Wednesday, February 24, 2010

No formal referral yet

Update~ Still no formal referral on our Sophie girl yet. My social worker suggested the possibility of sending out our LOI ( see abbreviations post) to China w/o it and then if there are major issues, we'd rescind the document. ( I can't imagine that happening!!!)

All of us had our medicals updated this/last week, got our updated driving records, dog licenses and vaccination records, chatted extensively with Tempo travel agency this morning....lots of forward progress, but nothing can go to China until we get the okay from BCS.

Ellie and Shane have been sick with a nasty cold this week so they've been doing lots of sleeping giving me opportunity to get more paperwork complete and have longer quiet times in the morning.

I've been thinking a lot about self glorification (seeking my own glory instead of giving God glory) and my fear of man.

I'm meditating on Romans 12:1-2~ " I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of god, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

I know the only way to glorify God is to remember his sacrifice on the cross for the forgiveness of my sin and to renew my mind daily! A hard task, but God always provides grace when He gives a command.

With a grateful heart~

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Decisions! Decisions! Decisions!

Since May 07, China has many stipulations regarding the health of adoptive parents. No cancer, no anti-depressants, low BMI...the list goes on and on.

When we completed our dossier 3 years ago and had physicals, I stated that I had had 2 C-sections. Apparently, surgeries are notable to the CCAA so my Dr. had to write a special note reporting that C-sections don't prohibit my ability to be an adoptive parent!

In 2008, my thyroid levels were high and I began taking the lowest dosage of Levoxyl; and in 2009, I had arthroscopic surgery on my left knee.

Last night I had my physical for our last home study update. The dear nurse, Lori, asked me questions to update their records. She asked if I had seen any specialists...I deflected.

I said, "Do you have on there that I started taking Levoxyl in 2008?" She affirmed that it was listed and we went forward.

I lied.

I lied to help God out!

I was afraid that if I had both the Levoxyl and the surgery listed on the report that we couldn't get Sophie.

She left, the Dr. arrived and we chatted for another 10 minutes before the actual physical began~ "How often do you exercise? Do you drink coffee? Do you wear your seatbelt? Are you depressed?"

All the while, my heart was wildly racing and my mind was crazy with guilt!

And the Lord spoke directly to my heart~ "Shari, haven't I been faithful to you on this journey the last three years? Do you not think I'm big enough to handle this little bump in the road?"

Shame! Guilt!

"Yes! Lord! I'm so sorry! I believe, but help my unbelief! It is I who am an unfaithful lying sinner in need of a GREAT SAVIOR."

...."Aaahh....Dr.... I had arthroscopic surgery last year on my left knee."

Relief! Thankfulness! Trust!

You see, I serve a God who is bigger than Levoxyl, knee surgeries, the Chinese government, and even the international adoption process.

This morning, my reading from Psalm 36:5 soothed my soul~ "Your steadfast love, O lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds."

Gratefully, His love and faithfulness extends to a sinner like me and a little girl waiting for her Mamma all the way in China!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Firsts and Lasts

Isn't life interesting? We always remember the "firsts"~ first tooth, first school bus ride, first prom, first drive, but we often miss the "lasts."

Well, this is the LAST time that I'm updating our home study before we get Sophie! What a great feeling!

Updated Child Protective Clearances, Medical Exams, Financial Statements, 2009 IRS 1040, Updated dog vaccinations and licenses, Updated Driving Records, Updated HIPPA, Updated FBI fingerprinting, Travel arrangements, Letter of Intent, Service Plan, I- 600A and I-797C forms~ All of these things will be completed by early March so we can move towards making the actual travel plans!

God certainly is a mystery, but also very interesting; wouldn't you say?

Before the foundation of time, He knit Sophie Rose in our hearts~ knowing that one day, I'd be working on this paperwork to bring her home!

Today, He's giving me opportunity to complain or be grateful for my God given organizational skills to run a home, manage the kids' school, lead a co-op, serve as a care group leader in addition to completing mountains of frivolous, IMHO, paperwork.

John 1:1~"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God!" "He's the Alpha, Omega, Beginning and End"~

Those Scriptures are the firsts and lasts of which I need to be reminded! I will be joyful in all things!

With a Mommy's grateful heart~

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A great article about loving a Special Needs Child

An Article recently re-printed on Rainbow Kids...

What No One Ever Told Me About Special Needs Adoption Loving our perfect child
February 03,2010 / Tamera Wong

Adopting several children from China has been a joy-filled, faith-building, abundant adventure. We have four biological children and feel as though we are experienced parents. However, sometimes even experienced parents can find that they are not adequately prepared for some issues.

During November of 2006, we decided that we would pursue a special needs child on a waiting child list. Our agency diligently prepared us for parenting a child with special needs. Our adopted daughter was born with a congenital right limb transverse deficiency. This is a lot of medical jargon to say that her right arm ends 3 inches above where her elbow would have been. She has one little partial digit on that limb. While preparing for her adoption, I read about limb differences and I considered the challenges we may face as a family. I prepared for the possibilities of surgery and maybe prosthetics. I learned the proper, politically correct terminology for limb differences and prepared my children at home for the difference they would see in their new sister.

I was very pleased with the amount of preparation that went into the adoption of a special need child. However, once she was placed in my arms and I began to watch this little girl unfold, I realized that there were some serious issues that we were not prepared for. In fact, I am pretty certain that these issues were not ever once disclaimed to me or my husband by any social worker.

Here is a list of items that no social worker ever prepared us for:

1. No one ever told us that when we had our adopted "special needs" daughter evaluated by an occupational therapist, that she would be 6-months ahead of her typically developing two-armed peers in motor development

2. No one ever told me that at age 2, she would figure out how to climb to the top of a bunk bed with her one arm just to admire her brother's trophies on a high shelf.

3. No one ever told me that she would be only 19 pounds but have the desire, tenacity, and strength of a Super Bowl bound football team.

4. No one ever told me that in one short year of knowing her I would learn more about not giving up than I had in all of my lifetime.

5. No one ever told me that her older brothers would be so touched by the beauty that she emits even with her "imperfect" arm that they would tell her everyday how beautiful she is.

6. No one ever told me that she would touch the lives of total strangers with her genuine zest for life.

7. No one ever told me that a 2-year-old from China would be so grateful for pretty clothes and a family to call her own.

8. No one ever told me that our "special needs" daughter would learn to balance on a regular swing and pump her legs earlier than any of our "non-special needs" kiddos did.

9. No one ever told me that our daughter was just a regular child disguised as a "special needs" child because her arm is a little different.

10. No one ever told me that when our family stepped out in faith thinking we would make a difference in this little girl's life, that we would be the ones whose lives were changed and were blessed beyond measure in just knowing this little fire cracker whom we call Bethany Grace.

If you are reading this and you are a family that is considering a "special needs" adoption, I just want to warn you that there are some things that no one may ever prepare you for. There are some hidden blessings and unexpected pleasures that you may find as a surprise. And just for the record, I have gotten over the fact that our social worker did not prepare us for the above mentioned items.

Tamera Wong has been married to her husband Bryan for 17 years. They are the proud parents of 7 kiddos (4 biological, 3 adopted). Two of their children have special needs-limb differences. Their children are ages 13, 12, 10, 6, 6, 4, and 4. Tamera feels that life with a big family is a great blessing and a great adventure. Tamera attributes her success in parenting to a great big God and a tight-knit family that they call Team Wong.

This article first appeared on the website:
No Hands But Ours, a fantastic resource promoting the adoption of special needs children through personal stories.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A gift from Sophie

Last week, UPS delivered the most wonderful gift from Sophie to us from China. For the interview in Beijing she drew a pink picture complete with a community, roads, a huge red sun complete Chinese characters. Someone was kind enough to send it with her x-rays! While we were excited to receive the x-rays to have them examined, we were thrilled to have a part of her with us! The picture is where all great pictures should be displayed~ on the refrigerator where all her pictures are! We walk by it daily praying for her and kissing her rosy, squishy lips!

The pediatric orthopedist saw her x-ray and was delighted to report that she will not need more surgery and her hip should never affect her life in any way!

Again, we praise our Living, Holy, Faithful God for caring for our girl!!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

We got a referral!!!!


We are beyond happy to announce that we have been matched with a little girl from China. We got "the call" Tuesday, Feb. 2-2010 around 11am. All of us were home to hear Miss Debby say "You Got Her!" I can't reveal too many details due to other families who were interested in her being notified. My heart goes out to them and I'm sensitive to their emotions as I've been in that position many times in the past.

Todd had been suppressing emotion for 3 years in order to lead us effectively; it was a beautiful moment when he gazed at her picture with tears streaming down his face and said, "We have a new daughter!"

We are so incredibly grateful for the outpouring of love, care and support we've received in the past 3 years from our local church~ encouraging phone calls, e-mails, letters, dropping by to pray with's been overwhelming!

Fifty friends braved the 6 inches of snow to enjoy a night of feasting and celebration of God's faithfulness! We sang around the piano and gave glory to God for his kindness!

We were freshly reminded of God's adoption plan for us! Our wait, sacrifice and suffering for Sophie Rose were nothing compared to the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus' death on the cross to secure our adoption into His family! This link is another beautiful reminder of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We have pictures of our Sophie Rose that we're cherishing and a video that allows us to see her talk, sing, and dance! I'll be chatting with our SW today about details.

The 3 year wait is over; I can see her face! Can I jump on a plane to China today???

With a grateful mommy's heart~