every journey starts with a single step

A lot has happened in the last month. All the necessary steps are now complete. We’re at the airport and arrive in Bangkok Friday night!

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twiddling our thumbs {waiting on a passport}

Ok. We are seriously down to the last step of everything we need to submit (no really, we really should be now). Our approval was uploaded to the Embassy in Bangkok a week ago. Our copy of the approval was resent and received (thanks post office for deciding our house didn’t exist the first time around). And all we need is a copy of W’s passport so we can file for his visa. Once that is done we will get confirmed travel dates and can start the fun of buying plane tickets, planning an official itinerary, packing, and making final arrangements for everything.

If we travel for the date that was tentatively set for our family and we leave to spend family time in Thailand the week before everything begins we are THIRTY days away from leaving. 3-0. Even crazier is that with my part time schedule, I only have 12 days left in the office. Gulp!

It is time to get this show on the plane and bring our boy home! Praying we get his passport copy soon and know quickly when we will finally meet our wonderful W!


another big step {i-800 approval}

Our excitement (and a little more stress) continues! I called the National Benefits Center yesterday morning to check the status of our I-800 application and learned we received approval on August 7th. YAY! However, we don’t have our notice yet and it should have arrived in the mail only a day or two after approval and our officer is concerned it is lost in the mail. BOO! They will reissue it on the 21st if it still hasn’t arrived. I checked with our post office and they weren’t very helpful and pretty much said, “if it was sent to your house, you would have it. It isn’t here, in a truck, etc…” We have to have that paper to travel. STRESS!

I was pretty worried until our adoption program coordinator called me back in the afternoon to talk through things and told me not to worry. I can still do the next steps while we wait for our provisional approval to show up or be reissued. RELIEF! And she also gave us tentative travel info. We may be a the October 8th board meeting in Thailand, which means we meet W on October 5th! YAY!!!!!

We hope we will have confirmed dates in a couple weeks. In the mean time, we are pretty excited and moving forward on this big old to do list.


the good news continues {article 16}

It seems like this adoption that was slow (for what felt like forever) is all of the sudden on a fast track and we are trying to hold on for the rest of this ride. Our formal approval called Article 16 has arrived. We were told 2-8 weeks and it took six days.

So, um, yeah. Traveling to Thailand in October isn’t happening now because it looks like we will have been there and back. Our new guesstimate is September. There is soooo much to do!

Our legals arrive tomorrow and soon we will file all the remaining paperwork with USCIS. And then wait for their approval and once our approval is uploaded at the Embassy in Bangkok we will get our official travel dates. It is possible we will have a week (give or take a few days) notice to get everything tied up and get over there.

It is exciting and puts us to work to finish paperwork, projects, and try to coordinate the things in our life that continue here while we are away (you know… pets, selling our old house, all of our work projects/responsibilities….). Hopping on the plane(s) will be here before we know it!


only

Today it hit me. My first child, sweet little S, won’t be an “only” much longer. These days between now and travel will fly by and the precious days of hanging out with just this sweet girl are fleeting.

We have this rhythm to our week. At the beginning there is school, work, time to reconnect in the afternoon, and the routine of evenings with Papa J. But come Thursdays, it is just her and I. We can sleep in. We can stay around in our pjs. We play outside, play games, and do whatever we want. Friday it repeats. I typically try not to make too much of these days about all that needs to be done, but there is some of that. I try to make them about her. And soon, those days will forever be gone and replaced by the fun the three of us will have. A new pattern will emerge and make these days full of time with my children. Two.

Today I marveled at her as she sang along to Frozen. We were silly and laughed as she made playdough pizza for me to eat. And I just kept thinking what a gift is it to have these days as just us.

This little girl who made me a mother is now becoming a big sister. And in some ways I think she knows that he will be home soon even though a day is not set. Today she talked about teaching him how to put together her new puzzle and how she will let him ride her bike, but her will need to hold on as she pushes him around. And she said when he is home it will be happy.

I hope she remembers the happy times before he was home, too. Just us. Mommy and daughter and all the girly things we could ever want to do.


the best anniversary gift ever {first approval}

When the adoption wait continued to grow, I stopped blogging for awhile. I was done telling people of no news and no movement. When we realized that there was no chance we were traveling in July, Papa J and I decided to spend some time together just the two of us for our seventh anniversary. For five nights my parents watched S and Papa J and I disconnected from the world and spent time just the two of us. It was lovely. Lots of relaxation, some great food, and time to do whatever we wanted.

Right as our time together started, our adoption agency told us that it was possible we might be approved in two months which meant travel in November or December. It sounded good, but after such a long wait with slow movement for everyone, I held that idea loosely. We talked a little of what traveling that time of year might mean and some of the things we wanted to do before W comes home. It was a relaxed conversation. What I remember most of our time together was a feeling of peace. I soaked it in, wanting to stay enveloped for as long as I could. I wanted to bottle it up and store it for when life got hectic – maybe, just maybe I would need these reserves at the end of the year if/when we traveled.

Part of our goal of being together was disconnecting. We made a call to S each day, but beyond that we avoided the usual technology traps of our phones and computers. As we started back to our life and our home, I turned on my phone. There was a message from our adoption agency asking me to call. Somewhat surprised, I turned and asked Papa J if he had a message too. He was smiling big and said yes, the Thailand program director had called him, too. Immediately, my mind went there.

If you are an adoptive family enduring the wait, you know what I mean. “There” is the call that there has been movement on your case. But I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much. After all, this would be early, unexpected news. This would be our miracle. And so I left a message and began to reason with Papa J about every other reason she might have called. And he kept saying “no, why call for that? Why call both of us for that? Why wouldn’t our local social worker call for that?”

When the phone rang, it was her. I shared with her that we had unplugged for a few days for our anniversary and sorry if it was loud where we were and hoped that we would be able to talk. She mentioned the email we saw about possible movement for our case and said she was actually calling with even better news. Our case had received first approval at the last meeting. The news of this arrived on our seventh anniversary! What an amazing, wonderful gift!

We are now waiting for some additional paperwork with an estimate that we will possibly travel three months from approval. Which looks like early October. Which means one of my biggest desires of my heart will happen: we will be together as a family of four by the time W turns three at the end of October! I am full of anxious excitement with the knowledge that we will meet him this year.

There is much to do to get ready. But for now we celebrate this miracle of our son and first approval arriving.


Protected: april 2014 update on w

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