Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Check I-800 off the list!

We got news that our I-800 petition to classify Faith as an immediate family member was approved. The next step is called
article 5

Before Your Child Immigrates to the United States

If the child you adopted or intend to adopt in the United States is residing abroad, the child will need an immigrant visa to enter the United States. Visas are issued by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) at the Embassy or Consulate in the foreign country where your child resides.

The type of visa your child is issued will determine what steps you will need to take for the child to acquire U.S. citizenship.

Visa types for Hague Adoptions
IH-3 visa: Issued for children with full and final adoptions from a Hague Convention country

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Faith participated in the Walk the Wall 2009

You can see her briefly at 1:54 minutes into the video. She is being carried by a volunteer.

Walk the Wall 2009: Hengyang, China from International China Concern on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I want this sweatshirt!!!

I found a cute website that makes custom Chinese clothing for adoptive families...

Our Petition has been logged into the system today!

The National Benefits Center ( USCIS) contacted our agency today and confirmed that they have received our paperwork/petition today!!! So it looks like the forwarding of our mail did not get lost! Yippy!!

I went to the Department of Immigration and Homeland Security website and found this explanation on what we are waiting for at this stage of adopting Faith... it was very helpful for me.

Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative
Purpose of Form :
To determine the child's eligibility for classification as a Convention adoptee. The petition is filed by the U.S. Citizen prospective adoptive parent to finalize the immigration process of a child who habitually resides in a Convention country. The petitioner must have an approved, valid Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, in order to file the Form I-800.
Number of Pages :
Instructions: 8; Form: 9; Supplement 1: 1.
Edition Date :
04/16/09. Prior edition accepted.
Where to File :
Regular Mail:

P.O. Box 299008
Lewisville, TX 75029

Express Mail and Courier Service deliveries:

ATTN: Hague
2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business, Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067

Filing Fee :
No fee is required for the first Form I-800 filed for a child on the basis of an approved Form I-800A. If more than one Form I-800 is filed during the approval period for different children, the fee is $670 for the second and each subsequent Form I-800. However, if the children are siblings before the proposed adoption, no additional filing fee is required.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

An unofficial "official" delay in our paperwork...

**** Update 102109 ****
Our paperwork is not lost...just delayed. Our agency shows the I800 forms being received at the old USCIS address (Ohio) on October 9th...USCIS has forwarded the paperwork to the correct address (Texas) so it is in the forwarding process... we just don't know how long that will take.

My husband is paid to be a pessimist. He is always troubleshooting and finding flaws in software. Which he is fantastic at! His challenge is to not bring his work home. My challenge, is to appreciate that when he does bring it home; he is most likely right :)

That being said...for the last week he has been coming home from work stating,

" Something is wrong with our I-800 paperwork...I am sure it is lost, or delayed."

My thoughts after hearing my hubby go something like this...

"Not helpful, don't panic...everything is fine...have Faith!...Oh no what if he is right, where is our paperwork...why haven't we heard, how come the USCIS had to change their address the day we mailed our paperwork, something is wrong with our I-800, it is lost, my husband is right!"

So I contacted the department of immigration to followup on our concerns, and was told there is no record of them receiving or logging in our paperwork, and that it was probably caught up in the address forward. They are taking an additional week to receive because of this address change. So now we wait. It was recommended I contact them daily to check on the status of her paperwork. The I-800 is the permission from the US government to allow our daughter to immigrate into the US.

I have to say that for the most part our adoption has gone very smoothly, this is the first real time I have felt a little panic. Coupled with the constant questions from friends about "How much longer? and "Why don't you know yet?" I am feeling a little desperate. At least with a pregnancy you can answer an exact time and date, with adoption there is so much out of a person's control.

I know :
1. Heavenly Father planted the seeds of adoption in our hearts and led us to our daughter in China.
2. I know he loves her and is keeping her while we wait, no matter how long.

With this knowledge I will be patient and trust that everything happens in HIS time.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Not getting offended...

Ok, so I ran into an old friend the other day, and she had heard I was adopting. I was explaining to her about the costs involved, and the orphanage donation fee.

She then told me, "Well you know, you're just buying a baby...you know that right?"

I was like, huh? " Well no... excuse me but I would like to think that money goes to support all the orphans that don't get or haven't found their forever families yet... and I am sure my daughter has benefited from others donations before we found her..."

That is what I would have liked to say, but I was caught so off guard, I just said, "I hope not?"


Monday, October 12, 2009

When will we travel?

I get asked this a lot? I found a great explanation on a website for adoptive parents. I have bolded where we are at in the process. Hope this helps!

BEFORE you get your LOA you will want to fill out the following forms:
? I800 application. Hopefully your agency has a model for you to follow. The directions are less than helpful, in my humble opinion.
? I864W if both parents are traveling. This needs to be sent with the I800 application. I think you do the I864 if you are traveling alone.

For the I800 application you will also need some supporting documents from your agency and it doesn't hurt to start asking for them early on. You need:
? your child's referral info in English and in Chinese.
? You will need a copy of your agency's Hague accreditation.
? You will also need a copy of your Hague training hours certificate- a photocopy was fine for us.
? Your agency will also have to write a letter stating that all the info translated in to English is accurate. This, along with your LOA, is what is considered the Article 16 info that is mentioned in the directions for the I800.

Now all you need is a copy of your signed LOA and you can ship off to USCIS

BEFORE you get LOA-You will also need to fill out the DS230 application- this is the form that will go to China and begin the visa process for the child to enter the US. It?s pretty quick and easy but each agency seems to have their preferred way to fill it out, so check with yours. You will need to send this to your agency BEFORE you get LOA so that it is ready to go to China once you return your LOA to them. Your agency will get a second LOA that the consulate will have to sign. It?s called ?Letter Seeking Confirmation from the Central Authority of the Receiving State? ? The American Consulate being the central authority. They need to get that LOA to their representative in China with your DS230.

Now, what exactly happens after LOA? USCIS processes your I800 application. This takes around 10 days but I know they are trying to make it as fast as possible. Then USCIS turns your file over to another branch of the Department of Homeland Security, called the National Visa Center (NVC). NVC scans your file into its system. Once they do this, the American Consulate in GZ can now access your immigration approval and file. This also takes about 10 days, depending on where the weekends fall.

Your DS230 and the second LOA need to be at the consulate by the time your file is uploaded so that they can begin processing your child?s visa. They cannot work on it without both parts though, so the file needs to be sent and your DS230 needs to be delivered to the consulate. Most agencies have a courier that is handling this in China. The courier drops off the documents at the Consulate.

The Consulate reviews your file and signs the second LOA. Once they do, your agency needs to pick it up and get it to the CCAA so your official wait for TA can begin. Most agencies have their courier pick it up and then overnight it to Beijing. The consulate is taking about 5 days to get these signed. They can occasionally ask for additional information if they need it. I know of one case where that happened. It doesn?t mean you won?t get approved. It will just add a few days onto the process while your agency or the CCAA gets the info to them.

Then the CCAA will work on processing your TA. It is taking anywhere from 50-80 days after LOA to get your TA.

Look what we are working on now... Here is our packing list...Hip Hip Horray!

My thought after looking this over is it seems made for a smaller infant...will I need these items for a 2 1/2 year old little girl? Are there other items not on this that I will need for a toddler?

Packing List for International Adoption

􀂅 Disposable diapers (5 - 8 per day)
􀂅 Unscented baby wipes (100)
􀂅 Ziploc bags (both gallon and sandwich size to hold wipes for travel – just a few of each)
􀂅 Small plastic garbage bags (for dirty diapers and clothes – just a few)
􀂅 Diaper bag or backpack for baby supplies
􀂅 Snugli or other baby carrier, preferably one that allows baby to face both outward and inward
􀂅 Two 8-oz. baby bottles to be used with bottle liners
􀂅 100 - 150 bottle liners to fit bottles
􀂅 4 standard bottle nipples
􀂅 Small thermos for keeping water hot for formula when traveling
􀂅 Small scissors to enlarge nipple holes (most babies in China as accustomed to faster milk delivery than a small hole allows)
􀂅 One to two 14 - 16 oz. cans powdered formula. Many parents choose a soy-based formula because of possible lactose intolerance, but a standard formula is almost always safe. Consult your pediatrician if you are uncertain. Chinese formula is readily available, and it may be advantageous to keep your child on the formula they are accustomed to until you return to the U.S.
􀂅 Rice cereal (infants over six months may be interested in foods besides formula)
􀂅 5 -10 lunchbox size containers of natural applesauce (can be mixed with rice cereal)
􀂅 Small plastic bowl and baby spoon
􀂅 Sippie cup for toddlers
􀂅 Cheerios (small ziploc bag full if baby is over 7 or S months). They dissolve in the mouth and are an interesting new experience. Bring more if your child is over one year.
􀂅 2 - 3 plastic bibs (disposable bibs are also great)
􀂅 2 pacifiers (most babies won’t use them but they may come in handy)
􀂅 2 burp cloths (such as a cloth diaper)
􀂅 2 - 3 baby blankets (I crib blanket, 1- 2 receiving blankets)
􀂅 2 - 4 pajamas
􀂅 5 - 6 pairs baby booties or socks
􀂅 6 - 8 outfits or Onesies (depending on weather and time of year). Bring 3 different sizes to be on the safe side.
Note: Extra winter clothing
2 - 4undershirts of thermal Onesies
Warm pajamas with feet
Snowsuit (fleece works well with infants) or warm jacket
Most people bring one very cute outfit to wear when getting off the plane arriving home
􀂅 I small bottle of baby soap and shampoo
􀂅 I small bottle of baby lotion
􀂅 I small container of cornstarch baby powder
􀂅 I tube of diaper rash cream
􀂅 2 tubes of chap stick
􀂅 Baby hairbrush
􀂅 Baby nail clippers
􀂅 Several small baby rattles or toys
􀂅 Teething ring
􀂅 For toddlers: small bottle of bubbles, set of plastic stacking cups, and 2 heavy-duty cardboard books
􀂅 Small stuffed animal (musical is nice)
􀂅 Umbrella stroller (many hotels provide strollers and a stroller can be purchased for less than $20 if you decide you need one)
􀂅 Small bottle of Dial antibacterial hand sanitizer
􀂅 Consider bringing an extra bag in your luggage for souvenirs (bags can also be purchased for under $10 if time allows)
􀂅 A small bag of clothing to give to the orphanage director
􀂅 6 - small gifts to give to caregivers, guides, drivers, etc. (Something unique to your area is nice; i.e. pens, pins, etc.)
Note: Small gift bags
Tissue to wrap gifts in (any color other than white)

Monday, October 5, 2009

We are so happy...one of Faith's bodyguards has a family!

He (Isaac) is always right by her side and we couldn't be happier for him! Here is their family blog.

He is on the right of the picture with Faith here.

And here he is on the left!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

HOLD Your horses missy!

Well...we were given the wrong travel information :( We will not be traveling as soon as November, the employee at the agency made a mistake. I was a little disappointed but really we have been so blessed just to have our LOA already, I would be very ungrateful to complain about a little mistake like this. So we are still excited and Happy!!! Let's hope before Christmas!