An invisible red thread connects those that are destined to meet,regardless of time,place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break.~Ancient Chinese Proverb

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Out of Our Hands

Well, it's official.As of today, our dossier is officially out of our hands! (And hopefully for good!). This morning I headed to The Secretary of State's office to have our final document State sealed. We ran into a little problem with the document, which immediately put me in tears in their lobby. After a quick phone call to my Adoption agency and some major begging on my behalf to the woman who does the State certifying, I left with a sealed document. I am trusting my agency, who is assuring us that the problem is only minor and will not cause any setbacks. Boy, am I praying they are correct. Our agency will receive the packet tomorrow and send it out by courier to DC the next day (hopefully). We will be crossing fingers, toes and anything else bendable that this all important document can clear the US and Chinese Embassy without any hiccups.Would you mind sending some positive thoughts our way? We are so close to having our dossier finally make it to China, I can't bear the thought of another silly delay.
So, hopefully the next adoption related post (2 weeks or so) will be of those 3 letters that every adoptive parent jumps for joy over...DTC (Dossier to China)!!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

A "dancing at the mailbox" kind of day

Woo hoo!!! Today was one of those "dancing at the mailbox" kind of days;and yes, we danced!! And squealed a little, too! Today we received the LAST and probably most important piece of our dossier. Remember, our Dossier is the all important formal packet of documents that introduce us, as The Keefer Family, to China. It consists of  a 6 page Homestudy report describing every aspect of our home life, 2 complete health physicals, SLED/police clearance reports,financial statements, an Adoption petition (which we wrote, explaining our desire to adopt),employment verifications, birth certificates, marriage certificates, 13 family photos (any excuse to snap pictures!), and lastly, the approval from Customs and Immigration-which after a long 46 day wait (oh yes, I counted as each day passed) we received today!! I loaded the boys in the car and we hurried off to the bank to see our favorite notary, Mrs. Cheryl, who notarized the document for us. Tomorrow I will head to the Secretary of States Office to have them State certify it and then it is headed to the Post Office to be overnighted to our adoption agency. Once it arrives, a courier will drive it to DC, where it will get yet two more seals-one at the US Embassy and one from the Chinese Embassy. It will be driven back to our Adoption agency where everything will be "critically reviewed" one last time and then sent on a plane to China. That is when the BIG celebration begins. Once it is sent to China and they log our paperwork into the system, we can be "matched" with our little girl!!! Ohh, we are SO close!!!
Just hang on people...I know it seems like we are always "celebrating" something in this process, and all the while you're wondering......Is this IT??? It's coming!!! Or should I say, SHE'S coming~soon!! We are so happy that you are patient with us and celebrate our milestones with us. It is a huge,long process to adopt. We kind of see these milestones as "ultrasounds". Remember how excited you would get when you would visit the Dr and get to hear your little ones heartbeat, or even see them on an ultrasound? It was so exciting-proof that your baby was coming. It is the same for us. These milestones remind us that our little Miss IS coming. We are so close to finding close!!!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Moody Mess

Lately, I have been a real "moody mess". The slow pace of this adoption has gotten to me and has me ready to "unload" ( I meant that verbally..of course) on anyone who says the wrong thing at the wrong time. Thought I would turn to this blog as a type of "therapy"....a cathartic release..And so, if you don"t feel up to reading a bunch of whining and griping...feel free to skip this post ;-)

I have to admit, before we decided to take the plunge into uncharted territory, and research all there was to know about adoption (both domestic AND international), I knew absolutely nothing. We didn't have any close friends who had adopted that we could learn from. We did, however, have a neighbor, who had adopted twice from China-and that is where we began our research.
We learned so much from our research.Heck, we are adoption pros, now. But with all that we have learned about adoption, it sometimes makes it hard to have discussions with those unfamiliar to the process. There are so many misconceptions and myths regarding the process. Perhaps I have become a little thinned-skin during this process, but I have mulled over some of the silly questions/statements that we have been met with regarding our adoption. Don't get me wrong, we LOVE to talk about our progress, but the next time the topic is on the table, please refrain from these ridiculous statements....

1. "Geez...this is taking a long time. Are you ever gonna get a kid?" Yes, we have heard this SO many times, I can't count. What do people think? That you just fill out a piece of paper, write out a big check and've got "a kid"??? Not quite that easy/ It is a LONG process;at least a year. They say to figure 6 months to be approved by the US, then be matched with a child, then 4-6 months to apply/be approved for travel. Definitely longer than a pregnancy. You wouldn't ever go up to a pregnant lady and ask "Geez....are you ever going to have that baby?!". I guess others can SEE the progress when you are pregnant. All we have to show in adoption is a VIP place in line at the Post Office (yes, I know my postal workers by name) and numerous papercuts. We celebrate lots of "little milestones", that to us, are huge steps. Kind of like moving from trimester to trimester. We are so happy when those closest to us rejoice in these small steps with us. We understand that it seems like we are always "waiting " for another approval, but we hope that those who can't wait to meet our little girl, will realize that it  doesn't happen overnight~ not even close.

2. This one really gets me. "How do know they won't come with problems?" Really?? How many problems do YOU have? Did I ask you that when you were expecting your first child? Exactly what kind of "problems" are you referring to? Medical issues? Emotional hang ups? Well, my friend, there are only two things I am certain of...death and taxes. And we all enter into this world, it is possible that we will be affected by all sorts of issues. While we do get to specify age,gender, and medical condition-there are always uncertainties. In our personal case, we are open to our child having very minor, correctable needs. We will be given a full, complete file of the child's medical condition, up to that point. But just like with everything else, after that, all bets are off. We were relieved that both of our Boys were born healthy, but just like with our future daughter, we are fully aware that anything could be waiting around the corner. So, please, know that we have put this God's hands and we will embrace anything we are handed. Please don't question our decisions, doubt our choices or feel that we need to be "educated" in what "could happen"...We got this!

3. This is probably the one I get asked the most. Really, burns me up. "Since you feel so compelled to adopt, why don't you adopt a kid from your own Country? We have plenty of needy kids here in the US.Why China?" For this, I have really had to turn to prayer for guidance of what's best to say. Once I responded. "Why, oh..are you considering adoption, too?" For us, personally, International adoption was the only consideration. We truly wish that the US had different regulations on adoptive parents' rights, but until then, we choose to adopt through a country where adoptive parents will always retain legal rights and custody of the child. When I'm really pushed on this issue, I just say that God is leading our hearts to where our little girl waits;and he has led us to China.

4. "What are you going to tell her when she asks about her birth parents?" Even for family, the answer is always the same;that is a personal issue and one that will be between the 5 of us. We have read books, blogs,articles and talked to many adoptive parents about this delicate,private conversation. And that is just the way we will keep it.

Boy, do I feel better after getting these annoyances off my chest. Much easier that a "blow up", cheaper than therapy..and hey....maybe some of you learned a little adoption etiquette.......


Monday, July 9, 2012

Happy 4th Of July!!

We enjoyed a busy 4th of July with friends and family. I love this time of year-sun, water, fireworks and good cooking! I can't wait until next year, when we have an extra little one here!! enjoy some pics from our holiday!!