WOW!!  The IL DCFS will now know everything, and I mean everything about the Perkinson family!!

Getting an approved home study in the first big hurdle in adopting, domestically or internationally!  We asked around for several referrals and landing with an agency that has offices here in Champaign.   Lifelink International adoption services are amazing! We called and were able to get the process started in a couple weeks!

The homestudy was going to consist of several in person meetings, jointly and separately.   We met with Diane starting mid-November.  We instantly knew she was going to be a great fit for us.  So by December we were done with all the meetings.  It was fun when she came to our home to "interview" our kiddos.  She immediately loved them and they had her cracking up within minutes!  (Thank goodness the belching that occurs on a regular basis was halted for the meeting!)

We had one hiccup along the way!  There are several clearances we need.  One particular clearance was called CANTS (Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System).  It took 10 weeks!!  Last year at this time the clearance took 24-48 hours.  We were frustrated but we know our God has this!

So we finally got clearances and after the homestudy was written, our training completed (Yes, training.  Lots and lots of hours learning how to deal with traumatized kids and Chinese culture), we were finally ready to send to the state for final approval.  We new another agonizing wait would happen here.  It is really hard to be patient.  Especially knowing a little girl is in China waiting for a mommy and a daddy!



Introducing the cutest little girl ever, Esther Ling Mi Perkinson!!

I can not tell you the joy we are experiencing knowing she will soon meet us as her forever family!!

Our hearts break when we think of all this little one has experienced.  But we know God is watching over her and we pray that He is preparing her daily for meeting us!

When we were deciding on her name, we wanted something that went with our other children's names.  They all have traditional names and we wanted that.  And also a meaning behind it!  Hannah suggested Esther.  When we read the story of Esther, we knew it was perfect!  Esther was an orphan raised by family.

Then I received a beautiful necklace that had Esther 4:14 on it!

Our earthly selves may never know why Esther was abandoned at birth (although believed because she was simply a girl since she has no outward conditions).  But we know God created her for His purpose!  

So know you have met our beautiful daughter!  Please pray for her and her medical condition.  We know God can heal and we pray for that daily!!  God Bless.



Alan and I know this road is going to be long, require lots of patience and coffee!!  Looking through all the photos of beautiful faces makes the wait worth it.  Everyone told us that you will know when the child is yours.  Well that is exactly what happened.  When we opened "Mia's" file and I just knew! (We will share more about her soon.)

  Now we are full on paper pregnancy! After reviewing a file, the best next step is to get her reviewed by a medical doctor.  "Mia" has a medical diagnosis of hydrocephalus. I was recommended to a doctor that is well known in the adoptive community.  Unfortunately, she has the reputation of a worst case scenario doc.  Many have stayed clear of her because of her blunt nature but I was not deterred.  Alan and I wanted to know what we were up against and if accepting her would be the best situation for our family.   We spoke with Dr. Jenista on Dec 10 and she gave us a green light!  Woohoo!

Here is a great website that explains the timeline process!  Lord willing, we will be traveling to China late summer to get our beautiful daughter! Total process time is 10-12 months. Patience has never been a gift of mine but I will learn!!



So once we made the decision to adopt, we told the kids and they were over the moon excited!  I immediately started researching agencies, talking to social workers, reading blogs, looking over waiting child profiles, talking with friends that have adopted, etc.  I realized quickly that the process can be overwhelming.  While still doing my research on which agency to sign with, Alan and I just prayed that if God had a child for us, He would make him/her known.

The one thing we knew is that we were called to International adoption.  Our heart was for Africa but after researching and talking to friends, we realized the adoptions there were very unsteady and took awhile.  We knew this process was going to be a lesson in patience but with our kids getting older, we wanted them to be around the new brother/sister for as long as possible.  China has such a stable adoption system.   One thing we knew is that the community here in C-U is great for Asian culture.  We want our new child to know where he/she came from and our church has a very active Mandarin speaking service also.  SO CHINA IT IS!!

After lots of praying, we felt that God wanted us to have a girl.  I started talking with a few agencies and reviewed their waiting child list.  A "waiting child" is usually over age 1 and may have a minor/moderate special need (SN). I learned we also needed to review needs and determine what special need, if any, we were comfortable with.  China gives most children a label, accurate or not.  So a need listed may not even be accurate but we needed to be prepared for worst case scenario.  It was so hard to not sound selfish in deciding what we "wanted" in our adopted child.  I disliked the feeling it gave me.  Thankfully one social worker validated and let me know that those feelings were normal and ok.

Alan and I loved looking over all the sweet blessings.  It is so humbling and earth shaking all wrapped in one.  We thanked God a lot for our four blessings and prayed for all those sad faces that a mommy and daddy would find them and love on them!

So after looking over a ton of faces and praying, I got a FB message from Rebecca.  She runs a great website advocating for waiting children.  She had saw the specifics we were looking for and just got the profile of a little girl she thought we might like.  We had already reviewed about 5 profiles by then and just opening her video we knew she was ours!!



Thank you for coming to our blog and following our journey!  We figured this was the best way to keep all informed of the happenings.  Daily posts is how I'll start to get you all caught up to where we are in the process.
  So why adopt?  Adoption had been a conversation for Alan and I before we were even married.  On many occasions our kids had asked us to consider adopting.  In February 2013, I had the privilege of going to Kenya on a mission trip.  Seeing the poverty and disease all around me was very hard to accept.  But what really tugged at my heart strings were these:

In the middle of the week a momma came up to me and asked me to take her baby home.  At first it did not sink in.  But then in my room that night an overwhelming sense of love dawned on me.  She LOVED her baby so much that she would sacrifice herself, her sadness and her loneliness for her baby's well being.  She knew there was a good chance her baby would not grow to adulthood (kind of like our heavenly Father did for us huh?).  It was at that moment I knew I wanted to adopt!  (Now to convince Alan!)  

Upon returning home the images of those precious little ones, many without one or both of their parents, eventually faded.  We were told that we would "feel different" upon returning home and we can get sucked back into our culture quickly.  Well, I did.  I still thought about adoption, but more selfishly as to why not to adopt.  Our youngest is now 14, we are going to be empty nesters soon enough, all the free time we currently have, and the list goes on!  Then God convicted me that these were all selfish reasons.  I had seen the devastation and I was choosing to look away.  Then I heard this: Accepting the call for orphans  We have had several friends adopt and seeing the joy on the newly adopted child's face was priceless.  It was a look of hope, of belonging and of finally, a family.

Alan and I continued to have conversations and prayer about the pros and cons with the main con being about the cost of adoption!  We knew the love component was there but the finances were going to be up to God.  So after many prayers, we knew if God was calling us to adopt, He alone would provide the means.  So the final question was, WHY NOT?