Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? -Matthew 6:26

As we walk through this adventure called life, we remind ourselves that we are all precious children of our Father-- those of us who have walked a little further down the road striving to guide those who have been entrusted to our care for a time. Here is our journey down this path.



Saturday, January 31, 2009

申请人姓名

Hi everyone--hope you are all having a great weekend! I was just excited because we filled out some forms that seem like they actually have something to do with China!! The subject line says "name of applicant" (I think!). These applications are going with some of our documentation to the Chinese Embassy to be authenticated--still in America, but the fact that it was in both languages made me feel like we are actually getting closer!Jennifer

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Patience

"We have to practice our patience to wait for my baby sister from China" OK, so even Molly is beginning to realize that this is going to take a while!It has been a long time since I sent out an update and many of you have sweetly asked how things are going with the adoption, so I wanted to let you all know. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are settling in to the new year! The Drakes have been busy since our last update--mainly with life in general. We had a crazy Nov/Dec with lots of fun but exhausting events when all put together--a reunion with some residency friends in Ohio, a Georgia Tech game (go Jackets!), a reunion for my high school marching band, (yes, you read that correctly) a trip to Amelia Island for a pediatric conference and a little time at the beach, an adult getaway weekend with some friends where my sweet husband shot an 8 point buck the first time he ever went hunting(!) and then time with family for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Each event was great, but the weeks seemed to fly by as we came home, did laundry and got ready for the next thing. So, we are glad to be at home for a while and are trying to get back to moving forward toward China!A big change that occurred in the midst of all of this was that Jeff's company was not getting much business due to the slow economy and they had to make some cutbacks--of which Jeff was one. Some may see this as a bad thing, but actually it was really an answer to a prayer. He had been trying for several months to figure out how to be more involved with a clinic of which he was on the board. He was thinking of trying to work at his job part time and at the clinic part time, but that didn't seem to be working out, so, God showed him. He was told that he was being let go about 2 hours before lunch on a Wed--the day he had already scheduled to have lunch with 2 guys from the clinic. He had to tell them he may be a little late to lunch because he had to clean out his office!!! So, he was unemployed for about an hour and a half. He started working as the Executive Director of Christ Community Health Clinic, Augusta on Dec 1st and is really enjoying it. Part of his job right now is rasing $3 Million to renovate an old building in downtown Augusta to house the clinic. This clinic is a non-profit clinic serving the uninsured/underinsured of Augusta. Check it out at http://www.christcommunityaugusta.org/welcome-to-christ-community-augusta-So, I still haven't answered the question about the adoption. Since the last email--the 1 hour early home study visit, we had one last meeting with the social worker to discuss 'loss in adoption'. This was probably the only downer part of this process we have encountered so far. There are some things she is required to discuss with us in order to make sure we are ready to deal with things should they come up. Things like not seeing her first smile, not having the connection from pregnancy, having her cry when we go to pick her up. And the worst for me--she handed us a mirror and asked us to look in it and tell her what we saw. Jeff got the answer right--he said his Dad's eyes. She said, 'yes! Now turn the mirror over--what do you see?" (Nothing, of course--a black back) "That is the family resemblance your daughter will see in you.." YUCK! We know there will be challenges, but we have thought for a long time that those kinds of feelings will be outweighed by coming home to a loving family who wants her with all of our hearts. And the pregnancy story and ultrasounds will be replaced with a story of a trip AROUND THE WORLD to go get her! Well, I was a little bummed after leaving that appointment. However, God's timing is perfect--I was at work a couple of days later and one of my partner's patients asked to see me. They had heard that we were in the process of adoption and she wanted to meet--she was in the room with her beautiful little girl from China!! What an encouragement she was to me and I know she was sent that day for a reason!At the moment, things are moving, but very slowly. Our social worker is almost finished with the home study--she finished it, we thought, and sent it to the adoption agency for editing and it came back with multiple changes needed. There is a new treaty called the Hague Convention which is a great thing because it prevents corrupt adoptions, etc, and many countries have signed on to this treaty. However, it has created more red tape in the process and ours is the first home study she has done since this went into effect, so we are all learning together. I have picked back up with some of the paperwork on our end--getting things notarized/certified by the county/ready to send to the state for certification and then to the Chinese consulate ( and THEN to China!!!) It is kind of humorous at this point how many steps each piece of paper has to go through.How are we doing with all of this? Great, actually. Despite what appears to be a frustrating set of delays and obstacles, we feel that God is calling us to continue the process and we are really not feeling frustrated or impatient. At the moment, we see things that to us look like obstacles coming at us quickly--logistically, financially, however, we have a feeling of great expectancy at waiting to see how God is going to work. This is an unusual place for us to be--we are both very much planners and like to have everything ready before moving ahead, but this is very different for some reason. God is asking us to step out in faith and proceed, not knowing how he is going to provide. Instead of feeling fear or uncertainty, we feel excitement and we know that no matter how slowly or quickly this process goes, He is guiding it. Last Sunday I was struck by a description of the women who went to Jesus' tomb after he was crucified. They were taking spices to lay on his body. On the way, they wondered who would move the HUGE boulder for them so they could get inside of the tomb. Even though they had no idea how they were going to proceed, they went--they were willing to 'just show up'. Of course when they arrived, they witnessed the most amazing event in human history--Christ had risen! That is how we feel at the moment--we know God has called us to this and we are ready to 'just show up'.Pray for us--for continued patience, diligence, pray for our daughter and mostly pray that through this whole process, God would be glorified and that this would create a story for us to pass on to our friends, children and grandchildren in order to honor him and to see his hand at work in obvious ways.Thanks for all of your support!Jennifer