Friday, June 30, 2006

Home study officially done

Finally! CCAI has received our home study!!! I'm not sure what took so long from our last home study meeting until now but now they have it and it has been sent to Homeland Security/Immigration Department. It will now match up with our I-600A and hopefully we'll get our appointment for fingerprints within the next couple of weeks. Also today I am sending a packet of most of our documents to be authenticated by the Consulate of China in Texas. They have to verify that the certification of the notartization is valid - if you don't understand, don't worry! It's just another step but a big one.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

New Babies!

It's so exciting to see all the new referrals that came out at the beginning of this week (go to the link on the right, "Salsa in China" and there's a list of 20+ referrals in the June 26 posting). I know our referral is still 9-15+ months away but it's so exciting to read all the blogs and see all the beautiful babies. To know all of these familes thought they had a 6 month wait when they started and it turned into 12 months makes me feel even more excited for them. At least we know that the current wait is 12 months and that the trend it predicted to come down. I hope that it right. Congratulations and safe trip to all of these new mommies and daddies!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The little things that can make me happy

A couple of weeks have gone by since anything has really happened, but today we got our first Homeland Security mail. I knew it was not a notice for our fingerprint appointment because our homestudy was just sent to our agency the middle of this week, but it was a receipt for our I-600A & fingerprints applications. So you must celebrate the small things - Homeland Security knows where we are and that we want to bring Mia home. Now we wait for the fingerprint appointment; hopefully in July.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Our Home Study is Done!

I'm so excited! Our social worker is done with our home study report. She's putting some finishing touches on it and it should be off to our agency by the end of the week! This is a big step! It then goes to the Homeland Security/Dept of Immigration where our I600A is waiting for it. Once they match them up, they should be sending our appointment for our fingerprints. The final piece of paperwork we are waiting for is the approval which is called the 171H. Another step closer! Yeah!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Our Grace-Hope Child

A couple of things have occurred this last week or so, so let's catch up. First, we got our assignment for our sponsored child through Grace-Hope. (This is not "our child" - the one we are adoption. See the Grace-Hope posting if you're lost). Her name is Heather, or at least the name Grace-Hope has given her for this sponsorship. It's amazing to know she is out of an orphanage and being cared for by a family because of our sponsorship. I PRAY Mia will be in a foster home. What a major difference in a small child's life. I attached the link to the report we got about Heather so check it out. (not sure if the link worked so here's the complete address - ) She's a real cutie! I expect/hope she will be adopted soon. She is a healthy baby so hopefully she will find her "forever family" soon. Until then, she is being cared for in a much better environment.

Next, Mike got his passport. I know this doesn't sound like much, but it's another check mark on our things to do list. I love checking things off the things to do list! Our social worker is working diligently to finalize our homestudy. I can't wait to get that in my hands. And I have sent in our I-600A forms to the US Immigration Department - this is what we need approved to bring an orphan in from another country.

I actually can see the end of the paperwork chase and the beginning of "The Wait". I think we still have a few more months of fingerprints and notarization/certification/authentication to do, but the end is in sight - I have more check marks than empty boxes on the things to do chart!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Grace & Hope

We joined the local chapter of Families with Children from China (FCC), technically First Coast FCC, which it's name is pretty self explanatory. My mom and I attended my first event with FCC the other night - a monthly meeting of the "waiting families" - those who have started the adoption process but are somewhere in "The Wait" phase. It was nice to meet others in our same stage but the most interesting part was the topic of the meeting - Grace and Hope for Children. This is an organization who's purpose is to get children of China out of the orphanages and into foster care. By sponsoring a child for $37/month, a child will get out of a situation where they are one of up to a dozen+ children per caregiver and puts them into a home. The family gets $35/month and according to the speaker, people are eager to be foster parents because $35/home is about as much as a salary. Can we imagine? A lot of people spend more than that on coffee from Starbuck's in a month. I have already signed up to sponsor a child. If anyone is interested, go to (see link to the right). The website would have been a little difficult to understand if I hadn't heard from a volunteer one-on-one about their mission and cost etc. You have to go to "how to help" and then click on "click here to make an online donation". It walks you through whether you want to make a one time vs monthly contribution, which orphange, healthy vs special needs child etc. The man giving the presentation (his Chinese adopted dauther is almost 11 - the first adopted in NE Florida 10 years ago) had just returned from China in April when they were checking on the program and the kids and foster parents. He said when the kids get into foster care, they blossom. He also said when you go into the orphanages, you go into a room full of babies and it's quiet because they have learned quickly that no one comes to pick them up when they cry so they have given up crying. What a sad thought. It's awful that the process takes so long when there are babies just waiting right now to be picked up and comforted. Since I can't just jump on a plane and go get our daughter, not until every i is dotted and every t is crossed, at least I can put a child into foster care. I hope somewhere someone will do the same and get Mia into foster care. I hope she will spend the part of her life that we are not together in a place where when she cries, someone who loves her will come see why. Please do this!