"Every Good and Perfect Gift Comes From Above" ~James 1:17

"Every Good and Perfect Gift Comes From Above" ~James 1:17
Thank you so much for coming to check out my brand spankin' new blog! I've never "blogged" before, so here goes nothin'! This page is inspired by our adoption process, and I am hoping to get words of encouragement or advice every step along the way :)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ladybugs and Adoption

Some days there are signs reminding me that this- adopting our daughter from China- is exactly what we are supposed to be doing in this life. One sign recently is the ladybug. On my name badge at work, I was looking for something to make it "cute", since it is very clinical and since I work with babies it needs to be different. I chose a little ladybug sticker for my badge, probably around March, and have been wearing it ever since.

I've been reading other people's blogs about adopting from China, just because I am curious about the process and also because it helps me to realize that this really WILL happen, on those days when I feel like I'm just sitting here waiting forEVERRR. I've started hearing a few people mention ladybugs, and I thought I would figure out what the deal is with ladybugs and Chinese adoption.

Some say it is because ladybugs are a symbol of good luck in China. Others say it is linked to Chinese adoption because it is red, and red is the good luck color of China. (There is the red thread belief, where people are tied together with a red thread and they are destined to be together- just follow the thread.)
The story I like however relates ladybugs to receiving the referral of your child. Apparently, in the 90's there was a huge surge of ladybugs in Guangzhou, China. Right after that there was a huge influx of referrals given to waiting families. Thus if you see a ladybug, it can mean your referral will come soon :)

Ladybug love :)

So now my lovely ladies at work are also sporting the ladybug stickers, in the hopes that we are matched quickly! Love these girls :)

~Erin XOXO

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Her Mermaid Room

Still working on the details, but here are the pictures that we took in order to send them in with our dossier. :)

Austin's wall art he made for his sister :) Sunset and the ocean

Been holding on to this "Baby" sign for a while ;)

Mermaid Crossing

Above her bed

Dresser/ Changing table if needed

Austin picked out the sock monkey :)

Thanks for looking! ~Erin XOXO

Friday, May 10, 2013

Dossier to China

If you have been reading my crazed posts on Facebook, you know good and well by now that we sent our Dossier documents to our main office at Bethany where they will be headed straight to the Chinese Consulate! Woohoo!!! This was a huge, major, dance-around-the-mailbox event. Austin and I were at home when the mail came and once we saw that the documents we were waiting for from Tallahassee came in we got everything together, jumped in the car and headed out to the UPS store! First we had to make 4 copies of our Dossier, which all in all was 71 pages- so I stopped by my dad's office to take over their copy machine :) I'm sure they won't mind me copying 280+ pages, right?!?

The start of our Dossier docs piling up...

Getting closer to sending the documents out.
Woohoo, our papers came from Tallahassee!!!
The official State Seal of Florida
Making our copies

Ready to be packaged up!!
Then we overnighted our papers to Michigan, they should be getting there any minute now actually. I was in such a rush because, well let's face it I want to get on the list of families waiting to be matched ASAP, but also, some of our documents were going to expire May 30th. Then we would have to go through the process of ordering and paying for these papers again, getting them notarized again, and getting them sealed by the state... again. In order to avoid that they needed our papers by May 10th. Guess what today is?? May 10th! Woop! God is so good to us :)
2.6 pounds of papers, blood, sweat and tears!

So the next hurdle is waiting for our I-797 and FBI fingerprinting appointment. Hoping this doesn't take too long, although I understand I'm dealing with the government here. Just to show you how silly interesting things are when the government is in charge:
I overnighted my I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, to Dallas.
I receive an I-797C in the mail, stating that the 800A has been received and they are forwarding it to another office. In Missouri. And to please allow 10-14 business days for the dang form to even reach the processing center in Missouri. Even though I sent it to the place they want me to send it to originally.
-Why not have me send it straight to MO?? The world will never know.-
So I'm waiting on them to give me a fingerprinting appointment, in order to get my I-797 Approval to adopt a child from a convention country.

When this is done, we will hopefully soon after be "LID", or Log In Date (when documents are logged in with China). Everything after this is determined by your LID. I was told the wait for a child with minor special needs is about 1-12 months from your LID. Yes, one to twelve. Big gap. Hoping closer to the ONE and far far away from the twelve! :)

That's it for now. Just so happy to get these documents out before Mother's Day, so I can have a relaxing weekend with my boys!! Happy Mother's Day to you mommas out there!

~Erin XOXO

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

USCIS and I-800A Documents Sent!!

As an update, we overnighted our paperwork to the US Immigration office on Monday requesting our FBI fingerprinting appointments and approval to adopt a child! Supposedly the USCIS website is saying this will take about 90 days to approve, and this is their "expedited" process. Other immigration processes and paperwork can take around 6 months! So I'm glad they "rush" the adoption papers ;)

We also overnighted all the Dossier documents to the wonderful FL capital to be state sealed. These papers are what we've been working on since last November, gathering them from around the state and getting them  all notarized. Once these documents are authenticated, they are sent back to us, and we when overnight them to our agency's main office in Grand Rapids. They are then sent via courier to the US Consulate in China, which I believe is in Guangzhou. From their website "Adoptions from China currently account for more than one third of all international adoptions to the United States, making Guangzhou’s Adopted Children's Immigrant Visa Unit (ACIVU) one of the largest adoption units in the world." 

Crazy right?!

I just hope everyone processing our paperwork is in as big of a rush as we are ;) 
Getting this paperwork off of my desk (well, let's face it- my dining room table) was a huge relief. I've been hoarding holding on to it for so long that I felt like nothing was happening in our process. Now we are really on our way folks!!

Goodbye paperwork, have a quick trip with a safe return!