Chris and I rarely talk about the postings of our adoption agency on Facebook. We both follow FTIA's page, and periodically they will post about a child they are advocating for a family. So back in July, when both of us noticed the photo of a little girl from China called Jing Lan on their page, and mentioned it to the other, we should have known then that there was a greater power directing us. Were we thinking about adopting again? Sure, but were we planning on doing it at this time? Not at all. In fact, since a good friend had just returned home a few months before with her little boy from Russia, I was certain that we would be returning to Russia when it was time to expand our family, especially since we both feel such a passion for Andrew's birthcountry. But there was something special about this little girl. FTIA was advocating for her as she was close to "aging out" of the orphanage. They were hoping to find her family before her birthday in February, when she would no longer be eligible for adoption. After reviewing her file, spending many hours talking and praying about it, we were certain that Jing Lan was to be our daughter.
So we started the paperwork chase to bring her home. Since we weren't even in any stage of adoption at this point, we had quite a task ahead of us. We didn't even have a home study. Luckily, Jing Lan's file was marked as "special focus" which meant that we could go ahead and fill out the necessary paperwork to "lock her file" as we worked on getting our dossier together. So we filled out the paperwork and received "PA" (pre-approval) to adopt Jing Lan on August 16. And we started on our homestudy. We knew God was in our corner, when FTIA indicated they could be our homestudy agency as they had a social worker on staff that was in the Indianapolis area, and she could travel to Fort Wayne. Boy were we surprised and delighted to find out she was the same social worker that we used for our homestudy when we adopted Andrew. We were off and running, and things were going "high speed" in order for us to be able to finalize the adoption before Jing Lan's birthday. We are so unfamiliar with the process, that we certainly had a learning curve - trying to figure out what all the abbreviations are related to the Chinese adoption process, such as LOI, PA, LOA, etc. Alot of work ahead of us, with not alot of spare time to figure it all out.
A bit about the Himsels
In July 2011, we were drawn to a posting by our adoption agency of a little girl that was soon to "age out" of the orphanage in China, and they were hoping to find her family before her birthday in February, when she would no longer be eligible for adoption. After reviewing the information, giving it alot of thought and prayers, we knew she was to be our daughter. So we started the paperwork chase to bring her home. But God had a bigger plan in mind for the Himsels. Along the way, we decided to pursue adopting a little boy, and that journey actually led us to two little boys, who are 18 months and 14 months old. All three children are located in the Guizhou province. We are excited to be so close to bringing home Ella (Jinglan), William, and Ethan, and we hope you follow along with our journey.