Sunday, April 22, 2007

Gary's not a criminal... but we're not sure about Alli! ;^)

So, here's an update. Gary got his clearance from Homeland Security, but we're still waiting on mine. We received a letter in the mail from Homeland Security stating they needed an authentic birth certificate for me. The one we sent in with the first packet was issued from the hospital, which was the only one I had. We found out a few weeks later when we had to get everything certified, exemplified, and authenticated and when we filed for my passport that it wasn't really my birth certificate. So we sent the official one out and it shouldn't hold us up in the process. Once they receive it I should be getting my clearance from Homeland Security as well.

We received a call from our social worker today about our home study. We have our first meeting with her on Saturday morning. We are really excited to get this started...finally! We will meet with her for an hour this time then the second meeting will be hopefully for 2 hours and count as 2 visits. The last meeting is to sign papers and then it's all over. We'll let you know how this goes.

We meet with the accountant tomorrow to have them write a letter about the business. They just need to verify I make money at my business. No big deal we hope.

We have been spring cleaning like mad! We have taken 30 bags of stuff to the Salvation Army this week. We took back about $60.00 in cans. We got rid of tons of magazines and plastic. We've been cleaning out the spare bedroom (baby's room). We took a load of stuff (furniure) down to my parents auction barn for storage and also to give some of the stuff back. We knew we were pack rats but this has been ridiculous!! It is nice to clean out closets and get rid of stuff you just don't need and sometimes wonder why you bought it in the first place.

The great news is we are moving again with the adoption it feels like it has been standing still for awhile lately. Things that are left are home study, fingerprints, accountant letter, and my Homeland Security clearance and that's all she wrote.

Then the BIG wait starts.

Love to everyone~
Alli & Gary

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Pregnant on Paper

Well, we just sent in another batch of paperwork. This one had almost everything for Packet Three. Our medical reports came back, everything was fine, we knew it would be. We had to send two copies for each of us and of course they had to be notarized. It also had the Dossier preparation fee. So now we are just waiting for the meeting with the accountant. That's really all we have left in Packet Three. We are still waiting for our last set of fingerprints to be taken and to find out who our social worker will be for Home Study. But those two things are out of our control, they have to contact us.

We are hoping they will contact us soon, because some of the documents can't be over a certain number of months or weeks old. If it takes too long we may have to re-do some of the documents, they call that The Paperchase Take Two. We are so hoping we don't have to do that. We are keeping our fingers crossed that everything will be done in a timely fashion, and nothing will need to be done over.

So, now it's just the accountant letter, and homestudy. They said once you start your Home Study they need to do 4 visits. They also said that they can do that in a 2 week period if necessary. The Home Study is where they interview us both seperately, then together, and check out the house and surroundings. It doesn't sound too bad. After they do all of that, they will write up our homestudy and send it out to be authenticated(4-6 weeks). After the Home Study comes all of the waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting.

I think lately the waiting has really started to sink in. How long we will actually have to wait. I am trying to stay really positive, but after 7 years of utter disappointments, and the want I feel for a child, some days it's difficult. I swear we're going through the same emotional roller coaster as we would if we were actually physically pregnant. We are pregnant on paper. But we do have a lot of stuff to keep us busy-new projects. The nursery, the home improvements, and the making of the quilt.

In Northern China there is a tradition of a 100 Good Wishes Quilt, or a Bai Jia Bei. It is a quilt that is made to welcome the child. It consists of pieces of fabric that friends and family contribute and from those pieces of fabric the quilt is made. Friends and family select a piece of fabric for the quilt, plus a scrap of the fabric is attached to a note that has a wish or blessing for the child. The scrap of the fabric with the wish is put into a scrapbook for the child and when she gets older she can match the fabric on the quilt to the scrapbook and see who's fabric it was and what their wish was for her. I am very excited about this project. We will not start it until the Dossier is sent to China-this Summer. I love this whole tradition though. I'll post another blog just about the quilt with more information at another time.

So I'm done babbling today, it just is starting to feel like a long time away, as it's said we are Pregnant On Paper and it takes longer than 9 months. Although everyone wants time to slow down, we want it to move quickly!

Love to everyone,
~Alli & Gary

Monday, April 2, 2007

Things add up...this is what we were meant to do.

So as we were saying some neat things have been happening to us as we have been going through this process. It seems everywhere we turn we see things that in our opinion are good luck and to us mean this is what we were meant to do.

We were watching some movies this weekend 3 to be exact and the conincidences and signs were everywhere. We saw Open Season, the beginning frame is just a lady bug sitting on a tree, and the frame is up for a little bit, just a lady bug(remember they are good luck symbols in the China adoption circle). The next movie was School for Scoundrels, wouldn't think anything about this one, yeah right. In the middle of the movie the teacher yells out, "it's not like you're going to China and adopting a child with her". That was just- weird, but interesting, and out of the blue. The third movie we watched was Rumor Has It. When Jennifer Aniston is depressed the guy takes her somewhere to cheer her up. Guess where...China Town. Plus in Rumor Has It the family's favorite movie they were talking about was a movie called "China Town". So, that was really kinda weird, and we didn't really think anything of it until through the 3rd movie, I shouted out, "Are you kidding me?" Then we added it all up and thought...this is what we were meant to be doing the signs are everywhere.

We knew that this is what we wanted and were meant to do before but it is really amazing the coincidences that keep on happening to us. We were in Target the other day and went through the patio and gardening stuff. It's all Asian themed. There were Buddas as far the eye could see. Lanterns everywhere, bamboo furniture, asain elephants and plaques of the Great Wall of China, more signs to us. It also gave us some ideas of how we want to change our gardens a little too.

I received a catalog in the mail last week, full of lady bug clothes and jewelry, and signs. It seems as if when we turn a corner in a store there is a little Asian girl-that I think is a big sign. I found some pictures of Chinese symbols for our office wall-cheap too!!! Gary bought me a Jade necklace with a Chinese symbol on means Good Luck & Good Fortune-love that!!!

We are so excited for this little girl, we have picked out her name, not telling anyone just yet though. We have things for her room and we love her already. The signs are all around us, and we are starting to pick up on them and notice them more eveyday. We are getting through the paperwork and the big waiting period is coming. I wonder if we will get a sign telling us, or making us think that she has been born. We will keep our eyes and ears open, our hearts are already there.

Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive and left us comments. We love to read them, we love it when people are as excited as we are. Keep looking for lady bugs and wish time to pass quickly for us.

Alli & Gary

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Light at the end of the tunnel

We've made some good headway lately. We sent another packet of paperwork back to New Life on Saturday that contained our authenticated birth certificates, our financial statements, our application letter to the China Center of Adoption Affairs, the updated schedule of fees and expenses, and our Guardianship letters. A HUGE thank you to Steve and Beth for accepting to be the Guardians of our little girl in case anything ever happened to us. We know she would be in excellent hands!

We had our medical exams last Tuesday, the 27th of March. We are waiting for the call from the doctor's office to get the results and the notarized reports. I still have a wicked bruise on my arm from the blood work- it felt like the nurse was rootin' around in there and I think I have the proof!. Allison walked away without a single mark- and she's the one who usually bruises easily!

After the medical report gets submitted, one of the the last pieces of paperwork we need to get in is a letter from an Accountant stating the financial health of Allison's business. Unfortunately for us, we are at this stage at the height of tax season, and we can't get into see an Accountant until the 23rd of April (the 16th if we are lucky). This unexpected delay may push us out about 3 weeks in getting our dossier out. Anyone know an Accountant that is available any sooner?!?

I talked with Vicki at New Life about our situation and she said we will still be able to start the home study right away, but won't be able to have it fully completed and sent in for authentication until we get that letter from the Accountant. Fair enough- at least we should be able to keep some of it moving...

We completed our online computer course, but can't fill out the evaluation to get our certificate until we start our home study. There are questions that we have to discuss with our Social Worker and we have to list his/her name on the form. We don't know who our Social Worker is yet. Soon as we have our first meeting, we can get the evaluation submitted and get our certificate. Not a big deal.

Once we get all the paperwork submitted and our home study report is in from the Social Worker, we still have to wait for authentication to come back from the Citizens and Immigration Service office (CIS). Surprise, surprise- more waiting. To the tune of 4-6 weeks. This is the last piece of the puzzle for our dossier. At least we can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

We'll post another entry soon- we have noticed lots of strange, and very cool things happen lately that we will share with you!

Gary & Alli