People frequently ask me if I have gotten any new news about Hannah. Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing when we will get updates. So far the 2 that we have gotten have just been surprises in my inbox. I received one of these surprises this past Wednesday. 🙂
I’m totally in love, and I want to feel overjoyed by the new picture, and by the wonderful accompanying news that she has grown several centimeters, has yet another tooth, is learning to stand, and can say “mama”. I feel so incredibly fortunate to hear that she is still in the same orphanage where she seems to be receiving such a high level of care. I am also incredibly thankful that her health status is simply listed as “healthy”. Knowing that many babies with heart conditions in China will never get to a place in their life where they can have this label.
I want to focus on all of these good things, because what I really felt when I got this picture was sad. Every day since the end of February, when we got the last update, I have stared at her picture. I have looked at her big brown eyes and sweet baby cheeks, and wished so much that I could hold that sweet baby. The wait has been hard, but really okay, but I think that somehow in my head I had figured that she would stay frozen in time as the sweet baby in the picture. I know that doesn’t make any sense at all, but when I saw this new picture, I was truly startled. She looks so much bigger! Her hair is growing in, and she has lost some of the baby look in her face. I just can’t believe that I have missed it. I missed these precious months of growing. I understand that she can say “mama”, but I know that she can’t have any true understanding of what that word means, because her mama is half a world away.
I knew this wait would be hard, I really did. I just didn’t realize that there would be some days that are overwhelmingly hard. Hannah is already such a part of our family, and has such a part of my heart. I just ache for the time that we are missing, and for this crucial time in her life that she is missing out on knowing the love of her family.
Right now, our paperwork is in China, and is being processed. We are waiting for our official Letter of Approval (LOA). This is the first time during the wait that the timeline is really unpredictable. Some people describe it to be like the grocery store check-out line; some people make it through the fast lane, and some people are in the slow lane. We are hoping and praying to be one of the lucky ones in the fast lane. After we receive our LOA, we have to go back through U.S. Immigration to seek permission to bring Hannah in as a U.S. citizen. After that happens, we will really be in the home stretch. I know the end of the wait is out there, but I can’t wait until I can see it!