We are setting up this blog so that friends and family can follow along on our journey to become the Garland Family of 5! We are excited and so blessed to be on this journey.
To give you some background, we started the adoption journey 2 years ago, although it has been a life-journey. Adoption has always been close to our hearts and we openly discussed it since we were dating. We felt led by God to adopt a little girl from China. When we submitted our paperwork to China (after about 6 months of gathering and obtaining all of the proper approvals) we were logged into China on October 25, 2007 (Log in Date or "LID"). The wait that we thought was 2 years quickly began to increase and the current wait time to adopt a healthy baby girl is over 3 years and growing. Through waiting, following other families journeys and feeling the "tug" by God, we changed from a healthy baby girl request to being open to a "special needs" little girl up to 3 1/2 (as long as she is younger than Keenan). Special needs can mean anything from a minor correctable surgery or condition to spina bifida to deaf, blind etc. We filled out our "special needs" paperwork last fall stating we were open to a number of the needs listed on the form. On March 30, 2009 while at work, we got THE CALL! Well, we both missed THE CALL so we both got THE VOICEMAIL. We were shocked, amazed, scared, excited and every emotion in between. Our social worker told us we had been matched the previous evening to a 3 year old little girl with post-op CHD (congenital heart defect) and cleft lip/palate (unrepaired) and asked if we would like to receive her file. We had about 4 hours to review her file and make a decision to lock her file in for 2 weeks or to "release" her file back onto the portal for another agency to lock her file in. We looked over everything and her precious pictures and called our social worker back that afternoon and said yes! We then took 2 weeks to review the file with medical professionals and to also request additional information from the orphanage. We were again shocked when we received additional photos and information because she had had her lip repair and looked so much older. All we can say is that she is the most beautiful little girl! She is with a foster family and has been for the past year. We can see that she has made great progress since being with her foster family and we are grateful for the love and care they are giving her. She is behind developmentaly and she seems quite small, but we are praying she will catch up once we get to bring her home. She still needs to have palate repair surgery which we will do once we get her home.
We submitted our acceptance paperwork on Wednesday and it should be on its way to China. We have to wait to share her pictures with you all until we receive our letter of acceptance (LOA) from China, which will probably take 1-2 months. BUT if we see you, we are proudly showing Isabella Xin (pronounced "shin") Hope Garland's pictures. We expect to travel in 3-6 months to bring Isabella home. Her brothers are already preparing for her arrival and talk about her all of the time.
We ask that you keep Isabella, her foster family and us in your prayers as there will be a lot of transition and unknowns for us all. Thank you for your love and support!
This is a work in progress as we learn how to use this site, but stay tuned as we get this up and running.