That's what I'm experiencing today. Satisfaction pumping through my veins. Satisfaction that only the love and faithfulness of Christ can accomplish.
66 days after our pre-approval... 66 long days of wondering, waiting, praying, agonizing... after receiving a red flag from the Chinese government and supplying more information to answer further questions... 66 days of relying on The Lord to get us here... our letter of approval (LOA) arrived via FedEx... TODAY.
From here, Seamus and I will sign this very important document and send it back to Lifeline tomorrow, who will turn around and overnight it to U.S. Immigration, along with an application (I800) requesting that Emily be approved for citizenship in the United States. We should receive that approval in about 2-3 weeks. Once Immigration grants approval, they send everything to the National Visa Center who turns around and cables the approval to the Visa Center in China. There are many small steps between now and travel. I'll keep you posted as we hit each milestone. It looks like we will be traveling in early April. Eeeeeek!
Holding this letter in my hands produces a flood of emotion that is almost impossible to explain. This piece of paper is proof that when we fight for the least of these, the ones who God treasures most, the impossible becomes possible. 2 worlds collide. 2 countries have approved us to be the parents of our daughter, Emily Hope Loman. She will soon be ours to hold and to raise, to love, and to promise that she will never, never, never be abandoned again. She will know the same love our children here know. She will never have to feel alone, ever again. She will finally know what it's like to have a mommy and daddy dry her tears and kiss her bo-bo's. This piece of paper brings us one huge step closer to being able to love her the way she deserves and to show her the love of Christ.
Aside from seeing Emily's face for the first time, this has been the best day of our adoption journey. This day outweighs all the hard days put together. This is the joy that God has promised for those who follow Him. Yes, being a follower requires sacrifice and hardship. But the pain that stems from a difficult road is incomparable to the joy that He continues to lavish on us through this process. (Romans 8:18) Had we not ever taken the leap of faith in adopting, there is an incredible amount of joy we'd have missed out on. And we don't even have her in our arms yet! Oh how my arms ache to hold her. Imagine THAT joy!
Our God is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20)
We are thanking Him today for His holy spirit that convicted us to pursue an orphan. We are thankful that this orphan is one step closer to losing that label forever! We are thanking Him for His provision and grace in protecting us through the difficult days. We are thanking Him for providing our LOA! And we are thanking Him for our loved ones as you have prayed for us and supported us mightily. Please continue to pray for our family and for our Mei Mei. We must continue to rely on the strength and daily grace of our Lord.