Friday, June 27, 2014

Another Step Closer!

We are officially DTC today!  That means our Dossier is on its way to China.  Please pray it makes it safely to China over the weekend and arrives on Sunday night our time.  It will then be taken to the Chinese Adoption Government office and logged into the system.  This is called LID.  It could take a week or so for our Dossier to be logged in.  Once that happens, our LOA (Letter of Acceptance) wait begins.  The LOA step can take 40-100 days.  Once we have LOA we are only a couple of months from seeing our son face to face!  There are still lots of steps and waiting, but praising God today for getting one step closer to our son!  Thank you for praying with us!

We are busy preparing our children and home for him arrival.  As each step is completed, it's beginning to become more and more real that he is coming!  We are looking forward to the rambunctious energy he will bring to our family and the privilege of being his mom and dad.  As for an American name....  that still remains a mystery!  What I have learned this week is that God's timing is perfect.  There have been many things that I've tried checking off the list and it seems that when I stop worrying and allow God to move, they fall into place in His time.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Progress: I800A

We are making progress!!!  Our I800A (immigration paperwork) was approved Monday.  That made our wait a total of 40 days for approval, exactly the same number of days we waited for Maeli's approval.

Also the number of days Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness where he was tempted by the devil.  I can't imagine the hunger Jesus experienced during those days.  I can't fathom being tempted so strongly.  I know the past forty days have been long, frustrating, and filled with impatience and toe tapping, waiting for a simple approval notice so we can move on to the next step.  And as I want Qiu Le as quickly as possible and I long to be his momma this side of the ocean with him, I have faith that God is still working.  Always on time, even in the 40 days of waiting recently.  I struggle to find joy in this journey, mostly because I'm constantly reminded of the void in my heart that a little boy half way around the world holds.  I'm reminded of the possible lack of food, necessities and nurturing that he is missing out on.  I'm reminded of the vulnerability of a voiceless child in an institute full of broken and hurt people.  There are so many ---- thoughts that can consume my thinking.  I try to give those that are out of my control to the God who was tempted but didn't sin, was hungry but filled himself with spiritual food.  

Do I obsess?  Absolutely.  How do I cope?  Well, USPS tracking app and cherry limeades I work as hard and quickly as I can on all things that I can control.  I overnight documents, I plan ahead on what the next step is and try to be ready as soon as it's time to complete.  I educate myself on how to save time and ultimately bring him home sooner.  In my mind I do as much as I can as quickly as I can for my son so that one less day of waiting is one less day of being motherless and fatherless.  And I try to find the good...  The good that God has created in Qiu Le's life.  Allowing God to take control really means that I am trusting Him with the details that I sometimes worry about.  God is much bigger than my worry and ultimately Qiu Le belongs to Him.  I choose to love because giving up and becoming frustrated doesn't get him here sooner.  I am reminded that the children God has entrusted in me here still need me too.  So I try to find a balance, and I try to find joy even though worry doesn't wander far away.  It's the support and prayer of friends and family that keep all this in balance.  Thank you for praying for us.  Thank you for praying for our son!  

The next step of this journey includes getting our I800A approval and other documents being authenticated at the state and federal level.  This process should take about a week since we are overnighting documents at each step.  Our documents (dossier) will then be sent to China and logged into the system!  That's when our LOA (Letter of Acceptance) wait will start.  The LOA wait is notorious for stressing out waiting mommas because there is no definitely timeline of waiting.  Wait times range from 30-100 days.

I'll leave you with a couple more photos of our little guy.  If you know our family, you know that he and Emma are going to keep our family laughing and entertained!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Finding Adventure in Each Step

Look what we received this week!  We have a Spiderman with style on our hands!  Look at those eyes.  I love his expressions!

Our boy is:
8 years old
49.25 inches tall
50 pounds
loves basketball (Go Cats!)
 good at math

Getting new photos of him makes this mom want to go to China now...  But first we must complete many steps, sigh.

Currently, we are at the I800A step.  This step is a checks and balances process.  We get "pre approved" by the US that states we meet the requirements to adopt.  China requires our I800A approval in order to grant us acceptance to adopt a specific child.  Our I800A application was received by immigration on May 7th.

As part of the immigration process we have to be fingerprinted and a background check is conducted at the federal level (in addition to the other 4 background checks we did).  We received fingerprint appointments for June 10, but due to schedules, walked in early on May 22.  We ventured to Louisville to have our fingerprints scanned for the background check. 

We are on day 37 of waiting for this step and likely will be approved early next week.  Once we receive approval for our I800A, it will be sent to our agency and on for authentication.  The authentication process takes approximately 2 weeks and then our dossier (home study, reference letters, I800A approval, and a few other documents) will finally be sent to China.

Once our documents are sent, we are said to be DTC (Dossier to China).  China will log our documents into the system (Logged in Dossier or LID) and then we will wait for the infamous Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from China.  The LOA wait can the most brutal part of the process because the wait time for this step varies from 30-100 days or more!  Once our LOA is issued several other steps are taken and travel can occur with 2-3 months.  We hope to travel to China by the end of November, but as you can see there are many steps that have to be completed and each step can be an adventure.

As we wait for the I800A step and others to be completed, we will be busy with the logistics of where he will sleep, learning more about attachment, older child adoption and institutionalization, preparing our current kiddos for the transition, praying praying and praying for his heart, educating ourselves on strategies to help him succeed at learning, oh and savoring the kiddos God has given us now.  Plenty of adventure to keep us busy for now.  We ask that you pray for him too, specifically for his emotional and physical well being.