Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pictures From His Past


As promised, here are some of the pics of Le Hai from when he was younger. He's about 4 1/2 in these pictures.

Isn't he just a doll?



I'm so thankful I was able to assume his sponsorship so we could receive his past updates and pictures!! I'm not sure how many more of these we will receive before we travel, so they are a huge treasure to me right now. When I am bogged down with the process of adoption, or the torture of the wait, I pull up these pics of Le Hai and Xi Yi (along with her video) and it gets me through.

Soon I will be sending a care package to my little ones, which will include photos of us, so that prayerfully it will help them bond with us a little easier when we all meet, as well as help calm their fears on that day.

For now, while I'm waiting on the arrival of my I800 approval, I'll just stare at these pictures and remember it will be worth the wait!!!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Throwing Slippers

I called my USCIS officer yesterday, only to once again, get her voicemail. So I hung up and sent an email instead. Ten minutes later I received an email back saying she JUST received my I800 and was in the middle of processing it. WHAT??? It has been at the lockbox this entire time????
Ugh!!!

I put the computer down and just started bawling. I don't cry people, I'm not a cryer AT ALL!! I don't cry at weddings, I don't cry at funerals...I just don't cry. Well, I did yesterday. For about 5 minutes. That's all I could muster up, sorry. 

And then the temper tantrum...I wanted to just throw a massive fit...so how do I throw a fit? Listen to this, it's so impressive...I picked up a slipper and threw it. It didn't even make a noise when it hit the couch. Yeah, I'm bad. Then I was ticked at myself because I'm a sissy throwing slippers. I can't even get ticked off the way most normal people do!!

After I sat for a bit, I realized none of this does any good. What I need to do is file a complaint. There are some things that are just unacceptable. When THEY are the ones who said they would rush it through and even gave me the slip of paper to go on the paperwork which says to expedite, and then they end up taking LONGER than the normal process, it's time to file a complaint.

I have decided I will file that complaint once my approval is in my hand. I'm not stupid. I'm not going to jeopardize my approval by complaining about it while it's in their hands. 

By the way, would you like to know what I did after I threw that slipper? I went and picked it up, placed it by the other one because my house didn't look nice and tidy with one slipper not by the other one.

I'm a wimp.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Beautiful Journey of Adoption

I have been reflecting this week on the journey I'm on, and more specifically, this little thing called "the wait." Honestly, yes, the journey (ANY journey) can be difficult. It has its highs and lows, peaks and valleys...it truly is a roller coaster...but I'm ON the journey!!  I'm IN it!!  It's what I wanted, what I begged my hubby for, begged God for.  I WANTED this!!  I don't know why, but the pictures I received of my little guy just did.me.in.  Here in about two weeks time, I received pics and a video of my girl, pics of my son along with his past updates, and it just put me over the moon.  I love the description of his personality in the foster care reports, and I can't wait to meet these two little people who are about to change my whole world!!  

Many times throughout the day I look at the clock and wonder what they're doing at that moment.  I wonder what their hair feels like. I think about brushing my daughter's hair and getting them all dressed up for church. I wonder what their voices sound like, what does it sound like when they laugh?

I want to enjoy the journey! So many people are looking for the end result and never enjoy where they're at in life. They never calm themselves and look around at all that God is doing and has done for them. 

21 years ago this month I asked Jesus into my heart. I cannot believe what I was before that moment. When I look back at these past two decades of walking with Him I am amazed at the life He has given me.  I certainly didn't deserve it!  I am so thankful for my husband, children, and church family that God has blessed me with.  And I'm thankful for the journey.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's Raining Updates!!!

I just received an email with more updates on little Le Hai!!  He was being sponsored through Chinese Children Charities and I was able to take over his sponsorship this past month.  So the email I received are all the updates and photos they've taken of him for the past two years!!  I will post these pictures as soon as I can so you all can see how much this little guy has grown!!  I love the description they give of his personality.  It sounds like he's headstrong, but sweet...I love him already!!

I have so many reasons to be thankful!  These pictures were perfect timing in my book!  Have I heard about my I800 approval yet?  No!  But it doesn't take much to put a smile on my face...just a few pictures of the cutest little Chinese boy in the world and I'm one happy camper!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Updates on Dang Le Hai!!!!

Look what I woke up to this morning!!!!

Could he be any cuter?????

Lord, get me to China!!








Answers to my questions:


1. Q. Does he speak any English?
    A. No, he does not speak any English.
2. Q. Who are his friends?
    A. He Chong (or He Zhong. The Chinese character has two different pronunciations.             Not sure which one he goes with.) And Dang Jian Lei
3. Q. What are his favorite foods?
    A. Fruit and bread
4. Q. What is his personality like (is he a talker?)
    A. He is fairly extroverted.
5. Q. What are his favorite toys? What does he like to play with?
    A. Blocks and toy cars.
6. Q. What comforts him when he's upset?
    A. Pick him up, hold him, and kiss him.
7. Q. What causes him to get upset?
    A. When other children grab his toys from him.
8. Q. What makes him happy?
    A. When he plays with other children and when he gets praised.
9. Q. Does he know he's being adopted?
    A. His teacher has told him about it.
10. Q. Is there a possibility of getting a video of him as well as pics?
     A. (not at this time.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Still not in the system

Today I called the USCIS as planned and asked for the status of my I800...I'm still not in the system.  I don't know what the word "expedite" means to the USCIS, but when I hear that word it generally means things are going to go faster, you're going to go through the process a little  quicker than usual. Apparently not. Perhaps it just means  "this is a nice green piece of paper that's going to make you feel good and make you think we're paying extra special attention to your case." Do you detect a hint of sarcasm? Good. I'm laying it on real thick. I'm supposed to hear back from my personal case worker (hopefully tomorrow) with a little more info that should shed some light on what the deal is with "all things expedited."

Also, the same lady who was able to get an update on my little girl said she was going to try my son's orphanage again to see what info she could get on him. 

I also have something else in the works. My son is in a foster home program which is funded be a sponsor. I contacted the program directer to inquire about taking over my son's sponsorship, with the intent of receiving all his monthly updates, both development-wise as well as current pictures. In doing so, I would receive ALL his past, current, and future updates until we travel to China. This is a really neat idea which was suggested to me by another adoptive mom who had done the same thing. I've emailed the coordinator several times and it's now all set up! The updates should begin coming in December! 

I can totally feel right now how I'm on the down-hill journey, heading in to home plate with the adoption time-line. Even though all things are pointing to February as my month for travel, it really is closer than I think! The holidays are always so busy, I know the time is going to just fly! Before you know it, I'll be on a plane to China and all this chaos of killing trees for more of my paperwork will be a distant memory.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My son's new talent

Josiah has always had a thing for all things technical, and I had a feeling once he was shown a few things concerning editing, he would eat it up. Well, yesterday the stars aligned, the Heaven's opened, and Josiah unleashed his new talent, which until yesterday, was completely hidden. Now ladies and gentlemen, I'm proud to say, my son is a true nerd. 

My hubby found an editing tutorial which would be easy enough for Josiah to follow and the rest is history. He walked away with the computer and later came back with clips from his video set to music and with Star Wars looking screen crawlers, etc. 

I asked Josiah if I could post it on my blog but he said my readers wouldn't probably want to see the blood and guts of his video game clips. I kind of agree. I'll spare you the grossness, ok? 

Obviously, he has a long way to go, but he is sooooo proud of himself and beyond thrilled with the idea of editing. (Maybe he can help me with my wretched pictures I seem to keep taking.)

I'm excited to see how this new love of his develops. Maybe I'll have him work on a less disgusting project to post on here in the near future. 

Oh, and by the way, I haven't heard anything concerning my I800. I'm planning on calling tomorrow to see if there's a chance it might already be approved and I just don't know it yet. I'm so in the mood for some good news.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sleep

It's amazing what sleep can do when you're having a bad day (or a bad attitude!!). That's all I needed and my rotten attitude from my previous post was history.

For some reason, I just hit a wall. I threw my pom-poms down and walked away from the game. To be honest, I thought I had had so many "this is the last straw" moments in this journey, but this one was the worst. I didn't rant to anyone, I didn't vent...I just walked away...literally. 

I received the phone call from the USCIS lady about 2 hours before our Wed. night church service and I was just heart-broken. Usually, I can work my way right back into my smiley little self just by being around other people...not that night. I don't know whether it's right or wrong...but I went home right after church without saying a word to anyone. I just snuck out the side door and went home. I know, some of you are thinking, "That's it?" Yeah, that's it.  Honestly, for the first time, I needed to be alone. And I needed sleep. I woke up the next day, and I'm on top of the world again...go figure. 

Even though these two little children on the other side of the planet seem like dangling carrots in front of me, I know I will get there. I've said it a million times...I do NOT know the bigger picture in all of this. I know it will all make sense someday. 

Don't worry everyone, my pom-poms are back in my hands and I'm a happy camper again. Thank you all for your prayers concerning this process! Now...please pray someone at USCIS has mercy on me and expedites my I800 paperwork!!! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

On the rollercoaster...again.

I finally called the USCIS (a gov. office) about my I800 approval (or lack thereof). After much typing on the other end of the phone, the nice lady told me I wasn't even in their system. What? My paperwork is still stuck at a previous location called "the lockbox." She said it will take 10-14 business days to complete that step. THEN it moves to the nice lady on the phone. I slowly started to piece it all together. I asked her, "Are you telling me I am starting all over...from the beginning?" "Yes. I'm sorry." "So, how much time did I lose with my paperwork being sent back to me...two...three weeks?" "Yes, probably. I'm sorry." My heart sunk, and I hung up the phone in utter disbelief. 

EVERY part of this adoption process has been double. Every part. My homestudy should have been 2 months, it was 4. My LOA wait should have been 2 months, it was also 4. Now this. Having to re-send paperwork and start the I800 approval wait all over again...salt in a wound. It's brutal. 

 I was supposed to be in China right now. Literally. So today I'm kind of pouting. I know I shouldn't. But sometimes this process just messes with a person. I have been telling everyone I'm traveling in 3 months. I have said that for 4 months. It's getting old. Now I'm looking at possible travel in February. February. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Can't quit looking at her pics

I haven't wanted to post anything on here for a few days because I wanted to have Bao Xi Yi's pics and videos to stay on the front page for as long as possible!!  I haven't heard anything yet concerning my son's update.  It may take a bit as he is in a different province. I have probably watched the video of my little girl no less than 50 times. I'm so thankful and grateful for that update!!


On another note, sometimes I feel over prepared for going to China and adoption, because I've had all this extra time (hello, 2 extra months just waiting for that stinkin' LOA) to spend reading other people's blogs.  But then at times I feel completely under prepared.  I wanted to know WAY more Chinese words by now, I wanted to know my new camera inside and out and all the fancy tricks that go with it.  I wanted to have my entire family vaccinated against every disease known to mankind.  I wanted to have my house so organized that Martha Stewart herself would bow down to me.  I wanted to read every adoption book out there so I could be THE most prepared adoptive parent anyone has ever met.  None of that happened.  And you know what? It'll all be ok.  The last time I checked I wasn't wearing a cape. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Updates on Bao Xi Yi!!!

About an hour ago I opened my emails to find my updates on Bao Xi Yi!!! I was shocked as I just asked for the update Sunday night...how quick was that! For those who are in the process of adopting, I used Angela with Ladybugsinlove. I received the answers to my 10 questions, 6 pictures and a video!! When we pulled up the first picture, Brianna said, "Mom, that's not her." Actually, I was shocked as well because her hair was pulled back and at first I thought her head was shaved, as sometimes happens when they are placed back in the orphanage before adoption. I'm glad I got to see what she looks like with her hair pulled back because if she came to me like that on Gotcha Day, I don't think I would have recognized her!! She has grown!! But she still has some serious pudgy cheeks, which makes this Mama sooo happy!

Check out these cute pics!!









Video:

video

Answers to my questions:

1. Q.  Does she speak English?
A. She does not speak English yet. She can only understand some simple words like "hello," "bye-bye," etc.

2. Q. Who are her friends? (Their names)
A. She is attending pre-school close to her foster home. She gets along well with other children in her class.

3. Q. What is her favorite food?
A. She is not picky, she likes to eat everything, especially fruit and candy.

4. Q.  What is her personality like? Is she a talker, etc?
A. She is outgoing, smart, and she is a talker.

5. Q.  What are her favorite toys she likes to play with?
A. She likes dolls and she also likes to watch cartoons.

6. Q.  What comforts her when she's upset?
A. When she is upset just pick her up and rock her and talk with her, she will be fine soon.

7. Q.  What causes her to become upset?
A. She does not get upset easily. Sometimes when she is sleepy, she gets a little upset.

8. Q.  What makes her happy?
A. If her foster family takes her out shopping or goes downstairs and plays in the park, she would be very happy.

9. Q.  Does she know she's being adopted?
A. She knows she will have Daddy and Mommy, but does not really understand what adoption means.

10. Q.  Is there a possibility of getting a video as well as pictures?
A.  Yes!!!!!

I'm SOOOO glad I received these as the pictures I had of her were approaching almost a year old! I also received updates on her height and weight. 
Now, how in the world do I keep my feet on the ground for another few months...I want to go get her NOW!!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I800 Rejection

Ooooh, my title sounds SO suspenseful, right? So here's the deal, two weeks ago I sent in some very important adoption paperwork. And yesterday I had it all returned to me with a big fat piece of paper that said, "rejected." Why was it rejected? Because I didn't send them a check for the second child we're adopting. I still don't know where it said I was supposed to send an additional check, doesn't matter, it's done now. I missed it, my agency missed it, and the agency overseeing them missed it. I sent it off without the check and the USCIS sent it back and said, "Show me the money." (They didn't really say that, but it would have been more fun if they did; beats saying, "REJECTED".) 

Last night I had to fight the "I'm so stupid" feelings. But today is a new day. I've said it once and I'll say it again...I have seen the hand of God all over my life...times when I tried soooo hard to kick a door open, and it just.would.not.budge. I just posted last week how I tried to make my homestudy go faster, and it just wouldn't, no matter what I did. Then I found out two weeks ago, had that homestudy gone according to my schedule, I would have missed out on my son. His file wasn't with my agency at the time. I will not fight this. There's a bigger picture here; I just can't see it yet. It'll all be ok when this whole process is done...I may need therapy when it's done, but at least it'll be DONE!! (How many times have I said, "I hate paperwork????")