Tuesday, April 8, 2014

One week later, yes we are still waiting...

Last week we officially became Meira's parents and we could not be more thrilled!
We celebrated the day by putting up 'Its a Girl' balloons and having a dinner with our dear neighbors.
(And yes, I have been told 'how good I look for having just had a baby' and people have really enjoyed my response that our baby is actually 5 and a half and is not even home yet!)  We continued to have a great week of big and little celebrations, since her little sister turned 3 two days after on April 3rd!


 
We really didn't expect things to feel different because from day one when we saw her she was 'our daughter' to us, but somehow, it did feel a bit different... perhaps like when you are pregnant and you love your baby as he/she grows, but then the day of their birth comes and your loves grows more.
We are sure this will happen even in a deeper way when we bring her home - FINALLY!

So WHEN will she come home you may be thinking?  
So are we...
Right now the court decree is being issued (that takes 7-10 days after the court hearing).
Then her new birth certificate will be issued (that take 1-2 weeks)
THEN, we will be assigned 'travel dates' by our adoption agency in her country.
When we get those 'travel dates' we will let you know!

In the meantime, we continue to prepare for her arrival home and miss her immensely. 
 
Here are a few photos of how our Skype visits go:




The girls really adore one another already and try to share toys through the screen which is sweet but sad too.  They recently count together and cheer one another on after they are done.  And of course we end each conversation with long, draw-out minutes of declaring 'I love you' in both English and her home country language.  Aila constantly talks about Meira and whenever she gets something she will say, 'And one for Meira too?'  She understands that she is coming home very soon and Meira is understanding a bit more too and even knows she will come home soon on an airplane!

This is one of my favorite photos of a papa with his little girl... he had a rough time saying goodbye to her this day. 

Today, this fell out of my jeans after the wash

The evening we were given our official 'match' we bought Meira a shirt that I would take over on trip 1.  When I got to put it on her I peeled this sticker off and put it in my pocket.
Each time I would put on pants, I would place the tag into the pocket.
I have been carrying this tag around with me since late December because I could not seem to throw it out... but soon I will trade it in for the real deal, Meira herself - forever!

Thank you for your love and prayers.
We are really grateful to have such a loving and caring community found in all of you - those near and far - and we are so thankful Meira has you as her community too.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Today we passed court!

Introducing our daughter, Meira Aleen.

Our beautiful
 Cute
 bike-riding (almost!)
cocoa drinking
 sweet and perfect 5 year old!!!

WE LOVE YOU, MEIRA!
Love, YOUR FAMILY!!!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring and...

When we began this adoption journey in January of 2013, the fact that 'the end' could be 12 month, 16 months, 18 months or more away did not seem to bother us.
It was a long way away and we were so busy with paperwork we just accepted it.
But as the months crept on and we passed the 12 month mark it started to hit us.
We wondered, when would it end? When would we get to bring our daughter home?

Well, next week, it ends.
Next week our court date will occur and hopefully, as long as everything goes well, we will official become a family (legally) forever!

Will you please pray for our judge, our in country attorney who will represent us and most especially for our little one as she is now so close to coming home for good!




Sunday, March 9, 2014

Our final family fundraiser... our BOOK!

As of tomorrow it will be a 4 weeks since our dossier was submitted for the final signature.
We rechecked with our agency attorney and yes, we should be hearing 'more or less' a month after it was submitted... so we hope to hear this week or next about our court date... oh, lets be really honest, we are hoping for this week...

In the meantime we decided to start our very last family fundraiser.

As many of you know, when we started this adoption journey we were living in China.  One of our daughter's favorite things to do when we would head out and about each day was to pet the lion statues on their toes (or sit on them, if the time of day was right).  We did it so often that we started to make up a story about them.  We finished it just in time for our artistic friend, who was visiting with us, to put illustrations to it.  

Then it got lost in the shuffle of visits and moves and setting up home in a new place...

Recently we found it and got it printed.  And now it is ready for YOU!

For every $15 given towards our final adoption costs we will give (send) you a copy of our little story book.


 Simply click the donate button to the right on this site to donate.

Then, please email us at middlekingdomcarrs AT gmail.com with your mailing address and we will make sure the book (or books, depending on how much you donate!) are mailed to you promptly.  If you donate more but only want one copy of the book, please let us know.  And yes, shipping cost is included in the $15 donation.

THANK YOU for all your love and support during this adoption process.  

THANK YOU for loving our newest little one in such a special way!







Thursday, February 27, 2014

Update and such...

Since we started our journey of adoption it seems between all the piles of paperwork and fingerprints that one word happens often.  Waiting.

It seems we are always waiting - for a clearance to arrive, for an email/phone call to be returned, for the 'next step' to happen.

For the most part it seems that just at the time we get tired of waiting, the thing we were waiting for has arrived and we sigh, smile and move on to the next 'thing to do'.

And...

We are still waiting, but now we are waiting for the last thing - court

Yes, we are waiting to hear, 'Your dossier has now been submitted to the courts, your judge has been assigned, your court date is...'

We promise, as soon as we hear, we will let you know.

We are just starting to become a little impatient, perhaps it is just around the bend, or not.

Yet while we wait there is a little girl who is not waiting any longer.  With her foster family she is flourishing and knowing this makes our waiting seem easy (kind of...). 

While not every kid gets to play in the snow (after all, it does not snow everywhere)  it is a pretty amazing day to be a 5 year old and play in the snow for your very first time... especially since it has snowed outside your walls every winter since the time you were born...




Yes, little one, snowmen are amazing!!!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Article 5 - CHECK!

Yesterday our Article 5 meeting occurred at the US Embassy  in her country.  At this meeting all the paperwork we have sent to US immigration is reviewed with our agency's attorney (and someone at the Embassy) and we are either granted approval or more paperwork is need for our little one's visa.  We were approved!

Once this letter of approval is translated and authenticated it will be added to all our other documents and our dossier is finally and utterly complete!

It will then be submitted to the government of her country for final signature and approval and after all that is gathered it will be submitted to court, assigned a judge and given a court date.

Thank you for being a part of our adoption journey, friends... it is not over yet, but we are coming closer to the finish line... now we just have to be patient... each day, patient.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Grateful



Today I feel overwhelmed with gratitude for so much.
I have wanted to share a post of gratitude about the adoption for some time and thought today would be a perfect day to do so.  So, here are some of the little (and big) moments that left us with such deep gratitude so far that have been a part of this adoption process.
I am leaving out many, but just to share a few:

*The OVERWHELMING support of our family and close friends.  Blew us away!

*The first day we opened up our FSP account there was a $5 donation.  It encouraged us so much!

*We were in another province getting our fingerprints done by one of China’s very few fingerprinting experts.  Although this could be done for free at most US police stations, it is not the case in China.  The closest agency that did it was still a flight away and cost $100 a copy.  We needed 6 copies, yes, 6.  We had such a friendly man helping us and although he took 3 hours to do my fingerprints alone, when we got the final bill he had not charged us the full amount.  We tried to share that the bill was wrong, but he winked and said, ‘No, you had 2 fingerprints copies and 4 copies… the copies are much less.’  If you know how things work in China, especially for foreigners, you know that something like this RARELY happens for a national, let alone a foreigner. 

*After we had flown back home we learned that Mac’s last state clearance needed a notary.  Even though our Home Study agency had to apply for this clearance directly, they still needed our application signature notarized by a US notary.  We were nearly devastated to think that we had to fly again to another province to get the application notarized especially since had checked on what that document needed twice...  The next day our social worker emailed and said the state had actually sent back the clearance approved so not only did the waive us needing the signature, they faxed it to the agency that day saving a few weeks times in getting it back.

*The many, many cakes my mom made and sold to people to raise money for the adoption.  Then her many, many purses made and sold.  And in between all that work she sold and still sells items she finds of worth in her home… and parents friends who donated to them to give to us - all for their granddaughter!

*Another expat in China, with very little money, handing us money for the adoption.

*After our Home Study Social Worker came for the weekend to visit with us to finalize the Home Study, she sent us an email.  In it she asked for permission to share our story with her friends in Beijing and to fundraise for us.  We were so touched.  She is also an expat living in China with her family.  When she did send the money to our FSP account she also shared that she had donated all of her salary for doing our Home Study (several months of work with us) to us as well, ‘because she could not take any money that could help her come home sooner!’

*The many friends who asked, ‘Can I fundraise for you’ – cookie sales done by a mom of 4 kids, cake sales created by a mom of 2, donations, and support.

*Friends of friends and neighbors donating items to us that we might need for a 5 year old.

*Having a Chinese friend who finds it hard to pay her own rent handing me money and saying, “My family all donated to help with your adoption…”

*Our home church in MA having a cake auction to raise money for us, even when they have many other things within the church they could fundraise for.

*A grant organization in my hometown not only giving us a grant towards the adoption costs, but inviting us to come to and speak at their fundraiser… just around the corner (walking distance) from where my parents live… and they served us lobster!

*A new social worker for our Home Study Update who takes time to photocopy and give us articles that he thinks will help us learn more about post-adoption care of children and then goes above and beyond, connecting us to families in our area who also adopted from Eastern Europe.

 *An agency social worker who takes the time to put smiles in her emails to us, showing how excited she is for our ‘steps’ along the adoption process.

*An amazingly supportive new church community who has given cards, letters, donations, then the same people giving donations again.  A community who knows adoption well, and is made of up different generations of people who have adopted or who have been adopted.

*Donations and letters from friends of friends – people we have never even met in person.

*Friends and family who donate a part of their salary to us…

*Donations from parents to support their new granddaughter’s arrival.

*Donations and loving words from people we went to High School with and have not even seen since then.

*Our attorney in our daughter’s country taking time to befriend us and also to meet me on Trip 1 (usually that only happens on Trip 2), even though she works hours of the day and evening to get dear kids to their parents.

*Family and friends giving our little one Christmas gifts, even though she is not home yet… my mom preparing a gift for her within a bag that has pregnant women on the outside because ‘she gets it’…

*A foster family who takes time to send photos and even videos (and has Skyped twice with us!) so we can ‘see’ our little girl until things finalize and we can get her home.

AND most of all

*A BEAUTIFUL little girl who despite the lack of love shown to her in life showed love again and again and again to me during our trip and also to her foster family… MOST OF ALL, we are grateful for this sweet girl who we will officially be able to call ‘ours’ soon!