Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mom's Modo

While cruising around the internet this morning I came upon this quote. I thought of all the moms, especially those pattering down the path of adoption, that this pertains to. I'm considering it an explanation to my life! ;>
*Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to slide in sideways, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, screaming "holy crap what a ride!"* Author Unknown
God's blessings on your day! Sarah :D

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Let Me Introduce Myself

Hi, my name is Sarah and I feel the need to introduce myself.
I am a child of God,
wife to the most adoring husband,
mother to two handsome and adventuresome boys
AND
one baby girl.
Oh I know you haven't met her, it's ok, I haven't either.
But one day this child that is born from my heart will meet us all.
We'll laugh and hug and yes, I'm sure we'll probably cry too.
And God will look down on us and He will smile,
knowing that His will has been done.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and contributions,
we have a baby girl to meet!
God's blessings today and always, Sarah :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

God Is Providing

Hello bloggy friends and family.
I realized I've been MIA and it's time for an explanation...
I've taken the past week to pray for God's provision.

Although I haven't blogged about it, my head and heart have still been consumed with our adoption.
My heart has been heavy and my mind has wondered how this will all come together.
But you know God is good.
I asked and He provided.
Last week He sent me a small monetary gift every- single- day.
Through a blog donation, fundraising efforts, breastpump sales/rentals, and even a lunch bought by a good friend He provided enough to keep me going.
Going??
Yes, going, along this adoption path He's guiding me down.

This week He has sent me new friends that are traveling this same journey.
Ah, the way He uses a stranger to deliver a message of encouragement, beautiful! :D

So, now that you know what's been going on in the adoption world I have an update.
I have officially been contacted by our social worker.
We have our first home study visit set for November the 6th at 9am.
Great right??!
YES, absolutely!
But I need God to come through BIG time on this one.
I know, BIG time is HIS specialty.
I tend to think of our family as reasonably clean and normal so the actual visit doesn't worry me.
My concern is that we will have a large sum of money due during that first visit.
Do I rely on self and cancel the visit until I can work enough to come up with the money?
No, I don't feel that's His answer.
Once again I will fall on my knees in prayer for His provisions.
Please continue to keep us in your prayers.
Oh, and if UPS delivers a package of $$$ to your door please send it my way! ;>
God's blessings on your day friends, Sarah

Friday, October 16, 2009

Love Without Boundaries

Hi all and happy Friday!
It seems like God has done so much in the last seven days.
The comfort and love HE has provided is absolutely indescribable.
HE is so full of mercy.

As you know God has made it quite clear that Emily Margaret will come to us through the special needs program.
While we are still getting our game plan going I have been doing tons of research.
Research on adoption, China, special needs, fundraisers, financing options.
All I can tell you is that it's a good thing I'm ADD and frequently changing course comes natural for me! :)

Last night I just couldn't get my mind to simmer down.
So while everyone else dozed off to sleep I slipped into the living room.
With Tiger curled up beside me I lulled myself with blog hopping.
I had stopped by the site Love Without Boundaries before, but this time was different.
Their work was so much more real to me.
I couldn't help but smile at all the beautiful babies that benefit from their services.
Basically they have two homes that are specifically for infants with cleft lips/palates.
They take them in and offer them high calorie feedings with special feeding devices and lower child to Nanny ratio.
Exactly what those sweet babies need.
Once they have them in good health they bring in a team that performs all of the needed repairs.
After their surgery and recovery period they return them to their previous orphanages to be adopted into their predestined forever families.
All I can think is WOW!!!
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So please, take a moment to check out this wonderful mission work that is taking place in China.
But most importantly, keep these precious babies in your prayers.
You never know, one of these angels could be Emily Margaret!
God's blessings on your weekend, Sarah :D

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Welcome...

When I opened the front door this afternoon I had an exciting package on my doorstep.
It was the WELCOME packet from our adoption agency!

James was soooo excited,
he couldn't wait to open it.
He just knew there was a picture of his baby sister.
Yeah, I think this journey just might be the longest for him. :)
So, we will be celebrating lots of paperwork, home study visits and even our trips to the police station for fingerprints.
Oh what we won't do for our kids! ;>
God's blessings on your evening, Sarah :D

Adoptive Friends

Good morning!
Monday morning I visited friends who recently adopted from China.
They are friends from church who also have two older children.
When they discussed adding a third they decided adopting was where God was leading them.
Their new addition, Tessa, is 10 months old and absolutely beautiful!
As I sat in the floor with Tessa it brought joy and peace to my heart.
My friend talked all about her adoption journey...
the good, the bad and the ugly.
Like the 4 hours Tessa spent crying that first day in the hotel.
We talked about attachment and bonding.
I learned specific orphanage behaviors.
Did you know that most of their babies suck their finger for comfort?
Makes sense, there's no way you could keep passies for all those sweet babies.
She even showed me the bottles they used in the orphanages.
Yes I know, I'm nosy...
I couldn't help but want all the details.
I can see where the orphanages are absolutely doing their best to provide for their babies.
They just have limited resources.
I was also able to see the incredible progress that little Tessa has made in her few short weeks at home.
Home, isn't it amazing what a forever home can do?
God certainly used my visit to create a much needed network for our families.
I have a go to girl for questions and encouragement and Emily Margaret already has a friend waiting to play!
God is good like that, providing for our needs before they even arise.
May God richly bless your day, Sarah :D

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Weekend Full of Thought

Hi all,
I hope you're enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon...
we are. :>
I'm sorry my last post was heavy.
My heart was filled with fear and doubt.
After Friday's phone call I really wasn't sure I was up for this challenge.
Not that we aren't on board with adding to our family.
I certainly believe that the joy in our home will multiply as the number of children increases.
I just didn't know if I could maintain my sanity during a 6 year adoption.
So I thought it was time to update you about what transpired over the weekend.
Andy and I decide that we should step back and prayerfully consider all of our options.
We were both pretty down so we didn't talk much on Friday.
As I was piddling around the house Saturday morning the phone rang.
Andy answered it and passed it off to me.
It was a sweet friend of ours from church.
He and his wife recently adopted from China and he was calling to find out if the rumors were true.
I explained that yes we were in fact praying about adopting from China as well.
I told him how strange it was that God would have him call me when he did.
I explained our phone call from the previous day and all the emotions that had followed.
We spent the next half hour talking about adoption.
He talked about their 4 year process and the beautiful baby girl that made it all worth while.
And ya wanna know what happened?
God used that phone call and the flooding of encouragement from loved ones to say this...
All I ask is that you follow me.
Do MY work and let me worry with the details.

I am still unsure about a lot of the so called details.
I'm ok with that, we're going to take this one step at a time.
I wonder if without that melt down if I would have the same peace about pursuing this adoption that I do now?

One last thing that came from this weekend...
For quite some time now I've felt that not only is Emily Margaret out there,
but that she will come to us through the special needs program.
Andy and I had decided that we would pursue a healthy child and then make it known that we were open to several special needs.
You know, why not just ride the fence and see what happens??
Umh no, God doesn't work that way.
So from this day forward we will strictly pursue the special needs program.
Because really, we all know that Emily Margaret will be special! ;>

Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers this weekend.
God has used you more than you will ever know.
Because just as a dear loved one wrote,
Jeremiah 29:11 says
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,
plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future".

God's blessings and love, Sarah :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Update

Happy Friday everyone!
I wanted to let you know that we talked to our social worker this morning.
Karla is her name and she's so knowledgeable about adopting from China.
Can you imagine having a job where you connected children with their forever families?
She gave us an overview of the international adoption process.
I wrote just as fast as I could, so here's my take on how this works.

Our first step is to mail in our first of four payments to the agency.
Yes, I'm certain we have $2,242.50 hiding around here somewhere!?
God bless Karla, she was very understanding that I wouldn't be mailing that check out today.
We'll prayerfully consider how we will meet that financial obligation.

Next, our second step is to meet with Jennifer, another social worker, to start our home study.
The home study consists of 3-5 meetings between the Hinson four and Jennifer.
She will review our file and lives in depth to make sure everything is in line.
Karla was very kind to explain that there usually isn't anything that would prevent us from adopting, just things that we might have to work through.
Of course I needed examples.
She said criminal records, health and finances are the main areas.
Whew, I don't know what I thought she would say but I think we can handle those areas! :)
At the last meeting of our home study process we will meet at the adoption agency with Jennifer and Karla.
We will begin to discuss what the trip will be like.
Karla said that she will prepare us for those first few days with our child.
The entire home study process typically takes 3-4 months.

During the home study process we will also be collecting other needed data for our dosseir (dah-see-A).
Karla says completing the dossier normally takes about 6 months.
Once our dosseir is complete it will then be sent for approval.
It must be approved through DHR and then with the Hague representative in Chicago .
After receiving final approval it will then be sent to China.

Once our dossier is approved in China then we will be officially logged into the system.
At that time we will be sent a desired child form.
With God's guidance we'll mark the special needs we feel comfortable with.
Karla encouraged us to spend time researching the special needs.

Finally, with the guidance of our desired child form they will match us with our child.
Once the referral is made it is sent to us for our approval.
After accepting our referral then we will begin travel arrangements.
Karla explained that the travel to China was a wonderful experience.
We even discussed the ability for us to take the boys with us!

So, wanna know our thoughts??
The thought of waiting 5-6 years for a healthy child is a little overwhelming.
I don't know that we really wanna go that route.
The option?
The referral for a special needs child is about 6 months.
But, the age of the special needs child once they come home is about 2 years old.
That's compared with 9-12 months old with a healthy child.
The special needs doesn't scare me, but the age does.

I called Karla back and explained our fears.
I told her that I wanted to be honest with her about what we were thinking.
We talked about the other countries available and even about domestic adoption.
I told her Andy and I would spend the weekend talking and praying about where God is leading us and call her first of next week.

Here's what I know...
He will calm our fears,
His plan will stand the test of time,
He will provide the needed resources,
and I am certain that He will use all of this to His glory.

Please continue to pray for our family.
Your love, encouragement and prayers are such a blessing!

God's blessings on your weekend, Sarah :D

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Quick Update

Good morning!
I wanted to share a quick update with you.
Our social worker called yesterday afternoon.
She said our Adopting from China handbook is on it's way via FedEx.
It's a zip file for us to print.
She recommended that we have it printed at an office supply store...
ugh yes, I asked the question you're thinking, and it's THAT large! :>
We're also set up to do a conference call with her to find out more about our next steps.
And last but not least I received my book from Amazon, The Lost Daughters of China.
Gotta love Amazon, $5.99 and free shipping!
Looks like I've got my work cut out for me the next few days.
I'll keep you posted!
God's blessings, Sarah :D

Monday, October 5, 2009

Now What?

I'm still beaming with excitement about being accepted by the adoption agency.
The weekend consisted of many small celebrations, as we shared our news with family and friends.
Most everyone has been supportive.
It's so encouraging to have everyone praying for us.
When I asked James if Daddy had told him about our approval he said,
"Yeah I know, I'm gonna be a big brother".
I think he's proud and that makes me smile!
Joseph wants her to be here n-o-w.
In typical Joseph humor he said if it took 5 years to adopt that we'd be over it by then.
Umh nope, not happening! :D
So, now that we've gotten the ball rolling, what next?
We'll be contacted this week by our agency social worker.
I'll know more then I suppose.
In the meantime I've ordered a book about adopting from China.
It should be here tomorrow so I'll let you know what we learn. :)
For now I want to share this image from my kitchen...

Isn't that the sweetest thing ever?!
I bought it on clearance at Target in Auburn.
It was the weekend Andy and I decided to pursue this dream.
I came across it when I was unpacking the groceries and I just hung it on the cabinet handle.
I can't take it down, it causes my heart to flip-flop.
Just think, at the end of this very long road there might be a baby girl who calls me Mama wearing that ruffly suit!
God's blessings on your week, Sarah :D

Friday, October 2, 2009

Her Name Will Be Emily Margaret

Hi and welcome to the first page of our adoption journal!
As you know, we have spent the past few months in prayer.
After many long heart to heart discussions, legitimate questions rooted in fear and tears that were always followed by laughter, here we are answering God's calling to add a daughter to our family.
We're not sure of where she will come from, how we will fund this adventure, or when she will join us...
but we are certain of this, the WHO that will bring her home is our Lord and Father, God Almighty.
And when she joins us...
Her Name Will Be Emily Margaret.
Thank you for your visit, your words of encouragement and most importantly your continued prayers.
God's blessings, The Hinsons :D
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