Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What a Weekend!

We were all ready to leave Thursday evening.  Had our kids packed, our dog picked up by a very brave and kind friend:)  and started to check in online for the flight that we had been monitoring all day.   The computer screen says CANCELED!!!  Less than a minute later the phone rang and it was Alaska Airlines calling to let us know that our flight was canceled and there was absolutely no way they could get us to Anchorage for a Friday fingerprinting:(  We called and got our dog back and were rebooked for Sunday.  A HUGE THANK YOU for understanding and forgiving friends who changed schedules to watch our children and a dog and for my sister who rearranged work schedules to spend the day with us in Anchorage!

We flew out Sunday morning and walked in to be fingerprinted Monday morning.  We had a bit of a shock when we walked into the office and the fingerprinter said that the officer who was overseeing us was out of the office and wouldn't be able to facilitate our walk in.  AAARRRRGGGG!  It wasn't a big deal.  The supervisor had left paper work for us at a different office across the hall and we got right in and had our fingerprints don by 9:20 am.

We flew back yesterday and it is great to be home:)  We figured that the seven hours it took to fly to Anchorage would have gotten us more than half way to China and we are getting closer to that trip.

So, drum roll.............WE HAVE OUR I800A APPROVAL!!!!!!!!!!!  We are approved to bring an orphan into the US..  Basically this is the last document we need so that we can send all of our paperwork to China.  It is being mailed to Juneau for certification then off to  the Chinese embassy for authentication and then everything goes to China.  We are almost there:)  YAYAYAYAYAY!!

We can't wait to meet our little girl!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


We are leaving for fingerprinting today so I am expecting things to go quickly next week and for us to hopefully be DTC(dossier to China) in two weeks.  All of our other paperwork is with couriers at respective embassies and should all come together simultaneously in two weeks.

So...yesterday was a bit of a scramble because the dog boarding place was full and the pound boards, but it was full so there was no place for our lab...friends are out of town for spring break and I was scrambling to find someone to take care of our dog.  Our babysitter said she would feed our dog and a friend from theatre offered to walk and hang out with our dog at our house so I was so grateful.  Then a good friend who is married to a coworker of my husband found out and offered to take our dog to her house for the whole time.  WOW!  It is so fabulous to have great friends who will help you when you need it...and I have fantastic friends.  My boys are so excited to play with great friends and get to sleep over that they woke up early like it was Christmas, and here I am feeling sad about leaving:)

Then last night my husband was going over what our next steps with the adoption are after the fingerprinting and what the fees are...and I was a little concerned because our tax refund is slated to pay for it and it was being held up for 'processing delays' and not available until the end of April.  I really didn't want to have to wait on this money.  So last night I was just letting it go and praying that everything would work out.  Then I checked the website this morning....IT IS BEING DEPOSITED TOMORROW!!!!!!!  So the next round of fees are completely taken care of:)  WOW!!!

Have a great weekend...and thank you for your prayers and support to keep this adoption on an expedited mode.  We feel and appreciate your prayers!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Today is my oldest son's birthday:)  Where has the time gone?  It seems like I was just pregnant with him and now he has informed me that he is working on a mustache but will shave it when it bothers me.  It was just the other day when we had four boys five and under and our life (well mine for sure) was taken up with diaper changes, nap times and baby toys.  Now we have moved on to swim teams, scouting, reading, games and half the time they still seem like a pile of puppies just tumbling around.  I used to think I couldn't wait for them to all be potty trained and talking and how much fun it would be when they could read and we could do more 'interesting' schooling.  But now I don't wish for time to speed up any more.  I think about playgroups and getting to sit and chat with friends while our kids played at the rec center together.  Now we are lucky to text each other and get together every few months as our schedules, which seem to revolve around kids activities, allow.  No, time is flying and I don't wish for it to go any faster or my kids to grow up any more quickly than they already are.  I am loving the time we have together and the great personalities they have...and I am not looking forward to telling my son he needs to shave!

Birthdays at our house start with a special breakfast.  If I make bacon and eggs on a regular day the boys will ask me what holiday it is and where the cinnamon rolls are.  The balloon fairy visits during the night and leaves balloons for the birthday kid to find.  Granted a few times she has mistakenly left the package of balloons in a kitchen drawer for us to enjoy together;)  And once when our house was for sale and we had a house showing she filled the car with balloons.  It is just a special day that we celebrate having that person in our family.  They get to pick their birthday meal.  Tonight it will be cheese stuffed pizza, homemade with hidden pepperonis, and a magic lamp cake.  I am grateful for my children.  I am grateful for them in my life.  I am grateful that I get to stay home with them and enjoy knowing them as well as I do.  I am grateful for the many things we enjoy and I know that we are very blessed.

My birthday is next week. I am getting a trip to the Immigrations office to be fingerprinted!  And hopefully approval of our I800A.  I also bought a very cute doll with hair that can be brushed for Min. When I mentioned that we have to isn't because we are rich, or because we don't want to take the time to is because we have no other option.  There are no roads to get us to Anchorage.  We could take the ferry for a couple days and then drive for another full day to get there...but that would be at least a three day trip each way.  So we are flying up and I am so excited that we have air miles saved for the trip.

Min's birthday is the next in our family.  And I am hoping and praying we have her by then.  Then we can celebrate the blessing it is to have her in our lives.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hope and Trust

I have a Fantastic family.  Yes, I know I am a bit biased, but I truly have a wonderful family.  I love my husband and sons and am really proud of them.  The other night during family prayers my 10 year old son said' Thank you for giving us hope.  Thank you for giving us trust."  It isn't a phrase I have heard him use before, or since.

But this is something that I am grateful for.  I am grateful for the hope that I have in my life...but regarding adoption I think a lot of it boils down to hope.  I am truly hoping everything works out all right.  For us and for Min.  I hope that she adjusts to us easily...though we are preparing for her not to.  I hope that she likes us ( another son prays every night that Min will love us quickly and like us quickly)  It is true there is a difference.  I hope that she is healthy enough.  Enough to function.  Enough not to have extremely damaged organs.  Enough to have a life with us .  Enough to survive.  I hope that she has not been abused.  I hope that she will be able to heal...from her heart defect but also from the trauma and neglect and loss that she has undoubtedly experienced in her short life.  I hope that I can be the mom she needs.  I hope that we will be able to communicate.  We are learning some Chinese but it seems so minimal when compared to a complete language skill.  I hope that we will travel soon and that we will be in time to get Min medical care.  And I have to hold on to that hope because survival rates for 5 year olds for the type of heart defect that she has can be anywhere from 15-35% to reach 10 years old. And I'll be honest...this scares me.  What if we are too late?  I hope that we are not.  I hope that we travel quickly.  I do not have concrete specific information that I would like to have.  But I do have that hope.

Then there is trust.  In each of my pregnancies I have felt that patience was something I was being forced to learn.  Probably because I didn't have much.  I was the quintessential Christmas presents peeker.  But this adoption process takes it to a completely different level.  I mean...if you could see the mounds of paperwork we have gone through to this point.  And we have to trust the process and the people who are involved.  We have to trust the Chinese government that her files is accurate...or accurate enough...or possibly inaccurate...who knows.  We have to trust our agency to do the things they need to do in a timely manner.  We have to trust that we will have the money we need when we need it...because quite frankly we don't right now.  And we have to trust that God knows what He is doing because He put us on this path.  I am a strong believer that God doesn't ask us to do anything that He doesn't make a way for us to accomplish.  And I am trusting Him to work out all the many things that I cannot see or predict and all the unknowns that I can not control.  I have to trust in my beliefs.  I beleive that families are forever.  And once Min is part of our family she is part of it forever.  And that fact comforts me.  I trust God to make it all right because He can and because He has before in my life. 

I see all the things that are coming together right now and I am amazed.  We are getting our I800A processed.  The Immigrations office is being great to let us walk in and process it quickly because they are so supportive of our adoption of Min.  It is fantastic to have them be so accommodating especially since we have to fly to get fingerprinted and could easily experience flight delays.  All other documentation will be authenticated this week so our dossier is about done.  Then we will see how long it takes China to approve us.  But we have seen some mountains get moved already and I have hope that we will see more and trust that everything will work out for good. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Leaving On a Jet Plane

Ok..that title was a tad overzealous...but we are leaving on a jet plane for something adoption related...we are getting fingerprinted early...YAY!  We have to fly to the place in our state where fingerprints are done by the Immigrations way to get around it, believe me I have asked:)  So we got the last two tickets on a flight next week to be fingerprinted and the office is being really great and allowing us to walk in since the possibility of delayed flights is a reality of Alaska travel.  So we are super excited to be able to get that done...everything else is off for authentication so that is the final step before all of our documents go to China!  We could/should be documents to China by the beginning of April which will be great!

We are so excited to be closer to meeting our little girl! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It's Snowing in Alaska!

Is it summer yet:)?  Apparently is still snowing.  I don't know how many times I have been asked if it's almost Christmas.  They are all old enough to understand calendars and that March is not close to December but there is still that hope!

So, one of our state certifications got messed up and the wrong certificate was attached.  I was a little less than thrilled that the next week and a half would be spent sending it back and then waiting to receive this one form again....but the kind supervisor is taking care of the whole thing for me and it will be sent to me today.  Woo Hoo!  I always love it when mistakes can be fixed quickly.

We are trying to figure out where we will be going for our fingerprinting.  I'll keep you posted.

There is a very nice woman named Anne who offered to do a fundraiser to help bring Min home.  I am so is so very nice of her.  What it is is an online Thirty-One party.  If you aren't familiar with Thirty-one, they have fabulous bags and really cute organizers and accessories.  There is a link on the side of the blog.  When you click to purchase...or shop you will be led to the event page and there is our link:)  The fun thing is that for every $31 in purchases you get a half price purse!  If anyone is interested in doing their own catalog party or gathering orders, you would receive the hostess gifts and credit (which is fabulous!) and it will still count for the fundraiser.  Anne is donating ALL of her commissions to Min's adoption.  So if you are looking for some fun spring accessories or great easter gifts...check out Thirty-One.  You can contact me, or Anne with any questions:)


Monday, March 7, 2011

It's Monday!

I love Mondays!  I don't know why, but Mondays have always been one of my favorite days.  It's a fresh week.  It's a great time to get out your list of things that need to be accomplished.  There is still plenty of time to accomplish those things.  I just like Mondays.

And then there is today...I'm LOVING today!   Our Immigrations forms went out last Friday.  Our final documents for state certification went out those should all be back this week which is great...and we are approved for expediting:)  WOOHOOO!!!!!!!  This is a BIG deal.  Our Immigrations expedition has already been now we find out if the fingerprints can be done locally...prayers please...or if we have to fly to get them done.  One of the joys of living in rural(ish) Alaska.  But still...did I mention that Immigrations has already agreed to expedite this?????????!!!!!!!!!!!! The form has to sit in a lock box for up to two weeks but then will be transferred and processed:)

I am so excited.  I am walking in faith here.  Seriously.  I am not sure how this adoption is all going to come together on many fronts.  I am doing everything I can do and then sitting back in faith.  I don't know how fast everything will come together.  I don't know if we will get a grant to help with the remaining costs.  I don't know how Min is going to react to us or how her attachment will go.  I don't know what kind of adjustment period we will have.  I don't know for sure what kind of medical travel and appointments we will have when we get home.  I don't know if I am going to be able to keep it together when I finally hold her in my arms and not dissolve into a sobbing gooey mess...and when I sob it isn't the cute little tear trickling down a is a red, blotchy sniffling mess.  I would scare the daylights out of her I think:)  But one thing I do know is that we are on the right path.  I am so amazed by the little things that are falling into place so that the bigger things can happen.  I am so grateful to those of you who are remembering us in your prayers.  I am so in awe of the way that I am seeing those prayers answered. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

This Weekend!!!

So, the GREAT news is that the official, notarized home study was mailed to me from Anchorage on I should receive it today...not that I didn't stalk the mailman, FedEx guy, and UPS driver yesterday, just in case.  I have the form to Immigrations signed, supporting documents assembled and check written.  It is all ready to go the minute the home study arrives.  Which means it will be sent this week...FINALLY!!!!  The next steps are Immigrations approval, and documents notarized, state sealed and consulate sealed.  Then it all goes to China goes back and forth between our government and China's government a couple of times and VOILA...we will get to bring Min home.  OK that's a bit simplified, but it's the general drift:)

And we found out that Min is doing well.  She has not been sick at all this winter...which is GREAT news.  When she gets sick it is hard on her heart so we are thrilled that she has been healthy...must be all the prayers...and we are very grateful.  So I need some suggestions on cute dolls with hair.  In the video we have of Min she was really intriqued with playing with a dolls hair. She even got out a rubber if anyone knows where to find a cute doll...preferably Asian...let me know:)

I'll keep you posted on the progress.  My third son has started to add to his prayer "Please bless that Min will get here soon so that we can be a family forever".  Amen to that.