Just wanted to post an update about where things are. It has been around a month since we officially made the decision to move on to the China special needs program, and I think I am finally letting myself get excited about the prospect of still being able to get our little girl home. I have been going through the motions to get everything done, but just in the past couple of weeks I have really started to let my heart get involved, and it is really good to be more excited than nervous again. I know that we will come out of this better in the end, because to tell the truth I can already see so many things that it is teaching me. Right now we have pretty much all of our paperwork for China together and we are waiting for our new home study to be completed, which (fingers crossed) will be finished within about two weeks or so. When that is done, hopefully we can get everything on the way to China within a couple of weeks after that. My goal is by the end of March, but right now it's out of our hands (but really, isn't it always!), and really we are waiting for clearances from other states and things for the home study. So much like we seem like we have been doing for so long now...we wait...and I am reminded again that "wait" is an action verb...and a very hard one to handle!
It's amazing to me that many of the things I have learned have been through the boys. I say amazing, but really they teach me so much everyday I shouldn't be surprised! I love that they have such pure and loving thinking, and they aren't yet scarred by life experiences. They talked about Lainey pretty much every day, and to them, she is their sister...truly doesn't matter where she comes from. We did have a rough night when we first told them that we wouldn't be able to get her from Russia. Noah had such a hard time and literally broke down crying because he wanted to know what would happen to all of those children in Russia who didn't have mommies and daddies. He and I cried together at the dinner table that night about that. It amazes me that he cares so much and that at 6 years old he can think so far outside himself. It is so hard to have those conversations with them, but we have all grown from them. This whole process has given us incredible opportunities to talk about things that probably wouldn't come up otherwise. We talked the other night about how in many countries that it can be illegal to practice Christianity, and that people are put in jail because they are trying to share Jesus. To them, this is all they know and this has brought a whole new world to them. I don't want to scare them, but I do think it gives them a more thankful spirit about all that we have. We have already talked about doing mission trips to help children in orphanages when they get a little older, and it couldn't make me happier to know that they want to do everything they can. I never would have thought that this process would have led to so much growth for our family.
I was wearing an adoption shirt the other day and they both told me they wanted one so they could be reminded of Lainey whenever they wore it! They were so excited this weekend because we ordered them t-shirts that say Ge-Ge, written in Chinese, which means big brother. I love that they already consider themselves her big brother. I'm so blessed already, and I can't even imagine how much more blessed I will be with an addition to our family. This has been a rough journey, but being able to look back already and see where we have come makes me know that when we get her home it will be more than we can even imagine!!!