Today marks day 54 of our LOA wait. It's hard to remember what all this means so here's a brief refresher. 54 days ago we received "pre-approval" from the Chinese government to adopt Emily Hope. We have been waiting, for 54 days, to receive an official letter of approval (LOA). (Insert hiccup here.) Last week we received a call from our Lifeline social worker alerting us that China has requested additional information from us before they can continue reviewing our dossier (our very large file). We have gathered the requested information and forwarded it to them. Now what? We wait. Again. We have been encouraged not to panic. It's not common to be asked for additional information but apparently it's not completely unheard of. We do expect to be approved for the adoption. It's just an added delay. Sigh. As frustrating as this can be, we are hopeful to hear some very exciting news soon!
I have so many adoptive friends through Facebook who are praying for us and supporting us. It's bitter sweet because all of the friends who were in the same stage as us seem to now be passing us up. I wouldn't trade the connections and encouragement for anything in the world. They have truly become like sisters to me! But this week feels a tad bit lonely at times, even with everyone covering us with love. God doesn't let me get too down. As soon as I start feeling discouraged, He reminds me of all His goodness and faithfulness, His promises to provide and never leave my side. Those promises are forever firm, even in the midst of my sinful discouragement and doubt. God is good y'all and He will bring us to Emily at the perfect moment! That moment won't likely be in March, since last week's request for further information. Somehow, we're okay with that. It's hard but I'm so thankful for a God who constantly reminds me of His goodness. By the way, if you're ever wondering what the key to happiness is, that's it. Focus on who Christ is and all his goodness. That's it. I promise. Everything falls in to place when you focus on Him and not "me".
On a lighter note, we have had the privilege of receiving several recent pictures of Emily. A couple of them are extra special. We mailed a small package to her several weeks ago. We were thrilled to learn that the package arrived. Some of these pictures show Emily wearing a monogrammed dress we sent and her "Bringing Home Emily Hope" t-shirt! I've been trying to process this. An orphan living in China, who we have sought out since March... our daughter now... is wearing the t-shirt (halfway around the world) we had made to help bring her home and to show our love for her. And, the orphanage director cares enough to share this picture (and others) with us! Seamus and I have looked at this particular picture about a hundred times since we received it Thursday. Unreal.
I'm hoping to share an exciting update with you very soon (praying I can tell you something new next week). Stay tuned! For now, enjoy the pics!