Sunday, June 29, 2008

Here's Our Boy! What A Great Surprise!!!

We received a beautiful surprise tonight from Serena in China. She is the China Care representative. We received five new pictures of Garrett! He has grown so much, and is as cute as ever!!! Enjoy the new pics! We are walking on a cloud right now! Look at that great smile and those beautiful teeth!

Monday, June 23, 2008

A New Look, A New Outlook

Thanks so much to Danielle for giving us our "blog make-over". We are absolutely thrilled to see the blog finished and so soon! She is awesome, and we couldn't be happier with the new look!!! I will be shouting her name from the mountain tops from now on.

These are some cute pictures from my precious Godson's baptism. Grant is just adorable, and I am so HONORED and so PROUD to be his Godmother. Thanks, Laura and Brian! Isn't he the most handsome little boy you have ever seen? I think so! He is my great nephew. His mother is my niece, Laura. His Nana is my sister, Kathy. And Gracie adores Grant! We all adore Grant! He is the cutest baby boy with the funniest little giggle around.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Some GREAT News!!!

We received a wonderful bit of news yesterday from Janell at Small World. YEA!!! We are so excited!!! Here is the email:

Madeline –

I received the documents back from VA secretary of state. They are now on their way to the consulate. I should have them back by the end of next week and then you will finally be DTC!

Have a great day!!


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Gracie's Show at The Little Gym

Gracie's final spring show took place last week at the gym. Her Daddy and I both attended, and Gracie did such a great job. We are so proud of her. She is so shy sometimes, but it didn't show, and she performed for a huge crowd of parents and siblings and grandparents. Here are some special pictures of Gracie in action. She is so graceful and beautiful, and we love to see her shine. Thumbs up, Baby!

The Child is Brilliant!!!

Gracie came to us the other morning with a note that she had written for us. It was placed inside an envelope all by herself and addressed. Take a look for yourself! She had no help, no prompting...She just did this on her own. I am so amazed! She is also starting to write her name. And her pictures! So detailed! At three and a half! This is HUGE!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Can This Really Be Happening?

You know, I am documenting all of this as a way to "process" the process, if that makes sense. I am not writing to complain or to whine about it. It is a way for me to keep up with dates and what has occurred. I must say though that at this point, I sometimes feel like throwing in the towel. That feeling doesn't last long though, and I realize it is my fear talking to me and not what I really want to do. I also have questioned whether or not this is God's way of trying to tell us that Garrett needs to stay in China. In talking to our Small World social worker today, Janell, she made me realize that our baby boy will have a very BIG story to tell about his homecoming and exactly what took place over time in order to get him home to us. The obstacles thrown our way so far have been enough for anyone going through this to start doubting things. I simply just don't know sometimes what else can possibly go wrong, and then something inevitably does. I want to hold our son. I want him to come home to us. Gracie talks about him pretty much everyday. He is HER brother. She knows it, and we know it. His pictures are everywhere. His second birthday is coming up, and we are going to miss it. Two birthdays of Garrett's have come and gone since we started the process. He should have been home many MONTHS ago. My sister reminded me the other day that God is in control. We are not.

All of this said, we received a call from Janell today at our agency. I could tell right away there was something going on. She stated that she had received all of our paperwork back from the state of VA, and that they rejected four of our documents because the notaries had not been written correctly. You know, the notary thing is just so confusing. We have been totally confused by the process of the "exact words" to be used...So we know everyone else is. There are many different ways apparently to notarize a document. And pretty much everyone does it differently. But the state of VA wants it done a very specific way in order to give their seal of approval to the documents. We thought we had dotted every i and crossed every t. Apparently, Not so. It is a very exact science. Our government is amazing in so many ways, but I think we need to revamp the requirements for all of this paperchase stuff so that more children can come home sooner to the forever families. The red tape is much too much to have to deal with.

So, we are going to go over this additional speed bump and continue on our way. It reminds me of that song that goes, "It's a LONG LONG ROAD with many awinding turn" I have been singing that a lot lately. It is so true.

You'd think we'd be paperchase professionals at this point since we adopted Gracie first, but we have had so many more little hiccups along the way. It isn't anyone's fault really that this has taken so long... that so many little things have happened. It is just that THIS paperchase has been a FAR different experience for us than the last one. If I could change this red tape paperwork circus, I would though.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The New and Improved 171-H...Update

The second version of our 171-H arrived today in the mail from Ms. Bone at CIS. Guess you can tell by my tone here and by the pictures above that we are really not amused anymore.

Guess what? It has to be resubmitted to us AGAIN...a THIRD time...It was inaccurate AGAIN. Yes, three times the charm, right? Hope so! This amended 171-H had our correct names on it, BUT she left off that we were approved for a special needs child. So, that box has to be checked in order for the consulate to accept it. Can you even believe it? We can't either, but we are rolling with the punches at this point.

The good news is that we are submitting the two 171-H documents that we have now, and China will accept them for our dossier...this is according to what our agency is saying. So, we sent the 171-H(s) overnight today to Small World along with a big chunk of money for the rest of the paperwork adoption fees.
If you are reading this blog as a waiting adoptive parent, please do not be discouraged with all that has happened in our paperchase process. This usually does not occur. And it is and will be ALL worth it! We know and have faith that Garrett will be home with us soon.
We can actually see a little light at the end of the tunnel now. That is an awesome feeling, believe me! We cannot wait to take our son in our arms.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Murphy's Law

It appeared! It actually arrived in the mailbox!!! YEA!!!!

But before anyone gets REAL, JUMP UP AND DOWN excited, let me just say that they did NOT have accurate information on our 171-H. So, it has to be sent out to us again. LOL. It is almost comical. ALMOST. It almost makes me laugh. ALMOST. I am on the verge of one of those "laughing is the best medicine" episodes. But I am not there yet. I will be if this takes much longer. Maybe this is an easy fix. We will hope and pray that it is.

I have emailed everyone I know to email. Ms. Bone at CIS has not gotten back to me EVER (no real surprise there). I have requested that she resubmit the approval with the accurate information. I have emailed Ms. Rust at our state rep's office. I have emailed our agency, Small World...etc etc. Now, we just wait again for the SECOND version (the accurate one including MY name on it...not just Van's). Our agency is very understanding. I hope that China will be. They are checking with their China rep. All I know at this point is that we will process the 171-H that we have in our possession, and then when the accurate document comes in, we will also process that one and send it to China. I have no idea if that means that we will still be sending THIS one to China now. I am waiting on a response to that question.

The funny thing is that this is the SECOND time that CIS has done this to us. We had this happen when we adopted Gracie. Just par for the course, I guess.

I am hopeful that this will be very easy to handle. I think that since we have the approval in our hands, CIS and Ms. Bone (Van calls her Ms. Bonehead, sorry, but had to say it) should just be able to SPIT OUT another one that is correct.
Don't you just love the cat picture? I am trying HARD to keep my sense of humor. LOL.