Saturday, January 19, 2013

One Step Closer

We have taken another step towards finalizing the adoption!  Last week we received two big email files from our agency that included forms to complete our newest daughter's immigration paperwork, visa application and other adoption paperwork.  Jamie and I didn't have a chance to go through the files until the night before my father, who was visiting for a few days, was to return to the US.  

As we started reading through the details we noticed that a few of the forms required original signatures, which meant that if we worked late into the night we could get the paperwork done and have my father be our personal courier and take the forms back to the US for us.  We argued with Adobe Reader for a few (ahem, several) minutes/hours and then we were able to work through all of the forms.

My dad with more of
our adoption paperwork.

I am very happy to say that our personal courier made it to the US with our paperwork and our placement agency in Pennsylvania received our forms this past Monday.  We have a few lose ends to finish tonight and our agency plans to forward all of our paperwork to US immigration on Friday (US time). 

Now what?!  Well, we wait some more.  It could take another 3 months until we travel to the provincial capital and finalize the adoption, but we are working on a medical expedite.  Because of our daughter's medical conditions it is important that she travel to the US as soon as possible to receive medical care. Which brings me to our happy news from last week...the preliminary report for the doctors in China is that our daughter is able to fly and she can wait to have her surgery in the US!  We know that there are fantastic doctors and surgeons close by in Shanghai. And, we believe that our daughter would receive excellent care there.  But, after some recent experiences, we also know how much we would miss because of the language barrier.  If complications were to arise, we would not be able to fully support our daughter without the help of a full-time translator.  Trust me, my Chinese skills are okay for buying fruits & veggies and scheduling massage, but they are not good enough to navigate my way through a Chinese hospital!

So, over the next week, Jamie and I will work on putting together a letter explaining our daughter's medical needs and the importance of expediting our paperwork.  We are also working with doctors in Peoria to get a letter from a surgeon also explaining the need for a medical expedite.  By doing this, we could potentially shave off 6 weeks from our wait.

Perhaps we'll get to experience spring in Illinois this year!

**Last minute update...I wrote most of this post on Thursday and Friday turned out to be a busy day.  The adoption elves were working hard!  Friday morning (China time) Jamie and I received an email from our placement agency that said they would like to send off our I800 forms to US immigration on Friday (US time).  We had two forms that needed to be completed and emailed back to them before they could send off our packet.

Because of the time difference, Jamie and I were able to work on the forms late Friday night China time.  In the email to our agency, I said that I would sleep with the phone next to me in case they had questions or we had made a mistake.  Sure enough, 5:50 am China time, my phone started buzzing under my pillow.  Through the magic of Vonage & the internet, if I don't answer our house phone, the call forwards to my phone.  I whispered "Hello" and tip-toed out of our bedroom to talk to our agency.  I had mistakenly emailed our agency the wrong form and they had a few blanks to fill in before they could stick our packet in the mail.  

After I got off the phone with our agency, I decided to check my email (because, heck, I was already up for the day) and I got a pleasant surprise.  Jamie and I have been waiting to get some specific medical information about our daughter to help plan for the next steps in her care and to use the information to write a letter to ask for a medical expedite to hurry along the final steps of our adoption.  I became very impatient and went ahead and asked the nurse & doctor in Peoria (Friday morning US time) if they might be able to write a letter on our behalf using what information we had already received on our daughter.  Not only were they able to write the letter, but they did it on Friday...the same day I had emailed them!  I quickly forwarded the letter to our agency and then tried to call the office to let them know it was in their inbox.  I wanted to be sure that the letter was included in our packet to be mailed on Friday.  I was afraid that it was too close to 5pm in the US and our agency might not check their email again before the packet was mailed.  I tried calling using our Vonage internet connection in our computer room, ugh!  Plan B was to use Skype on my iPhone.  Again, no internet connection in the living room...what was going on?!  Finally, plan C worked. I called using Jamie's cell phone and I was able to connect with our agency's office in the US.

All that to say...we are just that much closer.  I "think" my agency said things are taking 5-8 weeks to get approval and travel.  And, that's without a medical expedite, but I was also a big groggy and disoriented (funny how not having my glasses on makes it hard to understand a conversation), so I'm not for certain that's what she said.  I just know that we are closer today than we were last week!


  1. This is fantastic! Can't wait to get more news. Yay.

  2. Not soon enough for me! Can't wait to see you guys again!!

  3. I got the chills reading this! So excited for you and your family! Thinking of you all!