Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Little Ponies

YAY! Today we went to Toys R' Us and bought (well not really) 8 My Little Pony toys for only $1.55 total. That was just paying for tax. It's cool that we're able to start putting aside some fun toys for dirt cheap now. I'm hoping our little one will have the same love for Strawberry Shortcake and My Little Ponies that I had! Jason even mentioned that we'll have to get a Cabbage Patch doll and let her fill out the adoption card.

We'll wait on that until she understands more. I don't want her to think we adopted her from a cabbage patch! ;)

Visiting Homeland Security

I'm a little delayed posting about our adventure to Jacksonville, but here we go.

We were scheduled to appear at Homeland Security in Jacksonville this past Monday at 8 AM. After map questing the address and plugging it in the GPS we learned it would take about an hour and a half. Of course giving the fact that we'd encounter rush hour traffic AND that we had no idea where we were going, we decided to leave at 5:30 AM and allow an extra hour.

Well, needless to say, at 7:40 AM after traveling about .4 miles in 30 miles and just chilling out on I-10, panic was the name of the game. We immediately got off the interstate praying that our dear friend TOM TOM would give us an alternate route. Well, he did. However, as we approached our last little turn we watched the clock...

7:50, 7:55, 7:58...okay, we're cutting it way too close! 8:00! Ahhhhh we weren't there on time! Oh no! We didn't arrive and step foot out of the car until 8:10 AM. We were so worried they wouldn't let us in. What would happen?

We approached the non-threatening building (nothing like the very tall and daunting building I'd envisioned) and went through a customs-like protocol. Instead of passing over our passports, we gave our ID's. Well actually, since Jason's license expired the week before on his birthday he DID use his passport. OH GOODNESS! I just realized, he SHOULD NOT have been driving! Thank goodness we didn't get pulled over!!!

Anywho, after going through the metal detector I quickly realized there were different areas inside this small room. Some people were instructed to place their yellow papers in a tray clearly marked for "yellow papers." We on the other hand, had to go and fill out a paper on a clipboard. A friendly employee showed us what to do, we filled out a short paper, turned it back in, and then waited. I thought this would take a while, but as Jason got up to go the restroom I warned "they are probably going to call you as soon as you walk away." Yup! Sure enough, right again Stacy. =)

Since I explained he'd stepped away, the same lady who had helped us fill out the correct paperwork called me back to get started. What I expected was a really bitter, unfriendly, underpaid, customs like official who was going to treat me in the most impersonal way possible. I couldn't have been more wrong! She was so nice. We exchanged personal thoughts (she's from Miami too) and I learned that there had been a terrible motorcycle accident which caused I-1o to back up. As she was working with me the other employee had called Jason back and helped him. Ten minutes later, we were done. Very surreal, but done!

Although everyone was very nice, I am not interested in going back any time soon.

On a side note, Jason heard someone on the yellow paper side of the room say "anyone here for ....'s naturalization, please come with me." Several people rose and approached the official. I'll have to say, as frustrated as we can all be with our country at times, it's pretty cool that this event could take place and that so many friends and family would feel so privileged to come witness it!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


We received our second letter from USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) today. They have scheduled us to visit their Jacksonville office on March 29th at 8:00AM. I will say...they were VERY speedy getting our second letter to us. Hopefully this is an indication of things to come.

I feel like I'm in trouble though. The fact that I have to visit USCIS makes me feel like they think I'm harboring illegal aliens or that they are going to quiz us to make sure our marriage is legitimate. Of course that is not what will happen, but it's just odd. I'm thinking we are going to leave the house VERY early that morning JUST IN CASE. That is NOT an appointment I want to miss.

I believe after that the estimation is 4-6 weeks to get clearance. At that time we'll have the last piece of documentation needed for our dossier and it can go to China. Hooray!

Another step in the right direction...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

First Immigration letter and Chinese Consulate

This week has been pretty exciting! First,we got our first letter from immigration on Monday. This was to notify us that they received our application and let us know that we should be receiving directions for fingerprinting shortly.

Also, I had to send Yu Ping (our China liaison through WACAP) some pictures for our dossier. She responded to my email and let me know that our dossier documents are already at the Chinese Consulate. It has only been a couple of weeks since we mailed them out to Washington so I was very surprised (happily, of course) to learn that. That means that our dossier documents had already traveled from Washington State to Washington D.C. to be verified by the Secretary of State (thanks Hil!) and made the trip to Dallas to be authenticated by the Chinese Consulate. From here they'll go back to WACAP in Washington and be ready to send to China. The last document to complete the dossier will be our final immigration letter. Unfortunately, this is a few weeks away (4-6).

Yu Ping also explained that once our dossier reaches China it will be logged in and from there we can start looking for a match. So exciting!

On a different note, I got to catch up with a former co-worker today. She rattled off about 3 other past co-workers who are much younger than me and all having/had babies. She also let me know that she is expecting number 2. You know, that is still tough. It is not that I'm unhappy about our path...I actually couldn't imagine a more special route to parenthood. However, constant reminders of the path not taken are painful. I wish the hurt was completely gone. Maybe one day. I do know one thing though. Even when those situations become less painful, they will never be less memorable. I hope I'll be able to use my experiences to help those struggling with infertility or the choice of adoption.