Archive for August, 2010

The Donate Button

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

I don’t have time for a proper post, but I did make a new page explaining the “Donate” button under Jiao Jiao’s picture.  Any amount donated above and beyond travel NEEDS (as opposed to “wants”)  will go to one of 3 wonderful organizations that help orphans in China.  I haven’t decided which one(s) will receive the donations, but will let you know when I do!

And I promise to post an update on everything else just as soon as I have a moment!  It’s been BUSY around here!!!

The Ultimate Rollercoaster

Friday, August 13th, 2010

(I intended to post this last night, but I was just too drained to write it!)

I got an email from our agency about an hour after I emailed my adoption group “friends.”  The email was from our agency’s department, “Wonderful news! We are hopeful to receive a travel approval for your family in the coming days!… can you please confirm if you are able to leave for China around September 1st or 2nd?” It’s the pre-TA email! A week too late. The letter continues:

Please note that the U.S. Consulate has notified us that they are completely full through September 8th.   We are sincerely sorry that we cannot send you to China any earlier.

August 25th was not an option.  I felt so miserable reading that email, knowing that we couldn’t leave on September 1st, or the next week, or the next, or the next…  In fact, we wouldn’t be able to leave for 6 or 7 weeks.  Our TA was FINALLY in sight–and it hardly mattered.  I couldn’t hold back the tears.  I sat at the computer and sobbed.

Todd called about 10 minutes later, “Did you get the email?”  I answered, trying to pretend I wasn’t crying.  Then he started being silly and said, “I’m just not going to go to Wood Badge and we’ll travel on September 1st.”  Not funny.  And I let him know it wasn’t funny.  Then, in all sincerity, he said, “I’m not joking.”  What?!?  I don’t how they can have a Wood Badge course with an absentee course director, but he was serious!

My poor group of adoption friends got to ride this emotional rollercoaster with me yesterday.  Less than 2 hours after I sent that original sob story, I sent another email:

Thank you all for your kind words and support.  As promised, here is my “happy” email–sooner than I thought.

We got the “TA is on its way” email about 30 minutes ago!  I admit, I sobbed when I read the email, saying CAs were full and we would not be able to go in August.  But I just got off the phone with my best-in-the-whole-wide-world husband who has made the decision to skip out on this “unalterable” commitment he made 12 months ago to put our family first.  I can NOT believe he is doing this–still not sure how he will!  But I am completely shocked and surprised and overwhelmed!!!  I hardly know how to feel!

Thank you all again, my friends who have made this crazy ride so much more bearable.

I felt a little guilty for putting everyone on that same crazy rollercoaster!  But they were all so incredibly kind and supportive.  And it’s true.  I really do have the most amazing husband.  He said it took less than half a second to make that decision.  “It just wouldn’t be right.”

So, we are changing our plans a teensy bit, most likely leaving a week later than originally anticipated, but we are going!!!  I have been holding onto our last care package for 2 weeks, waiting to be able to send this news to Jiao Jiao.  I’ll be sending it today!  I can’t wait to tell her that we’re coming SOON!  One last happy thought before I close.  If travel goes as planned, our adoption day–the day Jiao Jiao is officially our daughter–will be September 7th.  Happy birthday to me!  What a gift! :)

P.S.  If there are any Wood Badge staff or participants reading this…don’t panic!  The course is still on! :)

Praying for a(nother) miracle

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

This is a post I began this morning, but wasn’t quite able to finish…

I’m so greedy. We have experienced miracle after miracle since we began this process 13 months ago. And I am incredibly grateful for each one. As if they are not enough, I find myself asking for another miracle today (and trying not to cry in front of the kids).

Did I mention our last miracle??? A few weeks ago Todd’s work asked him travel to Taiwan at the end of August. He said there was about a 50/50 chance of it actually happening, but as soon as he mentioned it I REALLY felt that it was going to happen. Sure enough, he’s going to the right place at EXACTLY the right time! Why is this a miracle?  The company will pay the cost of a round-trip ticket to Taiwan, and we will only end up paying the few hundred extra to get him to Beijing and back. It basically saves us the cost of a $1000+ ticket!

About our potential travel dates. If we don’t leave by August 25th we will have to postpone until mid-October because of Wood Badge and Chinese holidays. Over the course of a month or so I have been praying daily about traveling in August, as opposed to October. Here are the reasons why:

  • easier for Kaylee Ann to miss school at the beginning of the year, rather than the middle during major projects
  • easier to miss home schooling Trevin at the beginning of the year, rather than during major project time
  • Jiao Jiao can be with her family sooner, and doesn’t have to stay in the orphanage longer
  • we will save $1000 because Todd is already traveling to Taiwan
  • hotels will be about $70-$100/night LESS because there are no major events happening in China
  • Spencer won’t start preschool until after we get home (one less kid for someone to have to drive around)
  • etc. etc. etc.
  • Over the last month or so, families were receiving travel approvals 14-17 days after Article 5. We have now been waiting 21 days. Have I mentioned that if we don’t travel by August 25th we will have to postpone our travel until October???  Just checking.

    Right now, I think we will get our TA in time, but I’m afraid we will not get the consulate appointment we need.  They have been booking up very early.  To confirm my fears, I emailed the consulate last night and received their reply early this morning:

    Thank you for your email.  The dates/September 7th and 8th, 2010 your request are already fully booked.  The earliest available after 9/8 is 9/13/2010.   We hope you find the information useful.

    It was just after 6am when I read this–and cried.  I went back to bed and laid awake, numb.  I didn’t know how to feel.  I had had so much faith and had prayed so hard and did everything I could.  It feels so right, and I can’t wrap my head around all these hopes and desires being taken away.  I want to hold out hope for one more miracle.

    I never finished the post.  And instead I decided to vent to one of my favorite adoption groups.  Here is the email I sent out to the group…)

    Is this a good time and place to vent?  If not, please disregard this email because it is nothing more than a pathetic pity party. :)

    We are on day 21 of the TA wait, with no TA in sight.  I received an email this morning stating that the CAs for Sep. 7th and 8th are full.  Of course, those are the dates we needed to avoid having to postpone until October.  (I’ve mentioned a billion times before–we have unalterable commitments in September that we have known about since August 09.)  Hoping for a miracle, otherwise we will not be traveling until October.  That email dashed every scrap of hope I’d been so desperately hanging on to for months.  We’re so close…and yet so far now.  This is so awful to say, but I think even if our TA did come in the next few days, I would have a really hard time being excited about it.  I can’t seem to find a reason to be too happy about our daughter sitting in an orphanage for 2 more months.

    And this is so dangerous, but I keep doing the “what-ifs.”  IF the consulate had been open on Monday, July 5th, or IF they had delivered our article 5 the following day instead of waiting until Thursday, we would have gotten our TA a week or more ago.  Yuck.  I’m in such a yucky place.

    No need to reply to this.  Just had to share with someone who might understand.  Thanks everyone.  And I promise the next time I post to this list it will be happy.  (Maybe if I put a bunch of smiley faces at the end of this email it will help.)

    :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

    Phew…that’s better.