For Beibei

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Wheeler Family Adoption Journey

One Less Changes Everything


Our Beautiful Beibei, recently back to orphanage from hospital.
For Beibei
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The Ups and Downs
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Today is my day to be frustrated.  Isn't it strange how part of the uniting of a husband and wife includes balancing the ups and downs?  Maybe this is only in our relationship, but I doubt it.  I think it is part of God's plan.  When facing a challenge together, our emotional state balances each other out... when he's up, I'm down and when I'm up, he's down. Yesterday was his day to be frustrated and angry and worried.  Today, well within the last hour anyway, is mine.  (Up until then I was just focusing on the sunshine streaming through the window.)  We've hit a snag, well a roadblock really.  We're battling through a problem with immigration approval.  I'm sure it will work out it's just a daunting task and worrisome to say the least.  While we've been planning what color to paint our daughter's room, someone far away has decided that we need additional background checks in order to be approved to bring a girl into the country, rather than a boy and girl that our initial approval stated.

So, I'm reviewing the blessings and realized that there are some big ones that I forgot to share about!  One is that we are the very grateful recipients of a Brittany's Hope Matching Grant.  Another is that our caseworker has had the opportunity to go to Xiamen and help the orphanage further and in that trip, we received wonderful pictures and even a few short videos of our beautiful Beibei.  Three, our little girl appears to be in a wonderful orphanage where she is loved and cared for.  We began praying the day we submitted our initial application that our son (at the time we did think we were getting a boy) would be loved and able to bond with at least one adult and it appears in all of the videos that this is the case.  Xiamen has been able to pay for medical treatments that were needed when she was sick as well.  Four, the tremendous generosity of all of the volunteers who work with the children here and around the country of China.  Five, the list keeps going...

Ok, I tried God, I really tried to hold on to those blessings.  I praised you, I sang songs of worship.  I cried (literally) out to you.  And you heard my cry. As my chiropractor said today while adjusting my spine and working out the stress knots in my neck, 'I always love my country, but many days I don't love my government." That about sums up my frustrations with immigration today. We've hit a snag and for the first time ever, are praying that China slows down and does not invite us to get our daughter just yet. Isn't that crazy!! I am so jealous that our caseworker gets to see her, again, before we do. But grateful too.  Why can't I focus on the blessings? I am so afraid. How is Satan getting control here?  I'm walking away and I'll come back to this post later.

10 Day Later...
For all the complaints about our government and the politicians... it had been proven true to us that God is in control. Just as He moved Caesar to call the census in order to fulfill the prophecies of Christ's birth, He can move today's leaders as well. Our Congressman stepped right up to help us with the problem at immigration and we received notice of approval for a new I800A. Only God's power can explain that taking just 10 days!  Praise God for His mercy, grace, and might.  Forgive me Lord for my brief unbelief.

Thanksgiving Blessing to Top them All
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Well everyone, we have a wonderful, but surprising announcement to make.  It's a girl!  We have received our referral and now know that we have another daughter!  Her name is Ding BeiBei.  She is living in the orphanage in Xiamen Province and she is so beautiful!  We learned of her just two days before Thanksgiving.  For a whole year we have been calling her 4Wheeler, expecting a boy, whoops!  Our caseworker contacted us asking if we would consider her because surprisingly there were no families in the program that were open to a girl or to her needs.  It was not an easy decision for us because we had fallen in love with a little boy but with the help of dear friends and wise counsel, and a lot of soul searching, we realized that it didn't matter. While Steve and I prayed, I asked God to make it clear.  So far He had not answered my request to write yes or no with a lightening bolt in the front yard.  I decided, if Steve says these words, it will be a yes.  He came pretty close!  But the real confirmation came from hearing that still, small voice tell me, "I did not create her for you, I created you for her."  That blew my mind and I knew that this was a special little girl and were more honored than ever to allowed to be parents to her.  So maybe she won't want to play football in the back yard with Steve, but, who knows.  Then we got the medical review back and more grieving came as we feared the worst.  We really aren't sure what to expect.  Her physical condition may be repairable, maybe not.  She may have permanent learning delay or developmental disability, we just can't tell.  But we do know that are in love with this girl and there are no mountains or oceans high enough to keep us from getting to her.  The fear of not having enough money to complete the adoption had become so overwhelming I had to sit down.  I felt all my strength leave my body as I thought, what if I can't get her home.  I don't have any more ideas.  Then, it occurred to me, why would God get us this far and then abandon us?  Why would He care for BeiBei every moment of her short life, to abandon her and keep her from her forever family?  He wouldn't!  It is not in his character.  I was looking at the situation with the eyes of a human in a fallen world, full of fear and doubt, instead of through the eyes of a sovereign God, creator of the universe, who promises, "I will never leave you or abandon you" and "I will bring your child out of the East."  If God can manipulate the most powerful ruler in history, Caesar, to order the first ever census in order to orchestrate Christ's birth taking place in Bethlehem, He has a way to get a family of three to China and to return to the US as a family of 4.

I can't imagine any Thanksgiving ever topping this one!    

God Plans How to Meet Every Need, and Sometimes He Does Let us Know in Advance
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There are days when we are so sad because we feel the absence of a very special little boy.  How is it that your house, your car, your arms can feel so empty when he's never been in them before?  Some days it feels as if this is our new normal and it will never change... the emptiness will never go away.  Then, God gives the new mercy that he promises every morning.  Today as we were having breakfast together, with much laughter I might add, I suddenly felt the emptiness of not having our little one here with us to share that happy moment.  Then off to church and yay the McMahons are here! We have been looking forward to seeing them for so long.  What a blessing just to see their faces and to have that hug from Mike that says I love you with Christ's love.  To have that connection to our little guy and his land was overwhelming. You know that the theme of our journey has been Faith is Not Easy, but It is Sufficient, and that I (Kathy) have struggled with God's procrastination at times =D.  But today, He told us that He has a plan to meet every need and He has put everything into place to be there when we need it.   Today we learned that our dear friends, my mentor, are within an hour of the orphanage that our agency has partnered with!  They will be there by our side on that final leg of our journey and oh how blessed to know that we are not alone.  Not only has God been with us every step of the way, but He has planned out how He will meet our every need, even needing help with the menu in a foreign land!  Praise God for His wonderous grace!

Let's Have Dinner!
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Our dossier (which consists of all of those international documents) has been completed for several weeks now and we are raising the funds to get it translated and submitted. We need about $1100 to do this.  So we are inviting you and all of your friends and family to dinner!  The First Dragon chinese restaurant in Waterloo is hosting a dinner for us.  Tickets are $22 per person, (kids 4-10 are $10, under 4 are free).  Come and sample a variety of your favorite Chinese foods and try something new too. Take out is available if you cannot stay, but we hope you do.  It is sure to be a great time!

First Dragon has added a full Japanese menu, including a sushi bar, so maybe you'll want to order a little something off the menu too!

Who:      The Wheeler Family
What:     A Chinese dinner to support our adoption
Where:   First Dragon Restaurant, 5 Main St. Waterloo NY
When:    Sunday, October 6, 2013
Time:     2:00pm-4:00pm
How much:  $20 per person, (kids 4-10 are $10, under 4 are free).

A silent auction will also be held at the restaurant.  If you have something you would like to donate, please let us know.
Tickets can be purchased by cash, check, or credit by contacting the Wheelers via Facebook private message, telephone, or email.  

How Does a Cup of Coffee Help a Family?
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Besides the obvious answer which is it allows me to function to care for my family, a cup of coffee can now change the life of a child forever.  Just Love Coffee is supporting our adoption, with your help.   When you buy your coffee or accessories from them, at just about the same price as the grocery store, or even less for some special blends, they make a donation to our adoption fund.  Our goal is to raise $800 through your coffee!  This is the cost to have the application to adopt submitted and reviewed by the U.S. Customs and Immigation Services.

So, what will you be drinking?

https://justlovecoffee.com/about/beneficiary/bring4WheelerHome/


Even Small support makes a Big difference
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Do you ever wonder if your small contribution does any good? Yes it does! 10 small children decided that they wanted to help us. They began praying for our family every day at the start of school.  Then they wanted to study China to help Abigail learn about her brother's first country.  Then, they wanted to help bring him home. So they got permission to have a bake sale at school and asked all their parents to bake something to sell.  Those 10 small children proudly presented us this wonderful card filled with their prayers for our son and brother, and an envelope with $85 in it.  Now that is a Big difference from a "small contribution", well 10 of them anyway.  Little guys CAN do big things... Lord, please let me have the faith of a child for it is powerful and awesome.


Faith is Not Easy, but it is Sufficient
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One of the most commonly asked questions we receive regarding our adoption is, "Why from China when there are so many children right here in the U.S. who need parents?"  Well the answer is actually quite complex and we could give quite a spiel on that.  However, God made it very clear to me why He chose to place our son in China.  Because it is not easy.  If we adopted domestically, he would likely look quite a bit like us, we would be inconspicuous as a family.  He would already be acclimated to our culture - the sights, sounds, smells, tastes.  As parents, we would feel, "we've got this."  When we first started the process we were told many times that we would be embarking on a spiritual journey unlike anything we'd experienced.  The why China is another step of that journey and that stretching.  I am by no means a Biblical expert, but I was hard pressed to think of a person who had been asked by God to accomplish a task and that person thought, "Sure thing God.  I've got that."  Not one of them felt equipped with the skills and means necessary to do it.  They had to grow in faith and trust God for direction every single step.  Seldom was there a big picture for them to see.  It is the same for us.  We don't see the big picture yet, but we trust it is great.  Why China?  So that we will be a conspicuous family.  We will be forced to answer uncomfortable questions about our family.  We will have to guide Abigail through the challenges she is going to face not only as a big sister, but when racial issues are thrown at her.  We have no idea how to raise a child from another land - especially one that is so vastly different than our own.  We don't know how to comfort a child who will grieve for what they've lost.  We certainly don't cook good Chinese food yet!  But God does know all of those things.  

Faith is not easy, but it is sufficient!  I said to my brother-in-law recently, I would still give God all the glory for what He does, even if He gave it just a few weeks ahead of time.  I would still trust Him and praise Him if He gave me a little bit of a cushion to know that things are done and ready.  My brother-in-law, the younger one at that, simply said, "but that's too easy."  When did he get so smart anyway?  What kind of faith is it if it's easy?  Back to those Biblical icons of greatness... who was given a nice cushion?  None that I could think of.  God is a procrastinator for a reason!  Why else would He make Sarah and Abraham wait years and years for their son to arrive?  Because they had much to learn.  Our Mother's Day brunch was an abyssmal failure in my opinion.  It was a tremendous amount of effort and stress and we had about 20 people show up.  Not enough to break even.  But then a few people from that congregation (of which we are not a part of in any way) generously made donations to us, and a few friends and family bought some of Steve's artwork.  Lo and behold, we had a profit of $303.  Not much especially for all the work that went into it for us and our family who kindly gave up their Mother's Day to help us.  Suddenly, the next week we realized, Whoa we need our passports now!  They're required for the paperwork that's almost due and must be paid in cash.  The total? $300.  

On the days when I sinfully struggle with worry and anxiety over the care of my son until he gets to me, or when I fear I cannot complete this complex paperwork, or when the vast expenses seem impossible, I am gently reminded by a quiet voice, "Faith is not easy, but it is sufficient, because I am sufficient."

"My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness" (II Corinthians 12:9)

The Dossier Call
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Oh me, oh my, oh me oh my, oh who?

Caseworker: "All 10 documents must be state certified...
Kathy: "I'm sorry to interrupt but did you say state certified?  What does that mean?"
Caseworker: "To learn the required parameters for your state you'll want to contact the secretary of state for NY"
Kathy's thoughts: "Oh right, call the Secretary of State, duh, why didn't I know that?  Because I didn't know there was a secretary of New York State!"
Caseworker: "Oh , and be sure that do not affix an apostille."  .... Yes, I looked up the spelling for that based on phonetics, so I could learn what it was!

One hour later...
Kathy & Steve: "Uh huh, thank you, just to clarify, 9 months before we can fly to China unless we take a special focus referral... and our birth certificates and marriage license expire in 6 months.  Got it."

Caseworker hangs up the phone, leaving Steve and I connected on the line.
Kathy: "You got that Hon?"
Steve: "Nope.  Do you?"
Kathy: "A little.  I picked up on the it's another 9 -12 months and I am not happy!!"

As it turns out, there have been a few changes in the documentation guidelines and requirements which will set us back a month or so and because there was some misinformation relayed, we now know that it will be about 9 more months before we can get to get our son.  We are still hopeful to have pictures of him this summer.

Current prayer request: Please pray for a family that has flown this week to get their 6 month old daughter from China.  A beautiful little girl named Grace who has Tetrology of Fallot, a complicated heart defect that will require intra cardiac repair in the States asap.

Also, please pray for our documentation process to go smoothly and for our home study (which is the foundation of all documentations to go to China and for grant applications) to finish without delay or error.  As we are finishing out the school year at the same time Kathy starts her new job, there is much pressure right now.

Geneva Night Out
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Tomorrow, Friday May 3 the Geneva Night Out features our very own Steve Wheeler, photographer!  Steve's works will be displayed at the Finger Lakes Gifts and Lounge, 60 Seneca St. Geneva (the old Guard's Cards building) from 5:00pm-8:00pm.  There will also be live music at this venue.  For a map of all the locations participating, visit www.genevanightout.org

Hope to see you there!  

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