Once Upon A Prayer

Thursday, August 25, 2011

China said "YES"

Like cold water to a weary soul, 
is good news from a distant land. (Proverbs 25:25)

China said "YES"!

Today, we received our Pre-Approval from the People's Republic of China for our daughter Nianshu.  Nianshu is currently residing at the Shanghai Central Welfare Institute.

Our family is over the moon excited to welcome Nianshu into our family! 
Jacques and I feel so blessed that God has chosen us
to be her Mommy and Papa.

This is the referral photo of our precious baby girl 年淑.  

China...here we come!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Guardian Angel

Tonight I sent an email to Patty, the very first person to have Juliana’s file reviewed by pediatric cardiologists.  Even though Patty and her husband felt that Juliana was not their daughter, Patty is passionate about helping Juliana find her family.  Patty is Juliana’s Guardian Angel here on earth.  I told Patty that God confirmed our feeling that we should stay with our adoption agency by providing us with Nianshu’s referral.  She agreed. 

However, I told Patty that Juliana has not left my mind or heart.  I feel this desperate longing to bring home two!  This is absolutely crazy, I know.  We would literally double our number of children overnight.  Wow.  We are homestudy approved for 2  children.  As soon as we (hopefully) receive PA for our little Nianshu, I will email the adoption agency that Juliana is listed with again, and let them know that we are have pre-approval for another child already with our agency, and see if they will be willing to transfer Juliana's file.  We will do everything within our power and God's will to expedite and bring Juliana "home".

 I have not yet spoken to our adoption agency about Juliana since she and Nianshu are VERY close in age (only 5 months apart).  We will need to discuss "virtual twining" with our consultant, Laura, since our agency typically does not do this.  HOWEVER, our consultant is a wonderful Christian woman, and I am very confident that she would push forward for us to bring home both the girls if the other agency was willing to release her file back to the shared list so that we could "lock" it.  I do know for a fact that our agency is all for us bringing home two children at once, or returning within a year on the same dossier...so the only obstacle I see is the virtual twining.

Oh, and somehow getting Juliana's file over to our agency.  
Minor detail...NOT!


Only two days have passed since we submitted our letter of intent to China to adopt Nianshu.  The wait is torture.  Most families who submit their request to adopt a specific child KNOW that it is just a matter of time until China will say “yes”.  But, for our family, we had to send a medical waiver request for me since I have a non-curable form of cancer.  China is very reluctant to allow a family to bring home a child when one of the parents have or has had any form of cancer.  Cancer is one of the big issues that disqualify a family who desires to adopt from China. 

Medically speaking, I still have cancer.  The type of cancer that I was diagnosed with at the young age of 22 is called Carcinoid Syndrome.  At the time of diagnosis, I was given 3 years to live.  My doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota are trying to medically explain how I am still alive...but what they are not taking into account is that God is bigger than any medical diagnosis!  That is why I am still sitting here tonight typing this blog post 11 years later.  I am completely healthy, and my cancer levels have been within a normal range for the past 7 years...since the year that I conceived our first daughter!  I feel honored to be given a second chance at life, and I promised God (more like begged) that if he allowed me to live I would live my life according to His will.  My heart for orphans has always been HUGE...definitely a desire planted by God.  

My endocrinologist wrote me a doctor’s note saying that she did not feel that my disease inhibits my ability to parent my children, and that she expects me to live a long life.  This letter was translated into Chinese, and then submitted to China along with our request to adopt Nianshu. 

At this point, all we can do is pray that God softens the hearts of the Chinese officials who review our paperwork.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Letter of Intent for Nianshu

I just received confirmation that our adoption agency submitted our application to the CCCWA to allow our family to adopt Nianshu!  

Oh happy day :-)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

My Cookies

Tonight I was at home baking my cookies.  Pretty much anyone who knows me well has had some of “my cookies”.  The truth is that they really aren’t “my cookies” after all.  My mom handed down the recipe to me, as well as the specific art, patience, and love that need to go into them.  The cookies are very tempermental, and most people who I have given the recipe to cannot duplicate it.  The cookies require a specific flour, specific butter (softened just so), specific sugar, specific chocolate chips, and a lot of muscles to mix the batter.  If all of the planets do not align perfectly, the cookies do not turn out.  Basically, the cookies are a lot like me...STUBBORN, or as my mom likes to call it, “strong willed”!

So, as I was taking out the second batch of cookies from the oven Jacques walked in the door from Golfing and blurted out, “Let’s go for it”.  I questioned what he was talking about, and he explained that he felt that we should submit a letter of intent to China to bring home Nianshu.  I was instantly overcome with excitement and happiness.  We finally had a face to go along with all of our love.  I was overjoyed to hear that Jacques felt that Nianshu was our daughter, since as I mentioned before, I was in love since the moment I saw her precious face.

However, at the same time that I was rejoicing I also felt heartbroken that Juliana would continue to sit on this other agency’s list while family after family turn her down because she is labeled “terminal”. 

Life is so unfair in so many  ways.    

Notice something missing?

It's a good thing she is so stinkin' cute!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Doctor Reports

The International Adoption Doctor and Cardiologist both contacted us today about Nianshu.  They both had some concerns about her tiny size, as well as why she has widening of her pulmonary artery.  We submitted her files to them since that is what everyone does, and since this is our first adoption, we did too.  However, at the end of the day, I wonder what the doctors would have had to say to make us not want to bring home a specific child? 

When Jacques and I first started out on our adoption journey I figured that we would try to bring home the healthiest child that we possibly could.  When I was pregnant with both of our girls, I prayed without ceasing that God would protect our babies and keep them healthy.  Why wouldn’t we pray for the same thing along our adoption journey?  But as I see the faces of thousands of precious orphans who need a mommy, papa, and siblings to love them, especially if they have medical issues, I start to question my way of thinking. 

Now, I wonder how we could ever say “no”.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Today we received a referral for a little girl who is currently residing at the Shanghai Central Welfare Institute who has been assigned to our adoption agency's individual list.  Our agency consultant told us that she had several families reviewing her file, but no one had committed to bring her home yet.  We will email her files to an International Adoption Doctor, as well as a Pediatric Cardiologist to see what they say.  I am completely in love with this darling little girl.  And when I say little....I mean little.  Nianshu doesn’t even rank on the growth charts for children in the USA.  On the Chinese children charts, she is in the 3rd percentile.  With both of our girls being in the 100th percentile for height and weight, this will be very new to us!  Jacques and I are praying that God will make it clear to us if Nianshu is our daughter. 

The hard part for me is that if we lock Nianshu’s file, then the chances of us being able to bring home Juliana are slim to none.  After speaking to Juliana’s adoption agency yesterday, the only way that they are willing to help us bring her home is for us to switch to their agency.  *SIGH*

Sunday, August 7, 2011


I was on Brooke's "Little Wonders Find Homes" advocacy site this morning and read that a woman named Patty had two doctor's reports on “Juliana” that she was willing to share with interested families.  I emailed her, and told her that Jacques and I are ready,  able, and VERY willing to adopt a child with a severe CHD.  Patty immediately emailed everything that she had on Juliana to me.  As I read through the doctor’s prognosis for this sweet little girl, I could not stop crying.  Jacques heard me sniffling, and asked me what was wrong.  I read him the two doctor’s reports, and his first question was, “How do we bring her home?”  I so love my husband’s heart!  Unfortunately, this is not going to be easy.  Juliana is listed with a different adoption agency than the one we are with; the one we feel that we were led to by God to find our daughter.  Mountains will need to be moved in order for us to to bring this precious child home.  Unfortunately, this little one does not have much “time”, and we are hoping that a family will step forward and expedite to bring her home and give her a fighting chance at life.

The first photo we ever saw of "Juliana"

Sweet baby girl...