The Final Mile... Uphill || Adoption Update
Have you ever made a whirlpool in a swimming pool and tried running against the current? It's hard. And feels like the current is stronger than your legs, even though you are inching forward. That is where I feel like we are at currently. These final steps feel agonizing. I can see the finish line. I can heart the people cheering. My legs are going as fast as we inch forward.
Today we received GOOD NEWS in these final steps. We are in the final steps of working on Tristan's immigration process for when we are in China. The orange box below is where we are currently at. Here is what the acronyms mean:
I-800 Petition: Paperwork petitioning for Tristan to become a U.S. Citizen once he is in our care. (DONE AND APPROVED!)
GUZ#: A number we receive from the National Visa Center for our consulate appointment while in China
DS260: Something else I have to do... LOL I don't ask, I just do.
ARTICLE 5: More paperwork that is delivered to the U.S. Consulate for our appointment in China.
TRAVEL APPROVAL: China saying YES to allowing us to enter the country.
TRAVEL VISAS: Visas to enter the country
Once we receive Travel Approval, THAT is when we book our flights and make travel arrangements. Until then, we wait.
My initial hope and prayer was that we would make the October 11th - 25th travel dates with our agency and other families that are traveling. There is still a slight chance that we could make this group, however, November is starting to look more realistic based on our timeline of things to still accomplish. I am still planning and preparing for October, but setting my expectations for November. The November travel dates have not been made yet, but we should know soon when these dates are.
At first, it completely sucked coming to the realization that we might not make the October group. I just want to get to our little guy home who is still waiting. But I also know that God knows the hour, minute, and second we will meet our little guy. I have my plans, but God determines these steps (Proverbs 16:9) and I TRUST and have confidence and peace knowing that GOD'S GOT THIS!
I am also in the process of wrapping up a couple of HUGE photography projects that I want finished before we leave. It is so important to me to be able to fully focus on the task at hand in China as well as when we get home. We will have a big adjustment period when we get home as well. I am SOOOO ready for though!
This adoption process has been a whole lot of Hope - Pray - Trust and Surrender (repeat). Aprocess I wouldn't trade for anything. It has strengthened and grown my faith beyond words. God is GOOD and has been in this process from the very beginning. Even when I think were having "hiccups" and things were being delayed, they are happening for a purpose. And so, I place my hope and trust in Him.
Over the past few weeks we have also been doing a Puzzle Piece Fundraiser which are going towards our travel costs in bringing Tristan home. I have been in tears in the outpouring of people who want and have been a piece of his story. This puzzle will hang in his room and we will be able to turn it around and show him all of the people that were a piece of his story. It makes me excited just thinking about it!
Out of the 1000 pieces, we have under 285 pieces still available. Each piece is $5 and holds one name. Contributors can purchase as many pieces they would like and place whatever names they would like on the pieces. The outpouring has been amazing and all I can do is say THANK YOU, which I feel are two little of words... But THANK YOU!
If you would like to be a piece of his story, free to comment below and I will shoot you a message!
Thank you also to those who have been praying! We still have a couple of big steps to make that are all very time sensitive. PLEASE KEEP PRAYING! But most importantly, pray for Tristan. For a peace the surpasses understanding. For comfort when he leaves what he has always known and transitions to his home. That when we meet him, he feels, knows, and trusts that he is safe. His story is only just beginning. I believe and know that God has big plans for his life. This is just the beginning...