Tuesday, August 30, 2011

No TA yet

We still have not received our TA.  I've been scouring the Internet looking for time lines.  The word is 1-3 weeks with the average taking 3 weeks.  All I am finding on others blogs is 5-10 days. How we have ended up in the slow line throughout this whole adoption I don't know but I have not given up hope.  It is hard to stay faithful and know that Heavenly Father is in charge and knows what is best. Most of the time I am doing very well, that is until I talk to my sister.  Thank you very much. :)

The kids ask at least every 15 minutes if we have gotten our TA.  Doug said goodbye this morning and pocked his head back in to make sure I would call him as soon as we get it. I just had to chuckle, of course I would call, IMMEDIATELY.  Silly man.  Ressa called right after she got off work last night to see. Everyone is very anxious here to have the children home.  No one wants to wait any longer.

I'll keep everyone posted.  We are at day 12 for those that want to know.  However, that is neither here nor there considering we are past the drop dead date the agency gave us for September travel.  I am really praying that they will still be able to make things work out.

Monday, August 29, 2011

It's Been a While

To all those of you following our adoption journey, I'm sorry for not keeping you updated.  We did have our Article 5 delivered.  Now we are waiting on the Travel Approval.  Our sincere hope is that we receive it today.  It is possible but with the opposition in this journey it will be by divine intervention that we receive it.  If our TA does come today we are told we will travel September 9th.  If it doesn't come we will have to regroup.  There are some serious decision that will need to be made if we don't make it.  We are not wanting to go in October because that is when we can finalize Olivia. This sweet girl deserves to know she is important enough that we would make the decision to do whatever is necessary to make her a permanent part of our family as soon as possible.  To wait until November causes Hyrum and Bria to be alone for 2 more months and then puts us back home the beginning of December.  I am concerned about all our children and the change they will be facing and then missing out on family traditions at the Christmas season. Traditions that keep them grounded and tied together. I have had others tell me that it's just how it goes but I want all the children to have a positive experience as we transition into our new family. 

The biggest concern I have is for the welfare of Hyrum and Bria.  Over the last few days there has been a theme pop up with me.  The most clear message was while we were at Temple Square in Salt Lake with the children.  We went on one tour about God's Plan for Families.  In one part of the video presentation there were pictures of a family and words that define how we can be as a family and all the blessing that come from it.  The words came "Family is how God shows his love". All I could think about were my two children that have never known a family and that love and how much they deserve it.  My heart ached for their lonelinesss.  They need kisses, snuggles, hugs, tickles, laughter and tears of joy dropping on their little cheeks as their mother and father marvel in the miracle of their life.  I also thought of how blessed we all are to be a family and that Olivia made it to us.

Hopefully I will have a great update today. These percious children need to come home!! 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Miracles Do Happen

Yes miracles do happen. We have had opposition in all areas of our lives lately.  They include everything from adoption to finances to school and many others.  We have prayed much for help knowing that all of these things were beyond our ability to overcome.  I will admit that I was beyond my natural ability to cope. All I could do was pray and turn my emotions off while I waited for the help to come.

Yesterday started with Doug and I on the phone until 10:30 trying to get the kids' registration approved for school. This was after several weeks of going back and forth on immunizations and what is required. We finally talked to the right person and got it done.  It was a simple one minute conversation because this person was in Utah not Virginia and knew what was required.  We got our confirmation this morning and now all the curriculum can be sent out to us. 
We have also been fighting the Middle school to get Creed registered.  Doug got a referral at work for the new Superintendent of the school district.  After they were done doing business he let her know that the school had told us they could not sign Creed up because he had been at a charter school.  We knew this was completely wrong but I didn't have it in me to fight anymore than I had for a couple of weeks and decided to wait until school started.  So when Doug told me he had a contact, I hoped we would get something done.  Doug got a call on Friday from the principle.  He had obviously heard from the superintendent and wanted to fix things.  He invited us to come in and sign Creed up.  We went into the office yesterday and they were all smiles even though they were all getting ready to got to lunch. Funny how getting the right person involved can work miracles.  We spent the next 40 minutes signing papers and getting a schedule for the year and out the door we went.  Everyone was so happy and friendly with us.  We got the email confirmation this morning that everything was complete and he will start school on the 29th.

In the evening Tyler called to tell us some good news.  Those that live in our house know how at times I stress when I see Tyler's number because for a while the only time we heard from Tyler was for some crisis.  I know I will get over it some day, especially with more calls like yesterday.  While at work he was emailed that he was awarded a substantial scholarship for Folk Dance. This will cover his Fall tuition and all dance fees including tour fees for the summer.  At this I started to get teary.  I knew this was purely the work of our Father in Heaven. We don't normally pay tuition for the kids but in this situation is was necessary so Tyler could do the work of the Lord.  What a blessing for all of us as Tyler has been aware to a small degree of our financial challenges and was planning on getting a student loan.

I needed this witness that I was being watched over and will never be left alone.  He is there in all our trials and when all seems lost he will be there to comfort us and bear us up.

Even with a broken arm I felt this was important enough to take the time (and pain)  to write. :)

Precious Moments

Tonight during Family Night we played Bingo. I was sitting next to Niya helping her and she leaned into me and gave me a big hug.  This happens numerous times a day and an "I love you" added with it. Tonight she said

"I'm so glad I have you."

Well sweet Niya,  I'm so very glad that I have you!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

International Adoption Crisis

I have known for some time that there is a crisis in international adoption.  We have personally been affected by it as well as millions of children. We are led to believe that the USA and UNICEF are on the side of the people but they are most definitely not on the side of the children.  It would be good for everyone to read the following article.  It just touches the surface of what is happening on the adoption scene world wide.  Many countries have been shut down to international adoption with no domestic adoption options available.  Over a 100,000,000 children have no mother and father and partially because of the works of the Department Of State and UNICEF these children will never have the love, nurture and care necessary to become contributing stable adults.  The beliefs of these agencies are only perpetuating war, poverty and moral decay in this world. I highly recommend you read this article and pass it on.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Challenges for the week

Have you ever experienced challenges when something good is just around the corner?  Opposition is a spiritual principle and it has been alive and well in our home this week.  The frustration with the USCIS officer came to a head on Wednesday - we ended up about 10 days later than what the normal turnaround time is for that approval.  Our senator's staffer was completely ineffective.  Our 401k took about a $2,000 hit in the last 10 days with all the economic turmoil on Wall Street.  This ate into the money we were going to liquidate to pay for two college tuition fees next month and the rest of the adoption. I made a transition in my office a couple of months ago and that has disrupted our income at the moment, so the 401k money turned into being our safety net for the adoption.  One of our dishwashers broke down - they are Bosch, so probably not cheap to fix.  At least we are fortunate enough to have another dishwasher.  We will just have to do some dishes by hand after dinner for a while. FYI - dinner dishes for a family like ours does not fit into one dishwasher.  After Deanne and I made a trip to the store Wednesday night we stayed in the car in the driveway discussing the challenges and hurdles throughout this adoption process.  Wondering if this was opposition from Satan or a sign from the Lord that this is not the right thing to be doing.  We determined it must be Satan and we were going to stick it out.  Then walking to the front door Deanne tripped on the front steps and broker her wrist.  (That's why she assigned me to write the last two posts)  Because of the transition to a new company, we are between insurance plans, so this is an out of pocket cost.  It looks like it will be less than $300, so we feel lucky about that.  But the idea of going to China in a cast isn't all that pleasant which is what will happen if we travel in September like we are hoping.  In addition to that, there is all the preparation needed to go that will be more difficult for her now.  She will even have to devise new methods for styling her hair and putting on makeup.

All in all, it has been a pretty draining week - emotionally and financially.  Not good going into the final lap of an international adoption. 

GUZ Letter

One more step closer.  It was a painful step, but at least its done.  We determined that our senatror's office really didn't have any effect on the speed of approval of our GUZ letter from the visa center.  He didn't really accomplish anything to expedite the I800 approval getting sent to the visa center either. We were completely lied to by our officer at USCIS, then she sent the email to the visa center to the wrong email address.  When I called her for the tracking number for the 2nd day package sent to the visa center she said they never give those out.  Magically in about 2 minutes she had it. We ended up talking to her supervisor - she was apologetic and asked what she could do, but by that time the package had already arrived in the visa center and there was nothing more we needed from that office.  We just submitted a formal complaint to try to save the next family some delays and misinformation.  

The visa center was great and had our GUZ letter out in 24 hours.  They gave us the letter in the pdf file and we forwarded that to the agency.  It may have arrived in time to the courier in China to put it with the DS230 and submitted to the consulate Friday, but most likely it will go in on Tuesday.  The consulate only accepts the D230 packets Tuesday through Friday.  Our senator's staffer is still talking like he as some pull in this process, but based on what we've seen so far, we don't have much hope the he will speed up the Article 5 at the consulate.  I guess we'll see.