIS
January 25, 2012 – Received I800a approval and Mailed 2nd Packet to GWCA
February 10, 2012 – Dossier Mailed to China
February 15, 2012 – LOG IN DATE!!!
March 19, 2012 – Received Qing Tian Dang’s file
March 28, 2012 – Letter of Intent officially submitted to China!
April 3, 2012 – Received our Pre-Approval to adopt Amelia
June 13, 2012 – Received our Letter Seeking Confirmation
July 10, 2012 – Repeat Homestudy and updated physicals
August 8, 2012 – Homestudy Report Completed
August 9, 2012 – Mailed I800 application
August 27, 2012 – Received our I800 approval
August 29, 2012 – Mailed DS230 Application and LSC to GWCA
September 6, 2012 – DS230 & LSC mailed to China
September 25, 2012 – Article 5 issued by US Consulate
September 26, 2012 – Article 5 delivered to CCWA
October 15, 2012 – Received an update of Amelia from her orphanage
October 18, 2012 – Received our Travel Approval from CCWA
Other Adoption sites that I love:
The Despres Family – this is their journey to Sienna!
LeSuer’s Adoption Story – such a beautiful family and story.
Jen Hatmaker – this is a must read!