Thursday, June 27, 2013

One Step Closer

After a lot of phone calling and emailing we finally got out GUZ# from the National Visa Center. It has been forwarded to the Consulate in Guangzhou. Yeahhhh! We are now hoping to get our Article 5 in one day and then our TA, or Travel Approval, next week.

After chasing this down for three days I lost hope this morning. I follow a blog of a woman that volunteers in China with the orphans. I read what she had to say today and the Spirit told me that the Lord is doing all the work I just need to watch and see. He did pull this through and we are supposed to go get Ben.

Doug will be there sooner than we know!

Gideon's Cardio Checkup



Yesterday I spent the afternoon at Primary Children's Hospital to get Gideon's heart checked. To make a 2 and a half hour visit short, this is what our doctor found. Gideon's valve is getting worse. He started with mild regurgitation. That means when the blood is pumped from one chamber to the other some of the blood leaks back down and doesn't get circulated into the lungs and body. Gideon now has mild to moderate regurgitation. The doctor wants to watch it still but we have a complication that we don't know if it is caused by the valve or what it might be.  Gideon has lost weight in the last 6 weeks. This could be because he's not getting enough calories or because of the heart.

Children with heart issues can tend to have small appetites. We really don't know what is causing his lack of eating but I have noticed he doesn't eat much and what he does eat isn't the best for him. I have an appointment with the pediatrician on Tuesday to address the weight gain. If Gideon doesn't put on weight in the next 8 weeks he will go on a medicine for his valve. We also had a high blood pressure that the nurse blamed on his crying. I don't buy that. He was not as upset as he has been in the past when they tested his blood pressure. I've never seen his blood pressure close to being that high.  For those that might wonder, it was at 130/113. I'm going to talk to the pediatrician about taking it again on Tuesday. The doctor said this is still the same thing  we have been living since we got him, day to day. I guess when he said that I realized I had tried to go on with life and not be concerned about Gideon's heart. Maybe that won't ever be my reality. Maybe we will always see the doctor every 6-8 weeks or more. I sure hope not. Neither Gideon or I like to spend our afternoon at the doctor's office. The more we are at the doctor means his heart is getting worse.




Sunday, June 23, 2013

Country Fest


Last Saturday we got to spend the afternoon at our city's Country Fest. It is a tradition we all look forward too. The city provides free activities as well as the normal carnival rides. We all have lots of fun. These pictures are courtesy of Tyler. He doesn't know it yet but I stole them from our family blog. Thanks Tyler!!



Jessica and part of the family as we watched the kids do the Fireman's obstacle course.








Bria and Hyrum  being Firemen. Russ, they would love to come visit you at work!
Bria's just a little unsure but once she got going nothing stopped her!

The kids got to use the fire hose. I kept waiting for one of them to turn and get us. :)
Hannah carrying the hose. Emma and Clayson waiting patiently for their turn.
Our oldest, Tyler, taking his turn.  
Emma surprised me with her speed and focus. We don't see that focus very often but her teachers assure me she focuses at school. We were told she counted to 30 the other day. I was so excited. I came home and asked Emma to count. "1,2,3,18!". She thought she could take the easy way out so she could watch a movie. After trying for two hours straight to convince me that "1,2,3,18" was counting to 30 the poor girl never did watch her movie. 


Olivia getting a snow cone. Olivia was so afraid of Indian people just 2 years ago. Now here she is taking a snow cone from an Indian boy. She has done so well!
Casey seeing how strong he is. He didn't quiet ring the bell. He was one number off. Next year.
There was a bungee run. Clayson loved it!
Olivia wanting to be young still. She just turned 12 and is loving all the perks.  
Malia's turn on the bungee run. She is not heavy enough to go far so Doug helped her out.
Marshall deep in thought.
Our Beautiful Jessica, Tyler's wife.
Waiting for the 17 shaved ice we ordered for the family.:)
Doug was sure he could throw as hard as he did in his prime. Look at Creed in the blue shirt, he was very skeptical. I had to tell him to just remember one day he would be in denial too.




Thursday, June 20, 2013

LSC

Yesterday we received our LSC. We signed, scanned and emialed it to our officer the same day. We should see our I800 approval from the USCIS today. The officer will overnight the approval to the National Visa Center and with the help of a supervisor we should have our GUZ# 24 hours after receipt. That means we should get our GUZ# Monday. We hope. From there the information gets processed at the consulate in Guangzhou. This is what is called the Article 5. We already know that the consulate will process as soon as they get the information from the National Visa Center.

The hope is to travel to pick up Gui July 12. That is a week earlier than we expected. Pretty good.

Monday, June 17, 2013

More Happenings At Our Home

I know, I don't like multiple posts in a day either. It makes it hard to read all of them because of limited time. I just couldn't wait, even though I wish I could. I love to post pictures but still can't. Once we get through the USCIS and Visa process for Ben I can take the computer in to get cleaned up but for now Ben is more important than you seeing my very cute children. Sorry :)

Bria had an appointment for her club foot today. It had been 18 months since we started her visits with Shriner's. She has done so well and Shriner's has been fabulous. On the way to the doctor, mind you, much earlier than Bria likes to be out of bed, she said with real enthusiasm. "I love my doctors!" We got the all clear to stop using her daytime brace. We handed it over to the doctor to send to Mexico as a donation. I am so glad to see it go. I now get to take Bria to go get some cute sandals. All she has wanted for year is some sandals. Well, I take that back, today she asked if we could get flip flops but I had to explain that she has no toes and flip flops need toes.

Her reply, "I can wear them on this foot."

Yes she can.

We also had a tragedy in  the family. Saturday morning we got word that Jared's father passed away. He was in his early 50's with no health issues. He was on a morning bike ride and was found dead on the side of the road by a State Trooper. We are so broken hearted for their family and for Sereen and Jared. Jared's dad was a good man and had much more to offer but the Lord must have needed him more for another work. No matter why he went it leaves a big hole in the lives of many. Tears come easily and thoughts of a more profound nature are constant.

Sereen and Jared, we are praying for you and your family. Tammy is in our thoughts and we mourn with you. We are so sorry that Preston will never know, in this life, the love and example of the great man his grandfather is. We love you!

Overcoming Hurdles for Ben

This last week as been full of overcoming hurdles with our adoption of Ben. Our Supplement 3, or addendum to our homestudy, was delayed at the lockbox, which is where everything goes before reaching our officer at the USCIS. We tried all the avenues we could find to speed the process up with no luck. For the first week I wasn't overly concerned about the delay causing problems in the adoption because we thought that the CCCWA would accept our original I800a for this adoption. It then became apparent that the I800a needed to be updated to get things moving.

We also discovered a mistake in submitting our I800 to the USCIS that also caused a delay. We have taken care of that problem. This mistake may or may not hold up the process depending on if the CCCWA will issue our Letter Seeking Approval without the I800a updated. Oh, what a complicated mess this has become.

We have now received our updated I800a and it is at one of the Chinese Consulates getting authenticated and will be on it's way to China. We are hoping that the CCCWA will issuer our LSC on a copy of the I800a knowing it will be coming in a few days. Still, if they don't issue the LSC that is OK for now because we are still waiting on our I800 application to get to our officers desk. Until that paperwork makes it to the USCIS we are dead in the water. Unless......, the supervisor agrees to issue the approval on copies of the paperwork., which they can do if they are in a good mood. Those copies were sent two weeks ago. You see, it's a complicated mess.

We still have time. We need that LSC this week! We have to get through some stages pretty quickly to beat the deadline of the US Consulate closing in Guangzhou mid July.

Wow, what a ride this is. Getting Ben here is only the beginning. Once home the real work begins. The work that goes into healing his broken and lonely heart. There are consequences from growing up without a mother and father. We hope and pray that Ben will learn to trust and believe that he is here permanently.  We need to teach him English and help him receive an education. I am excited to see the miracles happen and watch Ben grow into a man.

I'll update again when there is something solid to say.

Oh, I forgot, we were told on Friday night that we will have to submit a new dossier. I guess someone gave the clearance to reuse the dossier we had but is now backtracking on that. They say they won't hold up the process waiting on the new dossier but I am still getting it done long before we wait on our Travel Approval. It's a good thing I had prepared all the paperwork necessary for our dossier when we started the process for Gideon. At that time we didn't need it so I have had a complete dossier sitting in my files bothering me. Well, it's a good thing I had it because now we need it. We redid some notaries because they expired and I will bring everything up to the State to get it authenticated tomorrow or Wednesday. I will also be sending out our other certificates to get authenticated at another state office. Hopefully everything will be submitted to the CCCWA in a week and a half.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

We Have the Ultimate Responsibility


This is long but well worth the education.

There is a concerted effort to strip us of our right and responsibility to parent our children and turn it over to social workers and government entities. There are groups that have been fighting these efforts as most of us as Americans are blind to what is going on.The UN is putting great pressure along with the Obama administration for our government to ratify a treaty taking away our rights as parents of healthy and special needs children in two different bills.We are headed in the same direction as the country of Scotland and Germany. Please take the time to read this and go to ParentalRights.org for more information. We need to fight this!!





ParentalRights.org logo
Sign the PetitionDonateVolunteerLearn MoreView Online
June 11, 2013
Bill Proposes Massive Invasion of Every Family
The government of Scotland is proposing the ultimate invasion of the family in order to “protect” children. According to legislation proposed by the government (and which faces no organized opposition), a social worker will be assigned to monitor each and every child from birth. The government social worker would have the authority and responsibility to “safeguard the wellbeing of the child or young person” through “(i) advising, informing, or supporting the child…, (ii) helping the child…to access a service or support, or (iii) discussing, or raising, a matter about the child” with other government agencies.

In short, every child will be assigned his own mandatory reporter/government monitor from birth.

According to the bill itself, this legislation is proposed to comply with Scotland’s duties under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC, or CRC) which —like the related Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)—requires that the government ensure that in every decision the “best interests” of the child be the paramount consideration. According to international law scholar and University of London professor Geraldine Van Bueren, this “Best interests [standard] provides decision and policy makers with the authority to substitute their own decisions for either the child’s or the parents’, providing it is based on considerations of the best interest of the child.”

Appointing a social worker to monitor every child in the nation is the logical response to the demand from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2008 that the United Kingdom should establish independent Children’s Commissioners “equipped with the necessary human and financial resources in order…that the rights of all children in all parts of the State party are safeguarded.”

“This is the most invasive, anti-parent proposal since ancient Sparta,” said Michael Farris, President of Parentalrights.org. The Supreme Court in Meyer v. Nebraska gave us this explanation of the Spartan practice that Farris references:

In order to submerge the individual and develop ideal citizens, Sparta assembled the males at [age] seven into barracks and entrusted their subsequent education and training to official guardians. Although such measures have been deliberately approved by men of great genius their ideas touching the relation between individual and state were wholly different from those upon which our institutions rest; and it hardly will be affirmed that any Legislature could impose such restrictions upon the people of a state without doing violence to both letter and spirit of the Constitution.
Sadly, while Scotland was once based on foundations similar to our own, they are abandoning these vital principles.

“The recognition of the importance of privacy, of the authority of parents and the protection of this privacy and authority by society is declining fast,” Stuart Walton explained in an interview with Lifesite News. Walton is a sociology and criminology lecturer at Albertay University in Dundee. “Today it is assumed parenting is simply too hard, children are simply too vulnerable, and risks are simply too great to allow for this luxury called ‘privacy’. This is why nobody is attacking this new bill….”

Minister for Children and Young People Aileen Campbell (MSP) pretty well agrees, though she sees no problem with that. Campbell asserts, "Children and young people deserve services that can intervene more effectively and earlier in their lives and that listen and take full account of their views and rights. Achieving this involves a programme of change that is not limited to any one service, but embraces a change in the culture and practice of all services that affect the lives of children, young people and their families."

There is no consideration for family privacy or the right of parents to direct a child’s upbringing. Apparently, if the destruction of these liberties is the only way to ensure this early intervention, Scotland is willing to pay that price.

The Privacy Impact Report of the Scottish government reflects this: “As wellbeing becomes the focus, information sharing will become more common and may at times occur contrary to the wishes of the child or family; this may result in the child or family having a lack of trust.” Despite this, the bill continues uncontested in the Scottish Parliament.

In contrast, our Supreme Court has held that “the statist notion that governmental power should supersede parental authority in all cases because some parents abuse and neglect children is repugnant to the American tradition.”

Sadly, though, policy leaders and lawmakers in America are looking to lead us away from our roots, onto the same path that Scotland has adopted.

Coming to America?
The CRPD, which was narrowly defeated by a 61-38 vote in December (only 5 votes shy of the two-thirds majority needed for passage), is once again rumored to be on the agenda of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. If ratified, this treaty would eliminate the legal presumption of parental fitness and introduce in its place this “best interests of the child” standard.

To combat this trend, the proposed Parental Rights Amendment contains language that protects the presumption of parental fitness, as well as a section to prevent the use of any source of international law in overriding the liberty of parents to raise their child. Once this Amendment is adopted by Congress and ratified by 38 states, the danger of these treaties to American families will be neutralized.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Bobby

No, Bobby is not another one.....

Bobby is my new name with Gideon.  This is Doug by the way.

This name evolved from the Mama and Baba titles Deanne and I have with the new Chinese children.  Gideon says both of these terms at least 100 times a day as he needs to get our attention to the simplest little actions.  As he learns a new trick like balancing on the side of a chair on his stomach, a new dance move or just dumping water into his food, he will not allow us to ignore his new talent and calls the name of whomever is closest to watch rapid fire.  About 3 times in 1.5 seconds.

He has heard the other children call Deanne mommy, and since it was an easy transition from mama, he started to call Deanne mommy on occasion.  Well, Gideon, being the logical type that he is, figured if mama can evolve into mommy, why can't baba turn into bobby.  Therefore, my title now is bobby...on occasion. 

If he needs to get my attention quickly for a new trick, he sticks with baba since it does seem to take a little less effort to say.  Deanne has threatened to call my bobby in front of the grandchildren so it will take hold for the next generation....

Friday, June 7, 2013

USCIS UGHHH!!!

Yesterday I spent the WHOLE day trying to find some help to get through the USCIS paperwork. We had everything set up with our officer to get our paperwork processed quickly. That was great until it came down to doing it. Unfortunately for us, our officer is out of the office through next week. Her files were passed on to an interim officer who has no intention nor inclination to help us. I then called to talk with the supervisor and she is out for the week. Next we were hooked into the Section Chief. Awesome, we may get somewhere. NO, I was told we had to just sit and wait for the paperwork to be transferred from the lockbox to the officers desk. Unbelievable!!! This is not how they expedite an adoption? I was given the name of another supervisor that other agencies have had good luck getting help. She too is out of the office but only until Monday.

I then went the route of getting help from our elected representatives. What would you know, not one of them has called me back after I filled out the paperwork they needed and was told they would call right away. What is going on?!?! Even today I got nowhere. Where is the integrity? How can someone say they will call right back and then when I give them ample time to call, meaning 5 hours, find out they have left the office for the day? Not just one person but 3 at 2 different offices. Did you know that only your elected official can help you with problems like this? No other official is allowed to intervene on our behalf. Our government is supposed to serve us not make life so difficult!!

I am very frustrated!! I have decided that this one is truly up to the Lord. I have done all in my power for now. This is bigger than me. I will get back on the phone first thing Monday morning. Hopefully I won't lose my temper. Something has to be done. We are up against a hard deadline. If we miss it a child's life will be altered dramatically.

We not only have the deadline of picking up Gui by July 21 but the consulate in China is closing for a week to move. This shortens our time to get the paperwork done and make all the appointments. I need help!!!!! If there is anyone with connections at the State Department please help me pull some strings. We have to get Gui home.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Getting Closer To Gui (Ben)

There are quite a few steps in the process of adoption. Typically it takes about a year to bring a child home, but not this time!! There were two steps that we needed to have done by Friday of  this week.

One, getting our paperwork back from the US State Department and Chinese Embassy in DC. Both entities had to authenticate the documents before they could be turned in to the CCCWA. We hoped that they would be here tomorrow but Friday morning would still work. Through great effort and fantastic coordination they came back two days early, today!

Two, we needed to get some paperwork through at the USCIS and were hopeful that it would clear before Myriam had to go to China but I wasn't hopeful. Myriam had a scheduled visit to China that will allow her to also push this adoption through on the other side of the ocean as well God's timing is perfect. Well, that paperwork cleared today as well. We are moving right along.

There is power in fasting and prayer!! Please keep praying, those of you that are. Gui (Ben)  is coming home!!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Home at last...


Today I saw this picture... 




 My heart swelled and the tears fell from my eyes.
Why would I feel this way?

I know.

It's because this young man is my son!!!!
Meet Gui
 (sounds like Gway)
He is almost 14 and has lived his life as an orphan in China.
He had no one to call his own.
No one to hold him, play ball with, learn to read with or all the other things children do.

He watched many of his friends be chosen.
Chosen to be a part of a family as he watched from the sidelines.
He wanted to be chosen. 
He wanted his own family!!

He is the one that leads at the orphanage.
He is called the big brother to the younger children.
He acts like the big brother as he loves and cares for the children.
 He was chosen as leader of the class this year and takes the responsibility seriously.
He is very helpful and cleans.

Just today we received our preliminary approval to adopt Gui.
We now have 7 weeks to complete all the paperwork and be in China to pick him up.
It is a rush but we will succeed!

I found out today that Gui was told he has a family.
His words
"Family means everything to me."
And he said that all of his dreams are coming true!

What a blessing to be a part of his dreams.
We now have much to live up to as a family.
And I have much more to live up to as a mother.
We are now the blessed family to call Gui our son.


Our thanks go out to some very important people,

The very generous family that made all this possible
Love Without Boundaries
 Annie Hamlin
Suzanne Stott
Agape Adoptions
Without these people we would not have this opportunity.
You are all greatly appreciated! 


One perfect moment...


This is a post by Doug.  I figured I would announce that right in the beginning so you didn't get halfway through this post and realize it may not be Deanne.

I had a moment a couple of Sunday's ago that reminded me of the part it the movie While You Were Sleeping when Jack brings a box of donuts one Saturday morning to talk to his father about his plans and his father shared the feeling of having "just one minute when life is perfect.  Just one minute."

For that "one minute" I found myself staring out our kitchen window between the normal Sunday comings and goings.  I am not sure why it is called the day of rest becuase Sundays can get a little hectic, but while I was looking at this scene below, I was granted a moment of peace.  Here is what I saw: The neighbor's horse was grazing in the abundant pasture next door, the mountains capped with the snow that will provide the water for our use this summer, the new deck and gazebo we build last summer for Tyler and Jessica's wedding in our back yard, the new trampoline we were able to buy this spring for the kids, our freshly cut grass that I didn't have to mow.         



Then my eyes came inside and settled on the bowles of fruit sitting out the counter in front of me.  Deanne loves fruit and she loves to make sure we have plenty around for the kids to snack on.

Then I took pleasure in the peaceful scenes that were spread throughout the house...
Creed doing what teenagers do on Sunday afternoon. 
Marshall reading - which is always a good thing...

Malia enjoying games on the church's website...

 Niya developing her talent to take care of her own hair...

Casey, Gideon and Clayson having a peaceful play session...  

 Mom reading to Hyrum, Bria, Emma and Pierce who apparently has been hiding his interest in the "Pinkalicious" books...

 Olivia reading scriptures and Hannah reading something that I hope was appropriate for the Sabbath...  

As parents, all we can ask for sometimes is for that "one perfect minute" that helps us to recognize all the blessings in our life.  On that Sunday, I was grateful for a beautiful place and wonderful home in which Deanne and I can raise our children having all the necesities of life as we try to do what is right.

So all this added up to just a few minutes to enjoy "a few of my favorite things". 
(Another applicable movie reference.)