Thursday, May 30, 2013


I wondered about it all weekend!!  I kept thinking SURELY I'll get it on Tuesday!!  So Tuesday came and I checked my phone about 20 times throughout the day and NOTHING...  Right as I had given up hope, my agency called my work phone with the good news.  They received our Letter Seeking Confirmation from China!! :)  32 days from LID w/medical expedite!  Awesome!!!

Our I-800 was already sent to the USCIS lockbox & yesterday I received notice that it has been sent to the NBC (National benefits center) for approval by our caseworker. Hopefully with our medical expedite we will see approval sometime next week.  It would be AMAZING if it could get through NBC & NVC (National visa center) and cabled to the US Consulate all next week!!  It seems nearly impossible, but I serve a God that can make impossible POSSIBLE!! :)

Once it gets to the US Consulate in Guangzhou, China they will review everything, which usually take 10 full business days (another process we hope can be shortened with our medical expedite request).  If they expedite it, it could just take two or three days... Whenever they review our file they will then issue Article 5 which gets picked up by our agency and delivered to CCCWA (china children's welfare).

Then the last paperwork step, CCCWA will process our invitation to travel!  This usually takes 2-3 weeks to have in hand, but when we get it, we can then make plans to go get our boy!  WAHOO!!!

SO how much longer are we waiting?  As you can see, it will vary a bit.  Our hope is that we can receive our travel approval from China by early July and travel in late July to bring our boy HOME!!

Not only are we praying this moves fast for Ben's medical needs, we are also praying it moves fast because of our move to Alabama.  We are supposed to report into our unit in August and we really need to travel before that!!  If we have to move and haven't travelled yet we have to repeat some of these steps after getting a whole new homestudy.  This could delay us up to 4 months in going to get him!!!

Please say a quick prayer, that we will receive our approval quickly to go get Ben!! 

I think I'll send him a care package and note now!!! :)

Thanks for stopping by!
Fannie, Matt, & Katie

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Saying "no" and finding ways to say "yes"

Last week something unexpected happened. Something heart-breaking to me....

Many of us have looked at files of waiting children while looking for our child. We asked for two thalassemia files from our agency back in Dec. One was for a little boy, age 3 and the other was nearly 5 yr old Ben.

Their files were basically the same. Both had beta thal major. Both were abandoned by their birth parents when they were older than 1. How do you know which one to pick? As I looked at Ben's file and saw a video where he was silent and wouldn't interact, I knew that he needed a family as soon as possible. I also knew that he was older and more likely to not find a family. So we prayed and we chose him.

Choosing him meant saying 'no' to the other child. A beautiful little boy who was equally deserving of the love of a family.

And out of the estimated 712,000 Chinese Orphans in orphanages, I found his face in the photos from a friend's visit to her daughter's orphanage last week in Guangdong province.

I don't know if he has found his forever family yet or not.  I do know that a quote I know well resonates in a whole new way with me today.

"Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names.  They are easier to ignore before you see their faces... but when you do, everything changes."

I pray for this precious boy, and for so many just like him throughout China and throughout the world... And I renew my commitment to helping in any way that I can.  Right now, I can only pray for him, but I can show you faces of others who need our help right now.  Little ones that we CAN help right now.

My family sponsors three orphans from two different organizations.  Our Pearl River Outreach kids truly touch my heart and we are working hard to grow Pearl River Outreach and move more orphans out of orphanages and into foster homes where they can receive love and affection, individualized care, and understand the meaning of family.  No longer do they stand behind bars waiting to play outside.  No longer do they have to wait for love.  They have foster families who care for them until they can be with their forever families.

Pearl River Outreach has taken a leap of faith and decided to fund more than 10 more children in two more Chinese provinces, but in order to be successful, to keep our commitment and provide for these wonderful kids- We need sponsors!!

We need one more sponsor for this precious girl, Madeline.

We need four sponsors for this little boy, Jack.

There are so many children that we still need sponsor families for.  It's only $35 a month to change a precious child's life!  I hope you will join our Pearl River family by sponsoring a child.  The link to Pearl River is on my list of followed blogs.  You will find more children in need of sponsorship, information, and pictures from Diana's trip to China last month to see our kids, their foster families, and to begin new partnerships.

We sponsor the little boy below, Aiden.  Due to hearing issues, he now has an implant, but needs special education to help him catch up and reach his potential, so during a recent trip to China, our team enrolled him in a special school.  His tuition is $70 a month.  Can you help with some of his tuition?

I hope you will consider joining our family in changing lives!!

Thanks for stopping by,
Fannie, Matt, & Katie

A little about Ben!!

Okay, I've been keeping all the details of our little boy close to us until we were DTC.  Now that we are at day 25 of the wait for LOA, allow us to tell you a little more about our son...

For starters, the picture above is of his orphanage. 

We've decided to keep his Chinese name but nickname him Ben.  ;)  He will also inherit his daddy's middle name as his!!  :)

He lives in Shenzhen, China where he was found when he was approx. 2 years old.  We don't know why he was abandoned.  The fact that he was at least 2 makes us believe that he had a family that loved him and wanted him.  After all, Chinese families are always very happy to have a son!  We believe that as he grew, the symptoms of his thalassemia became more obvious.  His condition is fairly common in China, but that doesn't mean it is easy for the average Chinese family to get treatment.  He needs monthly blood transfusions.  In China, from everything I've read, parents are required to pay up front for medical treatments.  This probably means that his family loved him and did what they could to manage his medical condition, but before they knew it they had a very sick little boy on their hands that they could not provide for.  They left him to be found, knowing that he would get what he needs in the orphanage...  They sacrificed to give him a chance at life!  This struck me the second I looked at his file.  How hard it must have been for this family... My heart broke for him and for them.

Then I saw the picture on his referral paperwork.  This was a much younger child than the recent pictures on the agency's website!!  How long had he been waiting to be "chosen"???  I looked through the paperwork and was shocked to find the answer.  More than 2 years!!!!  For over 2 years this little boy has been available for adoption after his family's sacrifice and no one had picked him!  I knew in my heart that his waiting was over. We were not going to let this little boy sit in China without the full medical treatment he needs and a family he deserves a minute longer than we had to!  I was going to pick up and take care of him the way his China mama would have wanted.  Maybe he was just waiting for us. ;)

So that's the first story of our Ben, the little boy that has shaken up this Momma's heart and world quite a bit!!!  In the best of ways!! Can't wait to hear his little voice and see those smiles!!

Thanks for stopping by!
Fannie, Matt, & Katie

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Log In Date & An Orphanage Update!!

After 3 weeks of waiting, CCCWA finally notified the agency of our log in date- April 27th.  So we are officially 12 days into our wait for LOA!!  We requested a medical expedite, so we are hoping we will see LOA in the 30s (or sooner)!! :)

We also recently received an update from Ben's orphanage and answers to a few questions we had asked!

How often does he receive transfusions?
Every 15-30 days.

Due to the blood shortage, does he have difficulty receiving transfusions?
The hospital always has blood supply for him.

Has he received any immunizations?

Is he receiving medication to lower the iron levels due to transfusions?
The child does not use medicine to lower his blood iron.

Has he had a new blood test recently?  Could you please send us those results?
He had a new blood cell count recently.  (was not attached)

Does he communicate with his teachers and friends now?
Yes, his speech skill is normal and he can communicate with his peers and teachers.

What kind of food does he like?
He likes every kind of food.

What does he like to play with?
He enjoys playing and plays well with other children in the center.

New measurements were included that show our little guy to be around a size 4.  So now this Momma is hard at work getting his half of the closet filled up!! :)

We were also lucky enough to receive 17 new photos!!  They took him out on the playground for a photo shoot and bribed him with food to get us lots of smiles and peace signs!!
He is even cuter than I thought he would be!!! :)  I'm so in love and ready to go get my son already!!!!  Come on LOA!!!!!

Thanks for stopping by!