We are smack dab in the middle of probably the most difficult part of the adoption wait. Every last piece of paper, every signature, every government approval is now in China, and we wait for travel approval. There are still two more steps before we receive the coveted TA. A copy of our approval letter from The National Visa Center and a couple more documents are in China, ready to be dropped off at the US Consulate in Guangzhou. That will have to wait until next week, after the Chinese New Year celebration. Two weeks later, the consulate will issue our "Article 5" which will then be forwarded to the China Center for Adoption Affairs in Beijing. About two weeks later, we will receive travel approval. Could be shorter (doubtful), could be longer. Two weeks is the average.
After travel approval, our agency must request a consulate date and our travel works backwards from that date. The consulate will issue Caleb's US visa as the last step of the adoption process, and it is done a couple days before we return home.
So, while I wait, I just try to stay busy and keep my mind on other things. I'm spending a lot of my free time working on Caleb's room. We completely overhauled what had been Lacy's room to convert it to a boy room. Lacy now has what used to be my sewing room. I have pondered a blog post documenting all the room changes we've done in this house in the past ten years. Let's just say that we've played fruit basket turnover on no fewer than four occasions. And since Lacy had never switched rooms before, she requested the former sewing room for her last years at home.
Caleb's room was inspired by a room I saw in a magazine several years ago. I loved it and thought it was the perfect boy room. I would change nothing about it. And I secretly wished I had a little boy to put in such a room. Never did I really imagine that thought would grow into a reality.
We've painted walls and furniture. We've taken down mirrors and hung new pictures. Tom took down the white fan blades and put up new ones in primary colors. I've made pillows as fast as I can dream them up. The quilt top is finished, waiting for me to sit still long enough to quilt it. Wood trains, a fire engine, and a giant Tonka truck sit eerily quiet. Soon they will be pushed and pulled and moved about accompanied by various boy noises. Stacks of wood puzzles and a collection of books are perched on his shelves, likely the neatest they will ever be. I look at his toys and dream about what he'll like to play with. We've been told he likes blocks. So our older boys' wood blocks are donning a fresh coat of white paint. I splurged and bought him a new set as well, made of foam, but looking like wood. Besides, research has shown a boy can not have too many blocks. I'm sure I've read that somewhere. Yes, positive I have.
My latest project for his room is a wall hanging. I've had visions of it swirling around in my head for months, but couldn't nail it down. Cars, sailboats, trains, that type of thing. "Boy" motifs--but not too babyish, not too grown-up. He has plenty of time to grow up. For a little while, he gets to be our little boy.
Today I pieced this house block. Why, you might ask, is a house block in his "boy" wall hanging? Well, it all comes down to home, doesn't it? Home and family and love. And this pieced house block really helped me picture in my mind what we are doing by adopting Caleb.
Hand made pillows and carefully chosen toys may be appreciated. More than the comfort and fun they will bring, they are meant to show the love we have for this precious boy. Our desire is to show him love that he would never receive otherwise. We want to give him the life and future he deserves. We want to welcome him into our house, as our son, and we pray that he feels the love and comfort to call it his home.
Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. Psalm 127:1