Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Update On Our Sponsor Child

Melody Sept 09 

This is what her nanny wrote for this month's update:

"Melody is a beautiful girl, with two big beautiful eyes, long eyelashes, dark black hair and two cute little dimples.  It’s really enjoyable to see her when it is time for a bottle.    As soon as she sees the bottle, she will stretch her hands out just like she’s saying “Mom, give it to me quickly! I’m hungry!”  If you take her bottle away for a moment before she’s finished eating, she’ll stretch her hands and feet towards you calling, “Mom, Mom…”.It is obvious she really likes her milk!  She also enjoys sitting up.  Although she probably thinks she’s a big girl doing it all on her own, she is propped up on both sides by pillows or sits in a chair that helps support her.  Melody is loved by all and we hope that she is able to have her operation soon and becomes even more healthy and strong.  We thoroughly enjoy seeing her bloom like a beautiful flower!"

She is such a little pumpkin!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Is No News Good News?

Boy, what a long couple of weeks this has been!  Although we were told our PA could take 2-4 weeks, everyone I "know" in the community got theirs much quicker and seem to think ours is taking a long time.  UGH!  Everyone has been waiting for an approval in some form or another and none showed up last week.  It was very quiet on all of the China adoption forums.

It seems the officials from China have been here in the U.S. on a diplomatic visit and word is they only arrived back home over this past weekend.  To top it off, Thursday marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of The People's Republic of China, followed by the mid-Autumn festival, which means all of the government offices will be closed for a week.  Rumor has it all of the worker resources have been directed towards preparing for the big celebrations to come, so no paperwork has been issued or approved.  So, everyone seems to think that there will be little news until after the 8th of October.  Another UGH!

Our little one turns three in two weeks and we were hoping to at least get our PA so we could send a birthday gift and cake.  It seems that is not likely to happen.  This waiting thing is the pits...I think I need a new hobby.

On a happier note, Jen & Guy arrive on Wednesday!  We are so looking forward to their visit!  What a wonderful distraction it will be!


Sept. 28th

Our coordinator said today that the translated copy of our documents were requested last week so they have looked at our application.  And, that a family who is a week ahead of us is still waiting too so not to worry!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Our Sponsor Child

One of the things I have enjoyed most about my new waiting hobby is to regularly check in with the kiddos at various foster care facilities throughout China.  There are some amazing folks doing amazing things for the children who would otherwise languish in orphanages.  They take in sick children in desperate need of medical attention and provide them with the love, nurturing and medical care they need to grow and thrive.  These foster homes are operated by various charities and rely mainly on donations to provide food, housing and medical procedures for the children in their care.  Almost all of them have websites to post photos, video and information about their children and to provide those who wish to help an avenue to make donations and sponsor children.

One of the charities I follow closely is the New Day Foster Home in Beijing.  They have a twenty-one bed facility for special needs kids to call home while they await or recover from medical procedures and then to be matched with their forever family.  These folks are so incredibly dedicated to transforming the lives of these children and preparing them for their new life.  In addition, they run a healing home to help critically ill children -- children who might otherwise die -- through their surgery and recovery.  They also have a foster family program in three different areas of China where families take children in to their homes to help them heal, grow and learn.

All this waiting has left me with plenty of time to follow all of these amazing children as they thrive under the love and care of these charities.  I just felt like I needed to do something to help, so I decided to sponsor a child at the New Day Healing Home.   Her name is Melody and she is only six months old.  She was abandoned at the hospital the day she was born and came in to the care of New Day just a few months ago to prepare for a much needed surgery.   Isn't she precious?

MelodyMelody Sleeping

If you would like to learn more about the New Day Foster Home , you can visit their website at:


Now that we have been matched with our kiddo, we'd like to find someone who is interested in taking over our sponsorship of Melody.  Please contact me if you are interested.

Below are links to some of the other various charities working to improve the lives of orphans in China:

Half the Sky Foundation:  http://www.halfthesky.org/

Love Without Boundaries:  http://www.lovewithoutboundaries.com/

Philip Hayden Foundation:  http://www.chinaorphans.org/

Friday, September 18, 2009

Waiting Has Become My New Hobby

It seems my life has revolved around waiting the past few years.  So, rather than letting it drive me crazy I have decided it is my new hobby.  And who doesn't want to take up a hobby they are really good at?

Wait, wait, wait...we waited month after month to see if we would be having a bio child.  Then when we decided to adopt, we waited for info from agencies and waited to attend their workshops and webinars.  On to the wait to be approved for the China program.  Next came waiting for our homestudy to begin and end, waiting for it to be approved and then waiting for USCIS (Immigration) to approve us to be adoptive parents.  Oh, and how can I forget the waiting for documents from government agencies to arrive and then the waiting while stuff went back and forth for certifications and authentications?  And of course the big wait for our dossier to be reviewed by our agency, sent to China and logged in.  But the biggest wait of all was the most intense, the wait to be matched with a child.  Waiting for the new shared lists to come out.  Waiting for our WC group to send files for us to review when we asked for them.  Waiting for responses to all of our questions.  Waiting for that phone call!

Some would think that after you've been matched all the worry and waiting becomes relatively easy.  We are now waiting for our PA (pre-approval) which our agency says takes 2-4 weeks.  Then we will wait for our LOA/LSC (formal approval) which they have told us to expect in 75-100 days.  So, potentially we could be waiting over 4 months before we are officially recognized as the parents of "our" child!  And all during that 4 months there are so many things to worry about.  What if they don't think we are the right parents for the child...what if someone else submitted their LOI first and we lose the referral..what if they question something in our dossier...what if our paperwork gets lost and there are delays.  And on and on and on.

The crazy thing is there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the timing of the process.  I've seen families who've waited a month for PA.  Some who got PA in a few days but waited 4 months for LOA.  There are families who got PA in a week, LOA in 11 days.  There is not point in trying to estimate how long we will wait, so I've decided to make a hobby of it.  Rather than checking my e-mail every five seconds, I approach it as a hobby -- something I spend just a small portion of my day on and then move on to other things.  Speaking of which, there is a kitchen floor waiting to be cleaned with my name all over it!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

We Got "THE" Call!

On Sept. 10, out of the blue, the WC coordinator at our agency called.  She had come across a file and thought of us and wanted to know if we would like to review it.

Back up a week.  We decided to revisit our medical checklist.  I had been coming across kiddos with needs that we did not know much about so we scheduled a call with our IA doctor.  We learned so much during that call and we were able to expand our list a bit.  So, I sent the new list to our WC coordinator along with our new age range and let her know which needs we are 100% okay with so she is comfortable locking a child when the new shared lists come out.  I also mentioned that I would be celebrating my 40th birthday next month and what a great gift it would be to find our son or daughter!

I had been waiting for a new shared list all week.  It was about that time and there was buzz about it coming out on the 9th, which is considered a lucky date in China.  I had asked my coordinator if she thought there would be a new list and she said she was expecting one.  I was very restless that night and had trouble sleeping.  When I got up in the morning to see that no list had come out, I was a little disappointed.  I decided to run errands to keep myself busy and take my mind off of it.  Just as I was jumping in the shower the phone rang and I saw that it was our agency.  I had been e-mailing with her that morning about a precious ten year old she was advocating for.  I wanted to help.  The first thing I thought was -- she's calling to have a chat about that.  Instead, she told me that a series of events had led her to call me about a child she came across on the shared list the night before.  She shared some details and asked if we would like to review her file.  Would we!

I already knew what this child's medical needs were based on what the WC coordinator had told me and it was all fine.  When I opened the file and the pictures of this beautiful little girl popped up, I just knew this was the right one for us.  We had looked at other files and I never felt that instant connection like I did with this little one.  I was beyond excited but knew Brandon & I would need to take a look at the medical info and send it to our IA doc for review.  Even though it was only an hour, the wait to hear back from the doctor was excruciating!  She gave us the confirmation that we needed -- aside from a few minor things, this child was perfectly healthy! And perfect for us!

We have completed and submitted all the required paperwork including a letter outling our understanding of the child's need, our care plan and desire to adopt the child.   And now we wait!

Although we would love to share more details, we will wait until we get a formal approval from the CCAA.  The next step will be a pre-approval (PA) from the CCAA, which takes two to four weeks.  They will then pull our dossier for review and if everything looks good, they will issue the formal approval, the Letter Seeking Confirmation (LSC) or otherwise known as Letter of Approval (LOA).  It seems to be taking 90-120 for those to be issued.  So we wait...again!