Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Article 5 and Alligators

Current Adoption Process: Waiting for our Article 5 pickup.
What is Article 5? This is the last step before we get travel approval.  
Definition of Article 5: Article 5 Letter - states that you are approved as a suitable adoptive parent and that the child will be able to enter and reside permanently in the United States. 

The Article 5 Letter takes 2 weeks from drop off to pick up.  Ours was dropped of on 6-5-17 and is planned to be picked up 6-19-17.  After that, we wait for TRAVEL APPROVAL!!!!!!  Which, could come, if it's fast, the end of the week that we receive our Article 5 Letter or the following week.  So, we are SO CLOSE to traveling to China to bring Judah HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It's surreal. 

AND, what could I do to help pass the time????  Well, I have made each of our kids a quilt.  I finally picked Judah's pattern and will work on this so it is ready for Drew and Anna to take to him when they travel. All about the alligators, I don't know why, I was just drawn to it, thought it was cute and loved the colors. He will be irresistible all wrapped up in it!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

It's ALL in a name

Judah Rayne XiaTao Ryan

OK, this is the name post.   We've announced "Judah" as soon as we got his referral. We put a lot of thought into naming our kids. At first I always think it's going to be fun, but then I start to feel the stress of "a perfect name".  But as we've considered this sweet boy and what name fits him... we've chosen  what we think, is a perfect name for him.

JUDAH- Actually, my best friend threw out this name early on as a suggestion.  Over time, for me, it just became "the" name.  And when I saw his face; it was a match :)   Biblically, Judah was the 4th son of Jacob and Leah. And he had an older brother named Levi (Levi is our 5th child:) ) So, that's kind of a cool, unplanned similarity.

This was the day we received Judah's referral
RAYNE- This name came out of nowhere but in a powerful way.  It was briefly mentioned in a sermon one Sunday morning... "rain is a symbol of God's blessing in the bible"  It came at a time during this last year of hard waiting in the adoption process and personally struggling with my dad being really ill.  It was a sweet whisper of hope and encouragement to what was feeling like a desperate and desolate time. 

So, I read more about rain in the bible.  I found that it can be a symbol of God's blessing.  It brings refreshment, ensures growth, and promotes fruitfulness. BUT, it can also bring destruction and disaster.  In the bible it is used in both ways.  And I am reminded of the double edged sword of adoption.  It is born out of destruction- the loss of a first family. But it also provides for growth, fruitfulness and life with a new family.  It's a perfect metaphor of adoption.  I hope when Judah is big, he understands that I know he lost something that he was meant to have- his family.  And for whatever reason, that was taken.  But I will forever be honored to have the privilege to call him son and raise him with the same love that I have for his siblings before him. We take joy in knowing we will add him to our family.

XiaTao- The name given to our sweet boy when he arrived at the orphanage.  It means "Summer" and "Big wave".  Which, how perfect is that... he will come home in the heat of the summer, July.  And do you know what kind of splash he is going to make in our family?  Yea, A BIG WAVE!

So, when I think of Judah Rayne XiaTao; I think of hope, blessing in the midst of trial, a sweet biblical heritage and the perfect name for our boy, our 6th child and the caboose to our Ryan Train.

I800 Approval

The next step in the adoption process happened today:)
Today we received word that our I800 application has been approved.  This application was through United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS)
The USCIS will determine, based on the information available to them, if the child meets the definition of a Convention adoptee and appears eligible under U.S. law to enter the United States and reside permanently as an immigrant. USCIS will provisionally approve the Form I-800 if the child qualifies for classification as a Convention adoptee and the proposed adoption or grant of custody will meet Convention requirements. 

Today I called and the officer we were assigned said she approved us this morning:)   So, I wait another week and then expect the next step. The United States State Department writes a letter with a special seal.  We wait for that and then also apply for Judah's visa and those documents then get forwarded to U.S. Central Authority’s Approval For Hague Adoption.  Then all those papers are delivered to the Consulate in China and they will approve us for a Consulate date in China and we should get travel approval.  

It's confusing but I work toward each step as it comes, as quickly as I can:)

Today we CELEBRATE  I800 Approval!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

BEARD BE GONE!!!!!!! Fundraiser

to bring Judah home
5/18/17 UPDATE:
This Fundraiser ran from 5-12 to 5-18-17
We are SO grateful to announce that by the graciousness of our friends and family, we are SO much closer to bringing Judah home this summer!  God has provided for this adoption through generous and passionate hearts.  When we started this adoption, we felt strongly compelled to move forward, but as always, the questions of "how" were prevalent.   Because we witnessed, first hand how God provided for our first adoptions, it was easier to trust Him that everything would fall into place to complete this adoption, even though we had no vision of what that would look like.  To you, who have stepped up and seen the need for a child without a family to have one and so generously given to bring Judah home, we are continually humbled by your support. And so grateful for the opportunity to be Judah's family, his forever home.
By your generosity, we raised $3500 of the $5000 toward our final financial needs to complete this adoption. 
We give Thanks to God for all He is and does through this experience.

If you have not seen it yet, we have a little boy that we are bringing home from China.  Judah will become part of the Ryan Clan in, what we hope will be, a short time.  We would love to have you partner with us in bringing him home.  As you can see from the pics I have grown an epic beard.  Aimee would not call it epic.  Scruffy, unruly, unkempt, unsightly… maybe, but not epic.

Given our newly estimated and close travel plans of July, we are working hard to finish funding this adoption with one last “epic” fundraiser. We both have been working extra jobs to fund Judah coming home. And with the end in sight, we are striving to be fully funded before the first of July. To help close the gap, I am offering my epic and awesome beard up for ransom.  The goal is $5000.00 by thursday, May 18 at 6:30 pm.  If we meet the goal, Aimee will get to shave my beard off live on Facebook.

The funds needed to complete the adoption are for the following: Travel Visas, Flights to and from China, In-China travel (planes, trains and automobiles as well as hotels), Adoption Registration, as well as Judah’s Passport, Visa, and Medical Exam.  This brings our need to about $7000 to be fully funded.

2 ways to participate in Beard Be Gone”:

1. LifeSong Account: *for tax deductible gifts
Copy and paste this in your web browser: https://www.lifesongfororphans.org/give/donate/  
UnderPlease direct my donation to”: click ADOPTION, Under “I'd like to give to”: click Adoptive Family
Family Account: 6419  and Family Name: Ryan
 Please complete the rest of the form and click the Give Now button at the bottom.
* If you do this please message me or Aimee or send us an email with the amount that you donated so we can keep a running total to reach our goal. We only get updates on that account every 3-5 days, so if we are unaware, we may not count your donation in the total.  *Individual donations of $50 or more and Yearly totals over $250 will receive a tax-deductible receipt.
                                           2.        PAYPAL
If you do not need the tax break then you can donate via our PayPal account.  
           Cut and paste in your web browser: paypal.me/drewnaimee  
We can check on paypal totals as often as we like.  

We have been so humbled by the support of our friends and family during this process.  Thank you for joining efforts with us to give Judah a family and for him to have the opportunity to know his value and that he is loved in this world. Please continue to pray with us as we graft our lives together. We trust in the path ahead and take one step at a time in faith. #FaithMovesMountains


Friday, May 5, 2017


Meet Judah Ryan 
We are TOTALLY over the moon!  This sweetie turns two this month!  May is SO SPECIAL: Drew and I celebrate our 20th Wedding Anniversary, Anna turns 16, the Littles had their 3rd Family Day, we learned who our baby boy is AND his second birthday is this month!  WOW!!!

Last night we found out his file was locked: basically he is ours:)  And we are aloud to share it with the world!  So world, meet Judah Ryan, our beloved!

Thursday, May 4, 2017


Today was "THE" day!   I am writing this to remember each detail, even though I will not be able to share the details until we get the next paperwork process complete.  But we are gushing with excitement at the news of our referral call today.

Thursday, MAY 4, 2017 started our like any other day.  The Littles attended preschool, the big kids were also in school and Drew and I were working.  I was finishing up my last client from 1:30-2:30.... and toward the end of the session, my phone rang.  I keep the phone handy incase the kids should need me, but I don't make a habit of answering. I looked at the incoming call and saw it was from DENVER: where our adoption agency is located.  My heart SKIPPED 1a million beats.  I remained composed, and finished my session, dying the whole while on the inside wondering if this could possibly be a call with a referral!   I finished my session and as I walked out the door, I pulled out my phone to call back and it rang again.... Denver.  I answered and there is was, "We are calling with the file of a little boy we think you might like to look at". Excitement, joy, curiosity.... every emotion slammed into seconds as I was listening.  They sent the file.  I looked at it and drove straight to Drew at work.  I walked in and with a quivering voice, asked if he was ready to give a little boy a name and travel to China to bring him home.  We reviewed the file and decided for sure we wanted to move forward to adopt him.

That evening we told the kids.  First Evan and Rebecca were home at the same time and we told them.  They knew about the whole adoption process and were excited to see a picture of their new brother.  Then we told the Littles together.  They, on the other hand, did not know that we have been planning to bring another child into the fold.  We knew that the wait would be long and hard to comprehend.  So, we have waited until a referral came to tell them.  Levi does not want to share is new brother with anyone- he wants him all to himself and is excited he gets to be a big brother. Then, Anna was at a friends house and we drove there to drop Evan off and told Anna.  She cried with excitement and said "Oh, he's SO CUTE".

So, the next step is to write a Letter of Intent to adopt him and wait for the file to be locked.  Today we cannot share details or pictures until his file is locked. But, the second we can, we will introduce this sweet baby!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry "Wait"-mas

Seems hard to believe we are just shy of 5 months since we started this journey to Ryan#6.  What started out as an overwhelming and compelling desire to adopt again has slowly turned into waiting for someone with earnest that we didn't even know we were missing. But now, the waiting, it's different.  Our paperwork is ready.  China has everything they need.  There is not another thing I can do to move the process forward.  We wait.  Wait for THE Call.  The call with a referral that will be our son.  I think about him; what he will look like, the details of his face, the soft little sound of his voice, the smiles he will break into when the Littles do their best to warm up to him, the way he will melt into our arms when we hold and comfort him, how the Big kids will "pack" him around and cater to his every whim. How Evan will do everything but dance on his head to get our new one to laugh, how Anna will be the first to jump and run to him when he cries and how Rebecca will teach him that the dogs aren't really bad and scary as they might seem.  I can see him here now. I can see how #6 doesn't sound so crazy after all.  The Shock of "Adoption News" has passed for me, and now I think about how life will be when we graft our lives together.  A crib is set up in the Little's room.  I see it and think of him daily.  There is one empty spot at the table; he will fill it.  There is an extra car seat in the garage that I walk by every time I go to the van; soon it will be stuffed in with the others. Yes, the waiting is different now.  Now I see all the places he is being missed. And we Wait with great anticipation.

Maybe Christmas time has made me a little more sentimental. But I think about blessings and family and the best gift ever given.  The gift of life thru Jesus. And because of His fulfilling gift, it's easy to want to offer life to others. So, may our Waiting be Merry ....... Merry "Wait"-mas friends!