Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween Everyone - Booh!

Halloween 2007
Daisy & Callie - Witches
Aspen - Devil
Snowball - Vampire
Gracie - Lady Bug

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Vietnam Pictures

Traffic Jam on the River

Here are some pictures I found of Vietnam. I don't believe we're in Kansas anymore.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Time Line for Vietnam - On hold at this time.

September, 2007:

  • Started talking seriously about starting the process for Adoption for Vietnam since China has slowed down so much and it doesn't look like it will happen now until Spring of 2009. Almost 30-32 months later.
  • Started to contact various agencies to check on their process.
  • Decided on PLAN (Plan Loving Adoptions Now) located in Washington State.

October, 2007

  • First Home Study done on October 9th.
  • Sent in I-600A
  • Finger Prints done for DCFS
  • Medical completed
  • Second Home Study completed October 25th

November, 2007

  • Received completed Home Study back
  • Thanksgiving day

China Time Line

Below is my time line for China. By the time we are home this will be over 3 years. Not what I was expecting when we started.

Contacted various agencies to find out about the whole adoption process.
Received a Call from Great Wall Adoption to find out if I'd care to start my paperwork process NOW!
Sent in Application and received approved.
1&2 Home Studies Completed
Finger Prints - FBI, Local, & DCFS
Sent I-600 to USCIS
Medical Complete
3rd and last Home Study done
Home Study sent to CIS office
Received I-171 - almost 7 weeks to receive after home study was received
Documents take to State & China Consulate for Authentication, etc.
Dossier sent to Agency
LID in China 8-8-06
LID one year
Updated Home Study
Re-did Finger prints for FBI
Finally out of Review from the CCAA
We are now pending referral....and will be for a long time :(
Resend I-600A for renewal
Waiting and waiting.
Beijing Summer Olympics 8-8-08
Referrals have finished thru January 2006
WooHoooo.... 6 months to go...

Let's start from the Beginning - Jan 2006

Aspen & Grand Canyon 2006
These were taken last year on our trip to the Southwest...We had such a fun time. It was a trip of a life time. This was actually the last trip we took. We were really hoping to be headed to China this year. So much for that thought. Now we hope to go in 2009.

This is Mary & Martha from IL. and our adoption stories started probably at least 4 years ago or maybe longer. This has been something that both my sister and I have been talking about for a long time…but timing is everything and it’s been mainly talk up until last January 2006. I (Mary) had told myself way back that I’d be a mother at 45. So adoption must have been thought about long ago since there were no men on the horizon.

So back in Jan 2006 we both decided to contact agencies to see what we could find out about the process (mainly how long, when the application could be filled out, etc). We knew that being single was also a factor, and that agencies would only take a certain percentage each year depending on the size of the Agency. (God had this all planned way before since I wasn't aware of the changes in China the following year. (In May of this year, China closed their doors to singles.) See what I mean?

There’s normally a 12-18 month waiting period to put an application in for singles that wanted to adopt children from China. China has very strict rules for adoption (I'll fill you in later about Vietnam) (And since, have gotten even stricter starting May 2007) In the past few years we have fallen in love with these precious little ones. They need (a) parent(s) very much. I also believe the Bible said “Care for the Widows and Orphans”. It’s hard to imagine that they are abandon at such a young age. How can their mothers do it? This must be very hard for them. They are normally left on streets, on door steps, in areas where they know they will be found.

By the first part of February we had received about 4 or 5 packets. Each with various information and cost which also varied. A few days after sending for information to Great Wall Adoption, I received a call from Great Wall’s local office in Brookfield, IL. (one of the best and largest adoption agencies in the country that only work with China), letting me know that I could still get in this year to complete the paper work. I couldn't believe it! I really believe that God opened this door for me to start this wonderful and exciting Journey in 2006. I later found out that some singles were on a waiting list with other agencies and never got in. If any one would have told me I would be done with all the paper chasing by the end of 2006 I would have never believed them. That’s why I decided that SuAnna (our grandmother’s name) would have the middle name of Grace…since this could have only come about by the Grace of God. It’s amazing to know that Jeremiah 29:11 (the verse on the right side under Scriptures) was the verse that our grandmother claimed for our father. Soon after I lost my job in 2002 I claimed that one too. God sure works in mysterious ways. Another great verse that seems to fit this journey is Hebrews 11:1 "Now Faith is the substance of all things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. All things are possible if you have faith". I really don’t think anyone can do this without faith and God every step of the way. This is a life changing experience. All I know is that I have to trust him in this Journey ahead. Who would have thought that at age 46 I would be raising a toddler. God sure has a sense of humor. : ) We now wait for the referrals to arrive. Referrals have gone up a lot since I started this we are praying that it will come down and next summer we will travel to China for the little girl that’s supposed to be my daughter. I can hardly wait for that day! :)

Since starting all this, referrals have sky rocketed for China...and time isn't on our side we have begun the process for Vietnam. We are still trying to think of a name for our little one from Vietnam. There have been some circumstances that have lead up to, etc. another reason we have decided to proceed now instead of later. Money was the option of why we haven't started earlier than this...but it can't stand in the way of what's at the end of this wonderful journey. We'll survive, somehow. Martha has just started the paper work for Vietnam so we are pretty much new to this. We have selected a great agency from everything we've read and heard from others. The home study will be next week...and we're still not sure how many are required. So there are still some questions there. There isn't that much to put together from what we see so that's a good thing. The I-600A has been sent to the USCIS and we're hoping for a speedy turnaround. China took 7 weeks to return this form which is then the I-171...which is the approval to adopt an orphan overseas. UPDATE: Since starting this blog last year...Martha has switched countries and is now in the process of Kyrgyzstan. Vietnam closed their doors to the USA for adoptions right now. Hopefully they will open up again after an agreement has been signed in the future. Let's hope so.

We will continue to update this when things progress. So it just might be some time...We will also add pictures from time to time and then when we travel this will be updated daily along with pictures. Please keep us in your prayers as this is all very new to us...after 46 years of being's going to be a new chapter in our book. :) And the only verse that I feel fits right now for both of us is:

"God can do anything, you know--far more than you
could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams"
Ephesians 3:20 :)
Thanks so much for following our Journeys. You're in for a great ride.

Mary (China) & Martha (Kyrgyzstan)
Mom's to Be - Sometime very soon :)