Sunday, August 24, 2008

One year ago today...

One year ago today we received news that we would be receiving a tremendous gift from God, TWO beautiful daughters. It is hard to believe it has been one year since we received the news (recapped below) and everything that has transpired since then. It is hard to put it all into words. But, I think the post from last September is a reminder of the excitement and the journey we had had since receiving the news on 8-24-07. (as you may recall, we had to wait to tell the world of our great news until we had pre-approval from the CCAA, that is why the date of the post announcing the news was 9-14-07).
Please re-read the big announcement. Our next big anniversary is in November, our one year anniversary of becoming a family!!!!

The photo above is of the girls a few weeks ago at the FTIA picnic with Maury, our wonderful coordinator, that helped make all of this happen. This was the first time we were able to meet Maury in person. Thanks again Maury!!!
On a side note, we are sitting here as a family (yes the girls should be in bed) watching the closing ceremony of the Olympics. You may recall from our travel blog that we had the opportunity to drive through the Olympic Village while in Beijing. It is amazing the differences a year makes...
Thanks for stopping in.

(Post from 9-14-08)

Yes, you read that right. TWINS!!!!

Meet Abrielle LuLa (Zhaung Lu La) and Delaney LuMei (Zhaung Lu Mei).
Abby and Laney were born January 2nd, 2006 and currently reside in the Yifeng SWI in Jiangxi Province. Hopefully they will be home with us by the end of this year.

On Friday, August 24th, I was driving back from a workshop in Crawfordsville. I left early because I was not feeling well and was able to schedule a 2:20 Dr. appointment. While cruising along I-70 in downtown Indianapolis I received a call from our FTIA (Families Thru International Adoption) coordinator, Maury (she is great by the way). Maury said "Tony, we have a unique situation." I said ok, having no clue what she was going to say next.
She said "we have twins".

The rest is history.

This was truly a God thing. Maury immediately emailed the girls' files to us. Rett downloaded their files and I picked them up on the way back from Indy. Since I had a Dr. appointment, I then took the files to my Dr. and he reviewed their files. Everything looked good. (We would not have cared if there was an issue, they are our girls and will do whatever it takes to take care of them.)

This was perfect timing. Our next step was to send in "Letters of Intent" (LOI) and other documents which required our explanation of medical review of their files. The letters, which were tweaked a couple of times since twins are rare and FTIA wanted everything to be perfect, were submitted to the CCAA (China Center for Adoption Affairs) on August 30th, one day after my Mom's birthday. (We still owe Mom a birthday gift, we kind of lost all focus after getting that call.)

Then the wait began, AGAIN!!!! We needed to wait for pre-approval from the CCAA to be assured that they would allow us to adopt the girls. FTIA said it could be 3 to 10 weeks for pre-approval. We recieved pre-approval today, only 16 days later!!!!!

We let the cat out of the bag and told a few people (family) what was going on....we were supposed to keep it quiet until our LOI was submitted and pre-approval was received.
So, now more waiting again. Next is Letter of Approval, then travel approval then we travel. Best case scenario, we meet our girls face to face in December. Worst case scenario, we meet our girls the 1st of 2008.

God continues to work. Rett found additional pictures of our girls on a Yahoo Groups site for their orphanage. We have been in contact with a very nice man that posted some of the photos and even has video footage of our girls. He saw them earlier this year when he visited their orphanage when picking up his daughter. Imagine that, we see our girls' faces for the first time, and two weeks later find someone (in the New England area) who has held our daughters.
With all of this said, we definitely appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers. Please keep them coming. We still have mounds of paperwork ahead of us, travel preparation, travel, meeting our girls, getting them to like us and starting our lives with them. We cannot wait.

Now, a few more pictures (aren't you glad that I like to post pictures?) of the world's cutest little girls...If you want to see more photos, you will have to track us down. We will be happy to share them with you. Thank for stopping by.



IzzyBeth said...

God IS good. Love you guys!!

Cindi said...

Enjoyed reading your post.... our daughter is from Jiangxi Province, as well.

Jenna Marie Howard said...

I just wanted to stop by and tell you I enjoy reading your blog. I am adopted and find such encouragement knowing you are adoptive parents. I am the Director of Public Relations for a non-profit organization called World Orphans. We build church based orphan homes all over the world and our mission is simple E3 to reach each church…each child…each community. I would love for you to take a look at our website and let me know if you have any questions. ( I hope you will have a glorious blessed day!
Jenna M. Howard
-Director of Public Relations