Things are pretty quiet in the “road to China” department. Which is why I have been pretty quiet here at FILL YOUR HEART! Things have been anything BUT quiet as a whole here in the FITZ household, though! This time of year is BUSY. BUSY is not even the word, actually! I saw something online recently (forgive me as I can’t give credit to where I saw this, for I of course, can’t remember) that commented on the last month of school and the approximate 7000 activities crammed in to this month! This couldn’t be more accurate.
I love this time of the year! I am one of those mom’s who LOVES summertime with the kids! I enjoy having them home with me more than I can describe. I love our lazy days and our busy days. I love early mornings in our yard and late evenings when I can barely get the kids to stop for dinner. I love that our backyard has become the “neighborhood” playground and I relish in the noise that the playing, giggling kiddos brings though my open windows.
Okay, okay…it isn’t all peaches and roses all summer long! The kids get bored in 4 seconds flat. The girls fight EVERY. SINGLE, DAY! The whining makes me want to crawl into a hole or move into the shed with my garden-devouring backyard bunnies. I am grateful for breezy evenings and air conditioners, for without these, my husband would surely not survive living with me. But overall, I get just as excited and giddy for summer vacation as the kiddos so! And I dread September just as much as them.
This busy season leading to that final day of school, filled with performances, field trips, fun days, concerts, meetings, sign-ups, play dates, science fairs, and unexpected rogue events, has eagerly kept us so busy that we have glided through this LULL in China progress. Yet another thing to be grateful for!
Although the progress is slow at the moment, every day is still one day closer to Baby China. And to rush these days with each other, our family in its present, our three LITTLES who are growing like weeds, would be a shame and a regret.
Although lacking and HUGE milestones this time around, here is a list of where we are at and what is next in our adoption journey.
- Mike and I have gathered all the documents we need to complete our dossier and had them certified and authenticated, with the exception of our home study and immigration approval (i800a/797), which is out of our hands at the moment.
- Our home study visits are complete, in fact they have been done since May 1st. Rest assured, our house is back to being dusty and I believe I have already forgotten where the fire extinguisher is.
- We received an email from our social worker (who did the home study) with a draft of the written document. We proofed it and she sent it to her agency who approved it within a few days.
- The “draft” is now in the hands of our placing agency in Oregon. I was near tears on the day that this agency informed me that the process to approve the home study on their end will take about THREE weeks. This was about 2 weeks ago. And after I had my initial tantrum about this wait, I have since found my patience and am eagerly waiting for the official email stating our home study is APPROVED!
- After we receive the APPROVED and notarized home study we can then apply for our immigration approval through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. We will receive an appointment to be fingerprinted and then wait to receive approval for our family to adopt a child from China. This process, we have heard, can take up to three MONTHS!!!
- Once we have this approval, we will get the document certified and authenticated (probably another 1-2 weeks). Then we will have completed ALL the paperwork we need to have a complete dossier! We will send the entire packet to our agency and once they look over everything and approve it as complete, it will BE SENT TO CHINA!!!
- Once our dossier is sent to China, we will officially begin the matching process, in which our agency will work with us to match our family with Baby China (“Baby China” is what we hear all three kiddos call our newest family member pretty regularly now…so funny and heartwarming how our LITTLE’S nickname has evolved through the kids).
- We just had a GIANT tag sale this past weekend to raise a bit of money towards our adoption fees and it was a GIANT success. We had crazy, intense support of family and friends who donated their unwanted “stuff” to our event, shopped at our sale and spent the day helping. We are more grateful than we have words to express and love them all so dearly!
- I have also been a busy bee (amongst all my free moments in between performances and recitals!) making handmade personalized copper bracelets. I am not a naturally confident person, so this has taken getting used to! But this, as well, has been so enormously successful and I am so so humbled. Friends, family and strangers alike have been interested in these bracelets, all showing immense support towards our little family. Amazing and surreal!
- Once our home study is approved, we are eligible to apply for grants. This is a lot of work, long forms, and timely, but I am eager to spend as much time as I need. I anticipate we may not qualify for much, if any. But we are grateful that grants are available to those who could benefit from them, and are confidant that if we do not receive even a single one, they are surely going to a family who needs them most.
This is where we are at! Lots of waiting and many things are out of our control at the moment. But slowly, we are making progress. And I know we will look back at this unique time in our life years from now and remember these days, full of waiting, checking emails and filling out forms, very, very fondly!
We will relish in the upcoming summer days, which without fail, will be over in the blink of an eye and, if we have done our job well, will be another “page” in our 3 LITTLES “book” of childhood memories.