Saturday, December 24, 2005

Ho-Ho-Holiday Blessings

We had a great time visiting with other America World Adoption Association families at the Christmas gathering at our house. There were a bunch of kids and adults and our little home accommodated everyone with cozy Christmas cheer.

Santa and Mrs. Claus stopped by and brought yummy Jelly Belly candy canes and took pictures, which we will post as soon as we get them from the North Pole. We love spending time with all the AWAA people as there is a kindred spirit. I was amazed when I first met everyone in October that there seemed to be a familiarity about them, and my new friend Sandy said, "That's because we're family." We also love spending time with their beautiful little girls as it somehow eases the anxiety as we wait for Olivia.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone, and enjoy your holidays with family - or friends that are family.

Love, Dawn

Monday, December 12, 2005

Lessons in Faith

When Dawn and I decided to adopt a little girl from China, it was a very easy decision to make. But it wasn't one that was entered into lightly; it was a decision based on faith.

We have faith in God's Word. We believe that "children are a heritage from the Lord" (Psalm 127:3). We believe that Christians are to reach out to orphans (James 1:27). We believe that all Christians are adopted (Romans 8:15). And, as we enter into parenthood, we believe that God will meet our needs (Matthew 6:25-34).

In my opinion, it is very easy to "have faith" in something. It is quite another thing entirely to put that faith into action, and I am continually amazed at the faith exemplified in the lives of strong believers.

One such person is my friend Dr. Dave Black. Dave is a teacher in every sense of the word. Whether he realizes it or not, he continues to be a source of inspiration for me and countless others who have gotten to know him through his online writings. One of the things I have learned from him is the importance of living a life of faith.

He and his wife, Becky, have been ministering in Ethiopia and are headed back there again. Here is an excerpt from the December 8 entry on his blog:
In 6 days we leave for Ethiopia, even as a border war with Eritrea looks more and more likely. Understandably, our friends are concerned about our safety. One of the most important things happening in our life as a married couple is learning to be completely dependent upon God and to face whatever comes our way—good or bad—as from His loving hand. As Hebrews 11 says, whether people are delivered or not delivered, in every situation they stand in a position of faith toward the outcome.

Sometimes Christians are delivered, and sometimes they are not. Still they tell the king, as did Daniel, "We're not going to bow." The man of faith does not bow. He does not bow to the world, he does not bow to the government when it usurps the role of God, and he does not even bow to the church (or to its traditions) when it is on the opposite side of the Bible.

Our day is no different from Daniel's. We too are confronted by our own fiery furnaces, and we face one of two outcomes. We can say, "Our God is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." Via email I hear from people the world over that they are being convicted by the Lord Jesus more and more not to bow the knee.

I don't have sophisticated tracking services like some websites do, but I do know that our reading audience includes people from Africa, Europe, and Asia. More and more of them are telling Becky and me how God has been leading them to move forward in their lives toward a simpler, more biblical, and more obedient way of living. Sometimes that has brought misunderstanding and opposition, even from those who are closest to them.

Which comes first, material things or spiritual things? This question is, perhaps, the one most frequently asked. The gross materialism that characterizes our modern culture—even our church culture—is becoming more and more repugnant to these pilgrims. Do not misunderstand me. I do not deny the necessity of material things. The problem is when the "natural" things of life (or whatever terminology you prefer) become first place. I have to smile when I read of those Christians who, in the face of the evidence contrariwise, want to continue participating in the gross materialism of "the holidays" because they cannot give up their attachment to the "innocent" things of the season.

All of us should always have a burning heart for the spiritual over the material, for truth over tradition. We all need the Lord's forgiveness for this—I more than anyone. So, what does God require of Becky and me? Is it enough to say certain words? Is it enough to affiliate with a certain group? No. God wants us to affirm the exclusiveness He has revealed.

And He has revealed these things to us in a way we can comprehend and implement among the children of men. To say "Christ" does not help anyone. Jesus taught that many "christs" would come. The word must contain the content of who God is, what He has done in Christ, and therefore what the Gospel is. Nothing short of this is enough. While a student in Basel I heard the term christophoros. It means "one who bears Christ." It was used by the church fathers in distinction to another term, christologos—"one who speaks about Christ." The true Christian is one who does not merely talk about Christ. He is one who bears Christ far and wide. Cross-bearing and Christ-bearing. That is our task as we leave for the great unknown.

It is my prayer that Dawn and I can set that kind of Godly example for Olivia, whenever she comes home. I pray that we will strive toward a simpler, more biblical, and more obedient way of living. May we learn to forsake the false comforts and securities of this temporal world and rest in the eternal promises of our Heavenly Father.

* Itinerary and Prayer Guide for the Blacks' Trip to Ethiopia


Saturday, December 10, 2005

Points of Prayer...

If you would like to know of some ways to pray for us and for other families going through the adoption process, here are a few. If there are things I don't mention, please contact me so that I can add it to the list:

  1. You can pray for our daughter by name. We are naming her Olivia. Her middle name will be her given Chinese name or some part of that name.
  2. Pray for her birthparents: their pain, their healing, their circumstances.
  3. Pray for her safety.
  4. Pray for her orphanage: The facilities themselves; For the Caretakers and Nannies - that Olivia and the other babies will be held and loved often; For the caretakers' strength and courage; For their sadness when they say goodbye to a child to whom they have grown attached.
  5. Pray for her health and warmth. We have heard some stories about how cold it can be in some of the orphanages.
  6. Pray for us. For peace in the waiting process and patience to keep remembering that Olivia will come home in God's perfect timing, NOT OURS! Pray for us as we prepare and all the many different ways in which we need to prepare.
  7. Pray for the process. While we acknowledge that all will take place in God's timing, there can still be prayer for the many bureaucratic steps that occur. We haven't finished these steps ourselves as of yet, and then our lives will be in the hands of first our government and then the Chinese government. It is an interestingly woven tapestry of details and people.
  8. Pray for our finances. We have made payments for one third of the process, but need much, much, more to make this happen. Also, Lee's sister Sharla and his mom are planning to go with us to China and they need to raise funds as well.
  9. Pray for our fellow America World families and others who are also in this process at various stages. Pray for emotional health as many of us didn't realize what an emotional journey this is.
  10. Pray for those considering adoption. It is a wonderful way to add to your family and change YOUR life and the life of a parentless child. It can be your own personal mission field.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Medical Letters and Home Study Approved!

Some good news and some sobering news (ALWAYS!!). First, the good. Our medical letters were approved and therefore our homestudy is complete and was also approved! This is VERY significant to have this step done. Now we wait for our I-171H. I can't even figure out a way to explain that right now, so just pray that it gets processed efficiently, as it can take 4-6 weeks, but the office stated that it is taking the full 6 weeks right now.

Ok, the bad. As you may recall in an earlier post, China is anticipating some delays for referrals (when we get our match). The time frame from Log In Date (LID) to referral is typically 6-7 months. With the CCAA (China Center for Adoption Affairs)
moving offices THIS MONTH they are anticipating referrals to move to 9-10 months from LID. Our social worker went through everything with me today on the phone, and just so we ALL have managed expectations, worst case scenario is that we may not be going to China until 2007. This made me a little sad since I had decided that I'd be ok with anything as long as she was home for Christmas next year and for our 15th wedding anniversary on the 21st of December (thinking that I was being generous with the time-frame).

BUT and this is the big but, I will KEEP reminding myself (and you can remind me, too, as long as you're gentle) that our daughter will come home when God is ready. All of the bureaucratic red tape in the world couldn't stop His plan, and if that is for us to go by next fall, WONDERFUL! If that means we wait and wait and wait, I guess I will have to learn some patience, eh? Really, as Lee says, "We've waited this long to have kids, what's a little longer?"
Har-dee-har-har! (good-natured laugh)

Well, lots of love to all of you. Thanks for prayers, thoughts, and emails. Don't forget to leave your comments after you read. Just mark "other" instead of "blogger" and you won't have to log in. It encourages us.


Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Hello! We received our passports today! Also we had our last meeting with our social worker, Stacie, and we are nearly done with the home study process. Just waiting on updated medical letters.

We're getting there!


Saturday, November 26, 2005

Spoke Too Soon!

Just thinking that I spoke too soon regarding Thanksgiving! Turned out to be a bummer for me - with a migraine, "losing" my, and a painful sore throat and 101 temperature to follow. All while having out-of-town guests at our house. They managed fine without me but I was sad to miss out on spending time with them. Makes me remember that I should be thankful for my health!

Thursday, November 24, 2005


It's Thanksgiving today and we have so much to be thankful for. We are celebrating with both sets of parents today, which is great! I am really looking forward to that.

We are hoping to have our daughter by next Thanksgiving, and I have no concept of the gratitude that will fill my heart then! As each item on our adoption checklist gets checked off, I feel thankful that no major problems or issues have popped up. As it stands, we are waiting on the following: corrected medical letters, our passports, our fingerprint report and our final homestudy report. When all of this is received, we send everything to get authenticated by the US government, and then it is off to our agency and to CHINA!

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving and take the feelings of gratitude that you recall today into the days ahead.


Monday, November 21, 2005

Worries or Prayers...

Everyone keeps asking me if we are worried about the Bird Flu in China. The answer is NO! One in FIVE people on the earth lives in China and the odds are greater in general that confirmed cases will come from there. And, only TWO cases have been confirmed to date.

We have met families who got their daughters during the SARS epidemic and all was fine for them then and is now. The truth is, there is no end to things that we could worry about! New thoughts pop into my head all the time that hadn't occured to me before! Or I hear or read something that causes anxiety. I just read an article about a family adopting from Korea and all was put on endless hold because the wife's fingerprints were rejected since her fingers were "overused"...ummm, WHAT? What does that even MEAN? Then my brain starts racing, "Oh NO! Lee and I just got our fingerprints taken! What if.........."

Every day, sometimes every moment, I need to remind myself that I can worry or I can pray. One causes stress, because I take all of the burden on to my shoulders; and one relieves stress, as I cast my anxiety on the Lord (1 Peter 5:7).

Well, I heard that sleep also relieves stress, so off I go! Good Night! Or in Mandarin - Wan An! (phonetically wahn ahn)

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." John 14:27

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Interesting Article

The following article appeared in The Beijing News two years ago:

    Foreign Parents and Their Adopted Chinese Babies

    Statistics show that more than 50,000 Chinese abandoned babies have been adopted by foreign families since the 1990s, and the number is keeping rising. Foreign-related adoption not only helps release the burden of Chinese orphanages, but gives family love to the children who badly need it. ...
Click here for the full article.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Fingerprints Done

Well, Lee actually got me out of the house before 8:30 on a Saturday morning! We went over to St. Paul and got our fingerprints taken. I felt a little violated! :) All for a good cause!

They said to allow up to two hours and that if there were too many people, we might have to go back another time. Luckily we were in and out in just under an hour!

When I went through our dossier packet with Lee's family today to see what was done and what was left, I was thrilled to realize we have only our financial statement to do ourselves and we need to get new medical letters from our doctor. Unfortunately, this will be the third time that they have been done, but we need a lot of detail and "layman's terms" for things. Hopefully our medical providers will still take us as patients as we try their patience!

When the homestudy meetings are done, our social worker will write a report on us and our home that has the remaining info that we need, then we send everything off to the US government to be authenticated and then, off to China!


"The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace."
-Numbers 6:26

Friday, November 11, 2005

On the Education of Children

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction." - Proverbs 1:7

The adoption process has compelled us to think seriously about how our new daughter will be educated. Do we homeschool or send her to a private, Christian school to make sure she receives a God-centered education, or do we drop her into a government-run indoctrination center (a.k.a., public school) that does everything in its power to undermine the authority of scripture and our duty as parents?

You can probably tell where I'm going with this. Check out my latest essay, "The Education of Our Children Should Not Be Left to the State."

And to think that people call me opinionated!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

*** SIGH ***

In our email today...

To America World Families:

There has been an uncertainty regarding the timeframe from log-in to referral that needs clarification. As stated on the Weekly update, the CCAA is experiencing some delays for several different reasons. In the beginning of October they had a national holiday; at the end of the month the trade fair occurred. The Center is also expecting to move to a newer facility to enhance their productivity and improve service to families. This move will occur from the middle of November to the middle to end of December. It is expected that things will be slowing down in the coming months due to these changes. We do not have specific confirmation on the length of the delay, but we estimate approximately 9-10 months from log-in date to referral. When we are given more specific information, we will notify families accordingly. While this is difficult to accept at this time, this delay will be of benefit to increase productivity and efficiency.

We pray that the Lord will give you all peace during this time of transition for the CCAA. Please feel free to contact your Family Coordinator for prayer requests or questions.

Birth Certificate Update

Great news! We received the following e-mail from our adoption coordinator:

    For your birth certificate part of your dossier, a photo copy of your original birth certificate along with the beige "Notarized Copy of an Original" form will suffice with China and for your dossier. I have attached another form if you need it. If you want to send me a copy of Lee's original birth certificate to make sure that is fine, that would be great! I hope this helps.
That does help, and it's an answer to prayer. Now, rather than having to wait for who-knows-how-long, we can forge ahead.

We're nearly done with everything needed for our dossier, and it appears as if the home study will be completed before Thanksgiving. Once all of the documentation is authenticated by the U.S. government, our dossier will be off to China!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

"Keep Plugging Away..."

This is a quote from my Dad, which we have all heard routinely throughout our lives no matter what task was at hand. The task at hand right now is completing our dossier as soon as possible. This weekend we worked on our photo pages. I got a call from the doctor's office that the health reports were ready...hopefully all is filled out properly now.

If you recall, China requires four face-to-face meetings with a social worker, so we are on our way. We have had our first meeting with our social worker, Stacie; Lee has had his one-on-one and we have the next couple meeting tomorrow. My one-on-one is in another week since our calendars didn't mesh well for this week.

Below is a quote from AWAA. I am trying to stay happy after reading it - knowing that no matter what "delays" come about throughout this thing, that we are in God's hands and His timing. He knows which precious child will live here. That's on one, very logical hand. On the other hand, the maternal, achy-heart-ready-to-be-a-mama-finally hand, I cry simply because my chest hurts from wanting to hold my baby. One of the reasons cited below, however, is actually a very positive one...if it is taking the CCAA longer to log dossiers because of the sheer volume of applications, that means more babies are going to homes and to Mamas, Daddys, siblings, grandparents.

Log In Dates

"America World China paperchasing families are asked to be aware that it is taking longer for Dossiers to be logged into the CCAA (China Center of Adoption Affairs). Routinely, it is common for a delay of several weeks between the time the Dossier is sent to China (DTC date) and the time the Dossier officially begins to be processed within the CCAA (LID-Log In Date). However, due to the high volume of Dossiers recently received by the CCAA in addition to the recent Chinese holiday (the Center was closed), further delays have occurred. The most recent two groups of Dossiers sent to China by America World received login dates which were over a month from their DTC dates. The China staff anticipates these delays might continue into the future and are asking families to adjust their expectations accordingly. The China staff extends its deepest sympathies and regrets for these delays, knowing the heartache additional delays will bring. Families are requested to please direct all further questions about this and related matters to individual Family Coordinators."

We read Galatians 4:4-7 as a congregation this morning - 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

We are all adopted as children of God and an interesting thought - Jesus himself was adopted by Joseph.

I curiously watched two very beautiful, well-behaved boys in church who had dark skin, sitting on either side of a blond woman. As she passed by me after the service, I said, "Are these your sons?" She beamed and said, "Yes - we've had them for three weeks!" I believe she said they were from I can't remember! What I remember is that she said that their dad was killed in the war there, their older sister had died, their mom and new baby died in childbirth, so they went to live with their Grandma. Their Grandma died of old age and they then lived with a neighbor, until she died of AIDS. These boys, 10 and 7 years old, then lived in several different orphanages until they came home to Minnesota! They were so sweet and well-adjusted already! Their Mom said that the conditions that these boys were living in would break your heart. To see kids who have gone through so much getting an opportunity for a new start after such sadness and devastation is simply beautiful. Yet, from what I hear from every adoptive parent, it is the parents who feel blessed.

I feel such peace in my heart about this decision - I told Lee that never in my life have I felt such a conviction about something - that this is the right path for us! I pray every day for our baby and for her birthparents - she could be born anytime!

So in the meantime, I guess we'll just "Keep Plugging Away" and know that, as in Galatians 4, when the fullness of time has come, our child will be brought home.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


~ I met with our nurse today and went over all the corrections that need to be made to our health reports.

~ I got my birth certificate from Colorado so we went and got our passports ordered and pictures taken. Still need to get Lee's updated birth certificate, but since we had an "old" copy, that one worked for getting his passport.

~ We have been writing our autobiographies and gathering other info (tax returns, etc.) for the home study.

Picture Update

On Saturday, October 15, Dawn and I attended a get-together with other parents who have either already adopted or are in the process of adopting through AWAA. Here we are with some of the adopted girls we met:

Needless to say, the meeting only increased our anticipation!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

China Adoption Video

Still have that handkerchief handy? Then click here for a touching video from Bring Me Hope, an agency specializing in Chinese adoptions.

Grace and Justice

R.C. Sproul, Jr., shares with us a beautiful, heart-warming adoption story on his "squiblog":

    ... We began the process of adoption a month or two after Denise's final surgery. We attended classes, filled out mountains of paper work, made countless phone calls to various agencies. We mentioned our hopes and plans to our families, congregation and a few close friends, and together we all prayed, and waited.

    A few months ago I received an unexpected phone call from my friend and co-laborer Doug Phillips. He began the conversation by telling me that he and his godly wife had recently, after seven healthy children, lost their first to miscarriage. Tears welled in my eyes as I sought to enter into my brother's suffering. That, ultimately, Doug explained, wasn't the reason for his call. He went on to explain that as he, and Beall and his children mourned the loss of their unborn child, that one son, Justice, approached his daddy with his piggy bank. "Daddy," this young hero said, "I've got some money saved up. Could we go down to the orphanage and get Mommy a new baby?" There was no more welling for my tears. By now they had reached the cascade stage. "You have a fine son in Justice, Doug," I told him. "R.C., out of that conversation, the Phillips family has made a decision. We are going to send you a contribution to help pay for your adoption." The cascade became a flood. ...
Grab a handkerchief and click here to read the entire post.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


Hi everybody! Hey, don't forget to leave a's easier now; Lee removed the sign-up thingy. It'd be nice to know who's dropping by and it would also be encouraging to me.

So, I got my birth certificate! That was only a couple of days, not a couple of weeks! We are going to go get our passports tomorrow (Monday) so that will be another item to check off!

Regarding Lee's birth certificate our account coordinator at AWAA, Tabitha, said that she heard that New Orleans folks can now get their BC's from any vital records office, so I am gonna check on that!! If that is correct we are on our way!

We got the paperwork back from our doctor but there were some things filled out incorrectly and some other things missing. I will have to set up another meeting with them to get the info corrected. One funny mistake was the answer to this question for Lee's report, "Is the applicant's state of health suitable for raising a child?" And they actually put "NO"!!!! I am quite certain that this was an oversight!

I overheard Lee on the phone talking to his best friend Chris, and it was really fun hearing him tell different stories about what is going on and how excited he is about this! We pray for her every night. Whoever she is, wherever she is, if she has already been born, if she is on the way...only God knows which little girl is coming home to our house!

Keep in touch!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A Time to Grieve, a Time to Rejoice

At 36 years of age, I know that I am very blessed to have had all four of my grandparents around most of my life. But we all get older, and we all have to face the realization that life on this earth is only temporary.

I lost my paternal grandfather, L. R. Shelton, Jr., in January of 2003. On Sunday, October 8, my maternal grandfather, George M. Robertson--"Papaw," as we called him--passed away. He was 89 years old.

Some of my fondest memories of Papaw are from my childhood, when our family would travel from Fort Smith, Ark., to my grandparents' home in Picayune, Miss. It's amazing all of the little things I remember from those visits: the fragrance of pine trees in the air, the feel of the sandy soil between my bare toes, the smell of my grandparents' house and Papaw's cologne, the jagged pattern of the floor tiles. I recall the giant stereo console in the living room on which we played countless records and the multi-colored fiber optic lamp that kept us entertained for hours.

Field trips were standard. Whether it was going on walks to pick wild berries, trying to catch something in a nearby fishing hole, visiting a train museum or driving down to the Gulf, we always did things as a family.

But the best part of our visits was at night. Often we would gather together to watch 8mm home movies Papaw and other members of the family had made. As the silent images danced on the screen, we would snack on treats like fried okra and Papaw's world-famous, homemade peach ice cream. Those memories--and many more--are ones I will always cherish.

Papaw was a kind, gentle, Godly man who was always willing to give of himself. I never knew him to be selfish, and I never heard him speak a harsh word. Of course, he helped raise my mother to be the person she is today, and for that I am thankful.

It is always difficult to say goodbye, but as believers in Christ we know that all the joys and fond memories of this life are nothing compared to spending eternity in Heaven. Pain and suffering have no place there, and death will be a thing of the past. Our salvation will be fully realized as we leave behind this fragile existence and put on incorruptible, glorified bodies that will never know the ravages of time.

And therein lies the hope all Christians share. Yes, times like these cause us to reflect on the lives of the ones we have lost, but we rejoice in anticipation of the day when we will all be reunited in Glory in the presence of our Savior and Lord.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Feeling Defeated Today...

I messed up and I didn't see that I was to send in a photocopy of my driver's license when I requested my birth cerificate which means that I haven't received it yet which means I can't get my passport yet which is depressing since I heard it takes 6-8 weeks to get them. :(

Also, I am just plain tired and I have a sore throat. Work is very demanding right now and I have many plates spinning in the air. Plus now I may have to go to HQ next week - DETROIT - for some training. :P

To make me even MORE defeated today, after I wrote this whole thing it magically disappeared and I had to re-type it!!!! >:(

I'll re-type more of what was lost tomorrow, since I am done with today!

Off to bed! Sorry to be so grumpy but I can't be peppy ALL the time! ;)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Fun Day!

On Saturday the 15th we went to a meeting for Minnesota families who have already adopted or are in the process of adopting through America World. It was great meeting new friends and we had a common bond immediately. We also got to meet our social worker for the first time and she is fabulous.

One amazing tidbit is that we met a couple who said that they, too, lived in North Minneapolis. Turns our they live on our STREET -- only three blocks north of us! Also amazing, of the four families who are "in the process", we were the two families adopting from China -- and we were seated right next to each other! Their names are Todd and Jen and they have two small children, Celia and Barak. I spent some time with her today and we are all planning on getting our passports together tomorrow. We are at about the same pace with the paperwork and hope we travel to China at the same time! Only God knows, but everyone at the meeting felt that this was a God-ordained circumstance!

One of the moms, Kris, took some pictures, and we have permission from the parents to post them, so as soon as we get them we will do just that!

Love to all!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Some good news, some bad

Ok, I talked to our social worker today and she got her license from the state of MN, so we are all set to start the home study process!! Yeah!! This is very good news!

On the flip side, we are still on "hold" with Lee's birth certificate--our agency (AWAA) says they will assist us by contacting their Chinese liaison if New Orleans doesn't open a new vital records office soon.

For more good news, we are looking forward to a get-together this Saturday with other AWAA parents who have either already adopted or are in the process, and our first official meeting with the social worker (Stacy) is on Friday the 28th. There are a bunch of things we need to accomplish before that meeting.

And some bad news, we are sad to say that Lee's Grandpa Robertson passed away on Sunday. He was nearly 90 and was ready to go, but it's still hard. Sadly he may be an indirect victim of Hurricane Katrina. He had to be evacuated from his nursing home after days with no power, and he got sick during that time with pnemonia and an infection. We are VERY grateful that we got to see him on our trip to New Orleans last November. Please keep the Robertson clan in your prayers.

To end on a good note, here is some humor. When I was filling out our paperwork for the adoption, it asked for "parent's names". I started to put my folks' names when I realized that Lee and I are the parents!

More soon!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Can't get Lee's Birth Certificate (and other news)...

Hi all - heard that quite a few people are reading this so hello even if I don't know you!

So the word is that we need to request updated marriage and birth certificates (even though we already have them) because apparently the date expires and we have to have new ones for the CCAA (Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs) with a date stamp within the year of adoption. So... a little more money out the door! The main problem is because of Katrina, the state of Louisiana's vital records office is shut down - it must be in New Orleans, I don't know. But there is NO WORD on when it may be up and running...

Things I have gotten done: (I am putting these down so you know the progress, but also to keep myself accountable to help me get things done!!) I have requested and already received the letter of verification of my employment from my HR - notarized and ready to go! Also requested Lee's but nothing yet.

Heard back from AWAA that our letter to the CCAA was acceptable with minor changes! (If you don't know these acronyms, scroll down to old blogs.)

Appointments scheduled for the 10th for "adoption physicals" - I never knew there was such a thing! I JUST had a physical, so they are going to see me for anything the regular one didn't cover.

I have started to gather photos for our family collection that they require - some formal; some random, casual family photos; and some of the house with no people in the photos.

Points of prayer - please pray that the home study can get scheduled soon. This is imperative and has to do with the licensing being completed for our social worker. Also, as stated above, Lee's birth certificate...

That's it for now. Heading for bed. Lots of love! Dawn

Thursday, September 29, 2005

More details...

We received our next packet from AWAA for "Step Two". We already wrote our request letter to China (we have to basically ask them to consider us for adoption, why we want to adopt from China, etc., etc.,) It took me nearly four hours to complete! Ugh! It has to be worded with such care as to not offend the Chinese officials who are deciding whether or not to approve us.

All documents going forward will have to be notarized, so we have to have our coordinator proof-read everything before we see a Notary to save time and money.

Also saw in this new packet that we have to have NEW copies of our marriage and birth certificates - dated within the last year! Ugh again! The birth and marriage info hasn't know? Never mind what kind of trouble we'd face trying to get any documents from NEW ORLEANS right now! EEK! I am going to double-check on that tomorrow...

Ok, so I am realizing already that this so-called "paper pregnancy" is going to be filled with a different kind of nausea and labor pains! :)

More soon,

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Welcome to our family blog!

On September 6, Dawn and I decided to adopt a little girl from China. This is an exciting time for us!

The entire process will probably take anywhere from a year to a year-and-a-half, but since so many people have been asking for updates, we thought we would start a blog so that folks can check up on the status at their convenience.

This is what has happened so far:

  • Sept. 8 - We completed an online preliminary application with America World Adoption Association.
  • Sept. 12 - We received a call saying that we had been approved.
  • Sept. 19 - We mailed our written agreement to the adoption agency along with our initial payment. We also sent in an Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition [8CFR 204.1(b)(3)], photocopies of our birth certificates and marriage license and payment to cover all applicable fees.
  • Sept. 23 - We heard from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (U.S.C.I.S.) office that we can go ahead and schedule a fingerprinting (yes, this is something the government requires), but our social worker, Stacy, would like to complete a home study first. (The Chinese government requires a minimum of four home visits with a licensed social worker.)
Check back occasionally for further updates!
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