Congratulations! You’ve been Pre-Approved!

Have you guys ever been in a mud pit?

One of our last years of Jon being on staff at SG we went to a camp that had one and there’s some pretty funny stories that came out of that mud pit. If you’re picturing a movie-esque scene of kids running around and belly flopping like hillbillies w/ soupy mud flying everywhere… don’t. It was thick, rocky mud that sucked you in like quicksand and didn’t give up its victims easily. Shoes, shorts (!), a kid’s prosthetic…

It’s amazing how many times I’ve thought about that mud pit during this adoption because the similarities are uncanny. Progress is slow and messy. Running is out of the question. It’s frustrating at the time, but will probably be thought of more fondly years down the road.

I am more aware than ever at each adoption’s “personality”. And not just ours, but others’ as well. I’ve made a friend who adopted her sons from China in 6 months because they were about to age out, and we have local friends who are on year 8+ and still don’t have a new little one added to their family. Some seem to be made of Teflon and everything goes so smooth it barely feels like it’s happening, and some feel like an at-home birth of triplets.

I think we fit more in the home birth category.

So when we have a breakthrough I want to throw a party and yell it from the rooftops, but usually just settle for some Starbucks instead. And if I’m really lucky, a margarita w/ the Dreamer Girls.

At the beginning of the month I posted this on Instagram:


It seems that for a while I was seeing them every day. What I didn’t know is that the ladybug has become somewhat of a mascot in China adoptions and in some circles is considered good luck or a sign of good things to come. I’m far from superstitious, but I love it when God gives me little “Perk up, Buttercup. I’ve still got this.” moments. Because the next day, this happened:


After 7 grueling months I finally sent off dossier papers to our caseworker. This folder is our lives on paper. The dossier is a culmination of everything- our life stories, financials, beliefs, , medical history, everything. And, thank you Jesus, it’s done.

Fast forward to a few days ago and we got an email from Simi, our caseworker, that I wasn’t anticipating:

Good Morning Jon & Sarah,

 Great news- we received your pre-approval (PA) in the CCCWA’s online system today!  This is the CCCWA officially agreeing to review your Dossier when it arrives specifically for Hong Yuan Li! 

Congratulations! You’ve been Pre-Approved for a kid! I’d call that a step up from the $6,000 signature loan spam I keep getting.

Simi, if you didn’t live all the way in PA I’d bake you a cake iced in 24k gold.

We’re ironing out some wrinkles having to do w/ our home study even though it’s technically already been finalized, but after everything we’ve gone through to this point, I’d say it’s par for the course. When the home study is all a ‘go’ then the job of applying for grants begins. Fundraising is still happening. (I’ll post more on that soon.) And we just keep trucking along. As it stands right now, we’ll likely travel anywhere between November-March. Praying for the former so we can throw Yuan Li a big, fat birthday party among friends and family when #8 rolls around in January.

More to come…

In, through, and to Him… -Sarah

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