When Updates...well, aren't.

This adopting thing is hard. Rewarding? Yes. Worth it? YES. There are a few lights that sustain you along the waiting journey, and child updates are one of those lights along the path. A new picture of your child, updated measurements, and some questions answered.
The papers at the top are our dossier that was sent to China.
The colored pictures, stuffed animal, photo book and coloring book are Z's transition items that he should be getting any day!

4 weeks ago, we submitted a short list of questions to Z's orphanage through our adoption agency. Updates usually take 2-4 weeks to come back, and yesterday, we received the answers we'd been waiting for.

Well, kind of.

Two of the questions we asked had something lost in translation on one end or the other, and the 'answers' made little sense. Our agency is getting clarification on those.

The updated measurements / weight did little good, seeming as multiple measurements were the same numbers we were given six months ago.

Onto some helpful news, we did find out that he is currently attending Kindergarten!! This is great news, because we're hoping he'll have a more natural transition to American schools if he's been exposed to that type of environment before. I'm not quite sure what's typically expected of Kindergarteners in the Chinese school systems, but the person writing this update seemed quite impressed that he could not only write his name (in Chinese characters), but he could also write 0-50, several simple characters, and was also able to write other school children's names, too.
He also chooses his own clothing and dresses himself, and can also make his bed (better than my kiddos here do!). He helps younger children around the orphanage in eating, dressing, and washing their faces.
We keep seeing how the Lord has hand picked our family for him, because his favorite animals are said to be chickens and ducks (check, and check!). They also mentioned pigs, but I think having two out of three favorites here at the house will suffice!

In Z's original file, the photos included were priceless. He was smiling, happy, and playing; he seemed really comfortable with the people around him. To be candid, I struggled a little bit yesterday looking at his updated photos. We were provided with three new photos that appear to have been taken this past Monday, and he looked so incredibly sad. In one picture, it even looks like he had just stopped (or was just about to start) crying...which made me cry.
I find it simply amazing how God has weaved him  into our hearts so early in this process to the point that we would do anything to get to him just to love him!!

With all of that being said, here is a new list of prayer requests:
  1. Prayers for Z.     In my heart I realize how hard this whole thing will be for him, and Dan and I, two strangers, are going to be the only ones there to comfort him. Pray for his courage, an open mind and a heart that's ready for a family.
  2. Prayers for paperwork: Our papers are in translation in China. After translation, they'll go to the match review process. These two steps can take 8-10 weeks. We're being bold in our faith and praying for 6-7 weeks. This would potentially put us traveling in November.
  3. Prayers for families: You guys, there are so many people going through this process right along side us right now. Thanks to Facebook groups, we've connected, bonded, and are truly in this together. I can already tell that some of these people will be friends for life. Specifically, a friend named Gina is on an identical timeline as us. Prayers not only for their little guy and his transition, but that our paperwork would stick together like glue through this process, so we could end up traveling together and finish this process we've started -- together!!
  4. Prayers for finances: Thanks to your help, we continue to make progress along the financial lines, but we still have a HUGE mountain ahead of us. Even if you're not able to physically or financially assist right now, please be sure to 'like' and 'share' our Facebook posts for fundraisers. The more people who 'like' and 'share' our posts, the more other people can see the events, too!
    We're planning on launching a T-shirt fundraiser very soon. These will be able to be shipped directly to you, so you can contribute no matter where you are! Keep an eye on BringingHomeZ for the latest on that.
The time will be coming very soon when we'll be making a private Facebook group for our travel. This is where I'll *finally* feel comfortable to share his real name, his pictures, and specific information about our travel plans. That group will be formed once we get our LOA (Letter of Approval) in 8-10 (or 6-7!) weeks.

Friends, THANK YOU. Thank you, thank you, thank you. We've really seen what an amazing support group we have in this life by your prayers, your actions, and your presence. Thank you for being the Lord's hands and feet for us!!


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