September 28, 2012

The REFERRAL!

If you're one of the people I've crossed paths with this week, forgive me if I seemed a little distracted. So much has been going on, and after our experience last month, we wanted to make sure this was the real-deal before we started getting other people involved in our emotional rollercoaster. But that involved keeping everything that was going on stuffed inside, and I'm not sure I did that too well!

The waiting child matching occurred last Monday night. Truthfully, we didn't think much about it this month; still recovering a bit from last month, we weren't expecting anything. We didn't hear anything Monday night, which we did think was strange. Typically, you receive a message letting you know if you haven't been matched. And of course, you get one if you are matched as well. Since we got nothing, I sent a message on Tuesday morning to just check in. Shortly afterward, we received a phone call from our agency.

They DID have a match!

Let me tell ya - one thing that is HARD, is hearing you have a match, but waiting for the file to get ready and show up in your email! It takes a few hours. Last month, I just sat at the computer constantly pushing "refresh." This month, I realized that was ridiculous and kept myself busy running errands.

When it finally did show up we read through the text version before looking at pictures. What we read indicated that she'd be a pretty great match for our family. After looking at the pictures, we were hooked.  The last few days have looked much like they did last month - filled with calling doctors offices, faxing papers, doing research, checking our finances, etc. She's just a little peanut, younger than we expected, and she'll have some catching up to do. But we're so excited about this little sweetheart, that it's hard not to share!

Unfortunately, we can't share much else about her for a couple reasons.
One - it's against agency regulations. And we definitely don't want to do anything to jeopardize our chances of bringing her home!
Two - this one is the big one. Last week right before the matching, we received word that China is changing some regulations. Even though our paperwork is already in China, it hasn't been reviewed yet. There was an issue with our home study regarding these new regulations. We were required to have our agency immediately send an addendum to our home study or risk being ejected from the China program. Of course, the addendum was sent right away. Unfortunately, this does not guarantee they will honor it. We have every reason to believe they WILL, but until our dossier is through review and we have a LOA (letter of acceptance), there are no guarantees. We would so appreciate prayer for this issue! This is why we didn't receive news of our referral right away. Our agency wanted to make sure we were OK with proceeding, even though there is a chance our dossier might still be rejected. Please pray the Chinese government will look favorably on our addendum and allow us to move forward!

We truly believe God has guided us through every aspect of this process so far and we continue to trust in his plan for our little one. It is definitely difficult trying to avoid falling in love with her in case it doesn't work out. We're just praying that by God's grace, we'll be able to bring her home SOON!






September 23, 2012

No GMO!

Way back in April I did a little post on what REAL FOOD is (you can read that post HERE if you need a refresher). When going back to that post in order to write this one, I realized at the end I mentioned I would explain WHY we eat this way.

But I never did. 

That probably breaks all kinds of "good blogger" rules. I know you're supposed to be consistent if you want people to read your posts. What can I say.....I totally forgot. But, I've officially been reminded, so I'll put that post on the list.

I intended to do just a little short post about GMO's since I came across an interesting article about them. So I think I'll still do that, but I'll discuss it more in depth in another set of posts.

A brief overview:
GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. They refer to plants (or animals, but mostly plants for what we'll discuss here) that are modified using gene-splicing technology. This technology allows scientists to insert desirable genes into these plants to create an organism that would never occur naturally in nature.  The two main crops that are at the center of the debate are corn and soybeans. These plants are genetically engineered to either withstand a specific herbicide, or emit it's own insecticide.

Why does this matter to me?:
GMO's have not been proven to be safe for human consumption. This point, is of course debatable. Especially if you ask the company that produces them. This particular company has been known for using it's massive amounts of money and power to shut up anyone who disagrees with them or dares to research their product.
"Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe. In nearly 50 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale"  (source)
In my research, I've discovered the answer to that question is: NO ONE KNOWS!
For me, that's reason enough to avoid them.

And yet millions of Americans consume them multiple times a day, every.single.day. 

Where are they found?:
For starters, they're in about 80% of processed food. If you're consuming anything with corn or soy in it that's NOT labeled "organic," there's a high probability it contains GMO's.

For instance:


I REALLY had to search, but I found two things in my house that most likely contain GMO's.


See the 5th ingredient? Soybean oil. That's one place it hides.


Or here's a big one: HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP. Also, plain 'ol corn syrup in this one. It's definitely in there too.

It's also probably in anything (not labeled "organic") that contains CANOLA oil and anything with SUGAR that isn't labeled specifically as "pure cane sugar."

Here's a list of  high-risk crops:

  • Alfalfa (first planting 2011)
  • Canola (approx. 90% of U.S. crop)
  • Corn (approx. 88% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Cotton (approx. 90% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Papaya (most of Hawaiian crop; approximately 988 acres)
  • Soy (approx. 94% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Sugar Beets (approx. 95% of U.S. crop in 2010)
  • Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash (approx. 25,000 acres) (source)


So, there's a brief overview.
Here's the link to the article I read. Take a look. It's a quick read:
http://rt.com/news/monsanto-rats-tumor-france-531/

(Or if you'd like the longer version, click HERE to read the actual scientific study. You can read about which organs were most affected in which gender....very interesting!)

You be the judge.

Ultimately, I decided I could not in good conscience feed my children foods that contain GMO's.  And that's a sneak-peak into one reason why we eat REAL FOOD!!





September 12, 2012

Saying "no"

This is going to be a short post. Well, short for me, anyway. I think I start out every post intending it to be short and most of them don't usually end up that way.

About 10 days ago (the Friday before Labor day) we got an unusual phone call. I answered it and was pretty shocked to hear our China coordinator on the other side. She said,

"I know you weren't expecting a call like this, but we have a referral for you."

I should also add that she followed that sentence with, "I should warn you, she's really cute!"

She was right....we were NOT expecting that! They had told us it would be 6+ months for a referral. But, they'd also told us we could easily have multiple referrals too. We had discussed this possibility beforehand and felt like we were prepared to deal with that, so we agreed to review the file. They were also right about her being cute. She was absolutely beautiful; two years old with big brown eyes, wispy hair and perfect little pink lips. The next few days were spent scrambling to find medical information on a holiday weekend and researching medical conditions I'd never heard of before.

After consulting with our specialist (who amazingly was in his office for 15 minutes that day RIGHT after I sent him the file) as well as other families who had reviewed that I was able to connect with on Yahoo groups, we determined that the special need listed in her file was likely a symptom of a more serious genetic disorder. Unfortunately, there's a huge spectrum with how it presents itself, ranging from virtually nothing to severe developmental delays, seizures, autism, etc.

With the limited medical information we had, we just couldn't say yes.
But saying no was so much harder than I ever thought it would be.

Anyone who knows me knows I'm not a crier. But after finding out several other families had reviewed her file and also said "no," all I could think about was how she'd feel if she knew all these people were rejecting her. That no one wanted her. I had to force my thoughts in a different direction to avoid losing it in front of my kids.

I think that I've mentioned that so far with this process, God has given us peace about every decision we've made...including starting this $30,000 journey with ZERO in our adoption fund and adding a complete unknown to our very "normal" family. And as much as we researched and prayed and researched more and tried to envision her in our family, we just didn't feel that same peace about this referral.

Not that that makes it any less of a heartache.

So for now we're just praying God will make it painfully obvious which one he wants to be ours. And also praying SO hard that she'll find a family. One who wants her so bad they can hardly stand it!

Some friends who just got home from China with their second child told Jon, "when you see the right one, you'll know."

I hope they're right.