my original intention with this blog was to keep everyone updated on the very latest concerning our adoption of bella grace. but as is usual with me, words get in the way. why say something short and sweet when i can elaborate, elongate and extenuate. why skip down a succint path when i can travel a more circuitous route. even my 12 year old son recently told me, "mom, you could turn anything into a story." i am pretty sure he wasn't paying me a compliment. if you've been reading my blog for very long you are, by now, quite certain i was the student who always ran over in her essays and long in her explanations. i was constantly told in red slashing marks to condense and cut and curtail. when i finally stood in front of my own english students, i formed a new appreciation for the direct writer. it took only grading my first batch of essays from my 125 students before i realized that words were perhaps a bit overrated. as my weekends were filled with piles of papers and containers of red pens, i secretly began to dread those students who suffered from my own disease: excessive-wordiness. they were inadvertently keeping me buried in piles of paperwork. in my years as a high school teacher i had countless opportunities to write in bold red letters the authoritative phrases, "be more concise"...."get to the point"...."too wordy!" recently, i even had a former student of mine remind me of this fact on facebook. but perhaps i've been out of the classroom too long, because here we are in the ninth month of our adoption journey and though i have expelled thousands of words on the subject of bella and her adoption i realize it is not always clear where exactly we are in the process. if you are a person who prefers bullet points to paragraphs then you will appreciate this admission and my renewed effort to every once in a while produce only the facts (mam).
the facts, definitions and timeline:
* DOSSIER - (a large and comprehensive file that contains everything possible about our adoption and our family...i am certain they have included the fact that the mcnatt family prefers jif to skippy...seriously.) the dossier was sent at the end of february to the CCAA (children's center for adoption affairs) in china.
* LID - (Log in Date): march 17, 2010 - this is the date that the dossier was officially logged into china's adoption system.
* LOA - (Letter of Approval): we are waiting for this date when we will be officially approved by china and officially matched to bella grace. as of today, april 13, we were told that we are still probably 3 weeks away. we were "pre-approved" last july...but that has little to do with our actual approval.
* Final Immigration - once that LOA arrives we will apply once more to the CIS for immigration with the US government. this time around we are applying for bella grace to be granted approval to come to the US. that process typically takes 2-3 months for approval.
* TA (Travel Approval) - once final immigration is finished we will receive our TA. at this point we will have a specific timeframe of when we will be heading to china to get our bella.
though these dates seem to add up to an early fall travel time....we are praying earnestly and expectantly that summer is a possibility. our adoption agent still believes that a late july or early august timeframe is within reach.
we know God has this all figured out. we trust that He knows the very date... the very hour that rick and i will walk into that orphanage and hold bella in our arms for the very first time. He planned it long ago. He planned it before we even knew about bella...before we even knew we were going to adopt. isn't that amazing?
but...because i am human and struggle a bit with issues of control... i have made sure He knows how strongly i believe summer to be our best option. i have explained countless times to Him that the fall would be a little more challenging. i have pointed out how crazy our august could be with emily starting high school and volleyball and the other children preparing for a new school year, not to mention this is our child and each day apart feels stolen. i have made it pretty clear what i think is perfect timing. i have done my very best to be persuasive. i know...pathetic. i am just being honest here. will i ever learn to walk fully behind Him with arms wide open and the plans and schemes of my own heart put aside. i don't know. i am trying. i am really trying. but even my trying amounts to nothing much without Him.
okay, so that's it. that was the best i can do. i realize that i probably have still exceeded the word limit and that those bullet points are surrounded with lengthy paragraphs...
but...well...i tried. what can i say?