Thursday, November 30, 2006

November Accomplishments

The paperchase is winding down and this month we waited impatiently for the much-coveted I-171H form from our government. This form is Notice of Favorable Determination Concerning Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition (what a mouthful) and we have to submit it along with all the other documents we've collected for the dossier.
  1. 11/3/06 -- Took notarized documents to Fayette County Clerk for county certification

  2. 11/15/06 -- Had Criminal Checks county-certified in Frankfort; Secured live signatures on Mike's birth certificate and our marriage license; Had all documents state-authenticated at the Capital; mounted our family photos for the dossier

  3. 11/16/06 -- Submitted dossier documents to Grace at AHH

  4. 11/17/06 - RECEIVED I-171H

  5. 11/20/06 -- Had I-171 notarized, certified and authenticated. Delivered to AHH for overnight delivery to the courier

  6. 11/24/06 -- Received updated photos of Oakley compliments of the Strand Family:)

  7. 11/30/06 -- Pre-Approval (PA) Received!!

all in all .... a VERY productive month!

We Have PA!!

Grace called today and we have PA!!! That means that China has approved us to be Oakley's parents and she's really going to be ours! AND, it means I can finally send her care package -- I'm anxious for her to have the photo album I've prepared in hopes that one of the nannies will help prepare her for our arrival.

I drove to the agency this afternoon to pick up our PA and the original photos they sent in her file, along with all of her original medical forms. I'm SO happy to have the photos and I'll use them in her Life Book as we begin to share with her the incredible story of how she joined our family. These pictures were taken when she was just four months old .... just look at that hair!

Friday, November 24, 2006

On This Day .... We Give Thanks

I'm a member of several on-line support groups -- one with other families who have adopted, or are in the process of adopting from the same Social Welfare Institute (SWI, aka orphanage). It's wonderful to learn from those who have "been there done that" and I've gained so much insight from these folks.

The day after Thanksgiving I received an email from Karen, who is adopting from the same SWI. Our agency put us in touch months ago, and I'm thankful for the contact. Karen's little girl, Caeleigh, is just a few months younger than Oakley. I'd mentioned before to her that I hope Caeleigh and Oakley are friends and that we get the opportunity to travel together. Her family is a little further along in the process, so that's unlikely, but I'm praying that our paperwork will travel the channels quickly!!

Anyway ....... Karen emailed me to let me know that another family is in China now, adopting their beautiful baby girl from the same SWI and they've taken pictures of every child and posted them on our online group's website for the other families!! Oakley and Caeleigh are standing side by side in one of the photos, wearing identical yellow sweaters (the same one she wore in her referral photo). Now I REALLY hope we get to travel together. It breaks my heart to think about Caeleigh leaving with her forever family, and Oakley remaining behind to wait for us.

It means so very much to see updated photos and I've studied each and every detail. So on this day, I give thanks to the Strand Family for taking the time to photograph each child so the parents waiting to travel can see their beautiful faces.

I physically ache for my little girl ....