Welcome to our journey! The decision for us to adopt a child from China has been one of the most exciting things that we have done! We had no idea that a child half a world away could already be in our hearts....this is our journey to bring him home.

Friday, December 30, 2011

I-800 update....

We have finally got everything we needed to sent in to the USCIS and  we were hopefully approved yesterday or for sure today.  We have a very nice officer that is so willing to keep us updated on our status and we are very thankful for that!!   Now on to the next step!!  I believe that our I-800 approval will be mailed by our officer to the NVC (National Visa Center).   The NVC will "cable" our file to the US Embassy in Guangzhou, China for approval of our visa petition.  There are a couple other things that we will need to do after this but this will all lead up to our Travel Approval!!  The reason we are doing all of this after all :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Another set back....adopting parents listen up!

We have had another bump in the road and want everyone that are adopting especially to know this!!  We sent in our documents for our I-800 to USCIS and got a letter back saying that the age that we were approved for on our Home Study was no longer ok.   Our Home Study agency had us approved for a child 13-36 months and our little guy is now 3  1/2.  We now had to send in a Supplement 3 form and an Addendum to our Home Study saying that they approve us for a child older than our little guy.  They put up to age 5.  While we thought that we would want a child in the age group that we were originally approved just never know!  So make sure that you check this before you send in your I-800 and it will save you at least a week.....maybe more.   We have sent in the Supplement 3 and we are hoping that our officer will get it as soon as it gets there so we can be approved soon!
I don't blame our Home Study agency for this....they approved us for the age that we told them we were looking for.  I don't blame ourselves for this.....we have never done this before and had no idea that this could happen.  I do, however, blame our adoption agency for not checking on this before we sent our I-800 in.  This is the kind of thing that they need to let you know about!  We pay them alot of money and they are supposed to have our back!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Beautiful song!!!

This is a beautiful song!  It makes me very sad to know that Bret will not be home for Christmas this year......but he will be with his family soon.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I-800 wait......please hurry :)

We got our LOA on November 29, 2011 and received our packet the next day.  Of course we did not get it until about 2 pm so I had to get all of the paperwork and documents gathered in Ninja speed so that we could get to the post office in time to have everything overnighted to the USCIS!  Now the wait continues and if I am correct we will get the approval in 2-3 weeks.   That is the time alot of people get theirs. So....I am going with it!  Maybe I should keep myself really busy with shopping, baking goodies, sending Christmas cards, etc. instead of obsessing over the forums and adoption things in general.....ummmm...not going to happen!!  But, I am going to go and bake some goodies.....maybe I can take my laptop with me!! LOL

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


We got it!!!  LOA (Letter of Approval)!!!!  We got the call this morning and a huge weight has been lifted!!  We are super excited about this because this is a really big hurdle!! I feel like we are that much closer to getting our little guy.....hang on will be with your family very soon!! :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas is on it's way......

and boy am I not ready!!!  All of the Black Friday shopping and Cyber Monday shopping and I still have to buy one present!  Normally I have some things by this time but it seems like I am a little pre-occupied this year!  I will get going on the shopping end though and how I wish that Bret could be here with our family this Christmas!  He won't be here this Christmas but he will be in our thoughts and hearts as we wait to go and bring him home.  I hope that he knows that we are trying to come and get him and I hope that he knows how much he is already loved!  I had a dear woman that is traveling to get her daughter this week from the same orphanage as Bret and she offered to bring him a gift from us if we wanted to send one along with them!  I jumped on the chance!  I hope that she knows how much this means to us!! Thank you Kendra!!! You are awesome!!!
Now off to look online to (hopefully) find some cyber deals today!  BTW.....we are on day 63 for our LOA.....too long for us!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Don't hold my breath??

You are kidding right??  The lady from my adoption agency told me over a  week ago that our dossier had "been reviewed" in China and that we can expect our LOA (letter of acceptance) any time......but.....don't hold your breath because China is slow!!  Wow!  The fact that we have been holding our breath at every turn of this adventure is nothing new but hearing it was a little cold to me!  It seems as though every process has been a struggle for us starting with our Home Study taking 6 months....and now I am not supposed to hold my breath?  Well sorry sister.....I might pass out if I don't get a call soon!!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Keeping our fingers crossed!!

We are keeping our fingers crossed that we get our LOA this week possibly!   Our agency told us that our dossier has been reviewed and that we could possibly get it in a week or so....and that was last week!  We are hoping that China is going to send a bunch of LOA's  out this week and we want to be in that bunch!!  Getting your LOA is a huge deal meaning that after that there are only a few other things that we need to do before we get out TA (travel approval).

We will definitely post the minute we do get it!!  Or at least after I pick myself up off the floor!!! :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

We got our LID!!

We got our LID!!! (Log in Date)  That means that all of our paperwork is Logged in to the system in China.  It was logged in on September 27, 2011.  Now.....we will just wait for our LOA (Letter of Acceptance).  This is taking some around 100 days....we are hoping that we will get a speedy one but only time will tell!  So far we are on day 19 and that has been hard enough!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Some update Questions!!

Hi Sandra,
Here is the update I got today:
w        What are his favorite foods?
He eats everything.

Is he pottytrained?
Yes, he is potty trained. Doesn’t need diaper.

What does he like? Dislike?
He likes outdoor activities and play with toys. Nothing he doesn’t like.

How does he get along with other children?
He gets along well with other children.

What is his favorite toy?
Colorful toys.

What are his favorite activities?
Outdoor activities.

Has he been healthy in the last year?
Very healthy.

Does he have a good vocabulary?
He is saying everything. He has a good vocabulary.

Who is he closest to in the orphanage?
With his foster parents.

 His updated measurements:
Height:92cm; Weight: 19kg; Foot:15cm.

Two pictures are attached. He is so cute and so happy!
Have a great day!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Finally got an update of our little guy!

Finally.....we got to see our little guys sweet little face!!  He is getting so big!  I can't believe how much he has grown since May!  He is doing great and I can't wait to go and get him!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Finally DTC!!!!

We are finally DTC which means Dossier To China!!  Our dossier is all the documents that we have been gathering for all this time......they were all approved by our agency and they sent them off to China!  Now our wait will continue until China approves them also.  That can take anywhere from 2-3 months at best!

So we will wait some more......

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I love this......

KISSES IN THE WIND (The Waiting Child's Lullabye)

I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams.
You are here each day with me, at least that's how it seems.

I know you wonder where we are... what's taking us so long.
But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.

Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin...
Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God hold you in His hand until I can be with you.
I promise you, my darling, I'm doing all that I can do.

Very soon, you'll have a family for real, not just pretend.
But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.
And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.

--- © Pamela Durkota

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Finally a picture of Gary and I

We finally took some pictures!  Not very good at doing that but hope to get alot better about it!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

One more step!

We are one step closer!  We have all of our documents that were notarized back from the Secretary of State and  they certified them all!  They were very good about getting them back to us quickly......only 3 days!!  I could not believe that we had them back in such good time!   Now we have to send all of the documents on to the Chinese Consulate in Chicago....hopefully they are as good about getting them back to us as fast!  When we get them all authenticated there we can send all of our documents that make up our dossier on to China!! Can't wait!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I-800 Approval!!

We have received our I-800 approval!!  It feels like a huge milestone for us!  Soon we will be able to send our dossier on to China.  We are trying to be patient.....hoping to be able to bring our little Bret home in a little while :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Our Little Boy!!!

We have been matched with a 3 year old little boy from Shanxi province!!  We are so excited!!  We received an update and they sent us 4 new pictures of him!  He has grown so much.....the only other pictures that we have seen of him were when he was 18 months!! Here are the pictures of him.....we think he is adorable!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Have our appointment!

We got  a letter in the mail for our appointment to get our fingerprints done on May 27.  We have to go to Omaha, NE to have them done.  Until that is finished we have been waiting to see if we can be matched with a child that we have inquired about!  It is very exciting to think that we will be able to know our child......but will also make the wait that much harder!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

moving on.....

We did send in our I-800a application and when I tracked it they have received let's see how soon we will be approved!  Some people get theirs back pretty quickly and then others wait longer....I am hoping for once in our process that this will be on the quick side!

Another exciting bit of information is now that we are all finished with our Home Study......our adoption agency told us that we are able to be matched with a child!  Next Tuesday we are going to have a "to go" meeting online with our agency.   This will allow us to view children that are available for adoption. If  there is a match for us we will be able to ask to adopt that child and accept a referral.  It will be so wonderful to know the child that will be ours! I am very excited for Tuesday to come!!  Will make everything seem very real!!

Update later  :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Home Study finished!!

We finally got our Home Study report from the agency that did it for us! It looks good to me buy I have to send it in to our adoption agency for final approval!  I sure hope that everything is in there that is supposed to be so we can move on to the next step!  This has definitely been a slow process up to this point but we are hoping that things will go a lot smoother from here on.....fingers crossed! :)


We did get approved!!! Great news! Now on to the I-800a!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Well....I think that our Home Study is finally going to be finished this Monday or Tuesday!!  Gary called our social workers this past Friday and they told us that they are typing up the report and it should be finished this coming Monday or Tuesday!  I will have to go in and proofread it and then we can send it off to our adoption agency to get approved!  At least we know there is a date that it will be finished now!  Feeling better that the rest is up to us to get things done.....well as far as getting our end together! :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Still waiting......

We are still waiting for our social workers to get our Home Study finished!!  We met with them on March 1 and they said they were going to finish it up.....I even emailed them last week and they left us a voicemail saying it was a top priority for them to finish it.  It does not seem like it is. We are hoping that they finish it up soon because there is alot of other things that need to be done once they get that approved by our adoption agency. 

Hoping to have good news next time I post!!  The waiting game continues!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Moving along......

We are still waiting to hear from our social workers on how our Home Study is coming along.  I just hope that they are finding the time to work on it and that they will call soon for us to come and look it over!!  They say no news is good news, right??  Let's hope!  We have another piece of the puzzle ready to go....we got our passports a few days ago.  So, when the time comes we are ready to go.  I have all the paperwork ready for the we are keeping our fingers crossed that we hear from our social workers very shortly!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Our final meeting!!!

We did have our final meeting with our Home Study social workers last night!  It was a very nice meeting and they told us that they believe they have all the paperwork they need from us to finish the Home Study.  Our agency told us that the social workers should be able to get the report all written up in about 2 weeks.  If that is true......I can accept that!  Feeling like everything has gone rather slowly up until this point I can deal with that!  Since I have all the things I need to put our dossier together once they send our Home Study to Children's Hope International to be approved.....we should be able to get that all sent off once we get it back from them.  The dossier will go on to China and after that we will wait for an approval from them to move ahead.   Exciting, frustrating sometimes but oh so worth the wait!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Finally!! We have our final meeting!

We finally got our final meeting scheduled for our Home Study!! It is on Tuesday (Mar.1)!!  I know it probably doesn't seem like a long time but we started the Home Study process in early October!!  From reading other blogs and forums....4 months is a long time for this to be over!   Now to finish getting all the paperwork together for our dossier and we will be sending it off to China!  This is where patience will come in handy......and patience does not come easy for me!  I will take this time to start getting things ready for our child when they come home!  It really would be nice to know if it will be a girl or boy and what age they will be.  Shopping would be alot easier!  We will just have to buy the things that we know we will be able to use and save the rest until we get a referral!!

Will definitely update after the meeting on Tuesday!  Hopefully I will have all kinds of good news!

Monday, February 14, 2011

The waiting continues.....but lots to do still!

Thought that I would check in!  We are still waiting but there is always something to do!  Today I have to get my 2 dogs (1 very large greyhound and a small silkypoo) updated on their shots and then run the papers to our Home Study social workers.  After that I am going to run Michael to get his passport pictures taken so that we can go and get our passports taken care of tomorrow!  I got a phone call from the crime lab at our local police department today.  He needed to know a little information about our request for a criminal background check that we need from our city police.  He joked that he would put in lots of printer paper just in case it was extensive!  I think that we will do alright! We are trying to keep busy and get all the paperwork done!  Our weather has been wonderful this weekend and by this next Thursday they are calling for almost 60 degrees....not bad for February in Iowa!!

Everyone take care and we will definitely keep posting as we go along!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Our in Home Study is over!! :)

Well....yesterday we had our in Home Study and we feel that it went really well!  Our social workers came over about 4 in the afternoon and were here for just a little over an hour.  It was very casual and we had a nice visit.  They asked that all the kids be here so Eric, Michael and even Amanda and the girls were here!  We had a discussion and they asked the kids some questions and then they took a tour of the house. I glad that I took the time to do all the extra cleaning!! Lol   I think that this will be our final Home Study meeting and now we are going to be working on our dossier to send to China.  The social workers will be getting all the paperwork together and getting in contact with us if they need anything.  Now the waiting game really begins!  Before we had a lot of things to work on and paperwork to we are going to have to find other hobbies to keep us busy until we hear if we are approved from China!  Although, I am sure that all of our work has not ended!!  We will keep posting updates as we go along!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Our 2nd Home Study visit!!

We had our 2nd Home Study visit with our social workers on Friday, January 7, and I felt a lot more at ease this time!  We went in and it seems like everyone was a lot more comfortable with each other....that was really a good feeling!  We took a half hour together and then Gary talked with them for half and hour alone and then it was my turn.  When we left we had a good feeling about how the meeting went.  Our next meeting is going to be on January 26....this meeting is going to be at our home.  I am not really sure what they are looking for exactly...I think that they just want to make sure that you have enough room to bring a child into your home and that you have a safe home for them.  Just in case I am going to be cleaning and  straightening up!!  Can't be too careful!!  I will post again after that meeting......this one is going to be the most stressful of all!!!!  I wonder if this will be the last meeting?  Time will tell!!