We're actually really close to being at the end of our paper pregnancy! We expect we'll likely have our "Travel Approval" sometime in August, which is China telling us we can come and get our boy. Last time, when we finally got Travel Approval for Maggie, we hopped on a plane 6 days later to bring her home!
Unfortunately, this time we have several other things we have to consider, and we'll likely wait a few more weeks after Travel Approval to bring him home. First, Maggie's surgery is scheduled for July 22nd, and she'll need several weeks of close supervision to allow her palate heal properly, and she'll be on a soft-foods only diet for a month (ack!). She needs Jeremy and I to be the ones caring for her at that time. Our parents, who will be taking care of the kiddos while we're gone, definitely don't need anymore on their plates than they'll already have!
Also, school starts in August. Since our trip will probably be about 17 days long, there's no way to go to China once we get TA and get back before school starts. Three of our kids are moving up to a new school this year and those first couple of weeks are so important to get acclimated to all things new. We want to be here for Allie as she adjusts to first grade and being gone all day to school. We want to allow the boys to feel comfortable in their new buildings before life changes. We need to help Maggie get back into the swing of things at her school.
Due to the surgery and school starting, we've decided to delay our trip by a few weeks, and we'll likely leave mid-September to bring Joey home. Part of me feels guilty for not jumping on a plane the second we're able, but having a bigger family means doing our best to meet the needs of everyone, and we feel this is the best way with how the timing has worked out.
Our original plan was to bring both boys with us to be a part of bringing home Joey. Once we started to think through the logistics of feeding a kid with a severe egg allergy in a foreign country, though, we pretty much decided that just Ben would go with us and Sam would hold down the fort here at home. However, we're now back to considering bringing Sam with us... so stay tuned!
So that's where we are right now. Despite having to wait a few extra weeks, it's still only about 2 months from now until we leave, and I'm sure that time will fly. We continue to work on projects around the house and are doing our best to soak in these summer days with our 4 kiddos who are home... next summer will look a lot different for us, and we can't wait! Our hearts and minds are not far from Joey. I can't imagine what he must be thinking and feeling about how his life is about to change. We keep praying for his heart to be prepared for all that is coming up for him.
For those of you who have asked, you can still make a donation towards our adoption process via Lifesong for Orphans:
Please make checks payable to “Lifesong for Orphans.” In the memo, please note our family name and account number, “Coleman 5974”. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744.
2. Another option is to give online at www.lifesongfororphans.org/give/donate. Select “Give to an Adoptive Family”. Complete the online form and fill in Family Account Number, 5974 and “Family name, Coleman.” Note that Paypal charges an administrative fee per transaction and your donation will be decreased by the amount of this fee (2.2% plus .30 per transaction).
We appreciate your prayers and support so much and will continue to update as we get closer.
One of the first pictures I saw of our little guy.
I knew he was special from the very first glance!