Monday, February 18, 2013

The road map

Many of you have asked us what happens next?  When do we go get Makenna?  The unfortunate answer is that we are again waiting and we don't have a travel date yet - to be honest, we won't have an "official" travel date until about 2 weeks before we leave - hard for our very type-A personalities to handle! 

Right now we are waiting for our Letter of Acceptance - our LOA!  The LOA is the most important paper because it is our approvel from China that they have accepted our Request to adopt Makenna as our daughter - she will be ours!  The exciting part of getting that LOA is that we will be officially able to share her picture with all of you!  We will also be able to send Makenna a care package and let her know that she HAS A FAMILY!!  She will receive pictures of us, treats and a letter that we will write to her.  Hopefully we will get more pictures after she receives our care package, too.

To break down the rest of the process, here's a road map with "expected" time frames - keep in mind, these are all estimates! 

Our Preliminary Approval (PA) was received on 2/7/13
30-90 day wait
Letter of Acceptance arrives
Submit I800 Form to US Immigration & Mail Visa Application to Agency
3-5 week wait
Receive I800 approval from Immigration
1-2 week wait
US Immigration sends approval to US Consulate in Ch*na
2-3 week wait
US Consulate approves Visa (Article 5)
2-4 week wait
Ch*na issues Travel Approval (TA)
Receive Consulate Appointment (CA)
2-4 weeks wait
The biggest wild card is our LOA - some families get this really fast and others wait for over 100 days.  There isn't a lot of rhyme or reason, but the current trend has us hoping and PRAYING for a 30 day LOA!  Since we waited three months for our referrral there is a good chance that our paperwork has been translated already.  Once we receive the LOA the time frames above are pretty standard.  Jason and I are praying that we leave at the end of May - we really want to be home by June 15th for Matthew's birthday AND we feel it would be best for us to travel while the kids are still in school.  We KNOW that the timing is out of our hands, but we are praying for God's favor and trusting that HIS timing is better than our own.
In the mean time... we have been busy and having fun getting our house ready for our little girl!  Her room is painted and waiting for the carpet and furniture.  The clothes are starting to be hung and some toys are starting to show up!  I must admit that it has been really (REALLY) fun starting to shop and buy little girl things again!  I love her room, but I am holding off to share until it is DONE!
Stay tuned for more updates...    

Thursday, February 7, 2013

2013.01.24 11:26 PM

Moments in time...
Moments when time stands still... 
Moments when your heart is "date stamped"...

My guess is that some memories just flashed through your mind as you read those statements - we all have memories, happy and sad.  Memories that are personal and those that have impacted your family, church, and our nation.

Some memories are so special that your heart is "date stamped" with a memory that you will never forget, a moment when time stood still and everything else around you disappeared...

Some of the "date stamps" of my mind:

December 27, 1997 at 11:00 AM - I married my best friend on a cold, snowy winter morning

August 11, 2000 at 1:27 AM - we became parents and were blessed with our beautiful Megan Paige, a baby girl beautiful on the inside and outside with a heart like no other

June 15, 2002 at 1:55 PM - another blessing - a little boy, he came into this world quiety and scared us to death, but Matthew Christian has blessed us since the day he was born

and one more date stamp for this Mama's heart...

January 24, 2013 at 11:26 PM - the call!!  The call that woke us out of a sound sleep and introduced us to our third blessing.  The blessing of a beautiful four year old daughter!

Soon after hanging up the phone we received an email and, in a moment, we were in love with our beautiful daughter.  Oh my heart - she is GORGEOUS!!! 

On Sunday, January 27, 2013 we submitted our official Letter of Intent to adopt her as our own. 

We can't wait to share her with you, but we need to wait for our official Letter of Approval (LOA) to post her pictures online.  Believe me - it will be worth the wait!  If you see us out and about - stop us, we always have pictures with us and would be happy to share.

We are hoping to travel to bring her home in May or early June.  In the meantime, if you would like to join us in prayer, please consider praying for these concerns:

  • Pray that our paperwork is reviewed and approved and we receive our LOA quickly!
  • Pray for Makenna's continued good health and her heart to be prepared for our family.
  • Pray for our preparations - more paperwork to be completed, her bedroom preparations and our hearts to be prepared to care for her.
There is much to do - we are about to have a pre-schooler in the house again!  We are so excited and grateful that God has given us the opportunity to call her our daughter.

Now for some other news... January turned out to be a very exciting month in our house!  Jason received a call right after New Year's about a new career opportunity.  After a few conversations, he was certain that this was a great opportunity for him and our family.  His last day at Landis Supermarket, after 21 years of employment, was on Friday, January 25th.  He is now a Project Manager for Response Electric and is loving his new job!  We are loving his new schedule which means  he is home with us every evening, every Saturday and every Sunday!  The past two weekends have been wonderful having the whole family together to relax (by that I mean work on Makenna's room! and shop for our little girl!) and spend time together. 

Another perk of his new job is that he now has a company car!  We are hoping to put a significant dent in the gap of the funds needed to finalize our adoption by selling his car in the next few weeks.  If you or anyone you know may be interested we will be selling his 2008 Kia Spectra - we want to get it all cleaned up, and put some new tires on it before we post it "For Sale".  The car is in great condition and only has 36,000 miles, it's a 5 speed manual transmission and gets 25-28 miles per gallon of gas.  Asking price is $7000 (just under Kelley Blue Book value).  It a great 2nd car for running around or great for a high school or college student.  Once we have it all spiffed up - pictures will follow!  If you are interested, please feel free to email us or give us a call!

The past three months of waiting have been HARD - so very HARD!  I can honestly tell you that it was worth every minute!  We know we have more waiting ahead of us - we will wait for our Letter of Acceptance - our I800 approval and Travel Approval, but we have seen HER face and we know this is all worth it.  She is going to have a family, she is going to be loved, and sometime in May or June or whenever God plans for us to go get here - there will be ONE LESS orphan in the world.  She will be our beloved daughter!

With a full heart,