Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Beautiful Wedding Day

Yesterday Ressa and Jason were sealed together for eternity. What a beautiful blessing it has been to travel the beginning of their journey together. They were beautiful and so happy. I shed a few tears not because I was sad but because of the remembrances of what I have and the same covenants that Doug and I made so long ago. I shed a few tears for the loss of what we had as parents but know that we are blessed even more by adding Jason.

Next is the reception so too much to do to expound on the ceremony just yet. Sadly we only took 5 pictures of them at the temple so we will have to wait for the pictures from the photographer.  Here is the only decent picture we have.

Thanks to those that sent your wishes. It meant a lot to us as you could not be here to celebrate.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Gideon Update

Our little Gideon is still in the hospital. They are hoping that he can be released in the next couple of days. I'm still waiting on the medical info that may not come. I do have to know what oxygen level he is on for the plane ride home. This whole thing is ridiculous   I can see why most families take the chance and don't do oxygen. There aren't many choices as far as airlines that will allow oxygen of some kind and even then the attendants on the flight may take matters in their own hands and remove the oxygen from the child. Crazy, but true!

Please keep praying for us. For Gideon's health and for the knowledge we need to travel this road. So far we are walking in the dark.

Gratitude For the Gift of Life

Today is the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. I received this in an email from a Catholic newsletter I subscribe to.

CV 40 years


I am grateful for the gift of life that each of our birth-mom's have given. They chose to allow their child the opportunity to have life and all that comes with it. Without these amazing women 7 of our children would not be with us. Not only did they choose to give these children life but they chose to allow us to raise them. What an honor and blessing we have received. The greatest honor a mother and father can have is to be trusted with the care and nurture of a child. We not only are honored by these incredible birth families that have suffered much but we have been honored and trusted by our Father in Heaven to raise His children. We will give all we have and do the best we can to deserve this gift.

Here is to the gift of life and selflessness because that is what giving life is, selflessness.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Dossier Is In China

We got an email last night stating that our dossier did indeed make it to China! Our agency rep will now work on getting things done ASAP.

I have made just a little headway with finding an airline that will allow oxygen. Cathay and Delta both allow it but their flights are not as good as Hainan Air going out of Seattle. They both cost quite a bit more as well. Cathay Pacific requires a 72 hour wait time and a reservation to issue an approval to fly. If they don't approve it then we have to start all over with another airline. We won't have the time to do that once we get permission to travel. Delta has a company that will approve the Portable Oxygen Concentrator for us but we will have to rent it for two weeks from them. That is a cost of almost $1,000. We could also continue to look for a Concentrator to buy used but that is still a good chunk of money. At least at this point we know we can get Gideon home.

"I want you, Mom"


video

Yesterday in primary, Hyrum was sitting on my lap. In Sharing Time they shared the previous video. This is a song we sing regularly and both Hyrum and Bria can sing many of the words. I took the opportunity to reinforce the concept that Heavenly Father loves Hyrum and is his Father.

Mom, "You are a child of God and Heavenly Father loves you."

Hyrum, "Me and Bria?"

Me, "Yes, you have a Father in Heaven.You have two Baba's  Heavenly Father and Daddy."

Hyrum looks back at me with a look of being pretty bothered and says emphatically,
         
 "No, I want you mom!"

Friday, January 18, 2013

Dossier Complete


Following is a copy of an email we got today!!!!


"Hi Doug and Deanne,

I wanted to let you know I just handed your updated dossier to our FedEx driver. It is on its way to the CCCWA with an anticipated delivery date of this coming Monday, the 21st. Yay! Our office will actually be closed on Monday, due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday but I will certainly track the package first thing Tuesday when I come in and let you know the status then. We are very excited to have this package on its way, as we imagine you are as well. Myriam will certainly let you know as soon as she hears anything from the CCCWA."


Our next step is the Letter Seeking Confirmation from China. Pray that it comes next week. 

As far as we know Gideon is still in the hospital. No new updates today.

We really need some direction and counsel on the trip home and the challenge with oxygen. Please pass the word on. We also could use an Portable Oxygen Concentrator that is FAA approved. Used is fine if the price is right but to borrow or get one free is best. :)) 

Thanks for all the prayers and thoughts!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Gideon's Still In the Hospital

I found out this morning that Gideon was supposed to be released Monday from the hospital. When they were getting him dressed to leave he went pale and had a hard time breathing. He is now still in the hospital and we don't know when he may get out.

There is a concern for his breathing while traveling home. He most likely is not able to take very deep breaths so he can't get enough oxygen. If he is on oxygen the saturation level of the mix of oxygen can be turned up so there is a better concentration of oxygen even though he isn't breathing normally. We will need to carry a portable oxygen tank with us but that poses a problem. The airlines may not want the risk of a sick child on board and deny travel. This is turning out to be complicated especially for brain that is on overload right now. I have no answers and I feel like I am getting no where with this challenge. I just need to keep the faith. It's all in God's hands. That sounds so trite and right now I have to talk myself into believing it. I can do it.

I am desperately trying to figure some things out but everywhere I turn I hit a road block. I was talking with a friend this morning about the situation in hopes that she could help, she was helpful.

OK, so I just totally lost my train of thought. I debated if I should delete that but decided to leave it and let everyone see where I am at. I just can't seem to think straight right now. No wonder all I wanted to do this morning was read. :))  "Calgon, take me away"

Oh, I remember now. I told my friend that things were getting tougher. She asked why and my answer was "That's adoption at our house." Whenever we are in an adoption Satan redoubles his efforts and hits everywhere he possibly can. The arrows are flying fast.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Big Name For a Little Guy

I left naming our son up to Doug. It took several weeks but one day as he sat bored in Sunday School, yes, he gets bored sometimes. :) He was looking through the scriptures for names and found a name that brought him to tears. This person was a valiant man that had to exercise great faith to follow the Lord's plan. He was a fighter and didn't give up. He came out of obscurity as a youth and became a great force for good. In another time and place there was another by the same name. He too was faithful and a warrior for God. He stood up to all that crossed his path and fought to protect the Lord's servants. In the end, as an old man he was killed by one who hated righteousness. 

We looked up the meaning of this name, "Mighty Warrior". I had a friend say "that is a big name for a little boy." Yes it is, and I wondered why that name? I too had thought of this name but it was Doug's privileged to name our son. When he came to me with the same thoughts I knew it was right. I have felt that this child has a great work to do. I don't know how or if it is in a short or very short life. I do know he has a work to do and will be a force for good. When we found out about the current hospital stay I realized the hope that his heart was working well the way it was, was not accurate. He must have been struggling for quite a while to have the heart swell as it has. So why is he walking at 18 months and beginning to talk? Why is he not more delayed like most heart children in this situation? My new guess is he is a fighter. He will not let this heart issue get him down.

His name seems to fit a big spirit in a little body.   GIDEON, he is our mighty warrior and hopefully he will fight and win long enough to get him the help he needs. Keep praying!

We have not gotten any new updates. I have a friend calling the orphanage to get some information. Hopefully it will be good news. I am also working on getting more information on the medication that Gideon needs. As soon as I know anything I will let you all know.

Monday, January 14, 2013

I-800a Approval

We got our I-800a approval today. Myriam at Agape called the USCIC supervisor to let her know of our son's new health developments and to see if she could get our approval emailed to her. In the conversation the supervisor said she wished she had known that our fingerprints had been done. She would have issued the approval that day. Now Myriam knows to call when fingerprints are done next time she has a situation like this. Myriam received the approval and immediately had someone notarize the document and drive it 40 minutes away to have it authenticated. It is now on it's way to the Embassy in San Francisco for authentication. We should receive everything back by the end of the week. This is good news but there is still too long of a road ahead for a little boy that is in danger of dying.

The government entity across the sea has decided that they need the official documents before they will do anything. So we now wait for all the authenticating to be done and the dossier sent. We are still praying and hopeful that the powers that be will decide to issue the LSC before dossier is in hand but we won't ask again for a few more days.

No update on our son's condition. It looks like they need a specific medicine but there are no funds for it. We are not allowed to donate the money because of international (Hague) adoption rules. No one is certain if the donation would hinder the adoption but we won't take any chances. If anyone would like to help donate to help this child get better please contact Love Without Boundaries and let them know you are donating to the care of "Bergen". Some of you family members may be getting a call begging for your donation. :))

On a side note. The little boy that I posted about named "Leo" has gotten sicker. He has struggled with pneumonia for over a month. He is now so sick that he can't even sit up. Please add him to your prayers. I want to find out if there is any medicine that would help him pull out of this. I would still love to bring this boy home.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Anxiousness and Angels

As I have been sitting at the computer most of the day just waiting for some kind of update I have gotten more anxious. I know that those that can do anything to speed up the process or give an update will either be at home or asleep, depending on the side of the world they are on. I have gained strength from the support we have gotten through words and prayers. I have tried to distract myself by playing a game with the children but it didn't work so well. Those in Ch*na are now just getting to work so hopefully we may hear something soon but in the mean time I saw this post. This sweet person, that I don't even know, was inspired to say just the right things I needed to hear right that minute. Here is what she said:

Deanne,

We are praying for your sweet son down here in Florida.

The doctors told us it was a miracle our daughter was still alive since she had
her 1st surgery later than they would have done it in the US but rest assured that
God makes miracles happen everyday! He is the most amazing healer and He will
continue holding your little son right now and even after your arms are around
him. Even though the doctors don't know what is wrong with your son's
heart/breathing, God created your son just for you and your beautiful family. 
Nothing can stand in the way of His plans. Praying for peace, love, and comfort
for your family and your son as well as wisdom and compassion for the doctors
that are with him each day.

Many Blessings!
Lauren


I count these precious words as answers to many prayer on our behalf. Thank you to everyone who is there to support us as we face this challenge.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Urgent Prayers Needed!!!


Please pray for our little boy we are adopting. He was admitted to the hospital for breathing issues. His heart is too big and is pressing on his lungs causing him not to breath. They have stabilized him for now but the orphanage has contacted the government officials and urged them to speed things up. We are requesting they approve the adoption off of old paperwork while they wait for the new documents to arrive.

This is scary. We are worried about him and pray that if the Lord wills he will make it home.



Thursday, January 10, 2013

We've Raised Some Crazy Kids

Tonight there was a conversation about being rich. It started because the elementary school had what they call tool day. Parents come in and share what they do for work. Casey has been enthralled with what he thinks he learned. (Not all of it makes sense in the real world. I just don't think he understood.)  So this is what the end of the conversation was.

Casey, "We should get rich and have 25,000 kids."  He really did say 25,000

Creed, "You wouldn't even know all of them."

More conversation ensued and Casey conceded.

"OK, 22...21...20..."

At this time I asked "So how many do you really think we should have?"

Casey, "Hmmm, 21."

Doug, "If we were rich we would have 18 kids."

Mom, "Yes, we would."



The boy that wants 25,000 kids. :)




Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Fingerprints Done

We went in yesterday hoping that everything would go smoothly. I got nervous because someone told me that the Utah office for the USCIS was not allowing walk ins anymore. I then got pretty nervous and called the Adoption office of immigration. The officer I talked with said that is shouldn't be a problem because our office in Utah is pretty good about walk ins. He told me to tell them the situation and if there were still problems to call him back and he would try to help.

I was prepared with all the paperwork that might be pertinent to the case and rehearsed just what I would say. We stepped up to the entrance and handed over our documents and ID. I told the guy that we needed to come in early and he said "Oh, that shouldn't be a problem." He went to the desk for fingerprinting and then waved us through. It was as easy as that. We thought we may be there a while but we were out in less than 30 minutes.

Myriam thinks we may get our approval at the end of this week and then the paperwork is off for a couple day process of authentication. Then off to China. Once in China it should be a one week turn around. Here's hoping!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Fingerprint Notice - Awesome

We got our fingerprint notice!!!!!!!!  That is great news. The appointment notice was generated on the 3rd, which means the supervisor at the USCIS pulled our file the day she agreed to expedite. Our appointment isn't until the 17th of January but we are going to go in tomorrow in hopes of getting them done ASAP. In the past we haven't had any problem with going in early but they have moved offices so we don't know what to expect now. Some offices will not allow walk ins so please pray for us.

The fingerprints are usually the last thing needed for our immigration approval. Here's hoping for a very quick approval. I just realized today that we could run into conflicts with Easter. Hopefully we will be back by then so the kids don't  have to make the sacrifice of us being gone. Conference is the next weekend and it would not be fun to be gone for both. It's all in the Lord's hands and I will have to remind myself that it's His timing not mine. It's all part of the adoption roller coaster.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Times To Remember


Here are some fun pictures while family was here for our nephews wedding last week. We had up to 32 people plus our family of 16 at our home at times. The kids had a blast! I prayed for snow so that our nephew from China could play in it. He has not had that opportunity. Well, my prayers worked a little too well. We got snow and then freezing temperatures to make it stay for the last 11 days. With this snow comes a lot of ice on our street and driveway and temperatures in the low 20's as a high. I found that on the way to church today we have gotten a little more acclimated to the cold. Bria wouldn't even bring a coat because she said she wasn't cold. On the way out of church Malia decided she wasn't cold but Bria was now so they shared the coat.

OK, now for the pictures, out of order.

This is a jump that Creed and his friend Bryson made. Bryson brought over an old set of skies and they pulled each other on the four wheeler like in water skiing. 

Doug picked up the driving when Bryson wasn't here.

When Creed got to the jump he let go of the rope and flew. He usually looked much better than this. I think this jump he landed on his back side.

Niya and Doug riding in the snow.

This is Leland our nephew. He was thrilled to be riding the four wheeler especially in the snow.  What a great uncle.

Emma doesn't seem to have nerve endings. This child will go outside in the snow without shoes or gloves and not notice the cold. There was one day she stepped on something that was burning and didn't cry hardly at all. After a few minutes she was fine. I looked at her foot and she had burned a hole in the sole of her foot. 
Hannah our snow angel.
I know this isn't the best picture but we had to snap fast. Hyrum had to help Leland get his snow pants off.  Hyrum loved having his cousins to play with. I wasn't sure how he would react because he has seen other little boys as a threat but there was no problem. He and Bria have had several discussions about when Leland and Chun Ming will be coming back. Sadly they both live out of state so it won't be any time soon.

Being pulled behind the four wheeler is a favorite snow activity for everyone. Creed driving and Casey on the back. Malia lasted a long time out in the freezing cold. Longer than I would.



Ressa having fun with the kids.



Jason is often with the kids. It's not abnormal to find 2-3 children sitting somewhere on him.
Creed is very good with children. They love him. Again, not the best quality picture but I
 couldn't pass
 up this look of great fun on Chun Ming's face.
Chun Ming has only been home from China for a little over 3 months I think.

All right, really who would post a picture like this on their blog? Only someone in my family.
One of my nephews is on a mission in the Philippines. It was his brother's wedding that we attended so my sister made a cardboard cut out with his face so they could send him pictures with him there. One of my other sisters, Darci, decided it would be funny to take a picture like this but she had the camera. She tried to get some of our nieces to pose but they wouldn't. so Darci decided she would do it and have a niece take the pictures. The funniest part about this is the bride's family thought that the groom's family was very proper. I think we need to show them this picture. They will have a whole new view of where my nephew comes from. I surely would not have done this but I did laugh and now it's on my blog. Yep, I'm just like my family. :)

The next post I will give a few highlights of our Christmas.





Friday, January 4, 2013

Ups and Downs of Adoption

It has been a very busy couple of weeks with lots of fun and company. In the midst of all that I got word that the USCIS had denied expediting our adoption. It's a good thing life was busy because I didn't have much time to dwell on it. I just said a prayer and left it up to God.

Myriam at our agency talked with someone at USCIS that let her know we would not be expedited. She was told that our son did not meet the qualifications. WHAT?!?! What has to happen for a child to be qualified for a speedy adoption. We all figured a serious heart defect, the chance of death at any time and the need for surgery 18 months ago may be enough, but NO. Myriam asked the person at USCIS what qualifies and she was told she would need to talk with the supervisor that was out until after the new year. Myriam put a call into the supervisor the day she got back in the office but didn't hear from her until the next day. In that call the supervisor agreed to review the file again. Not to long after that, maybe 30 minutes, Myriam called me again to let me know that she had decided to go ahead and expedite!

We are now on our way to a speedy adoption. We hope. I have had to let go and just let the Lord be in charge. It has been nice to feel like this is not my burden to carry that I just need to be ready when the time comes. I will do all the work that is necessary for me but in the end God will make things happen the way He needs it. I am grateful that I have learned to do this better and for the lighter load.