For months now we've been eying the calendar, wondering when.

When will the Chinese government say "Yes."?
When will the US immigration give the go ahead?
When will we receive our travel authorization?
When will Natalie officially be part of our family?

And now we finally have answers.

The foreign "powers that be" said yes on May 29.
The final nod from US immigration came on July 12.
Our travel authorization was granted last week and received at our agency on July 22.
And we'll meet our youngest daughter on September 2.

It isn't quite as soon as we'd have liked.  

Yesterday would have been fine, thank you very much.

I was chomping at the bit to gun for those first available consulate appointments, the ones that would have had us leaving as early as next week.  But as we realized we were dealing with astronomical summer airfare, limited flight availability for a travel party of eight on the way and nine on the way home, and the start date of school for our "big kids," it became apparent that we were going to have to step back and consider what was the best fit for our family as a whole. 

I was in tears while on the phone with Ian as we tried to piece together the puzzle and figure out when we were going to be able to go.  After I hung up with him and indulged myself in a good cry, I went to my computer to recheck flight prices on kayak dot com.  It was open to my Facebook account, specifically on my page for our agency.  And the top two things were balm to my aching heart.  Two women, in two different stages of the wait to bring home children, had posted words that I really needed to read, right that very moment.  

"God's delays don't make things worse. They always make things better."
...Tim Keller


"We’re not God, but we have such delusions of grandeur that our self-righteousness and arrogance sometimes have to be knocked out of our heart by God’s delays. Right now, is God delaying something in your life? Are you ready to give up? Are you impatient with him? There may be a crucial factor that you just don’t have access to. The answer, as with Jairus, is to trust Jesus"
~Tim Keller ("King’s Cross”, p. 67).

Now I won't lie.  I still long to have Natalie in my arms, STAT.  

BUT I am at peace because I trust the one who placed her in our hearts in the first place.  

Maybe it's because she needs a little longer.  Perhaps she is a blessing to her caretakers...I've never forgotten the words of wisdom from a life-time friend when we were waiting for our travel approval for Kylie back in 2006.  "Kristi, As I prayed for you, Ian, and Kylie last night I thought of how God is working in each of you to make His plan complete. I cannot imagine how difficult it is for you right now as you await Kylie in your arms, but I know that God is working in someone's heart in preparation of His grand plan and I think it could be one of the caretakers for Kylie. You remember how He used a baby before to save the world? Maybe He is using Kylie to show His love to one of the caretakers. Anyway, you are in my prayers constantly and I await the great news that you guys are on your way to get her."  It could even be a special blessing to us right here, right now in our family that we are overlooking, maybe Daniel isn't quite ready to relinquish his role as the family baby.  After our busy month of July, could be that we need some down time to savor these last days as a family of six, before things get off-kilter for a while as we morph into a family of seven.  Or maybe it is something else entirely different.

Whatever the reasoning, I trust Him.  Because He is the author of this story and He is good.

And I look forward to becoming a family of seven.  In 38 days.  

Not that I'm counting...


Ashley said...

38 Days!!! Of I just can't wait to see your spectacular family of SEVEN!!! You bet we will be following right along:)

Hugs and Blessings, Ashley

Sharon said...

Yeah you have dates and her in your arms in sight. Mark gave me similar encouragement when our wait for Hufson was delayed....right at the end which is the hardest. Mark, reminded me I wasn't the only one to consider...our dear boy (and his beloved ayi) must have needed just a bit more time with one another. I will never forget her running from the room and collapsing in the hallway and Hudson screaming for her. He loves SO big and I am sure it's because he was loved so big. Praying for you my friend...can't wait to watch you go AGAIN!!!!

Kathy said...

Sept 2 - that has a nice ring to it. New beginnings. It is hard to wait but then comes the joy (and hard work of transition). I am so looking forward to seeing Natalie smile in person and I am totally focused on that and not thinking of the days in between. It will be so great to have her in the family at last. To love on, hug, snuggle and cherish. Sept 2 - a beautiful day.

Emily said...

I am counting the days with you, friend!


Laurie said...

So incredibly exciting! 38 days... it's like, tomorrow! :) I cannot WAIT to follow this trip.

likeschocolate said...

This is exciting news! I am so excited for you! K

Anneli said...

So excited for your Kristi! And you are so right... everything is in God's timing. His timing is never too early or too late (although we may think otherwise). Such a hard lesson that I never seem to totally get the hang of.

Praying for you as you prepare and get ready to bring this little treasure into your family SO SOON. After all... if you get her on the 2nd, then that means you must leave for China the end of August right? And well... it's almost August. :)

Hope you are indeed able to come visit us here. Would LOVE to meet you in person! :)


Tigger said...

Congrats Kristi, so glad to,see you have a date. I can't wait to follow your amazing journey again. I hope the time flies!

Peggy said...

I'm so happy that you have a date! You are so right that everything has to be in God's timing, and He has special plans for each of us. You have a great attitude about it all, and I know God is going to bless that.

Heather said...

So Cool how God gives us reminders so we can remember certain things when we need it. 38 days--- I can hardly wait. So happy for you all!

Heather said...

So excited to follow along!!!!!! Love the blessing of words shared at just the right time that remind us of HIS perfect plan (never easy for us as we wait, I am not good at waiting) I have no doubt HE will bless these moments and walk you through these next 38 days. And the next season of life as you become the M 7 - W.O.W!!! Hugs to you my friend. I have said this the last two times you returned to China - but it's true again - sure wish we were traveling with you guys again! :)

Di said...

I am so excited for you all! The 2nd of September is a great day = my dad will turn 80 the day you meet Natalie. We will be celebrating too!!

Traci said...

Can't wait to see how God is going to use this little one!

Jennifer B said...

So excited for you and your family Kristi! The wait is excruciating, I am sure, but that joy in seeing your daughter for the first time in person will eclipse all suffering in the meantime (if you can just make it through!). And now you will just about see AOW through to its "end" .... kinda like that timing, although that is probably just me being selfish!

Glenda said...

I'm convinced this journey called adoption is just as much about us learning how to be God's adopted children as it is about bringing another child in our family. Some lessons are easier to learn than others. As you know, when you have that beautiful little one in your arms, all that's going to matter is that you have her in your arms! Praying for you all, dear friends!

Janet and Kevin said...

That is great news! 38 days will be here sooner than you think! :)

I needed to read your post about God's delays making something better because we are awaiting our I-800 approval and it is making me crazy. We want our daughter home before Christmas, and if it doesn't hurry and get here, she won't come until January! :( But God . . . He knows when the time is right, and your post reminded me of that!

So happy you get to see your daughter soon!

janet and gang