Friday, May 31, 2013

Article 5 was picked up!! :)

Praise God and thumbs up to the in-China representative, Richard!  That's all I have to say about that! :)
Beijing should have that tomorrow or first thing when opening on Monday. 

Article 5 has been approved...and hopefully picked up!

Normal time for Article 5 is a two-week turn around or 10 business days from drop-off to pick-up.  For those medically expediting it is 24 to 48 hrs and the only thing an agency needs to do is take the medical letters with the paperwork.  The consulate is actually very nice and many medical expedites have had success with this step without a problem.   I had not heard anything a few days after our article 5 was dropped off.  I checked in a few times- nothing.  A majority of our agency staff left for China this past Saturday until June 5th.   I checked in with the staff still in the office- it took a few extra days to hear back since almost everyone is in China.   They had heard nothing.  Knowing that this is not normal, I emailed the US consulate yesterday with our info and why our son needs to come home immediately, along with the medical letters.  While we slept, I got an email saying that it was approved!   Now we are just praying that our agency rep in China picked it up that day before they closed so we don't have to wait until Monday.   Supposedly this document gets mailed over night to the CCCWA in Beijing and then you start the wait for travel approval (TA).  TA waits range one week to four weeks, with two to three being average.  We are hoping for 2 weeks or less. 

Another traveling family adopting twin girls got these photos of our little guy last week- there was a lot going on in the swi so he was a little confused.  She said he picked out some stickers for himself and for my friend Nicole's daughter sweet with the little ones. :)   She said he has changed so much since the last time she was at the orphanage- so much more confident and happy.   He looks like he has a little mischief in him too- though what boy doesn't? ;)

Time for a treat and pictures!  
The little girl being held is my friend Nicole's daughter- she will be coming home a few weeks after Reid.  

 "Who's in there?"
 Opening up a bit more- little by little.

 Saying goodbye to the nice lady who gave him stickers!

One more step to go!  COME ON TA!  
I better get packing and getting all the loose ends tied up around getting the visas in the passport, figuring out what we are going to do for Reid's bed- whether it will be a trundle, a twin near the window, or if Rick will be configuring some sort of smaller bunk bed system or lofted bed since we have the slanted ceilings up there. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Well...we contacted the NVC last week to get our GUZ #.  We attached our medical expedite letters to the email.  We got the GUZ# and the PDF both on Friday, about and hour apart.   Our agency sent it over the weekend to their in-China rep.  He dropped our article 5 off to the US consulate last night while we slept- Tuesday a.m. in China.   He submitted our medical expedite letters.  We will either wait the standard 2 weeks plus an extra day due to Memorial Day closing or we will have it expedited and our agency's in-country rep will be able to pick it up in 24-48 hours.  We will see.  The other issue is that China is closing down their computer system to re-vamp it this Friday through June 1st.  I know this is affecting dossiers being logged in, but I am hearing mixed reviews on if it will affect Travel Approval (TA) waits- that is our last step once the article 5 gets picked up.   Once we get TA, we set a consulate appointment and backwards plan from there.  We can book our tickets at that time.  It is always last minute.  And depending on when we can go will depend on who goes.  It will either be Rick, me, and Evan or just me and Evan.   We have a lot of things going on in late June/early July.  Rick is out of town a lot, we have a 95th birthday and family reunion for Rick's grandma, we celebrate our 7th anniversary and Reid's 6th birthday July 1st (hope to be able to at least have him by then...we could even get him that day), and the twins' birthday is July 15th, along with Lena's 1 year gotcha day.  We were in China for their birthday last year.  I would hate to miss their birthday two years in a row.  We will see what happens- only God knows!

And to make the day even better, we got our first agency update!   Here are the updated pictures and info we got.  He looks SO big- so tall!   I'll have to compare his measurements to my other boys. 

 He loves playing outside and that slide!  He will fit in here well! :)
 This one is my favorite above!
What is his favorite color(s)?  Blue
What does he like to do for fun?  Toy cars, airplane, guns
Who is he closest to?  His teachers and caretakers.
Does he have a best friend?  Bao Fuyu and Bao Xinji.
How does he do in school?  Good.  He likes helping others and is well behaved.  He is obedient and easygoing.  He likes learning Chinese character, math and music.
Does he sleep soundly at night?  Yes
Does he still take a nap during the day? Yes
How would you describe his personality?  He is happy and extrovert.
*FAVORITE ONE:  How did  he react to knowing he has a family?  He is excited and happy about it.  He wants to see parents ASAP.
Has he had any concerns or fears about joining a family that we should know about to help him adjust? No.  He is a social child and gets along well with other children easily.
What are some of his favorite foods?  Sweet food like lollipop, chicken leg as well.
Any foods he really dislikes?  No
What does he like to drink? Drinks.  *This one didn't help us

Updated measurements:
Weight: 18.90kf  Height: 109.0 cm  Head 49.0cm
Chest: 59.5 cm   Foot 17.0 cm    Teeth: 20


Thursday, May 16, 2013


I-800 Approval
We had receieved our Letter of Approval from China on April 22ndIt arrived via FedEx on April 23rd and was mailed overnight mail to USCIS- Immigration.   It had to go through the lockbox in Texas- that takes entirely to long and then to Missouri where our officer waits for it to hit her desk to approve it.  I called her at least a times over the past couple of weeks.  Each time she'd give me a new day to check in with her.  I called last Friday thinking it would for sure be approved.  Everyone else whose papers were received on April 24th like ours had received their approval last Tuesday or Wednesday.   She told me it was on her supervisor's desk and to check in the following Tuesday.   I just wanted to hang up.  I didn't expect that at all.  She kept talking to me and then said Happy Mother's Day!  I started crying at that point and barely could get out a 'you too!' before hanging up.   I called on Tuesday only to have to leave a message.  Never got a call back.  I was prepared to call back Wednesday afternoon.  She ended up calling me around noon and told me we were approved, Monday, May 13th and that it was mailed from them (National Benefits Center) to the National Visa Center (NVC) in New Hampshire on Tuesday via 2 day mail.  That  means the NVC should receive it today.  Once it is unloaded and checked in, they will issue us a GUZ #.  Once we have that GUZ # we can request a PDF via email that we send to our agency rather than waiting for the actual document to come in the mail.   We should get our GUZ # tomorrow or Monday and our PDF Monday or Tuesday.  Once our agency has that PDF, they can signal their in-China person to drop off our papers at the US consulate, which has been closed most of this week due to a threat.  That is called the Article 5.  It takes two weeks from drop off to pick-up.  We will see if we have any luck with expediting that step.  Once we have Article 5, we wait for China to issue our Travel Approval (TA).  Once we have TA and are given a consulate appointment, we backwards plan from there and can book our flights.   Most families leave 1-3 weeks from TA.   It is looking like we'll be traveling in early July.  It's hard to say if we will make his 6th birthday or not, July 1st.