Archive for June, 2011

The Drop Off…

The drop off has been made; all of our paperwork is now at the US Consulate in China.  It took a little longer to get there than we thought but it’s there and being processed and that’s all that matters :)  Our agency will be able to pick up our Article 5 on July 8th.  Then all that will be left to wait for is travel approval!!!!

Cabled & NVC Letter

This morning I woke up to find an email in my inbox from the National Visa Center (NVC).  They informed me that our case had been forwarded to the US Embassy/ Consulate General on Friday, June 10th.  This was the next step we had been waiting for!  Now all we needed was a letter from the NVC that stated they had done this so we could get our next batch of paper work to our agency.  The email said they would email this letter to us shortly. Well, 2 hours later the letter was sent to me as a pdf file attached to another email :)  I printed it off and rechecked again (for the 100th time) the packet of information we were sending to our agency and then headed off to the post office.   It should be delivered by 3pm tomorrow to our agency.  Please say a little prayer that it gets there safe and sound.

What happens next?

We are now done with our side of the paper work for the adoption and all we do is wait for a few more things to fall into place.  Here is what’s going to happen now…

  • Our agency will get all of the forms and check them over to make sure everything is in order.
  • All our new paper work will head off to China this Thursday.
  • Our agency will drop off our Article 5 application to the US Consulate in China either on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.
  • 2 weeks later our agency will go back to the US Consulate in China to pick up our Article 5.  I’m not really sure what our Article 5 is but I think it has to do with Xander’s Visa and it always takes 2 weeks to process it.
  • Then our agency will take our Article 5 along with several other forms back to the China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA) for them to issue our travel approval.
  • Once everything is at the CCAA travel approval is usually issued in about 2 -3 weeks.

So if everything runs smoothly and falls right within the normal time frames we could start expecting our travel approval to come in around the last week of July!



Adoption Shower

This weekend my sister-in-law, Laura, hosted an Adoption Shower for us.  She truly outdid herself.  It was amazing.  This was something we have been talking about doing for months now and I was really looking forward to it.  Adoption is a beautiful way to have a child but it’s also a little different way of becoming a Mom.  There are some things you just don’t get to experience with adoption which make the things you do get to do so much more special.   It was so fun yesterday to go to the shower and get to be “the Mom” and celebrate the coming of Xander into our family.  It will be a day I’ll never forget.

Laura made these amazing party favors for all of the guests!

We had lots of pictures of Xander for everyone to see and they

each got to take one home with them.

There was lots of yummy food to eat

and 2 delicious cakes from an Asian bakery.

The afternoon was filled with a room of great friends and family

all excited to celebrate our newest family member.

And a table full of gifts that I just can’t wait to see Xander enjoy!

We got lots of clothes in all different sizes that Xander will get

to wear over the next several years!

And lots of toys.

New Clothes for Xander

My awesome sister in law, Laura, is hosting an Adoption Shower for me this weekend.  My Mom and Dad came up from FL for the shower and got in yesterday.  I haven’t done any shopping for Xander yet for clothes or toys because we weren’t really sure what size he was going to be (until recently) and we wanted to see what we got at our shower first.   Also, I have to say that for Patrick and I for the most part the actual adoption has always felt very far away.  We tend to focus on what’s the next step in the paperwork but actually going to get him seems so far off in the distance so getting clothes and stuff just hasn’t seemed as much of a priority.  Although I will say in the last week it’s been really hitting us that travel will be here before we know it.  August isn’t that far away anymore :)

Yesterday afternoon my Mom and I went out and got some clothes for Xander and it was so much fun.  The first store we went to was JCPenney.   Even knowing his current measurements and guessing what they will be in a few months is was hard to know what size clothes to get him.  There was a women who works there in the toddler’s department and she was awesome.  She helped us compare the different sizes and even got out her measuring tape at one point to help us figure out what size clothes to get for him.  We ended up getting mostly 24 month clothes so they would fit his height and I’ll just need to have pins or a sowing kit with me to take in the waist for him once we see how small he really is.

I was having lots of fun shopping but once we got up to the cash register that’s when it all hit me.  We were actually getting my little boy some clothes.  He would be wearing these things in a just a few months.  I turned to my Mom and said, “These are the 1st clothes we’ve gotten for Xander” and then I started to cry.  I just couldn’t help it and then because I was crying my Mom started to cry.  The people in line around us at JCPenney’s must have thought we were nuts.  We pulled ourselves together before we got to the registrar and then we had fun hitting a few more stores.  By the end of our shopping trip we had a few outfits, underwear, socks, swim trunks, and PJ’s.  I think it was a great success.

The 1st few outfits we bought him.

PJ's that came with shorts & pants and a swim suite

More shirts, a pair of shorts, and gym pants for the plane ride home.

I800 Approval!!!!

We got our I800 approval in the mail today!  We were officially approved on June 2nd.  I was hoping to get this letter in the mail next week and was completely surprised when we got it today.   What happens next is the National Visa Center will log Xander into their system and cable his information onto the US Consulate in China.  Once we get a letter confirming that this has been done we will send our LOA, our I800 approval, the letter from the National Visa Center saying he is logged in, and his visa application to our agency so that they can then deliver it all to the US Consulate in China for us.  Hopefully the National Visa Center will get Xander logged into their system by the end of next week and we’ll get that letter soon after so all this paperwork can then be sent off to China.

Everything is coming together and it’s feeling more real by the moment.  Yay!

Quick Update

There isn’t a whole lot of news to report but we did get a great letter in the mail this weekend from USCIS. They had accepted our I800 application into processing on May 19th and have now forwarded it onto our officer to be approved, hopefully.  It looks like my forgetting the date on that one form will not be an issue.  My best guess it that it should reach our officer and (hopefully) be approved this week. I’ll be anxiously waiting for the mail each day next week to see if we’ve gotten our I800 approval :)

All this waiting is so hard but I know in the end it will be worth it when we finally meet Xander. We’ve kept ourselves really busy the last few weeks with the final push to finish our basement. The plan is for the basement to be another hang out place, especially for Ariel & her friends. Last week I finished painting the ceiling and then started to paint the accent wall. Patrick came up with this awesome design to make the wall have the look of a lava lamp. The picture below is after one coat of paint so you can get the idea :)

We are now 4 coats later and it’s looking good!  Patrick is still working on cleaning up the edges of the circles (I just don’t have the steady hand for that).  Over the weekend we also went out and picked out a new TV to go in the entertainment center that Patrick built under the stairs.   We had been looking forward to this purchase for a long time but when it came time to do it I have to admit it got a bit overwhelming.  There are so many TV’s out there now.  We ended up getting a 46″ smart TV and we can’t wait to open it up.  The other big purchase we made this weekend is carpet.  As I type it is being installed in the basement and I can’t wait to see it!  It’s so exciting for this project to almost be done.  Once the carpet is in we’ll have a little bit of trim work to do and then it will finally be finished.  I’ll post pictures when it’s all done.

Adoption Timeline
  • Summer 2010 - started talking about adoption
  • Aug 19, 2010 - participated in webinar
  • Sep 22, 2010 - mailed in adoption application
  • Sep 28, 2010 - adoption application accepted
  • Oct 8, 2010 - fingerprints for home study
  • Oct 14, 2010 - fire inspection done
  • Oct 25, 2010 - Patrick & Kimberly complete physicals for the adoption
  • Nov 4, 2010 - finished Heart of the Matters Parent Education
  • Nov 9, 2010 - Ariel's physical is completed
  • Nov 15, 2010 - 1st Home Study Visit
  • Dec 10, 2010 - Kimberly's Individual Interview with Social Worker
  • Dec 16, 2010 - Patrick & Ariel's Individual Interview with Social Worker
  • Dec 19, 2010 - Received rough draft of Home Study to review
  • Jan 7, 2011 - Received Final Home Study
  • Jan 7, 2011 - Sent I800A form into USCIS
  • Jan 18, 2011 - We see our son's face for the 1st time!
  • Jan 21, 2011 - Submit Letter of Intent to China
  • Jan 27, 2011 - Receive Pre-Approval from China
  • March 7, 2011 - I800a approval
  • March 24, 2011 - Dossier to China
  • April 2, 2011 - Log In Date
  • May 16, 2011 - LOA
  • June 2, 2011 - I800 Approval
  • June 10, 2011 - Cable sent by National Visa Center
  • June 13, 2011 - NVC Letter & final paper work sent to Agency!!!!
  • June 23, 2011 - Article 5 papers dropped off
  • July 8, 2011 - Article 5 pick up
  • July 19, 2011 - Travel Approval!!!!!!
  • August 15, 2011 - Forever Family Day!!!!!!
  • August 25, 2011 - Arrive home; Xander becomes a US citizen :)