Archive for August, 2011

HOME!!!!

Well the McCoy’s, all 4 of us, have made it home!  We arrived home yesterday around 10 pm after 28 hours of travel and being up.  We are so glad to be home and Xuan even seems happy to be here so far.  Over the next few days we’ll update the blog with all of our adventures from the last week and also some of the videos from the last 2 weeks.  So if you’re interested stop by again to see it all :)

Yes we are still alive

Sorry for being quiet for a few days.  It’s been a very hetic and busy schedule and we also no longer have free internet at our hotel.  I’ll try and give you a quick recap of the last few days.  The 2nd half of Friday was AWFUL.  It’s a day I’d rather just forget and hope to never relive.  Let’s just say there was lots of crying (and not just from Xander, Mama may have cried a few times too) and we didn’t get to bed until about midnight.  The only bright light of the day was Xander LOVED the actual plane ride.  From the moment we took off until we hit the ground he was a happy boy.
Saturday morning we had Xander’s medical exam.  All 6 familes from our agency went together for the exam.  1st stop was at a little shop to get his visa photo taken.  He didn’t like it at all and his photo is of him screaming :(  Then for the medical exam we went to another building and it seemed like about 50 families were cramed into this tiny building.  We had 3 doctors we needed to see.  1st was the surgen who just looked over his body to make sure everything looked ok; Xander didn’t like that and screamed.  Next was the ENT who looked in his ears, glanced in his mouth, and played a few notes on a keyboard to see if he could hear.  Again he didn’t like that and screamed.  Final stop was to get his weight, height, and temperature.  And yes you gessed it; he screamed for that too.  After all of that he needed to have a TB test done.  Our guide talked with him and explained what was going to happen.  He cried when they put the neddle in but stopped as soon as he candy when he was done.  The rest of the day we had free and we took naps and then explored the Island we are on right now.  There are tons of little shops and resturants.  Patrick described it as the Virgina Beach of China.
Sunday we got up early and went to the Safari Park.  It was about a 45 min ride from our hotel.  The 1st thing we did there was go on the safari ride.  It was AWESOME!  The animals were everywhere and so close to our tram.  Some of the highlights were elephants, camels, deer, tigers, bears, lions, zebras, and graffes.  After the ride we went and saw the pandas.  They were really cute and there were several of them to see.  The final thing we saw was the kolas.  Ariel, Patrick, and I loved the park.  We thought Xander would like it but it seemed to overwhelm him.  He feel asleep on the tram ride and only saw a few things.  The park was extremly crowded and it was very hot.  For lunch we stopped at McDonalds on the way home.  We got back so late we just skipped the nap yesterday and went to the pool.  Xander loved the pool.  It’s a beautiful pool and we had a great time there.
Monday we met the group again and this time we went to 2 different temples.  The 1st one was very simular to the one we went to in Nanning.  The 2nd one had a lot of art in it which was very cool to see.  I have to admit I saw very little of it because I was chasing Xander around the place.  It really wasn’t very interesting for a 2 year old :(  Right now everyone else is napping as I type.  The rest of the day we have to ourselves and hope to do a little more shopping and maybe some swimming too.
Tomorrow we have our consulate appointment.  We’ll go there 1st thing in the morning and finish all the paperwork for Xander to get his visa.  Then the rest of the day is free to do whatever we like.  On Wednesday afternoon we’ll be able to pick up Xander’s visa and then we’ll take the train to Hong Kong for the night.  Thursday we fly home.
Here in Guangzhou we are staying on a little island within the city.  It is a very pretty island and it really doesn’t feel like your in China anymore; the architecture is very European.  There are lots of gift shops everywhere and many other American families who are adopting children.  It’s nice to see the other families but we all kinda of miss the “real China.”  Xander is doing OK.  We are sleeping through the night again which is so helpful but we still have a lot of whining and some melt downs.  All of this is to be expected but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with and at times it can be very overwhelming.  It’s also really hard to decide what things or behaviors are adoption related and what things are just because he’s 2.  All the families with us who have adopted before keep telling us that adopting at age 2 is the hardest :(
We will probably not post again until we are back home because the internet isn’t free here.  If we get a chance to get online in Hong Kong we’ll update again.  Please be praying for our trip home.  24 hours with a 2 year old could be really hard and I’m a little nervous about it.

Xander's 1st plane ride eating a roll

Nap time

It's a Panda

Ariel's new hat!

Midnight on the night we got into Guangzhou; we were all so tired!

Lunch at Lucy's... there was an Ohio license plate on the wall behind us.

How Xander spent most of the Safari ride

Our group walking up to the place for the medical exam.

Family photo after seeing the pandas.

Thursday & Friday Morning

On Thursday we got up and went to the Minority Museum with Mary.  There are 12 different minority groups in Guangxi providence and this museum is about them.  It was really interesting and we learned at lot about how people live here, what they wear, how they hunt and plant, and we saw some REALLY old drums.  It was a very cool Museum but Patrick really didn’t get to enjoy it much because Xander was a little cranky.

After our morning out we invited Mary to eat lunch with us.  We went back to the Chinese restaurant that we ate at the 1st day and she ordered everything for us.  It was so good!  We got fried rice, noodles, and eggplant dish that was a little spicy, a bead dish, and a beef dish.  Xander had his favorite rice congee.  We thought the noodles looked like their version of Cincinnati Chili.  It was a great meal and it was fun to talk more with Mary.

After lunch it was nap time.  It was a rainy day today and we really didn’t do much of anything after nap time but just hang out in the room.  We ate dinner at Pizza Hut again.  The food was good but they didn’t bring Xander’s rice dish out until we were done eating.  Not good!  Poor guy had to wait forever to eat and wasn’t too happy about it.  We did have a small melt down but once he was calmed down he ate a ton of food.

Xander was showing some signs of grieving and just being 2 today.  There were plenty of whiny moments and he would storm off by himself.  I can’t imagine how hard this whole transition has been on him and I am blown away by how gracefully he’s handled it all so far.  To be honest I was expecting a lot worse and so this day wasn’t a big surprise to me and I’m glad he’s letting his feelings out.

Thursday night was just hard.  He went to bed fine but woke up crying a few hours latter.  It took us a while to calm him down and then he was wide awake.  I just sat him in the bed with us and he was content to sit there with us in the dark.  Eventually he went to sleep again.  Unfortunately, he did wake up again a few hours later.  This time I was able to calm him down much faster and he feel asleep again and slept until 8 am which is late for him.  He’s been pretty happy this morning with only one short melt down.  So things are looking better today.  He’s been Mama’s big helper by helping me pack our bags this morning :)

Today we check out of our hotel at 2pm and then go to another hotel to wait for Xander’s passport to be issued.  Mary will be able to pick it up at 4:30 and then we will go straight to the airport to fly to Guangzhou.  We should get in to Guangzhou around 8 tonight.  It will be interesting to see how Xander likes to fly.

Please keep Xander in your prayers.  He’s been through a lot of changes and there are about to be a lot more as we leave this place to go somewhere new.  Here are some pictures from Thursday.

A map of Guangxi, Nanning is in the bottom middle and Yulin where Xander is from is the blue dot on the right.

They keep their livestock under their house (which is on stilts)

What a kitchen would look like in a rural home

One of their hunting tools

One of the minority groups fish on stilts with nets

Very, very old steel(?) drum

Largest steel(?) drum in the world

China's version of Cincinnati Chili

A drink shop outside of our hotel

Wednesday

We had another good day.  Xuan Xuan woke up happy again and ate a great breakfast.  We met our guide Mary at 9 am to go to a park in Nanning.  Our 1st stop in the park was at the temple.  It was very beautiful and we got to hear the monks pray.  Then we went to the Pagoda.  We only went up to the 3rd balcony but it was still a great view.  Then we went to the pond and fed the fish. There were a ton of fish and Xuan Xuan and Ariel had lots of fun feeding them.

We ate lunch at KFC today and Xuan Xuan liked his chicken nuggests :)  After a nap we just hung around the hotel and played until dinner time.  We ate at the Japanese place again it was so good.

After dinner we went to Walmart to find some clothes for Xuan Xuan.  None of the bottoms we got him fit; they are huge on him (they were all 24 months).  We ended up getting him several pairs of shorts and one pair of sweat pants that are size 6- 9 months and they fit his waist great (still very baggy on him).  On our way back to the hotel we stopped to get these mango drinks.  They were really good but we messed up ordering and got twice as much as we wanted.  This happens to us often and we think that most people around here must be laughing at us as we try to order things.

Our days here are getting kinda of long.  It’s nice to have an activity in the morning but then we are on our own the rest of the day.  We’ve begun calling our hotel room “the prison” because it does kind of feel like we’re trapped here at times.  We’re also all coming to hear Xuan Xuan’s favorite toy constantly.  He loves it and smiles whenever he has it.  Ariel on the other hand would love to hide it so we’d never have to hear the sun song again :)

Here are some of our pictures from the day!

Outside the temple

We're in the courtyard of the temple

Pagoda

The Pagoda

View from the Pagoda

Nanning

More of Nanning... it's a big city

Walking back down

Walking down the stairs to the fish pond

Feeding the fish

The fish

He actually let me carry him back into the hotel. Yay! Although it may have had something to do with the fact that I had the Cheerios in my hands at that time.

Brother & Sister looking at the view inside the hotel

Coloring together :)

He really likes Ariel's sunglasses

It’s Official… Xuan Xuan is now a McCoy!

Tuesday was adoption day.  We met our guide Mary at 8:40 to go and see the officials that would make the adoption legal.  The 1st stop was the Lottery Hotel.  The orphanage director and the woman who did all of Xuan Xuan’s paper work met us there.  I was a little worried he would get upset when he saw them but he wasn’t at all.  He got a smile on his face when he saw them but he did not want to go to them.  He wanted to stay with his Baba.  Mary our guide told him not to worry he was staying with us forever :)

We went upstairs to a room the civil affairs office uses at that hotel and we had an interview.  They asked us if we wanted to adopt Xuan Xuan, if we knew how to care for his special need, why we wanted to adopt from China, and if we would love him forever and never abuse or abandon him.  Then they presented us with our official adoption certificate and he was ours!

The orphanage director then gave us some gifts.  She gave Xuan Xuan a silver bracelet that has his name engraved on the inside and the orphanage name engraved on the outside.  It was very special and he wanted to wear it and she put it on him.  She also gave us a disk that has all the pictures of him they have on it.  We don’t have a disk drive with us so we’ll have to wait until we get home to see all the pictures :(

I’ll have to say this was the time that I got really emotional.  Answering those questions and then saying goodbye to the orphanage director.  I was just so thankful to get to be this little boys Mama.  They have done a great job caring for him and I just feel like we are so lucky.

After we were done there we went to see the notary.  Again we were asked some questions and then we signed a few papers and we were done.  We were back to the hotel by 10:30 and we are now officially a family of 4 forever!!!

Xuan Xuan is doing great!  We just can’t believe how well he’s doing.  He slept through the night last night and woke up just fine.  He seemed a little unsure at 1st, but no tears and soon he was playing and smiling.  He is so skinny!  We brought all 24 month size clothes with us and they are HUGE on him.  It was so funny when we put shorts on him this morning they just fell right down.  They were too big by several inches.  So we decided to just put overalls on him today and tomorrow I’ll dig out the safety pins and see if we can get the shorts to work.

We tried a new place for lunch and it was great.  Xuan Xuan can eat!  He had 2 bowls of fried rice and then 2 bowls of congee.  He probably would have eaten more but we cut him off because we didn’t want him to be sick.  This was also the 1st meal where he fed himself and he did a great job.

After nap time we decided to try out the pool.  This hotel is so fancy, so you take your bathing suit down to the pool area and they give you a locker and you change down there.  They also give you shoes to wear to the pool from the locker room.  We put Xuan Xuan into a 18 month swim suit (that I got at our shower) and even that was falling right off him and very long on him too.  Thank goodness that had a draw string we could somewhat tighten it so it mostly stayed up on him.

He was so excited to see the pool!  At 1st he only wanted to stand on the top step and splash.  He thought it was so much fun and he was laughing and had this huge smile on his face.  Eventually when Patrick got all the way in the pool Xuan Xuan decided to give it a try and LOVE it.  He was so happy!

After swimming we went to Pizza Hut for dinner.  Our guide called it the Italian Restaurant :)  It was very fancy and had a lot more on their menu than the one in the US.  We got Xuan Xuan fried rice which he loved and we ate pizza.  It was so good and tasted just like the pizza at home.

After dinner we walked up to a park new our hotel that Mary told us about.  It was beautiful!  They had a small playground and we all had fun playing.  We had 2 ladies ask to take our picture which was kinda funny.  Everywhere we go people stare at us.  We must look very strange because there are very few white people here and then on top of that we have a Chinese little boy with us.  We realized that this is probably our life now… because when we get home we’ll still stick out.  Which is fine with us because we love Xuan Xuan and can’t imagine our family now without him.

Xuan Xuan had no tears today.  Most of the time he was so happy and just loved playing.  He is also really warming up to me.  I can feed him and play with him and he’ll sit on my lap sometimes too.  Tonight I gave him his bath and he LOVES it when I put lotion all over him after the bath.  When we go out he only wants Patrick to carry him.

OK, now for some pictures from the day.  I know you all want to see our cute boy :)

Skyping with the grandparents on Monday night

He loves the computer so we let him type on it for a while.

Playing ball with Mama. He LOVES the beach ball.

A happy boy after his nap!

Laughing with Baba

His favorite toy. He loves the red light that flashes and it also talks/sings.

The entrance to the park

Trying out the see saw; he liked it.

Welcoming a new boy into our family

We have been so lucky. We had no idea what we were getting into by adopting a young boy who doesn’t speak our language. When the orphanage director handed him off to us and he started to cry, they quickly left because they felt it was best that way. It was heartbreaking to take a tearful young boy back to our room who had just left everything he knew behind.

However, we learned that he speaks Mandarin, not Cantonese. That is a huge blessing for us because we have taken Mandarin lessons and can speak a few broken phrases to him. We haven’t really called him Xander yet – instead we call him by his nickname, “Xuan Xuan”.

In the hotel room just after getting him, he was crying for a while and I picked him up and was telling him who Mommy and Daddy were (Ma ma and Ba ba) and who his big sister is (Jie jie). He calmed down. I said a few other things to him and rubbed his back and next thing I knew, he would only let me hold him versus Mommy or Big Sis.

Lunch afterwards was an adventure. We ordered some food by pointing to the menu and when I ordered some water (or tried to) the waiter laughed at me and brought us tea. Oh well. Eating was also a learning experience. They bring family-style dishes and I tried to feed Xander from a serving spoon from one of the dishes and he refused it. Eventually I figured out that I should use one of the spoons from the individual dish set (which comes wrapped in plastic). He then started eating. He is a really good eater. We ordered some dumplings but only had spoons and chopsticks so it was hard to cut them into bite sized pieces for him. It was also really hard to use chopsticks to feed him slippery dumpling noodles. But we did it.

Afterwards we went back to the hotel to take a nap. He cried when we entered the hotel room. I think it brought back bad memories. However, going to the bathroom and washing his hands cheered him up. As I held him on the toilet I realized that he would fall in if I let go (so that night we bought a potty seat at Wal Mart).

After our nap, the maid came so we went out to the elevator lobby to play for a while. This is where he finally started to warm up to Ma ma and Jie jie. We played cars and beach ball.

For dinner we ate at a Japanese restaurant which had fried rice dishes and noodles. We all loved the food here and Xander did too. He ate a ton of it. I carried him around in a ergo baby carrier as my arms had been worn out carrying him earlier in the day.

We walked around a very luxurious shopping mall here which is 5 or six stories high and every store has super-fancy stuff. He was amazed. So were we – I’ve never been in a mall that fancy in my life.

He loved Wal Mart. A harvest festival is coming up in China where they eat moon cakes. We bought one to see what it tasted like. He LOVED the fact that we picked that up and held it the whole time in the store. He cried when we handed it to the cashier to scan and she handed it back to him afterwards instead of putting it in the bag.

We stopped at KFC to get some ice cream and Xander ate part of his moon cake. None of us really liked the taste of the moon cake and Xander didn’t like the taste of ice cream. To each his own.

Xander loves seeing himself in the mirror. We say “Xuan Xuan” and he points to himself and smiles.

Bath time brought the first laughter of the day. He loved using stacking cups to pour water on himself and would laugh and laugh. He also stood the entire time. He doesn’t like to sit down on the floor. He either squats or stands.

Before going to bed, we skyped with his Grandma (Kimberly’s mom) and then his other grandparents (my mom and dad). He was all smiles for them.

Amazingly he slept through the night. So far today (just before lunchtime) he hasn’t really cried at all. Amazing. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful boy.

Ariel’s Corner

Good Morning! And welcome to Ariel’s Corner, which is my little time to say “Hey, this is how I feel” to the whole World Wide Web. 😀

Where do I start??? I guess when I woke up last week and was like “woah… I’m going to China?!” It’s a weird feeling waking up in your bed and knowing that the next time you’ll sleep will be next to some random Japanese dude, and your Dad, on a 13 hour flight, in a plane seat…

First thing I’d like to say. I don’t like plane food. It’s always so weird and just thrown together and smells funny, etc. My first dinner was chicken covered in weird sauce, slapped in sweet potatoes with canned green beans on the side. Yeah… I ate the fruit and roll mostly for dinner. I just don’t like my chicken covered in weird smelling, mashed up sweet potatoes. Call me crazy… But Then, on the flight to Nanning, the food was DELICIOUS. So now I have mixed feelings and I’m all confused about plane food.

So then we were in Tokyo! And I was like “GODZILLA!” Actually, I didn’t say that because that just seems downright racist and I didn’t want to get in trouble. 😀

Welcome to Tokyo Yo!

What actually happened was I used a squatty potty. For all of you Americans, that is a fancy hole in the ground where a toilet should be. At first I was like NO. But now, I find it quite convenient because it just feels much more sanitary than using a gas station restroom back home.

Next, I’m extremely famous and beautiful. Everyone loves me and I get lots of presents daily. lol OK well maybe that’s not ALL true, but people do stare at me a lot. And while at the Bird’s Nest these kids asked for my photo. I got all embarrassed, but now I’m like “Heck Yes, Bring on the Paparazzi!” (Today (Monday) the orphanage director’s kids came and they wanted their picture with me and there was a LOT of pictures taken. It was SO CUTE! :D)

Oh Nanning. So freakin beautiful! The first thing I saw when I looked out the plane window was GREEN. It’s so green! There are trees and shrubs and plants of all sorts EVERYWHERE! It’s so pretty! Apparently it’s called the Green City or something like that. Our FANTASTIC guide Mary told us that and loads of other interesting things about Nanning in the car ride to our hotel. WHICH IS AWESOME! It’s SO NICE! They told us it would stink but no, they were wrong! THIS PLACE IS DA BOMB BRUH!!! Go Marriott!

Ordering food has been quite the ordeal. Before Nanning, we had Shirley to save us, but now, who knows what we’ll get? Not many people seem to speak English so we do a lot of pointing to food and holding up fingers of how many of that we want. But Dad is pretty awesome and knows a good amount of Mandarin, so we have gotten what we’ve wanted everytime. So far, I LOVE KFC here because the people are so nice! They have a pointing menu for us Americans and yesterday this super sweet girl spoke English to us. She was so excited she got to use it! And when I cleaned up our table to leave, this other girl sincerely thanked me a bunch. They are so cutely awesome there!

Wal-Mart. Is. AWESOME! It’s HUGE! It’s underground and like takes up the whole bottom of the mall! I love just walking around and looking (NOT smelling) at all the food. There hasn’t been that weird of meat (chicken feet, sting ray, star fish, sea horse, squid, eel, GIANT fish) but there IS weird Lays chips (blueberry, seaweed, tomato, cucumber) and like 50 different kinds of Wii Tennis Rackets.

Oh yeah. I also have a brother now!  He’s pretty much the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. He’s done really well and I think this is gonna be totally awesome. He loves his beach ball, cars, and the lap top!!! Tomorrow and the next day will probably SUCK (I mean every time he cries, I do too) but who knows? 😀

"Xander and the Lap Top"

Xander LOVES the Lap Top!!!

Well I need to shower or I’ll pass out. I love ya’ll! I ate seaweed soup today! PEACE! :o)

Seaweed Soup was Yummy!

Our little boy…

We met Xander this morning about 10:30.  He is absolutely adorable and is doing really well considering what he’s gone through today.  We’ve had some tears but we also got a smile already so I’m happy.  We’ll write more later and share some video but here are some pictures from this morning.

Our 1st picture as a family of 4. Xander isn't too happy at the moment because he was just handed off to me.

Playing with Baba and eating a lolly pop.

Waiting for lunch

Xander wanted nothing to do with the bib, so Patrick was trying to show him how cool it was. It didn't work.

Eating lunch, yum!

Finally went down for a nap with Baba.

You’ll notice that Patrick has him in most of the pictures.  Xander decided that he really likes his Baba and that at the moment he doesn’t want his Mama to touch him.  This is very normal for a child to choose one parent to attach to at 1st.  We’re just happy he has one person he’s comfortable with right now.  And I know in time he’ll warm up to me.  He will let me sit by him and is happy to have me give him food; so I am good for something :)

More pictures and videos will be coming soon!

Beijing to Nanning

Today was a very uneventful day.  We got up and had another delicious breakfast at our hotel.  At 9 am we meet our guide who would take us to the airport.  All 3 families went together to the airport but we were the only family traveling to Nanning.  Our guide got us all checked in and dropped us off at security.   The Beijing airport was really nice.

We flew to Nanning on Air China and it was a great flight.  The plane was really nice and the food in flight was so good.  It was just over a 3 hour flight to Nanning.  When we landed in Nanning it was like we were stepping into a totally different world.  Nanning is nothing like Beijing.

Fist off, we can see the blue sky and there are mountains in the distance.   It is so green everywhere.  It has a very tropical feel to it and there are palm trees everywhere.  We all thought it was so beautiful!

We met our new guide Mary and our driver at the airport and we were off to our hotel.  Mary explained to us that we were staying in the new part of the city and it’s amazing.  She also spent most of the van ride telling us about Xander and what was going to be happening in the next few days.  We learned that he has stayed with his foster family and the orphanage director is going to pick him up from his foster mother on Monday morning and then bring him straight to us.  It will be about a 3 1/2 hour ride for him to get to Nanning.  I have to say that the car ride to the hotel was almost like information overload; but it was good to hear everything.

We are staying at the Nanning Marriott Hotel and it is amazing.  We thought our last hotel was nice but this one is even better.  Our room is amazing and the view is great.  Also about 1 block away is a Walmart, mall, and lots of restaurants (both fast food american and Chinese).  It’s really the perfect location to spend the next week.

Patrick was so tired tonight so he went to bed at 5pm.  Ariel and I went to Walmart to get a few supplies and then ate a quick dinner at KFC.  I know it’s not very adventurous, but we were hungry and it was late.

Here are some pictures from the day.  Enjoy!

Driving into Nanning.

The new part of the city.

Our room

Xander's bed and toys are ready for him.

Videos from Day 2 in Beijing

Here are some videos from yesterday. Last night we went to bed at 8pm and woke up at 4am. I am officially an old person.

Beijing Traffic

Chinese Family-Style Meal

The Great Wall

The Summer Palace

Red Lantern Food District

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 :)