Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Officially Awaiting Travel Approval

Today our wait for Travel Approval  (TA) officially begins.  This is the very last step--praise God!!
TA could come as early as 8 days--or as long as 30 days.  Of course, we are praying for that 8-day TA!  Once our agency receives our TA, they will contact the US Consulate to schedule our Consulate Appointment.  We have requested the first available appointment.  That appointment actually happens on the last leg of our Ch*na trip, around day 10.  Once it is scheduled, our agency will contact the adoption officials in  Hope's province and schedule our "gotcha day" (which Joy has decided should be called Forever Day and I like that very much!) and adoption day.   Then our travel will be arranged around those important appointments. 

Are you beginning to see why adoptive families really have no idea when they will travel until the last minute.  So many variables affect departure date. 

So....

we....

still...

wait.

BUT WE ARE PACKING!!  Gotta be prepared, just in case we get that quick TA. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

video
Our agency sent us this video yesterday morning!!  What a great Christmas present!

                                               New Pictures... :) Melt my heart, baby girl!





video
Here's a video we received of Hope back in April.  I just figured out how to load it up on here. :)  Isn't she adorable!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Update

I am so ashamed!  I did so well with Joy's blog, keeping it updated every step of the way.  I have failed miserably with blogging Hope's adoption.  Please forgive me. :)

So on to the update!  Much has happened since summer.  Our fundraising efforts were multiplied in an abundance only God could provide!  We are grateful to the many, many friends, family, neighbors, business associates, brothers and sisters in Christ, and even strangers who chose to help us bring Hope home.  The mountain of impossibility has been removed in a mighty way!  Praise God--He is so in the details of this adoption!

We are nearing the end of our paperwork punts between the two countries.  Last week we passed off the last bit of our documents to Ch*na.  Our Beijing agency staff will take Hope's Visa application to the US Embassy this week.  Two weeks later, they will return to pick up the processed paperwork, called the Article 5, from the Embassy and deliver it to Ch*na Adoption Affairs.  Then we are officially awaiting Travel approval!!!  That is our FINAL approval and our permission to travel!!  Travel approval could come anywhere from 7-30 days after Article 5.  So we could have Travel approval in 3-6 weeks. Travel would still be a week-3 weeks after that. The guessing keeps my emotions churning!  I long to be with my sweet Hope!  I am nesting in overdrive, while preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It IS a crazy time around here!

Once we receive Travel approval, our agency will schedule our US Consulate appointment.  That is the appointment we attend during the last week of our trip to complete the immigration process.  Once that appointment is set, the agency schedules everything else around it.  We are requesting first available appointment. 

At the earliest we could travel the end of December.  If we receive a late Travel approval, though, Chinese New Year could delay our travel until February--which will cause me to completely break down and be a blubbering mess!  Chinese New Year begins January 24, and the entire country closes down for a full week, and little happens the following week.  So we need to complete our trip before Chinese New Year!  If there are no major delays, that should not be a problem.  But we know that anything is possible with adoption!

Being the optimist that I was born to be, I am still holding on to the possibility of leaving in December.

Monday, September 26, 2011

What a Cutie Pie!

Our agency sent us an update last week that included three new pictures!! Be still my heart! I love seeing her personality coming through in this first picture.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Adoption Grants - Please Pray!

We are applying to every adoption grant we can find. Please pray this week for favor, as one of our applications is in review and we will be notified of their decision within 12 business days.

We also have submitted three other applications that will be reviewed in the next month. We would be grateful for your continued prayers about that.

And I have about 8 other applications to get completed and mailed out.

We know that Hope is our daughter and have faith that God will work out the details of when and how we bring her home.

The Wait Isn't Any Easier This Time...And May Even Be Longer!

On April 27 we received pre-approval from China to adopt our sweet Hope.

We submitted our application to USCIS for approval on May 16 and are still waiting to receive our approval. Sadly, they are running several weeks/months longer right now than when we applied during Joy's adoption. It took 4 1/2 weeks last fall. Next week will be 2 months that we have been waiting for our current approval, and they tell us that it could take as long as 90 days. SERIOUSLY?! WHY?!! It is currently just sitting in a pile of other applications and has been sitting there for nearly two months.

China is now allowing families to reuse their dossier when they are adopting again within 12 months. So we do not have to do so much paperchasing, notarizing, state certifying, and consulate authenticating this time around. We only have to redo three documents: home study (done), petition letter (done), and USCIS approval (still waiting).

As soon as we receive this approval, we will travel to Columbus to have all three documents certified by the Secretary of State. Then we will overnight them to the Chinese Embassy to be authenticated. They should be back in our hands within a week. We put these with photocopies of all our other dossier documents to create our new dossier. We then ship them to our agency who will send them to China.

Once China receives our new dossier, it will go in THEIR pile and wait for its turn to be reviewed. Finally, they will issue our logged-in date (LID).

Then the NEXT wait begins...for China to send us our Letter of Acceptance. We have heard that wait is now taking longer, too, especially for families reusing their dossier. Go figure!

I am telling myself that it is all in God's time. But it is hard waiting when your baby is on the other side of the ocean in an orphanage.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

And Then Came Hope

Yes, it is true.

We are going back to China "this soon".

While we were still awaiting our final approval to travel for Joy, a 4-year-old little girl was being interwined into our hearts. We weren't expecting it. We tried to say no. The idea seemed outrageous! Two trips to China in less than a year?! Yet we could not let go of this little one. We had no peace until the day we said, "Yes! She is ours!"

God can be relentless that way. We are grateful He did not give up on us and that we finally caught up with Him. Our waiting daughter, Hope, will arrive home late this fall or early winter; and we are T H R I L L E D to be adding a new daughter to our family!