So, all my intentions of blogging all of this, have been great. But, have not happened. I have totally relied on Instagram and Facebook for my posts and documenting. Paperwork is moving quickly, and yet, still feels like we hurry up and wait.
The last week has been a praying for paperwork to just move week. The two slow periods with our adoption that I struggled with was the wait for our homestudy to be approved, when it sat in the mail room for about a month in Columbia; and the wait for our I800 approval to get from KS to NH, that took 10 days. Obviously, when we were waiting for MJ's referral, it was hard. But, it was different, I understood better that wait and knew God was choosing our child for us. I've got to admit, I've got to work on my patience on the US side. And it's super hard when it's simple timing of just mailing a piece of paper, etc.
Here was our time frame:
12/17 LOA was approved
12/18 800 was submitted the
12/21 800 was received
1/4 800 approved
1/8 800 mailed out of MS 1/8 to NH
1/11 800 recieved in NH
1/14 Told it's not in the system, to wait 2 weeks, no GUZ # yet (2 phone calls, 5 emails)
1/14 Didn't know it; but it was processed and sent to Embassy in GZ
1/15 Emails sent in AM, called at 5:30 pm, got GUZ# & found out paperwork went to Embassy 1/14
10:35 received PDF of approval in email (Travis' email)*
1/16 Cabled (China's 1/16, our 1/15 pm) meaning the rest of our paperwork was sent to our agency in GZ
Here are some links that really help explain all the craziness of the paperwork from LOA (Letter of Approval) to TA (Travel Approval), for anyone who is interested.
Since the approval happens, and then is snail mailed, my agency needed a PDF copy of the approval.
They don't automatically give you a PDF emailed copy. You have to request it, So, I called and emailed to request it. On Monday, they told me that it'd take up to two weeks and it wasn't ready. But, when I called back yesterday, they told me that my paperwork had been sent to the Embassy on Monday. See how crazy that feels? And I had to call three times in 2 hours because every time I called the full request for a PDF wasn't being submitted.
By the way, I'm calling the National Visa Center at this point, in the US. Not anyone in Ch**a and asking for them to give me a GUZ #.
Once I had it,I realized I needed to be very specific: "Will you please put in a request for a PDF to be emailed to me, and the email on that account." And then, I needed to say, "So, the official request for the PDF is in the system? Okay, thank you very much." The first time, I got the GUZ#. I don't know why I didn't just ask for the request. The 2nd time, I called they said that the PDF would come. I realized after I hung up that didn't mean that the request was in. So, I called back to confirm the request had actually been submitted, and they said they need a supervisor. I realized he didn't know much about adoption. So, I called back 5 minutes later and got someone else who said he would confirm that request was in. I got the PDF about 20 minutes later. I don't know what worked, the call or the emails.
I also did request it by email using the details from China Adoption on how to request it. At first I used the SIM#, then once I asked for the GUZ#, I used that.
GUZ#, Travis' Name, DOB, Meili Joy's official name, DOB, and who I was on the case, etc.
And here is where we are in the process now, this from China Adoption Online says, and I'm quoting them here; but I added the "**".
"After you have received
and have been
cabled (and gotten the NVC letter),
it's time for your Article 5 letter to be issued by the US Embassy. This
is a step that you don't have to really DO anything about, but it is
helpful to know what is going on.
Once you have
emailed your NVC letter
to your agency, they will forward it to their in-Ch**a representative.
The in-Ch**a rep will take the NVC letter to the US Embassy in
Guangzhou along with your DS-230 application and Parental LOA. The US
Embassy only allows representatives to drop off the paperwork on certain days."
"The consulate needs to review your new child's visa application
(the DS-230), make sure it meets the qualifications for an immigrant
visa, and then signs off that everything is in order for the adoption to
be completed. This is called the Article 5 letter. You cannot obtain custody of your child until the Article 5 letter is issued!
The consulate takes a standard two weeks to complete this
process. If your paperwork is dropped off on a Monday, it will be picked
up from the consulate by your agency rep two Mondays later.
Once it's picked up from the consulate, it will be delivered directly to the CCAA for Travel Approval!
And that is all done now. I also forwarded the email to my agency at 10:35 last night, and posted in our Lifeline group that I had sent it. Three minutes later, our Ch**a director told me they had forwarded the document to our agency rep in Ch**a. Seriously, they are amazing!
It's kind of nice now, because there is no calling or emailing today. I seem to do well when I can't do anything. But, get all crazy when there is something that is my responsibility, or seems like mine, to get her home. Back to soaking up our time as a family of 4, reading over packing lists, finishing her room, etc. I'll have another more uplifting post to come tomorrow. Hoping this helps others who come behind us.
Prayer Requests: These are super specific, and our church is in a series on specific prayer requests, so I'm going for it!
My very specific prayer request if for a miracle for TA to still come in time for us to leave my birthday week (ideally leave Feb 22). I know it's more like March 1st right now; but either way, just hopeful.
Second specific request, a Tuesday Consulate appointment. It would really help with our donated airline mile and that maybe a flight on AA would open up from GZ to the US without a trip back to BJ.
Our third, that I could find a set of Dinio (formerly Sunshine) car seats (two for 2 year olds) and 1 booster bottom for Austin on Craig's list. They aren't very common and I think will fit in one row for our car. Hey, at least, I'm not asking for a used Lexus SUV with a third row or Honda Odessey minivan to show up....I mean, really!
(And now that I've been interrupted 15 times trying to just read over this, I realize why I never blog. I can't proof things with my kiddos awake!)