The light at the end…

3 01 2013

This morning I wanted to share some great news.  It comes from Psalm 97:1-6

The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad;
let the distant shores rejoice.
 Clouds and thick darkness surround him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
 Fire goes before him
and consumes his foes on every side.
 His lightning lights up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
before the Lord of all the earth.
 The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
and all peoples see his glory.

~NIV

I think back on this journey and am so glad that “the Lord reigns…”  God has made his plans evident to us through the outpouring of love and support from our family and friends.  He caused legal “mountains” to melt like wax, as the process moved along.  We along with the rest of the whole earth proclaim his righteousness and goodness as we hope that through us all people will see the Great God!

What good news!

Here is some more good news!  We received final confirmation that we are HEADED TO CH*NA!  Our paperwork has all been processed, everything found in order, and now we are finalizing travel details.

We leave on Jan 16th!!!!  Just booked our flights (our awesome travel agency found Awesome rates! PTL)

 

Some prayer request that we would continue to ask you all to support us in:

- Josh and Katie getting all Visa paperwork (already in process but not finalized)

- All details on the home front will come into place (our 2 kiddos are staying here with family and friends)

- with less than 2 weeks before we leave, please pray for health, our family has been riddled with the Flu, Bronchitis and Strep Throat.  We need to be healthy!

- God would be glorified through this adoption!

While we are in CH*NA we will be doing our best to update the blog and our Facebook accounts.  We cannot guarantee the frequency of these updates, but our hope is to regularly update with Pictures and videos.

We are so eager to meet our son, and we know that many of you are eager to meet him also.  We want to make this happen as soon as possible, but as we have been learning, we ask for patience.  Josh,Katie, and the kids will be in some level of seclusion for a few weeks upon our return in order to spend as much time getting to know Zi and allowing him to get to know us.  We promise that this will not be permanent but will ask you to tolerate our time away.





Make like a tree and leave

21 11 2012

Hey everyone!

I know it has been forever since our last post.  We have had a flurry of activity over the last few weeks and months, hurricanes, power outages, paperwork, more paperwork…and lots of waiting :)

We are now at a phase where we have sent paperwork for Zi’s visa to the US Consulate in China.  Once he receives his visa we will get a travel invitation from China and then we can apply for our visas to travel to China.  Our time frame for travel has not really fluctuated, as it looks like we will make the journey in late January or February.

We do have a piece of Prayer for those who are supporting us in that way.  Our agency sends families in groups to China, and 2 potential things will impact our travel.  #1 If we are ready and no one else is ready, we will not travel until there are at least 2 families to travel.  #2 because the Chinese New Year is on Feb 10th there is a possibility that our agency will not send a travel group in February at all.  So we are praying that January is the time when we travel, so please pray with us that there will be other families ready (for their sake and ours), and that this can all take place before the Chinese New Year.

 

We had the privilege today of sending a care package to Zi!  Below is a picture of the contents.  We are so thankful for the opportunity to send this, and our hope is that he will receive it and will begin to identify with us as his forever family :).

 

 

Thanks for your care, support and prayer!

 





LOA received!

19 10 2012

A few weeks ago we asked you to join us in a prayer for 45 days…and many of you joined with us.  We were and still are overwhelmed with the response of friends and family supporting us through this journey.  Sometimes it feels like we are trying to lift a weight that is incredible, and truly impossible.  And I know that, because of God’s graciousness, he surrounded us with people like you who have been praying and supporting us helping us bear this.  What a blessing to know that behind the curtain of this journey we have an army of warriors seeking the face of almighty God on ours and Zi’s behalf.

We passed the 45 day mark 8 days ago, and in case you are not aware…the last 53 days we have been waiting in some form of agony as we eagerly anticipated our paperwork being processed in Ch**a.  We received word today that our Letter Of Acceptance (LOA) has been received.  This is truly a blessing from God! as the “normal time-frame” is 2-3 months…Hallelujah our God is not held to “normal.”

God has moved, and now we continue to take the next step.  We will be sending off our immigration paperwork which will allow Zi to become a US citizen upon his arrival into the country.  This should be sent out Monday or Tuesday (we have additional forms that could not be completed until the LOA was received).  The “normal time-frame” for this step is 6-8 weeks, we are hopeful that this step in the process continues to amaze the caseworkers and persons involved.

What a blessing it is to be a part of this journey, it seems like almost everyday I get a new opportunity speak about a little boy who God has designed to become a part of our family.  Everyday I realize that we are one step closer to being able to being a completed family!

God is Good!

 





Happy Birthday!

20 09 2012

Today is Zi’s birthday! What a great day it will be next year when as a family we can sing happy birthday to Zi! (we sang it the 4 of us today:). Would you do something in honor of Zi’s birthday? Zi is featured on an Advocacy website for Orphans with Down Syndrome, Reece’s Rainbow (they call him Zachary) and one of the goals of Reece’s Rainbow is to provide funds for adoption of these precious creations from God. They are entered in a contest, and have the potential to win which will provide a great deal of financial support.

In honor of Zi’s birthday would you vote for Reece’s Rainbow? This is the link here it will take less than 1 minute and could save a life!

Thanks and Have great day!

Josh





A Prayer for 45 days!

16 08 2012

In case you have not heard, our Dossier is on its way to China! (we were assured that it is not on the slow boat). In a few days we will receive notification from the Republic of China that our Dossier has been received or a “Logged in Date” (LID). The typical response after the LID is 2-3 months for processing. We need your help!

We are asking all of our friends and family to pray for 45 days! We want to receive our Letter of Acceptance (LOA) in 45 days. I was recounting the way God moved only 4 months ago on Zi day where our expectations were blown away, and am praying now for 45 days. Would you commit to pray for the next 45 days that our paperwork will land on the “right desk” and will be processed in an incredible time?

In case you were wondering 45 days land about the end of September. Please let us know if you are praying with us, we love and long for the encouragement.

We will keep you updated as God moves!

Thank you!





God Working Through Our Frustration

1 08 2012

I write this on the heels of some major setbacks and frustrations. We know that God’s timing is perfect, and so we are eager to see him working. I’ll back up…
Many have heard this firsthand, but for those who have not had the opportunity we write this update.

A few weeks ago we wrote that our Dossier was sent to the headquarters and then off to China! And while that was our belief, that was not reality. Shortly after we sent the documents we received an email from our agency stating that both mine and Katie’s birth certificate and our marriage license was “too old” (we received new ones in January) and that our home study needed to be “state sealed” and our application letter was missing an important phrase (needing to be notarized and state sealed again).

This was frustrating on top of already being frustrated, we are now on our 3rd social worker and our 3rd contact at the main headquarters. Communication has not been ideal and things have been communicated incorrectly or not at all costing us time, and money…but mostly time.

So upon receiving this email from our agency we were really upset, but the bottom line was we HAD to comply, no matter what should have been communicated, this was the way it needed to be, and so this is what we had to do. So on Monday last week Katie and I made a day trip to Lancaster County and received our “new” marriage license, and then to Harrisburg to get a new copy of Katie’s birth certificate, and then we had to get those forms as well as 2 other documents all state sealed. The state seal is issued by the Secretary of State’s office, validating the authenticity of the document.

We arrived in Lancaster and within 10 minutes were back on the road with the marriage license. Our arrival at the Vital records office in Harrisburg was met with signs that read “no same day service” our hearts sank as our desire was to accomplish all the tasks within the same day. We spoke with the lady at the counter who was really compassionate, but her hands were tied. Praise God the manager was working in the next station and she asked why we needed the same day service, and once we mentioned our plans she said “oh for that we can get it to you in 3 hours (verses 3 days picking it up in the office or 3-4 weeks by mail). So after the delay and a test trip to the Secretary of States office we finalized our goal of all Pennsylvania documents signed and state sealed ready to head to our agency.

Saturday we received my birth certificate from Minnesota. This was another work of God as it took only 8 days from the time I mailed the application to it being returned (with another stop in the Secretary of States office). Praise God that the Government workers were extremely helpful and all desired to assist us by accomplishing their respective roles as quickly as they could.

We have sent all the documents to our agency and while we honestly still struggle with being frustrated we very much still believe that God is in control and that he has a plan for our delay.

We ask that you pray that things will leave for China soon, and that they will be able to process our paperwork in a speedy manner. This request will allow for us to move ever closer to our bringing Zi home.

Thank you for your support and prayers!

Josh





Woohoo!

2 07 2012

Last Tuesday as we were anticipating the completion of our Dossier, we learned that some of our clearances needed updating. This was the last piece we needed before we were able to take the next step in the paperwork submission. The clearances take at least 2-3 weeks , and after this realization our spirits were “down” to say the least. So only 5 days after the online submission we received the forms in the mail today!!!

Our paperwork is now on its way to The State Capital for verification, and should be returned to us by the end of this week of the beginning of next! And then off to our Agency headquarters in Michigan…and then to China!

We are so excited and continue to pray that things will happen at a baffling speed. God is a God of amazing things!

Thank you for following along with us and praying for us as we walk through the paperwork journey!

Josh








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