Thursday, October 31, 2013

2:00 A.M. Seriously???

Yes, I have been awake since 2:00 A.M. 

Not 3:00.

I kept rolling over looking at the clock and thinking, "This isn't usual interruption is 3:00!!"

I had a dream (this one's not a God dream y'all...just a stupid entertaining dream straight from my brain) where the lady processing my Visa application had a chemical meltdown at her Visa processing plant. I was standing there watching the whole thing wondering if my passports were ok. 

There's a whole lot in this dream that's just not right...the lady who is processing my Visa lives in a house, not a factory, and you don't process Visas with conveyer belts and chemicals. And I live too far away from her to be watching the whole thing!

It is just once again my brain on adoption overload. My official LOAs are to arrive today by Fed-Ex. I am now officially in the wait for my I800 approval which usually takes only a few weeks. Things begin to happen fairly quickly from here on out, so I am now purchasing things for my trip!! So of course, I'm not sleeping!!!

I cannot explain how much smoother this adoption journey has gone. I have been so much more at peace with the process this time around than I was with Johnny and Lily's, largely due to the fact that I know what I'm doing now, I know and understand each step of the process, but mostly because I trust 100% in God's timing. 

I am amazed that I am on this journey of adoption again!!
Sometimes I have to pinch myself because I'm at the tail end of another adoption process and I'm about to go to China AGAIN!!!!

I look at Fu Chao and Lulu's faces everyday and cannot wait to meet them! Johnny and Lily are so excited to have a new brother and sister their age! Brianna has decided she's raising the next two the way she wants to (not happening) and Josiah is just glad the paperwork side is almost done so he can quit being my assistant!

For right now, I'm going to make a huge pot of coffee because it's only 3:30 and I've got a looooong while before anyone in this house wakes up! 

Friday, October 25, 2013

I Can Breathe!

This week has been extremely eventful, to say the least.
It started off Monday with my Supplement 3 Approval and then Thursday morning was our LOA for Lulu. I was in paperwork mode all day Thursday and today. I mailed out my I800 paperwork yesterday and my Visa paperwork today. Prayerfully I can have a little bit of a break before having to do a ton more. 

I have some photography assignments that need to be done, so I promise, I have pictures to come! But for now, I'm going to enjoy my weekend!

Thursday, October 24, 2013


I received the phone call this morning, but I've been doing paperwork all day, so I can officially now blog about it at 10:30 at night...
I have LOA for Lulu!!!!!!!!!!
I received an email from my agency saying they had received an email from their rep in China stating that both LOAs were fine and they would be received next week. Ok??? What does that mean?? So I sent another email back to my agency to get clarification...had my status changed in the system, what does this mean, do I verbally have LOA??? So I was staring back at the computer saying, "Come on, Candy, email me back. Come on, come on!!! Pleeeeeeeze!" That's when the phone rang. It was Candy, my agency rep. She asked what I was doing and I replied that I was talking to my computer, lol. She asked if I received her latest email, "no I hadn't," I replied, and she said, "Just wait." So I waited...and there it was...Luo's LOA!!!
Do you know what goes on behind the scenes of receiving that LOA? You tell everyone in under 5 minutes and then you get right to business. There's no celebrating the day of LOA. You just cannot fathom the paperwork that needs to go out the door the minute that LOA arrives. And not to mention, once it is out the door, then you begin your Visa applications. So that is what I was doing until five minutes ago. Tomorrow I will be filling out my Mother's Visa.
This is going to be a riot, y'all. This really should be turned into a reality show. My Mom and I were discussing last night about how ditzy we are and how two nit-wits are going to get through three weeks in China. I actually am looking forward to Mom is fairly adventurous so it should be fun...but seriously, we are kind of ditzy. :)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

3:30 A.M.

I've been up since 3:30...again. 

I have China on my brain...again. 

This has happened three times this week and is very familiar to me. I lived this same scenario two years ago in my wait for Johnny and Lily Anna. I've grown a lot since then, I understand the process, and I understand that my way and my timing is not always what God has in mind. 

But when you're in that wait for your LOA...your brain is just the process. You are mentally headed to China. People are talking all around you and you can carry on a conversation while at the same time have an open suitcase in your mind and you're going through your packing list!

I have watched Lulu's video so many times that I've lost count. She seems happy, taken care of, healthy...everything you would like to see in a video, but she's not in my home.

I NEED that piece of paper!!!! Her Letter Of Approval!!!

I've had Fu Chao's LOA now for almost two weeks, so I'm really believing it's soon!!!

There are 3 things I would like to see happen this week:

1. Lulu's LOA
2. Fu Chao's hard copy of his LOA
3. My Supplement 3 Approval from USCIS

These are all huge things...MAJOR things. Will you pray and believe with me that these things come to pass this week? 

I feel it's time.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Update On Lulu!!!!

Ok, once again, Lulu is not, nor will be her American name. Just a current nickname.

I woke up expecting an approval from USCIS, then my agency informed me it was a holiday. Of course it is. School wasn't out today...but, never mind. I'm bitter about all their holidays, which means no one is working on my approval.

So anyway, I had steam coming out my ears, when I decided it was going to be a popcorn and Dots kind of day. Make the most of a stalled adoption process, right? My agency called and informed me that when I asked if Lulu was in an orphanage the rep in China went ahead and asked for pictures and video too! I had no idea that any of this was coming! I found out she is in the orphanage, which kind of threw me. She will be my fourth child from China and the only one still in the orphanage. After the pictures and especially the video, all my fears are calmed. She is well taken care of and looks happy! She is feisty and can hold her own from watching her interaction with other children in her classroom. This has made my day and although I can't wait for her Letter Of Approval to come, I now have something to hang onto until it does!

I will post the video when I can. It uploaded to my computer fine, but anytime I try to send it anywhere else it fails. That's ok, I'm enjoying watching it...and of course, I can't hear her voice...just like Lily's videos that we received two years ago. I'm kind of hoping she doesn't sound like E.T. like her big sister! (Although it is cute!!!!)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

We Have LOA #1!!!!

Yes!!!!!! Dang Fu Chao's LOA has finally shown up in the system!!! 

His total wait for LOA was 85 days...not bad compared to 127 for Lily Anna's two years ago!!!  I received the email and then ran around the house yelling, "Fu Chao's LOA is here!!!" And then I decided to ask about Lulu's. She is still listed as "Reviewed" which means hers could be another few weeks. Honestly, that's what I was thinking it was going to be anyway, so anything sooner than that is just icing on the cake as far as I'm concerned!!

Today I have to overnight the corrected amendment to USCIS (which has nothing to do with their LOAs at this point) and hopefully get that straightened I STILL have stuff to do, which will continue to keep my mind off of the wait for then next LOA to come.

Today, I am so very grateful that I pursued adoption in the first place. I'm so glad that I can now say that I have adopted and I am adopting again. God has blessed our family beyond comprehension, and I am just thankful for the journey!!!!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

One Fleeting Moment

Brianna cooperated for one picture. 


The rest of the pictures I took of her were when she was unaware of the camera. Sometimes those are good, but the other ones were scary. She was sick of me chasing after her with the camera and finally came after me with the apple picker! It's a giant claw y'all! So I left her alone for awhile so then she was a sweety and gave me a cute pose.

I think this picture was worth the wait. Brianna is my comedian so everything we do, including apple picking turns into an event. Perhaps tomorrow I will post the pictures of her coming after me with that giant claw. I'm telling you, it's a CLAW! 

She thinks she's so funny.

Actually, she kind of is. :)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

All's Good!!

I posted on Friday, I believe, that USCIS had an issue with some of my paperwork and that my agency was going to go to bat for me...and they did!!!

I wanted to make sure I did a post to update what has transpired before Monday kicks in and I'm crazy busy making sure everything gets done. 

All USCIS needs is a statement which updates current things from our home study. That's it. Just a simple paragraph. (It could have been sooooooo much more)!!!!! So my home study worker got right on it, fixed it, and my new amendment should prayerfully be in my hands tomorrow or Tuesday. After that I send it to USCIS and pray!! I don't want anymore issues...I just want their formal approval so I can focus on the status of my LOAs. Those two little pieces of paper (Letter Of Approval) mean EVERYTHING in the whole adoption process. It means that I can pretty much be guaranteed to travel 3 months after they arrive!!

I'm so glad that I have my photography class right now. I knew I would be too busy to do it, and that's the very reason I took I would be so massively busy that I couldn't stress about adoption. I took that class for me. It's something creative and I NEED that!!!

I took this picture at an apple orchard. I have a ton more that I need to post but I'll start with this. Brianna had more fun with the animals at the orchard than picking the apples!

Needless to say, I have a ton of apples so now I need to add baking to my already crazy list of things to do!

Saturday, October 5, 2013


A few nights ago, Brianna and Lily ran outside to have some fun before the sun went away completely. I looked out to check on them and this is what I saw:

They were sitting together having a sweet conversation and relaxing in the dark. When I saw them (before I made a mad dash for my camera) the very first thing that popped into my mind was this: 

This is exactly what I envisioned so many years ago when I pondered adoption. 

I was so concerned at the time about the age gap between Brianna and Lily and I didn't need to ever worry about a thing. Brianna has loved this little girl ever since we saw her referral picture. 

It really doesn't get much sweeter than this!

A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life. - Isadora James

Friday, October 4, 2013

Hoping For Resolution

I don't have any pictures to post as I am between computers. My hubby got me my own computer but it's taking an army to help me figure it out. I've learned how to edit my pictures, but I need Josiah to help me save them and get them to the correct file. He has shown me about 500 times, but I need him to show me 501 times, because I've been up since 3:00 am and I'm not about to wake him up to help me put a picture on my blog!

My adoption journey hit an all time high on Wednesday with the news that my LOAs are progressing amazingly well through the system. I was getting ready to email all my adoption buddies to ask them if they could do a guesstimate of when those LOAs might show up on my doorstep, when I received a different form of news. One that made my stomach flip and my heart sink.

It was from USCIS saying they needed an RFE - Request For Evidence. These are dreaded words in the adoption community because it means there's a discrepancy with something in my paperwork and it needs to be fixed, which can cause delays. 

I hate delays.

I'm never in the mood for delays.

So my agency is going to bat for me today and I will find out if it's as simple as some wording that needs to be changed or if I have to do a ton of work. Sometimes that ton of work means having to do part of the home study over again.

Yeah, that's something else I'm not in the mood for. I'm going to go drown myself in coffee and cinnamon rolls. 

Don't worry, somehow I always manage to see the brighter side of things. I don't let things like this get me down too long. At first it feels like a punch in the gut, but then you have to take a step back and look at the big picture and realize that God's got this. It's in His hands. 

But still, I am going to have that coffee and try not to go into a sugar induced coma while shoving my face in a glazed cinnamon roll. Oh yeah, it's gonna happen. 

James 1:2 baby...James 1verse 2...count it all where's that pile of rolls and gallon of coffee?