That immediately brought forth a flurry of paperwork...more than I seemed to remember! We needed a home study agency and medical checks and criminal background clearances and training and money. Oh, yes...so much money. We went about this entire process with Andie-Grace so differently that everything was spread out more...but, now, not so much. I've quickly learned that matching with a child at the beginning means that more financial requirements are also due earlier on. Ouch. Not exactly on your radar of savings when you weren't planning on adopting again! God's got quite a sense of humor...and I'm choosing to laugh!
So, these past few weeks have been busy to say the least and will be until we get these first big books of our lives all wrapped up and sent to the other side of the world. Thankfully, most of the paperwork is coming back to me.
And this is where God really shows off...
I mentioned earlier that God doesn't need our feelings but He needs our faith. And that's exactly what has been different this time. And, to be honest, it sort of scares me. There's not been that "AH! This is my child!" moment because I thought she was already going home with someone else. So my specific prayer is for God to show me that He's really all over this process to redeem this little life and to let it be so much bigger than my feelings...because, well, they are all over the place right now.
As needed to secure her file, we got our application completed and pre-approval paperwork mailed to the agency a little over two weeks ago. We were told that once it got there, it would need to be translated and then submitted. Since we are pretty much starting at scratch, we were told to expect a response in 2 weeks or so...although they were seeing them in 7 days on occasion.
Our agency got our paperwork translated at record speed and called me to say that they were submitted our paperwork to China just minutes before our small group met at our home on a Tuesday evening...October 24th to be exact.
In my mind, I knew this week was big. 4 years ago on the 25th we first were sent Andie-Grace's file...and then the 26th was her birthday...and then the 27th was the day that China gave us pre-approval for her. I thought "wouldn't it be so cool for us to get pre approval on the same day 4 years later for this baby girl??" But, I knew better. Getting that PA back in 3 days would be a miracle.
But God...He is truly a God of miracles.
After a lovely lunch with kindred spirits, I came home to an email from our agency.
And there it was. A literal sign from God that He is SO over this. He gave us the go ahead with our Panda girl and now He was doing it again...another glorious YES 4 years later to the day for two once abandoned baby girls who will now be sisters forever.
We celebrated that evening our Grace turning 5 with our heads spinning over the goodness He has given in her life...and her little sister's. Only God, friends. Only God.