"Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you." Matthew 7:7 NIV
The past two days have been a blur! Yesterday we woke up to two completely unrelated problems with paperwork for our adoption, both of which could cause us delays, or the total inability to travel to get Annabella. You talk about a heap load of stress...well, not really. One thing that God has done for me throughout this adoption is to take away the burden of stress. Those who know me well know that I do not handle stress or change well. I panic first, and ask questions later. During the course of this adoption, there have been numerous times that things have changed, or that things have been messed up, and normally any one of these would send me into a complete panic. But God knew this about me, and He knew that in accepting that this was His will for us, I would need some help in this area. And so I prayed. I prayed for Him to wrap His arms around me and to take all the fear, worry, and stress, and to give me strength, patience, and peace. And He has done just that from day one. Have there been times when I have been extra nervous? Sure! But I also have had an internal sense of peace even then, that it was all going to be ok, and would all work out in God's time. So back to the past few days. The first issue we were told of was that two critical pieces of paperwork were missing from out file in China, and that our Article 5 could not be issued without them. After 2 days of going round and round with two different government offices, the NVC (National Visa Center,) and the NBC, (National Benefits Center,) I HOPE we have gotten things back on track. I believe the files were corrupted in transit electronically and thus needed to be re-scanned and resent. We've been told that this will be done today, and that the Chinese consulate should get those tomorrow. The only issue now, is that they won't accept new files until Tuesday, so it will be at least Tuesday before we know if they came through correctly this time, and before we have any hope of our article 5 being issued. The second issue we found out about was our Visa's. Week before last we sent our passports and Visa applications off to our courier service in D.C. There were some problems with the paperwork and we had to redo it and send it back last week. SO yesterday they called us to say that they had finally received all the corrected paperwork and had taken everything to the Consulate General at the Chinese Embassy to get our Visa stamps. Well, he decided to deny them based on where we live, and said we will need to send them through the Consulate general's office in Houston or Chicago closer to where we live. Sooooooo, now all of our paperwork is being FedEx'ed to Chicago, to a new courier, that hopefully can get our visas so we can travel to China. This however entails a new courier fee, AND a new FedEx fee that we were not anticipating. We most likely will not hear back on this until next week either, though it also looks like we will be able to get it taken care of. So with all of that going on, it has been not only a hectic couple of days, but also a discouraging couple of days. In that, God knew a little "pick me up" was in order, so He connected us with another adoptive family through a VERY round about way, that also adopted their daughter recently from the same orphanage and room as our Annabella. Not only that, but this family was in touch with someone who had MANY pictures of our daughter, and she was able to forward us several of them. Hopefully we will be able to get even more in the coming days, but just these few we will cherish, as pictures of our daughter are so few and far between! You can see pictures of their beautiful family who include two biological children and two adopted children, on their blog here. Just reading some of the posts from their trip and return have brought so much joy to me. This is a family that is filled with faith and the Holy Spirit, and only God could have placed them in my life on the exact day I needed that boost most! So without further adieu here are some of the new pictures! It won't be much longer my sweet baby girl, Mama and Daddy will be with you soon, my precious Annabella!
|Annabella is in the yellow pants, the little girl in the center, is the daughter of the family who shared these photos with us.|
|Annabella is sitting on the green stool in the center of the picture|
|Annabella is in front of the "column" with the pink bib|
|Annabella is snacking :)|
|Annabella with cute giggles! And how cute are the bows on the other little girl in this picture?!?|
|All smiles from Annabella!|