Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mixed Emotions

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those crushed in spirit"
Psalm 34:18

I'm sure from the verse you can tell I'm feeling pretty down.  We had a great Christmas and I only broke down once as thoughts of Evan came to my mind. Today though is much different. I think it's been building. In exactly three hours, in China it will be Evans birthday. We are not with him. We do not know when we will be with him. He knows we are coming but does not know when. I'm sure he is wondering what is taking so long.

At some point in the night while we are sleeping our guy will be celebrating his birthday with all of his friends. This year he will have a cake and presents to open. He has a family that misses him so much and would do anything to jump on a plane to bring him home today if they could.

I feel like our agency has let us down. They have poo pooed my questions stating they would get back to me asap. That was well over three weeks ago. We have paid them enough money to answer our questions in a timely manor and with honesty. They have cost us numerous delays in this adoption process.

Now I do believe everything happens for a reason and God is in control. What I do not believe in is incompetence! When the same problems and errors continue to occur with more than one family, then there is a problem that needs addressing. Right now I am angry and sad!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Awesome Friends!

We have been totally stressed about who we were going to have watch the children while we were in China. The Lord showed up in a BIG way last night and it brought me to tears. It was looking like we would have to split the children up and they would have to miss two weeks of school.

Our friends from church came over for dinner last night and she offered to "move her family in" and stay for the two weeks we were gone. Her two children are home schooled so she can school them while our children are at school! Lia will miss no therapies and be with her siblings!

Best thing, we will have peace of mind that our children are receiving awesome care while we are gone! What a relief. Thank you Lord.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Seems we are still waiting on our Article 5. We can not proceed to our TA until our Article 5 is issued. Please pray that we will receive this soon!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Birthday Care Package

We ordered Evan's birthday care package tonight. His birthday is fast approaching and we did not want to miss out on ordering it with all of the holiday festivities. On January 1st Evan will turn 7 years old. It will be his last birthday without his family! :)


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

How Many Days?

 I've broken down our wait from the time our agency accept our application.

Approved by agency - 2/21/09 = 302 Days
Referral accepted - 3/09/09 = 277 Days or 9 months, 2 days
Sent LOI - 5/29/09 = 196 Days or 6 months, 12 Days
Received LID - 9/1/09 = 101 Days or 3 months, 10 Days
Received LOA- 11/3/09 = 38 Day or 1 month, 8 Days

Wondering how much longer!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

So Tired

I am just so tired of all the delays! Apparently our agency has not sent our paperwork to the Consulate yet. It's been two weeks since our file was cabled. Approval is usually given between 6-14 days after the cable is sent. So we could be looking at another 2 weeks before our Article 5 is issued.

Feeling a bit weary in this process.

**Update -Our information was originally submitted a few weeks ago but our in-country staff was then informed that the DS 230 was missing information as they had updated the forms. They have provided this information to our in-country staff and they are working with the consulate to have it processed as quickly as possible. They will follow up again today and let us know what they hear.**


Gearing Up

Not sure when we will travel, I've started gathering items for our trip. Evans clothes are washed and I'm trying to decide what to bring. I think we will start packing his items. His little backpack is full and ready for him to go through. We have enjoyed shopping for items he will need. I think the item we bought that made it real for me was his little toothbrush!

Nothing new to report on our wait for TA. We will be sending him a birthday cake at the end of the month as his birthday is Jan. 1st. Hopefully we will receive pictures. :)


Friday, December 4, 2009

It's Been Awhile

I can't believe how long it's been since I've blogged over here. Bob and I had our midterm in our Monday night sign language class. We both missed two questions out of 30. We are still going to our Thursday night class which is good because it actually keeps us going. We start our Monday night class back up the begining of January.

We are still waiting on our TA. For those of you not familiar with the adoption lingo none of this will mean anything to you but for those of you who are this is where we stand. We received our I800 approval on 11/20 and then the NVC cabled our petition to Guangzhou on 11/27. We are offically awaiting for our article 5 to be sent and then our TA should be sent!

We have started washing Evans clothes and buying some needed supplies for our trip. I can hardly believe that it is almost time to travel. Please pray that we can travel before Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year is 2/14 this year.

We are inching closer ever day!


Friday, November 13, 2009


It seems as though my nerves are getting the best of me these days. Maybe because the time for travel is actually getting closer. There is still so much to do. We've waited for what seems like forever to bring Evan home and now it's right around the corner.

One of our biggest fears is that our time in China will be much like it was with Lia. Lia's fear, saddness, and anger was so overwhelming at times it hurt. There was only one other child in our group who reacted as Lia did. All the other children were happy go lucky. I can still hear Lia's deep cries and feel her in my arms as she tries to push herself away from me. Evan is bigger and even stronger than Lia. Will he react as she did or will he be excited?

All we can do is prepare for the worst and pray for the best! We don't expect Evan to come running to us nor did we with Lia. We know this is a life changing event that comes with many emotions for our children. We do pray that Evan's adjustment is a bit easier than Lia's was.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Drop Intercepted!

For those who have adopted before you know how fast that FedEx guy is. I was bound and determined I was going to catch him today. I swear they drop that package off and run for their life! Well, I caught him. Actually as soon as I saw him hit the end of my driveway I flew downstairs and flung open my door. Needless to say I startled him. Imagine a crazy excited woman with a camera running towards you.

Today has been a crazy day filled with preparing FedEx packages, photocopying papers, faxing the agency and lack of sleep. I am so glad 90% of our paperwork was filled out before hand or I would have been more overwhelmed than I was. Come to find out Evan's Chinese name is actually translated to Lv Bo BUT can be translated to Lu Bo as well. As for our offical documents we will use Lv so there are no delays but for our spelling we will use Lu. I have double checked to make sure this is appropriate and I have been assured by two people that it is.

It feels good to know that all of this paperwork is done and out of our hands. Now to sit back and wait yet some more. We are being advised that our TA could take anywhere from 9-11 weeks and that is if things stay at the rate the are going now.

Right now I'd just like to see my fellow agency friends receive their TA's as they have been waiting for a long time. So if you are reading could you say a prayer for them please?

*Edited to say the packages arrived safely to their destinations! PHEW!!!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009


WooHoo, 63 days after CCAA logged us into their system they have officially approved us to be the parents of Lu Bo!! I can hardly believe it! Praise God for only He could have given us a quick LOA. It looks as though we may travel at the end of January if all goes well. :) Only time will tell.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Unexpected Blessings

As of today we've have been waiting 53 days for our LOA. I am hopeful we will see it at the end of next month but earlier would be better! :) This part of the wait has actually gone rather quickly. I'm sure as the numbers creep up it will get harder.

We struggled with the home study process and delays. I know it has added to our wait. I can honestly say that while I am sad that Evan is spending more time in an orphanage without his forever family I thank Jesus for unexpected blessings.

We have found a wonderful church after many months (year and a half) of looking. While doing this I have made some new friends. One (Michelle) is a sign language interpiter and an adoptive mom to one from China and a bio son. She hopes to adopt a deaf child from China in the future. Through her I have met Bev and Marcia who are both deaf and active in the deaf community. They have invited us to a sign language class that the church holds while the kids attend AWANA. So we are taking two classes and learning a ton.

Next month I will attend my first Deaf Women's Luncheon. My friends will be there with me but I must say I am nervous. Most of the women who were at last months luncheon know all about our family and they are excited to meet me at the next lunch. I was surprised to learn that they prayed for us. Oh, I should not have been because this is Christian Deaf Woman's Luncheon. How cool is that.

Had we been DTC sooner we would not have this opportunity to reach out to the deaf community. I am thankful we have this time to learn more and meet wonderful people! Thank you Jesus!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

New Pictures!

So we went a head and sent Evan a care package through Ann at Red Thread China. We were going to wait a few more weeks but I was starting to get a bit antsy. We really just want Evan to be fully prepared for our arrival. Hopefully he will understand that we are his family. Please pray that his nanny will be able to communicate that to him.

When we received his first update from the agency I thought he looked a bit different from his referral pictures. His eyes just didn't look as round and his face was fuller. Now we receive pictures that match the referral pictures but not the first set of updated pictures. I'm not sure if it was just because he was going through a chunkier stage or what. What do you all think?

Here are his new measurements -
height : 118cm - 46.5in
weight : 22kg - 48.4 lbs
head : 51cm - 20.1in
chest : 55.5cm - 21.9in
feet : 18.5cm - 7.3in
teeth : 22

Updated Measurements:
Height 115.5cm - 44.5in
Weight 20.5kg - 45.1lbs
Head 52.5cm - 20.7in
Chest 54.5cm - 21.5in
Feet 18cm - 7.1in
Teeth 20

Height 103.5cm - 40.7in
Weight 18.5kg - 40.7lbs
Head 51.1cm - 20.1in
Teeth 20
Chest 52.5 cm - 20.7

I'm loving his hair longer. I think he looks much thinner in these pictures. Oh and twice now I've seen his Chinese name translated different. Hopefully we can get that cleared up as we plan on using it as his middle name.

Is he not just sweet!


Monday, September 28, 2009

Small Update

Not much going on other than doing our sign language class. Tonight will be our third week of our class. I can tell you that it is overwhelming at times but fun. We are learning quite a bit. Wednesday will mark 30 days of waiting for our LOA. I can hardly believe it has been that long already. Time is sure going by rather fast. Praying it continues.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Get This

First of all Bob, Taylor, Noah and I start our sign language classes tonight. We are so excited to finally have some formal training. I do believe we know quite a bit thanks to Signing Times but there comes a time when you need to put all the signs together.

In talking to Noah about school he was telling us his teacher was showing him some signs for different things in class. This has never happened before. Also when the children enter kindergarten the learn to sign the alphabet and colors. I totally forgot about that. So when I read that Kera was learning the signs for the colors I think I about bust into tears. Only the Lord would bring a teacher to my son who does signs and a kindergarten class teach it as their curriculum. Thank you Jesus!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Guess What!

We received an email that informed us that we have an LID of 9/1/09!!!! That's right people, China logged us in the day after they received our dossier! I was not expecting to hear anything for another two weeks. Thank you Jesus for answered prayers. Praying for a speedy time line the rest of the wait.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

DTC, Baby!

I'm typing this as we head back from vacation so please forgive me for any errors.

We received word that we are offically DTC as of 8/28. We were told that our LID could take 6-8 weeks. We are praying that it does not take that long. I think the average is 2-4 weeks. Praise God that things are finally in China's hands.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

At the Agency!

Our dossier is at our agency except for our I797C (which will arrive tomorrow before 10:30!) and the last page of our HS. The agency is taking care of the HS so I am not sure when that will arrive there but it looks like we will definitely be DTC next Friday! :) I pray that the next half of this wait is much smoother.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

High Frustration Levels!!

Really how much more! We received a call from the courier service about our home study document we sent them. The guy on the other line told me that his office was going to be close the rest of this week and would re-open next Wednesday. He also informed us that the notary stamp that our SW had done would not pass through the Chinese Consulate.

Now we are playing email and phone tag with anyone and everyone to try and have this taken care of before we leave for vacation. It does not give us much time. We may not be DTC until September after all BUT we are not giving up hope until we actually know more details. To say this has left a sour taste in our mouth is an understatement.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

USCIS Approval

We received word today that our case worker at USCIS has approved our I800A for Evan. She pulled our prints off today and told me that we should receive our notice in the mail in the next 2-3 days. Praying we receive the notice by Monday because then I can drive to the capitol yet again and have the state notary done. I'll drop it in the FedEx box to the Consulate and from there it will go to our agency. The question is, will be DTC next Friday or the following Friday?!?!

We see the light!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sign Language Class

PTL we have found a class! I called a church in the next city over that has a large deaf ministry program and we will be starting sign language classes September 14th!! It works out so well, the price, the time and the day. The only problem we have is we will need to find a sitter for Kera and Lia. I have no doubt that we will find one. Praying for the right one.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Fingerprints Done!

We were fingerprinted first thing this morning! :) Thank you Lord that is done. We are praying we receive our I797C approval EARLY next week so we can send it off to the currier. After that we can send it on to our agency and we will be able to type that we are DTC.

Unfortunately we do have to send our home study on to the currier before our I797C. As I was doing the county and state authentications we noticed that our SW only gave us two months to have our home study go through all of the authentications before the notary stamp expired! That means we have to pay for the currier fee twice in less than two weeks. Unless we want to wait weeks and I can tell you right now that is not going to happen! ;)

One step closer!

Friday, July 31, 2009

New Family Coordinator

As of today we have a new family coordinator (FC). Lauren is moving out of our agencies area and we will miss her dearly. She has been so much help to us this past year. I had hoped we would get through this adoption with one FC. We had four with Lia's adoption. We now have a "new" FC. Melissa has been with AWA for quite sometime. I have spoken with her in the past and she seems very nice.

Can you believe it, we get fingerprinted a week from today!! :) Oh so close!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

No Luck

We tried, oh how we tried. We have our original fingerprint date 8/7. We are praying that we receive our approval before we leave for vacation as we will have a small window. Only time will tell.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Fingerprint Appointment

We have our fingerprint appointment for August 7th!! Bob and I will be taking our notices tomorrow to our local USCIS office and see if we can possibly get an earlier appointment. We leave less than two weeks after our original appointment for vacation and will not be able to be DTC until September. I think we have until September 10th before we have to ask for an extension from China. Believe it or not that will place us at the 6 month mark and to be honest we've been at this since Feb. Feeling a bit frustrated but we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel! :)

Please pray that we will receive earlier appointment times.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Off to USICS

We were finally able to send our I-800A application (USCIS Pre-Approval to Bring Orphan into US) off today! They should receive it tomorrow. Our next step is waiting for them to issue us dates for our finger prints. We will then a wait one more piece of paper that will be placed with the rest of our documents. As soon as we receive this last approval I will have to drive to our state capital to have two documents authenticated and from there ship them to a currier in NYC for the last authentication. Once that is done we can ship all original documents and one set of our copies to our agency. They will then review and send them on to CHINA! :) We are getting closer.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

We Got It!

I e-mailed our SW tonight asking if she would check on our clearance that we are still waiting on and she responded back. She received them on Friday and didn't bother to let us know until I emailed her! Can you believe it?!?!

At any rate, we have them and thank the Lord there were no other issues. Now praying the home study and our fingerprints clear USCIS.

Hey Leslie, just maybe we WILL be traveling together. Only time will tell.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I can hardly believe it! We received our PA for Evan today. It sure would be nice to top this week off with news that our final clearance is back. Maybe I can have our SW call and see how things are going! LOL Praying for more good news!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Only One Left!

That is all we have. Our home state child abuse clearances finally came back after 9 1/2 wks! Now we wait for state #3 which should have been back by now had the paperwork been submitted on day one instead of days AFTER our home study was completed. Who's keeping track though. ;)

We should have all of our documents back from the consulate by the end of the week. We sent them off to stop all the dates from expiring as we did not want to take the chance of having to re-do any paperwork. The only thing we will have to send in will be our home study and I800.

We are getting closer! Oh and did you notice that Evan is no longer listed on the WC list!?!? He was removed sometime on Friday. :)

Friday, May 29, 2009


Our EA was actually sent today instead of Monday! :)


Abbrivation Meanings

For those of you who do not know what the abbrivations stand for here is the run down.

AWA - America World Adoption (Our agency)
HS - Home Study
SW - Social Worker
DTC - Dossier To China (Our home study and all our paper work goes to China)
EA/LOI - Electronic Acceptance/Letter of Intent (Initial Contact letting China know your intent to adopt a certain child)
PA - Pre-approval (China knows your intent and has given you pre-approval for your child!)RA/LOA - Referral Acceptance/Letter of Acceptance (China sends written approval and you send back your acceptance.
TA - Travel Approval (Permission to travel to China)
CA - Consulate Appointment (Needed for childs Visa to become a US citizen)


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tenative EA Date!

Our FC was out of the office most of this week. She returned today and called to let us know that if all went well she expected us to be able to send our EA on Monday! How exciting!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Blog Redesigned

As you can see we had the blog redesigned. Jenny at Pink Armchair Designs did it for us and worked her tail off! LOL As you can see there is a grab button on our side bar, please do not grab it yet. We are gearing up for our fundraiser soon and will use it for that. We will let you know when the kick off is.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Received One More

We received state #2 clearances today! How is that for super fast! Less than a week with a holiday thrown in the mix. If only state #3 comes that fast! Did I tell you that only half of our home states clearances are back? So frustrating.

Our home study rough draft is with our FC at AW. I had hoped we'd hear some thing today but we did not. Praying we are able to send our LOI/RA by the end of the week. We are getting ready to send the rest of our documents off to the Chinese Consulate to finish the notarization process.

These are the steps we have left before our paper work can be shipped to China.

-State #1 Child Abuse Clearance (we have criminal clearance back)
-State #3 Clearance
-Immigration Finger Printing
-Receive I-800
-Notarize I-800 and Homestudy
-Send documents to Agency
-Agency sends DTC!!!

Mind you this could all still take months. Praying that it does not.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sending LOI/EA?

It appears that the rough draft of our home study has made it's way to our family coordinator yesterday. That is wonderful news because as soon as she is done reviewing and tweaking it then she will be able to send our Letter of Intent/Electronic Acceptance to China and let them know we want to adopt Evan!

Praying that next week is full of good news. :)

Evan's School

On Monday we visited our State School for the Deaf. I must admit when we pulled up I had to hold back the flood gate of tears. I was overwhelmed with emotions. It finally felt real but after hearing the heartbreaking news that we were further away than we thought we were from getting Evan it was hard.

We spent two hours with the Director of Pupil Personnel Services and a half hour with the schools audiologist. They were the nicest people. Actually everyone we met at the school was super nice. We toured the whole school which is huge by the way! We saw their gym, fitness room, 3 cafeterias (small tables, medium tables and large table) OK I'll stop listing everything because I can go on and on. They do have an indoor pool that the children use as part of their PE. I love that! Did I tell you every child must take music? The music teacher also told us that 85% of the students take a musical instrument by middle school years. How awesome is that! The school also offers a birth to 3 program and then a preschool program for children.

It is a state school so they have to offer residential living. We were able to walk through the dormitories and saw were the students sleep, their kitchen and lounge area. I must say it is all very nice but I'm so glad we live very close to the school. Anyone under 34 miles will be bused to the school everyday. Over that you must stay on campus.

It is very diverse. There are students from Burma, Thailand, Russia, Bosnia, Afghanistan and one more country that I can't think of. I just think it is awesome. We don't have that much in our public school.

I must say we are very glad we took the time to visit the school. I think Evan will really like it there.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Glimmer of Hope

I receive an e-mail yesterday that state #2 received our faxed paper work from our SW. The SW called to make sure it went through OK and the lady said that she would process them by today and have them out in the mail! :) How is that for fast. We should have them by next week.

Unfortunately we have to snail mail the forms for state #3 but our SW is adding a cover letter stating that we are completely done with our home study and waiting on SC to apply for our I-800. Could they please expedite? It's worth a shot. Otherwise it could be weeks before we see those.

Keep those prayers coming as they are doing wonderful things! :) Thanks friends.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Missing Clearances

I know what I write here is a lot of the same from the main blog. Just hang in here with us.

It seems our clearance requests were not sent to two of our previous states on our behalf. So now when our home study is completely finished and waiting for us to get I-800 approval we can't because we don't have out state clearances! I have no idea how much time this will add onto our time line. We are beyond frustrated. We have our whole dossier DONE except our notarized home study and the I-800. :(

There is some good news in all of this mess! As soon as Lauren receives a rough draft of our home study from our SW then we can send in our EA/LOI for Evan! Is that not the best news you've heard all week! I know that is what we are holding onto.

I do know the Lord will work this all out in his time.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Home Study Complete!!

We had our final home study visit this past weekend. We actually finished on our LID anniversary for Lia. All went well and we even thought we had all of our clearances for a brief moment. We only have ONE states. For some reason we are missing two and when I asked fellow adoptive families they all received them from those states in two to three weeks. We are now on six plus weeks! :(

Our social worker is going to look into it for us today. The first clearance reports were sent to the wrong place and the gentleman took three weeks to send them to our SW. I pray that is what happened with the other two state clearance reports. I think I might do some calling myself and see what I can find out.

Tomorrow we go to the School of Deaf to meet with school officials and tour the school Evan will attend. We will actually get to sit in on a class of children his age. :) We are looking forward to that. We are still not having any luck finding a sign language class so we are just learning via DVD.

Could you all pray that we get these clearances figured out and we can wrap up this home study. Hopefully we'll have some good news soon. Could you also pray that we hear some thing back on a sign language class? We are on three or four waiting lists for a class. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

One More

We have one more home visit with the social worker and we will be done. Well at least on our part. We are still waiting on our finger prints to clear but that will come. This weekend marks our 3 year LID for Lia and Sunday is our anniversary. What better weekend to finish our home study.

Please pray our finger prints will come back soon so we can proceed to the next step.

Friday, May 1, 2009


We are still waiting for our clearance from each state that we've lived in. I've read that it took three months for some adoptive families to come back. That would mean we could still have two months to wait before we could even send in our I-800A.

Good news is we will be done with our HS on the 16th! I can hardly wait. I pray that by the time we are done with the HS our clearances will be back and we will be ready to apply for our I-800A. It won't be long after that we can shout that we will be DTC (Dossier to China)! We are looking forward to that day!

As of right now China is not restricting travel but will quarantine anyone who is thought to be sick with the flu for 7 days. I'm sure we will hear more next week. Praying this will all be over with soon.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bear With Us

This blog will be going under construction soon! ;) The link reads come home eli and that will be changing. You see that is what we were going to name another child but ended up not persuing his adoption. So we may have to re invite all of you again. I hope we don't but it is possible.

Next month will be an exciting month for us. We will finish up our home study and send in our I-800A. We have an appointment with the School for the Deaf on the 19th and we are looking forward to that. We will be able to sit in on a class that is Evan's age, go to music class and use their lending library! :) I can't wait to see the campus and learn more. May will be a busy month for us.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Updated Pictures!!

We receive a surprise today in our inbox. Today we received updated info on Evan! :) As you can see he has grown up quite a bit since his last pictures. He height is 45in and weight is 45.5lbs. He is wearing a size 12 in childrens shoe and has 20 teeth! We are so ready to go and get him! Lets get this show on the road! Enjoy the pictures! :)

Saturday, April 4, 2009


We are still working on our paper work for Evan. I wanted to post his pictures for you all to see. We can not post them on our main blog until we get approval from China but because this blog is password protected we can.

This picture we were able to get from someone on his Orphanage Yahoo Group. He is on the far right in the orange sweatshirt. We have been informed by AWAA that we can request updated information, pictures and ask 3-5 questions on him as his paper work is 14 months old. We are not sure how long it will take to obtain this information or whether they will actually send it. Please pray we receive updated information.