The Long's

The Long's
Wind River Ranch - where our journey to Chazz began!

Friday, November 1, 2013


I can't believe it!  We received an email from our agency telling us that we are "Logged in" at China.  Our official LID (log in date) is October 31.  While this doesn't mean much, it is at least progress.  We are still waiting on our LOA (letter of approval).  We should hopefully get this in 6 to 12 weeks.  Our God is great, so let's all pray for the quickest possible!  We weren't expecting LID for another week or two, so all things are possible with God!  Until then, thanks so much for prayers. We appreciate them.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Ahhh!  So wonderful to finally hear.  I logged onto our agencies portal message place and saw the announcement!  Our dossier is on its way to China today!  That is incredible news.  Now we wait for China to translate and officially log it into their system.  We'll receive what they call our LID - log in date.  Then it will get reviewed and officially matched with our son.  They'll issue our LOA - Letter of Approval - and the fun will begin!  That's when we'll get to apply for our Visas and something else and await for the most important news....TA (travel approval).  My best guess is February and Jerry says April.  Can you guess who the optimist and pessimist are in our family!  Jerry says he's actually a realist.  Today we applied for Hanna's passport and it should come in around mid-December.  It's starting to get fun! :)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Dossier complete

Finally, finally, our dossier is complete and is in Grand Rapids.  We waited from August 12 until September for our final documentation -approval from the USCIS. but it finally came.  I had to send the rest of our dossier to Grand Rapids the end of August to get authenticated early, or we were going to have to redo several pieces.  Not a huge problem, just extra money.  Now, we're waiting to hear that our dossier is on its way to China.  I hope we'll hear that in less than a few weeks. Then we will hear from China that they received it, reviewed it, and matched it with Chazz.  That could takes a few months.  Our timeline really hasn't changed.  We're still uncertain of travel, but our best guess is January to April of 2014.  Since my last post, Chazz has turned 8!  We can't wait to announce to the world he's our son and more importantly send him a package to let him know he has a family!  It's amazing to see how God has been working all along.  I need to remember that He's in charge and His plan is ultimately better than mine.  I'm still a work in progress!  No pictures yet, but soon!  Keep checking back

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What a difference a few weeks makes

Wow, last month I posted and said we'd finally started making progres, but really not.  After we found out that our home study was finally done, I didn't catch an error that I told people about back in April.  At first we were going to leave it, but it meant saying we had a bunch of money just sitting in our checking account, so we had to decided to get it changed.  Then we found out we had documents missing in our agency file, no big deal.  However, things didn't take off like I had planned.  I need to remember that I'm NOT in charge even thou I want to be. I need to work on giving everything over to our Savior!  His timing is way better!  Anyway, I mailed documents that were missing on July 3 and finally was able to pick up our home study yesterday, July 16.  Hanna and I drove over to Indy(after her very first sleep over), got the home study, and went to the Secretary of State's office to get documents in our dossier state sealed.  Have I said that our dossier is finished, just need USCIS approval?  Well, thankfully each document passed and got sealed. This is the nice part of today''s post.  Our dossier is done!  It is ready to be sent to GR to get authenticated and then it could be sent to China, except we're still waiting on the USCIS.  This is a relief though. I don't have to redo anything.  Just wait.  God's trying really hard at getting me good at waiting!
  Ok, now for the best part of the post, the reason for all of the  heartaches and trouble...  We have a son!  We had submitted our waiting child paperwork in June and hadn't heard anything.  He's, that led to some frustration on my part!  Yesterday we received a message from our agency that they had locked our son's file.  This means he is ours and no one else can swoop in and try to get him!  He's ours-again!  If you've followed/know us at all, our son is the same son we started to adopt 3 years ago.  For some reason it wasn't the right timing then, but it is now!  I can't share too much about him yet, but he's Hanna's age and from her orphanage.  They used to be friends, but remember we adopted her at 2 years 10 months. I doubt they'll remember each other, but we do have pictures!
Ok, what next you might ask. Well first we're going to enjoy a short vacation at Kings Island, watch Reese play in a baseball tourney, and drop the boys off for church camp.  Then we're going to have a conference call with our agency, fill out our Letter of Intent, and pray that our USCIS fingerprinting appointment gets set quickly (I just applied today and they should get it tomorrow).  Then we get to wait on our USCIS approval, send dossier to China, wait some more, and then hop on a jet plane!  Most likely it will be early 2014.  Jerry's thinking that we'll get him on Reese's birthday, but of course I'm hoping for much earlier than March!
As soon as I can, I'll tell more and post pictures.  We have to wait on our LOA(letter of approval) from China.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Wow!  It really feels like we're making progress, finally!  Our home study has been approved and honestly I'm not really sure what we do with it next.  I think it has to go to a government agency, but not sure.  Probably need to fill out more paperwork and write a check!  Guess I need to ask that question. Anyway, we'd been asking about our little guy and when we could see his file and ask for it to be updated.  Yes, we "know" the boy we want to adopt.  It's actually the same boy we started to adopt 2 or 3 years ago.  Can't officially say too much, but soon.  In order to get his file, we needed to fill out I think the email was 19 pages worth of information.  Last week, my scrap booking friends came over here to scrap without kids and I did adoption stuff instead.  Thank you Lana and Karen S for helping me with reference letters!  I finally got everything finished tonight and emailed it off to our agency. I'm so excited. This has been an already long journey and at last progress is being made. I would think that by the end of the week we should have his file. Then perhaps be working on our LOI (letter of intent). This letter lets China know that we intend to adopt him.  Then it will be a matter of getting our dossier and home study through all of the red tape.  See what I mean!  Slowly, but surely we're making progress!  Prayers are being answered and we're seeing God in every step. Simply amazing!  I will share more as soon as I have it. Can't wait to be able to share his pictures!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

waiting on homestudy

Our last homestudy meeting was on March 13.  Our adoption specialist said that it would take a month to get it written.  Here it is April 17 and we're still waiting!  I've been gathering our dossier documents and that's been slow too.  Our police clearance was a copy (and she was mad that I said I needed the original) and it luckily said I was born in 1671 - so she had no choice but to redo the work.  On our medicals, I accidently started Jerry's birthday off with a 0 and he was born in November - so I have to get the doctor to redo his.  I thought I'd need a clearance letter for medicine, but really its for surgeries, so I have to get that redone too.  God has his reasons for these trials, so we'll just wait them out.

I have a dear friend who was just diagnosed with breast cancer and will be having surgery soon.  Would you please keep her and her family in your prayers?  She's too young for this disease, but she's doing super!  She is definitely showing her faith through this trial.

Here are a few pictures from spring break.  We visited Seaman in St. Louis.  He'll be going to China this summer to work in his company's officer in Shanghai.  We're hoping to visit him when we go for our adoption trip.
 Reese liked the butterfly gardens.  The blue morpho butterflies were huge.
 Hanna with her beloved hippos!  Hippos are her favorite animals.  Not sure why..
Perfect photo bomb while on spring break in St. Louis!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Radical Requests

Pastor Brock hit it straight on the head this morning!  It is amazing how God works like that.  Many of you know that this adoption is to get a little guy in Hanna's orphanage.  I say little, but he is actually already 7 and most likely will be 8 before we have a chance to get him.  He is older than Hanna - by 3 months - and has been in the orphanage his whole life.  He has a hearing impairment and ear deformity.  His adoption will most likely not be easy.  We'll have to try to teach an eight year old English and help get his earing fixed or at least made better.  We'll also have to get him into school - an all English speaking school.  It isn't ideal.  This is where God has led us.  He's led us to This child.  He's telling us that this is Our son, that we need to bring Him home.  Yesterday I saw some absolutely beautiful babies waiting for families in China.  One little one if particular is gorgeous.  I went to bed last night asking Jerry if we should just get a baby.  A baby would be so easy.  A baby would learn language easier.  A baby would make bonding easier.  A baby would not have to get to school quickly.  A baby... I love babies.  I would take a baby in a heart beat.  Then God entered again to reiterate what he's been telling us for 4 years.  Let loose on your grip with adopting a baby - let loose on what you think your perfect child is - let loose and listen to Me.  God has a plan and I was trying to take the easy road.  Just like with Abraham who was willing to sacrafice his only Son to follow and listen to God.

The Starfish

An old man was walking down the beach just before dawn. In the distance he saw a young man picking up stranded starfish and throwing them back into the sea. As the old man approached the young man, he asked; "Why do you spend
so much energy doing what seems to be a waste of time?" The young man explained that the stranded starfish would die if left in the morning sun. "But there must be thousands of beaches and millions of starfish, exclaimed the old man. "How can your efforts make any difference?" The young man looked down at the small starfish in his hand and as he threw it to safety in

the sea, he said; "It makes a difference to this one!" -author unknown

I came across this story while visiting one of the several adoption sites I like.  Seems so fitting! 
We've now had our 2nd homestudy meeting and will have our 3rd on Monday.  We are really looking forward to finishing up the meetings and getting our dossier completed.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Why Adoption

    We are often asked that question or told what a wonderful thing we are doing.  Ultimately it isn't about us at all.  Hanna has blessed our life so much - we're the lucky ones.
Why adopt? Our journey started formally about 8 years ago - but earlier for me.  I never thought I'd have biological children, so I always thought I'd adopt.  Jerry was not quite there with me - especially after we were blessed with 2 wonderful boys through the use of fertility drugs.  After Reese, I wanted more children, but our pregnancies were not easy.  I was on bed rest with both of the boys - but longer with Reese. 
     Then God gave Brooks a friend named Solomon.  They were best buddies in kindergarten.  Solomon's mom and I started scrapbooking together - and they were in the middle of the paperchase to adopt a little girl from China.  Kathy and Clay had 3 boys, but felt led to adopt.  I lived through her during those days learning as much as I could about the journey and nagging Jerry about doing the same thing.  For about 2 years, he always said no.
Then God introduced us to Paul and Stacey.  They had 1 son and were beginning their paperchase to adopt from Korea.  We went to a dinner theater one night and discussed adoption all the way there and back.  When we got home, Jerry and I had a conversation about it and he said he didn't want to adopt and I needed to stop.
     Well, we know how God works sometimes and He worked in a big way this time!  It was the week of Thanksgiving and Jerry got the worst back pain he's ever had.  It lasted for days and he tried everything to relieve the pain.  Ultimately he was trying to tell God no and God was telling him yes!  On the night of Thanksgiving after everyone had left and we were cleaning up, he came to me and said he knew what was wrong with his back.  He'd been complaining all week, so I was very interested.  Jerry said that he wanted to adopt, but was nervous - and almost that instanteously his back ache went away.  We immediately got on the internet and looked up the agency that our friends were using and signed up.  That was November, 2005.  It was supposed to be 11 months to get Hanna, but ended up being 3 years - but Hanna was born in December, 2005!
      Over the years, we've been amazed at the number of sermons we've heard that actually have called us to adopt. It might not have had anything to do with adoption, but that was the meaning given to us.
     So back to the original question, why adopt?  Our question is why not.  There are about a million kids -or more- out there in the world who don't have a mom and a dad to tuck them in at night and read them a bedtime story.  There are a million kids out there who may not know the love of a family.  There are about a million kids out there who haven't been introduced to God's love and grace.  There are a million kids out there who need us.