Caleb plays in the yard

Friday, May 22, 2009

Here's a little video I put together of Caleb goofing off in the yard with Baba. He just loves his sandbox and playing sports.

Big Brother

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Meet Caleb, Madeline's big brother. Our dossier for Caleb was logged in at CCAA on 1/31/07. We received our referral for Caleb on 7/10/07. We traveled to China in October 2007 and brought him home in November. He was almost three years old at the time we first held him in our arms. He prays for Madeline every night, and he can't wait to travel to China to bring her home.

Here are his referral photos, taken in January 2007 when he was 2 years old. We fell in love with him immediately.

At the Guangzhou Social Welfare Institution

Here he is in March 2009. Our precious little boy is growing up so fast!

Paperchase Timeline for Madeline

Friday, May 15, 2009

8.27.08 Decided to pursue our second adoption
8.31.08 Called our first agency, Bethany Christian Services, and submitted our Preliminary Application
9.02.08 Received approval of our preliminary application
9.04.08 Received China dossier packet
9.07.08 Completed online Hague Adoption course
9.08.08 Mailed requests for birth certificates and marriage license
9.09.08 Submitted addresses to agency for child abuse clearances
10.07.08 Eva's interview for HS and submitted COP documents to our agency
10.20.08 Patrick's interview for HS
11.24.08 Went to local police department to obtain clearance
12.03.08 Had medicals completed
12.04.08 Received word from our SW that she had not received child abuse clearance from Maryland, called MD social services and asked to expedite our clearance
12.09.08 Clearance sent from MD
12.19.08 HS finally complete
1.03.09 FINALLY received signed off and notarized HS
1.05.09 Mailed I-800A to Chicago Lockbox
1.16.09 Received I-797C Notice of Action, our app was received on 1/12/09
1.19.09 Received fingerprint appointment for 1/29/09
1.20.09 Mailed second request for copy of marriage license, since it will be older than 6 months at time of authentication (needs to be less than 6 months old)
2.05.09 Received our "newer" copies of our marriage license; Received a phone call from NBC but missed it! :( Ugh.
2.09.09 Received our I-800A approval in the mail!!!!! We were approved on 2/05/09!! Just 24 days after being logged in at NBC. Woo hoo! Also obtained Patrick's employment letter
2.10.09 Notarized our application letter to CCAA and financial statement
2.12.09 Notarized Eva's non-employment letter
2.19.09 Received the addendum to our home study and overnighted 11 documents to Tallahasee courier for state seals
2.21.09 Received our Florida documents back from courier, all state sealed!
2.22.09 Completed our photos portion of the dossier
2.23.09 Mailed our completed dossier to Grand Rapids for authentication at the consulates
3.12.09 We are DTC!!!
3.31.09 Our social worker called to tell us our LID is 3/26/09
10.29.09 Spotted our little girl for the first time on our "new" agency's Waiting Child list
10.30.09 Reviewed her file and accepted her referral!!! We finally know who Madeline is. Praise God!
12.10.09 New agency submitted our LOI and transfer letters. Yahoo!!! Now we wait for PA (Pre-approval)
12.11.09 Received a RFE (Request For Evidence) from Immigration on our I-800A Supplement 3 Form. UGH!
12.21.09 Received our PA! Hooray! Time to send a care package.
12.30.09 SW came to our house for the home study visit needed for our update for the Supplement 3
12.31.09 Our FL child abuse clearance came back! (expedited thanks to our great, new SW!)
1.11.10 Our SW overnighted our approved home study update to Immigration
1.14.10 Called our immigration officer to confirm receipt of our updated HS and she informed me she approved it yesterday! Yahoo!
3.5.10 Finally received our new/transfer LID
3.30.10 We got our LOA!!!!
4.1.10 Overnighted I-800 and supporting documents to our agency
4.6.10 Agency overnighted I-800 to immigration
4.21.10 Overnighted our I-800A Supplement 3 to TX lockbox to extend our immigration approval
4.27.10 Received our I-800 provisional approval
4.29.10 NBC overnighted our provisional approval to NVC, now we wait to be cabled
4.30.10 Received our I-800A Supplement 3 receipt notice in the mail
5.1.10 Received our I-800 provisional approval in the mail....yay for small steps
5.4.10 Our I-800 provisional approval was CABLED (whoo hoo) to Guangzhou
5.10.10 Received our NVC cable letter AND fingerprint appointment notices in the mail
5.11.10 Walked in early for our fingerprint appointment; we were scheduled for May 27th. No way were we going to wait that long!
5.12.10 Called im*migration and found out that our covering officer approved our I-800A supplement 3 and also issued us a new I-800! And today, Madeline turned 26 months. Big girl.
5. 17.10 Our documents are dropped off at the consulate
6.1.10 Our Article is issued and overnight to CC@@
6.25.10 We have TA!!!!!!!!!!!
6.29.10 Our CA is confirmed and we began travel arrangements
7.16.10 Fly to Ch*in@
7.19.10 Receive Madeline!!!!
7.20.10 Finalize her adoption. We are officially a family of 4!
7.23.10 Fly to Guangzhou
7.24.10 Medical Exam
7.28.10 Consulate appointment
7.29.10 Oath ceremony at the consulate
7.30.10 Receive Madeline's immigration visa and fly home!
7.31.10 Arrive back home!

Some Day Soon...

Friday, May 1, 2009

...this page will share the referral photos of our precious Madeline. Until then, stay tuned...

Our Story

Me and my love

Let me take a moment to introduce us and tell you how we began our adoption journey. We are Patrick and Eva. We live in Florida and have been married for 9 years. Although we began our formal paper chase in August 2006 for our first child, God had been preparing our hearts for adoption for some time. Even before we were married in October 2002, we both thought at some point in our lives we would adopt a child. For me this desire first came about in the summer of 1998 when I attended a Steven Curtis Chapman concert at King’s Dominion just outside of Richmond, VA. He shared how he and his wife, Mary Beth, had grown their family by adopting a daughter, Shaohannah, from China. God had used this story to lay a foundation for adoption in my life. But at the time I was still single, so the thoughts and desire for adoption lay silent until I met Patrick in 2001.

We talked about adoption as something we knew we wanted to do but didn’t know “how or when”. Like many others, we believed we would adopt after we had biological children of our own. Over the last few years, the topic of adoption came up more and more, as my identical twin sister, Deb, and her husband, Andy, have struggled with infertility. Triggered in part by their trials, we thought harder and longer about adoption. To better understand what my sister and Andy were going through, my dear friend Adele, recommended a book, “When The Cradle Is Empty.” It turned out to be an incredibly insightful book! It opened my eyes to the pain couples experience as they struggle to begin their families. What this book did even more for me was deepen my desire to adopt. Instead of reading the book from the beginning, I skipped straight to the chapter on adoption. It was evident how God was slowly working on our hearts during this time.

In July 2006, Patrick attended a Promise Keepers conference in Jacksonville, FL. One of the speakers, Pastor Bob Reccord, shared his personal story of adoption. Patrick’s heart was deeply moved by Pastor Bob. What I hadn’t told Patrick was that I had just heard Pastor Reccord on Focus On The Family earlier that week! I knew something was up when he called on his way home from the conference and told me we needed to talk. He shared with me that God had placed on his heart the need to start our family “now” and that we would begin by adopting a child from China. I was so ecstatic! That week I began researching adoption agencies and located one within a couple hours from our home. Patrick called and arranged our first meeting. That is the story of how we began our “paper pregnancy” for our son, Caleb.

We spent the Fall of 2006 paperchasing and finally completed our dossier in December. We submitted our dossier to China and were officially logged in January 31, 2007. Fast forward a few months, we received our referral for Caleb on July 10, 2007 and traveled in October/November 2007 to bring him home. He has been the light of our lives. He has such a sense of humor, it's pretty amazing. He's so easy going. He loves to play soccer, swim, and play with his trains. It has been such a joy to watch him blossom after finally having a home of his own and a mommy and daddy to love him. We truly can't imagine our lives without him.

In the fall of 2008, we felt the Lord calling us again to adopt another child. This time we felt led to bring home a little girl. It took us several months to paperchase because of new immigration requirements. However, we finally sent our dossier to China in March 2009. It was such a great feeling to do that, even the second time around; it was still a bit surreal.

Well, now that our paperchase is finished, it's time to sit back and enjoy life as we wait for our referral for Madeline. We hope to use this blog to keep you all updated. Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by. It means so much to us. Blessings to you all!

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About This Blog

This blog is the place where shared our lives while waiting to bring our daughters Madeline and Havi home from China. (Our son Caleb was already home before this blog began.) It is now the place where we continue to share our life experiences, both big and little, as we try to glorify God and raise our 3 dumplings from China.

Feel free to join us as we journey through life, while I try to capture our days...

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