Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2012: The Year of the Dragon

Right now there are celebrations going on all over China for the Chinese New Year.  We have been waiting (not so patiently) for our TA (Travel Advisory) from the CCCWA. Waiting...waiting...waiting...wondering if they'd stamp our TA and mail it out before everything shut down for the holiday...AND THEY DID!!!

Our TA was stamped by China January 17 and our agency informed us of its arrival this morning!

Unfortunately everything is closed this week for the holiday so we are unable to confirm our Civil Affairs and US Consulate appointments.  We need the Civil Affairs appointment to take custody of Princess Petals and complete the Chinese adoption paperwork.  The Consulate appointment is when the US Embassy in Guangzhou will process Princess Petals' visa making her an American Citizen as soon as we step off the plane in the USA.  

The day Princess Petals becomes a US citizen will be a BEAUTIFUL day for many reasons:  
1. She will have a forever family and the love that every child craves and deserves.
2. We will hold our boys again - the separation is going to be a challenge for all of us.
3. I will be able to stop praying for safe travel and to let go of the anxiety I will likely feel from now until that glorious day when we land safely back in the USA.
4. I will never again have to pay someone in China $75 to take pictures of my daughter for me and tell me how much she's grown.
5. We can get OFF of this adoption roller coaster...well the paperwork part of it anyway...we still have attachment and bonding, figuring out how to be a family of five, and three years of post placement visits with our social worker to contend with.  

Very soon our little girl will be home with us.  She will have a mommy and a daddy and two big brothers to smother her with love.  I am sad that our joy will occur at the most frightening time of her life and I hope and pray we are able to provide a transition that is as comforting as possible for her.

Back to #4 on my list...I think it's time to shell out another $75...  I could use some new pictures and would love to know how much she's grown since our last update in October. We're taking bets on whether or not they've shaved her head since her birthday pictures last month...???  

Hopefully we'll have some new pictures and measurements to post in the next week or two!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Bunk Beds, Boys, Birthdays & Blessings

So I FINALLY have a picture of my blog's namesake, the "bunk beds."  I think my husband feels a little slighted that it took me this long to sing his praises because he really did a fantastic job building bunk beds for our boys.  D (6) spent a lot of time in the garage helping during construction and W (3) spent a lot of time in the garage making us nervous...

...and here is the finished product!!!

...and here is what we hadn't expected...they sleep together almost every night!

Then I celebrated my birthday...

...and had some great help blowing out my candles...can you guess what I wished for???  

TA (Travel Approval) of course!  We are finally in the home stretch!  I'd like to say that we're done with all of the paperwork but I know better...

If you've checked out "Our Journey" on the left side of the blog, you may have noticed we filed a Supplement 3 and updated home study with USCIS recently (which was just approved today).  We hit a snag in our process when my husband was laid off at the end of December but we keep moving forward and trusting that everything is going to work itself out.  Just when we think we've hit a brick wall something happens to smash it down and we step over the rubble.  Through a friend of a friend Jon was able to secure some contract work flying for a local company which is a blessing on two fronts: 1, we have income, and 2, Jon doesn't have to take a "Band-Aid" job to get us through the adoption that would cause him to be gone all the time.  Of course if something more permanent doesn't happen in the next several months we'll probably have to move, but for now we are just being thankful for this opportunity that became available to us at the absolute perfect time.  Just one more item to add to my growing list of things that make me feel like there's someone carefully watching over us and clearing the path.  

 Over the past few weeks our paperwork has been getting shuffled around through different parts of the US government but now, finally, the CCCWA (China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption) has everything and we are waiting for Travel Approval!!!

Life may not be unfolding exactly the way we want it to, but we can't deny that we feel like this is where we are supposed to be.  Everything is falling into place so that we can make this sweet little girl our daughter and give her the love and protection of a family that every child deserves.  

If you feel your heart being moved towards special needs adoption please gather information and educate yourself.  I have posted pictures of just a few of the Chinese orphans waiting for families on the right side of this blog, but there are millions of children in need all over the world.