Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Passport! (and an update...)

Allison's passport finally came today! We can officially say we are done with packet II once we send a copy of the signature pages to New Life Adoption Agency. That'll be on Thursday!

Allison and I met with Vicki at New Life Tuesday morning. We had sent a lot of emails back and forth and talked on the phone, but never met face to face. She is really nice and answered all of the questions we had regarding packet III. We both felt pretty good when we left, and a little bit more excited! It looks like we will still be able to get our dossier off to China around the mid-June to July timeframe. That is of course dependant on how quickly the US government turns around the forms we have to submit to them, but if they turn them around in the "typical" time, then this is when we can expect it to go out.

After we got back in town on Tuesday from New Life, we visited the doctor's office to set up our medical exams needed for our dossier. We are scheduled to have them done next Tuesday, the 27th.

We have first drafts of our financial statement as well as our letter of Application to China complete. Both should be finalized in tha next day or so. We will also have our online course completed tonight- all 20 chapters! My employment verification letter is underway at the Air Brake and should I have that back by the end of the week.

So far, so good! The only setbacks we have had so far are the adoption fees increased by 10% (ouch!) and our Birth Certificates needed to be sent out to Albany twice due to an error at the County Clerk's Office. Nothing we can't deal with, because we know it will all be well worth it in the end!

We'll keep you posted!


Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Paper Chase

This past Tuesday, the 13th, we sent out another swath of paperwork to New Life. That packet included medical releases, foreign adoption agreements, travel agreements, and references. That didn't leave a whole lot left in packet 2! We still needed to send pictures of the house and of our family life, and copies of our passport signature page. We have the pictures all rounded up and ready to go- they will be sent out tomorrow. It was actually a lot of fun going through the piles of DVDs full of pictures to pick out ones that represent "us"! It brought back a lot of great memories! We are still waiting for Alli's passport to show up so we can finish off the last item in this packet.

When I got home from work today I found packet 3 waiting in the mailbox! This is the third (and final) packet of forms we need to fill out for our dossier. They call this paperwork phase we're in "the Paper Chase", and we are understanding why!

What's ahead in this packet:
-Medical exams/reports
-Financial statements
-Employment verifications
-Letter of Application to China
-Guardianship Letters

All of this notarized, 2 copies each, of course. :-)

More updates to come as we dig into the latest heap of paperwork!

Thank you all for your contined thoughts, prayers, and support!

Gary & Alli

Monday, March 12, 2007

Chinese Proverbs

Since we have started this process we have been on a lot of adoption websites. There are a lot of blogs sites, and personal stories, and videos, and pictures of the whole process. One thing that always comes up are chinese proverbs that have significant meaning during the adoption process. We thought we would share a few.

The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.

When a child is born invisible red threads extend from the child's spirit and connect to all the significant people who will be part of the child's life. As the child grows, the threads shorten, drawing closer those people who are destined to be together.

It's funny how when you start this process things have more meaning than they used to. You are more aware of your surroundings and the people in those surroundings. We were out shopping on Saturday and the people ahead of us were a little Asian girl probably 3-4 years old and a father(American). We looked at eachother and smiled and laughed.

~Alli & Gary

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Ladybugs are a popular sign of good luck in China adoptions. When we found out about this we both looked and each other a smiled because last year our house seemed to be infested with ladybugs! They were everywhere! Must have been a sign of things to come...

We actually talked about ladybugs earlier today, and tonight a short while after we finished off a few chapters of our online course, I looked to my left and there sat a ladybug!

So if you see a ladybug, think of us!

Gary and Alli

Tuesday, March 6, 2007


We sent in the first part of Packet II, which included some signed disclosures, the application and fee to start the Federal background checks, and paid the fee to start the home study. We have a few more documents to get notarized, which we will have done this week. Part of this packet also requires us to take an online course, which is actually a primer for international adoptions. We are enrolled in that and are in process to complete it. It is about 20 chapters long and we have worked through about 5 chapters so far. We have plenty of time to get this finished, but we are picking off a few chapters every few days to get it done. This works perfect for us, especially with Alli's schedule.

We had passport pictures taken today for Alli's passport and had multiple copies of both of our photos made for when we are in China. Alli needs 9 pictures, I need 7 (I already have my passport). Should've only taken a few minutes, but it ended up taking about 2 1/2 hours! First we tried Walgreens, and had to have mine taken twice because the first were really blurry. Alli's were okay, but not that great. We made our way down to the County Clerk's office, photos and documents in hand. The nice lady at the counter was a bit concerned that the pictures may not cut it- not sharp enough. We also found out that Alli's birth certificate was really only a certificate from the hospital and was not the real deal from the state. So, we headed down to City Hall to get a bonafide copy of her birth certificate, and while there, the very helpful ladies behind the counter suggested we try Ritz Camera, because they typically gave 6 copies when you order passport photos and heard that the quality was usually good. Piece of cake, right? Sure.

We stopped back at Walgreens and got our money refunded for the blurry pictures and made our way up to the mall for pictures and lunch. When we got to Ritz, the barely-out-of-high-school employees that happened to be on didn't know how to charge us for the extras- apparently they had never been asked to make that many copies before. Once they figured that out, they realized that their photo processors were down- they were waiting for a new hard drive to come in and didn't know when that would be. So much for that idea! We skipped lunch for the moment and headed to Severance Photo, which is where I was going to go initially due to the fact that it is where I had my pictures taken for my passport last year, but "figured" it would be cheaper someplace else. It ened up costing us HALF what it would have costed us at Walgreens. And the pictures were sharp to boot! We were finally able to get Alli's passport documents filed and grabbed some lunch. Check! Another one down.

We still need to get the rest of our references in as well as Exemplified copies of our birth certificates and marriage certificate. So it will be another trip to City Hall for our birth certificates and also to see John Knapp to get copies of our marriage certificate. We have a few other things to round up as well, but we are getting there. We should have another packet of info ready to go by week's end...

We'll keep you posted!

Gary & Alli