December 25, 2010


Merry Christmas!

So far we have had a great Christmas. It started last night with Christmas singing at church and then moved to our friends house for cookies and other great foods, there had to be at least 50 people there. We got home about 10 and got the kids in bed before putting out the gifts.

We told the big kids they couldn't get up before the little ones were up. The little ones were up without the big kids hearing them so we had to go wake them up! Fun was had by all and they are now enjoying their gifts and each other.

We are off to my sons in laws house for a PJ Christmas dinner! The best time always! And then home to rest before the week begins again.

I was reading the blog of some new favorite people who are on a plane as we speak to meet their son in China tomorrow. I am so excited for them, I can't help but think of Ty that he is still waiting. Hopefully this next week or two we will hear about PA news so we can move onto Article 5:)

December 20, 2010

LOA made it!

Our LOA made it to the agency and they will be sending our I800 out to immigrations. If I read things correctly it should take them a couple weeks to send us another approval, then Article 5 then TA then travel. This new system is different for us so I am not totally sure. Nontheless the agency said we would travel within 11-15 weeks! That is great news since we want to be home long before May. We also got pictures of our son and his friends received their Christmas tree and gifts from us. Our son wrote us a nice letter saying how much he is looking forward to coming home forever. Its going to be so hard for him to leave his friends. Be ready because I will be advocating for them to be adopted. I wish I could convince hubby to adopt at least on of his friends, but with 6 already at home ranging from 1-13 I don't think he will go for it. One can always pray right?
Anyway its a great present for us to hear about all this!
Tomorrow we take our kids to Great Wolfe Lodge, something we planned a long time ago to surprise them for Christmas. It's a fun indoor water park and hotel. Merry Christmas to you all!

December 18, 2010

Crazy woman!

Yes, that would be me. So my LOA/LOC package did not come this morning as promised so I called FEDEX to find out their Memphis hub had snow and everything was delayed. They told me I probably would not see my package until Monday which meant it wouldn't make it back to CCAI by Tuesday, further meaning it wouldn't make it to China before Christmas...delaying us yet again.
BUT there is hope. I called back an hour later because I didn't like their answer and they said it was now on the truck from Olympia to my house and should be here by 4:30...still not good since I can't send it out before Monday, but better than later. hubby saw the truck a half hour ago down a main street by our house so I hopped in my car and began to chase it. Yes, I chased it. I tried to get him to stop at two stop signs and pay attention to me but he just thought I was crazy and kept watching me in his mirror! Can't he see a woman who needs her LOA!!!
So I chase him about 4 miles and decide if I want him to give it to me I better go home and wait. My husband thinks I am crazy too but I think its called be proactive. Lord knows if hubby took care of all this paperwork we wouldn't have even adopted our first child, let alone number two or three...Gotta love him though, he puts up with me. I crazy? Ladies please let me know. Hubby thinks I am too proactive:)
So here I sit on the computer looking out the window for the FEDEX guy who will still take another hour or two to get here, since he went way out in the woods away from our house first. I still plan on driving down the Olympia to try to mail it even though they said it had to be there by 2. It is now 1:30. Ahhhh the plight of an adoptive Mom! Surely some of you can understand it!

December 17, 2010


I got an amazing phone call today saying that our LOA had arrived at our agency. Neither they or I expected it until after Christmas so this was an unexpected surprise. We have to sign it and have it back to them by TUE so it can get to China before Christmas. Now I need to see what's next so I can watch and wait on that:) Hahaha! Love it!!

Had to share my wonderful kids plus our soon to be wonderful son!


I got an amazing phone call today saying that our LOA had arrived at our agency. Neither they or I expected it until after Christmas so this was an unexpected surprise. We have to sign it and have it back to them by TUE so it can get to China before Christmas. Now I need to see what's next so I can watch and wait on that:) Hahaha! Love it!!

December 15, 2010

Waiting for LOA

If the timeline works like it seems to be for most people we should be getting our LOA within a week after Christmas. I sure hope so:) We sent gifts to Ty for him and his mates in the orphanage, which I am told they received. We should get pictures back from them sometime in the next couple weeks as well.

I will be sure to post pictures when we get them! Until then here is a photo we got from giftstochionawithlove about a month ago...I can't seem to make the picture bigger but you can see what a nice young man he is!

December 7, 2010

Another day in time

I actually thought that I wouldn't dwell on waiting for LOA since I know its going to take a month -but I find myself doing just that. Not in a way that I did in the other adoptions. I am not stressed over it, just thinking about it and hoping it will move faster. This time I can actually say its not for selfish reasons. In the other adoptions I wanted my babies home so I could cuddle them and love on them, but for this one I feel pain for my son who is old enough to know he has a family waiting but probably doesn't understand the process and how long it takes to get there. He is probably thinking about the fact he will be leaving his friends and the only place he has ever known, yet anxious about a new life. I obviously can't wait to hug and love on him as well! But alas we all wait........

December 4, 2010

What does it all mean? LOI, PA, LID etc

My fellow adoptive mom friend asked me to share what all the steps in the China process means. I forget that not everyone knows the lingo for adoptions, and all country lingo varies.

For China: China now does Hague adoptions which means that a Hague treaty was signed between the US and China making for more steps which are suppose to ultimately protect the child being adopted by adding more screening and immigrations checks.

So far we have gone through the following steps to adopt our son from China (depending on whether you adopt a healthy young child or a special needs or older child the steps may vary:

1. We found our son online and applied to CCAI via application. Once we were approved we submitted an LOI (Letter of Intent) which was sent to China telling them we want to adopt our son.
2. China reviewed our papers to make sure we met all the requirements and sent us back a PA (Pre approval) which allowed us to lock in his file so no one else could adopt him and we began our paperwork process.
3. New steps for the dossier require a background check from every place you lived since you were 18. For us this was a pain because as retired military folks we lived a lot of places. One state - MD - took us two months just to get a response. These documents along with many more (Birth certificates, marriage certificate, financial statements etc) have to go through a three step process. Notary, state certification and Chinese consulate authentication - all which takes some time.
4. Once the dossier is complete and to our agency they send it to China called DTC (Dossier to China)
5. Once the dossier is received in China it gets an LID (Log in Date). Then China reviews it, translates it and then sends you a LOA (Letter of Acceptance) which you signed and return.
6. Then all the immigrations part take place...I800, another PA, Article 5 and TA (travel approval)...these are new steps to me and will take 3-6 months to complete.
So that's it for now...hope that helps:)
4. Once our dossier was complete

December 1, 2010


I received a great email this morning telling us our LID is November 29th! Great news! On top of that my son that is in the hospital will get discharged this morning and can be on a normal diet! What a good day. Thank you Lord for these blessings!

November 30, 2010


While we wait for our LID..I sit in the Starbucks at Seattle Children's Hospital waiting for my 3 yr old son from China to have surgery. He has a cleft palate and has had many surgeries but each one in some ways becomes harder. For him and for us. For him because he knows its going to feel icky and he won't be able to enjoy food for a few weeks, and for us because it's so hard to see our precious child have to go through so much.
We knew adopting a child with special needs would put us through many trips to the hospital but we also knew it was the only way to give our child an easier stab at life. So here I sit, waiting and praying that one son comes out of surgery with flying colors and another sons paperwork moves quicker so he can have a family that is willing to sit and wait in the hospital - should that need ever arise (which of course we hope never does)
Being a parent brings the greatest joys and pains, but EVERY moment is worth it!

November 19, 2010

It's on it's way

Our dossier left today and should arrive in China in 3-5 days. We are told it will take 4 weeks for them to log it and up to 8 weeks to get our Log in Date. Keep praying for it to happen faster. I know with God anything is possible, even a 2 week log in date:)
Enjoy some pictures while we wait:

Our halloween costumes...yes I dressed up like my husband and he was dressed up like a monk...he was very disturbed about how much I looked like a man. My daughter in law actually ask "who is that man over there" when she saw me! I promise never to let Titus see this picture until he knows who I am and that I am a normal woman who loves him:)

Me and my beautiful granddaughter!

All our kids plus two of the best in law kids we could have...

And last but not least the two little boys holding hands walking on a path..The big boy was helping his little brother:)

November 17, 2010


Yay...I know I say that way to much, but YAY...we got ourI797 back today and its on its way to our agency...then we wait for LOA hopefully we will travel sooner than later!

November 15, 2010

Crashed Computer but still good news

It is so sad:( Our main computer crashed with all my pictures on it. Thankfully my husband backed it up on line but now the new computer isn't working right:( I am using my laptop but really wanted to start posting pictures and things we are doing while we wait for this paperwork etc to clear us to go to China. Ahhhhh!

Well the good news is our I797 is on it's way back from the Chinese consulate so it should be here by tomorrow - if express mail is what they say they are - and when it gets here its express again to our agency so our dossier can finally get to China. All I want is that LID so we can feel like we are moving forward. Had that one background check not taken 2 plus months we could have had everything done and in China in 3 1/2 months instead of 6 months. It made me so mad, but glad we are over that hump and moving forward.

Titus continues to get care packages from us and we keep getting unsolicited pictures through giftstochinawithlove...they are amazing! Our son continues to wait as patient as he can. Can you imagine dreaming of a forever family for 11 years and then knowing you have one now but have to wait many more months? Poor guy! We love you buddy!!

Guess I will go and see about getting some pictures taken and on this laptop:)

November 6, 2010

I 797 is here!!

The last document is finally here. Now to run it to get a true copy done, go to the state (which thankfully is only 40 min away), and then off to the Chinese consulate. My hope is to get it all done on Monday while fitting in a haircut and doctor appointment for my 6 year old (with a 3 and 1 year old in tow). BUT this is important!

My hopes are to have it all back no later than early next week so I can send it to our agency, CCAI. Thankfully they already went through our dossier documents so it shouldn't take them too long to send it off to China. Not sure how long it takes to get logged in and our letter of acceptance sent, but as always we are asking for prayer to cover us from any delays. Titus is excited to be coming and probably doesn't understand that it takes months to travel.

Yay....a good day!

October 29, 2010

Fingerprints done

Another milestone reached. Now to wait for the I797. Our mail has been tampered with two times this past week with no time to install a locking mailbox (due to phone lines), so please pray no one messes with our mail the day our form arrives.

One more step to China! Praying for quick mail and quick LID.

October 22, 2010


We have been blessed these last few weeks to have our daughter, her husband and our first grandchild up from Florida visiting us. We thought we better get a huge family picture done since our son and his wife we also in town and not out traveling like they do so often, and hubby's folks were up from New Mexico visiting. Of course we promptly wrote our son Titus a letter and send this family picture to him, along with a picture of the middle school he will be going to with his brother and another picture of hubby and I. I cannot brag enough about they have been so wonderful in adding gifts to our packages, making sure our son gets our gifts and letters etc. I won't use anyone else to send gifts thats for sure.
We have our fingerprint appt next week. Word of caution for those using the Seattle USCIS: we went last week to try to do our prints walk in, which they say they accept. We waited two hours before they decided they were too busy to take us as a walk in. I was so mad I started crying. Oh well its the past, now we pray our actual appt comes quick and the I797 comes in quick. We need to get to China!
PS do you know how hard it is to get that many people to pay attention for a picture! My poor 6 yr old was crying right before it and mad she had to have her picture taken:)

October 15, 2010

Exciting Surprise!

Today was a good day! I opened my email to find that we had a letter from our son in China. Apparently the amazing people at people had asked the orphanage the last time we sent a care package to have our son write us a letter. We had not asked for this or paid them to do this, but they were so sweet to ask, and the orphange so sweet to follow through!

It sounds as if our son has been dreaming of a forever family forever and can't wait until it actually happens to him. Another one of his friends at the orphanage is leaving for his forever family in Spain this week, so he is happy for him but sad he is still waiting. Of course he asked that we come as soon as we can. I just wish we could expedite the process so he wouldn't have to keep waiting. It must be hard for him to wait and watch his friends leave.

He says he thinks about us daily and that he wishes us (his mama and baba) good health and his brothers and sisters good studies. What a sweet boy. Thank you Jesus for Titus...may he be blessed with peace in his heart and mind knowing and never forgetting his family is working hard to come get him.

October 4, 2010

Fingerprint Appointment!!

I decided to be pushy and emailed the NBC to ask if they had scheduled our fingerprint appointment yet. The USCIS officer emailed back right away and said although we hadn't been assigned an officer to our case yet, we were scheduled for our appt on 29 Oct.

This is great news. I think we will try to go up to Seattle and see if they will take us as a walk in early. *we went up on 14 October, were told to take a seat, two hours later they said they wouldn't do our prints early!*

Hopefully we can get our I797 back asap and have our dossier off to China by early Nov.
The rest of our dossier is already at our agency being reviewed. I will feel better when it is all in China and we are waiting for the next step. If we are able to stay on this timeline we could travel anywhere from Mar-Jun. Earlier is always better:)

September 25, 2010


Things were stressful in our house this week, but in the end it was a great week. We got our notification of our I800A being received by the NBC, our dossier is on its way for review, and we got unexpected photos back from www.giftstochinawithlove of our son opening the holiday gift we sent him and his friends! How great is that!?

September 19, 2010

When there is nothing else to do, dress up like a pirate!

Since we have to wait we thought we would have some fun! Nothing like a pirate party to pass the time:) The three little ones on the left are ours, the rest is our crazy extended family:)

This is our oldest son J (also the bday boy for the day) and his beautiful wife T...argh matey!

One of our little buccaroos! J!
The boy most excited to have a twin brother coming home soon. Mr. Toby Mac Wannabe :)

September 17, 2010

USPS here I come

According to my FEDEX tracking number, our homestudy should be here this morning! Off to make copies then to the USPS to mail it along with our I800a to USCIS and also to the Chinese consulate in SF! Baby steps are better than no steps!

On the home front I have one home sick with mono and one home recovering from a tonsil and adeniod surgery. Life is never dull around here:)

September 16, 2010

Momentary Pause

Seems like we make one step forward and then wait. Why does it seem harder to wait for paperwork on this adoption? Is it because we have already done this before and know what to expect? Is it because we have seen our young son's face and know he is anticipating our arrival as much as we are anticipating travel? I don't know. All I know is its been almost a week since our homestudy was approved by our agency and we still don't have it in hand to send to immigrations and the consulate for our dossier...rrrgh.

Praying it comes tomorrow so I can jump on it first thing Monday morning.

I seriously don't want to seem like a complainer all the time. Other adoptive moms understand each stage and the feelings that come with it. Sometimes it just seems like I am all alone in this process. My husband is the great file cabinet and worrys/thinks about nothing unless it is an immediate problem that needs solving. Wish I could be that way, but I am not.

I am grateful to God for allowing us the opportunity to have another son; for supportive friends, especially Denise; that God is on my side, and that I can praise His name !

September 14, 2010

Love it!!

Don't you just love my new blog!!!

Thanks to Christie at Bushel and a Peck Designs@

You rock Christie!!!

September 11, 2010

Finally moving forward

Yay, we finally got our last background check and should hopefully be sending our paperwork to immigrations to wait yet again for a fingerprint appt. Too bad our fingerprints expired a few months ago from our last adoption! It's not like they change, but you know how that goes. As always praying for quick appts etc.

Then sending all the dossier docs to the agency to review while waiting for the I797. Hopefully we can get past this stage by Nov. I would love to be able to go to China by March/April but I also know it could be as late as June/July. Time will tell.

I sent some mooncakes, fruit baskets and a teen basket to our son and the orphanage staff for the upcoming holiday in hopes they all enjoy it and know how much we already love our son.

We continue to be grateful to all our friends and family for their support and prayers while we wait.

Hang in there son, we are coming as soon as we can!!

September 4, 2010

Praying for Good News

For all of you who follow this blog, I ask for your prayers. It might seem silly, but we are in our eighth week of waiting for one background check. I am in constant contact with the state reminding them we are on a tight timeline (which hopefully isn't making them work slower).....please pray it comes through quick and clear this upcoming week. I don't want to have to ask for outside help in getting it done. I have been told by more than one person that this particular state is always slow.
It's actually silly because if we weren't trying to adopt an older child before he turns 14 I probably wouldn't worry about it as much.
A friend of mine who recently adopted an older child was able to get their dossier in and travel in less than three months thanks to governmental help....we don't want to be in that boat. What started as a quick homestudy has now slowed to a halt -waiting....again your prayers are appreciated. I know God is in charge and I continue to cling to Him and the promise of His work and will in our lives. But I also know that he asks for and listens to our prayers. Thank God for God and faithful prayer warriors:)

August 29, 2010

Blog Design

Is anyone else out there totally out in the woods when it comes to designing a blog? Well I sure am. My other two blogs were as boring as this one. Our son that is waiting in China deserves the perfect blog so I am trying to win a blog design makeover...go check out a Bushel and a Peck...

August 18, 2010

Back on the slow boat

Well if it isn't one thing it's another. It looks like it will take up to six more weeks to get our last background check. Frustrating to say the least, we just pray they get it sooner than later and we can move on to the fingerprinting part of this adoption. Say a prayer for open doors and smooth sailing.

August 7, 2010

Getting closer..

Our precious SW emailed today saying he basically had our homestudy done, he just needs to check with the office to see if our background checks are all in. Wouldn't that be great if it were finally sent to our agency this next week! I am not holding my breath, but I can pray it will happen anyway:)

Two important things this week...waiting for homestudy and birth of the first grandbaby! Of course you cant compare, but they both have to deal with a new life:)

August 4, 2010

Yellow Ladybug

Yesterday my six year old daughter Miriam found a yellow lady bug. I thought how strange that was because I personally have never seen a yellow one. I told her that it is lucky sign to see a lady bug. We researched online to see whether this was indeed a Chinese belief or just something made up. We never could find any facts that it is a Chinese belief, but we did find that in the adoption world, it is considered a lucky sign to find or have a lady bug show up:)

Today I finished a book by Mary Beth Chapman, wife of Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman. In her book she reveals in a very transparent way, who she is and the struggle that she and her family have gone through since tragically losing her adopted Chinese daughter Maria two years ago. It is a testimony of how God has always been there with them and how he always will be, how in even the darkest times when you think you are alone, you are not. It is also a testimony to their faith and hope in their future. That God has prepared a perfect place for us when we pass from this earth.

Although I do not believe in "lucky" signs, I do believe that God reveals himself to us through many ways. So today as I sit here outside watching my kids play and it came to me that God revealed himself through this very different, yet beautiful yellow ladybug. To remind me that while I so (not) patiently wait for our adoption to move forward....our son who happens to have albinism and have beautiful yellow hair, is being watched over by our creator and heavenly Father and that I have hope for the future, and that Ty is in it:) Thank you Father!!

August 2, 2010

Snails Pace?

OK so today I feel like we are moving at a snails pace to China. But, any movement is good right?
I came home from VBS at our church to find our marriage certificate that was sent to the NYC chinese consulate was sent back. They are no longer accepting mail in documents, you MUST use a courier. So $130 later, plus $36 for postage, it is off to the courier in NYC. Please Lord, let them get it and back without a glitch.
Needless to say, I also sent my birth certificate to the Chicago consulate via courier today to avoid another delay. Only $110 plus $36 postage:) Only! Ha
I am waiting on Bryans birth certificate to come back from LA...hopefully they take mail word yet, it was delivered to them on the 27th of July.
Pray our homestudy comes in next week so I can expedite it out and get immigrations moving on fingerprints. If I can get it back by the end of AUG and get a fingerprint appt on the books we might actually be able to travel by April or May.
Again, please pray that things move quickly with the homestudy and immigrations. I know China will expedite things due to our sons age but the US doesn't seem to do that so far.

We are coming son, I promise!!!!!!!!!!!!

July 25, 2010

Paperwork, paperwork

On saturday I finally got my birth certificate after the usps lost my request in the mail. After almost $50 and an additional week, it came. Needless to say I zipped to the PO and mailed it priority to the state to get their certification done. I am mailing other last two documents (other than the I 797 which will be last) to the embassy's tomorrow. Then we wait for our SW to finish our homestudy. Hoping he will have all our background checks in by then, if so he should have it done the first week of August. Keep praying! I would like to have it before I head to Florida for my first Grandchilds entry into the world:)

For those of you who know me, I hate waiting:) Everything always takes longer than I think it should. Seems like if you are adopting a child who is close to aging out of the system things would move quicker..ugh.. I just keep reminding myself that God is bigger than the paperwork system!

I ordered a gift through Ladybug carepackage people. I want to make sure to keep sending him things to remind him we love him and are working hard to get there. We took our kids to our friends house to play in the river that runs down from the mountain. I kept thinking about how much fun Ty and his soon to be virtual twin would have had..guess we will just have to go again once he is home.

July 21, 2010


We received and update today of pictures:( BUT what a great one page update on him. He sounds like a great kid. He is studious, caring and helpful. It also sounds like he really wants a family of his own -I cannot imagine how hard it has been for him to watch his mates leave to families, while he continues to wait. I can't wait until the day he knows we are waiting for him (hopefully he already knows this since we sent him a care package) and that he knows he is loved and already part of our family.
It really is amazing how much we can love him when we have never met him in person, but we do! From the oldest married kids to the youngest, they have all remarked at how much he is loved and anticipated. He will even be an Uncle before he arrives:) (my oldest daughter is due with the first grandbaby in Aug)
Now if the paperwork would hurry up we could get moving:) The last birth certificate should be here today, all other documents are already in transit either at the state or embassy level. Our social worker says he should have our homestudy done the first week of August (providing all the background checks are in by then). Once that is done, we wait for fingerprinting. I would like to sayour dossier will be done and turned in to our agency by Sep or Oct at the latest.... but only time will tell. Then hopefully we wait less that 5 months to travel! How I would love to have him home by Christmas or at least late winter. Keep praying!
My daughter and I are suppose to go to China in May 2011 to work at our son's (who we adopted 2 yrs ago) foster home. I would love to already be back before we head over again, or at least not have the two trips clash. Again time will tell.
Keep praying for quick paperwork so Ty can be home with us ASAP! we are grateful to anyone who reads this and prays. God will bless your prayers!

July 14, 2010


I sit here today pondering our son who sits in China waiting for a family. I wonder if he received our box for his birthday this week, I wonder if he knows of us yet- hoping if he does he knows he is loved by us.

It's so hard to sit here just waiting for paperwork to come and go, for clearances to be completed, for our homestudy to be written, for immigrations to send appts for fingerprints, for well, just everything we are at the mercy of other people to do. Knowing this wonderful young man is waiting.

I know Ty is in a place he is familiar and will have adjustments to do when he comes home. He will have to adjust to a new language, new smells, new foods, new home surroundings. And although I know he desires a family to have as his own, I also know he will grieve over the loss of his nannys, his friends, his familiar surroundings in his orphanage. BUT I want it to happen quickly so he can begin to make the adjustments to his new life. A new life of opportunity, love and family - something he has dreamt about for years.

Pray with us while we wait, that the wait will be short and Ty will be where he belongs....with his family - us!

July 7, 2010

Picture of our son

Ok girls you can look but he isn't allowed to have a girlfriend until his Mom approves:)

Our son

I thought I would share a little about our son in China. He will be thirteen very soon, is a handsome, smart, and kind young man! He has albinism, but it obviously does not affect him, it actually makes him even more handsome as far as I am concerned:) We will be referring to him as Ty or Titus in our blog. I will share photos when we are allowed to.
Continue to pray for us as we try to get all the dossier together over the next couple months. With all the places we have lived during our military duty we have a lot of background checks to do. Thanks for following and feel free to leave comments of encouragement:)

July 5, 2010

We have PA!

We received our PA on Monday the 28th of June and now begin our paperwork journey!

June 26, 2010

Waiting for PA

While I type this post, someone in China is reading our request to adopt an older child. Our request left the US on June 23rd - we pray we hear news this next week. Then begins the process of dossier etc, in time warp speed to bring home this wonderful child before he/she turns 14. I will certainly post more specific information when we recieve our Pre Approval (PA). We covet your prayers for protection and speed while while we take this journey!