Sunday, April 29, 2012

What we leave behind

I know they will be in good hands, but my heart aches to be away from them for this long!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What's in a name?

His name, Zhao Yang, means "rising sun."


  • May 1 --depart Huntsville 3:50 pm
  • May 1 --arrive Chicago  6:00 pm
  • May 1 --depart Chicago 9:15 pm
  • May 2 --arrive Beijing, China 11:30 pm
  • May 3 --Hutong tour
  • May 4 --Great Wall and Temple of Heaven tours
  • May 5 --Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and Summer Palace tours
  • May 6 --depart Beijing 7:20 am
  • May 6 --arrive Zhengzhou 8:50 am
  • May 7 --Gotcha Day!
  • May 11--depart Zhengzhou, arrive Guangzhou
  • May 17--U.S. Consulate appointment
  • May 18--oath ceremony at U.S. Consulate
  • May 19--depart Guangzhou 9:00 am
  • May 19--arrive Shanghai 11:20 am
  • May 19--depart Shanghai 4:10 pm
  • May 19--arrive Chicago 4:50 pm
  • May 19--depart Chicago 7:50 pm
  • May 19--arrive Huntsville 9:25 pm (AA 4041)
O.K., so I realize that there is a bunch of time unaccounted for in there.  While we are in Zhengzhou, we will complete the final adoption paperwork, visit John's orphanage, and wait for his passport to be issued.  We'll do some sightseeing and shopping as well.  In Guangzhou, John will have a medical exam and we will wait for his U.S. visa to be issued.  There's still lots of paperwork involved, even in this late stage of the game.  We'll also enjoy some tours and shopping here.  I haven't got the full schedule yet of the specifics! 

We leave THIS Tuesday!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The timeline

It has been a long process, but we're finally near the end of it! The biggest wait was the wait for our child abuse and neglect clearances from Alabama DHR. They had just been done the year before when we went through our other home study! All I know is that is 4 months of John's life that I didn't get to spend with him. The 2nd longest wait was for our LOA, 3 months! So, 14 months total, and believe me, I was a squeaky wheel! It's frustrating and heart-wrenching all at the same time. SO much harder than a pregnancy!!

3/15/11 LOI
3/22/11 PA
4/5/11 first home study visit
4/15/11 second home study visit
4/18/11 third home study visit
5/20/11 meeting at Lifeline
8/31/11 biometric fingerprints for USCIS
9/26/11 I-800a approval
10/27/11 DTC
11/22/11 LID
2/13/12 LOA
3/2/12 I-800 approval
3/15/12 letter from NVC cabled
3/29/12 Article 5 issued
4/11/12 TA
5/1/12 Leave for China!
5/7/12 Gotcha Day!!
5/17/12 CA
5/19/12 HOME

Saturday, April 7, 2012

How it all got started

Shortly after arriving home with Rebecca, I knew in my heart that we would adopt again. Don't get me wrong...adoption is HARD. Adding Rebecca to our family was HARD. However, when your eyes are opened, you can't turn your back. I didn't necessarily think we'd go back to China. Actually, I was thinking domestic adoption, even foster care. In my mind I imagined a little African American boy. From everything I had read and heard, this was a great need and I was longing for that little boy. God has different plans than ours, obviously. I found out I was pregnant in April 2008 (BIG shock) and in December 2008 gave birth to that beautiful, blonde-haired, blue-eyed GIRL. I couldn't understand why God chose to bless us in this way, but I am thankful He did. With each child comes a new personality and a whole new set of challenges! He constantly reminds us DAILY that we are not in control!

Fast forward to early 2010...we felt we were ready to pursue adoption again. We looked into several programs, particularly Ethiopia. Pretty much when we got ready to start the process, the program started making lots of changes, including requiring 2 trips, so we knew God was closing that door for us. I then began hearing of the need for families for domestic adoptions, so after consideration and prayer, we began a home study with AGAPE. After that months-long process, we were officially waiting, and it wasn't long until a birth mother "chose" us. However, after the baby was born, there were circumstances that were really beyond her control and she could no longer place her child. We then went through several other opportunities that came and went. In early 2011, we were starting to question our decision...we didn't start this process to "compete" with other families for children. We wanted to add a child to our family that needed us as much as we needed him/her. End of February/beginning of March I saw his picture, just smiling so big at me through my computer screen. He was on a waiting children list with Lifeline, and his file would be returning back to the shared list very soon, which would greatly decrease his chances for adoption. Oh, how we prayed over this child! In our hearts we knew he was ours! The rest of the story is our over a year-long journey to get him here!

Here's that first picture we saw of Guo Zhao Yang. Just precious!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Hi there!

Well, let's see...what shall I write about? It's only been 2 years since I posted last. Oh, yeah, something about an adoption?? We're on the eve of another chapter in our family, the addition of a precious little boy from the other side of the world. We've been in love with him since we saw his picture over a year ago. He will be 3 years old in June and he is currently living in Kaifeng, Henan, China. His name is to be John Barron ZhaoYang Woodall. We're hoping to travel in 4-6 weeks to get him!

Full story later...
Until then, enjoy our most recent picture of our newest son!