Pursuing our daughter...
After we got matched the race was on to bring home our little girl. We quickly got a pre approval from China that she was ours and our paperwork was taken out of translation and taken to be reviewed for the final Letter Seeking Confirmation that Chang AiHe would officially become MaeLynn Ann Bennington. Erica and I began to pray that the Lord would place our paperwork at the top of every stack of papers to be processed and we would get to our daughters in lightening fast speed.
The process to receive confirmation of a child normally lasts between 2-3 months then there is a little more paper work on both sides until you are issued an Invitation to Travel to go get your child. This part normally takes another 2-3 months. We were praying a miracle that we would travel spring break still. Scott and I dreamed of spending our daughters first birthday with her! We know our God is BIG and he wants to lavish gifts upon us SO WE WERE ASKING!
We are apart of a private facebook group of people who are on a similar 6 month time line as we are. We can watch these people to get an idea of how long approvals were taking and let us know when we might expect our approvals. These moms have been an amazing support for Erica and I and we were watching their timelines recognizing we were realistically looking for summer travel approvals to China.
I got the call on Jan 27th that we had received our Letter Seeking Confirmation and our caseworker was in shock. This was lightening fast speed and there was no reason to her why this happened so quickly. Most people on our group had been waiting 60+days already and still didn’t have approval. God was working for us and we were already in awe of him. So what a better way to celebrate... WE ALL GOT TATOOS!!! I got a tatoo on my wrist that says “Jesus Saves” in Chinese. Scott and Jason both got different characters for “The love of a father”. Scott on his chest and Jason on his inner arm. Erica got the symbol for love in chinese on her wrist. We wanted to forever mark the day that the Lord officially welcomed these two girls into our families in China’s eyes.
The paperwork that needed to be done and visa applications kept us busy as the days went on. As march was nearing it was looking like a very slim but possible chance that we could actually travel spring break. We put the families on standby for watching our children and began to dream about traveling together.
The call came on Monday, March 11, 2012. I saw the New York number after I dropped off Lilly and Fischer at Kids Day Out at the church. I immediately thought...I wonder whats wrong. (Isn’t that aweful! Oh me of little faith!) My caseworker answered and uttered those sweet words...YOU HAVE TRAVEL APPROVAL, YOU ARE GOING TO CHINA!!!!!
Needless to say, I had to pull over as I couldn’t see straight from my tears of joy. After I cried out to the Lord thank you Father, thank you Father, thank you!!!!! I pulled myself together and called Scott and my family. I called Erica, as she had called several times, and we screamed and cried together as the miracle God had done. You see we were on DAY 6 of travel approval wait and there were several who were on day 20 in our group and God had chosen to answer our prayers and send us to China for my little girls birthday. My heart was sooo full.
Sooo here we are. A little over a week from hearing the news...we are ON A PLANE TO CHINA!!! I can’t believe the blessings and hardships the Lord has guided us through on this journey. We are so lucky and blessed to be going to get this little girl and can’t wait to treasure every minute (including her every birthday) with her!!!!!!!!