Friday, December 29, 2006

Merry Christmas by Third Day

These are the lyrics to a song titled "Merry Christmas" by the band Third Day (currently my favorite band next to Danny Cox). It is about a baby waiting in China for her forever family at Christmastime.

"Merry Christmas"
by Third Day

There's a little girl trembling on a cold December morn
Crying for mama's arms
At an orphanage just outside a little China town
Where the forgotten are

But half a world away I hang the stockings by the fire
And dream about the day when I can finally call you mine

It's Christmas time again but you're not home
Your family is here and yet you're somewhere else alone
So tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in His arms
And tell you from my heart
I wish you Merry Christmas

As I hang the tinsel on the tree and watch the twinkling lights
I'm warmed by the fire's glow
Outside the children tumble in a wonderland of white
And make angels in the snow

But half a world away you try your best to fight the tears
And hope that Heaven's Angels come to carry you here

Christmas is the time we celebrate the Holy Child
And we celebrate His perfect gift of love
He came to Earth to give His life and prepare a place for us
So we could have a home with Him above

It's Christmas time again and now you're home
Your family is here so you will never be alone
So tonight before you go to sleep,
I'll hold you in my arms
And tell you from my heart
I wish you Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 28, 2006

My feelings on the new requirements

It has been almost one month since I last posted. The reason has been the announcement of the new requirements. We found out about them about 3 weeks ago. They really surprised us. They were unexpected. And there are a lot of changes! These new changes go into effect May 1, 2007. This means our dossier has to be to our agency by April 15 th (so it is a doubly horrible day being tax day too!) in order for our dossier to be logged into the CCAA in time for these new requirements not to apply to us. Based on the new requirements, we will no longer qualify. Those of you that know me, know that this past year I had some issues with anxiety. I have it under control and have for a few months now thanks to a wonderful therapist and medication as needed (which I haven't needed in months either) But this will disqualify us. I started to doubt that the adoption was the right thing for us. I started to think that I misunderstood God's intentions for us. Pete and I prayed and prayed about it and decided to do all that we could to expedite the process. We have a wonderful social worker at Adoption Advocates that is very understanding and is going to do all that she can to help us speed it up. The only glitch we might have is the US government. Currently their website states that they are taking 3 months to process I-600A applications. This is our application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petitions. We need this in order to send our dossier to China. It is going to be very tight but we just might make it time. Please pray that we do.

New Requirements for Chinese Adoption

The CCAA has posted their new adoption regulations:

According to the Adoption Law of the People’s Republic of China (published
11/4/1998 ), current Chinese government policies and practices, and U.S.
immigration laws, you must meet the following guidelines to qualify for a
China adoption:

1. Applicants must be a legally married heterosexual couple. At least one
applicant must be a U.S. citizen.

2. Couples with no previous marriages must be married for at least two
years at the time the dossier is logged in at the China Center of Adoption
Affairs (CCAA). If either spouse has been previously married, the current
marriage must be at least five years old at the time the dossier is logged in
at the CCAA. No applicant may have had more than two divorces.

3. Applicants must be at least 30 years old and no older than 49 years old at the time their dossier is logged in at the CCAA . Applicants are qualified to adopt children based on their ages as specified below. When spouses have ages that fall into two categories, they must be open to the upper age limit of the child to be adopted.

Applicants ages 30 - 44 qualify for a child with no known medical conditions
up to 12 months of age.*
Applicants ages 45 - 49 qualify for a child with no known medical conditions
up to 24 months of age.*
* Currently, the youngest children coming out of China are about seven
months old. All families are qualified for a child older than the above-
mentioned age range, if desired.

4. All above applicants are qualified, if desired, for a child with medical conditions.

5. Families must have no more than four minor children living in the home,
and the youngest child must be at least 12 months old at the time the
dossier is logged in.

6. Families must document $10,000 of annual income per member in the
household, including the to-be-adopted child. A minimum of $80,000 net
worth is required.

7. Applicants must be in good physical and mental condition necessary to
provide responsible care for an adopted child. Each applicant’s Body Mass
Index (BMI) must be under 40. (BMI equals a persons weight in kilograms
divided by height in meters squared. BMI\u003dkg/m 2).

8. Applicants must have a minimum of high school education or equivalent.

9. Applicants must have no criminal record or history of domestic violence,
sexual abuse, child abuse, or substance abuse.

10. Families who have adopted from China previously may submit their next
dossier to China once their previous adoption has been finalized for at least
one year.