Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sharing My Heart

I don't really know why I'm posting this. For one, I'm just transparent. Transparent to a fault maybe, but I've always been that way. Heck, I just told folks on facebook that I've been known to go to bed with dishes in the sink and I rarely make my bed. See, I really am too transparent. But, I think more than anything, my writing is for therapeutic purposes. For some reason, when I write things out, it helps my head clear. Obviously, not in a sinus pressure sense (my attempt at humor), but in a too-many-thoughts-running-loose-in-my-head sense. You just get to be the beneficiary (or victim) of my 'fleshing out' process. For some reason, it just works better when it's public.

I say all this because the thoughts running around in my head right now are difficult, but I'm not writing for sympathy. My motives are selfish, but not necessarily in that way.

Back in September, I posted here requesting prayer and I even voiced a prayer of my own. I did not go into specifics at that time, but in my heart it was a prayer asking God to reveal his will to us about adopting. In essence, I was basically asking God whether or not he called us to adopt. We've continued to faithfully ask God that question, and the short story is that we just really do not know.

When we began, it seemed like everything on our own internal list of requirements had been checked off. We both had a strong desire for more children. We were in agreement about pursuing adoption versus a biological birth. We felt like we were financially able. I especially felt like it might be a way for God to redeem the two miscarriages that we suffered. Etc. etc. So, we started the process. Along the way, I began to ask God for small specific things; mainly a name as confirmation. And, several months later, I felt like he graciously answered my requests. (You can read that story in the sidebar)

However, as our paper work was nearing completion, it began to look like the Chinese program was slowing down. We had been told that the wait times fluctuated and that nothing was guaranteed, but we just never dreamed that the year 2009 (we started in 2005) would be here and we would still be without our little girl.

This coming February 7th, our paperwork will have been logged in at the CCAA (China's adoption authority) for two years. Those two years do not reflect the fact that we started the process a full year before that. So, we've been 'in process' for 3 years. I had no idea the emotional toll that this would take on me. But, it has been extreme. I can not attempt to explain it. And, it doesn't sound rational to say that I love a child that I have not seen, or actually, that does not even yet exist. But, I do. And, as I get updates each month from our agency, she gets farther and farther away from me.

Couple all that information with the fact that the wait has now increased to 33 months and is continuing to climb; it just seems like the possibility of actually getting her is slim. I just don't know if I can continue to wait another 2 years and then risk the chance of being told that China will be closing it's door to international adoptions. To be fair, everyone I've talked to in the industry doesn't think that will happen, but how do they really know?

Back in the fall, when all of this information was becoming more and more clear, we began to seek God's direction. We researched other programs and other countries. But, by that time, because China's program was slowing the newer prospective adoptive parents began choosing countries with a shorter wait time. This caused most other programs to slow down as well. In all my research, it seemed that if we pulled out of China and started over with a different country, we would not be any further along (all of your paperwork is country specific). Plus, our agency only worked with a few other countries, and some of those countries were on hold. We still pursued changing agencies all together, but again, were met with the same realization that by the time our new paperwork was completed and we got on a new waiting list, our wait would be the same. So, we decided to stay put.

Meanwhile, I began to do research on domestic adoption; asking God to show us if this was the route that he would have us to take. Metaphorically speaking, the doors just seemed to remain shut more than open. It turns out that domestic adoptions are almost twice as expensive as a Chinese adoption. And, while we hate to even have cost enter in as a factor, the truth of the matter is that it just is for us. Period. This is especially true in the light of the current housing/mortgage crisis and the economy. We had planned to pay for a portion of our adoption expense with a home equity loan and then repay that loan when the adoption tax credit was received. However, as a result of the mortgage crisis (and the fact that we've only been in our house 2 years) we would not be able to secure enough money for an adoption that is twice as expensive (domestic). You see, doors just remained shut.

A few months after our initial request for direction, we were presented with an opportunity to possibly adopt a child that was the relative of a family friend. Naturally, I began to think and hope that this was God's answer to our prayers. And, while the situation was not ideal and we were going way out of our comfort zone, we told God that we would gladly do whatever he called us to do. We went so far as to talk to lawyers and we even had that sweet little guy with us for several days on two different occasions. We pleaded with God to show us what he wanted us to do. The situation was out of our control completely, and when it fell through and it became apparent that we would not get him, we assumed that it was just not God's will for us.

That leads me to where I am now. The proverbial door is still basically closed. Now granted, if I thought that I would be able to maintain sanity, I guess I could wait it out for another 2-3 years in hopes of receiving a child from China. But, even if we did/do decide to do that, I feel that there are no true guarantees. I am tired in thought and deed, and I am heart broken. I am struggling with the fact that adoption or care of orphans is a biblical mandate, and yet our desire goes unfulfilled. (Did I mention I'm transparent....just being honest here). And, I'm sort of wrestling with God a little, begging and pleading for an answer - but don't worry, I know he wins :)

However, there are things that I am not struggling with. I have no doubt that God is good. I have no doubt that He has good plans to prosper this family. I have no doubt that God loves us and that we will love him, irrespective of our family's size. And, I believe that I will eventually have peace and contentment about this in one form or another. To be fair and completely honest, sometimes those statements are a little harder to get out.

So, I have no idea what is going to happen. And, I'm smack dab in the exact spot where I can't influence the outcome with my own power even if I wanted to. Because, I do want to and trust me- there just ain't no way.

As of right now, our paper work will remain in China; however we are letting everything expire. If we still feel the desire (or led) when our turn gets closer, we will work to renew everything. Documents are supposed to be renewed yearly and fingerprints expire as well, but all of that is very costly and time consuming and it is something that we would just have to repeat again (We've already done them twice). So, the possibility of China is still there, but in my mind, it's seems more realistic to think that it won't happen.

Sometimes, I feel what I can only describe as God's urging to persevere. Other times, I feel a contentment with my family as it is. Sometimes, I still feel an ache and an unknown longing. Other times, I feel freedom in the thought that I don't have to think or prepare in that way any longer. So, I just don't know.

Again, I don't know why I'm posting this. Earlier, I mentioned that my motives are selfish and there is probably some truth to that. I guess I'm hoping that if everyone knows the full story it could clear up any misunderstanding that would lead to my being misjudged or judged unfairly. In other words, I think it's that darn, vain, need of approval that I always have to seek out.

But, there is a complete other side of me that thinks of this blog as a journal, and somehow hopes that in the future when I "turn back the pages" to this date, I will be able to share of God's faithfulness. Obviously, the romantic side of me would have everything wrapped up neatly with a beautiful bow.....the kind worn by little girls......and if I must draw a picture......a big lovely bow on the darling head of my beautiful daughter (enough adjectives there?). But, it may just be that I look back with a sense of peace and contentment, even despite a lack of understanding. That in and of itself, would be a huge thing. So I suppose, either way, God proves faithful. He always does.

If I figured out how to do it correctly (I'll be able to tell in a minute), I'm closing comments for this post. Y'all have been so sweet, kind, and supportive. You have loved on me and loved on me. And, most importantly, you have gladly prayed for me. And, I honestly thank you and welcome you to continue that. I just don't want it to turn in to a pity party.......and I have a hard enough time of that myself . I sure hope this didn't come across that way. I am truly humbled by the care that everyone has already expressed. It means so much. I am blessed and highly favored...............and you are loved (by Him & Me.)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Hague Prayer Request

I received the following email from our adoption agency. Join me in prayer, won't you?

Dear Families,

I just wanted to send you a quick update to let everyone know that today we did submit to Hague our petition for re-consideration. They now have 15 business days (3 weeks) to respond to us whether they will re-consider us or not. If they choose to re-consider us, there is no specific time line for their decision. If they decide not to reconsider us, then we will have to wait until next summer to re-apply for Hague approval. So please pray that the people that will be reading our re-consideration letter that they find it in their hearts to re-evaluate our agency for Hague accreditation. The more people praying for this the better. We will let you know as soon as we hear back from them what their decision is.

Rebecca Davis and Tina Qualls or

Children's Hope International
11780 Borman Dr., St. Louis, MO 63146
Tel: (314) 890-0086 - Fax: (314) 427-4288

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Out of Review

As best I can tell, our dossier is officially out of the review room. I must say, I was kind of worried about it because several months ago our agency asked us to supply the C*C*A*A with more information. If you remember they were wanting more details on Brad's gall bladder surgery; which I still find funny. But, we complied and had letters sent by Brad's doctors. Since then, I had asked our adoption consultant a few times and she said that they had gotten it and we had not been asked to supply anything else. However, the C*C*A*A's document processing box had never updated to say that our LID was out of review. The Rumor Queen mentioned that it was taking particularly long for February LIDs to be out of review. But, finally earlier this week the C*C*A*A's document processing box on their website was changed. This means that we are officially in the MATCHING ROOM. This is the room, where one day pictures of our family will be on a screen along with information about us, The Farmers, from Georgia. And, on another screen they will have children and eventually, side by side, will be our family and the child that they pick for us. That at least is my understanding of the basic concept of the process. But, regardless of all the minute details, it is surreal to think about.

Now, I must temper this exciting post by saying we still have at the very least a year and a half to wait. So, this process won't take place for a long time.

Along the lines of waiting, there has been a rumor that the formula problems china is experiencing will affect adoptions, because orphanages using the tainted formula have had children to become ill, and some of them sadly, became ill at the time there new parents were coming to get them. I don't think I have to visually type or "say" this, but that would be a nightmare in the worst possible way.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Please Pray

Hello Faithful Friends & Family!

Brad & I really need your prayers right now. There are some specific adoption related matters that we are seeking God's face about. We REALLY need to hear from God as to what to do. Could you please be in prayer with us. Unfortunately, I can't really go into specifics right now. But, we are needing to make some decisions. Join me in prayer, and please pray continuously throughout the next couple of weeks.


We believe that you placed a desire to adopt in our hearts and minds. We know that you specifically ask, in your word, for orphans to be cared for (James 1:27). And, we know that you have adopted us into your own family (Rom. 8:14-17) and thankfully, now, we are your children; whom you love.

Lord, you also say that you will instruct us and teach us in the way we should go (Psalms 32:8). And, right now, God we really need to know the way that we should go. You also say, Father, that if anyone of us lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5) God, we confess to you that we need wisdom and discernment; and we are boldly asking for it.

God, in our heart of hearts, we want your Best plan for us. Although, we would like our wait to end and we desire our child even now. We still agree with your plan, whatever it is, and we know that ultimately it is the best and perfect plan. Again, God, we do not want to take any steps that would be outside of your best plan, even though my heart is hurting. So, God direct our path as we try to trust in you and Not in our understanding (Prov 3:5-6). And, Father please help us to trust more completely in you. Your word reveals many blessings for those who put their trust in you. Help us to do just that. God, increase our faith and help our unbelief (Mark 9:24).

Lord, help us to believe that this vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. (Habakkuk 2:3).

Father, show us your will and give us your peace. May fear and doubt be removed.


Thursday, August 21, 2008


I get a lot of questions asking me about our wait for Malley, and why the wait has increased. I don't really know the answer. It is not black and white, and there are a lot of contributing factors.

There is a lot of talk about how China is trying not to draw attention to the fact that they have child abandonment "issues" especially during the Olympics while all the world is watching. This article does some to explain why our wait has increased, but when you balance it with this post it is hard to know really what to believe about what is actually going on. I do find it sort of interesting that the first article was in a Chinese newspaper DURING the Olympics. The second link may not make a lot of sense to anyone that hasn't followed Chinese adoptions "behind the scenes," but it basically says that the cutoff date for referrals this month split the dates that the Chinese are normally off for Chinese New Year (2 weeks). So, if no one was there working, how were there referrals in that date range. The post goes on to propose that the reason for this is that the Chinese did not want to have a large referral batch during the Olympics.

The second article goes on to mention that the process could "possibly" speed up now that the "orphanage donation" has increased; as this might be more of an incentive to get children paper ready if they will benefit from a larger donation because of it. It is precisely this type of thing that infuriates me. According to the author (we have no way of telling how accurate they are) China has plenty of children, they are just not "paper ready". So, these children are living in orphanages a lot longer than is absolutely necessary. And, in the author's opinion, when the donations increase, so will the number of paper ready children. It's just sad.

I've already said that the whole "wait" is a muddy, difficult process that I will probably never understand. Is it the economy? Is it China "saving face"? Is it orphanage directors hungry for more money (and maybe this is good for the kids)? I don't know. But, I do know this: the wait time has now grown to 30 months ( 2 1/2 years). We've been logged in for 18 months, so we have at the very least, a year to go. If the CCAA is only going to refer 3 days a month, it'll be a while no matter what.

There is no need to comment y'all, I'm just thinking out loud. I'm just trying to read and educate myself about the world of Chinese adoptions. I like to put some of my findings here. I don't know why, or at least, I probably couldn't explain why without writing a book.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Immigration Approval Received Today

Again, folks, we have some good news & some bad news. It is so frustrating that we can never just get good news; that any news we get is always tempered with new fears and worries.

The good news is that we received our Immigration approval today. The approval date is July 22, 2008. It is good for 18 months, so it will not expire until Jan 22, 2010. However, our fingerprints will expire on September 7, 2009; so we will definitely have to be refingerprinted, and in all likelihood, we will need to apply for immigration approval again.

The bad news is that our agency lost it's Hague accreditation. If a country is a Hague country, like China is, a family can not adopt using an agency that does not have Hague accreditation. This is actually a good thing, and is in place to protect the children, so I am very glad that China is a Hague country. But, I'm not to pleased about our agency losing accreditation.

When we applied, our agency did have Hague accreditation, but it was recently denied after one branch of the agency was non-compliant. If I understand correctly, this non-compliance was the result of an employee (who is obviously no longer there) and CHI is trying to regain it's compliance. But Still, this is so frustrating to me. They sent the email notifying us of their denial on a Friday evening, and have sent other emails out stating that they are working on contacting all of the families to talk with each on about their specific situation.

Right now, because we are already logged in and because we have just received our new immigration approval, I think we are considered "grandfathered in". But, I am not positive about that. I do, however, know that other families that are in a similiar situation as ours, have been told that they (we) would not be affected and our adoption was not in jeopardy in any way, including being pushed back in the 'referral line.' I'm not really sure how much of that I believe.

I also know that CHI has chosen Holt as a back-up agency for any families. But, I really don't know how all that will work, and I don't know if we will need to use them or not. So, I'm just waiting for my phone call to talk about the specifics of our personal adoption.

All in all, I am dismayed and downcast. I have no idea what we're supposed to do (if anything). I keep hanging on to the year 2009, but in my head I really feel like 2009 will come & go and yet Malley will still not be home. When my thoughts head that direction, it very literally makes me sick to my stomach. What? Another year, Lord? Really?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Letter Finished

Hey guys!

Very quickly, I just wanted to let you know that I called the doctor's office to check on our letter, and she called back to say that it is finished. They are going to notarize it there (BONUS) and I'm going to go pick it up tomorrow at 8:30 AM (they have 1/2 day Saturday hours). After that, I'm going to get the kids from mom's and then head over to church to help clean up from VBS (hopefully by 10:00).

Anyway, this is good news. Please pray that the content of the letter will be sufficient and that the notary will be written and done correctly. Pray that it will be accepted and that our dossier will be moved to the Matching Room. It will be such a relief to be in the final room of the process.

Now, we just have to wait again. In the meantime, I need to have both of our passports renewed as both Brad's and mine expired in April. We also have some adoption "education/training" to attend, but we've still got plenty of time to do that.