Monday, June 2, 2008

Earthquakes and prayer request...

I woke up on sunday morning, June 1st, to a report that there was an earthquake(6.4) in the Phillippines and southern Taiwan. Anna lives in Taipei, which is located in northern Taiwan, so I was relieved to know that she is safe, however, an hour or so later, I heard of another earthquake (6.0), this time it was felt in Taipei. I am fully trusting God will protect her so I am not losing sleep over that, but it makes me want to travel even sooner to go get her. In my spirit I feel like God is doing something with these earthquakes in Asia.... but, that is for another day and not what this post is about... I am requesting for prayer....

Before I make my request, I want to tell you a little bit about the Taiwan adoption process...

In Taiwan, the adoption is final before you travel. What happens is

1) You receive your referral (in our case, Anna is our referral)
2) Our dossier gets sent to Taiwan (I believe the orphanage) (ours was sent on May 28)
The dossier is a stack of paperwork that basically proves who we are and our "qualifications" for adopting her... it includes medical reports of Aaron & I, our financial report, an employment verification for Aaron and a non-employment verification for me, our state certified and authenticated homestudy, power of attorney so that a rep from the orphanage can be in the courts and sign on our behalf, an adoption agreement, our approval form fro the INS office stating we are allowed to bring an orphan from Taiwan into our country for adoption, (I might be missing a couple of other info, but basically that is our dossier)

3) Our dossier gets translated into chinese and it enters the court system in Taiwan.
(The courts will assign a judge to the case, which can take anywhere from a few weeks to 8 months!!) It all depends on the schedule of the courts and the schedule and possibly the personality of the judge.

4) Once the case is logged into the "system" and a judge is assigned to our case, a hearing date is set...(I am assuming that a hearing can be scheduled right away, or it could get delayed) this is where it gets a little bit mysterious and there are probably many steps in between that I just am not aware of...

5) On the hearing date, I believe the judge is responsible for going through the case... some of the things he/she will need to determine is to make sure that first, the orphan is truly an orphan and everyone that may be able to claim her as a dependent is presented and makes their final relinquishment. In our case, Anna doesn't really have any family members other than her birthmother. The birthfather disappeared as soon as he found out the birthmom was pregnant and she has not had any contact with him since that time. Her mother does not even know about her pregnancy since she kept it a secret. The birthmother chose us, so I believe she has already done her part in relinquishing Anna to the state, which, in my mind should be a very easy case. Ofcourse, the judge's job is to also make sure that Aaron & I are legitmate and hopefully the paperwork proves that we are great candidates for parenting Anna. Once the judge has had time to go over everything and those who he wants to question are present, he can make his final ruling right away (although, I believe there is a mandatory 10 day period after final ruling to make sure the birthmother has a chance to change her mind). Sometimes, though, the judge can ask for a 2nd hearing if he/she doesn't get enough information to make a ruling right then.
Once the final ruling is made in our favor, the court process is over and Anna is more or less ours for good! After that happens, we are given notice by our agency and we can begin to make travel arrangements! Our agency will make an appointment at the AIT (basically the US Consulate in Taiwan) and the US side of the paperwork for bringing home Anna begins. It usually takes about a month to get her paperwork, visa, passport in order and during that time, we'll be making our travel arrangements to go get her.

Now that you know all that, and knowing that this could be as quick as 1-2 months or as late as 8+ months, (Those who have done adoption paperwork state-side, know how each state and its government offices can be super quick, or VERY slow or somewhere in between, can get a good idea how the Taiwan process works too....it's basically the same... ) Our prayer request is as follows:

1) Anna will know we are her parents and attach to us quickly (we know God can cause that to happen so that's our prayer)

2) That we have FAVOR with the government in Taiwan and will be given a very quick hearing appointment and that the judge will grant us final ruling on the same hearing.

3) That we will travel in the perfect time that God has... I personally would LOVE to travel in July(although that would mean our hearing HAS to be scheduled THIS month and have a final ruling by the end of the month.. God can do that if He wants) because the boys will be out of school and it will give us a good month to adjust before school starts and they wouldn't have to miss school to go get her. God's timing is perfect though so we know God will work out those details.

4)That God would prepare Aaron & my hearts (and the boys too) for adding Anna to our family. It's been 6 years since I've had a "baby" in the house and although I am SO excited, I know it is also a very demanding time. We want to make sure we are all prepared to work together.

5) A great family bonding time with the boys and for Aaron & I to have some couple time before our life gets busy.

Thank you for reading ALL of this... your prayers mean alot and if you want to, you can even leave your prayer in the comment section ~ but don't feel obligated to.

Blessings!

4 comments:

Mark, Rebecca and Sophia said...

Pam-

I am lifting these prayer requests up to our loving father. I think the world of you (from afar). You have blessed me tremendously by your kindness and your example.

I just know that God will be in every single detail.

I am happy to know how to pray. Be assured that I am on my knees for you.

Blessings!

Kelly & Matt said...

Pam,

Praying that the Lord blesses and protects Anna Li as she waits for her mommy and daddy. That He grants her the knowledge of you upon your first meeting and bonding begins right away. Prayig that the hearing judge is diligent in deciding your case and that God prepares each of you for your new roles relating to Anna Li. Wishing you a speedy court date and safe travels.

Kelly

Karmen said...

A little prayer on your behalf ...

Father, first I want to thank you for bringing Anna into the Askew's life and home. What a gift she is to them ... an what a gift they are to her as well. I pray that you will bless this family and knit them together in a bond so tight that it could only come from you.

I know that Hepatitis B is nothing to you God, and so I pray for health and total healing for little Anna.

Father I pray that you will somehow miraculously move the Askew file to the TOP of the pile in the Taiwan court system. Move the file -- and move the judge to act quickly on their behalf. I pray that he would see the benefit of getting Anna into her forever family swiftly and that nothing would stand in the way. Help the Askews bring their Anna home quickly.

Thank you for your amazing gift of adoption and life.

Love,
Karmen

Steve n Coco said...

You have our prayers for all of the details. My favorite part of what you said is "God can do that if He wants..." It made me laugh, but is it ABSOLUTELY TRUE.