We got an email from our agency Tuesday, updating us on our LOA process. For those that aren't fluent in "adoption-ese," LOA means Letter of Approval. That's the "officially official" approval by the CCCWA that allows us to pursue the steps that will lead us to travel.
Well, Tuesday's email means we are "thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis close" to the Chinese government's completion of Step #8. I know, put that way it doesn't sound all that impressive. But between the steps #7 and #8, there are a bunch of mini-steps. And the email was to inform us that they are almost done the mini-steps.
Sigh. Typing it all out that way, now it doesn't feel quite as exciting as it did when the email arrived. Hmmmmm... Darn it all. Trust me, it was pretty exciting yesterday!
Anyway, given that we are "thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis close" to our LOA, I thought this would be a good time to ask you to pray with us for a few specific things that we've not really mentioned quite so explicitly thus far.
First, would you please pray that our travel to China would coordinate well with Shaggy's return home from his YWAM adventures? It would be so comforting for us and for the little kids to have him "holding down the fort" here at The Gang's headquarters. He's very steady and responsible and we feel fairly confident that it would really help ease the transition for especially Li'l Empress toward welcoming Mei Mei home.
Second, would you please pray with us for continued financial provision? We do know that HE supplies and provides and we are so incredibly grateful for the creative things He's done thus far toward our goals of remaining on this journey debt-free and trusting HIM as we do it.
Third, we would appreciate prayers for Mei Mei's health. Her special need is one that could easily make her susceptible to colds, flus, and other viruses. She is in a very traditional-style orphanage, where there is likely no "central heating system" like we enjoy here in the States. We are praying for a supernaturally strengthened immune system and stability of health while she waits.
Fourth, Mei Mei appears to be a very tiny girl. Which, in and of itself is not terribly concerning. But when coupled with her special need and the orphanage setting in which she lives, we do have reason for concern for how her growth relates to her over-all health. We are praying for very nutritious provision for her and for her body to take it all in and grow strong and healthy while she waits.
Fifth, we have applied for a "medical expedite" in light of her current needs and health status. Nothing emergent is wrong, per se. But given the above two concerns I mentioned, our doctors agree that expediting the process as much as they will allow is in her best overall interest. Please pray for favor in that request!
Finally, would you join us in praying for her little heart and mind? We recently had a friend share that the Lord had given her direction to pray specifically for angelic hosts to cover and surround our girl, to minister hope and peace and love to her in a way that would allow her to be ready to be loved. And ready to love. Again, in a very traditional orphanage setting, individual nurture and care is often in limited supply. And the God-intended nurturing bond between Mei Mei and her birth parents has been interrupted and never replaced with a permanent, loving, parent relationship. Oh, how that hurts to type that out like that. But it's the truth. And we are asking God to provide that for her in the form of His messengers and His Holy Spirit while she waits for us to be able to do it in person.
Thanks again for the love and support that you've shown thus far in our great big adventure to Mei Mei. And I'll leave you with one big incentive to pray for our LOA and the above requests: Once we get the official notice of our LOA, we can finally share the pictures of our little girl that we have been poring over for 2 months now.
So? GO. PRAY!