Thursday, June 27, 2013


Last night I dreamt we were in China.  As I have never been there before, I know it wasn't a very realistic dream, but it felt so real.  We even ordered Starbucks (now I know it was a dream!) and Sophie was with us.  What made the dream good and bad at the same time is that Lily was with us...we were holding her and playing with her, and she seemed so very, very real.  How in the world can you miss someone so much when you have never met them?  We miss her like crazy, and even the thought that we hopefully will be traveling to her in possibly 6 weeks doesn't make it better.  It really should....I mean, 6 weeks isn't that long, but at this point in the process, it just feels like an eternity!  We are so over the waiting and just ready to bring her home.  We have had friends who waited at least twice as long as we have waited with their whole adoption process, and I honestly don't know how they were able to keep sane!  (You know who you are and we love you all very much, but seriously, I don't know how you could seem so calm all the time!!)

In the meantime, we're waiting for our Article 5 to be picked up.  It should be picked up on July 2.  Of course, we were kinda hoping they consulate would speed up their processing time since they know they are closing in a few weeks for their move and have to get everything done before that.  Once our A5 has been picked up, then the paperwork is sent to Beijing for issuing of our travel approval.  It had been taking up to 4 weeks for TAs to be issued since the CCCWA had changed over their computer system, but I saw earlier this week that they are starting to come through much quicker now, even in as little as 8 days.  We are praying/hoping that we get a quick one like that!  If our TA can come before 7/12, our agency can possibly get our consulate appointment scheduled before the big move.  That would be fantastic as then hopefully we could get a CA sometime in early to mid August, plus it might give us a bit more time to make all of our travel preparations.  If TA comes after 7/12, our agency will have to wait until 7/24 or after to contact the consulate to make our appointment, along with all of the other families that have had TA issued during the closure.  If that is the case, I would imagine there would be a backlog and probably a longer wait, or it could mean that we'd get a travel group leaving quickly and have a lot less time to prepare.  Either way, we are just so ready to get this show on the road!!

We are also still waiting to hear about the Gift of Adoption grant.  We received notification that we were up for review after 6/17.  From what I read on their website, they notify families of their decision within 48 hours of review.  We are really praying/hoping for good news from them as we are still short on our funding.  On top of that, we are going to be traveling apparently during peak season, so all of the airline prices have gone way up now.  In any case, we know that God will provide for whatever is still needed.  He has been so very faithful in taking care of us through everything, and it just amazes us to see how far He has brought our family and what He has been teaching us.

Thank you all so much for keeping our family in your prayers.

Lily looks like one determined little girl, doesn't she?

Monday, June 10, 2013

I-800 PA!

Homeland Security has been hearing from me lately....a lot!  We found out the US Consulate in Guangzhou will be closing down for a few weeks in July to move to a different building and have set a deadline of 7/5 for all paperwork to be turned in before the move.  Needless to say, we are wanting our paperwork to get in before the deadline to be processed.  We are ready to bring Lily home, and the thought of an extra delay did not float our boat!  So, even though I said I wouldn't call all the time and bug the National Benefits Center, who are the ones to process our I-800, I did.  I have become that hyper lady who does that.  I called almost every day checking to see if they had received our paperwork.  We kept hearing the bad news that it hadn't been received yet, it was still in processing, it hasn't made it to your officer yet, etc.  Finally, on Friday, I called just to ask the status again.  I figured if I didn't call on Friday, I would be stewing all weekend wondering about it.  Lo and behold, it had been approved earlier that day!  YAY!!!  I'm thinking all those prayers people are lifting up for us are working! =)  In any case, we were praising God that it went a bit quicker than we had been quoted earlier last week, though about the usual time for that step.

We are currently waiting for our paperwork to be delivered to the National Visa Center for processing....that is where the cable is generated.  We were told that the cable is generated 5-7 days after the I-800 PA is issued, but that you have to make sure to e-mail or call them and request that a copy of your cable letter be sent to you as a .pdf so that your agency can do the Article 5 drop-off quicker.  Since we are facing a deadline, you can bet your bloomers that I'll be e-mailing them on a regular basis until we hear something, especially since our agency suggested we start e-mailing them a few days earlier than usual so we hopefully squeeze in before the consulate closure.  I'm ready.....the e-mail is already composed and saved in my drafts to send to the NVC tomorrow! 

In the meantime, our sweetie awaits!  We are thankful she finally received the care package we sent in February, so now she can get used to the fact that she has a family waiting for her and can get acquainted with our pictures.  We certainly have fallen in love with her!!