If you are new to our journey, start here first!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The History of Taiwan

Have you ever heard of the Island of Formosa? How about the Republic of China? Both of these names refer to the same place...Taiwan. The name "Island of Formosa" actually means "Beautiful Island" and was given to Taiwan in the late 1500's by a Dutch explorer, who was the first Westerner to view the beauty of this country. Since then, for the last 400 years, Taiwan has been occupied by a variety of nations, including various European countries, Japan, and China. Currently, advocates for "One China" call Taiwan the "Republic of China" (ROC) and claim her as part of China, but many Taiwanese call their country the "Republic of Taiwan" and claim independence from China. Needless to say, this has led to a variety of political issues on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, which links the South China Sea with the East China Sea, and separates the Mainland from Taiwan. According to Wikipedia, "following World War II, the Republic of China, under the Kuomintang (KMT) became the governing polity on Taiwan. In 1949, after losing control of mainland China following the Chinese civil war, the ROC government under the KMT withdrew to Taiwan and Chiang Kai-shek declared martial law. Japan formally renounced all territorial rights to Taiwan in 1952 in the San Francisco Peace Treaty. The KMT ruled Taiwan as a single-party state for forty years, until democratic reforms were mandated during the final year of authoritarian rule under Chiang Ching-kuo. The reforms were promulgated under Chiang's successor, Lee Teng-hui, which culminated in the first ever direct presidential election in 1996. In 2000, Chen Shui-bian was elected the president, becoming the first non-KMT president on Taiwan. The 2008 election of President Ma Ying-jeou marked the second peaceful transfer of power, this time back to the KMT." For a great analysis of this year's historic election and how it affects US foreign policy read this article. For a nationalist Taiwanese perspective on this and other current events in Taiwan, visit http://www.taiwandc.org/. We look forward to sharing with our daughter Sophia the interesting history of her birth country, and how her people have faced many challenges over the years, yet have always moved forward for the betterment of their society.

Hope you enjoyed the history lesson!

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sidebar Changes

If you don't scroll down the page on this blog very often, you may not have noticed some interesting changes (at least to me!) that I have made in my sidebar. I have found, via my blog searching and reading, various websites of interest regarding Taiwanese culture and such, which I have listed and linked below. There are also some that are more general to Chinese culture and language, but that still pertains to Taiwan. One of these days I'll do a history lesson post to explain what happened and is happening between the Mainland and Taiwan, but that will have to wait until after Christmas! If you are interested in seeing a lot of GREAT photos from Taiwan, visit Journey to Taiwan for Hannah Claire which is the blog of a couple adopting their first child from Taiwan. They arrived this past weekend and are doing some sightseeing before picking up their daughter. It has whetted my appetite for our trip someday!

Thanks for sharing in our journey!

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Long Story Short

We have changed our goal from adopting from Mainland China to adopting from Taiwan. Why? A variety of reasons: paperwork issues, government regs, financial issues, timing...put most importantly, we feel a peace about this change and know that God is in control. We have many Chinese friends who are actually Taiwanese, and we are excited to think that Sophia will be from their country. We are still considering a special needs placement at this point, so that hasn't changed. Once we get approved by our new agency (our former agency did not work in Taiwan), the process could move fairly quickly, so we are excited about that.

We praise God for supplying the $1500 we needed for our home study. It is still not completely done, and we need to wait until we are approved by our new agency before we can get the home study approved. Which brings us to our next financial need...we need the agency fee of $5500 before we can move forward with this agency and our home study. This is a procedure that our new agency has implemented recently because some people have never paid for their agency services after the agency put in a lot of time and effort on their behalf. Please pray for us to be patient and wait for God's timing on this. We know He is in control!

The program director for Taiwan with our agency (located in Kansas, by the way!) actually lives right down the road from us...how cool is that! We are looking forward to meeting her and her family soon. She has two adopted daughters, one of whom was adopted from Taiwan. We know that none of this was just "coincidence" and we are excited about how God will continue to lead us in the days and months ahead.

Thanks for your continued prayers on Sophia's behalf!

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Adoption Update

I haven't posted much on here lately because not much has been happening on the adoption front. Right now we are in a waiting pattern for our home study to be completed. We have run into some glitches with wording (it has to meet the Hague Covention criteria) and clearances (apparently we need clearances from every state we have lived in since we were 18...for me it's just PA, but Dave needs several...one would think the federal clearance would cover that, but...). So, we are doing what we can to move that process along, and still trusting God for the funds to cover it. We are still about $500 short of the necessary $1500 for the home study. But we haven't had to pay for it yet, so there's still time for God to work. I am also working on getting all of the cookbook recipes typed so that we can begin that fundraiser. I'm excited about how that's going to turn out. Thanks for checking in and keeping us in your thoughts and prayers!

Taking it one step at a time...

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Friday, November 7, 2008

New Plan

After much prayer, discussion, and pursuit of other options with no clear results, we have decided to stick with our current agency but pursue a special needs adoption from China. All along we had it in the backs of our minds that we would be doing a special needs adoption anyway, but our agency wanted us to enter the traditional program first, and then possibly switch down the road. This was due to age restrictions, etc., which are agency policies. We know we are not willing to wait the 4-6 years that many are now predicting the wait will be for a traditional Chinese adoption (once the dossier is logged in...not including all this time we are spending now!) so we are just going to trust the Lord for a special needs placement that fits the birth order age policy in His timing. The good thing about this is that it lowers the amount of money that we need for our first agency fee, which I have reflected on our ticker. We are now at $1000, thanks to some new donations, which is 2/3 of our home study fee...only $500 needed to cover that cost entirely! We have not received our home study this week as I thought we would, but since we don't have all the money yet, I guess that's fine! Please pray for patience on our part, as well as the needed funds to come in...I know they will in God's time!

Xie, Xie...Thank You!

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Saturday, November 1, 2008

In the Slow Lane

Not much as happened on the adoption front, so thus the lack of posting. Our home study should be mailed to us next week for review. We have been back and forth about agencies and countries and children...I want this process to hurry up, and yet I know it's going to take some time. I think we have pretty much decided to stay with our current agency, but go directly into the Special Needs program and wait until a child comes along in that program who fits the agency's birth order policy (at least nine months younger than our youngest) and who has needs we feel we can parent. The wait shouldn't be as long as the traditional Chinese program, which is projected by many to be a 4 to 6 year wait at this point. We covet your prayers as we hurry up and wait...patience isn't one of my virtues, I'm afraid!

Thanks for waiting with us!

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Monday, October 20, 2008

We're Getting Closer!

Thanks to the generosity of some more friends, we have been able to add $100 more to our adoption fund recently. We are now in need of $550 in order to have our home study completely paid for. We are so thankful to God for His provision thus far, and we know He will continue to provide, in His time.

After much consideration and prayer, we decided to stick with our original agency, so our home study is being written by that agency's guidelines. It is being written in such a way that we are being approved for a special needs adoption or a traditional Chinese placement, so that we can go either way and not need to have anything rewritten. Please pray for our social worker as she writes the report, and for the additional home study funds to be supplied by the time it is finished!

Thank you for your prayers and support!

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Home Study Interview

Thursday's home study interview went well--thanks for your prayers! Our social worker took a guided tour of our home, led by Mr. Benjamin, who proudly showed off all of the rooms of our humble abode. Then, she talked with our two older boys, who didn't really do much talking, but that's how it goes with 11 and 13 year old boys who would rather be outside playing--and that was fine with me! She then finished up with some questions for me and Dave, and we discussed the fact that our agency has not been very cooperative thus far with providing needed paperwork to our social worker, so perhaps we need to find a different agency. That is a little nerve-wracking to me, but we want to be open to God's leading, so we are taking this next week to pray about this decision and research other agencies. We would covet your prayers on this!

Our funds are coming in slowly but surely. We now need to work on gathering the second half of the home study fee ($750) so that we can pay that when our home study is done. I have a lot of recipes to type into the database for our cookbook fundraiser, which I hope to have to the publisher in November, so that is moving along. We continue to try and get the word out about the ornaments and other gifts available here...I have colored flyers coming in the mail to help me with that endeavor. If you would like to help us get that word out to friend and family, please let me know, and I will gladly send you some flyers!

We are so grateful to family and friends who are keeping us in their prayers. May God richly bless you all!

Sophia Elizabeth thanks you, too!

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Updated Ticker!

I have updated our fundraising ticker...God is good! We have our final home study interview here at the house tomorrow evening, and I should be paying the first half of the home study fee. Now we need to save the next half ($750) so we can pay it when the home study is finally written. That way we can send the completed home study to grant agencies, in hope of getting some adoption grants to help us with the country fees and other agency fees. Don't forget our fundraising efforts via the ornament and other gift sales (there is a drawing going on this month for some great gifts...you are entered if you spend $50!) and look for information on our recipe book in the next couple of months!

Thanks for helping us bring Sophia home!

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ornament Fundraiser Update

Please check out the ornament fundraiser site...there are more specials going on, and with every purchase of four ornaments, you will be entered to win some great prizes. October is a great month to get going on your Christmas shopping with some unique international gifts! As always, if you make a purchase, please reference our family so that the profit can go towards our adoption fund.

Thanks for checking this out and helping to bring Sophia home!

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Monday, September 22, 2008


Today I took the last two pieces of our home study paperwork to our family doctor, and Dave and I got our fingerprints taken...I think we are done with all of the myriad of little "this's and that's" for the home study paper trail. Yeah! As "we speak" (or "I type"), Dave is at his personal interview with our social worker; mine is on Wednesday morning. Then, our family interview and home visit is scheduled for October 9. Hopefully all of the paperwork that we had to farm out to government agencies, doctors, and friends (for references) will all be returned promptly so that our social worker can get our home study written quickly and efficiently. Of course, once it is completed, that means we need the second half of the home study fee, so begin to pray about that! God is good, and He will provide in His time, just as He did for the first half of the fee. Our excitement is mounting!

Jehovah Jireh...my Provider...His grace is sufficient for me!

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

God Answers Prayer!

Last Sunday, I asked our Sunday School class to pray very specifically for the first $750 needed to pay the first half of our home study fee. We need to pay this fee this coming week when we have our home study interviews. I knew from past experience with the Lord that He would provide just what we needed, when we needed it, and it would come from sources totally unexpected to us, but not to Him. Well, if you glance over at our little ticker on the right, you will see that we are just shy of our goal with a few days left..Praise God! And yes, the sources were totally unexpected and humbling, and we are eternally grateful to those who gave.

Thank you for praying...and giving...our Sophia home!

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Updated Holiday Fundraiser Info Below!

"Good Fortune" Ornament

9/12/08 Update: You can now order much more than these ornaments and support our adoption efforts at the same time! All items for sale are so unique and would make one-of-a-kind gifts for family and friends. There is jewelry, tableware, art work, and so much more...visit


and check out the links on the top right hand side for two slideshows full of gift ideas! As always, when you order, remember to reference our family so that we get the profit for your purchase. Thanks for supporting us, and other adoptive families, in this way!


Chinese artisans are world renown for their intricate artwork. The ornament shown above is one of several ornaments you can purchase to help us in our quest to adopt from China. These ornaments are painted on the inside, a technique that has been perfected in Chinese handiwork. In addition to "good fortune", you can choose ornaments containing the Chinese characters for "peace", "love", and "double happiness". Click here to check them all out! The way this works is you place an order from the website, and designate "The Fisher Family" as the beneficiary of your order. At the end of the sale, we will receive the profit from all sales where we have been designated, as well as a portion of the proceeds that may not have been specifically designated to any one family. There are many families participating in this fundraiser--you can read all about it on the website. These ornaments would make very unique and beautiful Christmas gifts, but you want to order early, as they do come directly from China and last year we sold out. There are a couple of specials running in September which you can also read about on the website.

Thanks for taking the time to check this out and for helping us on our journey to Sophia in China!

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Monday, September 1, 2008

This Week's To-Do List

Here is my list of things to do this week, relating to our adoption:

1. Get federal fingerprinting and criminal check done.

2. Get money orders and send in other criminal check and child abuse clearances.

3. Fill out financial document for home study.

4. Continue typing recipes for cookbook fundraiser (I need more, by the way!)

5. Investigate other fundraising opportunities so we can get this adoption underway.

I'm glad to finally be busy with the details of our adoption...continue to pray for our needed funds!

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I'm having a blast reading and typing all of the yummy recipes I have been receiving from family, friends, and total strangers! This is such an exciting project for me! So far I have about 50 recipes, so keep them coming! I would like to have a total of 250-300 recipes from 100-150 different people. There is a link on the right to my original post about the cookbook and how you can send me recipes to help us bring Sophia home!

Thanks, and may God bless you for helping!

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Musings on the Journey

When one embarks on such a journey as this one, it is comforting to have companions along the way. We have found fellow travelers all over the place--church, Internet, work, school--and the instant camaraderie is incredible. Some of the people I have met have already completed their journeys, and their stories bring us hope. Some are almost ready to travel and bring home their newest family member, and their stories bring us excitement for what is to come. Some, like us, are just embarking on their journeys, and we can encourage one another as we walk this road together. I thank God for all the friends, old and new, that I have met--and will meet--as we journey to Sophia in China.

May God bless us one and all!

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Next Step...

Things are moving along nicely with our initial steps on this long journey to bring Sophia home. We have been cleared by our adoption agency to move forward with our home study even though we have not sent in our formal application, due to lack of finances. With a completed home study we can apply for grants which will help our financial situation, so we are excited about being able to move ahead in this area. The first two Saturdays in September we will be sitting in on some mandatory educational classes as we line up interviews and complete paperwork for our home study. Please pray with us as we trust God to provide the $1500 needed to pay our home study agency. And remember to send us your recipes for our adoption fundraiser cookbook!

Our need is great, but our God is greater!

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Calling All Cooks...Recipes Needed!

Do you like to cook? Do you have a favorite family recipe or two? Then we could use your help! We are going to publish the "Forever Family Cookbook" as an adoption fundraiser. I need at least 250 different recipes from at least 150 different individuals, so...please pass the word to families, friends, Sunday School classes, women's groups, etc., etc.! I would love to receive recipes from around the world...in fact, it would be really neat for people to submit favorite family recipes that highlight their family's heritage. You can send recipes to me via e-mail at tfisher83@myexcel.com, or, you can click here for a .pdf file that you can print, fill in, and send to Terri Fisher, PO Box 146, Jonestown, PA 17038. Please include your name and, if you know it, the "heritage" of the recipe (english, german, chilean, etc.) so that they can be included in the cookbook. Feel free to print several forms and pass them to friends and family, and if you have a blog, please help us get the word out...we need all the recipes we can get! Recipes can be for anything edible, so pull out those recipe boxes, old cookbooks, and tattered pieces of paper, and get typing...or writing...so we can bring Sophia home!

Thanks for your help...and stay tuned to our blog for how you can order a cookbook!

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

International Adoption Awareness Meeting

This morning we held our International Adoption Awareness Meeting with a representative from our adoption agency via telephone. We had received a bunch of paperwork to read over prior to the meeting, and had a nice discussion with the rep regarding international adoption and the risks involved as well as what to expect from the process. Now we move forward with completing our formal application. It was clarified for me that the formal application can be sent in without the home study...I was a bit confused by that. The application itself is pretty straightforward, although several items need to be notarized. The big factor is that we must send in the application fee and first agency fee with the application which is $2800. Add to that the $1500 for the home study fee, and you can see my revised ticker on the right with the grand total for this segment of our adoption process being $4300. Please pray with us as we determine how to fund this first segment, and begin our fundraising efforts for the remaining large sum of money necessary to bring Sophia home.

We look forward to sharing with you how God provides for our family!

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

And Away We Go!

Today was a fruitful day on the adoption front as I made contact with our previous adoption agency (from when we adopted our older boys) and set in motion our home study process. Since we adopted with them previously, they are waiving the application fee so we only have to pay the home study fee. This will be our first big monetary hurdle--the first of many!--but we have faith that God will supply. I have added a Paypal donation button to this blog for anyone interested in helping us in that way, and I have also added a ladybug ticker to show the progress we make towards each of the small monetary hurdles we must leap on our journey to Sophia. For those of you who don't know, ladybugs are a symbol of good luck in China, and have been embraced as a symbol of Chinese adoption by adoptive families. While I don't necessarily believe in "good luck" per se, I like the symbolism behind the ladybug and its ties to Chinese adoption. It will be fun to watch as God helps our little ladybug move towards her goals on this long journey ahead of us! Stay tuned for other ways you can help us as we try to get creative with our fundraising efforts!

Thanks for helping us bring our little Sophia home!

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Monday, August 4, 2008

Finally...The Next Step!

Last week I was out of town for the week, but we did receive the good news that our agency feels as though we can move forward with the intent to adopt from China, as their liasion in China, in talking with the CCAA, thinks my medical situation is not going to be an issue for them.


So now it's on to the next step. This Thursday morning Dave and I will be meeting via conference call with a representative from our agency, Adoption Associates, Inc., to discuss international adoption in general and the special issues associated with it (e.g., bonding and attachment). If, after that meeting, we still wish to pursue international adoption, we move to filling out the official application--and the fun begins!

Thanks for your interest in our journey!

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Agency Report #4

The saga continues...today we received notification that the CCAA (China Center of Adoption Affairs) wants to know the name and dosages of the meds that I'm currently taking. And all of this before we have even officially been accepted by the agency, let alone have a dossier on the way to China! Yikes!

Thanks for praying with us as we take these first tentative steps on our journey!

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Agency Report #3

Just a quick update...we received a phone message today from our agency saying that they are still waiting for an answer from China. So, we wait...

Thanks for waiting with us!

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Agency Report #2

We finally received another call today from our agency. I was working, but Dave talked with the woman (although he can't remember her name...). Apparently, IF he understood correctly, a committee in China will be discussing my "medical conditions" on Friday and will be making a decision as to whether or not we can pursue adoption there. Mind you, my "medical conditions" are nothing major, and I probably could be taken off of the two meds I'm on and be fine, but I'm on them for preventative measures. And, I know my doctor will say I'm in excellent health, even though I'm on the meds. But I was honest and put them down on the application, so now, only God knows what will happen. But at least we can rely on His plan and if China closes her adoption doors on us, God will open another one somewhere!

Thanks for your encouragement and prayers!

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Agency Report

I finally received a call from our agency today! I thought I would hear from them sometime this week. To make a long story short, when submitting the preliminary application, we had to disclose any medical conditions for which we were were currently "under treatment". Here in the USA we are more proactive with our health issues, and are often on preventative and maintenance meds for various things such as high blood pressure, thyroid issues, insulin resistance, etc. To the Chinese mind, if you have to take meds, you are sick. If you are sick, you are not "good enough" to adopt one of their children. Therefore, we are awaiting word from the agency's liasion in China to see if the fact that I am on a couple of meds for regulatory measures will inhibit us from adopting from China. I guess it's better to find out before we expend a lot of time and energy, but it's a bit discouraging, too. However, we know that God is in control, and there are many more children in many other countries who need homes if the door to China is closed.

I'll keep you posted, and thanks for praying!

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Waiting for Sophia Elizabeth

When Dave and I first got married, we had no idea that it was going to be hard for us to have biological children. We were not interested in starting a family right away, so it wasn't until my sisters, who were married a few years after us, began having difficulty conceiving that we wondered if there might be a medical reason for the difficulty we were all having with conceiving biologically. Through a myriad of divine appointments (not circumstances!) we found out that all three of us sisters have a condition called PCOS which has a multitude of symptoms that vary by individual, with infertility or difficulty conceiving being a big part of the syndrome. Dave and I knew that we wanted to adopt no matter what, so after the requisite fertility doctor appointment, we opted to adopt versus going down the expensive, no guarantees route of fertility treatments. Our two older sons are biological siblings who moved in with us in 2001 as a "foster to adopt" situation. Two years later, their adoption was finalized (that's a story for a later time!). About a year after that--surprise!--we were pregnant with our third son. At that time, not knowing at first if we were having a boy or a girl, we chose the name Sophia Elizabeth as our favorite girl name. When we got pregnant again, I thought for sure God allowed the pregnancy because He was giving us our little Sophia, but that was not the case--Nathaniel it was! So here we are, pursuing what was has been our heart's desire for many years, and we still have our favorite girl name available! How cool is that!

Sophia comes from Greek and means "wisdom", while Elizabeth comes from Hebrew and means "God's promise". In reality, I can't think of a better name for our adopted daughter. We will be clinging to God's promise of wisdom as we travel our silk road in the months--and years--ahead. Until the day we finally meet the daughter God intends for us to have, I will try to make the reality of her adoption part of our everyday lives as a family. As I mentioned in a previous post, I purchased a child's silk dress from China on another adoptive family's blog. Isn't it beautiful?

I intend to hang it in a prominent location in our home to remind us of what our journey is all about. I also am going to hang another picture frame in our living room alongside the frames containing our sons' yearly photos. I am thinking of putting the Chinese characters for "mei mei" or "little sister" in the frame until we can replace it with a real photograph. Until then, we will pray for Sophia and entrust her into God's almighty hands.

We love you Sophia Elizabeth - wherever and whoever you are!

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The First Step...Done!

Well, it's in the mail! Our preliminary application is filled out--along with the first of many checks--and is on its way to the adoption agency. If we are approved after the preliminary application, then we move to the second step which is to have a meeting with the agency regarding international adoption (the check was to cover the expense of that meeting). If we still wish to proceed after that meeting, then we move to step three which is to fill out the (very long!) formal application with the agency. So, we have put the ball into motion, and we'll see where God takes us from here!

I have started compiling some adoption blogs that I like to read. You can find them on the right, below my archives. I have been so blessed by watching the little fundraising "ticker" on Red Thread Stitches as this adoptive family sews their way to their new daughter in China. The clothes this adoptive mom makes and sells to raise funds for her adoption are adorable! Yesterday I supported their adoption by purchasing a little pink dress, made in China and donated by another adoptive mom. I intend to hang the dress in our spare room, which will probably become our daughter's room someday, so that I have a tangible reminder of what is awaiting us at the end of this very long journey. When I receive the dress I will post pictures!

Thanks for joining us on this journey!

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Monday, June 30, 2008

Answers, At Last!

I was pretty frustrated last week in my attempts to get some answers from adoption agencies about various issues related to international adoption in general, and China in particular. I spent many hours on the computer, investigating our options...everything from waiting children in every country imaginable, to domestic infant adoption, to foster to adopt here in the U.S. I prayed and prayed, asking God to give us direction. Over the weekend I found two more agencies that looked interesting, so this morning I called them to see what I could find out. I have found that in calling agencies, I get a much better feel for their staff and how they relate personally to people, which is important to me. Any agency can have a five-star website, but it is how they relate personally to me that matters. To make a long story short, after talking with these two different agencies, I think we now have some answers, and an adoption agency! I think we just might qualify for China now that I understand better how the assets requirement is documented, so we are definitely pursuing that option first. The agency we are sending our preliminary application to has a birth order and spacing policy which states that they will usually not place adopted children out of birth order, and they like nine months between the youngest child and the adopted child. Dave and I thought that over, and we agree with the reasoning behind their thinking. We will hopefully be submitting a formal application for the healthy child China program, but with the thought that we can change to the waiting child program at any time, should a child come forward that meets the birth order criteria. Right now we probably wouldn't be able to find a waiting child (children with special needs) who would fit the birth order/spacing requirement set forth by the agency. I feel good about having a plan, and I know that God will continue to guide and direct us as we move forward. It's going to be a long journey, but the reward at the end will be well worth the travel! Stay tuned!

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Many Questions...Few Answers

Years ago, when we first entered the world of adoption, we thought we had God's will for us figured out. Seemingly out of the blue, we were contacted by an old family friend, via my parents, regarding a child who was in need of a family. We traveled out of state twice to visit this child and finalize the adoption privately, but it fell through at the last moment. I still have photos of that child, and often wonder how he is doing now. From that disappointment arose the desire to learn more about our state's foster to adopt program, and thus we met, and ultimately adopted, our two older boys. God used the first situation, as hard as it was, to bring us to what was meant to be at that time in our lives.

Once again, we find ourselves entering the world of adoption. We think--or shall I say, thought--we again had God's will figured out. China was where we would find our daughter. However, after much reading and searching, we are now not so sure. Last year (2007), China changed its requirements for adoptive parents. You can read the entire list of updated requirements here. We think we meet most of the requirements except two biggies: we must prove that we earn $10,000 per year for each member of our family, including the child that we wish to adopt, and we must show that, not including our income, we have at least $80,000 in assets (after subtracting all liabilities). Since I no longer work full-time, or even part-time, outside of the home, we will be hard pressed to meet these requirements any time soon. We believe that God wants me to stay at home right now, so my working a "regular" job is not an option. Dave already works insanely crazy hours and is not home as much as he would like, so a second job for him seems out of the question as well.

So what to do? Part of me thinks we should just press on, trusting God to miraculously supply so that we can lower our liabilities (i.e., debt!) and meet the requirements for China, which has always been our first choice for international adoption. However, we would like to complete the adoption in the next couple of years in order to keep the ages of our two younger sons close to our new daughter's, so the "miraculously" part would really need to occur soon! The other part of me questions whether our goal is to adopt a daughter from China, or simply adopt a daughter. If it is the latter, there are MANY other options out there, including adopting out of foster care again. Thus, the title of this post: Many Questions...Few Answers.

Please pray with us as we try to discern the Lord's will in this process. We don't want to make any hasty decisions that we will regret later, but we also don't want to wait too long to start the ball rolling, as we know how long adoption can take. As always, I'm glad that God sees the beginning from the end, and that we can trust that He knows what is best for us and will show us in His time!

Thanks for your interest in our journey!

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Ever since I was a little girl, I have been fascinated with the land of China. I remember hearing the stories of missionaries who gave their lives in service to the Lord in this exotic land before the gospel was pushed underground by the Communist government. I loved their food, their art, their music, and their rich history...so much older and complex than our own. When Dave and I met, we talked at length about adoption, and we both felt drawn to adopt a daughter from China, where little girls are routinely left on roadsides and in train stations due to the one child policy and the desire for sons to carry on the family name. Dave even got a job working for a Chinese ministry for a couple of years, and we were blessed to travel to China in the summer of 2000...we both came home more drawn to this land and her people.

Since then, God has led us down many interesting paths. We adopted a sibling group of two brothers, now ages 13 and 10. Then God opened my womb and I have since borne two more sons, now ages 3 and 9 months. There have been many job changes for both of us...after teaching in both the public elementary school system and a Bible college, I am now pretty much a full-time stay at home mom, and Dave is working hard to support our family on one income. We have recently moved in order to cut down his commute a bit which has meant a change in schooling for our older boys and a change in church for all of us. Change is hard, but good, and we are settling in.

Which brings us to this blog. One might think that four children would be sufficient in this day and age, and in many ways, they are more than sufficient! We love our boys and certainly have our hands full with the age span God has given us and the needs they all bring to the family table! However, the desire to adopt a daughter from China has never really gone away. After the birth of our youngest last October, it almost seemed to intensify, especially for me--could it be the over-abundance of testosterone in our house? Perhaps, but I also feel very strongly that the Lord has given us this desire, and until He takes it away, or closes the doors, we must walk by faith in the direction the desire takes us. This blog is our first baby step in that direction. I will post more about the requirements to adopt from China and how we will have to work really hard to meet them before we can even start the adoption process. I will also post about the long wait for Chinese adoptions at this time and how it could be many years before a child is referred to us, if we go the traditional Chinese adoption route.

But for now, suffice it to say that we know God has directed us to take the first steps on our silk road...a journey to adopt our daughter from China. Thanks for walking it with us!

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