Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The dossier is in the mail!

WHOO HOO! I am happy to report that our dossier went out today! Yesterday I emailed Yu Ping to see if she had any updates on our paperwork. I'd had a terrible nightmare that we hit a hold up the night before. Yu Ping responded and let me know that she had received our paperwork. She also let us know that our dossier would go out today.

Late this evening I received an email confirming that it DID go out! it will take a few days to arrive in China and then 2-4 weeks to get a log in date. After that, Yu Ping will be looking for us. The other great news is that she says the CCAA typically updates their waiting child list the third week of each month. Since it is just now the third week of April, there is a great chance that we'll make the May cut off! Remember also, the longest a family has waiting this year, once getting on the waiting child wait list, has been one month. Oh my! Also, since families are traveling 8-16 weeks after acceptance, if you do the math that means we could travel as early as July!!! I know that is best case scenario, but it's nuts! Normal folks have 9 months to prepare for a baby. That's 7 for us! Aaaaaaaaaah! Guess we better get a move on it! Time crunch is a great problem to have though!!!!! So much better than the others we've had along the years.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Exciting news from WACAP's monthly update!

We received our monthly update from WACAP a couple of days ago. The contents of the update were pretty exciting!

For starters, it seems like the longest it has taken any family to be matched with a waiting child, once on the waiting list, has been one month! That means that once our dossier is logged in, and we are officially "waiting" it shouldn't take too terribly long before we have a match. Hopefully I didn't jinx us by saying that!

Also, the next news break was that it is taking families 8-16 weeks for families to travel once accepting a child. So, if you haven't been following along...next week we hope for our dossier to go out, be logged within a couple of weeks, and then be matched HOPEFULLY sometime in May or June. If we are traveling 8-16 weeks after accepting our match, then we could technically be in China by August. THAT'S CRAZY! Of course, this is with using the most minimum amount of waiting...but so far that's been our experience. Fingers crossed everyone!

Finally, it looks like out of all of the families that accepted or brought home children this past month, there were several that would have fit our main preference of gender and age. So, it's hopeful that we will have the perfect match. The only thing I don't like about this part of their update is that they don't indicate which children were from the healthy infant program or the waiting child program. Bummer! I'm going to imagine the 9 month of little girl was from the waiting child program though.

Here's hoping our 1-800A is authenticated and back at WACAP by Monday! No whammy, no whammy, no whammy...

Okay, more updates later!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Little Red Hen...

Do you remember the story of the Little Red Hen? The story about the hen who finds a grain of wheat, plants it, waters it, cuts it, takes it to the mill, grinds it to flour, turns it in to dough, and bakes it to bread all without the help of her friends the duck, dog, and cat? Of course the other animals wanted nothing to do with the hard work that came along with growing and harvesting the wheat but they more than happy to sample the delicious bread that the hen baked. I love this story. I think it describes so much in life. Particularly, my life.

I can compare the last 5+ years of my life to this process. Instead of growing wheat and baking bread I was problem solving health issues, getting injections of hormones, loosing touch with reality, and finding out I'd never have the kind of "bread" I wanted. Not to sound sad and pity party-ish but I needed my friends cat, dog, and duck to help me. Jason filled one of those roles. He was certainly there to do the injections, tell me things would be fine and that I wasn't crazy. But guess what? He was kinda crazy himself so his opinion may not have counted! We were going through a lot and really needed emotional support. Some people were there for us. They listened, judgement free. They didn't look at how our tribulations affected them. They were there because we needed them to do that...just be there. Sadly, others were not.

Now to the time has come to enjoy the bread. I can't help but put things into perspective by comparing this journey to one of my favorite fables. Should the cat, dog and duck get to share the bread? Do I allow them to skate on in during the final hour after not enduring the tough work that came before? Hmmm. I guess these are rhetorical questions. However, I'm thinking about it. It's just not enough to say you tried to help make the bread. You were either successful in helping, or not.

I'm thinking anyone reading this is probably asking "was I a cat, dog, or duck?" Well, if you are here, probably not. Just remember though, the hen needed the support of her friends when times were tough, not just during the most enjoyable moments in her life. I love that red hen!

We are extremely happy at how things have concluded. I only hope that those missing in action for our family of red hen's will be able to learn from this experience and one day see that their lack of actions have consequences. Because you know, the little red hen isn't even going to ask for their help next time!

Odd two days and final 1-800A letter

A little delay, but yesterday was SO odd. First, I received sad news that our 84 year-old neighbor Pete passed away Sunday. Sadly, it was not due to natural causes. He unfortunately lost his life in a car accident caused by a speeding 26 year-old driver. It was, and still is, really hard not to think about that. I'm a little disappointed in myself because I saw him doing yard work on Saturday and didn't walk over and say hello. So sad! Anyway, this made the start of work week pretty bad. Poor, sweet, Pete.

As the day went on I was able to experience an extreme emotion in the other direction. Jason called to say that we had mail! He told me that I received my letter from USCIS but that his was still M.I.A. I emailed Yu Ping to tell her that it arrived but that we were waiting on Jason's. I also asked if this needed to be mailed to her and if it would need to be verified and authenticated before mailing the dossier. The answer was "yes" it needed to be verified and authenticated but that all I needed to do was fax it over to her, no need to mail it. Yu Ping also stated that we shouldn't have separate letters and that we should look more closely for Jason's information. I called Jason and told him to come to my work. We learned that his info was present and were able to fax it right over to Yu Ping.

She let us know that she received it immediately. We were informed that this part of the process could take up to 4 weeks. We were elated to have everything completed for the dossier and just crossed our fingers that maybe, just maybe, this would take a little less than 4 weeks to accomplish.

Cut to today...

Yu Ping emailed me with the subject of "options." Of course I thought "wow, things have been moving along so well, we FINALLY have our hiccup." NOT! She was actually emailing me to say that a colleague was heading to the Secretary of State today and my document was in her possession to get verified. I'm beginning to think Hillary has "people" or is not busy enough, to be able to stop and verify my paperwork. LOL

Yu Ping continued to tell me that we could also rush the authentication process by using a courier to hand deliver our paperwork to the consulate. HECK YA! I was down with that! For the value price of $108 we were able to cut down the wait time to a week and a half (at most). Then it got even better...Yu Ping said we'd have it by Friday or Monday at the latest. That's potentially less than a week and it means our dossier could go out next week. So, if you get Yu Ping's weekly update emails from me, next week it may say "one dossier sent out this week" and it may be referring to ours!

Just to recap...once our dossier is logged in China we will be able to have Yu Ping look for a match for us. Hopefully the quick matching for the year keeps up. I'm really starting to have hope that this WILL occur in 2010. I couldn't imagine a better a Christmas/Hanukkah present!!

Thanks for looking after us Pete!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Maybe this time next year...

Today is Easter. We've spent the day doing housework, shopping, making a bookcase (Jason's project for our little one), and recuperating from being sick (that one's all me!). As I've been out and about watching all of the families in their spring attire, coming from church and spending time with one another it makes me wonder. What will we be doing this time next year? Will we finally be able to start some of our own traditions? Will we have a beautiful little girl by our side, in her spring dress? Today is a little sad, Jason and I by ourselves. However, the thought of a trio of Shines' for next year....SO EXCITING! Holiday's have been a little much over the past 5 years, but they're getting easier. The end is in sight. One more challenging Mother's Day and Father's Day to come, and then hopefully it's smooth sailing!