Monthly Archives: November 2012

Article 5 processed!

Sometimes when things seem dark and overwhelming…when you really don’t think you can take anymore disappointments….something happens….it is just a little something….but that is all it takes to turn things around…

I opened my inbox this morning and found a letter.

Dear Adoptive Parent,

The Adopted Children’s Immigrant Visa Unit (ACIVU) at U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou has finished processing your child’s Article 5, and your file is ready to be returned to your adoption agency’s facilitator today.

Next, your agency will deliver the Article 5 and Letter of Seeking Confirmation to the China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA), which will issue the Travel Approval (TA). The TA allows you to come to China to finalize the adoption, so once the CCCWA issues the TA, your agency can email us to request an immigrant visa appointment at the Consulate. When your agency requests an appointment, they are required to submit your five choices in rank order. The ACIVU strives to schedule every family for their top appointment choice on which we still have available visa appointments. We do not reserve certain days for children of certain ages. All appointments are open to adopted children of any age and medical condition, and they are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. We then notify your agency of the scheduled date and time.

We understand that plans change and occasionally an agency must request to change an appointment, but we ask them to minimize such requests and only make them in the case of true emergencies because frequent appointment changes impede our ability to give other families their top choices. In order to avoid the need to reschedule, please coordinate closely with your agency in formulating your list of five preferred appointment dates. Regarding booking flights to return to the United States: Please be aware that difficulties that are completely beyond our control often arise in the approval and printing of visas.

When you book flights for your return travel, please be aware that while we make every effort to issue visas the afternoon following the immigrant visa interview, from time to time issues beyond our control prevent us from keeping to this schedule. Guangzhou’s Consular Section issues thousands of visas each business day, and problems, while rare, do occur. In order to avoid the costly need to change your travel plans, we strongly recommend that you allow at least 48 hours after the time of your visa interview to depart Guangzhou.

Please visit our website at http://guangzhou.usembassy-china.org.cn/adoption.html and the Department of State’s official resource for adoptions http://adoption.state.gov to learn more.

We look forward to meeting you and your new family member when you come to the Consulate for your visa appointment!

Best regards,

Adopted Children’s Immigrant Visa Unit (ACIVU)
U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou
Phone: (86)(20) 8518 7653
Fax: (86)(20) 3884 4420
Email: GuangzhouA@state.gov
http://adoption.state.gov

This letter was a welcome gift. Not only does it say they processed our paperwork, it explained what is happening next, and it even talked about booking flights. A quick email to our adoption agency with a response of a very hopeful timeline of four weeks. I better start looking at all the paperwork that needs to be brought over and review the packing list!

Thank you for all the kind words and encouragement…they mean so much to a waiting mom.

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Black clouds overhead

Do you ever have one of those days or even week were it seems like a black cloud is floating overhead?

My cloud has been there for what seems forever. Thanksgiving was a bit off this year. Our first one without Oma. She was the one to plan and coordinate the menu. Always incorporating some new recipes to spice things up. I was the one to host and clean up. This year our dear friends Nonny and Papa Don invited us to celebrate with them. It was very nice and the meal was yummy, but it felt off.

I normally decorate the house the weekend after, but I didn’t have it in me. Hubby brought up the boxes and with much insistence from the children, I “assembled” our tree. Ms. A took over and decorated the tree with the help of Mr. D. Literally, the children did it all. I sat and watched. Nothing else was unpacked and nothing else is displayed. I am done. I want no more.

I can make no plans this holiday because we don’t even know if we will be here. Tomorrow our paperwork will be picked up from the consulate and then sent on the last leg of this unbelievable long journey. It will go to Beijing to get assigned a travel approval. At least that is what I think is happening. They say this can take anywhere from 9 days to 4 weeks. That leaves me in the air. The first family in our original LID group is home with their daughter. I can just look at a picture.

There are so many things to be thankful for. So many things to enjoy with my family. So many things to do and get done…..

This wait is official hitting me hard. The holidays are tough without Oma. I miss my daily talks with her. I miss making holiday plans. I miss talking about my holiday gift purchases. I miss bouncing ideas off of her.

I feel bad about how I currently look. I have stopped exercising. My weight is creeping up.

I need to get out of this mood. I need to start feeling better. I need to get some energy. I need to get it together.

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Mommy break!

Was sent on a mommy break this weekend!

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Drove down to Columbus to do a little shopping and give myself a much needed breather. For some odd reason I am a tad stressed out….. Hmm, I wonder what that’s all about! A destination wedding, a couples baby shower hosted in our home, and waiting on Visa paperwork…..

Hubby sent me away and told me to have some fruity drinks and relax.

We, girls, hit some fine shopping down here in Easton. I was in heaven in Tiffany’s. Although its just a fraction of the New York store and I made no purchases there…..Those little blue boxes and all the Christmas lights and music can really get a girl into the shopping mood. Next was Louis Vuitton… I had a good laugh pricing out a diaper bag at ….1,200 dollars…yeah right. I will take a second look now when I see people carrying those purses.

I basically got nothing purchased off my Christmas list, but I did find some fabulous shoes.

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The car was packed to the brim and I was happy to come home to the family. Monday I woke up with a sore throat and the aftermath of leaving Hubby in charge for the weekend!

So much for mommy breaks.

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November adoption update

It’s official… I am done with ALL the paperwork. It is being hand delivered to the consulate in China today. It will be picked up in two weeks with an approval. Next stop… Beijing processing and travel date assigned.

That will take anywhere from nine days to four weeks.

I will assume four weeks…

What does that mean…

Absolutely nothing….

Keep your fingers crossed!

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Count down till China!

We finally got our 1-800 approval. I have never been so happy to see a letter from the government than I was then.

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Hubby ran to the Fed Ex office to overnight it to our adoption agency in Philadelphia. They will then send it to their contact person in China, who will walk it into the consulate to get the visas. That person then will pick it up in two weeks and send that paperwork plus Dragon’s visa to Beijing. It will be processed and assigned an appointment time. This should take two weeks also….

So now we are up to four weeks. We will get a travel approval from China and then our adoption agency can organize our travel arrangements. That should take another two weeks….we are up to six weeks.

I can give an educated guess that we will be traveling in 6-8 weeks. Depending upon appointment times, closures for holidays, and flights.

This will be a great beginning of the New Year, with our daughter finally in our arms.

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Destination Wedding!

We have just returned from a wonderful Fall vacation to the Florida Keys. Just as “Sandy” was at full force and putting us without power, I was packing up. We crossed our fingers that the airports would reopen in time for our flight. Lucky for us, they did and it was smooth flying to Florida. It was nice to get away from the awful weather, but the main reason was to celebrate the wedding of Hubby’s dearest college friend. Hubby had the honor of being best man and Mr. D was the ring bearer.

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We kept ourselves busy with wedding set up. Hubby and I had the pleasure of building the Hoopa, lighting all the railings and dock, and setting up the chairs and tables. It wasn’t all work, we managed to squeeze in some fun.

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We attempted to ride around the resort “Hawks Cay”, but didn’t last very long. A four man bike with only two people to reach the pedals is impossible to push. We gave up after ten minutes and pushed it back to the rental area.

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The kids had some hands on with the local dolphins. We signed up for the dolphin experience. What amazing animals and to see them up close and touch them was a tad scary. I had some reservations about supporting any program that held these beautiful animals captive. We were informed they were born in captivity and could not survive on their own. I still was on the fence, but the children were over the moon! They made it very educational and focused on conservation.

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There was plenty of opportunities for swimming and playing in the water. The resort had a protected lagoon, several swimming pools, and an awesome pirate ship to play in. The kids had a great time hunting for snails, finding crabs, attempting to catch tiny lizards, spotting iguanas, and looking at all the fish.

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Since the groom is a vet, we had an opportunity to visit a turtle rescue. Mr. D was in heaven looking at all the tanks. I couldn’t get over the difficulties these endangered animals faced.

Of course, the whole reason why we were there, the wedding! It was a beautiful location right on the ocean and there was wonderful weather.

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We had a great time, but back to reality….. I spent the whole day doing laundry, going through mail, and getting back on schedule. Our next big trip will be to China. I think we are all ready for it!

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