While the situation in China doesn't appear to be changing, we are changing direction and we believe God is walking before us and preparing our path for this change. We have decided to pursue adopting a baby girl from Taiwan.
I had heard of people adopting from Taiwan but felt like I couldn't get a good grasp on the process. Don and I don't come to decisions easily and once we've decided to pursue something it isn't like us to change course. I pretty much had decided Taiwan wasn't in the cards for us because I couldn't figure out much about it and our agency didn't offer it, anyway--until now.
This summer our agency took over several Taiwan cases for an agency that went under. At that time, my interest was piqued but they weren't actually saying they were going to open a program. I expressed an interest but wasn't sure it would result in anything and guarded my heart from being too optimistic about it. After getting acquainted with the way things work and having a chance to develop some in-country contacts, our agency decided to begin offering a Taiwan program.
After some initial fact gathering and phone calls with the Taiwan caseworker, we took the steps to become pre-approved. On January 6th we received our pre-approval and were given the green light to proceed.
We just got our updated home study today and now have to make some changes with our immigration paperwork to let the U.S. know we'll be going to Taiwan instead of China. Once we have that completed, we will send our paperwork to Taiwan and do what we do best--wait...
Currently, the estimated wait time until referral is 12-18 months (which could increase). After we receive our referral we expect we will travel four to six months later. While it still seems so far away, this wait time feels more manageable and tolerable.
We have also decided to withdraw our dossier from China. We believe this child will be our last child. If for some reason this adoption doesn't work out, we are so blessed with our darling Lindy.
I have some sadness knowing that our next daughter isn't from mainland China but am excited to get to learn about Taiwan. One of my first questions was, "Well, how do they say little sister in Taiwan?" I was excited to learn that the answer is, "mei mei" since the most commonly spoken language is Mandarin. Already, I am trying to process the differences between how things are handled regarding the adoption process.
In the past few weeks we have gone from sorely discouraged, to cautiously optimistic, to hopeful excitement. As is typical of the adoption process, we've experienced quite the rollercoaster of emotions.
So again (or still), we ask for your prayers. As my dear friend Diana reminded me this week we have a God who deals with details and wants us to be specific with Him, so here are our specific requests:
- Please ask for the necessary changes to our immigration paperwork to go smoothly and quickly so that we can have our paperwork in Taiwan within the next few weeks.
- Please be pray for God to provide financially for this adoption. It is significantly more expensive and during these terrible economic times we specifically ask for Don to remain gainfully employed.
- Please pray for the birth parents. It is possible we will get to meet our daughter's birth mother which is a lot to think about given the contrast to our experience with Lindy. However, we pray that the birth parents are healthy and that the birth mother will make wise choices to take care of this little one before she is born.
- Please pray for us to be patient and to look for ways to enjoy the wait and find the joy in the journey. God has given us a beautiful daughter, already, and I want our last months/years as a family of three to be special.