This is truly the same path but a much different journey! Our family has been stretched in new ways while God has taken us in directions we would’ve never imagined.
His hands are busy refining our hearts and opening doors that no man would dream of opening or have the strength to closes.
It’s in His promises we’ve been held, and continue to rest both now and will in the future when finally able to grasp the hands of our two littlest boys, Hudson and Wesley.
12-31-14 – Filled out our initial International Christian Adoption Agency: America World application to begin the adoption process!
1-27-15 – Welcome email that we were again accepted into the AWAA China program!!
1-28-15 – Signed all agreements.
1-29-15 – We were assigned the same (beloved) family coordinator, Aimee, who will help us through every step of our China paperwork! She sent us our dossier guidelines today.
2-19-15 Welcome email from AWAA Ohio – Home Study agency. We can begin filling out forms, signing documents and compiling some of our Home Study documents.
3-24-15 Our first meeting with Therese, our social worker. (We are required to meet 3 times with her) She interviews each of us, including the children.
** John decided to look on the AWAA China waiting children site (something he never does!!), and found a 4 year old boy who had been waiting for some time for a family. We prayed very seriously, then followed the tugs on our hearts. On Friday asked our social worker and family coordinator to review his file.
3-27-15 – on this Friday we Emailed Aimee to request to review our little guy. And at this point we had already collected or requested many of our Home Study and Dossier documents.
3-30-15 – Monday. Wesley’s Referral Day!! John texted me to CHECK MY EMAIL!!! And I sat down against a wall as the referral email popped up in my inbox for Wesley! As John and I read about how this beautiful boy was abandoned, found, brought to the same orphanage as our Elyana. We just knew. Knew that while John had found his picture on the waiting child site, God had hand picked him for us.
3-31-15 – A very exciting day because we talked with an amazing orphan advocate Kelly Raudenbush – Sparrow Fund – Encouraging and supporting families in the … She had met Wesley in Oct 2014 on an ACT Mission Trip – America World Adoption Association and had more recent photos, video and information about him!!!! Wow!! Unexpected blessings pour down!! We also received an email from Aimee, that CCCWA transferred the file onto AWAA list today so no other agencies can see it and said she will be in touch when the translations are complete. His file is locked with us now!! yeah!
**We waited weeks from this point for the orphanage to send us his complete translated file. We compiled and organized all his information. In order to accept Wesley’s referral we legally must have ALL translated documents and have a doctor look over his file, discussing it with John and I, so we began to send the documents we had to Cincinnati Children’s International Adoption clinic and talk about set up a conference call with the doctor (who is also an adoptive mom)
4-3-15 – Celebrated Wesley’s 5th birthday only a few short days after receiving his file.
Wesley, On this your very special birthday week you were born to your birth mother, and born in our hearts as well. We are honored to have you as our son and to have you call us “Mom” and “Dad”. We love you so much already and are working hard on paperwork to get you home soon!!
4-10-15 – The first time we saw Hudson’s face. It was a Friday afternoon and our family coordinator sent an email with a link to waiting children that had been added to the AWAA list. I looked. That’s all it took. I saw him, and knew in a deep crevice of my heart he was also to be our son. I began praying on that day that God would show us His answer. That if this handsome dark-eyed boy was also to be a gift from HIM, He would confirm it in both John and my heart.
4-28-15 – For weeks I literally felt I was mourning this little guy (we now affectionately call Hudson). I was so excited about our 1st referral for Wesley (age 5), but something didn’t feel finished/complete. John and I had continued to pray and I continued to shed tears over him and paste his picture next to Wesley’s and say in my heart they were my boys. I told God I would let go if it wasn’t His will, and even prayed another family would grab his file if we weren’t meant to be his. I printed out a set of 2 for electronic acceptance steps, and waited some more.
Then God spoke. He kept John up until 3am and told him Hudson was ours. Yeah!! I can’t type all this without crying again. God’s plan is so perfect, so far beyond what we could ever ask, think or imagine.
4-29-15 – We emailed Aimee and asked to begin the review process for Hudson’s file. She told us after she received the OK from our social worker we could move forward. We waited. The day dragged on. Our social worker emailed late that evening that she would be in touch the next day. We prayed God’s perfect will would be done.
4-30-15 – Hudson’s referral day!! Finally….in the afternoon at 2:44pm we were given the honor of receiving the file and information for Hudson. His sweet face filled our computer screens and we read about his heart wrenching story (with MANY missing pieces) John and I told each other God brought us this far, and we could continue to rest in His perfect peace. God would help us to help Hudson heal along with Wesley. HE would do it!!
5-4-15 – Submitted our EA (electronic acceptance) for Wesley after being notified that all Wesley’s translated documents were received.
5-5-15 – Conference call 8am with Dr. Staat to review Hudson’s file so we can hopefully get his EA (electronic acceptance) submitted soon.
5-7-15 – AWAA shared on their blog that Wesley had a family!! One of the best blog posts we’ve ever read!! yeah!!!
5-8-15 – A good news Friday! It always seemed like with Elyana’s adoption our big news seemed to pour in on Fridays!!! Makes the weekends all the sweeter!!!
– Submitted our EA for Hudson.
– AWAA shared on their blog that Hudson has a forever family!!! Best blog posts ever….2 days in a row!!
– Received our PA (pre-approval) for Wesley!
5-14-15 – Received our PA for Hudson!!
5-15-15 – Signed up for DAP (Dossier Assistance Program).
5-29-15 – HOME STUDY complete!!!! Dossier almost complete – only one more document needed!! Whoop! Whoop!!
6-2-15 – Now that HS is complete we were able to mail out our USCIS immigration forms, Home Study and other required documents, to get approval from the US Immigration Dept. to bring 2 boys into the US!! (before we are approved we have to wait on a fingerprinting apt. then we will get our approval afterward that will have to be certified and sent with our Dossier)
6-26-15 – Friday – fingerprinted in Columbus, Ohio for our USCIS (Immigration) paperwork! One step closer to our boys!!
7-10-15 We received our USCIS approval letter in the mail. (We have permission from U.S. govt to bring our 2 boys into the U.S. upon return from China)
7-14-15 The kids & I drove our dossier paperwork to Columbus to the Secretary of State to be state certified.
7-15-15 Mailed our documents to AWAA. They are in charge of getting them to a courier service that walks our documents into the Chinese Consulate in New York for a stamp on each document.
7-28-15 Heard from our family coordinator that our documents are Consulate Authenticated & should arrive at AWAA in Virginia on Thursday & predicted they will be mailed to China on Friday!!
7-31-15 We are DTC!! (Dossier To China). It was officially mailed & we are tracking it via FedEx all the way to Beijing.
8-7-15 Completed 2 more hours of training which included:
history, culture, policies, govt, demographics, & geography of China. Reading bout both boys provinces. And listening to a travel call with information/a good refresher on the next steps of paperwork & travel.
8-10-15 We have our LID (log in date)! Our Dossier was logged into China’s system…
9-23-15 Received a phone call that our RA’S arrived!
9-24-15 Mailed out our I800.
9-28-15 Mailed our RA package, paperwork & DS260 supplemental documentation package to AWAA.
Coming up next….
While the paperwork continues to be processed and we wait for our next notificatins / approvals, we will:
*Send care packages to both boys. With pictures of our family and gifts for them and for their foster family’s and orphanage workers.
*Make preparations for the boys rooms, clothing ect after we receive measurements & personal information.
*Begin gathering travel documents, and travel supplies/lists.
*Compile questions for the orphanage regarding both the boys. At the time of the adoption, it’s the best opportunity we will have to inquire about eating, sleeping, health, habits, history, likes or dislikes.
*Continue to read books in preparation for the adoption, while filling up on the truth of God’s word to keep us strong and steady in the months ahead.
*Submit our 2 year self report to China for Elyana before we leave. (These reports are required at our 2yr, 3yr, and 5yr dates from Elyana’s adoption.
* Gather all travel scrips and final supplies.
*Begin practicing a more simplified schedule that will help us focus on allowing necessary adjustments.
*Prepare meals for freezer for return.
*Pray, Wait, Pray more…..
The nitty gritty of the paperwork steps ahead for us:
- Receive I800 approval by USCIS (US Department of Homeland Security)
- NVC letter (that states our I800 approval was sent to Guangzhou) is sent to us, then AWAA sends this notification to China also.
- We then mail AWAA a copy of NVC.
- Submit our online application DS260 (Online Immigrant Visa for each boy) to USCIS, then AWAA submits our supplemental documentation for the DS260 that we previously mailed to them.
- US Consualate approves our DS260 form and sends the approval (Article 5) to CCCWA (China’s Center for Children’s Welfare & Adoption).
- CCCWA then issues our TA (travel approval) (1-4wks)
- Notify Cincinnati Children’s and our Family doctor that we will be traveling.
- Gather all travel scrips and final supplies.
- Pack, Pray….Wait.
- TRAVEL 2-4wks later!!!!
Until then, we continue to learn to wait upon the LORD for all He has planned for us and for these amazing boys in China.
“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps” Proverbs 16:9