Monday, May 27, 2013

Almost there {waiting on TA}

We have been staying busy these last few weeks completing the final steps of our adoption paperwork.

We received our I-800 approval.

We applied for and received our Visas.

We applied for a Visa for Vivian.

We received our NVC letter and our paperwork was delivered to the US Consulate in Guangzhou.

Mixed emotions reading the words to this letter

We began our immunizations for our trip.

5 shots each!!

We I have done some shopping for Vivi.

And last week our final piece of paperwork (our Article 5) was picked up from the US Consulate in Guangzhou and sent to the CCCWA in Beijing. Once the CCCWA receives our Article 5 they can issue us our Travel Approval (TA), which is our invitation from China to come and get Vivian!   TA's are typically issued about 2-4 weeks after Article 5 pick up.

So now we wait and pack and make lists and make plans for the kids and cross our fingers for a quick TA.

We are almost there!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The story I have been waiting to tell

I have a special story to tell.  I thought it would be fitting to tell it on Mother's Day.  This post may be long, but I hope you will stick with me.

This is a story about my mom.  This is a story for Vivian.  I think it is pretty amazing.

Before I write this I want to say to my in-laws:  I love you both.  I could write a very long blog post about all of the wonderful things you have done for us and how, in my opinion, you epitomize what a grandparent should be.  But today is about my mom.

Dad:  you know how much I love you. I could write all day about how much I admire you.  But, today is about mom.

It was a little over a year ago that Rob and I decided we needed to call all of our parents to tell them we were going to adopt.  We had been considering it for about a year, we were pretty much ready to move forward. We had  a fair amount of anxiety about making these calls.  We knew we were going to take all of the grandparents by surprise.  For the past few years, we had said we were "done" having kids, and we had NEVER mentioned adoption at any time to any of them.  But, we were at the point where we did not want to go any further without them knowing, and so we decided it was time to tell them all.

One day after we decided this, I was talking to my mom and spontaneously decided to to ahead and tell her.  I think I just blurted out, "Mom, Rob and I are thinking about adopting a little girl from China".  I don't remember a lot of how the conversation went, but I know she asked a few questions and mostly did a lot of listening.

And when I was done with all my talking, she said the thing that, no matter how old you are, you still really want to hear from your parents.  She said "we support you whatever you decide".

And I don't know how to explain the feeling I had that she "got it".  She just seemed to understand when I told her that we felt called to do this.

Two days later, I received something in the mail from my mom.  When I opened it, I found two things.  First, this article:

The second thing was this note:

"Dear Maureen,
After I hung up with you today I remembered an article that I had read and cut out several years ago.  Until today I never knew why I have kept it close by in my desk all these years. The article really struck a chord with me - perhaps because I thought one day I might be blessed with a special granddaughter from China.  Dad and I are so proud of you and Rob for having the courage to even consider opening up your hearts and home to the idea of adoption.  Whether or not you go ahead with this, you have our complete support either way.  We love you both, 

It was, and still is, pretty amazing to me that my mom read this article and kept it in her desk for about 10 years before I would call her to say I wanted to adopt a girl from China.  Who knew that we both shared a place in our hearts for these Chinese girls?  

Since the day I called her, my mom has been there for Rob and I every step of the way.  Every document finished, every approval that has come in, every file we had to turn down, she has been there.  Sharing the excitement of steps forward, and the disappointment of things that haven't gone our way.  I know she has made some extra trips to mass specifically to pray for Vivian, and for Rob and I during this process.  Adoption can be very hard and very scary, and I don't know what I would have done without her during  the hard and scary times.  And, if you saw my video on my last post, you saw how awesome it was to share with her the joy of finding Vivian.

Mom, thank you for your support.  Thank you so much.  I have told you this before and I truly mean it, I don't think I could have found Vivian without you.  I can't imagine going through all of this without you.  Thank you for opening your heart to her.  Thank you for being so excited to love her.  I absolutely can't wait to put her in your arms.  Thank you for being such an awesome mom.  I love you.

Happy Mother's Day!