Wednesday, January 30, 2008

DTC, LID, and other Adoption Acronyms


Our dossier is in China!

Our dossier went to China (DTC) on January 18th, 2008, and yesterday we found out that it was logged in (LID) at the China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA) on January 28th, 2008. FINALLY!!!!! With Brielle's adoption, we were DTC just shy of three months from the day we began paperchasing. This time around, it took TWO extra months to get through immigration (and to get our I-171H), and so we are approaching five months since we began the paperwork to bring home our little boy. Needless to say, we are very excited that our paperwork is finally in the hands of the CCAA!!

So, what does this mean? Well, we are told it will be at least three months before we hear anything from the CCAA. We are now waiting for the CCAA to review and approve our dossier, then send us the Seeking Confirmation Letter (SCL), which is the official "referral" of our son. We will need to sign this letter, stating that we do indeed wish to adopt him, and send it back to the CCAA. Then, we'll wait for them to issue us Travel Approval (TA), our agency will schedule our appointment at the US Consulate in Guangzhou, China, and we'll book flights and get packing! TA and travel usually occur about two months after the SCL is received.

The special needs children adoption route is faster, but less predictable than the non-special needs adoptions. So, all waiting times are only estimates. That being said, our best guess-timate for meeting our little guy is sometime in June (oh my goodness...can I wait that long?). Again, this is only a guess, and we are, of course, holding on to hope for a record-breaking fast SCL!

When you are adopting an older child, you are allowed to send them a little package. We were told we were limited to "a beanie baby size toy no larger than your hand". Thank you God for making Max's hands so large :o)! We thought and thought about what one toy would be the perfect one to send to our little son whom we've never met. Think about that...that's a tough one. Then, I read that a family from our agency sent their older daughter a little purse full of fun girly things. Perfect! Just the idea I was looking for! So, with Max's hand spread wide open, we found a little pack just the right size and filled it with all sorts of little boy things...a ball, yo-yo, slinky, flashlight, puzzle, Hot Wheel cars, stickers, and even a personalized little TX license plate for the bike we'll soon get him! We had so much fun putting everything together!
(note to other adoptive parents: our agency allowed us to send everything except for the candy we had included; I'm not sure why they didn't allow the candy)

Along with this, we sent him a Shutterfly photo book in which we shared photos of ourselves, our house, pets, etc., and through words and pictures, attempted to prepare him a little for his new family and home. We would so greatly appreciate your prayers in this area. Please pray that he will understand what is about to take place, and that his little heart and mind will be prepared. It grieves me to think about the emotions he will soon be facing - fear, loss, grief, lack of control... I pray that mixed with these emotions are even the tiniest bits of hope, comfort, warmth, sense of belonging,...

Thank you SO much for your support. We'll keep you posted on any news!

Monday, January 7, 2008

An Ideal End to 2007...

Brielle is shocked that Christmas is over, and there are no more presents to open!

It is so hard to believe that the holidays have passed, and today it was back to school for us and back to work for Max. I hated to say goodbye to Max this morning, because we had him all to ourselves for a whole 16 days! This was the first time since we were married that we can remember having time off and just being together at home as a family. What a perfect way to end the very busy year of 2007!

This was also the very first Christmas with just us, our little immediate family. When we first decided to stay home for Christmas this year, I was somewhat afraid that we'd regret it, but as much as I love spending time with my extended family, I have to say that this was the most relaxing Christmas season I can remember. No packing, no rushed cookie making, no early gift opening (our kids actually opened their gifts on Christmas morning), no car trips or plane rides with a two year relief! This time of rest and togetherness was priceless.

Max insisted that I wait to make our Christmas cookies until he was off of work, so we could all make them together. He was a HUGE help, and with him by my side in the kitchen, cooking and baking was much more enjoyable!

Cookie Decorating...

Some Christmas Pictures...

Brant had just two things on his wish list:

1) This airsoft gun

2) A Nintendo Wii

Brittany wished for a dozen books and almost that many movies!

Brielle continually asked for "games" for Christmas. What fun it is to experience Christmas morning through the eyes of a two year old! Brielle opened each of her gifts quickly and ably, moving onto the next one without pausing to play with the one newly opened. She let out a loud scream of delight when she uncovered her final gift - a new kitchen!

A Christmas evening walk

Brielle takes Daddy for a spin in her new race car...

With 2007 behind us, we look forward to what God has in store for our growing family in 2008.

Wishing you a blessed 2008 from all of us to all of you!!