the club I didn’t want to join

So the thing about adoption, at least with where we are adopting from, there are all kinds of acronyms and codes. It is like a secret language you don’t understand until you have to start speaking it. Sometimes I still second guess if I am pronouncing ‘dossier’ correctly. Anyway, when we first began this process I heard the term “Century Club”. I didn’t understand it, but I knew most families never joined it and those that did join it wanted out of it. I eventually learned it was what people referred to when talking about those that had to wait 100+ days for their LOA (letter of approval that averages around 60 days to get).  I remember thinking how horrible it would be to wait that long – 100+ days. How I felt such sadness for those families and how I was confident I would never be a member of that club.

The last few weeks a lot of families have been getting their approval letters….with a huge number of them waiting far less time than we have waited. There is no sense to make of it. I’m doing my best to take my thoughts captive and remember that this mountain will fall one day. I’d be lying to pretend that watching others speed past us is easy. It is not, but I am clinging to the hope that God is up to something good.

Today I joined the Century Club.

100 very long days waiting.

100 more days I didn’t get to spend with my daughter.

I’ve decided to refuse to sit around and think about all that I am missing,

Tears are shed. My heart breaks. But our family has a beautiful future that includes 5 children.

So today I am going to list 100 things I look forward to when my daughter is home and I am going to hope my time in this club is short.

  1. Hearing her giggle for the first time.
  2. Feeling her body in my arms.
  3. Tracing the outline of her face with my finger.
  4. Listening to her daddy sing over her.
  5. Watching her big sister smother her in love.
  6. Sitting at the dinner table and looking around to see all my kids together.
  7. Waking up to her next to me.
  8. Playing “this little piggie” with her toes.
  9. Seeing diapers in the house again.
  10. Baby bibs.
  11. Sneaking in to watch her wake up from a nap.
  12. Whispering a million “I love you”s in her ears.
  13. Kissing her gloriously perfect lips.
  14. Breathing in the moment she is in my arms and recognizes it as a safe place.
  15. Watching her learn to crawl.
  16. Watching her oldest brother go to great lengths to entertain her.
  17. Comforting her when she doesn’t feel well.
  18. Loading five kids into the car.
  19. Introducing her to toys and lots of color.
  20. Capturing her with my camera.
  21. Picking up cheerios she drops on the floor.
  22. Helping her find her voice.
  23. Praying over her in person, not a world away.
  24. Watching her brothers go into protective mode over her.
  25. Introducing her to foods other than rice cereal.
  26. Rocking her to sleep.
  27. Hearing 10 little feet scamper together across the wood floor.
  28. Sitting on a blanket under the backyard sycamore with two little girls.
  29. Tucking her in at night.
  30. Helping her adjust to 4 adoring older siblings.
  31. Learning every part of her in person, not in pictures.
  32. Seeing her big sister cover her in blankets.
  33. Sweaty post-nap hair.
  34. Listening from the other room  to her and her siblings.
  35. Little dresses.
  36. The first time she says “Mama”…and it means me.
  37. Comforting her when she hurts.
  38. Her first light saber battle.
  39. Seeing a smitten daddy with her in his arms.
  40. Five kids piled on my bed on Saturday mornings.
  41. Watching her big sister act as a little momma.
  42. Hiking with her in the ergo carrier.
  43. Going to bed at night knowing she has been fed.
  44. Introducing her to all the little critters outside.
  45. Her smile.
  46. Wiping away her tears.
  47. Bouncing on the trampoline with her.
  48. Bed times stories.
  49. Running my fingers through her beautiful dark black hair.
  50. Tickle induced laughs.
  51. Holding her hand.
  52. Sitting on the front porch as the sun sets with her by my side.
  53. Watching her brothers teach her the proper way to hold a foam sword.
  54. Seeing Chris manage to dance with two little girls.
  55. Finding out if she is like her brothers and likes mud, or more like her sister and doesn’t.
  56. Watching her watch her siblings.
  57. Getting to say “Girls………”
  58. Teaching her security.
  59. Showing her safety.
  60. Learning what she likes.
  61. Learning what she doesn’t like.
  62. Celebrating the beauty that is her.
  63. Picnic lunches with her in my lap.
  64. Reminding FireCracker that I am the mom.
  65. Knowing her needs are being met.
  66. Pouring seven drinks instead of six.
  67. Exhaustion from keeping up with 5 kids.
  68. Not having to say “no” every morning when her 4 yr old brother asks if it is time to go get her.
  69. Getting a front row seat as she discovers a beautiful world.
  70. Helping her through the difficult days of transition.
  71. Breathing in her smell.
  72. When she is ready, introducing her to friends.
  73. Slow days at home as a family of 7.
  74. Watching her thrive.
  75. Little girls splashing in the bath tub (if she adjusts well to baths).
  76. Holding her in my lap as she learns to stand.
  77. Whispering blessings over her as she falls asleep.
  78. Celebrating holidays together.
  79. Listening to her laugh at her goofy brothers.
  80. Butterfly kisses.
  81. Saying her name in her presence.
  82. The day she is at ease enough with me to rest on my chest.
  83. Seeing her little legs wrapped around her daddy’s neck as he carries her.
  84. Surviving jet lag together.
  85. When she learns to clap in delight.
  86. Watching her from across a room.
  87. Discovering her silly side.
  88. Movie nights with 5 kids squeezed under blankets on the couch.
  89. Watching FireCracker as a big sister.
  90. Introducing her to her anxiously awaiting grandparents and extended family.
  91. Piggietails – if she’ll have them.
  92. Knowing our family is together.
  93. Snuggling cheek to cheek.
  94. Celebrating Chinese culture and history as part of our family.
  95. Twirling in the front yard.
  96. Looking at the photos on the wall and seeing her  in them with her siblings.
  97. Discovering her personality.
  98. Mundane normal life…with her here.
  99. Not waking up wondering if she be held that day, but being the one to hold her.
  100. Going to sleep knowing she is home.

And though the pain is an ocean

Tossing us around, around, around

You have calmed greater waters

Higher mountains have come down

I will sing of Your mercy

That leads me through valleys of sorrow

To rivers of joy

(lyrics by Jars of Clay, Valley Song)

 

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  • Rebekah - Great list. I’ll be praying for your baby girl to be in your arms soon! How awesome and reassuring is it to know that the Father is holding all of us in His mighty arms…no matter what side of the world we are currently on!

  • Mathildel - Dear Ashley, we don’t know each other, we don’t live in the same country, we don’t have the same life, but reading your blog for now about a year, you are part of my life. My daughter recognise your kids. Your pain is shared. Reading you this morning made me cry. THE day will come. You’ll be TOGETHER with Little One. SURE. Take care. Avec toute mon amitié,Delphine – France -

  • Sadee - Oh, I can’t imagine how hard this must be. But I love how you’re already counting the gifts…this is the one that really choked me up: “Not waking up wondering if she be held that day, but being the one to hold her.” Praying you get to hold her SOON!

  • Jessica/littlepumpkingrace - #43 brought tears to my eyes. Praying with you for that joyful day and believing it will soon be here…((Hugs))

  • Claudia - We are on a month-long vacation in Palestine and our Internet connection is very slow here. Yours is the only blog I check, hoping every day that I see that long-awaited post about your LOA. I’m keeping all fingers and toes crossed!

  • Anne - Praying for all 7 of you daily from here in Italy. Excited to watch from a distance as God makes all 100 of those beautiful dreams come true for you and your family.

  • Katie N. - Praying for your family is the US and your little one in China! Something that has helped me is knowing/saying/thinking – God’s timing is perfect!

  • Paige - What a beautiful 100 things. It reminds me to be thankful of the two boys I already have in my house. Praying that you have gotten through the longest time of waiting and it won’t be too long now. God is preparing all of your for your meeting and lives together. So thankful she will be a part of your loving and warm family. Hang tough, Ashley!

  • Leah - Ashley, this is a beautiful list. I will be praying that your Letter of Approval arrives soon. When you get that letter, does that mean that you are allowed to go get her?

  • RachelC - Perfect list. Praying you’re the briefest member of the century club that ever existed. Hang in there just a little longer. You’re so close. You just have to be.

  • AshleyAnn - Leah – it will stil be 10-12 weeks before we travel after we get this approval letter :(

  • Molly - What an amazing list! Such a great reminder to enjoy all the little things. Praying that you get your LOA soon…really soon (like tomorrow!)! :)

  • Midwest Magnolia - Melissa Lewis - Thank you for continuing to share your heart with us. Praying for you and your family.

  • Cory - Tears & prayers for you today Ashley!

  • Lori - #43 really got me! Praying Praying Praying the LOA comes soon! And Praying for your daughter today!

  • Christina - Oh my goodness sweetheart, I’m so sorry this is taking so long. Especially for you, who wants it so badly, and already loves this little daughter so dearly. This post made me tear up over my coffee! I’m not really a praying type, but I will be thinking of you, and sending hopes out there into the universe that you will get your letter very soon. You will have your daughter in your arms soon, I know it. This part of the mountain is just a little steeper, and takes a little longer to climb, but you all will get there! Sending lots of love.

  • Elizabeth Beattie - My heart goes out to you!

  • Tina - What a list! I thought of this song for you “wondering if my heart will survive it…I know you’re making me a mountain that cannot be shaken..” Kristene Mueller, Trust http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_NJy8H7t4Q

  • Rose E. - It seems strange to me since I don’t know you at all but every day when I wake up I think, “I wonder if the LOA will come today?” and I eagerly check your blog, even on weekends when I know you don’t post. ;)

  • Amy - Sending you strength. I hope things speed up soon!

  • Deanna - He will take your wishes and multiply them ten fold – It is one of the hardest things to wait (and I really struggle with this) – and try to figure out what God has planned — but He does have a plan – He does know what he is doing – and when “Song” is in your arms – we can all take a deep breath and know that this was his intent from the start – Thank you for sharing and letting us be a part of your miracle!! Prayers to you :)

  • Kelly - the wait is so so so long, waiting for your baby to be in your arms. I waited from March 1-May 30 for my oldest son and October 1- January 20 for my middle son. The days dreaming of time gone by is very very hard!! I promise, the wait, does seem to melt away when you embrace your tiny girl for the first time. I know it doesn’t feel like that, but soon it will all be part of her precious journey to your family, part of her story, that she will like to listen to when you are tucking her in at night. The weekends are the longest because you know the call will not come…and thinking of another week without any word is so overwhelming. But take peace in that she will be home soon…it will happen…and then your real journey begins. This was sent to me, and i have sent it to other waiting mamas out there…i hope it brings you some peace. Honking for you today!!

    Honk Them Home!

    You all know that geese fly in a V formation, South for the Winter and North for the Summer but, did you know that they take turns leading the V? They all lead for a while then go to the back of the line and enjoy the ride (like drafting in NASCAR). If one goose gets hurt the entire formation heads to the ground to make certain that he/she is OK, if not one goose always stays with their injured comrade. Which, as I under! stand it is kind of like the Marines who never leave a man behind.

    Finally, my last goose fact is this: while the geese are flying they get very tired and miserable up there and sometimes want to just quit, fly a little slower or stop to rest and feel sorry for themselves. Well, when this happens all their goose buddies HONK THEM ON in support. They just honk and honk as long as necessary to give their friend the encouragement and support to keep flying. That’s why they are such noisy fliers!!!

    I think this story is so important to me right now because I feel like one of those tired geese and my fellow geese are constantly honking me on in my hours of need so that I can keep flying.

    Am honking for you!!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh dearest Ashley, I am so sorry. My heart breaks for you. I have spilled tears of sadness in solidarity for you this morning. I will wipe my tears and pray that you soon receive the letter and that God wraps you in His strong arms of peace.

  • Kristen W. - This touched my heart. Praying that you hear about your sweet girl soon!

  • Taylor - Ashley, I so hope for you this wait is not much longer. But each passing day is more love in your heart to give when you get her in your arms. On that day, the wait will have been so worth it! Praying you all will have her soon!

  • Stefanie - Such a beautiful way to express your heartache on the day you join the century club.
    Praying for peace for your mama’s heart!

  • Heidi - so sorry for this news. we’ve had our share of waiting patterns that we’ve been stuck in recent history as well. find hope/joy in the fact that HIS timing is indeed perfect even if we don’t understand it on this side of heaven.

    i wanted to stop by today because i saw a little dress that made me think of you and your girl:

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/74934421/fourth-of-july-girls-applique-dress-the

    ~h

  • merideth a - this was beautiful. tears of joy and sadness for you. all 100 things are such blessings as a mother. oh i hope it happens soon. i can’t for her to be in your arms.

  • Carla - I check your blog everyday, pray for you each night and wish that your LOA arrives soon. Blessings to you and your family. Try to remember that this wait is like any other. It seems long and at times painful. But once it is over, it will all fade away and you will be together as a family.

  • leslie - My heart aches for you and your family. I am praying for you all, and your girl. I hope you get the loa tomorrow.

  • Christina - It is so hard…I missed 3.5 years of my daughter’s life, and when we received baby pictures of her from Love Without Boundaries the other day, I cried. But it is her story- every part of her life has made her who she is today (and she is an amazing little girl)- and she was well loved in China, even in an orphanage- and that is a special part of her history. Also, God has a very specific purpose and plan for when you travel- He will use everything for His glory. I hope you get your LOA this week!

  • Katie - Boo to this stinky club. But I loved reading your sweet list. And I’m so excited for you to finally get to do all 100 of those things. Hopefully very soon!

  • Carol - Love number 64.

  • Alisa - I hope that a few months after she is home you will put this up and cross off the ones you have seen/done. Its a beautiful list.

  • Mary M. - Your mention of the mountain makes me think of Habakkuk 3:19 “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like hind’s feet and makes me walk on my high places…”

    Have you read Hind’s Feet On High Places … it’s a beautiful allegory. My thoughts and prayers are with your beautiful family while you wait.

  • Natalie - Just beautiful. Every day that passes is a day closer. Saying some prayers that it happens soon :)

  • Megan Anthony - Ashley. My hearts for you and with you. We had anticipated having ou baby girl home by now. We are told of at least another year of waiting. The waiting is the hardest. I’m sure even harder when you know what she looks like…have memorized her face. Praying that your waiting is over soon…and ours too. Hugs.

  • Eva - I’m so sorry to hear you have joined this unfortunate club. It stinks. While I haven’t waited that long for LOA, I did have to wait that long to get our dossier transferred to a new agency when we found our girl on another agency’s specific waiting child list. Other families waited 3-4 weeks to get transferred at the time (2 years ago). We waited 4 MONTHS. In the end, we knew that we traveled when the Lord wanted us to travel. He was in charge of the details….though I had to keep reminding myself of that. Hang in there. Many prayers are going up for you all.

  • Ruth Wright - Ashley, LOVED this bittersweet blog 100 things. Love reading your blog, praying for your family and seeing your heart in all you do and say. Even your photographs capture this. Couldn’t sleep the other night and thought it had been a year since Firecracker had broken her arm and got up and reread all those posts of being in the hospital and the waiting and the caring, reminded me of this time now in your life of waiting and caring in a new way. You are such a special woman and mother. Thank you for sharing these things with us. Cannot wait until you get your sweet song…..sending hugs from here to there. Ruth :)

  • joan - Ashley…It really stinks that you have to wait so long. The same thing happened to our family. Nothing makes up for the waiting and longing to hold your girl in your arms, but you are really blessed w/those four little faces around your table, looking up at you with hearts of pure love.

  • Shannon - Oh Ashley! What a beautiful post. You are seriously such an inspiration for hope and light. I am constantly thinking of you and your journey. I pray you have your LOA arrival day soon!

  • Caro - wait already is long, and waiting for your kid i think is worst, all we read you everyday are with you, waiting with you, i know to many people tell you right now, don’t worry everything will be ok. And sometimes is worst hear it, i don’t know what to tell you, only we are waiting like you for your song and that part will be in spanish because i don’t know how tell it in English. Persevera y persevera, se supone que algo bueno saldra de esta espera. No te desanimes por favor. Estamos contigo, SIEMPRE.
    Una mas de tus seguidoras. Caro

  • nancy - {A Poem for Waiting Parents}
    May you be safe and sleep soundly, through the night.
    May you be safe as you wake in the morning’s light.
    May you feel our love from so far away.
    May it comfort you and protect you throughout each day.
    I will pray for you my little one:
    Safe from harm,
    Until the child of my heart,
    becomes the child in my arms.

    {{{{{{hugs}}}}}}
    nancy

  • Alycia - My heart aches for your and your families longing for your sweet baby Song. I will continue to pray for speedy processing in the remainder of this chapter to bring your family together. Soon this will all be distant heartache and your family will be fully emerged in joy and happiness and SONG!!!!

  • Ko - Oh sweet momma. Your list was wonderful, my heart breaks for you. Strength and beauty are in your bones, I know this! Many prayers for you and your sweet girl today as well as the rest of your family.

  • Philly - wow, you made me cry, what a lovely post.
    I hope your family will be together in the same house soon.
    lots of love and strenght to you.
    you’re almost there!

  • Andy - beautiful. praying for soon

  • nicole - I’m also an adoptive mama and while I know that this does not help mend your heart in the least, the second you hold that sweet child ALL the waiting and hurt melts away in an instant. Hang in there, you’re almost there!

  • Lori - Well, that is the most beautiful gift to yourself ever. I love this. And YOU WILL get to check these off…one by one…praying every day. Thanksgiving is the secret to JOY – my daddy taught me that and he reminded me every day in my darkest times of my life. It brings God glory when you sincerely can thank Him and think on the good things and not dwell on the bad. Praying for the breakthrough with you! I love this list. I will make one for my kids…we all need this reminder. Love you. God will make a way!

  • Amanda Torres - Sweaty nap hair. That is a phenomenon I will never understand.

  • Dawn - Oh wow. What a great list, Ashley. Little beautiful things like 56, 64, etc….all make the waiting so much harder now, but will make for a lifetime of blessings soon. Sending prayers up that THIS is the week!

  • Kimberly Troth - I am in tears! So sorry you had to join this club :( I have been praying you hear something soon! I check your blog every morning (like I alway do) in hopes you’ve heard something. Hang in there and this to shall pass.

    Beautiful list!!

  • anything but LoKEY - Sorry you have gained access to that dreaded social circle. :( I really am sorry to hear. Idk if you know but we finally got ours the Friday before Mother’s Day (you know, PA back in September) and we have just hit another snag since our son has now turned 6 and we were only approved for 2-5. None of us could have ever foreseen that it would have taken this long. Right now, I am waiting for emails to see how we are going to handle this. :( This adoption process just isn’t easy. I know how you feel. Who knows??? At this rate we could be traveling at the same time. :)

  • Roianne - Prayers for you and your family!!! Can’t wait to see those dreams come true for you guys :)

  • Anna Joy - Sweet friend, I am praying so hard for you, your little girl, and your family. I love your list. It’s not a list of wishes but a list of hopes that you already know God has promised to you.

  • ashley green - Praying your loa comes soon. It’s all of those little things that mean so much. Can’t even imagine waiting so long.

  • Ashleigh - This is simply beautiful and your little girl will surely revel in all the things you get to do with her – soon! Big hugs and you are in our prayers!

  • Kara M - I pray you receive it THIS week! (today is preferred!) I’ll add one to your list: Seeing baby girl and Firecracker dressed alike! I was reading something last week that suggested all dressing alike. They said it helps with attachment!

  • Michelle - I actually woke up this morning prompted to pray for you and your adoption. So cool how God works. Praying for you!!!

  • Becky O - I am so sorry for your hurting heart… I have not waited on the adoption process, but I have waited years for US immigration to give my husband a visa, and my husband and I also waited a long time to be able to get pregnant with our precious daughter, after years of infertility. Both situations were horrible, as is yours, and the wait seemed interminable. But I can look back now and say that God’s timing IS perfect, and I see evidence of why things happened when they did and how they did. And it makes the hugs I am able to give my husband and daughter now that much sweeter and gives me that often much-needed perspective when being a wife & mother is challenging. I pray this wait is all a distant memory for you too soon and that in the meanwhile God gives you the peace to feel how He is working and preparing things for your new little one to arrive.

  • mindee - every day I check your blog hoping to see the good news of your letter. I know you are so strong, your children are amazing, and I have loved to keep up with you for 3 years now. I hope your wait is very close to over and that in a few years you can look back and say, ‘remember when’ and have it bring a smile to your face that your daughter is home. May He continue to bless your family.

  • Liz - Praying for you guys!! She’ll be home and in your arms soon, and then this waiting period will only be a memory….praying the LOA comes TODAY OR TOMORROW!!! :)

  • Chrissy - Praying for you and sending a shoulder of encouragement for your head to rest. This indeed is building strength and a reserve of endurance that will be a a doorway to some kind of grace you can’t quite see yet. We are with you and your beautiful little one in our hearts. She feels you. I just know she can feel your love…..XO

  • Emily - Praying you through this difficult time!

  • Missy - What a wonderful post. I know the circumstances aren’t the happiest but I loved reading your “100 list”. It inspires me not to take for granted all those moments I have right now. My favorite is 67. :) Praying that your exhaustion for this little one is very soon a result of having her here with you and not from waiting. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • giozi - Ashley thanks for sharing your feelings with us. Relax you are going to have your baby soon. A big hug.

  • Stephanie - I love reading your blog and following your story. I can feel the excitement and the anxiety as if it were our own story. Not having been through an international adoption, I do have one question though. Are you guaranteed that you will get a letter of approval for the girl whose pictures you have received? Having experienced domestic adoptions and knowing first hand all that can go “wrong” after being matched with a child, I just didn’t realize international adoptions were so different. I am hoping your letter comes soon and you are one step closer to meeting your daughter.

  • Susan Sutherlin - Praying each and every day that you will have an answer soon.

  • Jaime - you know He works in mysterious ways. perhaps the other families are first time parents?! not that it makes it any easier for you all, but i was looking for a silver lining. with that said, who can we write to?! ;) i wish we could start a petition on change.org, or something. i purposefully wait a few days between checking out your blog in hopes i will find great news. granted, i always find great news, but i am hoping for sing-songy news. ;) big hugs, ashley.

  • Bethany - Praying for you :)

  • Anne - Beautiful post. 100 days waiting for paperwork is a.long.time. We adopted our little guy (china, cl/cp) 1 year ago Memorial Day weekend. I vividly remember our long wait for LOA (Thanksgiving 2010 to Feb 2011) and the day we received the email that it had arrived. I was walking through Earth Fare in the dairy section (I tell ya – it is vivid! :) and got the email that it came. In walking through the store to check out (shaking and crazy smiling) I saw a friend from church who had also recently adopted. A “hey, how are you?!” – and I was a hot mess. Sobbing. The paperwork had come and my overflow of thankfulness came rushing out. I will never forget how that sweet friend hugged me and prayed words of thankfulness that I was unable to do at the time. All that to say, your day is coming – soon, hopefully! And when it does, you will have a marker of tangible thankfulness and progress on this messy timeline. You will remember it! :) Plus, I felt that this was the biggest/longest hurdle. It all felt downhill from there. Come on LOA!(or LSC – if that is what you all call it. :)

  • donna - Today is Mon. june 11th and no blog,are you o.k.? If you’re alright just post “nothing today” so we won’t worry. Love to your family

  • Ti Madame - Thank you for being a blessing to me by sharing all that is in your heart.

  • tracy a - I suppose all this waiting you’re having to do is much like the waiting for those of us who found it difficult to get pregnant. Hard! Sorry you had to enter this club…joyous for the day your waiting will be over. Patience of hope friend, patience of hope. (And I must say, your list was beautiful, but number 73 made me laugh. As if there is such thing as a slow day with 5 kids!)

  • Sharon - 3 or 4 times a week, I race over to your site hoping that it will be THE DAY! I remember all too well how hard the wait was and how badly I wanted it to END…for her. It did end and now, years later, she is a beautiful 11 year old. Our “plan” was to complete our family with her. God had other plans! Prayers are with your family, it will so be worth it in the end!

  • lindsey - ashley – because of all the awesome glory you gave to God for providing for every step of this process, the enemy wants so much to rob your job and make you look like a fool. he wants you to doubt what God has given you confirmation on. he wants you to feel like God has left you in this desert. BUT we know that God hasn’t done that. He is refining you and preparing you in a way that only can be done through this waiting. My heart breaks for you each time I read your blogs of another day waiting – but I know God is working. I don’t know exactly what He is doing, but I’m sure it’s just another way to crazy bless you and show His glory. My prayers are with you! Keep living and loving in the waiting!

  • Bon @ A Golden Afternoon - I KNOW God has a good reason for this wait, but I’m still praying He brings her home to you as fast as possible. We have a little foster baby right now and as much as I LOVE having her with us, I’m praying every day that her forever family wouldn’t miss another moment with this sweet girl. I hope this time passes quickly and becomes just a tiny speck of frustration in the midst of a lifetime of happiness!

  • Ashley B - I’ve been keeping up with your blog for a long time now.. and am always excited to see the latest news on your sweet little one. Missions is a HUGE part of my life so when I see people adopting from other countries my heart melts and its another answered prayer for me. Its awesome to see Gods work at hand. I love today’s blog. it brings JOY!! so much passion and Joy! I made it all the way to number 68 without shedding a tear… and the reality of your journey I was reminded of again. It reminds me a lot that we have to literally loose our life to gain it. I cant help but think that is what you are doing. You are being unselfish so that God can bless you and give you the desire of your heart! Thank you so very much Ashley for being open with your journey.. I too like you can not wait until I read that you got to say YES we are picking her up today!!! My heart is overjoyed for you.. the sorrow is only for a night and the JOY comes with the morning… I can not wait to keep up with her as she grows and she understands that her Sorrow was simply for a night but her JOY is overwhelming perfect. Thank you again for your shared journey. YOU are making a difference and I think more than you could ever fathom! Thank you!

  • Shayla - PRAYING so hard for your approval to come in quickly!! I am in a similar boat at the moment, waiting is so exhausting!! We have to try and focus on the overwhelming amount of JOY that IS coming!!! Praying!!

  • Shannon Phillips - Oh my word sweet sweet friend. Love and grace to you. Tears over here. Praying that phone call comes SOON.

  • Christina Larsen - I am sorry that you have joined this club, but God has a plan. I can relate and I understand. It seemed like we waited much longer than we should have to bring home our Olivia, but He had a plan and His timing is/was perfect. I know that it isn’t easy to hear that and you want that letter and to bring her home. I get that, I was there once. It will all come together and you will have her home and then you probably won’t even remember being in this club. You’ll be in the adoptive mom club. :)

  • Elizabeth - ohh Ashley…i know the wait seems SO very long! May the Father *daily* give you peace & extra doses of patience through this time.
    & what better way than to focus on the many, many blessings both present & to come!
    You.will.be.on.the.other.side.of.this.soon.

  • Julie Carson - Praying that the God in your waiting gives you the hope and strength to carry on through this long, long, journey.

    My dear friend recently brought her little Evie home from China, and one of the most unexpected and glorious things was when she got to feel grass on her bare feet for the very first time. Something both exhilarating and terrifying all at once. Grass. Simple grass.

  • natalie Dinning - This has made my heart melt. God bless you, your husband and all of your wonderful children. Me and my two lovely boys will be keeping you all in our prayers. You are an amazing mum and have just breathed some much needed peace into my life from reading this post. xxxx

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