Wednesday, February 13, 2013

since then..

Thought I'd add a quick addendum to update what's happening in the process.  No sappy Susie moments in this one. Step away from the kleenex.

We misunderstood again (shocker) about the exact process once our file was sent to China for good. 

We...probably should say "I"...thought that once it went to China, it would be in the hands of the powers-that-be who would give us our travel dates. Not so. Much like our government, there were multiple levels of government that had to give approval. 

However, we were told that last Monday, Feb. 4th, our Article 5...don't ask, don't know...was officially (love that word. seriously considering petitioning for its permanent removal from the English language) delivered to the CCCWA...and THESE are the people that give the go-ahead for the come-ahead. (it's late...getting slap-happy...and apparently having an affinity for the ever-popular, always misunderstood "-"!) 

Facts: 
-the CCCWA can take 3-8 weeks to give you your travel dates...then you typically go 3-4 weeks later. 
-due to Chinese New Year, all offices...in the entire country...are shut down...for 10 days.
-the CCCWA had our file for 1 business week before they shut down to celebrate.
-our case is supposedly being expedited due to ChaCha's heart condition...so it should happen sooner than 3-8 weeks.

So boys and girls, what does this mean about estimated travel dates??? Means we have no clue.

At this point, we are praying that when they reopen on February 18th, they will give us a call within a couple days. We know God can do anything! Please be praying along with us. 

The unbelievable day from 2 weeks ago...

...not to be confused with today...which was unbelievable but not in a noteworthy, or even remotely mentionable-in-public, kind of way...but I digress. Bonus word...just like that...BAM! C'mon! How often do get to use words like "digress"?!? Show of hands? Anyone? Bueller? Again...digressing...(still not smiling...wow...rough crowd...)

Anywho...I threw it out there on good ole FB that we had an incredible day that I'd update you peeps on later...just really didn't think that later would include 2 weeks worth of "bleh" before I could satisfy that ferocious appetite for all-things Carr news! Ok...even now I'm smiling...

When we last left our heroes they were remodeling attics, transferring piles of rubble from point A to point B, and generally just being all-around amazing parents, yada yada yada...:)...oh yes, and they'd just skyped with their sweet little ones so far away in China. In hindsight, we should've labeled that last post "Episode I" because that is where we find our heroes yet again...on Skype.  

Setting: Episode II...not 4 am...a more respectable 7:30 pm. Cast: Full Crew. (I need to stop the fancy talk...it's taking way too much energy...which I clearly don't have...you've met my children...)

As I said, we had our family of 6 geared up to chat with their new family members across the ocean.  This time they could hear and see us and although their picture was very blurry, we were thrilled to talk to them again. For the sake of time and my stamina level, I'll just give you the highlights!

*ChaCha and JaiHai were excited to learn they had 4 brothers/sisters instead of just 2!

*Landry and Bryce got to see and hear them as well which makes them all the more real and tangible.

*Once again, JaiHai was jabbering non-stop...which gave our entire family lots of laughs together.

*Also in keeping with our first visit, ChaCha sat quietly, watching us. Daddy said shortly into the conversation, "That little girl is going to have Bryce wrapped around her little finger!" We all know what a softie Bryce is around younger kids...especially girls!

*We asked if they knew who we were. The workers replied emphatically, "YES! They've been talking about their mom and dad and family! When they're down for the night in their beds, we hear them talking about you!" I had to take a minute here. No joke. Talking about us like, "When do you think they're going to get here? We want to go with our family!" Are you soaking this in...

*When Chris asked if they really understand what it means to have a family that's coming to get them, they told us that they definitely understand because they've had friend after friend get picked up by their forever family, never to return. This left us hopeful in their understanding of transition and sad for the friends they've lost over these 3 short years of life. 

*The workers also told us that the kids now realize that they are going to be forever brother and sister once their family comes...so they're constantly together now, choosing to do everything together. Gulp.

*They wanted to tell us something special about each child too. They said JaiHai is so helpful and looks after the other children. He really takes care of ChaCha and is always the first to jump up to help anyone in need. ChaCha is so sweet..."the perfect child"...always does exactly what she's asked to do and never gets in trouble. (We'll see how long we are able to maintain both traits!)

*I was trying to get ChaCha to say something so I asked them to ask her if she liked monkeys! I explained that we were going to do their bedroom in monkeys! Everybody got real excited, and the next thing we knew, ChaCha was holding her favorite toy...a plush monkey...squeezing it! Mind is now blown. The whole thing was unreal. I couldn't touch her, but I was telling her about her bedroom!  Then they asked, "Did you just say they would be staying in the same room?" When I said that was the plan, all we could hear was a lot of high pitched jabbering  flying around that room so far away. Apparently, they like the idea! :)

*I asked if they remembered their friend FengFeng (Caleb Kolanowski)...explaining we are good friends with his family and would be getting them together as soon as possible. Insert speed-of-light movement and more gibberish...TA DA! They whip out these t-shirts they've made for the kids to bring with them. Their picture is on the back, and the front has the pictures of all their friends, including little Caleb. Sigh.

*At various times throughout the conversation, this other little dude kept sticking his face in front of the camera and smiling. All I could think was...I wonder who the Father has for this little boy...just like he had ChaCha for us when Kenney and Laura went to get Caleb. It all started with a simple picture.

*To show how sharp JaiHai was, the translator said...and he repeated..."JaiHai, say,'I...Love...You'!" In English. To us. His family. It was almost more than I could take. We'd heard him say it before in Chinese, but to hear his little voice speak those precious words...well, it was helpful that my 4 kids...and that little dude who belongs in one of your families...kept stealing the camera time. I can't put into words what that meant to this system-weary mommy.

*I asked if they've shown the pictures I sent of each of our kids. They have them...and they love them. I sent one of Chris and I in our Iowa shirts...gotta represent! I sent one of Landry after she'd gotten her pink hair put in...I sent one of Ty with our then-puppy Tucker...I sent one of Bryce and Landry with little Caleb (bet they were a little confused with that one)...and I sent one of Peyton with her friend Mei Foster so they would see a new friend that looks like them with their new sister! :)

*Toward the very end of the conversation, I asked if they'd like to know their new names now or would it be too confusing. Again, roaring responses clearly meant, "NOW!" So we told them. More Fast talking...and lots of ooh's and aah's. Apparently they approved. :) 

So now, even before we go meet them for the first time, the workers are beginning to use their given names. To date, they have been called nicknames that represent a time and location they were born. For the first time in their life, they are being chosen, called out by name, and not abandoned. (This sounds familiar.) They are no longer searching and longing, but simply waiting. Waiting is hard. Waiting is very hard. But waiting is so much better than longing and lonely...so much sweeter than abandoned and forgotten...so much more hopeful than searching and never finding. I won't lie. I am chomping at the bit to get over there and bring them home, but God has given these amazing moments of grace that continue to remind me that we are indeed, never forsaken, never abandoned by the most incredible Love ever known. I know this was a lot to digest...imagine trying not to explode while you're on Skype (it might scare the children and all)...but I wanted to share what has made our cup overflow yet again. The blessings just keep coming...

And since I know your next question...you're so predictable...yes, I'll tell you the names. There's no turning back now...since we've told the kids themselves...but you can imagine the craziness of trying to come up with names...just think about all the rules and issues I had with all the other 4 names! So...I'll leave you with these...

Zane Christopher and Zoe Lynn.

Zane means "God is gracious."
Zoe means "Life."

Exhale.