Hannah Claire Shi Lin

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Orphan Sunday

I was just listening to a broadcast on the Focus on the Family website, and at the end they mentioned "Orphan Sunday." I've never heard of this, and apparently, this is the first official one. It's on Sunday, November 8th, and is to raise awareness of adoption and helping to take care of orphans. From what I understand, churches around the country will be holding Orphan Sunday events, and there will be a live event on their website, http://www.orphansunday.org/.

I feel it's one of my life's missions to raise awareness about children around the world who will never have the chance to know what it's like to be part of a loving family if no one adopts them. I plan on watching the Orphan Sunday event, and I hope others reading this will too. If you're reading this blog, you obviously have some interest in adoption, so please take every opportunity to spread the word about what a wonderful thing it is. And if you're thinking about adding to your family, please consider adoption as a way to do that. Remember those millions of children who only want someone to call "Mommy" and "Daddy," that children are children no matter where they come from and that they can add so much to our lives and we to theirs.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dossier in China!

I got a call from our Dossier Consultant at Great Wall last week, and she said our Dossier has arrived in China! It seems like it's been a long journey to this point, and it was so good to hear. From here, we are waiting on our Log-in-Date, or "LID." It could take up to 2 months for us to receive this date. We're also waiting on our official approval to adopt Hannah, and I'm not exactly sure when to expect this.

About a month before we travel to China, we'll get our Travel Approval, or "TA." We don't know when that will be, but we're told 6-9 months from now. So we're looking at sometime between April and July of next year as the time when we'll finally be able to go get our little girl.

I've taken a couple of the online Hague Training classes, and am looking forward to taking the rest of them. I've read one book, Silent Tears, by Kay Bratt, which is a very eye-opening true story of an American woman living in China who volunteers to help take care of children in an orphanage. I pray every day that Hannah is living in better conditions than the children in that book. According to the information we have, she is in foster care and is very close to her foster mother, so I hope that means she has it better than a lot of the stories I've heard.

I'm now reading another book, which seems good so far, The Connected Child, by Karyn B. Purvis, David R. Cross and Wendy Lyons Sunshine. So far it is really good, making me aware of how we'll need to treat Hannah for a while, giving her all the love and nurturing she may have missed out on and devoting our time to making her feel safe and secure, before taking her out to be around a lot of people. Please keep us in your prayers that God will prepare us with what we need to handle whatever Hannah's needs are.

Miles and I are learning some Mandarin words and phrases in hopes that it will help to ease Hannah's transition to her new life. So far we know "hello," "goodbye," "I love you," and "Let's read a book." I found a wonderful website (http://www.wku.edu/~yuanh/AudioChinese/parent.html) that has lots of phrases specifically for parents who are adopting from China. I also am occasionally listening to a CD that teaches Mandarin, but the website I mentioned is better for our needs. There are lots of practical phrases, like, "I need to go to the potty," etc., that will help us a lot more than things like, "Can you speak English?" Miles picks up the words and phrases faster than I do, to the point that I keep having to ask him, "Now how do you say that again?", and he usually instantly replies with the correct answer!

So that's what we're doing right now, using this long waiting period to prepare for Hannah's arrival home. We won't hear any news for a while, and there's no more paperwork to gather, so now we have time to concentrate on everything else. We're planning to have a realtor over by the end of the month to look at the house, in hopes to sell it soon, and get into a larger house before we go to China. We could certainly bring Hannah home to this house, but it would be pretty cramped, and we'd like to be a little ways out of town and have more space outside for her and Miles to run around and play together. Please keep us in your prayers about this too.