Thursday, August 16, 2012

A schnauzer ponders...and a mommy waits!

There really is no reason for me to post this picture other than the fact I love it. 

So, our paperwork, ALL OF IT, is in China now. After the 800 approval, our paperwork went to the NVC (national visa center) so Henry could be approved to come into the United States. After a few days, we got the approval and that last piece of paperwork was sent to China and is now at the Embassy where it will sit for exactly 14 days. So, on August 30, a courier will deliver the final OK to CCCWA in Beijing and we will be officially awaiting Travel Approval. Things have been moving fast and we suspect that we will have TA by the middle of September. At that point, we will request a consulate appointment (the very last thing we do in China) for October 25th. Most people will travel two weeks from TA. However, with my work schedule, this is the best time. This will also give me one  full week before we leave (we hope Oct. 9th) to pack and get everything ready.

We sent Henry a camera and one more letter. Our hope is he takes pictures of the foster village and his family. It is going to be rough. Very rough. He is older and will be aware on many levels that he is saying goodbye and it is going to break his heart. Many friends and family are starting to panic a bit:

1. What will you do if he hates you?
2. What will you do if he tries to run away
3. What are you going to do about language?
4. Don't you feel guilty taking him away from all he has ever known?
5. What if he refuses to go with you?
6. What if hates Noah and Leah?
7. Are you worried he might abuse them?
8. How will he ever make it in school

oh and so so many more.................
I am never really sure how to answer these. These and many more questions and concerns are a part of mine and Tom's daily life. We have fears. We feel nervous. We feel excitement. We know that this is going to be a roller coaster of sorts and you can bet that the first pictures we post of "Family Day' are not going to be rainbows and unicorns. We don't know what we will do until this stuff happens. Through our experience these last 6 years with Leah, and the adoption training through Gladney, we feel like we have the tools to deal with what comes up. But to have all of these "what-ifs" is maddening. We decided the other night to let it go and see what comes our way. He is healthy and he is happy. I know that even with his anger and grief, he will become those things again. Time...just time.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

800 Approval and Visas, Oh my!

Last Friday, as we were heading to Denver, our Passports came back with the Chinese Visas in them. I was so relieved! Yesterday, we received news that our I800 was approved. This took 13 days. This approval from the US government states that we can bring Henry ChenPin to the United States. Things will move fast now. 
The next step? This approval will go to the NVC (national visa center) where our info is entered into the system and then emailed (cabled) to the US Embassy in Guangzhou, China. 

THEN....the file will be reviewed at the US Embassy to make sure we have filled out the immigration form correctly and that he does qualify for a Visa. This takes 10 business days. After 10 days, it will picked up by the in-China rep and taken to the CCCWA and they will issue Travel Approval. My guess is that we will have approval to go to China mid- September. We are going to request a Consulate Appointment (the very last thing we have to do to get Henry home) September 25th or 26th. This means we will leave for China October 9th. We could go earlier, but I am starting a new job and we have the first 2 weeks of October off. This will allow me 6 weeks at the new school before I take off. I am so glad that all of the paperwork is complete on my end (for now).  All we need to do is wait. I am OK with that because the wait at this point is not long. I can now concentrate on my new job that starts next week.

I sent once last package to Henry. It has a disposable camera in it among other small items. I hope he gets it before he gets moved back to the orphanage. I want him to take pictures of his foster family so he has something to remember them by. I am also going to write a letter (plea) to the orphanage director requesting the baby photos of Henry from when he entered the orphanage. Even if it is just one picture, I want it. He is almost 8 and I think it is important he have some sort of history from those years.

The kids are excited for school to start and even more so to go to China. We have had an awesome summer.