Sunday, November 1, 2015

Adoption Update

As for all farming families, this fall has been a busy one for us!  Combine and tractor wheels started rolling early in September. Dry conditions allowed nearly non-stop harvesting for six days at a time for weeks on end.  (Thankfully Ryan and his dad made the choice long ago not to work on Sundays). Simultaneously, we have been working to prepare our dossier to be sent to China.  

While we have become accustomed to "Adoption language", not long ago we were unfamiliar with the terms describing its various steps. To clarify, a dossier is just the compilation of important documents, including medical records, financial statements, home study reports, and the like, that adoptive parents submit to the country from which they are adopting.  I'm not sure every country is like this, but the Chinese process is one in which nearly all documents have three levels of verification - locally notarized when the parents/other officials sign the forms, certified at the Secretary of State's office in the state capital, and Authenticated at a Chinese Consulate or Embassy. 

Here we are at the Secretary of State's office in Springfield, Illinois. See that little gold seal on the top left of the paper Ryan is holding? That's right - that's our seal of certification. (The seal certifies that the notary who notarized the document is indeed a state-approved notary.)

Next we sent our documents with a courier to the Chinese Consulate in Chicago to be authenticated. I believe the Consulate is basically verifying that the documents are in order and have been certified and notarized appropriately. 

Once returned to us, we made copies and sent them off to our agency to send on to China!

Below we were organizing our documents in order to send them. 

On September 24th we over-nighted them to our agency - Madison Adoption Associates - in Delaware.   We had great hopes that we would be "DTC" (Dossier To China) before September came to a close.

This ended up being somewhat in vain as the Chinese National Day celebrations did not allow our documents to be sent until later in October. For those who may be interested, "National Day" is a misnomer. It is actually National week, as the observance lasted from October 1st to October 7th.  Who wouldn't want a government-recognized week-long holiday?!? Yes, please. Sign me up. 

During that hiatus, we did some celebrating of our own - Ryan's birthday was October 3rd! Birthday cinnamon rolls for all!

Here's my strapping man working hard later in the day. Being the birthday boy doesn't exclude you from work!

Our Dossier was logged into the Chinese system on October 13th! This is commonly referred to as LID (Logged-in Date).  While it felt somewhat anticlimactic since it was over two weeks after we had sent our dossier off, being LID is the light at the end of the proverbial [paperwork] tunnel. 

So where do we go from here? We wait.  But it's the good kind of waiting.  The next step for us will be receiving a referral.  While we don't know when we'll receive or if we'll accept our first referral,  it's so exciting to anticipate learning our child's identity within the coming weeks and months!  It's our prayer to be matched by Christmas. 

Through this process we have been so incredibly awed by how God is at work and how He has moved known and unknown people to support this adoption.  Leave it to Him to do so much more than we ever dreamed or hoped! We are immensely thankful for the outpouring of prayerful and financial support from family, friends, and friends of our family and friends. To date, we have received some form of support from over 75 individuals and families, not to mention a number of businesses which contributed to our Amazing Race.  We've had family/friends organize fundraisers on our behalf.  To each of you we would like to say two things - First, a huge "Thank you!" We thank God for you.  Second, please keep the prayers coming!  While it feels like we're in the 7th Inning stretch, the real journey begins when we travel to China and bring home Baby Wood.  We'll keep you posted until then...

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Amazing Race FAQs

1. What is the Amazing Race - Adoption Edition?

The Amazing Race - Adoption Edition is a local take on the show, The Amazing Race, aired on CBS. On the TV show teams of two race around the world doing challenges at each place which reflect the culture and community of that location.  The Amazing Race - Adoption Edition is a local spin on the race. Expect challenges and tasks at sites around the Quincy or Hancock county communities. 

2. How much physical activity will the Amazing Race include?

The Amazing Race is NOT a running race.  Let me repeat - the Amazing Race is not a running race. You can expect some physical activity, but the amount of running is up to you.  If you want to win the race, expect to do some running. If you're out for a fun afternoon and you aren't concerned about where you finish, expect some mild to moderate activity. 

3. We would like to do the race, but $100 is more than we would usually pay for a day's activity. What should we do?

We realize $100 is not a small sum. We encourage teams to obtain a sponsor or sponsors - consider what family/friends, or even a business, who might like to sponsor you! 

4. How long with the race last?  

Teams who are racing quickly can expect the race to last approximately 2 hours. Teams who plan to take their time can expect about 3 hours. 

5. What do the proceeds of this event go toward?

The proceeds of this race contribute to the adoption expenses of adopting our child from China. International adoption involves a number of expenses, including care of the child, agency fees, travel costs, and medical costs. 

6. We will be gone the day of the race, but we would like to contribute to your cause. Is that possible?

It sure is! Donations can be made out to the Ryan and Lindsey Wood Adoption fund and sent to Marine Bank & Trust in Carthage, IL.  

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Amazing Race - Adoption Edition

That's right, Friends! You can take part in the Amazing Race, and help us with our adoption from China! We are hosting an Amazing Race fundraiser in Quincy on June 27th and in Hancock County on June 28th! All proceeds will go toward our adoption expenses.  (For more info on our adoption, see the previous post). We would love for you to join in the race!  You can print off the attached flyer and send the bottom portion in with your registration!  

If you experience difficulty printing the flyer below, you can access it at the following link as well:

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Exciting News

In looking back at this blog, Ryan and I realized that we last posted an update about a year ago.  Well, Ryan returned from Brazil with a team that went in February and we are enjoying a weekend trip to Galena, Illinois before the spring craziness commences.  We skied Friday evening, albeit sprinkled with prayers for the safety for others and ourselves.   

Neither of us has skied in YEARS, but after growing our confidence on the bunnies and the green runs, Ryan boldly led us down a blue run.  Imagine a grannie in a Buick driving down a busy interstate.  That was me on the blue run.  Snowplow the whole way, baby.  

Beyond our little trip north to Galena, the Lord has been working on our hearts for some time regarding the decision to adopt.  Before we were married, both of us separately were drawn to adoption, particularly from China.  Initially we thought we would have biological children first…get some hands-on practice at being parents…then adopt.  But through God’s Spirit moving in our hearts and circumstances, we started to question whether He was prompting us to move forward with the adoption process sooner.  Starting last summer we began talking with families and couples we know who have adopted and we gleaned a tremendous amount of information.  We even researched adoption agencies and settled on which agency to use.

Multiple conversations were had, but none of those resulted in a definite decision.  We asked God to make His will clear to us.  I genuinely believe God does not try to hide His plans for us from us.  He reveals them to us clearly when we need to know.  One Friday as I was driving home from work, I was praying about adoption.  I asked specifically, “Lord, if you want us to adopt now, then please move Ryan to be the one to tell me that he’s ready to move forward with adopting now.”

Saturday we were together all day, going to a Brazil team meeting out of town.  Of course adoption comes up in the course of conversation, but nothing more than hypotheticals.  Then that Sunday it just so happened that an adoptive father shared at church about his family’s adoption story.  Silently we both looked at each other knowingly.  After church we hopped in the car and the first words out of Ryan’s mouth were – “I’m ready to sign the [adoption] papers.” 

So fast-forward to today.  Our application to adopt from China has been submitted and we are currently completing the initial paperwork required for our homestudy. 

We would appreciate your prayers as we start this process.  Please be praying for our future child, their birth mother, for us, and for the timing of this process.   We have already seen the perfection of the Lord’s timing.  Unbeknownst to us, our application being received by our agency on March 2nd qualified us for a $1000 discount on fees due to a special event they have going!