Sunday, December 28, 2014

End of Year Update: Hopes and Prayers

So, Christmas is finally over. I'll be honest with you (not like I'd lie anyway!), but it's a big relief to have it over and done with. It's not that we didn't enjoy the holiday (though David came down with a case of shingles and that wasn't enjoyable at all), but when you're waiting on something, especially something big, days like Christmas become a waypoint. With each holiday, we can say, “This should be the last one without the kids,” or, “Just think, the kids should be home for next Christmas.” Thoughts like this ignite hope in our poor little hearts because let me tell you, the adoption process feels like a lifetime, especially after you've found your child or children and you know they're waiting for you.

Since our last post, it seems like not much has happened until recently. The home study that we started back in August with our initial paperwork was finally delivered to us a few days before Christmas. That same day, we overnighted our USCIS application (immigration approval stuff) to Texas so we can get started on that. Our adoption agency has said the chance of us making our dossier deadline given to us by China is pretty slim because our home study took so long, but they are going to file an extension for us while we wait for the USCIS approval to come, which will probably take 6 weeks or so, and then a copy of that document has to be notarized, state certified, and then authenticated. In the meantime, we are going to get the document-sealing process done on the rest of our dossier documents. Last time around, we waited until we got the USCIS approval and then had all of our documents sealed at the same time, which saves on postage and courier fees, but half of our documents start expiring at the end of March unless we get them to the Chinese Embassy in Chicago for sealing before then (documents can't be over 6 months old for them to authenticate at that location), or else they have to be redone. We'd prefer not having to redo pretty much half of our dossier!

We're also waiting for updates on the kiddos. Our agency requested updates on them last week since it's been 90 days from our preapproval. We are hoping and praying to get updated medical and developmental information on both of them. Skye's information we received in her file was very recent, from the past few months, but Kai's information was from April 2014, when he was only 13 months old. He'll be 2 in March, so that's a pretty big chunk of time for a little guy, comparatively speaking. Of course, we'd also be thrilled to get new pictures of the kids and (dare I even say it?) possibly video. We have 2 videos of Skye already and are so thankful for them. You can see her sweet personality shine right through her shy smile and quiet little voice. So much of the time it seems like the kids are so far away and can't possibly be real, so we crazy adoptive parents are eager for any kind of pictures or information that make our kiddos more real to us as we wait.There are several months ahead of lots more paperwork, grant applications, etc., but most of all, lots of waiting to bring them home. Not our favorite word, by the way!

Below is a picture of Kai and Skye's boxes where we've been putting special things for them while we wait. In them, you'll see some things that we will be sending to them soon, including a photo book of their new family, some toys, an outfit, jammies, and candy for the orphanage staff /foster family. Also in there are special things for them that we'll take with us when we actually travel to get them like a special blankie and stuffed animal for each of them. These simple plastic tubs represent a hope that is deferred for right now; hearts that are preparing to bring these children home to a family that loves them so much already, even though we haven't met yet.

A few weeks ago, Lily told us that she was “frusterated” with Daddy and Mommy. When asked why, she said, “Because you took too long to get me in China.” In one way, her statement broke our hearts because she somehow remembers her own waiting, too. However, this spunky little 4-year-old now knows the difference between where she was before and that she is now home, and we are looking forward to Kai and Skye knowing that difference as well.

All in all, we are so thankful to have our kids that are here already and for the ones to come home. What a great privilege we have been given! We are so thankful to God for doing this work in our hearts and family and taking us to places that we would have never dreamed we'd go (both metaphorically and literally!). We are so thankful to Him for His provision, even when we can't see how it will work out yet, but we know it will. And we are so thankful to you, dear friends, because you have chosen to follow along with us in this journey. This is really so much bigger than just one family trying to bring a few children home, but a glimpse of just a tiny part of how much God loves each and every one of us and how He went not to the other side of the world to adopt us into His family, but from the glories of Heaven to the dust of this earth when He gave everything for us.

We ask that you would please pray along with us for His provision for the rest of the adoption process, for patience along the way with all of the waiting (which we're not so great at, if you couldn't tell!), that Kai and Skye's hearts even now are preparing to bond and attach with all of us, and for their health and well-being.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pre-Order Your Holiday Wreaths!

The holidays are right around the corner, so we are now taking orders for fresh wreaths and grave pillows!  We are offering the following:

Item                                                                                 Price*
-12" Wreath                                                                     $20.00
The perfect size for your front door! 

-18" Wreath                                                                     $30.00
Decorate your house with this one!

-Grave Pillow                                                                   $40.00

For all items, you have your choice of bow color, red or gold.

You can order via e-mail (preferred method) at or by phone at 219-956-4424 (please leave message if no answer). 

When ordering, please indicate the following:
-Bow color
-The date you need the item(s) by so we can have plenty of time to create your beautiful holiday decoration.

We are sorry, but we are unable to ship orders

When you order one of these holiday classics from us, know that all proceeds go towards adoption expenses for our new son and daughter, Kai and Skye (see last post for details and adorable pictures). 

If you would like to donate without placing an order, please click here:

As always, thank you for your continued prayers and support!!

*Price reflects suggested donation amount.

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Skye Full of Stars

Oh what a crazy few weeks it's been!  While we were working with one agency to get Kai's file transferred, our adoption agency posted on its public waiting child profiles a little girl named Yi Min. As soon as we saw her, Kathie contacted CCAI and asked for the opportunity to review her file.  We weren’t the first.  We were notified that there were a lot of families who had already asked to view her paperwork and were ahead of us in line.

To us, there was just something about this precious girl that we couldn't let go of. We prayed that she'd find a family, even if that family wasn't us. We checked our agency’s website several times a day to see if her picture had those magical words attached: "My family has found me!"  Whenever we talked our agency staff on different matters, we were sure to let them know that we were still interested in precious Yi.

During one conversation Kathie had with our agency’s staff, she was told that chances were very slim that we'd get an opportunity to review Yi's file. There were so many folks still on the list ahead of us, and on top of that, her file was scheduled to be returned to the Chinese  Children's Welfare Agency in the next couple of weeks.  David was sure to communicate to them that they shouldn't do that without letting us see her file!  It was so sad to think her file might have to be returned without her finding her forever family when we knew we would accept her in a heartbeat.  We knew, though, that every agency has certain protocol to follow.

Each day, several times a day, we continued to check the website. Had she been matched yet?  No!  How could it be that no one had accepted this sweet little girl yet?!  It was breaking our hearts at the thought that her file might go back, and then who knew what would happen with her.

David’s part of the story: I checked on Yi's page three or four times a day.  I had told the ladies in my office about how this girl just called to us, but that there was little to no hope of getting her. On Thursday, September 18th, I checked on her page, saw she wasn't yet matched, and emailed Kathie with, "I have to stop looking at Yi's file, but I can't."  She replied that she knew what I meant and how hard it was.  I had to tour the hospital that day with a regional engineer.  Our hospital has several areas where it's difficult to get a cell signal, and that day the wireless network had also gone out.  As we toured, we went into the surgery area, suddenly my phone started vibrating.

I had texts, voicemails, and e-mails from Kathie asking for me to call her ASAP.  I walked to a window to get better reception and called.  Our agency had sent us Yi’s file!! Everyone else had passed on her file. I knew right away and told Kathie to say yes.  I knew that if God brought her file to us that she was, without a doubt, our daughter.  I said "yes" without looking at her file.  It was pretty emotional.  I cried there in the surgery department and for the next two days was overwhelmed that we were going to be able to bring this girl home.

Kathie’s part of the story:  It was crazy how things for this adoption have been working.  Within a week of having our application approved, we had already found Kai.  His referral fell into our laps in a really crazy way and we fell in love with this adorable little guy.  A day or so after we had his file, and while waiting to see if his file could be transferred to our agency, this sweet little girl’s profile showed up on our agency’s website.  She had quite a few medical needs and it was obvious she was going to need a lot in the way of surgery/therapy/etc. once home, but there was just something about her that pulled at my heart so much.  You read above how we were on a waiting list to see her file and were told several times that there was little to no chance that we’d ever get to see it.  I was so heartsick seeing her picture on the website day after day.  I kept praying that God would let her get matched soon, that I wished it could be us, but that I just wanted her to have a family.  Now, these kids all break our hearts and we pray that they all will find their forever family and not have to wait so long, but this was so much different.  I didn’t know why it was different, but it felt just heartwrenching.  I also just knew that if by some crazy chance we did get her file, God meant for us to be her family.

The day we received her file had been super busy.  Our oldest son had just been offered a publishing contract that morning and we had been busy with all of that, plus the normal day-to-day stuff with the girls at home and work.  It was my mid-day work break that the e-mail came and I about fell over!  The e-mail said they needed an answer ASAP because her file was going back very soon (turns out, the very next week and this was Thursday), so I tried to reach David, but couldn’t get him on his work phone or his cell phone at all.  I wanted to call our agency and just tell them yes already, but wanted to double-check with David because this was a big deal.  I was freaking out, so I called my mom.  She came right over (she lives next door anyway) and I showed her Yi’s paperwork and pictures.  Like I said, Yi has a lot going on medically, and in looking at everything she is going to need, I felt like we must be crazy.  I kept telling Mom that it doesn’t make sense to accept her file, she needs so much, what are we thinking, we have got to be crazy…but despite all that, there was absolutely NO WAY I could say no to her.  When I clicked on the first video of her, I started sobbing because it was so clear.  I knew as certainly as I knew my own name that God meant for her to be daughter.  How amazing!!  It wasn’t too much longer before David called me asking why I had tried every communication mode known to mankind to try and get in touch with him, and, well, you know the rest of the story.  Sooooo, we submitted the required paperwork and received Yi’s pre-approval on Sept. 29th.

We also now knew why others had passed on her file...because she was not their daughter.  We have heard from a few of them and it was the same story…they just didn’t feel like they were the family she was supposed to be in.  To them, I am so grateful they said no! God brought our girl that we thought we'd never have a chance to receive.  Later in the day, our agency’s website had those oh-so-magical words under her photo:  "My family has found me!"

So, without further ado, here are the 2 newest Steinbergs in all their adorable-ness, Kai Benjamin and Skye Isabella!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Quick Update

We submitted our Letter of Intent yesterday for an adorable 18-month-old little guy!  Our agency is submitting this preliminary paperwork to China, and we should hopefully hear within the next 2-4 weeks if we are granted pre-approval on him.  After we receive pre-approval, we will be free to post specifics about him.  In the meantime, we are in the home study process and also waiting to find our new little lady.  We do have a little girl we are very interested in and are on a waiting list to review her file, though her family may find her before her file makes it to us.  In any event, we are just praying that God works things out according to His perfect will and that we can behave ourselves and be patient through everything.  Patience is not usually one of our strong points! =)

Again, as always, thank you for all the prayers!  Seriously, it makes such a difference.  Also, thank you to those of you who have donated in our Frozen dress giveaway.  We can't express how much it means to us to know that there are people standing with us in this process.  It's not always easy, and honestly sometimes seems nearly impossible and way too big for us, but we know that God has led us in this direction and that He is faithful to provide what we need.  We are excited to be on this journey and glad you are all along for the ride! =)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Do You Want to Win Some Dresses?

Do you want to win some dresses and help a family along the way?
We're having a fun giveaway we hope will help us bring our children home to stay.
The holidays are coming and these would make great gifts for a special girl in your life!
Do you want to win some dresses? 
We know your girls would love some dresses.
Why not try?

Our girls love the movie Frozen.  Actually, obsessed is a better word to describe it!  They will often break into a rousing rendition of "Let It Go" with little warning, especially Lily when we're shopping.  They have both been begging for Frozen costumes for their birthdays, and we thought if our girls are that hyper about Frozen, maybe, just maybe, there are some other girls out there that would love to dress up like their beloved Elsa and Anna.  To that end, we are having a Frozen dress giveaway to help raise some funding for our adoption!  We already have a referral for an adorable little guy and are waiting for his paperwork to be transferred over to our agency, so that means we'll have some fees to pay in the next few months that we wouldn't have had to pay until next spring (aka, tax return time!). 

How the giveaway will work is for every $10 donated, you will get 1 entry.  We will actually have 3 drawings, one for each of the 3 brand-new dresses shown above:  An extra-small Elsa dress modeled by Lily, a 2-piece size 7-8 Elsa coronation dress modeled by Sophie, and an adorable size 7-8 Anna coronation dress.  If you have a preference on which dress you would prefer to win, please leave a note when you put in your donation and we will do our best to accommodate your request.  The contest will run until midnight on Friday September 19th and we will draw the names of the big winners on the morning of Saturday September 20th.  If you win and are not local, we will ship the dress to you!

If you would like to enter the giveaway, please click the link.  If you have problems with the link, please let us know!

Thank you again for all of your prayers, love, and support, and have fun with the giveaway!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Big Table

When we bought our first house 14 years ago, we felt we needed a new dining room set. Up to that time, we had a small table and 2 chairs, adding in a highchair when our first son came along. We hadn't had a dining room in our apartment anyway. When we moved into our house, replete with an actual dining room, that little table looked pretty inadequate. At this point, our little family of 3 was about to expand to 4 and we figured it was probably time to break down and buy something that would seat our growing family indefinitely. The set we picked out would seat 6...that would be plenty of room for probably forever.
Funny how things work. We haven't been able to all fit around that table for several years now. We outgrew the "big" table we thought we would always fit. We always hoped to have several children, but never imagined we'd have a family of 8. Recently, David decided he was going to build a new table for our family so we could all actually eat a meal together in a comfortable fashion, so we sold our old dining room set and David started building. With the whole family pitching in, here is the end result (minus the benches that are in the finishing process):
photo (1).JPG

We now have a dining room set that seats 10. That is indeed plenty of room for our current family of 8, plus the 2 new little ones we are planning on joining us in the not-too-distant future.
If you were paying attention, you may have caught that last line about 2 new read right! We knew we wanted to adopt from China again eventually, but were unsure of when that might be. We figured it would be a few years down the road before we did, but it seemed like God was leading us to do it now. We took a month to pray and seek God's will about this, and He sent confirmation after confirmation that the time was now. We received our application approval last week from CCAI (the fantastic agency we used last time) and are so excited to be on the journey to finding our 2 newest littles and following God's call on our lives. 

Our hearts break for these children, not just in China, but all across the world. We know that we can't fix all of the reasons behind why children are orphaned, but for a few we can follow God's calling on our lives to be His hands and feet, loving and caring for these precious little ones. Please pray for us as we begin our homestudy and dossier paperwork, that we are matched with the children that are meant for our family, and that God provides the necessary funds to bring them home. Most of all, pray that God gets all the glory!
We also want to acknowledge how blessed we are with children who see the bigger needs and are excited to get their new siblings. They are 100% behind this and actually were prodding us to adopt again way before all of this came about.  We are so thankful for this crew....they are some pretty amazing kids.
Thank you, dear friends, for following along and being part of this adventure that God has set us on.  We love you!

Monday, August 11, 2014

One Year

“We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person.”
W. Somerset Maugham

This past year has flown by.  It is hard to believe that we are at the 1-year anniversary of getting our Lily-Mei (Lillerpiller).  If you want to see how love changes people, you can take a look at our family.  It wasn’t just a change for her, though she has definitely faced the most in her short life, but a change for all of us who get to call her daughter, sister or granddaughter!

It used to be that she wasn’t very keen on getting her picture taken, and when you finally did get one of her, you could see wariness in her eyes.  It was something we had seen even in her pre-adoption pictures.  Well, take a look at those eyes now!

We have seen that wariness dissolve away and be replaced with the comfort she has in knowing that Dad and Mom are always there, she has siblings who adore her (most of the time at least-hey, they’re siblings!), and a family that isn’t going anywhere!  She knows where home is, that she is safe and loved.

August 12th will always be a special day for us, and we are so glad that God blessed us with this little jumping bean. This bean is blossoming…..take a look at the last few months:


“By choice, we have become a family, first in our hearts, and finally in breath and being. Great expectations are good; great experiences are better.”
Richard Fischer

Thanks for sticking with us and keeping us in your prayers.  We are honored to have you all along for the ride and can't wait to see where God leads in the future!  Stay tuned...