Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Yesterday we called our agency FFC with our decision to move forward with the adoption of Yen, Ti an almost 6 year old little girl. This decision was a difficult one and we were happy to get to the point of peace. Our file will have to be reveiwed by the FFC older child adoption screening committee and then if approved our file will be translated, sent to Chung Yi for approval and then on to the government social worker for approval.This process should take about 4 weeks depending on how long they take to finalize our homestudy, translations take, and how fast Chung Yi approves it and sends it to the government social worker. Long process but we hope it is doen quickly.From what we have researched with other families in the same situation, it seams taht Chung Yi and the Taiwan government are trying to work quickly to get these chidlren out of the system and into permanent homes right now. So we are hoping and praying that this stands to be true over the next few months. Our hoemstudy was sent back to our agency for a 2nd reveiw before finalizing and printing today. We were asked to also write a letter specific to the adoption of Yen,Ti. In this they hoped we could explain why we wanted to adopt her, who we are and what our family and lives are like. At this point we are very excited at the though of her being our daughter but we won't know if we are approved for about a month we guess. We have 3 photos, all her medical, and her "about Me" book! During this wait we will also be put on the SLC waiting list so that in case for what ever reason, we are not approved to be her family, we will not have lost all this time with many more families in front of us. Otherwise the decision would have been even tougher than it was.
Monday February 19, 2007
Adoption never follows the plan...
On Friday Feb. 16th we were made aware of a little girl needing a family that is listed with our agency. We periodicaly view their waiting child list as that is where we were so lucky to have found our son. Our original plan was to adopt 9-24 months either gender from SLC as our #1 choice. But a few weeks ago I was "told" be open to Foster care and Chung Yi too. It kind of hit me like a ton of bricks and I told my mom and husband this but I had NO INTENTIONS on following through with it. I love SLC. I love that we understand the program fully, that the orphanage already knows us, that they would approve us, that we would get a child close to Landons age. All these things that we planned. They have all been scrambled up with the idea of this wonderful little girl waiting. She is at Chung Yi and is 5 years old. She would more than likely be 6 when we brough her home. And as much as we try to deny this isnt our plan our child, we are doing everything we can to find out about her,feeling like sh eis our child, reading her medical and viewing her photos. We get so excited thinking or talking about her. But we know we have to think about this fully and pray that the answer will be given to us. That we can bear the fact of never having had an infant to care for. That we can understand this is what was intended for our family or not. As we do a little sour searching and researching we hope that you can all send prayers and good wishes our way that we make the right decision for this little girl and our family. We have already reviewed her file and are awaiting her "about me" book and for our in country coordiantor to visit her. We hope to get video as well. She is indeed with the best foster family through Chung Yi. She is said to love to ride her bike, travel, has many friends and is happy.
For those interested this is our timeline so far:
November 28, 2006 DH gives the go ahead to start #2!
December 2006 Discuss with Laura at FFC, adoption #2.
December 18, 2006 Completed FFC application and Letter of Intent.
December 20, 2006 Completed local criminal clearences for both of us.
January 4, 2007 Sent FFC: Application and Letter of Intent
January 4, 2007 Collect, complete, and notarize all dossier and homestudy documents aside of Physicals (employment verification, financial statement, passport forms, birth certificates and marriage license.)
January 5, 2007 Priority mailed all dossier completed in 3 packets (2 original and 5 copies) forms to FFC and homestudy forms and 1 refference to Adoption Support Services.
Januray 6, 2007 Priority mailed to FFC Digital Family Photo CD
January 8, 2007 Completed I-600A application aside of Homestudy
January 10, 2007 Priority mailed I-600A, birth certificates and marraige license to Tampa, FL INS office.
January 12, 2006 Priority mailed 2 more referrences to HS social worker.
January 11, 2007 completed both our physicals, notarized.
January 12, 2007 received reciept from INS that application and fees were received.
January 16, 2007 Priority mailed FFC and Adoption Support Services: physicals for both of us. Sent HSW 2 more referrences.
January 23, 2007 Received homestudy rough draft for reveiw and corrections.
January 25, 2007 SW sent homestudy rough draft to FFC for reveiw.
January 26, 2007 Homestudy was forwarded to Laura, our coordinator, and then on to FFC homestudy social worker (Shelley) for reveiw and corrections.
January 26, 2007 Oficially waiting family with FFC, on the waiting list!!!!
January 31, 2007 FFC program coordinator, Laura T., arriving home from Taiwan.
February 16, 2007 Found little girl we are interested in on FFC waiting list photolisting and Greg called to aks for her file. Laura called back and spoke with him in length about Yen, Ti. We received her file via email.
February 19, 2007 Received Yen, Ti's "About Me" book via email.
February 23, 2007 Nicole spoke with Laura in Length about Yen, Ti and her situation. We are to make our decision by Monday February 26.
February 26, 2007 Spoke with Laura again and gave the go ahead to move forward with Yen,Ti. We will be put on the SLC waiting list while we are awaiting approval from Chung Yi for Yen, Ti so that we do not lose time in the even we are not approved for her adoption. Also discussed our homestudy and changes to be made.
February 26, 2007 Laura called Lori our HS SW and advised of our homestudy changes.
February 26, 2007 I emailed a letter specific to Yen, Ti's adoption requested by FFC.
February 27, 2007 Lori, our HSSW, emailed new homestudy to FFC for 2nd reveiw before finalizing and printing.
March 1, 2007 Spoke with Laura about our homestudy, info and Ti. Told everything looks great. Homestudy in reveiw. Sent Chung Yi photos of Landon and the girls at CNY.
March 7,2007 Spoke with Laura. Homestudy is finalized after update and sent to translations along with letter of intro and intent. Told all will be sent to Chung Yi next week!
March 8, 2007 Asked to fax our referrences to FFC to help reiterate our parenting experience and support for Chung Yi and Gvnt. SW
March 9, 2007 Faxed 5 refference letters to FFC for our file to be translated and sent to Chung Yi for approval.
March 14, 2007 Spoke with Laura about process so far. Documents have been translated aside of refferences which will be translated by Sally which hope to be in the next couple days during her stay in the states.
March 15, 2007 Express mailed 2 original homestudies, 5 copies of homestudy, and 5 refferences to FFC in Utah. Priority mailed Original homestudy to USCIS as well as supporting documents to complete what is needed for I-600a, advanced orphan petition.
March 21, 2007 Wendy called form FFC, told that original homestudies/refferences arrived over weekend. She does not know if translations went out Friday to Chung Yi or not.
March 22, 2007 Spoke with Wendy again- translations of photo pages & family intro, letter of intent, and refferences have been sent. Sally was translating homestudy and hoped to have it to Chung Yi before she headed back to Taiwan on Wed.
March 23, 2007 Priority mail Landon's COC and supporting documents to INS so that he can get a US passport and travel with us to Taiwan.
April 6, 2007 Department of Homeland Security adoption unit emailed; I-600a approved on March 23 and forwarded to Taipei Taiwan.
April 6, 2007 FFC received our I-171H approval from the government/department of homeland security.
April 9, 2007 Was told by Laura that Chung Yi has our homestudy translation and other documents and that last she spoke with Sally, she was translating our refferences and they may or may not be at Chung Yi already. Also told that families are on the waiting list as soon as rough draft homestudy is submitted. We have been on the list for 2 1/2 months. If we are approved for Yen, Ti we will be removed from the list.
April 27, 2006 Wendy said that Laura should return from Haiti soon and we should hear from her shortly after in regards to questions we have.
May 3, 2007 Spoke again to Wendy and told to expect "monthly family case update" very soon from Laura as well as answers to several questions.
May 10, 2007 Spoke with James T and he said that updates are behind still due to several new referrals and the Haiti trip and we should hear from Laura next week :(
May 22, 2007 Recived news of approval! Chung Yi, government sw, director, foster family, and birth mom approved!
May 28, 2007 Received word from Laura:Contracts are on their way to FFC from Chung Yi.
May 28, 2007 Recieved detailed report of meeting between Sally, Ti and foster mom along with 4 pictures from the meeting and a picture Ti drew for us.
June 1, 2007 Received call from Laura that contracts arrived at FFC along with photo album and 2 or 3 disc full of pictures of Ti and her life!
June 1, 2007 FFC contract and offical referral acceptance sent via email from FFC to us.
June 1, 2007 Contracts,power of attorney and FFC contracts mailed from FFC to us.
June 2, 2007 Received our contracts, along with 3 disc (1500 pictures plus video) of Ti.
June 5, 2007 Headed to TECO Coral Gables, dropped off documents for authentication.
June 6, 2007 Picked up documents rom TECO sent them via Fed-Ex to FFC next day express along with Family photo album and required documents.
June 7, 2007 FFC received both packages and are awaiting one offical FFC homestudy approval from translations.
June 11, 2007 Estimated date Chung Yi recievd documents/dossier.
June 21, 2007 Spoke with Laura and she confirmed docments had been sent to Taiwan and already recieved by Chung Yi.
July 7, 2007 June updates are in but we did not get one. Spoke with Laura and she believes the gov. sw may be the hold up. Assuming we are not yet in the courts since they did not give a court filing date nor a hearing date.
July 7, 2007 Sent Ti a package including our first letters, one to her and one to foster mother, clothes, hygiene, art supplies, ect. $72 USPS Priority mail.
July 9, 2007 Donations sent to Chung Yi, Large box full of girls and boys clothes, gygiene, gifts for staff and volunteers. $113.00 USPS Priority mail (UPS would have been $247, USPS can no longer go boat/slower parcel.)
July 12, 2007 Back and forth with Laura for the past week about updates. Sally to be speaking and meeting with Director Debbie from Chung Yi.
August 3, 2007 We recieved an email from Laura/FFC letting us know we entered the courts in June, were assigned a judge in July and have a hearing set for Sept. 3rd. They (Chung Yi) expect us to travel at the end of Sept or begining of October. We are to recieve our questions answers by the end of August from foster family.
September 3rd, 2007 Hearing in Taiwan!!!
September 11, 2007 Told our hearing wasnt until September 10th. Received 9 page letter from foster mother regarding Ti.
September 14th, 2007 First Ruling! Found out we had our first ruling while at Matt and Molly's lucky cabin in GA mountains :)
September 24th, 2007 Told that Chung Yi had not received info of our first ruling. Invoice to be coming very soon from FFC.
September 24th, 2007 Made our registry at Target.com for Ti.
September 24th, 2007 10 day waiting period is over and anticipated finale ruling.
September 26th, 2007 Received our travel call! We pick up Ti from Chung Yi on November 5th, AIT appointment on November 6th, Visa pickup November 7th.
September 29th Purchased plane tickets, Leave October 30th and depart Taiwan November 9th.
We recently made the decision to begin the adoption process again for our second child. We are excited to say that we will be using the same agency as for our adoption of Landon, Families For Children. They are a 501(c) non profit, licensed child placing agency out of Utah. We also chose to use Adoption Support Services of Florida, Inc. for our Homestudy agency. Our process is well underway. We have turned in our application, letter of introduction, photo pages, and dossier to FFC. We have also turned in all documents for our homestudy and and our rough draft was recently sent to FFC for review. Once FFC reviews it and sends it back with the changes, then our SW will make those changes and send it back to FFC for approval. Once approved, we will officially be on the waiting list! Taiwan has gained much interest in the last 2 years and most agencies working with Cathwell have a 12-16 month wait for referral. We requested our first choice orphanage to be SLC. That is where Landon is from and they have a strong place in our heart. We requested a child of either gender 9-24 months but may consider a child younger, twins, or young siblings as that is what we were approved for by our homestudy agency and we have learned to be flexable in adoption. Since FFC has many ties in Taiwan and they also work with Chung Yi orphanage, we can not close the door to the idea that our child "may" come from some place other than SLC should the wait get to be too long. At this time FFC is quoting 6-9 months for a girl and 0-6 months for a boy however our coordinator did explain to me in email the other day that their waiting list remains short though many families are in the homestudy stage right now. I am so glad we worked quickly to move forward when we did. So I am planning on our referral taking anywhere from 0-9 months. We are very excited and Landon is more than ready to have a play mate around the house. Not sure if he is ready to share mommy and daddy 24-7 but he says tells us when we talk about baby brother or sister "share mommy, share DaDa!" He will get used to it as all children do in time he/she is home for a little while we think. Landon's Gotcha day is quickly approaching and somedays it feels like yesterday when we picked him up and others it feels like he has always been here. We are so excited to be on the journey once again and glad we have our son to keep us busy during the wait!