On Halloween, we received a beautiful email stating that China had officially issued our Letter of Acceptance or 'LOA' as it is known in adoption circles! This means that China has officially accepted all of our paperwork to adopt our little boy Josiah! So, the step following that news was to get our paperwork into US Immigration for our little boy and we are currently waiting on their official approval. Once we receive that, we will send in our paperwork for Josiah's VISA at the US Consulate in China and will await China giving us our travel dates to go and bring our son home! We still hope this will be in March.
After we received our LOA, we were cleared to send a small care package to our son, so I have been working on that the last week. Our agency gives a list of items to send, like one stuffed animal (that they recommend sleeping with before sending so he will have it as an attachment object between the orphanage and our home), pictures of our family, and one outfit, with the caveat that they hope it will get to your child, but cannot guarantee it. One of the hardest things for me in putting together this care package has been shopping for his one outfit. Twice, I have specifically looked for toddler socks and little toddler soft shoes for him, only to see racks of baby shoes and baby socks in the stores. Then my heart is saddened by the fact that we will never buy those little baby shoes for our son. We missed seeing him as a baby. It will always be true that we will never have heard his first cry or seen the first time he rolled over or fit him into one those sweet newborn onesies. We will never have put little soft baby shoes or socks on his precious feet. As I stood in the stores looking at baby shoes, I did not let the pain of this loss truly set it. I know all the amazing truths. The truth is that soon, hopefully very soon, we will not miss another size of clothes or shoes for our son. We won't be sending him a care package where we have to label ourselves: 'Mom', 'Dad', big brother 'Isaac', big sister 'Emma', because that is all he will know us as. And God always sees him. But, still, there is pain and there is loss. Loss for him and loss for us. So although there will be this loss, we long for the day where we will finally hold him in our arms and put shoes on his feet and walk him out of the doors of the orphanage and into our family's gain of his life joining our family forever.