Friday, September 30, 2011

I'm Exhausted but Happy

Today I pulled out of the driveway at 5:30 am and headed to the Chinese Consulate in Chicago to have our last document authenticated.  Did I mention that I hate driving in city traffic?  But, you do what you have to and actually it was not too bad today. Dennis had to work today so he could not go along.

I arrived at the consulate around 8:45, took a number, like you do at the bakery, and waited my turn.  I get up to the window when my number was called.  Anyone who knows me well, knows I had the forms all filled out, checked them several times and was ready to go.  I get to the window and the lady tells me I have the wrong form. I tell her I got it off of their website and she replies they have not used that form for four years. I wanted to pull out my cellphone and go to their website and show her but decided it was probably not worth it!  I fill out the new form and get a receipt to pick up my document at 2:00 pm.

So, I head out to explore Chicago. The consulate is in downtown Chicago near the Magnificent Mile. I was in this area of Chicago last year for work and found it interesting but knew I would not be doing anything more than window shopping as it is a very expensive place to shop.  I did end up buying a scarf because it was windy and my neck was cold. I stopped  for a snack, did some more window shopping, grabbed a bite to eat and realized I still have several hours to kill but I was tired so I found a seat and read for a bit.  Finally it was time to pick up my paper, find the nearest post office and head home.  Exactly 12 hours from when I left I arrive safely home.  I'm exhausted!

BUT - next week our last piece of our dossier will arrive at our agency and be sent to China.  Lots of work but finally we're so close to receiving our provisional approval from China.  Can't wait to hear we have our paperwork in the Chinese government's hands and then to get the notification that we are in their system.  The final approval will take awhile but just knowing our daughter's file is locked for us will be a huge step.

So the question now is, what do we do while we wait?  We've been so busy gathering documents, getting approvals and following up on things, that just waiting will seem very strange. If God has been teaching me anything in this it is about being patient and waiting.  I guess I still have some homework in that area.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

i797 Arrived

We are so excited.  The official approval from immigration, i797, arrived today.  Dennis came home at lunch to check the mail but it was not here yet so I left work a little early and it had arrived.  I quickly made a copy, jumped in the car and headed to our Sec. of  State office. Thankfully we live close to it.  We will get it back tomorrow so on Friday we'll take it to the Chinese Consulate in Chicago.  They will put their seals on it and get it back to us later in the day and then it will go to our agency who will send it off to China.  Hopefully by the end of next week, all of our documents will be on their way to China. 

Please keep praying for our paperwork as it moves through the process of approval.  The documents will be translated when they arrive in China and then submitted to the government agency that handles adoptions.  We will receive a Log-In-Date (LID) at that point.  Then our agency will upload our Letter of Intent (LOI) so we can get a Provisional Approval (PA) from China.  We hope to have our LOI done by Nov. 7 to meet a 90 day deadline on our daughters file.  We should make that easily.  After the PA arrives we will be waiting for awhile for our Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from China.  My prayer is to have that by Christmas. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011


We have had a very long, busy week and so tonight we just stayed home and relaxed.  In no time we were both sound asleep in the living room.  When I woke up, I checked my email and had a note from our officer at immigration that late today we were approved!!!!  It will go in the mail on Monday and we should get it later in the week.  Only 44 days for this step, which is well above the average processing time for this step.  

One more step closer to bringing her home.  

Friday, September 23, 2011

Progress on Our Immigration Approval!

We are very excited today.  Our inquiry as to the status of our application from US Immigration brought the following reply:  

Your case was just assigned to me this week. I hope to have it reviewed before Monday. Please check back if you like. Thanks and have a great weekend.

If all goes well, sometime next week we will get our approval letter.  Then we can get it authenticated with the Sec. of State in Wisconsin and the Chinese Consulate in Chicago.  At that point, we will send it off to our agency in New York and they will send it to China for translation.  Once translated, it will go to CCCWA (the Chinese government adoption division) and they will “log in” our file.  As soon as it is “logged in” we will be able to submit the information to get a provisional approval.  Then we will be waiting for the final approval from China.  From being logged in to final approval has been taking people 35-100+ days.  We hope to be on the shorter end of that range.

Please continue to pray for the approval process to move smoothly. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

What Really Matters

Today I was finding it frustrating to be just waiting.  So I decided to catch up on some of the adoption blogs I follow.  So I read  This family just recently adopted Rachel.  In fact, they are still in China with her.  Rachel is seven years old and has a very serious heart condition.  In fact, she is considered terminal.  Reading their blog was such an encouragement to me.  Their faith and love for this little girl helped me to put into perspective what is really important.  It isn’t all about the wait. The most important thing is God’s timing and plan in the lives of these wonderful children.  Please read Rachel’s story and remember to pray for her.  Pray for her healing physically but also for her understanding of who Jesus is and what he has done to provide salvation. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I Just Want to Be Her Mom

Today, I just want to be her Mom.  I want to hold her, talk to her, teach her about life and in every way be her Mom.  It seems like we have been filling out paperwork forever.  Long ago we became parents in our hearts but an ocean, mounds of paperwork and two government bureaucracies keeps us apart. I wonder what she did today?  What did she learn in school?  Does she like her teacher?  Who is her best friend?  I want to share these things with her but for now I have to wait. I can pray for her and trust our heavenly Father to bring her to us at the perfect time He has ordained.  

Yes, there are days when I wonder - what are we doing - but then I am reminded of all the ways God has directed our path.  Each step brings us a little closer to being her parents.  

As you think of us and pray for us, please remember to pray for our daughter too.  She will have so many changes in her life in the next year.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Fingerprints Done

Yesterday we went to Homeland Security and got fingerprinted.  These are not the paper and ink prints but scans of your fingerprints.  They are immediately sent to the FBI and then will be forwarded to immigration.  So, we are once again waiting.  We expect to hear from immigration in early October.