Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"By continually coming she will wear me out."

I am this woman.
Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’

For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’”

And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”
We received an update today. Our girl has still not agreed to the adoption. Our Skype call was successful in that she thought we were kind and "not scary" (love that!). However, she still wants to stay in Taiwan. She is comfortable in Taiwan.

I responded to my agency with two requests.

1 - That they will request permission for us to visit Taiwan and spend time with our girl.
2 - That they will translate and pass along a letter I wrote for her. In my letter, I told her that I want to be her mother and how much I love her. I told her that I will love her forever, long after she grows up and leaves our home. I explained that families offer a lifetime of love and support and that we want to give that to her.

Like the woman in the above passage, I will beg and beg and beg that my daughter will come home until God brings about justice and fulfills His promise to us. I will hold fast to my faith.

Lord, please bring my daughter home. Please change her heart. Please let her say yes.

Monday, September 1, 2014

8 days

It's been eight days since our Skype call. And yes, I am counting. I miss my girl. I know she's not sure what to think of us but we love her. I want to spend more time with her.

Both my husband and I are having a hard time with this particular period of waiting. We're both holding on to faith that God will bring our girl home. We stepped out in faith to adopt a child this old. I was scared and wanted to adopt a younger child, a girl around five or six. But God laid a 10 year old girl on our heart and asked us to have faith in Him. We did. She's now almost 12 and our adoption is at a standstill. But we're still trusting that God will finish what He started.

In the meantime, we try (and fail) not to stress. We have not heard anything from our agency, other than that they have no news to give us. At the end of July, the Taiwan agency contacted us and said our girl is still not on board, do we want to cancel the adoption? NO! They said that they would meet with her again at the end of August and discuss adoption with her. At that point, they might decide to cancel our adoption if she's not on board.

Is she wanting a family now? We don't know. Is she going to agree to being our daughter? We don't know. We can only pray. And wait. I wish I could say "patiently wait" but it's hard to be patient and not stress. Is our adoption moving forward? We believe it will. But no official word yet. Wait and pray. Pray and wait.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Our first Skype call

I have written and deleted this post several times. I'm trying to decide how much I can share without violating our girl's privacy. Our agency has given us no guidance on what we can and cannot share online. Instead, I ask myself this question - "If my girl comes across this post in the future, will she be embarrassed by what I wrote?"

I do want to share what we learned in hopes of helping other adoptive parents who are preparing for a Skype call.

Prepare as much as possible ahead of time. You will have no idea up front if the translator/social worker will take charge of the call or let you lead. On our call, the translator sat back and let us completely control the content and pacing of the call. We were not prepared for this. The translator may or may not be fluent in English. We were blessed; ours was great at translating our questions and our girl's responses but did not translate a lot of our commentary.

Do not assume that you will have the same experience as other adoptive parents. We were told that once you break the ice, you will be able to interact with your child. Our girl is shy and guarded her expressions and impressions of us. Be hopeful that your child will interact with you but prepare in case they will only give one word answers or refuse to answer at all.

Learn at least a few words or sentences in the language your child speaks. I introduced myself in Chinese and asked a question in Chinese. The translator was happy that I was making an effort to learn Mandarin. I'm not sure what my girl thought, but at least the translator could later reassure her that Mama is making an effort to make communication easier.

Be prepared for a bad Skype connection. The children's home had spotty internet and Skype kept dropping the call. That gave us a chance to quickly discuss what to try next to get her to relax but also made it harder to get any sort of momentum going.

What will we do different next time? We will be prepared to entertain her for at least the first 15 minutes of the call. That will remove the pressure on her to be involved and will hopefully allow her to relax. We've tossed around a few ideas like singing songs, performing magic tricks, reading books out loud, etc.

Next time, I hope to have a printed cheat sheet of Mandarin sentences that I know. I've been studying since last fall, have a pretty solid foundation, but completely blanked when the translator told me that our girl wanted to hear me say something else in Chinese.

I have not yet heard a report from my agency about what our girl thought of us after the call. My impression is that she will not say no after seeing us on Skype but that she's also not ready to say yes.

I do know that I love that kiddo an awfully lot and hope to be her mama. It was wonderful getting to see her smile on the call. I hope and pray that she will decide to become our daughter because I can't wait to start loving on her!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Our Skype call

What a blessing! Our Skype call was hard and rewarding. I'm still processing it all and hope to post about it tomorrow.

I did want to include a photo from our call. This is toward the very end of the call when she finally warmed up a tiny bit!

I look forward to hearing what she thought of our Skype session!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

21.5 hours to go

Less than 24 hours to go until our Skype call! I am so excited!!

Tomorrow I have a bit of prep work to do. I need to tidy up the kitchen so that it doesn't look messy when we show her around the house. We need to go through the list of questions we've been compiling for months and order them according to importance. If we only get to ask a couple questions, we want to make sure they count!

We need to do another test run of a Skype call to make sure everything is working properly.

I need to prepare a couple things to say in Chinese. I'm going to do my best to not sound like a preschooler but there's probably not much I can do about that! I'm still a beginner.

And then we need to have fun!! We need to show her that she can have fun with us, that we are not scary.

Of course, we will be praying all day tomorrow, much the same as I've been praying for months. Please let her heart be softened. Please let us connect with her in some way. Please let her change her mind about adoption and agree to be our daughter!

I can't wait to see her and hear her voice! I'm so excited!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Upcoming Event

Date: Sunday, August 24
Time: 8:00 PM
Event: Skyping with our girl!!!!!!!!

I am over the moon thrilled that we finally have a Skype call scheduled. We have been laughing that we were told we would be given two weeks' advance notice. We've been given 72 hours!

Jeff and I are feeling fairly confident that our girl will be coming home. God promised that he who asks will receive. We've been asking that God will change our girl's heart, that she will want to be adopted and come home to us. God led us on this adoption path, to this particular child, and we believe that He will bring our girl home.

We'll be doing prep work for the call on Friday and Sunday. We have a lot of work to do but I am so glad to do it!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A few random thoughts

Still no adoption news today...

I found this shirt at the mall. I kind of wish I could wear it on the Skype call to encourage my girl to want to be adopted.

aha moment, noun, a moment of sudden insight or realization at which something becomes clear

But I don't think the translator would appreciate my attempt at humor and my girl doesn't know enough English to understand the irony.

It's been rather warm lately (mid 80's) and my cat is miserable. Here he is plastered against the wall trying to find just a tiny piece of cool floor or wall to give him some relief. Silly cat...

Someone at church was handing out tomato plants earlier this year. I feel bad that I pretty much killed mine. I think it's because I don't have a garden to plant it in and my patio doesn't get enough sunlight. I thought the plant was completely dead when one day it sprouted tiny tomatoes. I waited for them to get a bit bigger. Because I have no idea what type of tomatoes these are supposed to be, I don't know how big they were supposed to get or if they were supposed to turn red. But they easily came off the vine today so I ate them. The two tiny ones weren't ripe yet but the biggest one tasted great!

Now I want to grow tomato plants so that I can eat my own tomatoes. It was highly satisfying to eat these three tiny tomatoes, even though it's the only produce I grew this year. I do hope to cultivate a garden someday.

Anyways, just a few of the tiny things I've been up to lately. Nothing insightful, just day to day life!