Saturday, October 5, 2013

Running Out of Time

I'm having to face it - I'm running out of time before the trip and I'm never going to get our story updated before we leave. So I'm just going to add the itinerary for now.

We leave on October 10th (this Thursday) and arrive in Beijing on the 11th (Friday).
We'll tour Beijing on the 12th, then fly to Gwen's province, Anhui on the 13th (Sunday). We'll be staying in the capitol city of  Hefei, at the Holiday Inn - which, excitingly, has subway construction going on across the street. In the reviews I read, the clients stated that you can request free earplugs from the hotel staff. AAARRRGGGHHH!!!!!
We'll meet Gwen on the 14th at 9:30am - that's 9:30pm Sunday night for the foks in the US, since China is approx 12 hours ahead.
We'll complete the adoption paperwork and wait for her new Chinese passport, plus tour the area, until the 18th (Friday), when we fly to Guangzhou. 
If they don't close the US Consulate in Guangzhou for being non-essential (just joking!) (I hope...), we'll get Gwen's visa during this week and then head home on October 25th (Friday).
I'll try to blog each day if I can figure out why I can't load photos into the blog from my netbook. Yet another pesky technical glitch - most likely operator error.
We're flying Delta and connecting in Detroit. I can predict that as soon as we land there on the way home, my first stop - and Gwen's first meal in the US - will be at McDonalds. I'll be so happy to see plain, American  junk food and an English menu!!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Time Line for Gwen

I have still been bad about not posting. I just haven't gotten back into the habit. But nothing earth shattering has happened - we've just been doing paperwork and MORE paperwork. But... dare I say it... I think we're almost done. We have to be - we have our travel dates! The end is in sight!

Here's our time line to Gwen:

October 8, 2012 - Allison Roark, mom to Brooke's foster-brother, Meng Meng, sent an email with the picture and story of the most adorable little girl... with a one sentence text:
Sure you're done?
Mark said, "Yes, we are DONE!"

December 20, 2012 - The stars shifted and the planets aligned and Mark said, "No, we're not done!" And thus began our adoption paperchase and the search for Gwen (or "Sierra" as she was known at Love Without Boundaries, the people who had saved her life and posted her story on their website).

01/16/13 - CCAI approved our adoption application and we started the paperchase so that when Gwen's file was available we might be at a point where we would be allowed to review it. (Odds of success estimated at 0%.)
03/19/13 - Found out from a little bird that Gwen's file was complete and had been sent to Great Wall China Adoption Agency in Texas (sadly, not CCAI, but at least she was in the US)
03/22/13 - We obtained exclusive rights to review Gwen's file from Great Wall
04/08/13 - Submit Letter of Intent (LOI) (telling China we want her)
04/16/13 - Receive Pre-Approval (PA) (China says we seem ok - send in your paperwork) 
05/01/13 - Our I-800A is approved (US Immigration says we can adopt from overseas)
05/17/13 - We send our completed dossier to China (DTC)
05/22/13 - China acknowledges receipt of the dossier (LID) and they start their review
07/24/13 - China approves our adoption of Gwen (LSC/LOA) Whoo-hoo!
07/26/13 - We send our I-800 to US Immigration (to get their approval to adopt Gwen in particular)
08/12/13 - Immigration approves the I-800
08/15/13 - NVC letter is issued (more paperwork)
08/30/13 - The US Consulate in Guangzhou, China issues our "Article 5" (ok'd to proceed)
09/06/13 - China issues our Travel Approval (based on the Article 5 from US Immigration)
09/09/13 - We get our travel dates: Depart 10/10, meet Gwen 10/14, Return 10/25.

Return 10/25??? Gwen's 4th birthday!!! Unfortunately, she'll spend the entire day (day and 1/2 since we're flying back in time) in the air, but she'll become a US citizen on her birthday when we land in Detroit!!!! How neat is that? What were the chances??

Here are some recent pics:

Gwen in May. Her hair is growing back nicely! She looks so happy and healthy.

Gwen in late June. No wonder she looks so sad - she had to be burning up! It's HOT over there and she's in long sleeves, leggings and a t-shirt!!!

Gwen on August 28th! Double-decker ponytails :)
When I requested an update, I asked how she felt about the adoption. They answered that she "was willing to be adopted, but was loath to leave her foster family".
We're very lucky that her foster family has been preparing her for this transition, but I know it's still going to be very hard for her to part with them. It's going to be a rough few days at the very least. She'll probably fall in love with Debbi, like Brooke did, and completely diss me. Oh well, whatever gets her thru... :)

  Next Post - The story of how we got from "no" to "yes", and how we got Gwen's file, even tho we had 0% chance of success.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

It's May Already AGAIN - 2 years later!

It's May 9th, 2013. Haven't blogged in 2 years! Time flies. But there's a renewed reason to blog - to follow our new adventure back to China to get Gwen (possible name). She's darling, 3 1/2, and waiting in Anhui. We hope to bring her home in October. It has been an unexpected and stressful road, but we think we can see the end of it. Here's the newest Myers girl! (Poor Mark is totally outnumbered now...)

She is shaking her finger at me, saying, "Get a move on, lady! Hurry up with the paperwork!"
Ha! We're moving as fast as we can! I will return to China with Debbi, my intrepid friend, while Mark watches the girls at home. They should be in school most of the day, so he's lucky. And Debbi and I are lucky because it will be October (or Fall at least) and therefore COOL and comfy. Not a sweat-fest like the last visit in July.

Details to follow!
(Looks like I have a lot of pictures to update!)