Archive for June, 2012

Waiting for Travel Approval!!

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Woo hoo!!! We got the email from our agency saying our Article 5 was picked up, and we are now waiting for TA!  So, for the LAST TIME…here is where we’re at with these final steps in the process:

  1. LOA-(6/1) check!
  2. I-800 approval – (6/11) check!
  3. Cabled – (6/19) check!
  4. Article 5  - (6/26) check!
  5. Travel Approval – waiting.  Should arrive 2 to 3 weeks after Article 5, but hopefully sooner with the expedite. :)

I can’t believe we’re on the last step!!!  The soonest we can leave after TA is about 10 days, so that’s what we’re aiming for.  We want Minyu home ASAP.

Trevin’s birthday is July 16th, and he has been thinking for a while about just how AWESOME it would be to get a brother for his birthday!  He thinks it would be the best birthday ever.  So cute.  So that’s what he’s hoping for…and us too.  July 16th is the earliest feasible date we could get Minyu, but it would require a lightning quick TA.  If not then, then one of the following two Mondays (July 22nd or 29th).  But I’m not even thinking about those dates.  JULY 16TH!  Praying, praying, praying!

GRATEFUL!

Monday, June 25th, 2012

My heart is SO full right now.  Our request for an expedite has been ACCEPTED by the consulate!  With no small help from some very kind people.

I have been talking with the consulate since last Thursday, trying to expedite this next-to-the-last step in the process.  No expedite=15 to 19 days.  Expedite=2 to 3 days.  Well, the consulate responded to my email saying they would need a signed letter from a U.S. physician.  And I didn’t have one.  The nice lady I spoke with asked if I could get a letter from a doctor in China instead.  So I tried calling the orthopedic surgeon we will be seeing here in China.  And they wouldn’t write one; it’s against their policy.  I was pretty sure that would be the case.  I have had a hard time with the doctor’s here.  They will not even discuss possible treatment/diagnosis/recommendations without seeing the patient first.  Of course, that’s impossible right now since the patient is in an orphanage!

So as of Thursday I was feeling quite frustrated with the situation.  No letter, no expedite.  The consulate was closed on Friday for the holiday, but I continued racking my brain over the weekend, praying, trying to come up with SOMETHING.  Then during the wee hours of Saturday morning my feeble brain was inspired with a name: Dan Hoopes.

So you can see what a sacrifice it was, here are the two cuties the good doctor took time from to write that letter! :)

When we lived in Albuquerque we went to church with the Hoopes family.  Dan Hoopes was a brand new doctor, an orthopedic surgeon.  And I had talked with him about our daughter (about her foot/ankle) before she came home.  Of course, I remembered how incredibly busy he was.  AND I knew his sweet wife just had a baby a couple weeks ago.  So I was hesitant…but I called.  He was on paternity leave.  He had time.   And about 12 hours later I had a signed physician’s letter in my email.  Amazing!!!  I almost cried when I found that in my email.  (Okay, I did tear up.)  I am SO grateful that he was able and willing to take the time to do that for us, and that his sweet family was willing to let him! :)  What a huge blessing!  THANK YOU, Dan Hoopes and family!!!

Just a few minutes ago, I received a response from the consulate.  I have reviewed the information that you have sent, and I have determined that your case qualifies for our expedited processing.  Wahoo!!!  HALLELUJAH!!!  I can’t believe it!!!  And yet I can.  I have been feeling like Minyu really needs to come home sooner rather than later.  And I knew that if he really needed it, it would happen.  Once again, I am truly humbled, and so incredibly grateful for a loving Father that knows our wants and needs and blesses us accordingly.  This must be one loved little boy!

Happy 13th Birthday!

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

The birthday boy! (The cake says, "Pu Min Yu, happy birthday from your whole family.")

I received an email just before lunch from none other than…Puyang!!! 11 birthday pictures!!! Woo hoo!!!  Our “little” boy turned 13 on Saturday. (Wow.)  We sent money for a cake last week. They bought it for him and gave him the remaining 60RMB for spending money. Perfect. :)  They gave him a little party and said he was very happy.

Todd and I were in Australia over his birthday (and Jasmine’s too) and thought about him quite a lot on his big day.  We bought a few Aussie-themed gifts for him (and Jasmine).  Since he’ll be home just a month or so after his birthday, we’re going to wait and have a little party and give him his gifts when he comes home.  Can’t wait! :)

Birthday boy and friends!

Thirteen years old.  I am having such a hard time wrapping my head around that!  He still feels so young to me–about nine or ten–and I’m so glad.  It helps me feel like I’ll have more time to watch him grow up.  Honestly, the pictures today were a little bittersweet.  New pictures always make me really happy for about an hour, but then I miss him more.  And in the pictures we got today, he looked OLDER and TALLER.  Ahhh!  Stop growing up!  We are missing it!!!  The good news is that this is the last birthday we’ll miss.  From here on out, every birthday, every holiday, every milestone, we’ll celebrate as a family.

I-800 Approval!! And shopping. :)

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

WOO HOO!  Another step complete!  Our I-800 was approved on June 11th!  Because we’re being expedited, we even received a pdf copy (after emailing and making phone calls from 3:30-6am) instead of having to wait for the hard copy in the mail.  Yea!  I feel like we’re getting so close!  LOA and I-800–check! and check!  Only 3 more itty bitty steps!!

  1. Cable – 7-10 days.
  2. Article 5 – only 2-3 days after cable, instead of the normal 17ish.
  3. Travel Approval – normally 2-3 weeks.

I know we’re still about 1 month away from travel, but the anticipation is beginning to build.  I can count the number of weekends left on ONE hand!  I feel like the whole nesting thing is kicking into high gear in the last week or two.  I did some online shopping for our boy.  And some big-time shopping at Ikea.  For some reason, buying real clothes for him makes him feel like a real boy that will really be joining our family really soon!  It’s beginning to sink in.  I made space for him in Michael’s closet and put his new clothes in there, and it made it feel so…so REAL!  His belongings are here, and it makes it feel like his arrival is immanent.

We bought bunk beds for the boys at Ikea….and new bedding…and a new area rug…and some curtains…and some organizers.  Because you need all those things when you bring home a child, right?  (Okay, okay.  Rug and curtains…maybe not so much.)  I guess as part of the nesting I’ve been cleaning up other parts of the house too–closets and storage areas, walls and cupboards, other ugly areas (like the one that needed the rug!)  because I want our little apartment home to feel more homey.  I just want him to walk in and love that he’s home.

Underneath that cute little boy is the new rug! We needed it, yes? (Validate me, please.)

So.  I have 9 months to prepare for Minyu’s arrival.  Why do I wait until the last month to do EVERYTHING??  Because I’m me.  And if you know me, that is enough of an explanation. :)

In other news, I am heading to Sydney tomorrow!!!  Todd is already there for work and I’ll be meeting up with him for a long weekend.  So excited!!!  It will be nice to throw a 4 day distraction into the middle of this wait.  After this weekend, we only have 2 weekends to finish getting ready!   The weekend after that, our niece comes to visit for a month (yea!!!!!) and then we’ll hopefully travel to Henan the following weekend!  I better get crackin’!!!

LOA!!!

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

LOA arrived on June 1st!  The is THE letter that we’ve been waiting for, the letter from China that says Pu Min Yu is our son!  And it only took 74 days!  Ha.  (With our first adoption it was 42 days, so this was considerably longer.)  For some reason, there was a big slowdown in the LOA wait over the last couple months.  When I began waiting, most people with our agency were receiving them in 50-65 days.  Of course, as soon as we got in line, everything slowed down!  So we ended up waiting 2-3 extra weeks to get it.  Even so, I will consider us fortunate.  There are people–many people–waiting 100+ days for the LOA.  Well…and then there are those who wait 5 days.  The unpredictability of it all is maddening.

Since LOA was the biggest unknown, we now have a much more predictable wait from here on out!!  Although, with the expedite it’s a little less predictable than it would be.  Here are the next steps!

  • LOA – arrived June 1st!  Woo hoo!  Check!
  • I800 approvalhopefully by the end of this week!
  • Cablehopefully next week!
  • Article 5hopefully the 3rd week of June!
  • Travel Approvalhopefully the 1st or 2nd week of July!

Yes, there’s a lot of hoping in there.  That’s because I’m feeling very hopeful. :)  We’ll travel to Henan 10-20 days after we receive TA.  It’s looking like July 15th, but it could be a week before and up to 2 weeks after.  It all depends on what gets expedited and what doesn’t.

I will be sending emails and making calls from here on out to try and expedite each step.  Should be fun!  It’s a lot more work than the normal sit-and-wait process, but SO worth it.  12 years of waiting for a family is long enough.  So I don’t plan on letting this crazy process take a single day longer than necessary!  So excited to be able to say…Minyu will be coming home NEXT MONTH!!!