Monday, April 29, 2013

He Knows he has a Family...for REAL!

WOW!  What a day.  I woke up to many new pictures of Reid from a traveling family, who not only got to meet him, but who got to hand deliver our first package to him with a treat, some pictures we made for him, and a photo album with many photos of our family and home.  He officially knows he has a family!!!  Maybe he knew before, maybe he didn't.  But it is official now. :)   Oh to have been a fly on the wall at that moment.  Can you even imagine being a 5, almost 6 year old boy and seeing so many of your friends being chosen and leaving with their families?  Can you imagine what that must feel like? I don't even want to think about it.  But I saw a boy in photos and video in spring of 2011 who was so happy, smiling...simply precious.  About a year ago or so, many of his friends started leaving with their families.  You could see that smile fade and his new face in pictures was heartbreaking.  It looked like his hope had totally been stolen from him. It looked as if he was thinking: Why is no one choosing me?  Will I ever have a family come for me?  How many more kids and friends will I have to watch leave?  Little did he know that we were watching him.  We were watching every agency he was listed with.  It just wasn't the right timing and we could not get approved to adopt two at once.  I think my face looked something like his in those later pictures when we drove by the exit for his orphanage on our way from Guangzhou to Hong Kong to head home with Lena.  Heartbroken....for him.  Fast forward 9 months and here we are!  He now knows he has a family!  Yes, one of his own.  He knows there is a family on the other side of the world who loves him.  He knows he has a lot of brothers and a sister.  He knows someone really does care, someone chose him.  He knows a family will be coming for him soon- soon he will be leaving and it will be his turn!  Yet, inside, I am sure he is scared too.  What will it be like leaving all you have ever known, every care taker who has cared for you since you were about 1 year old, every friend still there waiting for their families or waiting to be chosen?  What will it be like to go with a family to a new place totally different than where you are now- such different scenery, different smells, different food, and a totally different language?  These kids are my heroes.  They are amazing!

But for today, we'll focus on the face that says it all.  I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I did.
And Randi, words cannot express enough gratitude for the feelings I have today thanks to you and your family taking that package to our son!

So happy to see the kids are loved while they wait.

 Group pictures
                                                    Getting ready to get his package from Randi!

The candy came out first- I heard he shared it with every kid in the room...sweet boy!

 Checking out the photo album and the pictures we made for him!

 Randi said: "He was so, so sweet. He just stared and stared and was all smiles. I could tell he knew that you were his family. The workers read the book to him twice in the little bit of time that we were there, and he just looked so happy about it. He really liked the drawing that the kids did for him too. When he came to the candy he generously opened it and passed them around to his friends that were in the room."

Another friend said that he will know every picture and name because the orphanage will go over the album may times to help prepare him.  :)

 Showing his photo album to Jennifer who is one of Randi's daughters.  It looks like they were friends! :)

That's a lot of people checking us out! ;)

  More photos of the kids together!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


We found out in early April that we were out of step closer to getting our letter of approval (LOA) from China!   I was wondering if we would end up getting it on Evan's birthday, the same day we got Lena's last year.  Nope- not in the plans.   However, we did get the call on yesterday, Monday, April 22nd from our agency that our LOA had arrived!  YAY!  That was 33 days from being logged in, which is very good. However, LOAs have been coming very quickly lately. I saw one at day 10, 14, and 17 and MANY in the 20s and the 30s- all non medical expedites.  There have been some people having to wait 40-60 days and a few more really unlucky ones who had to wait in the 70-90 day range.  All of these are still so much better than last year's waits.  But I am now thinking we may have not been expedited at all.   Hoping we can at least expedite a few things towards the end of the process!  

Today our LOA came via Fed Ex, along with some other documents we need to file our I-800 with immigration here in the US.   We will send it out over night mail today so that they get it tomorrow.  That process will likely take 2-3 weeks and then our agency can submit our article 5 at the US consulate in Guangzhou, China.  Dropping off the article 5 to pick-up is 10 business days or 2 weeks.  This is a step we are hoping to expedite.   Once you have that, you wait for China to issue your Travel Approval (TA) and you can leave 1-3 weeks later, depending on the date of your Consulate Appointment (CA).  So I think we are looking at 6 weeks at the shortest-10 or 11 weeks at most until we are on a plane to China to go get our son!  WOW!   So much to do yet too...a couple more grants to apply for, a few books to read and write reports on for our agency, and of course just the every day stuff that consumes our time.  

There is a wonderful family in China now who met their two daughters yesterday, both from Reid's orphanage.  They took a photo album with pictures of our family and home (captioned in English and Chinese) to give to him.  He will get that on April 29th.  We are not sure if he already knows he has a family based on the people always wanting to get a picture or video of him, but he will for sure know soon if he doesn't already!   We are hoping the photo album helps him get to know our faces and the things we like to do to help prepare him even a little bit.  We are coming soon sweet boy!  We know so many of your friends have gone and that you have waited so long.  It will be your turn very soon little cutie!

Lastly, we got a nice surprise picture of Reid from October of 2011, about five months after I first saw his precious face and fell in love.  It is definitely one of my favorites!