So what’s up with the adoption?

I have been getting lots of questions in person about what’s going on with Macey and the adoption process so I thought I would give a quick update on our adoption blog ..about the actual adoption.  Imagine that.  There really isn’t anything going on right now other than we’re just waiting on the next step, which is LOA.  Hence the reason my posts have been about all sorts of random topics and not specifically the adoption process or Macey.  Honestly, I wish there was more to share, but there really isn’t.  (So instead I’ll just have to keep over sharing about everything else!)

We sent a care package to Macey (and the orphanage) last month and all we heard back in return was that the orphanage received it, would pass along the gifts to Macey and were very appreciative of the formula we donated.  That .. was .. it!  Nothing more and no pictures.  Not even a thank you for the knock off Gap wear.  Nada.  We’re going to send another care package next month and we may, or may not, get a picture out of it.  If we send a cake or something along that line, the service company asks for a photo as confirmation the child received, and was able to enjoy it.  We are really hoping that we’ll get a picture but who really knows.  The last photo we have was taken around January/February.  What we’ve heard anecdotally is that they (orphanages/institutions, BLAS, CCCWA) only provide updated pictures if the original photos, or those that were included with the file, are over 9-12 months old.  With that said, I’m not feeling all that optimistic that we’ll get any new photos given the ones we have are only 5-6 months old.  If we don’t get any new pictures between now and the day we meet Macey in person, I doubt I’ll recognize her.  That sounds awful, and I hate to admit it, but it’s true.  Shoot, I saw a picture of a birthday party with a bunch of toddlers from her orphanage and I couldn’t tell if any of them was her. Nor could Parker.  I got a lot of consoling from my on-line friends who have gone through, or are going through this process.  One new mom just picked up her daughter in March and said on gotcha day she was waiting in a conference room with a few families and when they brought the kids in she thought the one in the front of the line was hers .. then the third one in line .. and then thought maybe she got the wrong kid because she looked nothing like her picture.  I’m secretly hoping we’ll be the only family around on gotcha day so that I don’t have to be so suspect of my little girl!

As far as the process goes, we’re just waiting on our LOA.  I’m not keeping track, but for purposes of providing this update I just did a rough estimate and I think we’re about a month into it.  It could come any day, or more likely, it will come in about a month, month and a half.  Once we get that, there are a few pieces of paperwork to take care of. We have to apply for a Visa for Macey, which is a form I-800.  Not to be confused with the earlier form I-800A.  If I recall correctly from the instructions for the I-800, I think we can just send it in (versus sending in the first part and waiting for an appointment assignment by return mail).

The last step is the TA or travel authorization.  TA usually comes about 2 1/2 months after LOA.  We’re still hoping for mid to late September travel.  Backing it up would mean we would need LOA within a month, in order to get TA by early September.  Again, I’m not keeping track and I try to avoid thinking about the timeline as much as possible because we have absolutely no control over this part of the process.  It’s frustrating and I feel a little helpless, but thankfully I have plenty of other projects to keep me busy and sane.  (No more waking up at 2am to check for email because it could come tonight or maybe not till one random night in July.  ugh)

Projects before Macey comes home:
1. Transform the guest room into a super cool boys room
2. Order a bed for her
3. Order drapes for her room (I had the best intentions to get this done over a month ago! Argh.)
4. Shop (in stores, friends homes and/or their storage bins and garages) for her wardrobe
5. Order artwork for her bedroom walls
6. Paint her room
7. Move the boys out of their (soon to be her) room and into the guest (their new) room
8. Have built-in bookshelves made in the hallway so all of the kids will be able to easier share the library of books we now own.  Built-ins are so much easier on the eye than big, bulky standalone bookshelves, dontcha think!  Because children are really concerned with the aesthetics of their rooms…

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