Our Article 5 was dropped off on December 18th. This process is typically a two week process. Ours would have been due to be picked up on January 1. That was a holiday, so we assumed we'd be picked up on the 5th, which is today. From here we'd be off to Beijing and waiting on TA. Well, we got word today that our Article 5 won't be picked up until Thursday, the 8th. Our two week Article 5 wait just became three weeks. Our papers likely won't make it to Beijing until next week for the TA wait to begin. Most of you will say, "Oh, it is just three extra days, it won't be too bad!" The trouble is that we will likely get TA, but now that the CCCWA is back open, many TA's will be issued. As TA's are issued, Consulate Appointments will be claimed and days will be filled. There is a very real possibility, with each passing day, that we will get our TA and not be able to secure a CA until AFTER the Chinese New Year in early March. It is not impossible for us to travel prior to CNY, but with each passing day, that chance gets smaller and smaller.
Mama's out there, you know my heart. The thought of potentially getting Hannah in late January or very early February vs. having to wait until MARCH....it is way too much for me to handle. Please join us in praying that we might get Hannah prior to the Chinese New Year. Please, please pray. Families that got their LOA the same day we did are all getting on a plane to get their little ones in three days. THREE days. And here we sit. Delay after delay. I know God's plan is big--way bigger than mine and way better than anything I could dream up, but oh, how my heart longs to hold this sweet little girl of ours. So, so badly.
I didn't know how great the ache to go was until this moment of thinking I could be weeks away from Hannah vs. another few months. This is such a gut wrenching, difficult process. I remember shedding a few tears when my due date came and went when I was expecting Jacob. I was so uncomfortable and just....ready to meet him. This is a far greater, more magnified emotion. When you reach this point you physically long to touch your child. You dream about them. Your eye places them in photographs you take of your other children. You schedule appointments and most of life around "when we'll be in China." Yet so much of it is unknown. I said this before. I know God knows. I know Gotcha Day is planned very specifically on his calendar for a certain day and time. And I know His plan is far better than mine. I know all of those things. I do. I really, really do. And I trust them, but despite all of that knowledge, I struggle to get it down to my heart, where the tears bubble up and the longing resides. I so want Hannah home.
Today, doors feel like they are closing and opportunities feel like they are slipping away. No doors are completely shut and so I rest in this: "Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think....to Him be the glory." Ephesians 3:20,21
God, you can do awesome things! Please allow us to get our little girl home before Chinese New Year!