Friday, December 16, 2011

...refresh...refresh...refresh...

China is 12 hours ahead of us so right now it is 9:30 in the morning on December 17 over there...which means today is Princess Petals' first birthday.  I have been feeling surprisingly a little sad all day for two reasons.  First, I am sad to be missing out on spending her first birthday with her.  I wish that we could be with her and celebrate as a family as we have with our boys.  And second, more than anything, I am sad for the other woman who must also be thinking about Princess Petals today - her birth mother.  I don't know why she was abandoned...we can make assumptions that it had to do with her gender or her limb difference, but really we can never know the true reason.  I have to believe in my heart that this child was loved dearly and that her mother still mourns the loss - especially today.  We are so fortunate to have been able to send her a birthday care package and to be expecting pictures via email of her with the cake we sent.  I am hoping to get a little glimpse of her by Monday...waiting, waiting, waiting... 

So here's some good news: we have completed two more steps towards Princess Petals' adoption! First, our I-800 was approved December 7th by USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) which means that she has been approved to become a US citizen upon entry.  Our USCIS officer forwarded all of our information on to the NVC (National Visa Center) so she can get entered into their system.  

Second, the NVC sent us their approval letter which means she is in their system as of December 15th.  We forwarded that letter on to our agency and they forwarded it to their contact in who will walk it into the US Embassy in China.

What's next you ask?  We were told that once the US Embassy has our packet they will issue our Article 5 in about two weeks.  That is Princess Petals' pre-approval to receive an immigrant visa.  Once the Article 5 has been issued our agency's contact will pick it up and deliver it to the CCCWA (China Center for Childrens Welfare and Adoption).  Once the CCCWA has this document they will issue our TA (Travel Approval) in 2-4 weeks...so many steps but we are getting so close... 

Happy 1st Birthday to our sweet baby girl!  I hope your nannies shower you with love today and take lots of pictures for us.  I can promise you that I will be hitting the refresh button on my email regularly for the next few days as we wait not so patiently for pictures...refresh...refresh...refresh...