Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sending off our I800A!

Today was the big day.  We mailed off our I800a!!!!!! YES!

Sheri and I traveled to Nashville this morning to pick up the FINAL APPROVED copies of our homestudy and to authernticate documents at the Secretary of States office.  We had to park about a mile away but we were actually just happy to find a place to was crazy in downtown this morning.  We had to show a picture ID and have a picture taken before they would let us enter the building.  We headed up to the 6th floor where we handed the documents over and it took the lady about 20 minutes to authenticate everything. 

So, the paperwork was overnighted and it is up to the (USCIS) Unites States Citizenship & Immigration Services to approve us to adopt from China.  This could take anywhere from 24-60 days???  Will you join us in praying for speedy paperwork??

Much love!

Monday, March 28, 2011


Our home study is DONE, DONE, DONE!  yippee! :)

So tomorrow I plan to send out the paperwork for our I-800A to the United States Immigration Services asking for permission to adopt a child from China.

I am now working on paperwork for our dossier and the picture is about how I feel these days. :)   Each state has it own requirements for certifying documents for the dossier. In Tennessee, a document is notarized by a notary public.  The document bearing the notary’s signature must then be verified by the county clerk, then submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office for certification.

I had to send Jason's birth certificate to the Louisiana Sec. of State and his employment letter to the Texas Sec. of State. because that is where their headquarters are and where the notary lives that notarized the letter.  The rest of our paperwork will get certified in the good ole state of Tennessee. :)  So, all of the Tennessee paperwork has been notarized and later this week, I will take it to the County Court Clerks Office to certify and then drive to the Secretary of State. 

Once I get the paperwork back from TX and Louisiana, I will then mail everything off to Washington, DC together to be federally certified.  It seems like alot, but, I hope to have these things done in 2 or 3 weeks.

I have been worried about this part of the process for about a week now.  It just is not an easy part of the process to understand.  Our agency sent us a fairly thick booklet about preparing our dossier and then each state has a different info or a pamplet on their requirements and preparing your documents for the dossier.  So to me this was overwhelming. I just decided today was the day I would sit down and read it all again and figure it out step by step what needed to be done. Thankfully we only have to deal with 3 states....counting my blessings there.

So thats what we are up to on the paperwork end.  It is getting to the more exciting part and things are beginning to happen quicker from here on out.  The next step (after we get approval of our I-800a) is sending our dossier to China and at it is taking approximately 4 months from that until we will probably travel.

The time is going by fast really.  One thing that is really getting me through the waiting is knowing Charlotte will be joining us soon and will be with us FOREVER. :)  We will look back on these few months we have had to wait and realize how short a time it really is when we have forever out ahead of us.  We love you baby girl and pray every night that you some how feel our love all the way over in Wuwei China! 

Sending everyone love!

Friday, March 18, 2011

The best surprise EVER!

We got an email from our agency with 17 NEW PICTURES of Charlotte today!  I started screaming and then crying before I could even open the email to see the pictures.  :) The boys came to see what was going on when they heard me scream and then we all looked at her pictures together. 

She is still gaining weight which is such a good sign that her cleft palate isnt giving her any problems when it comes to eatting. :)  And her cleft lip looks AWESOME!  You might notice in some of the photos her nose is flatter on 1 side...that is due to the cleft palate and will be corrected in the cleft palate surgery. 

I can't believe how much her hair has grown since the last pictures! She has enough hair for bows now! YES!   :)  We are so in love with you baby girl and we can't wait to have you with us!

She has 7 teeth and weighs 22 lbs now! :)  This is what else they said about her:
"She is outgoing and active. She likes communicating with people.  She can understand facial expression. She likes music. She can imitate the behavior of people. She is obstinate sometimes."  hee hee I love it! :)  Sounds like one of her brothers! :)

My favorite picture!

Charlotte with a boy we think is her foster brother.

Charlotte and her foster mom.  Look at all of those layers!  I think I counted atleast 5.  And her little cheeks are red...she looks overheated from all of those layers.  They believe that if a baby gets cold that they will get sick...well I am sure she is not going to get cold thats for sure!  Look at those tiny little shoes...
Looks like she likes the remote. :) She her split pants on.  They use them to potty train.

Look at that gorgeous black hair.

With much love,


Thursday, March 10, 2011

What's going on??

Well we are waiting on our home study papers to be completed.  We hope to get a draft of them tomorrow and we will be looking them over with our agency.  Then hopefully next week we will be sending that in with a few more papers for our I-1800A to the USCIS for approval to adopt from China.  This could take up to 2 months. So we are praying for less than that but we will have to wait and see.

On another note, I found this blog that is very interesting and has shown me more about what life in China might be like.  This man from the U.S. married a Chinese woman and he blogs about life in China and they just recently had a child this past year and he blogged about their experience having a child in a hospital in China. He videoed in the hospital where his son was born and also videoed a few typical Chinese homes.  I found it so so interesting I enjoyed reading it so much that and thought some of you might as well.  Recently they have moved their family from Beiijing to a town not far from where our Charlotte is living.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Our very LAST home study visit! :)

Well we survived our very LAST home study visit.  Our social worker came to our home and toured it and took some time to talk to each of the boys individually,  It was mainly just to get to know them and ask them how they felt about us adopting.  They were little gentlemen and answered all of her questions and said they were very excited to meet Charlotte.

We talked with her about some anxiety Drew is feeling about us traveling to China.  Several weeks ago each of the kids wanted to take a picture of Charlotte to school to show their classes.  Well Drew's teacher noticed right off that he seemd to act like he didnt feel well and continued to ask to go to the nurse for the next several days.  She let me know she thought it might be something related to the adoption because of the timing.  So I sat Drew down (our 9 year old) and asked him if anything was bothering him.  He finally told me that he had seen on the news that a plane had crashed in China and that ever since then, he worried about us going there to get Charlotte and our plane crashing. :)  I explained that that probably wouldnt happen and that we would get to be see him on skype every day while we are there but, it just broke my heart that he had been worrying about this.  He is my worrier and he likes to be at home so the trip will be a big deal for him. 

She said this is typical nerves and said we were handling it fine.  So, the next time we see her we will have our baby girl! WOOHOO!  She has to come do a followup once we are home, but isn't that fun to think of!!?!?

She said we she will send us a draft of our homestudy next week and if no changes are needed we can go ahead and send it in with our I-800A.  The I-800A is sent to the USCIS (United States Citizenship & Immigration Services).  It can take up to 2 months for them to review our paperwork and approve us to adopt from China....we are praying for quicker but we will be just have to wait and see.  And after this we will have more of a specific idea of when we will be traveling! WOOHOO! :) :) :) :)   still looking like possibly August or September????  I would LOVE for it to be July because it would be easier on my mom and dad keeping the kids as they would be out of school and it's possible, just barely but, maybe.  So pray for the paperwork to just speed right on through the USCIS approval.

Some people are like "How in the world are you able to be so patient??"  I'm not, trust me!  But I knew the time line coming into this and knew the process.  I have also been very busy along the way making sure everything is in line and ready for the next step.  I really don't understand how people that work full time would be much harder and take longer for sure.  There is much more involved on our parts, than I realized and those of you that know me, know that I am obsessed with this process right now and getting Charlotte home as soon as we can.  So I am very focused & hoping for some new pictures of Charlotte soon! :) 

Some new things I learned this week:
-Charlotte means "tiny, petite & feminine"  how appropriate for our little Asian princess! :)
-That I will need lots & lots of bibs for Charlotte because of her cleft palate. They seem to drool and everything more.
-that Asian babies are generally much smaller than American babies.  So I probably need to get some smaller clothes for her than what I thought .  So I am going to buy 18 & 24 month size clothes for her.  Afterall, have you ever seen a tall chinese woman??  :) They are all generally short and petite (just like the meaning of her name)

I added a clock to the side of the blog so, that you can see what time it is in Wuwei right now.  Right now, Ms Charlotte might be eatting breakfast as we are about to get ready for bed.  We are elated and feel so blessed to be on this journey to bring home our daughter so, thanks for walking along with us.

Much love!