Monday, May 15, 2017

Introducing Miss Lily Grace YaXuan Wallace!

It's hard to believe I'm typing this post!  We can finally announce our long awaited and prayed for little one is coming home soon!  And she's a GIRL!  Craziness!  I didn't think that would be the case.  Matt said all along we would be matched with a little girl and I continued to remind him that it would not be the case for so many reasons (all very accurate for the record).  But obviously God had different plans.  And apparently thinks we will survive teenage years with all the estrogen (yikes!).

So how did we get here?  The Lord is amazing and He orchestrates His perfect plan with the most amazing precision and care.  I will try to summarize the events of the last month for you.

On Thursday, April 13th I came home from picking up the girls.  In the garage I checked my email on my phone and saw an email from Wasatch Adoption Agency (not our agency at the time).  It was an update email with new and current children listed with their agency.  I saw a little girl with a blurred out face and a description that read "rare opening for a family with a Log In Date to China (LID) for this very young girl".  I was immediately interested in learning more and sent a quick email to be "high on the list" of inquiries.  I went inside and showed Matt and he agreed that we were very interested but we both knew that there would be MANY people interested in this little girl.  He told me "If she's meant to be ours it will work out."  I went to bed that night and prayed, "Lord, if this is our child, work everything out for us."

The next day, Friday April 14th and GOOD FRIDAY, Matt and I were both off of work and so we decided to take the girls for breakfast at Cracker Barrel.  We were eager to hear more about the little girl.  I mainly wanted to know where we were in line and how many people were in front of us to even know if we had a chance at reviewing her file.  As we waited outside for a table I checked my email and there it was. . . a file with pictures, videos and medical information about this little girl.  I skimmed through the information quickly and showed Matt, who was immediately smitten.  He said, "That's our girl!"  I still didn't know where we were on the list so I called the agency and asked.  The voice on the other end of the phone said, "You are first.  You are first in line."  Everything went fuzzy.  I looked at Matt and held up one finger saying, "We are #1 on the list!"  He started yelling, "Tell them we want her!"  Cars were whizzing by, our girls were running around crazy, and I could process what I was hearing.  "How is this possible?!" I said.  "This doesn't happen.  People wait years for this kind of situation."  She went on to tell me about policy changes, no families with their agency currently with a Logged in Dossier to China, etc, etc.  But in the end God.  God orchestrated this girl for our family from before we officially committed to China and in His perfect way.  Agencies and timelines and norms and my "I know how this is supposed to go down" didn't stop Him from fulfilling His plan.  Looking back at my initial communication with this agency, the timing lines up to when this little girls birth mom was first pregnant and maybe even finding out she was pregnant.  I will never know the circumstances surrounding the pregnancy or birth, but I will forever be grateful for her commitment to life for this precious baby!  How amazing for the Lord to begin to connect the dots and build relationships with an agency that we didn't initially begin the process with, and would one day, over a year and a half down the road, send an email, that I would just happen to open and inquire about a little blurred out face.  God, you are AMAZING!  While eating breakfast Matt looked at the pictures, and with tears in his eyes he said, "That's my girl."  I so wish I would have snapped a quick picture for Lily Grace one day, but for me, I will ever forget the look on his face.  From that moment, he knew she was ours and had such a peace about things.  This was so important going forward for me because the coming weeks required patience and trust in the Lord's provision.

Celebrating Lily Grace with my sister and her family!

Cousins celebrating Lily Grace!

We went through the process of switching agencies and the paperwork required.  Then we had to wait for her file to officially be assigned to the agency.  After a nerve-wracking two week wait, we learned that the agency was officially assigned her file on Friday April 28th.  Then we had to receive approval  from China to switch agencies.  The tricky part was that the new agency only had Lily Grace's file for 3 weeks before it was back to the Shared List.  All the letters were sent to China and arrived within days of the file being assigned.  Beautiful.  Until I received on email one day saying. . . "CCCWA did not think our letter of support was 'supportive enough' of you as a family".  What?!?! It went on to explain that all the letters state the same thing and they just need to send a new letter to China, etc.  I was initially not concerned.  Our agency wasn't concerned so I was good.  Then the days went by with no word from China and less days left for our new agency to have Lily Grace's file.  I started letting the devil whisper all sorts of things to me.  I was a total stress ball.  The whole time, Matt said he felt a peace.  I did not feel at peace.  I was worried.  Compounding things was Lily Grace's first birthday on May 8th.  That day coming and going with still no word and I began to think worst case senerio.  I had many talks with the Lord.  I knew He was in control. I believed He would take care of things; whether that meant she was ours or not.  But, I could not shake the worry.  I learned and heard so many things during that waiting period that really challenged and strengthened my faith (see previous post!).  In hindsight, I really believe that the additional wait was built in for the Lord to show me a few things.  I heard a couple times that during trials, you have to lean on what you know about the Lord and not what you feel about your circumstances.

Celebrating Lily Grace's 1st birthday!

Finally, on Wednesday May 10th we got the news that our new LID was in the system and our Dossier was switched to the new agency so we could officially be matched with Lily Grace!!! Praise the Lord for that wonderful, long anticipated news!  I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders.  Then the next day, May 11th, we received word that China had given us LOA (HUMONGOUS AWESOME DEAL!) for her in the system.  Just trust me if you aren't up on the adoption lingo. .  it's important.  Basically it is China approving us to adopt her.

So now we are back in this mini paper chase world again.  We need United States approval to adopt Lily Grace, VISAs, travel approval and consulate appointments among other things.   And of course one depends on the other.  Not near as long and definitely much more exciting this time!  We hope to travel end of July to bring her home.  It will be a two week long trip. More on that later!  So sorry for the long post but the Lord has been up to a lot over the past month.

We have loved you for so long Lily Grace and we are so happy to have a face and a name now!  We are coming for you soon sweet girl! :)

Friday, May 5, 2017


So we are just over a year past when we officially began our adoption process.  We have come along way and I'm so grateful we have made it through so much of the paperwork the comes along with the beginning of the process.  There will still be more paperwork in our future, but none like the craziness of the dossier preparation-praise Jesus!!!

We are now in the anxious and worry phase.  Well, I am.  We seem to be so close but still so far away.    I am learning a lot about this trusting the Lord issue.  It seems great and all, but when the rubber meets the road it's a lot trickier than it sounds.  It's REALLY HARD.  Hard to let go of my own agenda, plans, and version of how our adoption should go.  I have great intentions but they are not God's plans.  And I truly want what His plans are- as scary as it seems "in the meantime".  We are in a phase in which we have literally no control over what happens and it's scary.  I realize I frequently don't have control of as much as I think I do, but I am able to trick myself into thinking I do, which gives me a false sense of security.  I know the Lord is capable of accomplishing anything He wants and I believe that He will complete a good work in us.  My head is in the right place, but my momma heart is growing weary at times.  I was feeling so convicted about my trust issues earlier this week and as I was driving in the car I heard the Lord whisper to me, "You just need faith as small as a mustard seed".  What a sweet reminder from my caring God to let me know He knows we grow weary and He's right there walking beside me encouraging me.

Quote from our pastor, Dr. Danny Sinquefield during church last Sunday.  Perfect timing!
We are currently waiting on approval from China for additional paperwork that was received last week.  We found out earlier this week that one of the letters was rejected by the CCCWA (China's adoption agency) and a new letter had to be sent in.  We hope to hear back about that early next week.  Please pray that this new letter is accepted and we can move forward!

In the car on the way to work this morning, I had a pretty significant revelation.  I'm sad to say it took me this long to come to it.  I am also realizing that the Lord is using my time in the car as a time with the greatest learning moments for me these days.  I'm pretty sure it's because these are the rare moments when I am quiet (without kiddos!) and available to hear Him.  I was listening to "Ever Be" by Aaron Shust.  The lyrics say "Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips. . . You will be praised, You will be praised."  It hit me.  This journey is not about our family, it's about giving God the glory through this journey.  How have I missed this?!  Sure, I have made Him a part of it, but He is it.  He makes beauty from ashes.  He brings orphans into families.   This adoption is just another beautiful picture of the miraculous wonder that He is.  And in His abundant Grace, He is blessing us along the way.  We just need to hold on and be willing participants in His masterful plan.  So step by step, I am learning a little more about this faith and trust thing.  I'm a little stubborn so it's taking while.  ;)  Meanwhile, Matt says he has a peace about things.  I am very grateful for his stability during this time.  And I need a stable hubby during all of my weepy moments!

So little one, we will be there in God's timing!  We pray for you every day!  Many times a day!  The closer we get, the more I find myself thinking of you throughout my day.  I wake up early in the morning and wonder what you are doing.  When I go to bed at night I wonder what you are doing.  Your sisters talk about you.  We are so excited to meet you one day, but until then, we know that the Lord is watching over you and preparing our way to you!