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Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Today we were able to check off another step in our referral dossier process...another step closer to Sophia!  We finally had the final paper in hand that needed to be notarized on our part, so we headed to the notary and got all nine documents notarized at the same time...check!  Tomorrow we meet with our Social Worker to update our home study, so when that gets back to us, we will have all of the paperwork on our end ready to go.  We also go and get re-fingerprinted for USCIS tomorrow afternoon...check, check!  We are still waiting for the legal paperwork to arrive from Taiwan that we need to sign.  Once that gets here we will need to sign and notarize all of that, then take the entire huge pile to Harrisburg to be state authenticated.  I'm thinking I may just go to that office one day personally, as you can wait in line and get it done.  We'll see how adventurous I'm feeling when the time comes.  But gettting any step in this laborious process accomplished is means for celebration, as anyone who has "been there, done that" knows.  We are making progress!
Hang tight, Sophia...we are coming!

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Monday, June 28, 2010

50 by Taiwan!

Dave and I have a little weight loss challenge going on...check out our family blog to see how we progress!

Keeping busy as we "weight" for Sophia...

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sophia's Care Package

Today we sent off our first care package to Sophia!

This is a photo of all the goodies we put in it.

This is her first dolly, handmade with love by another adoptive mom.  Check out her Etsy store!

This is a 24 month little summer outfit and sandals, and a touchy, feely book.

Hershey's candy for her foster family...I also made a card to thank them for their outstanding work!

A panda blankie

In addition to all of this there were two little photo albums with family photos.  We are so excited to hear that Sophia and her foster family received their gifts!  I'll keep you posted!

Until Sophia comes home...
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

I LOVE Photos Even More!

I'm really loving opening my e-mail these days!  Today we had five new photos of our little Sophia, and several videos.  Yeah!  I can't post them on-line yet, but when I can, I will.  You will have to take my word for it that she is absolutely adorable with the cutest little poochy red lips.  Her foster family seems to be letting her hair grow longer, which I was hoping for.  She often has the top part up in a little pony tail a la Baby Pebbles from the Flintstones.  In these latest photos she looks so much more mature then in the two photos we received with the referral.  Our baby is growing up!  I can't wait to bring her home!

We are coming little Sophia!

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I LOVE Updates!

This morning we received the monthly care updates on Sophia from our adoption coordinator!  The foster mother is doing them, and they are so detailed!  Even the orphanage liasion made a comment that the foster mother is doing an exceptional job at keeping these up-to-date.  Starting in June, we should receive a monthly update and photos...yeah!

Sophia has made a TON of progress since the beginning of the year.  She is now approximately 24 pounds, and 33 1/2 inches tall.  According to my size chart information, that puts her right at the beginning of 2T clothing.  It may be a tad big yet for her, but she'll get there!  She loves music and playing the piano, is able to pull to standing and walk with assistance, and loves being out and about learning and seeing new things.  She is going to fit right into this family!  I feel such peace knowing that the foster family is taking such good care of her, and it seems as though they will do a great job of preparing her for the transition of adoption.  What an answer to prayer!

I wish I could post a photo, but am going to wait until after we have passed court to post one publicly.  However, if you happen to see me somewhere, I'll try to have one with me so that you can see our precious little girl!  Continue to pray that our paperwork progresses well and that we can raise the last $3000 we need in the next 4 to 6 weeks.

Thanks for sharing in our excitement...until Sophia comes home...

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Hope is Fading...

...not for our daughter waiting in Taiwan, but for the millions of other boys and girls around the world who are waiting for their forever families.  View this post on my sister's blog to see a powerful video created by a young man who gets it!

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Things have really been busy on the adoption front this week as we scramble to renew this and that!  So far I have managed to get Dave's passport renewal and our child abuse and criminal clearnace requests mailed out.  We have also managed to receive a re-fingerprinting date with Immigrations for June 30.  Thankfully, we don't have to return to Philly for that!  Yesterday we had a phone meeting with the adoption coordinator from our agency to discuss our service plan, and from that meeting, we have an on-line international adoption training to complete this summer.  It sounds pretty interesting, but it might be tricky to find a time that Dave and I can sit down and complete it together!  I'm working on getting paperwork together for a grant request, so that is a matter of prayer.  We have requested updated growth information and photos from the orphanage so we can include an outfit in the care package we are putting together to send to Sophia.  We are also setting up a date to meet with our social worker in person at our home for our home study update.  Whew!  I told you it has been busy around here, but it's all good, and I'm officially on summer vacation, so I have time to do it!  God is good--the timing couldn't have been better!

Things to pray about:
         - A quick turn around for all of our paper work and home study updates.  Many items are out of our hands and we must rely on the offices from which we are requesting information, and the USPS!
         - Sophia's continued therapy and development.  Pray that she might be prepared for meeting us and the adoption process as much as possible for her age and developmental level.
         - That God will prepare our entire family for meeting and loving our new addition.  This will affect each of us in a different way, and we are praying that we will all grow closer to each other and God as a result!
         - We still need approximately $3000 for this phase of the adoption process.  God will provide!

Thanks for continuing to journey with us!
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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Here's the deal...

Now that I have had time to process what the next steps are in our adoption of Sophia since being officially matched yesterday (yeah!), I will attempt to share them here in order to get them down in some semblance of fashion for myself and anyone else who is interested!

Today we started checking some items off of our suddenly very long to-do list.  Dave's passport needed to be renewed, so that was sent off today after filling out the form on-line, writing the $75 check and getting the passport photos ($10).  We also mailed the hard copy original of our adoption agreement to our agency.  They should receive it early next week and it will probably be mailed to Taiwan on Friday, the day they usually send out mail to Taiwan.  Once the orphanage in Taiwan receives the agreement, they will work on getting the legal papers together that we must sign, notarize, state seal, and TECO seal before returning them to Taiwan.  A friend who is a step ahead of us on this journey said it took about 3 weeks from the time the original adoption agreement was sent to Taiwan to receive their legal documents.  Meanwhile, we also must do some paperwork on our end to send back with the legal documents as part of what is called our "referral dossier".  This is our second such packet of paperwork.  Since we are nearing the renewal dates on some of our old paperwork, we actually need to update our home study (to the tune of $300) which includes updating medical paperwork (fees involved) and our financial statement.  We also need to be re-fingerprinted by the FBI (hopefully free) and renew our child abuse and criminal clearances in state (fees involved).  So, as you can see, we have probably close to $600-700 of fees just in order to get the documents ready to go back to Taiwan in order to move to the next step...the court process.  Additionally, we have an agency fee for our future post-placement reports that is due right now which is $900.  Thankfully, by God's grace, we have the money in hand to cover all of this, but it is eating into what we have saved for our orphanage fee which must be paid when our referral dossier is returned to Taiwan.  We did find out that what we owe the orphanage is $6200, which is on the low end of orphanage fees, for which we are grateful.  All told, we need to raise about $3000 more dollars right now to cover all of these fees, then we can work on travel expenses.  (Note:  We have updated our ticker and our Chip-in to reflect that we are still in need of $3000 for this phase...the Chip-in had to be adjusted in a weird way, but you can tell that we are still in need of $3000 to reach our goal.  I also changed our 100 Wishes page to reflect our goal better as well.  Donations can be made either through 100 Wishes or the Chip-in...it goes to the same account.)

Which takes me to the inevitable question...when do we travel?  Well, once our referral dossier is returned to Taiwan, we await a court date.  There may be more then one court hearing before we get a first decree.  When we get that, we will find out our travel dates.  The final court hearing is held while we are in Taiwan, but we do not attend.  It is at that hearing that we get our final decree, and then we file our paperwork in person in Taiwan at the American Institute in Taiwan-US Embassy in Taiwan (or AIT for short).  We will be able to pick up Sophia's IR3 Visa before returning home which, if I understand correctly, makes Sophia a U.S. citizen upon arrival in the U.S.  The timeline for all of that to happen is typically 6-8 months, including the referral time.  This means that, if all would proceed in a timely fashion, we might be traveling in early 2011.  But, as anyone familiar with international adoption knows, there are many roadblocks that may arise.  We will continue to pray for favor and expediency and that God would continue to provide for our needs as they arise.  We are beyond excited, but know that the road ahead is still an arduous and bumpy one.  However, at the end of our journey lies a beautiful little girl who is waiting for her forever family to come and take her home so she can start her own journey of growing and healing and learning.  Please continue to pray for us--we covet your prayers and thoughts so much!  Blessings!

Inching closer to our daughter every day... 
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Friday, June 4, 2010

We've Been Approved!

I was jumping up and down when I read the title to our agency contact's e-mail...GOOD NEWS!! Yes, we've been approved to proceed with our daughter's adoption...and in record time, praise God! It has been three weeks since we sent off the last of the answers to the questions we were asked by the orphanage, and I was getting ready to type my weekly "we continue to wait" post, but instead, I get to write this post! Now we must paper chase the second round of documents, update everything (ugh!), and get our funds totally raised. But God is good and He has a plan and it is proceeding in His time frame.  Will write more soon!

Sophia, Mommy and Daddy and brothers love you, and we are on our way!

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