What a week! After what seemed like months of trying to decide on the perfect name for our little guy, we have chosen a name that we feel will match his personality and have a special meaning.
Brody means "second son." As he will be joining an awesome big brother, we felt Brody fit him well, was easy to spell, and passed the pronunciation test of his teenage sister adopted from China last year. We also considered a couple of other names, one, when pronounced meant cow in Chinese... Needless to say it didn't make the final cut. Miller is the maiden name of Ryan's grandmother as well as Brody's grandfather's middle name. We hope he likes his name as much as we do. We also plan to incorporate his Chinese name as an additional middle name in case he decides to use his Chinese name in the future. We want him to know that his heritage is important to us.
To add to the excitement of finalizing his name, we received an email from our social worker yesterday (Thursday) that our dossier should be reviewed and we were one step closer to receiving our LOA (Letter of Acceptance). Typically LOA's come a few days to 2 weeks after being reviewed. I woke up to a surprise email today that our LOA has been issued one day after being reviewed! Words can't describe how excited we are to be another step closer to bringing home our son. The emotions of today have been overwhelming and humbling. We have been waiting for our LOA for 50 days and even though that seems like a lifetime as his mommy, some wait twice that long. Initially, I was in shock. And as my devotion this week stated so well: Sometimes our best plans are not His plans. I'm thankful that as I prepared my heart for a long wait and "planned" it that way, God had other plans. As I franticly try to revise my to-do lists and prioritize all the things I would do while I waited, I am reminded to focus on the journey and our son, even though it would be easy to focus on other distractions. He's teaching me to find joy in the journey, to not sweat the menial things. To give God the glory when He comes through in a big way. As we rejoice in our wonderful news, we ask that you pray for our kiddos, all of them, as we try to cherish these last weeks as a family of 5 and for our precious son who will soon begin to learn what it means to be a son, brother, grandson, nephew, and cousin.
For those who are keeping up with our timeline, our next step will be to submit for our US immigration approval (I800). This should take about 3 weeks. The approval and our documents will be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) and sent to the US Embassy in China (1 week). Once the Embassy processes our documents (2 weeks), China will issue Travel Approval (TA). We will leave for China a couple of weeks after Travel Approval. If all goes well, we hope to be traveling by the end of October.