Thursday, March 28, 2013


Oftentimes, families end up logged in and don't even know it until after the fact.  Agencies don't find out their families have their paperwork logged in unless they ask.   Today we found out that our paperwork was logged in on March 20th...our official log-in date (LID).   The day you have your LID is the day you start counting for your letter of approval (LOA).   So that means we have 8 days of the LOA wait behind us.   YAY!   The LOA wait is the reason why we can't tell our family and friends when we'll be traveling.  It usually ranges from about 30 days to 150 days.  50s and 60s have been average this year, but a few weeks ago there were a ton that came back in the 20s and 30s.  That is unheard of, especially considering those were not for medical expedites.  I even had a friend who is adopting a child with the same special need as our son get hers in 9 days..yes NINE!   Amazing!   But, I am going to try not to get my hopes up because there are people waiting in the 70s, 80s, and more.  We are hoping for a medical expedite, but we will see.    Travel is usually 2-3 months from LOA, 2.5 months being average.   We're hoping to make it quicker than that with a bit of expediting.  We have 3 months and 3 days until little man's 6th birthday our goal has always been to get to him before his next birthday.  June is CRAZY for Rick.  God has a plan though and it will work out however it works out. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

More Pictures while we Wait

My friend Beth met her son recently, who happens to be from the same orphanage as our son.   She went to the orphanage visit and was able to meet our son, as well as three boys still waiting for a family to choose them.   She said: "It was very hectic there that day.  He smiled, but not for the camera. When he tipped the pig over, he laughed! The staff were all talking at once to him, so I think his look is more of confusion and being a bit overwhelmed. He liked the bracelet Bobby gave him. I noticed the buzz cut, but it looked like a lot of the boys had fresh haircuts." 

It is so nice to get little glimpses of his personality and his sweet face while waiting to go get him.  Pictures are definitely bittersweet.

Here are the pictures she got of him:

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bowling to Bring Home Reid Update

A huge thank you to all our family and friends who came out today to bowl to help us with our Brittany's Hope matching grant goal!   Thank you to those of you who supported our raffle as well and congratulations to those of you who won.  You all are a blessing to us.

Our kids took turns pulling out names, except for a friend who pulled out the name for the Easter basket that every kid in the place wanted and for Rick's brother Ron who pulled out the name for the cheese, since he made it. :)

Here is the list of winners!  Some of you lucky people won multiple items. :)

Admirals Hockey tickets: Justin Smith

Beloit Snappers Tickets- LaVonne

Butterfly framed art- Nelson family

Autographed Green Bay Packer football- Linse/Potter family

Roses framed art- Lambert Family

Usborne book and picture frame- Lambert Family

Photo bag- Nelson Family

Usborne book set- Lambert Family

Set of 6 glasses- Mabry Family

Dragonfly Hanging Art- Jonas Haywood

Avon set- LaVonne

Tupperware Lunchbox set- Ungaro family

Easter Basket- Landyn

Tupperware set of bowls- Justin Smith

Set of wine glasses- Mabry family

Zainey and Zoe collection- Mabry family

Cheese and home made cutting board- Lambert family

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Authentication and Dossier to China (DTC)

Catching up a bit: On Saturday, March 2nd, I over night mailed our documents to Denise Hope, our courier, to take to the US consulate in Chicago.  She got them on Monday the 4th and delivered them to the consulate on Tuesday, the 5th.  We paid for 48 hour service since Denise doesn't pick-up on Wednesdays.   She picked them up on Thursday, March 7th and put them back into the mail to us.  We received them Friday, March 8th and I mailed our entire dossier out to our agency that afternoon via over night mail.  Our agency received our dossier on Saturday, March 9th at 12:16 (my birthday).  Monday I was able to confirm that they received it and today, Tuesday, March 12th, we are officially Dossier to China (DTC)! 

 It is such a huge step and a sigh of relief.  Now we just have to pray that it gets translated and logged in quickly.  Once we are logged in, we can start the count for our Letter of Acceptance (LOA) wait.  Once we have the LOA, we'll have a better idea of when we'll travel.  It is usually 2-3 months to travel once you have your LOA.  The wait for LOA is all over the place though.  I've seen as little as 20 days and as long as 150 days.   This year it seems 50s and 60s are average (it was 71 days for Lena's).   This week I saw LOA's ranging from 33 to 75 days, with many in the 30's and they were not even medical expedites.  We are trying to expedite for medical purposes so we are hoping we'll be on the quicker end, but their is no guarantee.   I have a fairly good feeling about it.  All we can do is pray!

Friday, March 1, 2013

I-800A Approval, Authentication, and NEW Pictures...

Oh my!

We were able to successfully walk-in early for fingerprints on Tuesday, Feb. 19th.  We walked in around 10 minutes to 1 o'clock and got right in and out.  Best experience with immigration so far!   We called our officer that day to let her know.  That Friday, I called to check in.  She said she had approved them the next day, Wednesday the 20th, but that the office was closed one day due to snow and not many were working the following day either so she wasn't sure what day they did or would be going out in the mail.  We finally got the approval in the mail, Thursday, February 28th. 

This morning, Lena, Jayce, and I drove up to Madison to walk our 3 dossier documents in to the Secretary of State.  They needed to certify the notary signature/stamp.   We had a set amount of time to get there after dropping the other kids off at school.  We had to be there by 10 a.m. for them to do it same day service.  We had no idea how long we'd have to hang out in Madison for until they were done.  We had some trouble finding the building and it was so windy and cold, but we eventually found the nick of time too- 10-15 minutes to spare.  We went up to the 10th floor to an old office that was super quiet with three women working.  A lady came to the counter, we told her what we were there to do, and she said "let me do it right now."   In less than 10 minutes, she had it done and we were off!   A big thank you to my brother, Jeremiah, for picking Landyn up at school so we could do this today!

Tomorrow these same documents will get mailed to a courier out of Illinois.  She will take them into the consulate/China embassy in Chicago and they will get authenticated.  PLEASE PRAY they are ACCEPTED!  Many people have been getting them back rejected.  :(  We don't have time for that.   I am only a little nervous about one of them.  Dates are good.  Just worried about the wording a bit.   Praying it is fine.  Once we get those back- hopefully late next week or early the following week, we can submit everything to our agency and finally be Dossier to China (DTC).....oh how I can't wait for that! 

And on top of I-800A approval, after 4 months of waiting, we finally got updated pictures of our son thanks to a traveling family who adopted a darling little girl from Reid's orphanage.  They went back for an orphanage visit and were allowed to meet a handful of kids whose families were in process. THANK YOU, Tana and Curtis. We are so grateful! 

Pictures are so bittersweet during the wait- so great to have- a blessing.  They keep you going.  But, so hard too because it makes your heart hurt for them so much more.  It makes you see how much they've grown and you think of all the things you've missed out on.  It makes you wish you could just get on a plane and go get them NOW!   Too bad it isn't that easy.   So many things to do, so many hoops to jump through.  But you just do it and then one day, it's your turn and it's time to pack and get on that plane and then the magical day finally arrives....gotcha day.  The day there is one less orphan in the world.  It is not an easy journey, but it is an amazing one and it is ALWAYS worth it.

How I cannot wait to meet this precious boy and be his forever mama!
From a distance...

Closer.....this one reminds me of Evan.  A little nervous at first.
 Love this one...

 Slide Time!

 With his buddy who happens to be an adoption friend of mine's son to be! :) We hope we might travel at the same time!  How cool would that be!?!
 We heard they are both ALL boy.  He'll fit right in here. :)
 Haha....boys..gotta love them!