Saturday, December 17, 2011

We got MORE new photos of Ellie!!! I woke up this morning to email with new photos of Ellie! I couldn't believe it! We had sent money for the orphanage to purchase a cake for Ellie. It was more of a thank you for her caregivers and we hoped they would take photos. Since we had gotten an update of Ellie after she was out of the hospital, I didn't want to push my luck and hadn't contacted Angela with LadybugsnLove about cake photos. But here they were! Chris ran to the kitchen and made me look at them at the same time as him. We couldn't get over how beautiful she was, how cold it must be there (everyone has coats on inside) and how clearly her caregivers (one being a foster grandmother) must love and adore her. I can't wait to go get her!!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Our church family gave us a beautiful shower today! (It was a hectic Sunday, worship, then the shower, then our choir Christmas program at 6pm) Carrie and Beth had decorated to match Ellie's room theme...Pink/Green with Dragonflies. SO many people who approximately two years ago did not know us. Now, they were celebrating with us and so completely generous. Everything we had registered at BabiesRUs for was purchased and then some! We were showered with gifts, gift cards and SO much love it was overwhelming. God truly has blessed us in this journey!!!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ellie is out of the hospital!!! Just got word and our first photo of her smiling!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

We got updated photos of Ellie from Angela with LadybugsNlove. Bad news is Angela also reported Ellie is in the hospital with pneumonia! I contacted our agency so they could follow up and get us a report. How scary it is to know your child is sick halfway around the world. I thought," well God has taken care of her all this time, I can trust Him." Then I realized duh! He's taken care of ALL of us all this time!!!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wow, what a week! I won a charm with Ellie's Chinese name. I am so excited. How blessed I am this week! Check out the website and support this adoptive China mom.
Jiayin Designs

Monday, November 28, 2011

We got our LOA today! I almost could not take any more waiting! I had been SO terribly ugly all weekend, the waiting getting the best of me. Then this morning my friend, Jill called to let me know our agency had posted on Facebook they had gotten five letters of approval! I many families are using this small agency? Are we one of them?!?!? Then I checked our agency's yahoo group to discover they had gotten another DHL shipment and they actually received TEN LOA's!!! I then called Jill back to lament and bitterly exclaim "I had better be one of the ten or I was going to lose it!". While we were on my cell phone, my home phone rang and the caller ID read "Madison Adoption"!!! I quickly disconnected with Jill and answered my phone. It was my social worker Sara telling me they had our LOA! All the frustration and waiting was OVER! It was so weird, I had wondered in my head a million times how this moment would feel and here it was! It was so overwhelming.I quickly called Chris who was SO excited!!! And then had a million questions... Now what??? LOL, I'm clearly the one who is (paper) pregnant! After I hung up with Chris it finally hit me. I'M ELLIE'S MOM.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I am ready for LOA! This has been the hardest part of the journey so far, waiting for our Letter of Approval from China. THE letter which basically says, SHE'S YOURS! I can only compare it to being in my ninth month and any day for labor to begin. Today I sat next to a very sweet young woman, (I say young because I am sure she's probably ten years younger than me), who is pregnant,waiting any day for the "big day" to happen for her. I'm fairly sure we are the same size! I sure hope when the Fed Ex guy shows up, he takes at least 8 pounds, 5 ounces with him! That's only fair, right? Yesterday we went to a concert for Wyatt. He made all district chorus for junior high! I could barely concentrate as there were two little Chinese kids in the front row. They were SO adorable. I wanted to stalk their parents, ask them which province their children were from but I didn't. See I have learned that while it IS appropriate to ask a new mom about her baby, when you are obviously nine months pregnant yourself, it is NOT appropriate to walk up to strangers and start questioning them about their internationally adopted children just because you can't stand waiting one more moment for news about your child! Oh, their shiny dark black hair, and those sweet little dark eyes! Clearly I am ready....

Habakkuk 2:3 (NLT) This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

So many things have happened this summer, and I haven't been in a place to blog. This summer was filled with much loss and a lot of gain. Emotionally the experiences I had were very valuable to prepare me for what awaits me with our adoption. I am not with out heartache and scars but I also know I have gained wisdom and a greater knowledge of what needed "fixed" in me. Our referral for our little girl came quite fast. I knew our dossier was logged in and that we could possibly be matched off the shared list which came out on Monday, August 29th. BUT there was one problem...hurricane Irene was getting ready to hit the east coast, possibly shut down power and our agency would not be able to match us. I knew I had no control over such things and knew in my heart God was in control. The hurricane did not knock out power for our agency. I received an email around 9pm Monday night. I had been checking my phone to see if I had an email. My heart started beating wildly when I saw I had an email with two referrals to consider. I jumped up and fired up the internet on our computer. I opened my email message. In the email was two attachments. One titled Family1 one titled Family2. I opened Family 2 first. I am normally a very methodical person, so opening something numbered "2" before I opened something numbered "1" is NOT normal for me. When I opened the second referral there she was! This beautiful little smiling face with rosy red cheeks. She was beautiful! I was excited, disoriented and puzzled. We are in the special needs program and had been preparing all along for a cleft palate/lip baby girl referral. Her special need was so minor and does not require surgeries and more than likely nothing but a loving home. But that meant we had to "reject" the other little girl. I cannot tell you how heart breaking that was! I never knew I might have a choice. I know God directed me to open the second referral first and that we could never adopt two at once but it still was painful. I will never forget HER face and ask everyone who reads this to pray for a little girl in China. (God will know who she is) It was an emotional night! We were SO excited, but we really didn't know what came next. I called the agency the next day and was assured her file was locked to us and we should have our pediatrician look at her file. Our pediatrican, who has an internationally adopted child herself lthought her medical file looked great and she was "quite lovely". We called our agency to let them know we wanted to proceed. On August 31st our agency sent our Letter of Intent and we received provisional approval (PA) that China would be proceeding with the adoption process with us on September 6th! We are now waiting for the very important Letter of Approval (LOA) from China which tells us officially she is ours. That time line is about 30-? days. I have estimated based on other families currently in process we should have approval around mid-October. We can't wait!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I800a APRROVAL!!!!

This is such a miracle. Today we buried Chris' beloved Uncle. He had battled
cancer for two years, and this past week we had virtually been at his side for
four days straight. My husband gave the eulogy. It was an emotionally draining
day to say the least. Anyway, we decided to get away and get some ice cream
tonight. Since Chris is a police officer, we have a PO Box. It was almost an
after thought, but I grabbed my key for our box.
Low and behold our approval notice was in there, DATED JULY 25TH!
I spoke with officer Griffin late on the 25th, it was postmarked July 26th so I guess he finished it after we spoke and put it
in the mail. Sara our caseworker said our paperwork is ready to be DTC as soon as we get this
last piece authenticated.

Here is our time frame

Reciept 5/31/11
Fingerprint 7/7/11 (went in early to St. Louis on 6/21/11)
Approval date 7/25/11

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I can't wait!

So this morning I was browsing through my friend, Suzanne's, blog. Now I have never met Suzanne, but out of all the families on the yahoo boards for Madison, I clicked with Suzanne. She is bubbly and outgoing from what I can tell from her emails and she loves to provide help and information, so a lot like me. I have been following her progress, she and her husband are currently in China with their new baby boy, Drew. Drew is a cleft baby and so thus is why I think God put her in my life. (see journey to our little guy under blogs I follow on the sidebar of this blog page)
I have also looked at other families' time lines, comparing what I think mine will be soon. Dossier logged in, being matched, provisional approval, letter of acceptance, etc. Now if you are in the process of adoption from China, you not only know those "phrases" but you know their abbreviations as well! I feel like a mother in her sixth month of pregnancy.I'm ready to get to the "baby part".I have been nagging all family members they'd better start pitching in more because "I won't be able to do it all when the baby comes". Last night I even had a dream I was in labor! I swear the pain was real, but more than likely it was the pork steaks we had for dinner! Summer time just started and it snuck up on me like always. I know this summer will fly by in some respects and in others, painfully slow. Our paperwork process has went so smoothly thus far, and I know God is faithful in his timing to provide. I am so excited to see the next chapter of our lives.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Homestudy Approved!

Yesterday was a long,emotional day. We spent the morning remembering the life of Chris' Aunt Debbie. It was nice to spend time with his family again. Losing a loved one is always hard. Chris had prepared and gave a very beautiful eulogy. Summer had went back home with Chris' dad to pick up Wyatt from the bus. While she was home our Illinois social worker called to say our home study had been approved by the state! It was the one piece we were waiting on to submit our form I800-A, the approval we need by our government to adopt internationally from a Hague approved country. It is supposed to arrive by Fed Ex on Friday. If it gets here early enough, I will put send our I800-a via Fed Ex on the same day.
I have also been working on and gathering up our documents which will need to be authenticated by the appropriate offices, including the Chinese consulate. Our agency will be doing that for us, a fee well worth the price! I nearly have every document needed to mail to Delaware for them to begin assembling our dossier to go to China. I cannot hardly imagine that our paperwork will be arriving in China sometime in June, and then we will begin the process of our agency finding us our little girl! God has blessed us with the smoothness of and timeliness of this process this far. It is so amazing! We still have so much to do, Summer's new room is top priority now.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Our Home study is complete! We viewed it today in the Rochester office. Wow, you would have thought we walked on water or something! We were extremely pleased with our write up. Our social worker said her supervisor just needs to approve it. If approved (there should be no problem) she will be submitting it to the state and hopefully back in four weeks. On to the next step in the process... Asking the US government to grant us permission to adopt internationally aka form I800-A.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Yesterday our social worker let us know she FINALLY received our CANTS forms which is short for Child Abuse and Neglect tracking system. I am so happy they finally arrived, sometimes they get “lost” in the deep sea at DCFS and have to be resubmitted.
Now to complete the Homstudy we are waiting on…
*2 more reference letters (who do I need to holler at?)
*Training documentation (We’ve finished our 4 hours of in person training and completed the
10 hour online course “Because They Waited”) So we need to work on our special needs

*Child Supervision form (Filled out and ready to be mailed with everything else)

We still need to do four hours of research training on the special need we are willing to accept. We are busy filling our brains with everything cleft palate!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Things are progressing well. We have had two home study visits, and have unloaded a bunch of paperwork to our social worker. Our social worker looks a lot like Wyatt’s kindergarten teacher, who we still keep in touch with. I explained that to our social worker, Sara who was relieved to finally be thought of a “real” person besides Katie Holmes! I then remembered how much Wyatt’s teacher looked like Katie!

Now we are in a waiting process, waiting on child abuse clearance checks, waiting on visas, waiting on referral letters, waiting on medical reports. Waiting, waiting, waiting!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It was like most ordinary Sundays after worship and classes a few weeks ago. We were saying our customary greetings/goodbyes to our friends and fellow church members. Of course we always had to stop and say our customary goodbye to our favorite toddler at church, Mayah and company (aka the rest of her family). It was then Chris told me he thought Pastor Tim’s message confirmed what he had already been thinking. We should adopt a child! Woah, wait a minute….did he say WE should adopt? I pretty much had the same reaction I did last year when he suggested we buy the kids rabbits for Easter. (Yeah,another blog entirely) WE should adopt? A child? US, whose kids are halfway grown? We who have NO baby “stuff”? As time has gone on in the last few weeks, God has shown me the path. Our families are shocked but supportive. We’ve started the paperwork for a little girl in China.Chris feels this is so right and God has our little girl selected already. It all seems a bit up hill at the moment. Now I would NEVER, ever compare myself to Mary but at times I feel like reflective like I imagine she would have been. Excited to be a parent (again), terrified at the paperwork/home study prospect, and mostly just in awe of the possibility.