Monday, December 29, 2008

I800A Form is in!

Last week on Tuesday, December 23rd our dossier consultant emailed us and our social worker and said our home study had been approved (they had to make a few revisions so it was now ready-Yah!), Tiffany, our social worker, made all the copies and got them notarized and mailed them to us on Christmas Eve. We received them in the mail on Friday the 26th and Jaime had already completed the I800A form so he took that along with the home study and all the attachments (copies of birth certificates, marriage license, etc.) to FedEx on Saturday and the government received it this morning at 9:15 a.m. Amazing that all that took place in less than a week and Christmas was in the middle of that as well! So, this is our final step before sending our dossier to China, we have to wait for our I800A (immigration and finger printing) to be completed which can take a few months and once we get that back we send that, along with many other documents to China for our dossier and get our LID (log in date) and that is when the 'real' wait time officially starts with the agency and China! But at least we are just one more step closer to getting our daughter, Please pray this next step doesn't take too long and we can get our dossier sent to China in early 2009! Hope everyone has a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 15, 2008

We're ok to adopt!!

Well, if you read my last post, you'll know what I'm referring to, but we are ok to adopt even with our oldest daughter making a toy gun with our social worker on her last visit with us! Tiffany, the social worker, turned in the full home study report to Great Wall (the adoption agency) on Wednesday, November 26th, the day before Thanksgiving and sent us a copy too! And thank you Lord, she didn't even mention the toy gun, all she did was refer to Abby as a 'very imaginative child'!! Yah!! Let me tell you just how much I was relieved!! And not only that but she also said in her words 'This Great Wall Social Worker finds Jaime and Melissa Reyes to be excellent candidates for adoption of a third child'!! Yippee!! Anyway, Great Wall took about 2 weeks to review it and sent us and Tiffany an email last week commenting on how well put together this home study was (great job Tiffany) and there was just a few revisions to make so once those are made and sent back to Great Wall then our next step is to send the home study along with our I800A form (something for immigration) and they will schedule us appointments for fingerprinting. The only bad/sad part about this next step is that it can take up to 90 days, yes, that's right 90 days, so essentially 3 months!! But it's out of our control, it's all in God's hands and I know His timing is perfect, so we just have to be patient. So far things have been moving right along so I just pray they continue to do so. Thanks to all of you for your prayers and support. We'll continue to keep you posted on the next steps of our adoption journey!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Home study visits....DONE!

Ok, our social worker, Tiffany just left our house and so we have officially completed the home study portion of our adoption journey. We had to give her numerous documents, as well as meet with her 4 times! Our first visit was with just Jaime and myself, and we talked about our reasons for wanting to adopt, and gave her a tour of our home and showed her the room our 3rd daughter would have, etc. We then met with her individually and went over our autobiography more in detail (this was to be completed before the first home study even took place and it was 13 pages long-yikes!). Then today's visit was so she could meet our girls and interact with them and see us all interact as a family! We went over some stuff with her first, giving her all of the paperwork needed for the home study to be completed and then it was her time to 'play' with Abby to get to know her better. I asked Abby what she wanted to do with Tiffany (ie; play outside, upstairs, do a craft, etc.), and Abby chose a craft and I thought 'Great choice, this should go well'....until, I heard Abby tell Tiffany what she wanted to make........a TOY GUN! Are you kidding me, seriously, did she just say that???? And yes, she did, so Abby went to work on her toy gun (or really it ended up being more like a sling shot) but still, I couldn't believe it! Of all things she wanted to do...I mean Abby loves to draw, make books, hats, play with beads and make bracelets but today of all days when our social worker is here she wants to make a toy gun!! Aaaahhhhh! Oh well, I just need to move past it and hope all will still be ok! Other than that, I feel like the whole process went very smoothly.
The next step is for Tiffany, our social worker, to put together our home study and send it to Great Wall to be looked over (and she'll send us a copy too). She hopes to have that done early next week before Thanksgiving so that was good news to hear! Then after Great Wall looks over it, which will take 1 to 2 weeks, it's sent back to Tiffany for her to get notarized and she'll make 5 copies in which we get 4 of them and Great Wall gets 1. We then continue getting our other documents together for the dossier (immigration forms, doctor's letters, fingerprints, etc.). We hope to have this all completed in the next few months but we know that some of it is out of our hands on the time issues on some of these forms.
Thanks to all of you for your prayers and support during this exciting (and long) journey! We will keep you all updated!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

We're moving right along...

Well, tomorrow, Tuesday, November 4th is our first home study visit by our social worker. We have to have 4 visits in all and hope to have them completed in the next few weeks. I'll keep you all posted on how they all go...please pray all goes smoothly. We are just moving right along with the adoption process and getting all our stuff together from ordering copies of birth certificates and our marriage license, to making appointments with our doctors for physicals, to going to our local police station so they can type a letter saying we have no criminal record, and the list goes on and on. Jaime and I both just completed a 13 page autobiography to be given to our social worker tomorrow but still there's so much to be done.
Two weeks ago after we were offically accepted into the Great Wall Adoption program we decided it was time to tell our oldest daughter, Abby, what we were doing and can I just say she is just as excited as Jaime and I. In fact when she asked us when we'd be getting her little sister from China she started crying when we told her it may be 2 to 3 years (when she's 8 or 9-to really help her comprehend the time frame). She said she didn't want to wait that long and wanted her sister sooner...she is such a sweet girl. She is already such an awesome big sister to Avery so we know she'll be even that much better of a big sister to this new little one! She has been telling everyone about her new little sister and even drew a picture of what she might look like-such the proud big sister!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Steven Curtis Chapman video

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It's official!!!

Well, we turned in our application to Great Wall Adoption Agency on Thursday, October 16th... and last night, October 17th at 6:30 p.m. we got the call.... "Is this Melissa? (yes),First I'm sorry to call so late but we wanted to let you know before the weekend that we've received your application and have processed it and reviewed it... Welcome to the China Adoption Program!!!" Wow, I was not expecting that phone call to take place just one day later (it usually takes 4 to 7 days)but it sure made our day and weekend! Our next main steps are to have a home study done and collect lots of paper work to send to China (ie: birth certificates, marriage license, Immigration forms, fingerprinting etc., etc.). They say the timeline to collect and have all this done is between 3 and 6 months so our goal is 3 months! We'll keep you posted!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It all began 7 weeks ago (well, really 3 1/2 years ago)....

Ok to get everyone caught up on where we are in our lives right now I need to back up just a bit....about 3 1/2 years ago...Jaime and I had just celebrated our daughter, Abby's 3rd birthday at Pump It Up and afterwards went to a Stephen Curtis Chapman/Casting Crowns Concert. Little did we know God was planting a seed that very night that would eventually lead us to where we are in our lives today! Stephen Curtis Chapman spoke about his experience with adopting 3 of his daughters from China and what an incredible experience it was! He showed pictures, sang a song and that was it, Jaime and I were hooked. At this point we had been trying to get pregnant with our 2nd child for about 1 1/2 years with a miscarriage at 11 weeks in there as well. We had decided we would try for a few more months but that if it didn't happen then we would adopt our 2nd daughter from China. Well, about 5 months later low and behold I became pregnant and gave birth to our 2nd daughter, Avery in May 2006. At that point and for the next 2 years we felt our family was complete, or so we thought. Every now and then Jaime and I would bring up the idea of adoption and wonder if it was still meant to be for us but just never really persued it.....until now!

Now, to get you more up to speed, about 7 weeks ago, Thursday, August 21st at bible study, we were talking about a story in our bible that made us all think "What if God were trying to tell us something and we weren't listening, therefore not being obedient to what He has called us to do?" and though adoption was not the topic, I kept thinking about that (and thinking what if God is calling us to adopt and we aren't listening...)as we were discussing the bible story. I let it go for the night and the following morning on Friday, August 22nd I woke up and went to the computer where I have a daily devotional emailed to me every morning and as I opened it up there the title stared me in the face 'ADOPTED' and it was all about adoption. So, needless to say that got my attention. I told Jaime about it and from the get-go, he was on board to discuss it more, pray about it, research, etc. We still weren't for certain this is what God was calling us to do but day after day, sign after sign, there was no denying it (just a few being where were the Olympics taking place right now? CHINA!! then 2 days later in Sunday school a man in our class discussed his mission trip to where?? CHINA!! and a few days later out of the blue, our daughter, Abby asked me "Mom, how long does it take to get to China and will we go there some day? Later I figured out she meant California but still....) It was those things that happened over and over again that just solidified our decision to adopt our 3rd daughter from China and so we have officially begun the process.

We have attended a few workshops for different agencies and have decided on Great Wall Adoption Agency, as they only handle China adoptions. We have filled out the application and are sending it in tomorrow, Thursday! I wanted to start this blog to let our friends and family know our latest exciting news and keep you all posted as this journey takes us to China to get our daughter. This may not happen for a few years, as the wait is long but we will keep you all in the 'know' as we find things out. Please just keep our family (especially our daughters, all 3 of them) in your prayers....thank you!