We have the privilege of pool sitting for the Elsea family for the past few summers when they go out of town. It has been a huge blessing this year, as it is a little mini-vacation for us! Here are some pictures of earlier today!
Speaking of Ethan... we finally got notice from our agency that our LSC package was dropped off at the embassy on July 3rd, so it should be picked up on July 17th or possibly the 18th if they were a day behind because of the 4th of July holiday. Then someone from the Beijing office of our agency will deliever it to the CCCWA and our wait for travel approval will officially begin! Many families have been receiving their TA in a very short time, like 7 days, but the most common seems to be about 2 weeks. Then we could possibly travel a week-3 weeks after that. So, we are so close! Leaving on the 17th would give Tim, Ryleigh, and Reagan a chance to start school, so at least they could meet their classes. I am confident that God has all the timing worked out and me trying to figure it out is really unnecessary. The fact is, it is not easy to leave for 2 weeks, it really stinks for Isabella and Becca to be at home while we leave, and it is a very difficult trip. The exhaustion is something I still remember from our first China adoption and I am dreading it! But, I look forward to the day that we are all home together where we belong and settled into our new normal routine! I have been looking at pictures and watching videos of other families getting home to their family and friends at the airport. That moment is one of the most exciting things about adoption! The night we got home from Latvia and ran to Ryleigh and Reagan (and ended up in a pile on the floor!) was so emotional for me and I know it will be the same this time. I know Isabella and Becca will handle us being gone and they will be so excited to be at the High School and getting to know all the ins and outs of that. The time in China will pass more quickly than it did in Latvia, but nevertheless, I am sad that our family will not all be together for two weeks.
I feel like we are to the point that we cannot prepare ourselves any better to have Ethan join our family. We are all so excited to know him and see how he acts and how he will react to things. If it weren't for the money we are still short, I would say we were ready to step on a plane tomorrow. It's getting to the point where we are fully relying on God to move the mountain of debt that we are facing with the rest of the finances. Yes, we have relied on Him all along, but we have also looked to Him for ways we could work to raise the money. Now, it's going to take a grant or loan (which we have applied for several and haven't heard from) to prevent us from using credit cards. So many generous people have helped us so far and I know that God will work it out. So thankful for that!
A friend of ours found out that she is pregnant, which is super awesome because this baby will be joining his/her brother and sister who were both adopted. Just to put this out there for non-adoptive parents and people... This is a perfect example of God's plan. They got to adopt their first 2 children and now they are giving birth to one. None of their children are God's second choice. He meant for this family to come together in this way. It is very hurtful to adoptive parents and children for people to think (and sometimes comment) that they got pregnant because they adopted or that they shouldn't have adopted since they ended up with a biological child. As soon as we announced years ago that we were adopting, we had so many people say "now you'll get pregnant". Let me tell you that being pregnant is not better or worse than adopting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's just another way to grow a family. People are sometimes led to adopt because of infertility but it doesn't mean that they are settling for an adopted child. I feel incredibly blessed to be infertile. Have I always felt that way? NOOOOO! But, now I can clearly see the people, circumstances, and plan that God knew all along. He gave me my children, each one of them, and I am so grateful for the things I have learned about God's love through the miracle of adoption. I am blessed to have learned so many lessons along the journey to each of my children. God knew this would grow me closer to Him. I am so thankful that His ways are so much better than ours!