Friday, December 30, 2011

Almost DTC...

It looks like our dossier will be mailed on 1/6/2012, so only a week to go until we are DTC!! Was hoping to catch today's mailer since we, much to my surprise, were able to get our authentifications done the week prior to Christmas but with the Consulate's holiday schedule we didn't get the needed certifications. Our Dossier Specialist expects our final docs back either Tue or Wed next week allowing enough time for them to assemble our completed dossier and get it out the door.

Wishing a great 2012 to everyone!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I 800A approval and final dossier documents...

We received our approved i800A from USCIS the other day with an approval date of 12/6. Not that we (ok, I was) counting, but receipt date to approval date took 71 days for this all important approval from our government. With that, we are now able to submit the balance of our dossier documents to Great Wall so they can obtain the needed Authentifications and Certifications and finally get our Dossier to China (DTC). It could take up to six weeks to get all that done before the finalized dossier makes it way to Beijing. Hoping it doesn't, but the Christmas and New Year's holiday may delays things a bit.

We are hoping for a quick log-in (LID) with the CCCWA and even faster Letter(s) Seeking Confirmation (LSC) for the kids. I still hold out hope for summer travel.

The Fed-ex will ship today with our USCIS approval notice (a copy, the original goes with us to China), Home Study with the necessary attachments and original reference letters (thanks to everyone for all the nice thing they said about us), 10 family photos, passport photos, copies of our passports, dossier cover sheets, Client Contact Info Sheet, Post Adoption Verification, Notary letter verifying copies are true originals and last but not least the final agency contract fee and China Registration and Wiring fees.

It will be nice to have a clear adoption plate (no paperchasing, deadlines to beat, forms to fill out, etc.) over the holidays so we can just hang with the kids and play with all their new toys, gizmos and gadgets.

From our home to yours - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

You Lookin' At Me...

Thanks to Heidi and Bob for taking photos of Tristan when they were at Enmei picking up their little one. Big congrats to them!! It's nice to know someone is checking in on them when we can't be there ourselves and to, at the very least, be able to see the kids.

It would seem that our young man doesn't like to have his photo taken. In each of his pictures he has what we've termed his "stare down look". Len's going to have his hands full with two of us who can give the "look" so well.

Can't wait to meet you little man!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Marin Loves Cake...

What a nice surprise to finally check emails this evening and to see one from Angela with Ladybugs N Love with photos of Marin. Last week our girl celebrated her 2nd birthday so we sent a cake to her. Cake seems to be a very, very big hit with our little lady. In all but one photo she's digging into her cake. She'll fit right in here! Happy birthday baby doll.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

And here they are...

Tristan James Xuan - Enmei Ningo CWI in Zhejiang Province.

Tristan was born in July 2009. He is a congenital amputee (right arm just below the elbow). He likes to eat and isn't picky and his favorite toys are ones that make noise.

Marin Elizabeth HeYi - Zhongshan CWI in Guangdong Province.

Marin was born in November 2009. She has Fibular Hemimelia (right leg). She is a happy little girl who is full of smiles and loves to run around. She is currently with a foster family.

We have PA #2

We received word today that our PA was approved on 11/1, a mere 7 days from submission of our LOI. We can breath a sigh of relieve that we now have both PA's and now wait (not so patiently) for our I800a approval so we can get DTC.

Friday, November 4, 2011

What a Difference...

If we hadn't already found two little ones that stole our hearts and are working to bring them home, this little guy would be it, just can't stop thinking about him. Liam is only 10 months old and is on the Great Wall China Adoption agency specific list. Like William and Little Man, he was born missing his arm below the elbow (left) and that's about it.

What pains me most is that he sits on our agencies list because no families either requested a boy or a child with a limb difference. How can that be?? Missing part of arm is such a non issue as far as abilities and what these kids can do. And boys, well they are wonderful! For those that know our William, they know he can do anything that other kids can do, it may/may not need a little adjustment for it to work for him, but that's about it.

I know for some the fact that it's a right there, in your face medical condition vs. something perhaps much more severe, but not visible to naked eye can be worrisome. But honestly, it's that special little arm or leg, foot or hand that makes its even possible that they could be your child. Like William will say when asked about his arm "God made me that way" and if he hadn't, he wouldn't be ours.

If you are currently looking for "your" child or are considering adoption, won't you consider a little one with a limb difference. The only difference you will see is how much more wonderful your world became because they are in it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Two Big Things Done...

Well, it was a very busy adoption day today. We "snuck" over to USCIS this morning to see if they might take our prints (our appt. wsan't until 11/1) or send us away. It was worth the drive if they said no, so in we went. I am pleased to report that they happily printed us, never asked, or so much as looked at the date on our form and sent us back with congratulations offered by everyone we had contact with. Come on I-800A. I'm hoping my Birthday present is DTC, which I think is very possible.


We submitted our LOI for "little lady" today. YAAAAY!!! Can not wait for PA! We hope it comes as quick as "little man's" did. Once we get that in we'll be so glad to reveal their pretty little faces to the world

Thursday, October 20, 2011

PA for Little Man

We got Pre-approval (PA) for our little man! It was issued yesterday (10/19) and was sent to us this morning. Since we don't have LID yet we have 6 months (until April 19, 2012) to get our dossier complete and sent to the CCCWA. My hope is to have it out the door by the end of December as we submitted our I-800A on September 26 and are scheduled for our biometrics on 11/1 (we are "sneaking" over to USCIS on 10/24 to see if they will do them for us early-fingers crossed).

We are very excited.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

We got X-rays for little lady...

Received an email today that contained two x-rays of little lady's right leg. With my very untrained eye it is obvious she is missing her fibula (the thinner of the two bones in the lower leg) and her tibia has a bow to it. She also is missing two of her toes (has the all important big toe, though). So Fibular Hemimelia (FH) is probably the culprit. What is FH and how is it treated/managed you ask?

Fibular Hemimelia or longitudinal fibular deficiency is "the congenital absence of the fibula and it is the most common congenital absence of long bone of the extremities." It is the shortening of the fibula at birth, or the complete lack thereof. There are a few different means to treat FH mostly dependent upon the percentage of difference between the two legs, as well as other factors. Lifts added to the sole of a shoe is one option as well as the possibility of a prosthetic for inside the shoe. Limb lengthening under certain circumstances (which is multiple surgeries over the course of many years) is possible as well as amputation and use of a prosthetic.

We sent the x-rays off to our IA doc at CHoP and wait for her to consult with their FH specialist to rule out another condition they were concerned about (but not too concerned as it has never presented itself with a foot anomaly like little lady has).

Hope to hear in the next couple of days what they think and will keep you posted.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A little bit about our man...

The "little man" is just a bit over two years old now and like his big brother William, is missing his lower right arm and hand. Also like his brother, he likes to suck his fingers when he is sleeping, which they say he is a moderate sleeper (at least he's not a light sleeper). He's got a good appetite and is not choosy about his foods. He likes to play games, listen to music and is talkative. His favorite game is hide and seek and his favorite toys are the ones that make noises (just what we need more noisy toys!). In his pictures he looks like such a serious man so we hope to get him home, shower him with love and get him to crack a smile or two.

Friday, October 7, 2011

One LOI down, one to go...

This morning our agency submitted our LOI for a little BOY who is just two. We didn't now that this little fellow was even out there as his file had been on a 72 hour lock but his file popped back up on the shared list on Tues., our agency took one look at him and sent his file for us to take a look at. We looked, consulted our IA Doc and said yes! He has the same limb difference as William and we know that he can do just about anything.

Next week we hope to get X-rays on Marin's leg and then will be able to our LOI out the door for her too.

It's all very exciting!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

New meaning for Two China We Go?...

Originally when we thought of a name for our blog we went with TwoChinaWeGo since we were going back for a second trip for our second child.

If, and it's a BIG if, a file for a little lady is returned tonight from a 72 hour lock with another agency and our WC manager is able to get her file locked, it will mean that when we travel to China this time around we will be bringing home TWO beautiful girls.

What our wish is, is that she comes home, regardless if it to join our family or another as she more than deserves all the love, hugs and kisses she can get.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Home Study Approved...

Got word that our Home Study has been approved by GWCA, the final touches were added by our HS Agency and the notarized copies have been dropped in the mail this morning! Things are moving along quite nicely and with any luck I'll be able to get the Fed-ex to USCIS out the door on Friday or Saturday and start the count down for the I-800A. We understand that the average wait time for I800A approval is 60-90 day, plus I don't know where our Federal fingerprinting appointments come into play with these dates either. However, there is still quite a bit more for us to do before our dossier can go to China, we get a Log in Date (LID) and for them to consider us for adoption, What is this I-800A, Home Study, Dossier and LID you ask, well allow me to explain.

Home Study: A social worker compiles a report about your lives covering everything from your up bringing, parenting abilities, financial security, mental and physical health, your home, social life, activities, your reason for wanting to parent, reasons for wanting to parent an adopted child, you knowledge and understanding of possible issues, how you plan to care for the child and so much more. You have to be an open book and share just about everything from the time you fell off your bike when you were four to current days experiences. You must get a physical for you and each member of your family to ensure your in good physical health, get fingerprinted, they must come and inspect your home, meet your kids (Lord knows I prayed they would be the little angels they are), interview you together and then independently. It's intrusive but part of the process. A Home Study can cost between $1500. and $4000.

I-800A: This US Govt. form, accompanied by by the Home Study is sent to USCIS and they review all the information and determine your eligibility to adopt per US standards/requirements. Once approved, this as well as the Home Study goes along with all certified and authenticated Dossier materials and is sent as a complete Dossier to China by our adoption agency.

Dossier: This is the total package that is compiled that goes to China once a family passes their Home Study and gets approval from the US Government to move forward with a foreign adoption. The forms, letters, reports, documents, etc. that are contained within the Dossier have to go to various US Govt. and State Agencies that have to review the information and certify and authenticate them. These same items also need to go to the Chinese consulate for the same type of process. Some of the items included are copies of forms and others must be current originals. Items like birth certificates, marriage licences, letters of reference, State and Federal criminal background and fingerprint checks, local police department letters, letters from your employer verifying your income and work status, family photos and much, much more. The Dossier is used by the CCCWA to determine if you meet the qualifications to adopt and will either approve or deny you once they translate and review the items contained with in. The fee to submit a Dossier to the CCCWA is between $670 and $1190.

LID: The LID or Log in Date is super important,. It is the date that the CCCWA officially puts our completed Dossier into their system to begin their review and determine if they will allow us to adopt from China. After our file is logged in, it will be translated, then reviewed and then they will render their decision on our viability as an adoptive family.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Some Updated Info...

We did get some updated information this AM on "our" girl. They say she is active, lively and clever. Much to our surprise she's been moved to a foster family where they hope "she will feel the warmth of home and it will help her adjust to new family easily if she is adopted by foreign family" I do hope they allow her to stay with her foster family for a bit after we submit our LOI so she isn't moved around again so suddenly. I can only imagine how all these changes are affecting her and know that more await. The report also states her health condition is good and is seldom sick and has made progress in her language development. She can feed herself, stack blocks, scribble with a pencil and put objects in and out of a container and turn pages of a book. She also gets along well with other and is sociable.

What we didn't get were the photos, Xrays and head measurements the IA Doc was looking for to better assess her growth (the reports from a few months back have her head a bit on the small side) and prepare for her Ortho needs when she comes home. I did ask for them again and will see what happens.

Very excited to have this new information and will be touching up our LOI, so it is just right and the CCCWA thinks she is as perfect for us as we do.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A file to Review...

Wow!!!!! That's about all I can say. GWCA saw a little one from their upcoming new Zhongshan Hope Camp and thought they would be a good match for us so we are already reviewing a little one's file. As a matter of fact, just got off the phone with CHoP for the medical review with the same IA Doc that did William's. Sent a list of requested info, tests, etc. from the IA Doc to Stephanie to shoot over to the orphanage with the hopes they can accommodate us so we have a broader picture of the kiddo's needs, abilities and developement and treatment options once home.

Also, we have the extra luck that GWCA staff is going there on Monday for a 12 day trip to assess the kids they were assigned so we have a really good chance that they will be able to meet "our" little one and give us their impressions and details as well.

Our final homestudy visit is tomorrow so we really need to keep the ball rolling to get it approved with GWCA and then off to CIS for the I800 authorization to get the dossier complete and in the CCCWA's hands much sooner than later.

Two months to the day of starting this wonderous journey again and already have a little one to consider, how lucky are we?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The #1's

Dossier Mailer #1: Well, my hopes of having Dossier mailer #1 out the door within a week didn't happen. My husband's Doctor, well he writes like a Doctor so... when I looked over the form after it was signed and notarized, some things weren't all that easy to read so with that we had to get the form filled out again (more neatly this time), get an appt. to see him to get it signed and arrange for the notary as well. The logistics took a little bit of time with everyone's schedules but it got done!

Our Dossier Specialist confirmed that it was recieved yesterday and that she was preping it to go out for the necessary Certifications today.

Home Study Visit #1: We had our first home study visit with our new Hauge approved agency on August 4th. We were a bit nervous with this being our first time using this HS agency and Social Worker but all went well. As a matter of fact we have our 2nd meeting tomorrow, at the house this time, so we are moving right along there. Hopefully we can do our individual interviews/meetings the following two week and with any luck have the home study complete and approved by GWCA and out the door mid-Sept. to USCIS with the I-800 application to get that portion of the Dossier underway.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dossier Preparation Package has arrived and Home Study

On Wednesday of this week we received the Dossier prep package from GWCA. As of today, we have all the required documents except our medical forms completed/signed as we are awaiting the results from the required blood work. So next week we should be able to get Dossier Package #1 out the door. Less than one week from receipt to mailing back!! I have to say I'm pretty impressed with myself if I can actually pull it off.

I have all but the personal references to our home study agency so we are moving along there as well. Our first meeting will be on 8/4 and then hopefully once every one to two weeks there after for the remaining three with the hopes of having the home study complete and approved by the end of September to ship of to USCIS with the I800.

For those of you asking, how in the name of Sam Hill could we do that, this is how. Since we've been down this path before, as soon as I hit send on the application to GWCA I ordered all Birth and Marriage Certificates through VitalStat. After that I pulled our files from Will's adoption and wrote all the required letters we would need to sign and templates to get out to everyone who needed to provide some form of documentation for us. The next AM I contacted the home study agency for their application and turned that around the same day with most of the document copies that would be required as well as copies of our first home study and our last post placement report so they would be ahead of the curve and more familiar with us before we even walked in the door. I have scanned and saved every document and form so when a copy is needed of any of the million pieces of paper you have to produce, I have them all right at my finger tips.

Now I just have to get all the government agencies to cooperate. Here's hoping!!!!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

We're Going for Two

Very, Very early this morning (just after midnight), we hit the send button on our application for adoption number two. For those that are saying it outloud and we know you are, No we haven't gone crazy (ok maybe a little more so), it was just the right time for us. We've been home with William for a little over a year and half already and our three other kiddos are growing by leaps and bounds.

We received conformation late AM that they are in receipt of the application and will be doing their review process and should let us know in a few days if we are approved to move ahead.

Assuming we'll be getting the green light, I've already started working to gather some of our dossier documents, written some of the letters we need notarized and Len even had his physical last week and had the form and letter written by the Doc. Now I just need to find a home study agency in NJ that is Hague accredited as the folks who did our last one are not and it is required with the new rules.