Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

Merry Christmas, my Sophie Rose, where ever you are! Today, my prayer is that God would knit us in your heart even though you're half way around the world. Nothing is impossible with God and with God all things are possible. Today, we awoke to a White Christmas, something we pray for every year. We read about the birth of Jesus and His 2nd coming~ remembering God's promises and faithfulness! It reminded me of the faith I have that someday, you will be here with us to celebrate Christmas! I love you and am praying for you, my sweet girl!

Mommy :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A day of struggle

Today I'm struggling to have faith that my Sophie Rose is really coming home, faith that she evens exists, faith that God impressed her on our hearts. When I see posts of families with LID earlier than ours, I'm tempted to unbelief.

Talking, NOT listening to myself, is my only hope not to spiral out of control. I KNOW my greatest need has been met on the cross. For what do I need that I don't already have?

"My delight is in the law of the Lord and on His law I meditate day and night."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Snow on the East Coast

We got pounded with 2 ft. of snow this weekend, canceling everything including our Christmas service. It gave us an opportunity to have family worship with some extra "snowed in" guests, snow ball fights, games, warm chocolate chip cookies and homemade stew. The snow reminded me of God's power; we had absolutely no control over the weather, but by His word, He could have stopped it. I'm humbled by this and grateful for a God who is in control of life and death. I can trust Him with every aspect of my life from homeschooling concerns, the future of our adoption, the spouses of our children, upcoming expenses, everything. Neh. 9:6 " You are the LORD, you alone; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

New Paperwork

In August, we had decided to put our paperwork in for a 3-6 year old daughter; our current paperwork stated we would adopt a 0-3 year old daughter. As time has ticked by and we saw the wait times for a healthy baby increased from 12 mths to 5 years, we realized that we may be in wheel chairs when she finally comes home. We wanted Ellie and Shane to be home and have an influence on Sophie Rose's life. If we waited for ANOTHER 3 years, they would be out of the house living on their own or in college. This has been a family journey initiated by Ellie's 12 year old prayers. I filled out the new information, but had a check in my spirit that we should wait.

So, wait we did! We decided to put the new paperwork into BCS in Jan. 2010. We prayed, fasted and waited some more. It's always been my heart's desire, impressed on me by God, to get two girls. I know it sounds crazy, but that feeling has been there from the beginning of the journey. In Oct, I got another great idea that it would be neat to have a Christmas referral!!! ( I definitely think this was MINE, not God's impression! Ha!) God has taught me perseverance, patience and contentment along the way. I've led when I shouldn't lead; I've manipulated when I should have submitted. I'm such a rotten sinner in need of a GREAT Savior!!!

All that to say, with my friends' and daughter's help, I didn't mention these new thoughts to Todd, but instead I continued to pondered them in my heart and prayed even harder. My SW sent me e-mails reminding me to "get my paperwork in ASAP." I didn't send any of them to Todd. Finally, in late Dec. BSC's SW ( see abbreviations post) went to Beijing for a "summer camp" to get 80+ children paper ready for them to match. God had contented my heart to hear "No" from Todd, but decided it would serve him to forward this new information. God worked in his heart; he came home from work and said, "Yes, put the paperwork in tonight!"

On Dec. 14, we applied for mild special needs 3-6 year old daughter. On the same day, I read about a family who got a referral for a 6 year old child, then asked for special permission from the CCAA to adopt a 9 year old daughter at the same time~ this is truly a miracle.

In late Dec/ early Jan. the headquarters of BCS will choose families for these 80+ children. We pray that we are among the matched! And I'm praying that God will soften Todd's heart and the CCAA to allow us to adopt to two daughters!!!

I have faith that if God has two children, He will make the path very clear.

We're also applying for some financial aid from Abba Fund~ they give Christian families zero interest covenant loans for the expressed intention of adoption.

Thank you for your continued prayers!!!

Paperwork, paperwork and MORE paperwork

Many of you know how much paperwork we've completed to bring Sophie Girl home, but I've posted a VERY small portion below so I can again recall God's faithfulness~ we truly jumped through MANY hoops to even get approved to bring our sweet girl home!

The following documents had to be notarized, state-sealed and put in the following order:
  1. Application Letter
  2. Birth Certificates ( certified copy)
  3. Marital Status Certificates ( certified copy)
  4. Verification of Employment Letters Non-Employment Letter
  5. Financial Statement
  6. Certificates of Health of applicants
  7. Police Clearance Letters
  8. Adoptive Family Home Study
  9. Copy of USCIS Form, 1-171H and affidavit ( Notice of Favorable Determination Concerning Application for Advance for Processing of Orphan Petition)
The following documents were NOT notarized but are included as part of our dossier packet.
  1. Passport copies
  2. Recent photographs
  3. One Passport Photos of Each Applicant ( even if not traveling)
  4. Check for $$$$
  5. Photocopy of the Agency License

In Oct. 2008, we had our homestudy updated for the second time! It will expire June 2, 2010; we're praying that we get a referral before it has to be updated for the THIRD time.

Abbreviations Explained!!!

I thought it may be helpful to explain the abbreviations that you may see listed in my text. B/c my mind is like a sieve these days, it will be a helpful reminder to me!!

CCAA= China China Centre for Adoption Affairs
BCS= Bethany Christian Services

BB= Bulletin Board
BIL= Brother-in-Law
DH= Dear or Darling Husband
DW= Dear or Darling Wife
DS= Dear or Darling Son
DD= Dear or Darling Daughter
FIL= Father-in-Law
MIL= Mother-in_law
SIL= Sister-in-Law

BTW= By The Way
FWIW= For What It's Worth
FYI= For Your Information
IMHO= In My Humble Opinion
ITA= In Total Agreement
LOL= Laugh Out Loud
OT= Off Topic
OTOH= On The Other Hand
ROFL= Rolling On the Floor Laughing
SIL= Sister-in-Law
TIA= Thanks In Advance
TTYL= Talk To You Later
TTYS= Talk To You Soon
TY= Thank You

ACR= Age of Child Requested
COP= Children of Promise
DOA= Date of Adoption
DOB= Date of Birth
DOR= Date of Referral
DOT= Date of Travel
DTC= Dossier to China
HS= Home Study
LID= Log In Date
LOI= Letter of Intent
LOA= Letter of Acceptance
NSN= Non Special Needs
PA= Pre Approval
SN= Special Needs
SW= Social Worker
SWI= Social Welfare Institution
TA= Travel Approval

BCIS = Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services
I-600= Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative
I-600A= Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition
I-171H= US federal approval to adopt foreign-born child
I-797= The document gradually replacing the I-171H

Friday, June 26, 2009

We're through the review room!!!!

Summer 09 has been wonderful so far, but it just got better!

Our family has made it over a HUGE adoption hurdle. After 2 years, we have finally made it through CCAA adoption review room!

That means that our dusty paperwork that has been sitting on a shelf has been perused with a fine tooth comb and we've been accepted by China to adopt a daughter!!! I truly thought God may have been closing this door b/c we've been waiting so long, but again He has proven faithful! :)

In other "catch up" news~ Ellie has been taking an ASL 2 class at FCC and Shane is taking tennis lessons at Baker Park amid Ellie and I lifeguarding at the VFW pool this summer! It has been busy and lots of fun!

Over the 4th of July holiday weekend, we are visiting Aunt Pauline in PA~ swimming, horseback riding, wine tasting and lots of fellowship!!!

I'm so thankful to God for His amazing provision for our family as we SEE God ( Thank you, Maria!) through the entire adoption process. Each of us has grown in our relationship with the Lord as we patiently wait to SEE the little girl He has handpicked for our family~ our little SophieRose!

We will be making a decision in the next month as to whether we will put our paperwork in for an older little girl~ up to 6 years old.
Meditating on His goodness this morning!

Thank you for continuing to pray for the Bentzel's!

Psalm 1: ...But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on that law he meditates day and night!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wow, so much has happened since I last wrote here! It's now April 2, 2009. I'm now taking the lifeguarding course, so I can also work at the VFW pool.

We're trying to earn extra money so the kids can go with us to China to get Sophie Rose. With the current economy, we'll each need summer jobs to make it happen. Shane's going to run the snack bar at the pool, so we'll all be together.

We've had a great school year and are coming up to a much needed Spring Break; we're all looking forward to sleeping in!!!

In June, we should finally be through the review board! Everything is about 2 years behind. Our current wait time for a healthy infant-3 year old is winter of 2011.

God has been slowly softening our hearts to an older, healthy girl~ up to 5 years old. We may put our paperwork in for her after Christmas!

Below is a great website that helped me understand the grief and loss Sophie Rose may experience when she finally comes home.

If you're married, it will be easy to relate!