With that said, it has also been a difficult wait. Some days fly by in a flurry of activity and other days seem to stand still as I watch videos of Hannah over and over and over. It is difficult not knowing where you file is in the stack of other files. It is difficult to know how quickly things are moving or not moving. However, all the while, there is a sense of movement. While my file may not have been reviewed personally, perhaps the one ten files ahead of me was reviewed, so I'm getting closer in line to "my turn." I've envisioned standing in the longest line ever and just waiting patiently to be next in line. While it is slow progress, it is still progress. There is still movement.
Yesterday, we were informed of a random, completely unexpected shut down of the adoption authority in China for one week. It is a mandatory shut down. People are being encouraged to leave the city of Beijing and go on a week long holiday. All this in the hopes of minimizing air pollution and smog for the upcoming APEC meeting, to be held there in a couple of weeks. Suddenly, there is no longer movement. The line isn't moving. The sign says "gone to lunch, back in a week." Now we just stand. And wait. Waiting with movement is hard. Waiting with no movement is painful.
I got that news yesterday and I was very disappointed, but I also quickly saw God's hand in all of it. During my BSF lesson this week, our speaking leader said something in the lecture that spoke to me. She said, "Do you feel stuck? God could do one thing and move you along, but He doesn't budge? He wants to use this time to talk with you." God could do one thing and make this adoption process fly along, but He want to talk with me. With me! After getting the news of the shut down yesterday I quickly went to Him, asking what He wanted to show me in this wait--the not moving, get out of your car, parked on the freeway, sort of waiting. I went to my prayer warriors and asked for peace and quickly it came. I reorganized time lines in my head and figured, okay...we'd hoped for LOA by Thanksgiving or early December and then hoped for travel by late February or early March. We'd hoped to get to Hannah by her 2nd birthday. The shut down sets everything back a week...pushing us likely to LOA in the first two weeks of December and likely not getting to Hannah by her 2nd birthday. It would be okay because, of course, this is God's thing, not mine, and His plan is way, way better than my own.
And then God. I love those words in the Bible. You know something big is coming. And then God. God moves mountains, parts seas, provides manna from nothing, changes water to wine, heals the sick and raises the dead. We got to see our "and then God" today.
Yesterday, I'd let go of the hope to get to Hannah by her birthday. Today, I got a phone call from our social worker (Can I tell you, I love, love, love it when she calls me right now?!). She told me she was calling because she wanted to report to us that there had been movement with our dossier! We moved! We've been waiting to be reviewed, then match reviewed, then we get the magic LOA. The longest wait is to get to the reviewed point. Match reviewed moves very quickly and LOA comes immediately after. Today, we were reviewed! Being match reviewed is typically a very short wait and could come as quickly as tomorrow, or as long as about 10-14 days from now. With the shut down looming in Beijing (starts on 11/7), we more than likely won't hear that we are match reviewed until after their week long holiday, but, it should come very soon after they return! I won't lie and say I am not praying for God to work yet another miracle and let us squeak that match-reviewed in tomorrow (our social worker certainly said it is possible!), but I also cannot begin to tell you how much relief and peace this has provided me while we endure this unexpected shut down. What does this boil down to? Once we get LOA, which will come to us any day in the next 1-14ish days, our travel to get Hannah countdown will begin and we will likely be approximately 2-3 months out from Gotcha Day! What does this mean? Getting to her prior to her 2nd birthday is feasible!
How can you pray now?
- First, praise Him for moving in this adoption and getting us to this point prior to the shut down! Yay! We are reviewed!!
- Pray for our final leg of finances to come together. There is still a big gap between where we are and where we need to be to cross the finish line. We have a quilt raffle running right now, a Christmas embroidery fundraiser running, and grant applications in various stages of done. God has been so good to provide thus far, please ask Him to continue to provide.
- Pray for us to continue to see clearly from Him what we can do to prepare our hearts and home for Hannah.
- Pray for Hannah. Her life will never be the same. Pray for her last months in China to be sweet and treasured time for her, for her nannies and caregivers to work with preparing her heart to be adopted, for her health to be good, and for her to continue to feel loved and cherished.