Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year! This is a special year for us. 2011 is the year we bring sweet little Chanz home! I am getting excited now, knowing that we will see him in mere months. Months! My mom and I are talking about what to pack and what to wear, when. We talked about the hotels and the websites blocked in China (Blogspot :( and hotmail, to name a few). It's real, it's happening. What is happening is a dream come true, literally! I dreamed of this day for years and I still can't bang it into my head that it is a reality.

This year was a rollercoaster of emotion. We have been consumed, every single month, with paperwork and waiting and dreaming and preparing. There were unexpected expenses and breakdowns along the way. (For real.. Tim's truck broke down in Houston after our visit to the Chinese Consulate!).I very recently re-connected with the Chinese family that inspired the specific adoption from China in the first place. Unfortunately it was because Joseph was dying, and he passed away a week before Christmas, the day after my birthday. Judy had offered to be Chanz's Chinese grandmother, which made my heart burst, of course. I called her tonight just to check in and she said they had all been going all over the house, gathering up her grandchildren's toys that were no longer being used so Chanz can have them. I was telling her that her grandchildren are all so very sweet. And hyper. She laughed and said, "Now we'll have another one" referring to Chanz. How blessed we are!

Looking forward to this new year as first time parents!! And an amazing journey to CHina!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Article 5

"As of 12/27/2010, your Article 5 was delivered to the CCAA. It can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 8 weeks to receive your Travel Approval from the CCAA!!! "

That was today's email update :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


The only news I have right now is that our VISAs will be delivered to us Friday.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Found Chanz: 03/03/2010
Found out Chanz was still available: 03/09/2010
Dossier sent to China: 09/03/2010
LID (log in date): 09/07/2010
LSC (letter seeking confirmation):10/22/2010

We are waiting on our TA (travel approval) and really expect it to be February!! It's a very exciting time for us. What an AMAZING journey that I never expected to ever happen! I have a wonderful husband..

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


The bracelets we were selling as a fundraiser were a huge success! So far we have raised a little over $500, which isn't bad considering the time frame. I have a friend who is convinced her daughter can sell them for more money at school. I have a bag of 40 bracelets to give her tomorrow. I'm praying God will bless this little girl and we'll get lots of helpful donations!

We are still seeking assistance. If we had more time we could do it ourselves, but we have a little boy waiting on us! Now! I can't wait to scoop him up and give him his first mommy kiss! siiigh

Final Countdown

We received our NVC approval letter today (National Visa Center)! I already had all the other paperwork ready that needed to be sent to the agency once we got our letter, so it is already sitting in the post office ready to be over-nighted! Our last shred of paperwork will be mailed off to China on Friday. China will then send Article 5 to our agency which states that everything is in order and we are approved to adopt our child. This letter will come about 2 weeks after they receive the above paperwork. After that, they will issue our Travel Approval, which takes about 2-3 weeks to be sent to Great Wall China Adoption. We travel 2-3 weeks after that. As you can see, things are wrapping up quickly.

We still have so much money to come up with and I don't know where it is coming from. We'll cross those bridges when we get there!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Waiting. It's what I do Best.

Waiting on the pumpkin pies to finish cooking! It will be a full day tomorrow with wall to wall family members (literally.. I shall take pictures to prove this) and tables overflowing with food. Tonight Tim and I met my parents, my sister and her family, as well as her in-laws at Traditions. It was a nice atmosphere and we even saw some of our friends there. It was a pleasant evening all the way around and good food, too.

After work I stopped by Chez Bazan in Tyler to pick up a cake and place it on my boss's tab (thank you). Once I got home, I interrupted Tim from working on the fence to take a "pie break". It was a very tasty, richly flavored fruit pie. Not long after that, I was ready for a nap before dinner. I slept for probably an hour, and kept dreaming of Chanz. As I was waking up and the dream I was having began to unthread with the intrusion of reality, I was able to catch the ending. I was standing over him and patting him on the shoulder, calling him my Champion. The image and the echoing words "champion..chamption.." stuck with me for the rest of the evening.

I thought by now we would have our approval letter from NBC Hague. It was stated in an email that it would be issued that evening but I just read on one of our information sheets that it could take up to two weeks to get the letter! Two weeks!! Well: One down.

As I am scanning the information sheet, it seems very possible that we may even leave to get Chanz by January! I am hoping we can travel before February because that is the month of Chinese New Year and prices for air fair go UP.

I can't believe our journey is almost at it's peak. We're so close to bringing our beautiful child home! So much preparing has happened, both inside our lives and all around. What a blessing this child has already become <3

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Chanz's Nursery

I stayed up late working on the nursery. Even though the floors are not done yet, I can still work on the walls and how I want things set up. The pictures on the wall weren't too hard. Scrapbooking seems to come out anywhere! My brother in law -Michael- is making a chest of drawers so Chanz will have a place for his clothes. The leaves on the wall took *forever*. Stencils seemed like a good idea but painting with them is a whole lot harder than it seems. We also want to redo his closet..put some larger, folding doors instead of the one, small door.He already has quite a few toys, but he will get more when we have a "toddler shower". That's another post, another day! Meanwhile, I'm really having fun working on our little guy's room. It helps make the waiting a little easier and I feel like we're accomplishing something. I loved how his little frog blanket turned out. Tracy and I finished it in less than an hour. I bought stuffing for the pillow the next day and finished it up. I suppose this is all the update I have for now. The Holidays are upon us. I SO wish Chanz could be here for them, but we get excited when we think about how different the next year will be for us. So many changes, and a little ray of sunshine to make life that much sweeter.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Still waiting

We still have not received any word that our paperwork is completed, so we've occupied our time with saving money and fundraising. I've sold close to 200 bracelets and they aren't even in yet! About the first 100 pays back the money I had to spend to buy them, but I expect to get enough donations to help with the expensive hobby called Adoption!
I will work this week on getting a care package together to send to Chanz in the orphanage. It may be cheaper to buy stuff online *in* China and just have them ship it to the orphanage. I want him to be warm and have his own things. The weather where he lives is somewhere in the 50s during the day and 30s at night. That's cold for a little kid! By December it will be 30s-40s during the day and high teens-low 20s at night! yikes!
We met Chanz's pediatrician today and LOVE him! He is a very nice, polite Christian man. Somehow there was a mix-up with appointments. I had 10:00 written down, but they had me down for 12:45. He saw us anyway and did not rush through our visit and took his time. He told about his two trips to China and even offered us some heavier coats and luggage to take with us! He said not to worry about eye appointments or any of that until after his first doctor's appointment, and he would make the arrangements. Much relief!

I friended a lady on facebook that had a son with albinism and then adopted a little girl from China with albinism. Her son is in his teens, so she has lots of experience with the condition and I'm going to learn everything I can from her!

Meanwhile, we received a I-797 Notice of Action from Homeland Security. Things are mooooving along!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Final Steps

Last night we stayed up until past midnight trying to fill out the final stretch of paperwork, the I-800 and I-864W. Tim will overnight this to Dallas today and it should take approx. 2 weeks to get that back. Then, once we receive our approval letter, we send copies of the documents to Great Wall, they send the documents to China via email, and they begin working on our travel arrangements. Basically, we're on the tip top of the mountain looking down! All the waiting is suddenly over.

When I got the phone call last week that our LSC (letter seeking confirmation) was in, our case worker said "This is a lot faster than usual." I told her that this kid is covered in prayer so I wasn't surprised!

The only downside is the reality that we have a lot of money to come up with yet. I am not worrying about it because I know God will provide, however the human side of me can't help but get a little antsy about it. We have the orphanage donation, travel costs, and money lost from not being at work (since I have no benefits). This is a lot to consider!

I am excited, none the less. His room is far from finished and I am not sure we can do the floors yet because I want to make sure we have enough money for travel. (I spilled paint on the carpet a couple of years ago). It's still cute with frogs and monkeys and giraffes and a huge ride-on elephant from my friend Kelly!

Very excited that we'll have him home soon..very soon!

Monday, October 11, 2010


I've been thinking lately about what it's like to not have biological children. This was a result of the upcoming family reunion that we recently attended. Family reunions are all about how a large family evolved from one married couple and their line of descent. But what about us, since we are adopting? How will we include our child in a heritage when his is lost?

For me, there is a lot of loss.The loss of:
  • A childbirth experience
  • The special attention, care and support that pregnancy brings to you,
  • Control, as efforts toward conception result in disappointment
  • the adoption process, as a myriad of social workers, government officials and other ‘professionals’ decide and orchestrate the rest of your life.
  • The surprise, shock of seeing a (+) on a pregnancy test
  • The wonder of carrying life
  • the joy of having others decide who the child looks like the most

For our child, the loss of:

  • his first days, months, or even years of his life.
  • Knowledge of the whys and hows of his personality, medical condition and even behaviors. Is it something I have done, something in his past that I have no knowledge of, or simply genetic programming?
  • Being blood related
This adoption process has been exciting and happy at times, but surrounded by the sorrow of our situation and his as well. We will not stay here.. we will all grow and thrive, but the reality of this can sometimes be overwhelming.

Friday, October 1, 2010

wow, 2 updates in one day!

I just opened my email and received this from GWCA:

Dear Great Wall Family,

We are happy to report that your dossier was registered in China. The registration date is also known as the Log in Date or LID. Your LID is 9/7/2010.

If we receive any additional information we will contact you as quickly as possible. In the meantime, if you need assistance or support, please feel free to give us a call.


Almost Real

I had the sweetest dream about Chanz. He was in a hallway, like the kind that connects an airplane to the terminal. I saw him and felt my heart burst. I got down on one knee so I would be level with him and smiled at him. He smiled and ran towards me and asked me for a piece of gum.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Slow Down-Hill

I finally received an email update from Great Wall. Sadly, it will be 6-9 months before we get Chanz here :( These are sure to be the longest months of our lives. The good news is, it gives us more time to gather the money that we need, esp. for travel.

I told Tim last night we might as well let go and quit stressing over getting him here. He'll be older than we wish (I would much prefer to have had him right after he was born) but at least we'll have pictures, we can send him care packages, and we can still love and care for him despite the distance, and despite the fact he does not know us yet.

Another bonus: It will not be during the bone cold of winter!

I told Tim we will be sending many cameras, one for each month that we miss!

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I awoke this morning thinking about fall. I love the feel of it every morning, the weak sunshine reaching down so gently like a mom laying her baby down to sleep. I like the way the atmosphere feels, like a young child. I suppose the young feeling should be reserved for spring, but that is how Fall feels to me. Outside one can walk around the yard minus the burning glare of the sun. It's softer now, and more welcoming and friendly. Leaves are falling off of trees, birds are flying away, and insects have hidden far beneath the ground. It isn't a sad leaving, in fact there is a lot of activity. The holidays are just down the way, singing their expectant arrival. There is the celebration of Fall, then quickly followed by Thanksgiving, then soon after by Christmas, and then the celebration of a new year. The beginning of Fall is the preparation stage for all to come. It's an exciting time!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Come Home

Got misty-eyed tonight thinking about Chanz. We just want him home so bad, all the waiting is so very hard. I don't know what he's doing or if he's lonely or happy. Did he play with the toys we sent him for his birthday? Does he sleep snuggled up to the stuffed panda bear toy? What is he like? Does he smile all the time and does he pout? Does he even have a clue that we love him already and can't wait to hold him tight?

Does he have any idea how rotten he is going to be once he gets here? Our first family vacation is already planned.. we're taking him to Orlando to stay in the condo we secured for our future children and to swim and see the ocean and play in sand and just BE. Come home, Chanz!!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Houston means that I'm a one step closer to you

This morning we will head down to Houston to get the documents for our dossier authenticated. Basically, the Chinese Consulate of Houston is verifying the Secretary of State's seal on all the documents we had certified a few weeks ago. And they only charge an arm and a leg; completely reasonable fees! cough cough

We are only dropping the documents off. To have them do them the same day costs triple what it costs to go the regular route (which is costing us $280.00). Once we drop off the documents, we are going to try and find a PF Changs, since Tim still has never been, and wonder around town a bit. Some of Tim's family lives in Liberty, which is about an hour away from Houston, so we will meet up with his family for dinner, then head back home.

Full day ahead!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Follow the Road

We were reading the "dossier guide" and were disappointed to read, "Most families can expect to travel within 6-9 months after their log-in date." What?! That is sooo long to wait when we want him here now! We were so hoping to have him home by Christmas but that just may not be the case..

A lot of people show concern because we're adopting an "older" child. If the timeline is correct, he'll be about 2 1/2 years old when we get him. True, we would have loved to have had him home right after he was born, but that just isn't our reality, ours or his. So he'll be a little older; we won't love him any less! There are also lots of people asking me if anything is "wrong" with him. He has albinism. That doesn't make anything "wrong" with him, he just has that condition that he'll have to live with. It isn't anything major, it doesn't affect his character or mental capacity in any way. He'll just have to wear sunscreen more often than most of us do, that's all.

Long story short, this child has no family. None. We are honored to have the ability to bring a child into our home, whatever the age, and give him a family. I don't care what color his skin is or his hair, he'll be ours and we'll be his.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I Certify That It Is Finished

Went to Austin yesterday, got the documents

certified, and now we're back home! Just one final

step: authentication! If they can finish the

process in about 10 days, I will mail the

documents. If it takes months, we'll be making a

trip to Houston.
Counting down, counting down...

Monday, July 5, 2010


We were able to get some financial assistance! Pathways for Little Feet gave us a loan large enough to at least pay for the orphanage donation, which is a huge sum of money. We are so grateful for companies out there that offer help for families wishing to adopt! We have vowed to support their organization for life. Our financial support will help other families down the road.

We are heading to Austin tomorrow to get our dossier documents certified. The next step will be to get the very same documents authenticated. Then, it is finished! We are getting so close to bringing our little boy home. He'll be here before we can believe it.

I'm beginning the official countdown now. Gathering documents for the dossier is all the prep work, now the real work and waiting begins.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


We received an email from a man (Rocky) from a local church, that is over the Hope for 100 program the other day. The email contained a link to another company that might be able to help us financially. I spoke with a lady yesterday and got the pre-screening done so that we could apply. After chatting for a few minutes, we were both surprised to discover that her daughter, adopted from China, was at the very same orphanage that Chanz is at!
Rocky called this afternoon to check and see if we had any luck and to let him know if we needed anything. He said to check in with him and let him know our needs before we let this fall through. It felt so nice to have hope and understanding about this difficult process!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Waiting on You

We're still waiting for something to come through for us to help us proceed with this adoption. I get so frustrated with this whole process. The fees that we are required to pay are outrageous and I really feel adoptive parents get taken advantage of.
I've been praying everyday for a door to open for us. I feel like a stone has been dropped into my soul and it just weighs there, everyday. This little boy is already so much a part of our hearts and we desire nothing more than to welcome him into our home and show him a good life. I can't bear the thought of letting him down..he was already let down by his first parents.

I'm thanking God for making a way when there doesn't seem to be one. He's shown me that often enough throughout my own life, that's for sure.

I just heard a song with a message that applies to this whole process!
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Psalms 43:5  Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your
hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I never expected adoption to have as many emotions mixed in with it as dealing with infertility. We are so excited, probably just as excited as any expectant parent would be. A little different, I'm sure, but I think a lot of the same concerns and stresses.
Unfortunately, adoption is quite expensive. We applied for financial assistance through the ABBA fund/Hope for 100 and have waited forever for a response. Well, I got a response alright: we were denied. "Of course!" I thought to myself. Why would it be easy? Nothing having to do with having children is easy for us!
I know, that sounds awful, but it's how I felt.
We have this precious little boy waiting for us (although he doesn't know it yet) and we face enormous expenses that with my human heart, mind and soul I CAN NOT foresee how we will EVER make it.
I'm just thankful I serve a God that's big enough to take care of this for us. I don't know how, I can't see how with the deadline we have to meet, but I'm just going to hold on to my faith that God will come through for us like he has so many other times in the past.
I'm not happy, I'm quite upset, actually. I was surprised by how upset I was! But all I could imagine was losing the opportunity to have that little boy. I can't bear the thought.
Prayers are welcomed and needed.
We only have one more piece of paper that we are waiting on to complete our dossier. We are sooo close to finishing the hard part of paperwork. I need God to show us how to afford it... quickly! Looks like another fast on the horizon

Monday, May 3, 2010


heh heh..that never gets old.

I'm finding it completely frustrating that I can't post pictures of that sweet little boy just yet. He's cute, I'm telling ya! I know that once he's here, I'm going to have more photos than I will know what to do with. I'm happy about that prospect :)

GWCA sent out an email that they were offering concurrent adoptions to other countries. The one we were interested in before was Nepal. We already have it in our heads that we would adopt a little girl from there. So.. I just printed out an application. I know, I know, where WILL we get the money? The answer is: I don't have a clue. I don't. I do not have the money that is required but what I DO have is faith and an ear for the Lord's voice.

I had always thought I would be a missionary but I never expected it to be in this form! Tim and I would love to have our own children, but having the opportunity to reach our arms across the globe and around a child who might otherwise never hear the Good that is amazing.

The time line, once we get started, is probably about a year, which means Chanz will have enough time to get settled in (as well as us!) before we bring home a little girl. The youngest they adopt their children out is around 12 months, which is baby enough for us!

Of course that whole adventure will be recorded right here, but for now, we're all about bringing Chanz home! Soon..very soon..we will be able to post pictures. You won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Poem

For My Adopted Flower

I wasn’t there the very second you were born
The hour
The month
The year
I didn’t witness the miracle of your first breath
First cry
First smile
First blink
I completely missed your first year
The days
The months
The seasons

Holidays slip from the calendar
Emptiness filling the half hours
Hauntingly beautifully tragically
Time grows you without an apology

Standing undone

Didn’t know how

Fragile, my son

Needing me now

Didn’t know you had been born so soon
Couldn’t know you were my rising moon
Distance is now not a friend to me
Waiting now your face is all I see

Not too long and you’ll be in my arms
Not much time you’ll be safe from harm
Keep you forever inside my love
You are my great quest my special one

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Timeline

Sunday, May 10, 2009- application to GWCA officially submitted

Monday, May 18, 2009-signed contract with GWCA

July  Homestudy
February  homestudy FINALLY finished

Wed 3/03/10 8:01 PM - Found Chanz in the archives
Tue 3/09/10 10:08 AM - Notifed that Chanz was still available!
Wed 3/24/10 3:55 PM - Pre-Approval (PA) from CCAA

Friday, March 26, 2010

Passport to China

The short trip to Palestine was fun. The road we were traveling on was reminiscent of road trips past to the Guadalupe River. We talked about the different experiences we've had on those trips and laughed at some of the memories. Soon we arrived at the post office. We were surprised to find that we were the only ones there to apply for passports. Pleasantly surprised, as it didn't take us long to get the application process completed and over with. We paid the extra $120 to have them expedited so that we can get our part of this paperchase done as quickly as possible. We have an orphan to rescue! We left from the post office and headed toward Beijing China Buffet. Another pleasant surprise? They served sushi! We enjoyed the fun and toasted ourselves to getting one step closer to our child! We stopped by Walgreens on our way back, since Tim used to work there and wanted to say hello to the manager. I managed to grab a handful of toys for the child, and ended up leaving with a chocolate brown bunny.
We are home now and I am gathering and organizing our paperwork to see what is left. We must submit an I-800 which goes to CIS. This will take care of our FBI background check as well as secure the child's VISA. Our caseworker emailed me last night and said the finalized, approved homestudy would be in the mail today. As soon as I have it, we can proceed with our I-800. The very last step will be sending all our paperwork to Houston to be authenticated. I expect to have all of this finished by June, and to be on a plane to China by fall!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Tiny Step Closer

I check my email daily, several times a day, just waiting for any little update about our little precious in China. Finally got an email today! It was written in Chinese but had the translation at the bottom:

Great Wall China Adoption,

The application of Timothy and Jamie for adoption of (little boy) that you submitted was received. It is hereby advised that with a review of the basic family situation and the Rehabilitation and Nurture Plan for the Child made by the family, the China Centre of Adoption Affairs agrees to handle and process the case as an adoption of a special-need child after the application file arrives

We were on our way to get our passports today when we realized the folder with all of our information was not with us, so we turned around. Then we decided we didn't feel like going anyway and would wait for Friday. We have to go about an hour away because the local post office is "by appointment only" and they are booked through the middle of April. We will have ours expedited so we can finish our final paperwork and move on!

Things have suddenly gone from a creepy call to a downhill roller coaster! Much like the Texas Giant at Six Flags. It's a slow click click click to the top then suddenly you're practically free-falling!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Homestudy Closure

Just got the message today that the final home study draft has been APPROVED!!!We can finally move on to our final steps!We are still waiting on our official approval letter from China to adopt Little Boy and it has been just almost 2 weeks, which is about what is to be expected. As soon as I get that I can finally show a picture!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I wish I knew how to change the stupid background

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Seasons Change

The Rescuers! In the end, the little girl gets adopted. I do believe that is where my interest in adoption began.
My last post was about 3 weeks ago. I have been trying to make it back here to update because so much has happened in such a short time. I am thankful for the last post as it will help explain some of the current situation.
First and foremost, I am thankful for the Holy Spirit and His insight. I do not always know exactly what I am feeling or why, but I know when He's telling me something and I can't imagine my life any other way.
Here's a rough outline of what has happened as of late:

If you can believe it, our caseworker actually sent us a copy of the completed home study. I am assuming that GWCA is reviewing it since I have not received an approved copy from them. I am sending our case worker an email inquiring about this since I have no idea when it is final and approved. Once we have the copy, we can apply for some financial assistance. Green Acres Baptist Church had started the Hope for 100 program last year, which is a charity-based fund to assist as well as encourage adoption. I was informed that there should be plenty of money available to assist us!

Tim & I have completed everything we need to for the adoption except get our passports and background check. We went to get our passports done yesterday only to find out they closed 30 mins before AND you have to make an appointment!! We will probably be spending extra money to have our passports expedited.

We can not do the FBI background check until we have our approved, finalized home study. Of course. Once we have all of THAT completed, THEN we have to send most of the documents to the Chinese Consulate in Houston to be certified and authenticated. Finally, once all of that is complete, we send all of this paperwork (dossier) to GWCA. They review it, then finally it is sent to China and we get our LID (log in date).

The plot thickens....

Feb. 22 I received my information on how to log in and view waiting children on the waiting child list. I browsed around and saw so many poor children that needed homes. Some had severe problems while others were not as bad off, although still had pretty strong needs. It was nice to be able to see the children and know that we had the option to actually see and choose the child for us!

March 3 I again look at the waiting child list. It came to my attention that very recently China changed the waiting child list. Now, GWCA does not have its own list, it is shared by many other agencies. This was disheartening because that only provides more families looking for children while the list of available children was relatively small.

I felt an urgency then. Desperate, even, to find my child before anyone else did. I kept scrolling and just didn't feel anything. I clicked on the older links in the archive just to see what children were there before. I knew it was doubtful any of those children would be available, but still I was curious. I did find one child that caught my eye. This little blonde-headed chinese boy! He was albino and had the cutest little smile. I had to call my husband over to look at the pictures. I couldn't believe he had been listed under the "special needs" list since there was nothing wrong with him other than albinism.

Several minutes passed. I kept going back to that blonde headed child. I asked my husband if he wanted me to inquire about the child, just to see if he was available still, and he said, "Sure." I sent an email:

Wed 3/03/10 7:51 PM

I have not spoken with anyone yet as to how this works, but if we are interested in a child on the shared list, how will we know if the child is still available and how do we even request information?

10 minutes later, I decided maybe I should go ahead and inquire.

Wed 3/03/10 8:01 PM FYI the child we were looking at was under the latest "shared" list. Name Tommy, albinism. I understand that the children on this list may not be available any longer.

The next day I checked my email at work several times waiting for her response. I didn't receive her email until I got home:

Every day I am going through the children and looking at applications for possible good matches. If there is a child who may be a good fit for your family, I will give you a call. I also put forth the weekly list of kids from the shared list. If there is a child who you are interested in learning more about, just send me an email and I will get in touch with you about them!

With the .pdfs and with the activity of the shared list, I do not go back in and update the listings currently. If you inquire and the child is no longer available, I will let you know.

So, I assumed he was no longer available and that we should wait for her to contact us. I googled "how long does it take to adopt from China" or some such and I read where it could even be 8 years before we get our child! I was completely crushed. I informed my husband and he said there is no way he was waiting that long and that we would have to do something else.

I had to agree. 8 years is ridiculous when I am getting older every day.

The frustrations of adopting suddenly washed over me like a huge tidal wave. I began to weigh our options. We could wait for years and years on a child from China. Or, we could adopt locally, still spend a ton of money, however we have to hope we are lucky enough to be picked by a birthmother. What if a birthmother never picks us? We would still be childless. OR we could adopt a child with severe special needs.
Those are our options.
I believe I cried for 2 days. The thought of NOT adopting from China was the same loss I feel every time i have a negative pregnancy test. I could hardly bear the disappointment and decided there was no way I could give up on that dream, I could not let that dream die. Not that one.

Time went by, and I quit crying.

I began my new fulltime position at work On March 8, 2010 and felt a little depressed about it. I would miss all the free time I had. I would miss staying up late and I would miss just doing what I wanted to during the day (like sleep in!). I was on the 5th or 6th floor of ETMC working on a chart when I decided I would check my email just in case she finally responded to my question about the little blonde headed kid.

It just so happened that, sitting there in my inbox, was an email from the lady over the waiting child program:

Tue 3/09/10 10:08 AM

Hi Jamie,

Little (boy) is still available! I would love to chat with you about him a little bit, and then can send you the file if you are interested. Is there a good time to chat?

Still available?! After all this time? My hands began to shake. I felt light-headed. I called my husband immediately and told him. He said "lock the file!"

Tue 3/09/10 11:21 AM

we are totally intersted! call me anytime you can asap whatever :D

I also called and left her a message. Just in case...
I also emailed again later informing her we wished to review the file.

Eventually I received a phone call from her and we discussed the little boy. He will be 2 in June, Just about the same age as my niece. He is developmentally on target, just has albinism. They describe him as introverted and a little shy. I asked her to please send me the file. If we wished to pursue adoption, if he was still available, the file would be locked.

As soon as I got home I checked my email. In bold letters, it stated:

Please note that this child is on the shared agency list. We cannot guarantee this child will be available should you choose to move forward. If I see the child’s file is gone before you have made a decision, I will let you know!
My sense of urgency heightened. We looked through his files and pictures and decided that we would like to adopt that sweet little blonde angel. I composed yet another email:

We have reviewed the child's information and medical file. We did discuss the child's medical information with 2 separate physicians and feel confident we could meet his needs in every way. We would be pleased if you could lock (boys) file for us! We intend to proceed with adopting him if he is available and we receive approval from China. Sincerely, Tim & Jamie

The next morning she called me and congratulated me on our decision.
We're going to be PARENTS!

I knew, KNEW in my gut that our wait wasn't long. It was like sensing a change in the climate, my bones knew it. God has been so good to us this year already, and this is the icing on the CAKE! She said hopefully we will have him by the end of the year, it all depends on how quick paperwork goes through.

I am frustrated, again, that we didn't already have all of our paperwork done already because of the home study delay, however we are working hard to get the house and our finances in order so that our new little boy will be safe and secure.

I am not allowed to post pictures or any identifying information at this time. As soon as we get the official approval from China, oh boy you are never gonna hear the end of it!!

Needless to say, Tim and I are ecstatic and have been over the moon all week.

And to think... I started this blog a year and 1 week ago. Look at how much has happened! It wasn't so long after all. I am so excited to continue this blog now that I have some meat for it!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Getting On Track

Hi Jamie,
At this point, I realize that an apology from
me is likely not
sufficient, but I will offer it
anyway: I am truly sorry for taking
so long to
complete this home study. I have been dealing
with several
personal crises in the past 6 months
and have not handled my adoption
obligations in
an entirely professional manner.At this point I am

committed to completing your home study within
the next 3 days
Today we spent a lot of time trying to figure out what needed to be done, by when, how and how much. There was much shifting and sorting of papers and many phone calls and web searches. I think things are finally organized in a "Adoption for Dummies" sort of way so we don't get lost and confused. Seriously..where's the map?

We designated Tuesday, March 2, 2010 as the day that we will get everything done for this adoption that we possibly can. This is the most confusing, time-consuming, puzzling process I think we have ever been through, however we are starting to feel like progress is being made.

We have received several rough drafts of our homestudy. Today's email from GWCA was a message forwarded that was sent to our caseworker. There were many corrections and addendums needed, I just hope she doesn't procrastinate any further and takes care of this. I have a feeling with GWCA breathing down her back she will stay on top of it.

Due to the long, 3-4 year wait for a child from China and the face that we are not getting any younger, we decided to go the "special needs" route and were accepted into the program. I chose simple, correctable or minor issues such as a cleft lip/palate or a mole on the child's face or arm. I wouldn't be opposed to a missing finger, even. It feels better to know that
) we will be adopting a child that has a lesser chance of being "wanted" and
B) WE get to pick the child that we want.. not have China pick the child for us! We really like that.

I told Tim the other day that I really feel deep inside that our wait will not be too terribly long, and he said, "me too". That made me feel even better and more confident.

I am so blessed to have Tim in my life. Some people do not understand adoption or how very important it is to that child! He is so understanding and caring and giving. What a lucky little child we will have..he/she will have no choice but to adore his/her father because he is a good, good man.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Home Study Woes

I heard back from GWCA soon after I sent them an email concerning our home study slacker of a social worker. She said they spoke with the social worker and informed her the home study *must* be in their office by Monday. By Monday, I mean last Monday. I just sent off another email making sure that happened. I expressed my concern over only having about 3 months to gather all documents and having the dossier submitted by the end of May and she sort of told me not to worry about it, that they would do everything they can to make sure we make deadline.
Unfortunately, as inexperienced as we are with the process, I did not realize that most people have their home studies completed within about a month. A MONTH! :'( I can't understand how she could be so inconsiderate with our time, and our HEARTS! We are so ready for this to happen and already have such a long wait (maybe).
I say 'maybe' because I just submitted our special needs adoption form. This could cut our wait time down. We may even opt to adopt an older child, I'm just not sure yet. We are waiting on God and his direction. We will know it when the time comes!

Today I am getting a lot done. I just rearranged the office so that I have a spot strictly for working on adoption stuff. There is still a lot to do, after all. We only need 4 more hours of hague training and I found a website that offers $12 a credit courses. So.. just another $50 and we'll have that part of the dossier completed! I'm already enrolled and paid, just need to sit down and do the course.
We set next week as the date that we will get our pictures made for our passports. Depending on our money situation, we might possibly apply for our passports the same day. God has been so good at providing us with money..even if we do have to work for it :)
I'm still excited about the adoption, even with all the setbacks. I just know this will be the most rewarding thing in our entire lives we will ever have the pleasure of experiencing.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Frustration upon frustration

And yet another month later... nothing.

I sent our social worker a curt email stating that it has been 7 months and we are tired of waiting. 7 months!! That has been more than enough time to complete a homestudy and we have been more than patient. I also emailed GWCA and informed them of our frustrating situation. I even called and left a message.

We discovered today that, because she has taken so long, we now have to re-order our birth certificates and marriage certificate. This should cost us about another $75 or more. Needless!

I think we are both dizzy with stress by now trying to figure out everything we need to do and in what order, as well as what document goes with which place at what time. It is so, so confusing! If we had not already put out so much money, I would be ready to throw my hands up and say "Forget it!"

I have to keep thinking about our china doll. She will be worth it..