Friday, October 2, 2015

Our Little Boy

Titus Perkins
LOA: 10/1/2015

10 months old
(He's about 15 months now)

That means this handsome little man is officially ours...if only it meant we could head on over and get him! 

We can't buy tickets until we get our consulate appointment, which is about four steps away.  Our paperwork is now at US Immigration.  We received general permission to adopt a child (I-800A), but now we need specific permission to adopt Titus (I-800).  We need the I-800 and a few more things, then we can send it all back to China and get our Travel Authorization (TA).  After we get that, we can schedule our consulate appointment with the US Consulate in Guangzhou, and THEN we can buy our tickets. 

But the ball is rolling now, and there's a good chance we will be spending Christmas and/or New Years on a plane!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Friday, July 31, 2015

Adoption Update

Even though things have been pretty quiet here on the blog, we've continued to make progress in the adoption.  I'll warn you now, we're getting close to this stage where we may or may not be matched but can't really share it on the internet yet.  But we have added a few more steps to our timeline!

March 5:  Application sent to AAC, homestudy started
April 5:  All documents sent to AAC
May 5:  Homestudy completed
May 7:  USCIS received I-800A Application
May 19:  Fingerprinting appt date received
Jun 3:  Fingerprinting appt
June 9:  I-800A Approval Notice received
July 9:  Documents to China  (DTC)
July 21:  Logged in to Chinese system (LID)

 Yes, we are LID, and that does mean the next step is matching with our son and waiting for our Letter of Acceptance (LOA)!  The LOA wait is listed as 60-90 days, but I've heard of much shorter (ours was 27 days with Liz) and up past 100 days.  I have to keep reminding myself that it will be very challenging to travel when I'm teaching a lecture class!  So we are still looking at somewhere around Christmas or after.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Peace of God in a Very Loud House

As I chopped the butternut squash and carrots for dinner (a from-scratch one!), I marveled at how quietly Luke and Katie played together (Liz was still napping).  When Liz plays, whatever I'm doing is punctuated by high volume communication, breaks to remind someone to use words instead of loud noises, and rhetorical questions/answers (no, you may not play with buttons...what is this library book doing on the floor?!).

(this is what happened in the last two minutes of trying to write the above paragraph...add in "she just kicked me" to the sound of whining and screams)

So, back to the squash and carrots...

Along with thoughts of how quietly they played, I thought how this (quietly preparing dinner) could be my life if we hadn't adopted Liz.  It's not a very practical train of thought, since a) we have Liz, b) we're doing this again, and c) a lot of this is just life with a 2-year-old.  But after dallying in that moment, I realized a few things.

At first I thought, "Wow, my life would be so peaceful if this was it!"  And without Liz, my life would certainly have less noise in it.  And a lot less of the following phrase:  "Use your words!"  I might even like cooking again.

But then I realized, that's not a peaceful would be a comfortable life.  We'd still have a little car, I'd be done potty-training kids, we'd be on our way to jet-setting vacations (maybe).

And I realized we do have peace in our life.  It's just the "peace that passes understanding" kind, not the quiet days kind.

The peace of knowing God makes His call clear to us.
The peace of seeing how He provides for us.
The peace of living in answered prayers.
The peace of trusting He will carry us through the next adoption too. 

And every time I say to David, "I can't believe we're doing this again," I try to remember that 2-year-old volume levels don't last forever, and that without Liz, there would be less laughter too. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

And Life Goes On

Anyone know where June went?  I looked down and saw it's been 10 days since I last posted, but I'm sure it hasn't been that long.  :)

We thought we were done with our paperwork, but I got a call on Thursday that one of our notaries made a mistake on the notary seal.  So we get to fill out our financial paperwork again and get it notarized this weekend.

Besides that, we're really close to being out of the paper chase.  If I remember correctly, once we get logged into China, we have a great deal of twiddling our thumbs ahead of us.  But let me tell you, I'm having no trouble at all staying busy this time--three kids instead of two will do that for you!  I have a long list of projects for the summer too, most of which involve downsizing and simplifying.

First up was my bedroom.  I got rid of a bunch of clothes and set aside a few more that need something to complete the outfit (mostly skirts that need a matching top).  I know the whole 'capsule wardobe' thing is popular, but I'd rather just keep the clothes I like and make sure all my dress clothes are complete outfits instead of mix and match.  Sadly, this will involve some clothes shopping, which ranks far below visiting the dentist in my book.

The next project is a big one, and one that will require multiple weeks to complete:  food in our house.  I started with cataloging/organizing the pantry and freezer, and making a list of 'random things we should eat because I bought them over a year ago.'  Things like a quarter of a bag of orzo (probably from a random recipe) and Belgian Chocolate shells that I bought on super clearance without a purpose.  NEVER BY ANYTHING WITHOUT A PURPOSE!  That should be my new motto. 

At this point, I need to sit down and figure out how I'm going to approach meals right now.   David teases me about how I'm constantly trying to figure out an 'easier' way to do meals, yet I'm not willing to really commit to meal planning.  I want to be able to make whatever I feel like for dinner, but that's JUST NOT PRACTICAL with three little kids.  I think there must be a way to adapt a meal planning system to my tendencies, but at some point, I may have to give up on that dream and just commit.  And I really need to figure it out before Little Brother shows up!

(Also on my list: picking a name for Little Brother, so we can stop calling him Little Brother)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

More progress!

Yesterday, I was surprised to receive an email from our agency asking about our original I-800A approval...which means I wasn't surprised when we received it in the mail today!  They got it yesterday, but it has a big "COPY" stamped on it.  After we scan that and send it, they will begin the authentication process on all our we may be LID by July after all!  Here is our timeline so far:

March 5:  Application sent to AAC, homestudy started
April 5:  All documents sent to AAC
May 5:  Homestudy completed
May 7:  USCIS received I-800A Application
May 19:  Fingerprinting appt date received
Jun 3:  Fingerprinting appt
June 9:  I-800A Approval Notice received

It seems like things are going faster, despite the delays with our homestudy.  I keep telling myself that I'm teaching in the fall, and it won't be very easy to travel before I finish my class.  I'm not sure what we'd do if our Travel Authorization arrived in October...but best not to borrow trouble.  :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I-800A Progress

My big summer kick-off plans were derailed by a sore throat.  I spent yesterday laid out on the couch for most of the day, aside from feeding my children and making sure they didn't trash the house too badly.  David gently reminded me (as he does every time) that he's happy to stay home when I'm sick, but it wasn't too bad, and the kids are pretty good about dealing with sick me.  I figure, if there's no fever, we can handle it.  I just have very low expectations for the day (Pajama day!  Indoor picnic!  Dora and Diego!). 

Today we took one step closer to Little Brother and our trip to China.  Once our homestudy was finished (which we managed to do, despite some hiccups), we sent our I-800-A application to United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) and waited for our fingerprinting appointment.  No, our fingerprints have not changed since we last did this.  Yes, they make us do it again anyway.  (insert eye roll)

Our appointment was this morning!  It should be 2-6 weeks before we get our actual I-800A, but that's the last thing we need before everything can be authenticated and sent to China.  If everything goes quickly, we could be looking at a file by July!