Monday, November 26, 2007

Dossier to China!

We hit a huge milestone last week. Thanks to the tireless work of our agency, our dossier is officially on it's way to China. It should arrive in the next day or so (I have the tracking number, so I'm "watching" the package go to China!), then we wait while it's logged in. The "log in date" is what determines our place in line, and when our dossier is reviewed, approved, and completed. So now that the rush is over, we wait. Patiently, we hope! Of course it helps that the other guys are busy with their activities, so we certainly have no lack of things to fill our time. :)

As we wait, we would ask that you would continue to pray with us, especially for Logan. The transition from China to America at age 3 1/2 may not be easy. Pray that God would, even now, be preparing his heart for a new family and a new life. Pray for us that we will be able to provide the love, the security, and the consistency that Logan needs as we all make this transition, and pray too for the staff in his home. They mourn each time a child leaves, even though they are going to permanent families. Those nannies love the children, and Logan has been in his group home for over 3 years. We are prepared for a difficult transition even as we pray for God's peace in the process.

Thankful for a great agency, and for God, from whom ALL blessings flow!!


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Logan pictures (finally!!)

I know I promised these a long time ago, but here are some pictures of our Logan:

"referral" picture--the one that captured my heart
Many comment that Logan and Ryan look similar in this picture

Taken in June 2007 at his home

June 2007. Logan apparently loves sports. He should fit in well here. :)

Taken in October 2007, about Logan's 3rd birthday. LOVE the smile.

way too long between updates...

Well, our paperwork is officially finished! The homestudy was approved, so we took a short trip to Yakima in mid-October to submit our application for our 171H (immigration approval). This last piece of paper is like gold--it's confirmation from the US government that if everything in China is as presented here at home, they will give Logan a visa to enter the US. This piece frequently takes the longest to get, but ours was relatively quick. It arrived here about 4 weeks after application, so we felt pretty good. Thanks to an AWESOME courier, it was quickly authenticated and sent to the agency. They have everything all ready to go and will let us know after the Thanksgiving holiday exactly what day our dossier left for China. Now comes the hard part: WAITING!! But, with all the other guys, and basketball season upon us, it should go quickly.

And those other guys are keeping us plenty busy. In October, just after my last update, Emily hurt her knee playing volleyball. Several trips to the doctor later, she's scheduled for surgery on December 6 to repair a torn meniscus in her left knee. No basketball for her this year, but volleyball next fall has a green light. Please pray for a quick recovery for her.

Basketball season is upon us, and for the first time we find ourselves with only ONE player! Pretty amazing, all things considered, but Brent's not playing this year, Emily can't because of her knee, and Victoria will play during the middle school girls season, which starts in February. So only Hailey is playing right now. She made the varsity squad and is having a blast with that. Last night was "Red and White Night" a big intrasquad scrimmage and all-school spaghetti feed on campus. In the first 90 seconds of her game, Hailey dislocated her finger and spent the rest of the evening in the ER. Hopefully it does not become a swift end to a very short season... Other than those minor hitches, life is good. :)

Friday, October 5, 2007


We got a phone call this morning letting us know that we've been PRE-APPROVED by China for Logan's adoption!! This is huge--we didn't anticipate a PA until late October or early November. We still need to submit our dossier and have it approved, but China has tentatively approved us. I'm totally blown away!

A new prayer request: that the remainder of our paperwork will go quickly and smoothly. We still need approval from US Immigration so that we can get Logan a visa to come home. And, we have the rest of our paperwork to authenticate and translate. We're still about 2 or 3 weeks from having our dossier sent to China. Pray that things will go as quickly as the rest of this process has.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Amazed, astounded, and totally blessed!

God is SO incredible! It's hard to even begin to share all the things He has done so far during this process. A short list:

* We learned that Logan is in a family group home, rather like foster care.
* We learned that the group that runs his family home is a Christian organization from the US providing care to children in China.
* We have TONS of pictures of Logan, many very current.
* We have taken the opportunity to sponsor Logan, so now we receive quarterly updates with pictures AND the opportunity to send gifts without causing any problems
* We can get updated measurements on Logan if we want to send clothing as a gift. We'll be taking advantage of this one before we travel!!
* Our homestudy is totally complete! Well, not quite--it must be 30 days from the first visit to the 4th visit, so we hit the 30 day mark on Friday, when our social worker comes for her last visit. She's a delightful lady and we've enjoyed working with her.
* Our state child abuse clearances, which we thought might take 3 to 5 weeks, arrived in less than 2 weeks!
* Our state allows us to walk in with our Immigration application, turn it in, and be fingerprinted on the spot. This can potentially cut as many as 75 days off the wait for the coveted 171H, the US government approval that allows Logan to receive a visa in the future. Hopefully, once our application is turned in, we will have our approval in 14-21 days. That's our next major prayer request.

I continue to be totally blown away by the things that are happening in this adoption. James is in Japan this week, and in the e-mail I just sent, I told him that Logan's story is going to be just as amazing as Ryan's! God has given both our precious boys so many incredible "God-cidences" that there's no way they won't know HE put them here in our family.

Incredibly blessed,


Monday, September 17, 2007

Oops--should have mentioned...

...that Fu Xiao Tong has an American name now. He will be called Logan James FuTong Kassebaum. We're pretty excited to have that part out of the way--it's hard to keep referring to a little one, whose picture you have in your hands, as "he" or "the little guy" or "Ryan's twin." A name is a good thing...

Totally unbelievable...

Knock me down with a feather.... I am totally speechless seeing what God is doing.

We have been told that it's likely Logan is in foster care. Today, that was confirmed for us, with a picture, no less!! Someone contacted the Waiting Child program director at our agency and pointed out that she thought our little one had pictures at the Philip Hayden Foundation website. Sure enough--he's there. Blows my mind to think that we could find his pic and SEE that he's healthy, happy, and well loved. What a confirmation for us!

And more amazing to me: Jim knows a gentleman through his job who currently works in China. This man has been involved at Children's Village and Shepherd's Field, where Logan is living, and may actually know our little guy! Once we get our PA, we'll try and contact him to see if he would be willing to deliver a special package to Logan.

Our God is an AWESOME God!!!



Thursday, September 13, 2007

Well, we're making progress. The LOI is off to the agency and should be on it's way to China soon. The medicals are being done as we speak (since both Jim and I recently had check-ups, the forms are a technicality!), the police clearances have been ordered, the other clearances for the homestudy are ready to be processed, the birth and marriage certificates have been ordered, the job verification already done and sitting here, and there's a HUGE stack of paper sitting on the corner of the desk just waiting for our next visit with the social worker. Yep, the NEXT visit. When I contacted her to set up our first visit, the timing must have been just perfect, since she was available that very evening. God doesn't miss anything!!

If all goes without a hitch, we should have Pre-Approval (PA) in about 30-40 days. That's just enough time to finish up the homestudy visits, get the rest of the dossier authenticated, and visit Yakima for our CIS paperwork. It's our very fervent prayer to be DTC (Dossier To China) by November 1....

We'll keep you posted.....

Sunday, September 2, 2007

The journey begins...

Today we made a momentous decision! We told an adoption agency we would like to be the family of a very special little boy. Hopefully we will be allowed to proceed. The agency and CCAA (China Center for Adoption Affairs) willing, we should have son #3 home in time for summer fun. Just as soon as we can, we'll post pictures...