Friday, February 27, 2009

Keeping BUSY during the waiting period

In one way the time seems to go sloooowly as we wait to travel to get Grace.  I notice the empty chair at the dining table now.  I find myself feeling that someone is missing in the car, in the restaurant, etc.  And every day I hope is the day when we will sign the court papers and begin on the last leg of this waiting period.  Even though we have 2 clocks ticking at all times (one with our local time and one with Taiwan time...shouldn't time tick twice as fast that way??), sometimes time ticks slowly by...

But honestly, more than that, I find that the time is starting to go very quickly...mainly because of the projects we've line up.  I have 4 sewing projects that I'm trying desperately to finish before we leave for Taiwan (I know I won't have time to sew much in the months after she arrives, so I'm trying to get it all done NOW).  And this week we began a unit study on Taiwan...we're learning all we can about this beautiful island where Grace is.  Yesterday we also started learning basic sign language so that we can communicate with less frustration for Grace.  We started with 8 words: family, mama, daddy, sister, brother, bed, blanket and book.  We are *trying* to use these signs in our normal conversations as we speak so that they become natural communication, even before Grace arrives.  And I also bought some informational books to read before we travel...3 of them are books about adoption, attaching, and special needs...and we also bought a simple language introduction card with basic Chinese words.  We laughed as we realized that YES it would be nice to know what the Chinese symbols for "Men" and "Women" are so that we don't end up in the wrong bathrooms in Taiwan!  :)

So, time passes slowly and quickly at the same time.  Odd.  But, all the projects we have lined up are greatly helping us from focusing too much on those dual clocks ticking!  :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Good day of progress!

Yesterday was one of those days when we could SEE the progress of our adoption journey!  That's so nice after periods of "just waiting."  When we opened our mailbox, we found our passports, our appointment sheets for USCIS and an unexpected check for $200!  God is so good!  It seems our paperwork in Taiwan had been stalled because the orphanage wanted to make sure that our names that appeared on our court documents are the EXACT same names as the ones on our passports.  But our passports had just been ordered, so we were having to wait on them.  They were *supposed* to take about 4 weeks to process, and we had then within TEN DAYS!  I tell you...God is GOOD!  We pray that this will move our paperwork along and that we will soon have our referral...and some new photos and updates on Grace.   :)

Don't forget the Bring Home Grace Race on March 7th...that's just around the corner!  :)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Announcing: Bring Home Grace RACE

We are so blessed with wonderful friends!  Two of our little friends are named Shelby (age 9) and John (age 7), and they have stepped forward in a unique way to help us bring Grace home.  They are excellent runners, and they have both entered into 2 local races.  They are asking for people (that's YOU)  :)  to sponsor them in these races, and ALL of the donations will go into Grace's adoption fund (how sweet is that?!).  You can donate any amount that you want (no amount is too small or too big...every penny is a BLESSING).  If you are interested in donating, please click on Grace's photo in the upper left side of the screen, and it will take you directly to her Reece's Rainbow fund.  You can donate online, OR you can send a check (the address is on the Reece's Rainbow page...please indicate on your check that it should go into the Gamble family's fund).

Shelby and John will be running in 2 races this spring: March 7, 2009 and May 16, 2009.  Please help them help us bring Grace home.  The March 7th race is a 5K race, so they are really going to a lot of work and spending a lot of energy to earn donations for Grace.  :)  Please feel free to give any can donate per kilometer or give a flat amount.

Some creative ideas...  Because Down Syndrome is 3 copies of the 21st chromosome, you could donate:
  • $21 flat amount
  • $21 per kilometer ($105)
  • $63 (three sets of $21)
  • $321 (3 copies of the 21st chromosome)
  • Or any amount you want  :)

***IF YOU DONATE, PLEASE LET US KNOW SO THAT WE CAN SEND YOU A THANK YOU NOTE.  Otherwise, the donations are done anonymously.

Thank you, Shelby and John!  We will forever be grateful for your sweet running feet!  :)  

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hello everyone!

Well, it took awhile to get this blog up and going, but here it is! It's still under construction and will probably stay very simple. Finally a place to post our adoption updates! :)

To recap where we are in the process...
  • Fall 2008...we began to pray for several children on Reece's Rainbow's web site (Reece's Rainbow is a beautiful ministry that finds forever homes for children with Down Syndrome in other countries. Oftentimes, if they are not adopted before the age of 4, they are placed in mental institutions for the rest of their lives.) :(
  • October 26, 2008...God spoke to us very clearly (neat story...I'll post that some day), leading us specifically to a precious little girl in Taiwan named Chia Fen.
  • November 23, 2008...First home study meeting with our case worker Tonya...we paid half of home study fee
  • December 6, 2008...Second home study meeting
  • December 7, 2009...Third home study meeting...paid remainder of home study fee
  • December 18, 2008...Home study complete (phew...lots of work!)
  • February 2, 2009...The orphanage said we could adopt Chia Fen (whom we have named Grace Jubilee Fen)...officially "matched"!!! :)
  • February 9, 2009...Sent in I600-A...also sent photo album, application and birth mother letter to Julie (She's the person we're working with at the placement agency)
  • February 13, 2009...Applied for passports
Last week, Julie contacted me to let me know that she is working with another family who is adopting a little girl with Down Syndrome from the same orphanage where we are adopting Grace. Julie said that our 2 families are at the exact same stage in the adoption process, and if we continue on the same path and time frame, the orphanage said that we could travel to adopt our girls on the same day. She gave me Sheryl's email address, and I realized that not only are we adopting from the same orphanage and at the same point in our adoption journey, but we also both found our girls on Reece's Rainbow's web site, and on the RR page of adopting families, their profile appears just above ours! Too coincidental! Now, isn't God full of wonderful surprises! He has given us a family to walk alongside on this incredible journey.

And that brings me to today... Julie emailed to ask for a copy of our passports (orphanage needs them for our paperwork), but we don't yet have them. Incidentally, Julie also emailed our new friends Sheryl and Joby to ask them for copies of their passports too, and they too just applied for theirs and do not have them yet. I had to laugh at how amazing it is that we continue to stay on the same path and at the same rate of speed as they are going. I told Sheryl, "I hope this doesn't slow down our paperwork, but at least we are in this together!" :)

Okay, well, now that we have our blog up and running, I'll be posting all our updates and news here. So, drop by often! :) Thank you for your prayers!