Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What's new?

What's new since I created this blog?! Well, I'm officially off of orientation in Day Surgery. It's quite a change from SICU; MUCH LESS STRESSFUL!!! I'm getting used to getting up at 5 AM, and getting off at 2:30 everyday is great! My first weekend of call was terrible, but I hear that was unusual, so we'll wait and see. I miss having the same schedule as David, and I think he misses it even more! But we're adjusting. This was the long term plan, and the hours will be great once Micalee is home. Now we need to get David on days and things will be even better! Jeanie asked me the other day if I could tell her when we thought we might travel to China. I've been thinking about it, and it's still very hard to say. My "best guess" is that we'll get our referral in May 2008 and travel in July 2008 (unless the Olympics becomes a problem, but my "hope" is a referral in Feb (my birthday month) and travel in April (David's birthday month). We'll just have to wait and see!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Making of Micalee's Room

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China Ghosts

For Father's Day, I got David a book about Adoption from China. It's from a Father's perspective, but he says it's a "must read". It's Called China Ghosts. The author belongs to one of our Yahoo groups. He and his wife have adopted two little girls, using the same agency we're using.

Micalee's Room

We haven't done too much in Micalee's room recently. We still need to some painting, but I think we have plenty of time. I need to sort through all of the clothes! We've picked up alot when we see things on sale or something we just can't do without. The problem is that we have no idea what size she'll be wearing, so we have quite a variety, from 9 months up to 2T. Jeanie keeps picking up things every now and then, too!

Our Timeline

May 17, 2005: Met with Social Worker to discuss adoption and Home Study
July 8, 2005: Application sent to GWCA
July 27, 2005: Contract returned to GWCA
Aug 4, 2005: Paperchase Started (Sent for Marriage License and Daddy's birth certificate, Got copies of Mommy’s birth certificates, Got Local Police Criminal Clearance Letters, Had Passport pictures made, Sent for Mommy’s passport and Daddy’s passport renewal)
Aug 12, 2005: Picked up Mommy and Daddy’s Employment Letters
Aug 13, 2005: Met Social Worker again; Criminal background check request sent
Aug 23, 2005: Mommy and Daddy’s physicals and blood work done
Sept 1, 2005: Wrote letter to CCAA (Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs) requesting permission to adopt from China
Sept 9, 2005: Met Traveling Notary at Doctor's office to pick up completed, notarized Certificates of Physical Exams
Sept 20, 2005: Home Study home visit; Daddy’s birth certificate sent to Maryland Secretary of State for certification
Sept 30, 2005: Received Mommy’s passport
Oct 6, 2005: Received Daddy’s passport
Oct 12, 2005: Daddy’s birth certificate sent to U.S. Dept of State for certification and the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. for authentication; Financial Statement complete and notarized
Oct 17, 2005: Picked up completed Home Study
Oct 18, 2005: Sent Home Study and I600-A application to the USCIS office in Memphis, TN (for immigration approval)
Oct 26, 2005: Received Daddy’s certified and authenticated birth certificate
Nov 2, 2005: Received fingerprinting notice from USCIS
Nov 4, 2005: Got notarized copy of Daddy’s retirement pay statement
Dec 6, 2005: Mommy and Daddy fingerprinted in Jackson, MS
Dec 28, 2005: Spoke with Memphis USCIS officer to check on I600-A status; fingerprints have cleared; just waiting on approval
Jan 6, 2006: USCIS called- should receive 171-H (approval notice) in 60 days maximum
Jan 16, 2006: Sent all notarized documents to LA Secretary of State for certification
Jan 20, 2006: Received certified documents; sent all to Chinese Consulate in Houston for authentication
Jan 24, 2006: Left message with the Memphis USCIS office, checking on our I600-A approval
Jan 25, 2006: Memphis USCIS office called to confirm our I600-A was approved and we should receive our 171-H this week!
Jan 29, 2006: Chinese New Year begins! Year of the Dog. We finished our Lifestyle photos today and got our last set of passport pictures made.
Jan 30, 2006: Received our I-171-H in the mail today!!!
Jan 31, 2006: Had our I-171-H copy notarized and sent it to the LA Secretary of State’s office for certification. We got our FedEx envelope back from the Houston Chinese Consulate with all of our other documents authenticated. We’re almost done!
Feb 1, 2006: Mommy’s birthday! Daddy got me a beautiful Mother-Daughter figurine. We spent most of the day looking a cribs for you. We’re just now figuring out what we would like to get for you.
Feb 2, 2006: Today we made copies of our entire Dossier (except the I-171-H we’re waiting to come back from the Sec. Of State’s office and then send to the Houston Chinese Consulate). We will have everything ready for when we do get it back! We’re hoping our DTC date will be Feb 17th.
Feb 7, 2006: We received our SOS certification for our I-171-H today, and Fed-ex’d it to the Houston Chinese Consulate for authentication. We sent it overnight, asked for same day processing, and sent an overnight return airbill, so hopefully we’ll have it back by Friday, and then be able to send everything to GWCA!!!!
Feb 11, 2006: We put your crib on lay-a-way today!
Feb 13, 2006: We got back our I-171-H from the Houston Chinese Consulate! We packed up our finally completed Dossier and Fed-ex’d it to GWCA!!!! They should have it tomorrow, and as long as there is no problem with any of the documents, they will be sending it to China this Friday!!!
Feb 17, 2006: GWCA called….our Dossier was approved and will be sent to China today!!!! Now we just wait!!!!
March 30, 2006: We just found out our LID is March 10th!!!! We’re official!!! We can only hope the wait shortens from what is currently projected (12 months). We would love to have Micalee home for Christmas!
June 27, 2006: Referrals are coming in and the wait is still holding at 12 months. Hopefully it will shorten some! But just in case, Mommy just sent letters to the USCIS and Senators Landrieu and Vitter and Congressmen McCrery and Jindal to try to get the expiration dates extended for fingerprinting and the I-171H. Maybe it’ll do some good, if not for us, for families down the road! We are having SO much fun getting your room ready! We’re taking our time so everything will be just perfect for you!
Aug 3, 2006: We finally got our “Brown Envelope” today from the U.S. Consulate in China!!! It seems so real to see it in writing. Now all we’re waiting for is you!!! This week’s referrals only covered through July 13 (2005), so the wait is definitely still lengthening. Right now, it’s about 12.5 months from LID to Referral. Hopefully, things will speed up. We just can’t wait to get you home! We are working on your tree in your room right now! It’s so cool! We can’t wait for you to see it!!!
Nov 15, 2006: Well…We went to Disney World (got back last week) and we saw SO many little girls that had been adopted from China! We can’t wait to be able to take you! We are now officially being reviewed by the CCAA, and I can’t wait to get past that Review Room! I’ve been so nervous that they would find something wrong with us or our paperwork! The holidays are coming quick, and I’m having trouble getting into the spirit. When we started this process, we thought you’d be home for Christmas this year. Now we’ll be lucky if it’s by next Christmas! Good things come to those who wait……
Dec 24, 2006: Another Christmas without our little Micalee…..maybe you’ll be home by next Christmas! We got so many cool gifts from the rest of the family just for you! They made us cry! It’s all waiting for you in your almost finished room! Just a few details left, that I think I may be leaving left undone on purpose (at least in the back of my mind). It’ll give us something to do during the rest of this long wait!
Feb 2, 2007: CCAA finally updated their website….We are officially out of Review!!! Now we just wait…and wait…for our referral!
Feb 15, 2007: We got our first HepA Vaccinations today….OUCH!
Mar 16, 2007: The Social Worker is mailing our Home Study Update to us today, so we will be able to refile with USCIS as soon as we get it!
Mar 24, 2007: We have our new I600-A application filled out and ready to go! Hopefullyly, we can get fingerprinted quickly and get our new 171-H, then get you before it expires again!
Mar 27, 2007: We mailed our I600-A application to the USCIS office in Metarie, LA. Hopefully we’ll hear something soon!
Apr 4, 2007: We received our Fingerprinting Notice today! That was quick! We’ll be fingerprinted Apr 17th in Dallas, TX. It’s my lucky day; I won the March of Dimes Easter Basket, too! Could this be your birthday, too?!?
Apr 17, 2007: Today we were re-fingerprinted in Dallas. We liked it much better than the Jackson office. We went to the Grapevine Mills Mall afterwards and bought you the cutest little set of overalls (green with daisies) and a matching hat. We can’t wait to see you in it! Hopefully, referrals will speed up. CCAA only referred 2 days worth of LID’s this month (not good!).
May 25, 2007: We got our new 171-H today! Now we’re all official, again! There are rumors of there being a huge batch of referrals this month, so hopefully that will lead to a speed-up!
June 13, 2007: I started a ”day job” in preparation for when we have you home! Well, things haven’t sped up, and now it’s looking like we’ll be very lucky to get matched with you before the Olympics! It looks like it will be another Christmas without our little girl. I believe we will get our referral around my birthday and travel around your Daddy’s birthday (but now, even that’s just wishful thinking!). I also think you may have been born on May 7, 2007 (those are the numbers on the back of the adoption bands Daddy got us). Whenever you were or will be born, I just hope we get you home soon! We are SO anxious to have you here!
July 1, 2007: Mommy has decided to try this blogging thing! Hopefully, it will look okay and help pass the time while we wait. At least everyone can stay informed!
August 27, 2007: David's mother passed away today. She's finally where she's always wanted to be, with David's father. I like to believe they, along with other family that have passed away, will be helping in guiding you towards us, and they will be smiling down on you when we finally get you home.
Sept 21, 2007: Today, we got our 2nd Hep A vaccination…Ouch, again! But so worth it. We can’t wait to have you home. This wait HAS to eventually end!