Some of y’all have wondered about our timeline to Miss Tallula. And mentioned that it seemed that we’d had the fastest and easiest paperchase in history.
It wasn’t exactly the fastest. Or the easiest.
But the question did get me to thinking: when did we ‘start’ for Tallula? How long has it been?
And the answer stung this mama’s heart a bit.
Because our journey to Tallula started with Esther. If we had not fallen completely head over heels for a little girl with pixie ears and long eyelashes, we’d have never found our Tallula.
And, despite the sting, I decided to type it all out, beginning to end. Not only to share with y’all, but to remind myself. Of this journey we set out on so many months ago.
15 months ago, to be exact.
December 12th – see Esther’s face for the first time and fall completely in love
December 17th – apply to Small World to adopt Esther
December 18th – Esther is put ‘on hold’ for our family
January 1st – God gives me a verse: Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. ~ 1 Corinthians 28:20
January 12th – our LOI goes to China
January 27th – PA
March 28th – homestudy update completed and off to USCIS
April 29th – LOA for Esther and Poppy
May 9th – we receive a call from our agency, Esther has passed away
July 1st – receive a file to consider – it’s our girl
July 4th – LOI to China
July 6th – PA for Tallula
July 22nd – LOA for Tallula
July 22nd – August 5th – travel to China for Poppy
August 8th – begin new homestudy for Tallula – due to out-of-state move
November 7th – new homestudy finally complete and off to USCIS
December 22nd – fingerprint appointment at USCIS
January 25th – new 797 and I800 for Tallula, at last
February 21st – Article 5 paperwork delivered to CCCWA
March 19th – TRAVEL APPROVAL
April 9th – April 17th – finally meet Tallula Mae and bring home our girl
Of course, this is the super-lite version of our timeline. It leaves out all that God did to confirm Esther was our daughter. It leaves out all the anxieties, conversations with social workers, and long talks with prayer partners.
It leaves out the countless prayers lifted on our behalf as we fought to bring Esther home.
It leaves out the heartache at losing our Esther.
It also leaves out the elation at finding our Tallula… and the joy-filled anticipation of bringing her home.
And recognizing God’s hand in all of it.
So, thanks for asking the question. I am grateful for the opportunity to look back and see how the pieces of our story are woven intricately together by the Creator Himself.
For everything comes from Him; everything exists by His power and is intended for His glory. To Him be glory evermore.