Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Doesn't Seem Like Much - But It Is

Today we packed up our dossier documents that we have been gathering, certifying and authenticating since April and put them in the mail to our agency in New York.  It doesn't look like much but it represents a lot of time and work.  Pray they arrive there safely tomorrow.  The only document missing from this group is our immigration approval.  We get our fingerprints done on Friday as part of that process and then we will wait.  It has been taking about 57 days for this process to be completed.  

UPDATE:  Our dossier arrived safely at 11:50 am.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

One Small Step

We are definitely in a waiting stage of this process, so, at this point, any news is something to rejoice about.  This morning I checked the tracking number for the return envelope of documents from the Chinese consulate and they are on their way back to us!  As of 2:59 am they were in Madison.  When I checked the status later this morning, it says the package is out for delivery.  Since we are not there to sign for it, it will go back to the post office.  I'll stop there on my way home and pick it up tonight.  We will add a few additional items to these documents and send them to our agency for a final review.  They will hold onto them until our immigration approval arrives and then they will be sent to China for translation and approval from China.  

We are waiting on immigration to send us the fingerprint notification.  Hopefully that will come in the next week or so.  Immigrations approval takes about 50-60 days on average and we are only at day 14 so we will be waiting for awhile. 

UPDATE:  I got home tonight and our fingerprint notification was in the mail.  We have an appointment on September 2.  I spent the evening scanning and copying our dossier documents. 

Please keep praying for us as we prepare and wait.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Weekend Away

With all that has been going on, we decided a long weekend away would be a good idea. On Thursday night we determined our destination would be the Amana Colonies.  

It was such a great weekend in so many ways.  We enjoyed visiting the historical sites associated with this area.  If you don't know about the Amana Colonies, they are a group of people who came to America in search of religious freedom.  Until 1932, they lived as a communal society.  

This is one of my favorite pictures from the trip.
We stayed at a lovely Bed and Breakfast.  The best part of the stay was getting to know some of the other guests.  There was and immediate connection with the people who were staying there.  We felt like old friends immediately.  Even the owners commented on how unusual it was for a group of guests to hit it off so well.  Just another one of the blessings along the way.

In one of the shops in Amana we were talking with the owner and she shared with us, through tears, how her husband is facing cancer with a prognosis that does not sound good.  We were able to pray with her.  Please pray for Craig as he fights the cancer and for his wife and family.

We ended our time in Amana on Sunday morning by attending church with the local people who still worship in the style of the founders of the Amana Colonies.  We enjoyed the very simple worship, a capella music and friendly people. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Her Room
While we wait on paperwork to get processed, we are preparing for our daughter's arrival. This room used to be Ellen's office but a fresh coat of paint, new furniture, curtains Ellen made and a few decorations and it is starting to look like a little girl's room.  Now it just needs a little girl to call it home. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Documents in the Mail

This morning I placed 12 of the most important documents of this adoption journey into the mail.  They are heading to the Chinese Consulate in Chicago for authentication.  The post office staff was so helpful in putting together the package and the return mailer but I must admit to being a bit nervous about leaving those documents we have spent the last five months gathering in the hands of the US Postal Service!  Yet another time to learn a lesson on trust.  They have to get there and I have to trust that God will watch over them as they head down to Chicago.  They should arrive there tomorrow and then in about 2-3 weeks will come back to us.  One more step along the road to bringing Nini home. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011


We continue to make progress with our paperwork.  Yesterday, we got our paperwork back from the State of Wisconsin so now it can go off to the Chinese consulate on Monday.

I had off on Friday so I worked on making curtains for our daughter's bedroom.  The furniture was also delivered.  Now I need to find some things for on the walls.  The mattresses  for the beds will come next week.  I'll post some pictures when I have a little more of the decorating done.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Immigration Progress

We received notification today that our immigration paperwork is officially in process of being reviewed.  Our next big step will be notification to go have our fingerprints taken at Homeland Security.  I never thought I'd be excited about having to get fingerprinted!

We asked if it is ok to post a picture of NiNi and it is.  Please continue to pray that all of our paperwork processes quickly so we can receive our official match with her.  Now you will have face to attach to your prayers.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mixed News to Share

The good news is our daughter's profile finally showed up on the boards in China as available for adoption.  The news is a bit mixed though.  Her special need was repaired as a child and she is doing really well.  That is the good part of the news.  This however, placed her in a category of children that does not allow us to get a provisional approval until all of our paperwork is in China.  

So, here is what happens at this point:
1.  Our agency has exclusive rights to her file for 90 days but they have talked to the officials in China and can get an extension on this time frame.  (That makes us very nervous though since we lost the last little girl's profile.)
2. Our documents arrived at immigration today.  Usually it has been taking around 55 days to get through this process.  We also sent off most of our documents for authentication which should be done in the next month or so.  
3. We will need to authenticate our immigration approval once we have it back.  This will take about a week with expedited service.  That takes us to about 62 days.
4. Our dossier will then go to our agency who will send it to China to be translated.  This takes about two weeks. This takes us to about 76 days.
5. Then the dossier goes to the Chinese government to be logged in which also takes a couple of weeks. This takes us to 90 days. This is the critical date to reach and which we hope to meet before the 90 days are up to avoid any possibility of losing our daughter's profile.  
6.  As soon as we have the log in date, we can get our provisional approval.
(The dates are projections based on averages.)


Pray for our processing with immigration to go very quickly and faster than the "normal" 55 days.  This is the one place we can make up some time on this timeline and it not be such a tight schedule.  We would love to have this happen before the 90 days so we don't have to depend on an extension.  

After having lost the first child's profile, we know the heartache of being matched to a child and then it falling through.  

We know God's plan and timing is perfect and in this we are learning more about faith and trust as we walk down this path.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Busy Couple of Days

The last few days have been full of activity.   First, our immigration papers are in the mail and on their way!  Monday we will send off the papers for authentication.  Two major steps will be in the process of getting done.

The next major activity was painting our daughter's room.  I started the task early on Saturday morning and before I went to bed, the room was painted and the carpet was cleaned.  We received a call that the furniture for the room came in earlier than expected so it made completing this task critical. We can't wait to see it all set-up after the furniture is delivered.  I still need to make the curtains.  That will most likely be my project this week.

While I was painting, Dennis was building storage shelves in our store room in the basement.  We really needed these as we have things from my former office that now need a home. He got a great start on those on Saturday.

We are still waiting to have our daughter's profile posted in China so continue to pray that happens soon. We would love to know she is "paper ready" in China and then to be provisionally matched with her.  At that point we will share pictures with you of our beautiful girl.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Home Study and Immigration

Our home study arrived in the mail today!  After a couple of tense moments because we did not receive enough copies and then realizing there was an error in it, I am glad to say, after a talk with our caseworker, that all problems are in the process of being resolved and our immigration paperwork can go into the mail tomorrow!  We are very excited about that!

We can start the process to get our dossier documents authenticated early next week.  Finally it seems like we are moving forward.

Prayer Requests:
1.  Still waiting on the our daughter's official listing in China.
2.  Pray all paperwork arrives at its destination safely and goes through the various processes quickly.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Blessings and Next Steps

This weekend we purchased furniture for our daughter’s bedroom.  We had picked it out several weeks ago and it was now on sale so we decided it was the right time to place the order.  It should be here in a couple of weeks. We got the bunk beds and dresser in this picture.   This way, she will be able to have a friend stay overnight and have a place for her to sleep and the beds come apart and can be used as two twin beds if she would prefer that as she gets older.  So, before that time we need to finish moving Ellen’s office to the room downstairs and paint the room.  That will be our project next weekend.   Ellen also is making the curtains for the room so she wants to get those done too.  We need to include pictures of the room for our dossier that will go to China in the next few months.  

We also received a very unexpected blessing this weekend that will help with some of the expenses of the adoption.  It was a great encouragement and blessing to us.