Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Journey for Miriam: Passports back. Chinese visas inside!

Our passports with Chinese visas arrived in the mail from the courier. This means we are only waiting on one thing... Final travel approval. Then we're on that airplane to pick up our little girl!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Journey for Miriam- Received Article 5! Woohoo

Article 5- check!!! Yesterday we got an email saying the ACIVU (Adopted Children's Immigrant Visa Unit) had given our Article 5 to our in-country adoption agency reps to take to the CCCWA (China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption).  This means the CCCWA can begin work on our Travel Approval.  The travel approval allows us to go to China to finalize our adoption.  Typically the CCCWA takes 2-4 weeks to issue the TA.  From then families are typically leaving for China 10-21 days later. Following that timeline we could receive our TA on 7 Jun, and be on the airplane on Father's Day! (although that's best case scenario).  So we need your prayers for QUICK PAPERWORK! :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Journey for Miriam- Our Adoption Agency

When I was pregnant with Jonathan, I started chatting with a lovely blonde woman at our community pool.  Me, being the not-so-tactful person that I am, proceeded to ask about her daughter, who was Asian.  I found out they had adopted her from China; I knew this was what we were hoping to do so I got her contact information and basically hounded the poor woman for details.  She highly recommended Chinese Children Adoption International (CCAI) based in Denver, CO.  We had gone to informational meetings at Bethany Christian, and looked online at several other adoption agencies.  So why did we choose ultimately go with CCAI?  1) recommended by someone we knew 2) focused ONLY on Chinese adoption, which in my mind made them masters of their trade 3) they have a team in country to assist with travel/problems in China 4) they were ranked #1 by CCCWA 5) although CCAI is not overtly a Christian Agency, the founder Josh Zhong is a pastor and you can read his testimony on their webpage 6) they seemed to be priced in the middle 7) they have camps and continuing education that Miriam could attend when she gets older to help maintain her heritage and meet other girls and boys with adoption stories like hers.
I would highly recommend CCAI to anyone considering adoption from China.  They always have knowledgable staff on hand to assist.  In addition, the staff genuinely seems to care about our family and our child.  They don't treat us like a number, even though they have placed 9500+ children into their forever families.   The dossier and adoption process was divided into managable task lists which make the whole thing seem way less daunting.  And after we were matched, they linked us with other families who have adopted from Henan Province and even sent us videos of their trip to give us a better idea of what was about to happen. I strongly encourage you to check them out!  And Josh and Lily (the founders) have an amazing story!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Journey for Miriam- her profile

On Feb 16 I received a phone call from our adoption agency.  "We have a profile of a little girl we think you might like to review.  However, she is a little older than you requested.  Would you still like to see it?"  Would we???? Of course!!! So yes, she and Jonathan will be close in age but hopefully they'll be closer friends too.  I'm not going to lie, the information we received was lacking.  Apparently this is pretty common with Chinese adoptions.  There were 4 photos, which was great, but they were all of her when she was about 11 months old (making them over 6 months old).  Much of the medical information was also over six months old, meaning we didn't have much to go on for developmental data.  We did get an update once we accepted her profile that showed she is talking, walking, and climbing stairs, so she appears to be developing on schedule.  She does have a medical condition which she has already had surgery for, however we don't really know to what extent she has recovered or what treatment she might still need.  The medical records were only half translated, some was illegible, and it was all brief.  So it's a leap of faith.  And like we would with Grace and Jonathan, we will deal with whatever comes and get her whatever treatment she needs.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Journey for Miriam- intro

At the request of friends and family members, I have started a family blog.  Mostly you all just want to hear about Miriam.  FAIR ENOUGH! :)
So as many of you know, we have decided to adopt a beautiful little girl from China.  Zhou Yinjin (to be renamed Miriam Yinjin) was born Sep 14, 2010 in Henan Province.  That makes her 18 months old currently.  Yep, Jonathan is only 2 months older- therefore I have essentially given myself twins.
We started the adoption process about a year ago, completing our homestudy and compiling our dossier (adoption application for China).  You can check out our timeline posted to the right.  We're now waiting!  Hopefully we will travel mid to end of June!