Sunday, July 30, 2006

Rainy Sunday

I've done all the dossier work, waiting for the last two pieces from the consulate and it's a rainy Sunday. So I played around with the camera, bugged the dog and cat and took some pictures of some of my favorite Mia outfits. Yes, we have already shopped for her. "We" means mom and me - I think Mike thinks we're crazy shopping for her already but when you see a deal or something you just can't leave, you have no choice. You know what I'm talking about ladies! So here's some of my camera work!

This is Harman - I think he's trying to tell me that he's not going to share any of his toys with Mia. Actually, he's going to be awesome! He is so good with kids!

This is Coal. He's just going to be annoyed that someone else will be in the house, much less someone who's going to pull his tail. When our niece and nephew come to visit, he hides under the bed for days!

Now the outfits!
This came directly from Chinatown in San Francisco - a gift from my Aunt Tonna and Uncle Mike. I can't wait to see Mia in this on the famous red couch!

Mom found this adorable outfit.

Ladybugs are a symbol of Chinese adoption. Look at the feet! How cute!
It's crazy buying clothes for a baby that you won't see for a year, have no idea how old she will be, how much she'll weigh or if she'll be in a summer outfit at 9 months or a winter outfit. But it sure is fun to wander through the baby department and just dream of Mia!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Paperwork countdown

Our last two documents are in Houston for authentication as we speak. The countdown for completion of our dossier is here. I have everything else packed and ready to send to our agency. There they do a final review, translate it to Chinese and bind the dossier. Hopefully it will be on its way to China by the second week of August. This date is called DTC = date to China. This is a milestone date until we get our real milestone, the LID = Log In Date. The LID is the reference date how referrals are made. In China, it's first come first served so to speak. When referral batches come out each month, they are announced by dates. For example, a referral batch just came out this week and it included everyone from LID 6/29/05 thru LID 7/13/05. So once we have a LID we will be able to watch to referrals coming out and have a better idea how long we will have to wait. Those with a LID 8/05, one year earlier than us, will have had a 13+ month wait from LID to referral then 2 months until travel. Unfortunately for my "friend" who writes my favorite blog "Salsa in China", they have a LID of 7/14/05 so they missed this batch by one day! Hopefully they will pick up speed again and we won't have to wait as long. We'll see - all in God's time!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Let's celebrate!

It has arrived - we got our 171H in the mail today!! This is big! It is our approval from the Homeland Security to bring an orphan to the US - we fooled them! Just kidding! I am so excited! It is the last piece of paper that we need notaried (already took care of that since it showed up this afternoon), certified (mailing it overnight to my aunt Tonna in Tallahassee for certification Monday morning) and authenticated (got the envelope and return envelope stamped and ready to go)! When all of that happens we sent it and all the other documents, photos, passport copies, birth certificates, etc. to our agency for final inspection and then off to China! Hopefully that will occur by the end of August - maybe sooner. So exciting!!!!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Good news & Bad news - or should I say a speed bump

A little good news and a little bad news on our road to adoption yesterday. The good news is our authenticated documents have returned from the Chinese Consulate. I have not laid eyes on them yet because they needed to deliver them in person. I got the notice in yesterday's mail so I will get them from the post office today. Other good news, we sent our final cookbook off to the publisher. It was a little more work than expected but it was a fun project. They should be ready in 45 days! I sure hope our dossier is off by then. That's where the bad news comes in. We are waiting for our 171H and I got a piece of mail from Homeland Security yesterday. Of course I was hoping that it was the 171H. Unfortunately it was a notice that our homestudy needs more documents and an addendum. More documents - more time. I must keep telling myself, all in God's time. This is just a speed bump!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Another big step!

We were able to get to the Homeland Security office today, just a day after we got our letter, to get our fingerprints. This is our last big step short of some paperwork issues. Hopefully we'll get our 171H soon and then after we get it notarized/certified/authorized, we'll have everything for our dossier!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I have to blog - so much to tell!

What a day! First I got FedEx confirmation that our packet of 11 of the 13 documents we need to have authorized successfully made it to the Chinese Consulate in Houston. Of course this is an expected outcome but still it is something to celebrate. It will be interesting to see how long it takes to get these back. I sent the 11 instead of waiting for all 13 and sending one packet as a kind of trial run so I'll know how long it takes when we have the 171H in hand.

The other thing was a little more unexpected - we got our fingerprint appointments from the Homeland Security/Immigration Dept! They just got the home study on Monday and we already have our appointment letter! I had no idea it would only take 2 days and yesterday was a holiday! The funny thing is the appointment time and date is crossed out and handwritten it says M-F, 8-3:30; so I guess we don't need an actual appointment. We're going to try to go tomorrow. How exciting!!!! The resulting 171H is the last thing we need before sending the packet to China!!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Is that a complement?

So today I had my first semi-offensive conversation about our adoption plans. I was talking to a man at the beach, best guess 55-60 years old, about the beautiful day and 4th of July plans etc and he asked if I had kids - the ever so common question for a 36 year old married woman - and I said hopefully we will be close this time next year; we are adopting. "Oh what a difference you will make in an orphan or foster child's life." So I choose to share a little more; "yes, we are adopting an orphan from China". "China! Why would you adopt from China?! There are so many kids here that need a home." Stay calm, this is an education opportunity..."there are a lot of kids in China that need homes also." "Let them worry about their own" was his reply. KISS - Keep it simple stupid - "All I can say is that's where my heart has told me where we are suppose to adopt". This should end the conversation right? Wrong. He replys, "One thing I can say about Orientals (I'm thinking to myself, Oriental is a rug dummy), they sure are smart." Can't an attempt at a complement still be a stereotype?

I know this was not a major interaction but it did give me a small glimpse of the future. I'm not the type to get mad at others ignorance of the situation. I found it interesting and a good practice run for things to come. What an odd conversation to have on the 4th of July!