Tuesday, April 22, 2014



We walked in early for our fingerprint appointment and they didn't turn us away!

We might have brought this page of pictures. When she asked for our appointment paper I might have showed this to her first...

Our agency isn't convinced that walking in early will speed things up. We felt like we needed to at least try - so we did!

THANK YOU for covering us in prayers. It was COMPLETELY a God experience as we were fingerprinted just MINUTES after we arrived! (And I was SO nervous they would say no)

Blessings, Sandy

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Waiting and an update!

Our I800a was received on April 1.

On Monday we received Erik's fingerprint appointment paper in the mail....but mine didn't come on Monday or Tuesday or today! (So I called and they are resending the paper - as you must have it for your appt.) Our appointments are scheduled for May 5.....YES!! That is 35 DAYS from receipt of our I800a! (Currently approvals have been coming in around day 35....apparently not ours!)

We are thinking of trying to walk in early for our fingerprints. For the most part it doesn't seem to speed up the approval process - but for a few families it seems to have helped, which of course gives the rest of us HOPE!

We received an update from our volunteer friend:

"I made it back to the orphanage yesterday, but I've got to tell you, I'm dying here without being able to take pictures. "Little Caboose" was in a different classroom, so I wasn't even looking for him in that room. The room was full of wild kids, and I noticed this little guy crawling past me really fast, then he stood up at the table, and it was  Little Caboose. I was so excited to see him. I walked my fingers up his back, and he is soooo ticklish. Or he was faking it. Every time I touched his back or his neck he giggled like crazy. He seems to be doing very well, even though everyone else in the room was running around playing. He was holding his own and playing too. He just had to crawl to get places. Oh, and the little girl who is not so nice to him has been moved to a different classroom."

We miss those pictures, but it sure does our hearts good to know how he is doing!

 A picture that was sent to us earlier this year of Little Caboose
(Note that the book is UPSIDE DOWN!)

THANK YOU for ALL your prayers for our sweet boy AND our family!

Blessings, Sandy

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A win-win

As a stay at home, homeschooling mom my earning power is....um....well...nothing!

I got an email from my FAVORITE curriculum offering to PAY me to work their booth at a local homeschooling conference!

Can anyone say "money for our adoption?!"

So a few Saturdays ago I spent the day talking with other homeschooling families about math AND I added money to our "adopt Little Caboose" fund. 

A win-win!

Blessings, Sandy

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Updated t-shirt

I love my "mom 7" shirt that a friend made for me!

This winter I got some t-shirt making supplies. I just added the "+" to my shirt for Little Caboose!! Now I love my shirt even more!

Blessings, Sandy

Thursday, March 27, 2014


This adoption process can make SANE people CrAzY!

It is truly CrAzY MAKING!!

Example A:

Our social worker was FINISHING up the requested changes to our homestudy (this means we were CLOSE people!!) and *almost* signing off......

AND then she emails that she doesn't have our DOG LICENSES!!

Yep - those CUTE dogs need to be LICENSED in order for us to ADOPT a CHILD from CHINA!!!



Soooo after I finished the kids math lessons I head over to the vet. to get the above dogs' shot records (which are up-to-date because we had to GET ALL THE SHOTS updated for the homestudy!.)  I then went to our township offices to GET the LICENSES!! (And thankfully the township worker was willing to email them to our social worker!) 

CONCLUSION: our homestudy was *almost* held up due to DOG LICENSES!!

Example B:

The above mentioned homestudy was signed by our social worker on Wednesday!
 (Did I mention that I *love* how fast SHE is?!)

It then took our agency until MONDAY to have them notarized!

TUESDAY they mail the notarized homestudies to our placing agency across the country......

FRIDAY not only are they NOT across the country BUT they are back at our homestudy agency (because apparently their envelope label is confusing...and this has happened before...that the post office machine reads it incorrectly AND sends it back to the sender!!!)

are YOU crazy yet?!?!

Sooooo......on SATURDAY it is back in the mail...and by some MIRACLE arrives at our placing agency by TUESDAY.

BUT - they are missing a DOCUMENT that was supposed to be sent - so the placing agency requests it from our homestudy agency - who scans over the document on WEDNESDAY....


AND THEN: Our oldest turns 18 in July. Since our adoption will not be finalized by that time he will need to be fingerprinted as an adult living in the household. Originally it was thought he would be fingerprinted with Erik and I, but since it is illegal to run background checks/clearances on minors in Michigan we will wait until after he turns 18. At that point we pay $150 for a homestudy addendum and submit a supplement 3 to the USCIS...and then have him fingerprinted. When we filled out our I800a paperwork we included our oldest so he could get fingerprinted and wrote our check to include the $85 for his printing. (This was before our homestudy agency told us he would have to wait so the incorrect I800a paperwork got sent to our placing agency.) While waiting for our homestudy to make it to our placing agency I wondered if I should write a new check that didn't include our oldest's fingerprinting....so I quick wrote a check and sent it across the country. I didn't realize that any of the paperwork needed to be updated and when I mentioned sending a new check our worker didn't know if a new check was necessary AND didn't mention the need for new I800a paperwork :( 

SOOOOO.....when our homestudy AND the needed extra document FINALLY all made it to our placing agency......THEN we were told we needed to re-sign the I800a AND it needed to be an ORIGINAL - NOT a scanned document!! 

TODAY we over-nighted the signed NEW I800a and we are told if it arrives on FRIDAY before 3pm then they will submit our I800a - WOO HOO!

I tell you if I wasn't crazy before I am feeling CrAzY now!!!

and then we will wait for our I800a approval (Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country) - which has been taking about 40 days....but could take up to 90 days.

Next Step: Getting all our documents - including the I800a approval certified by the State of Michigan

Next Step: Hiring a courier to take our documents to the Chinese Consulate in Chicago to be authenticated.

Next Step: DTC - Dossier to China - China needs to approve our family to adopt Little Caboose

Next Step: Receive LOA from China - Letter of Approval (it can take 60 to 120 days to receive this approval)

Next Step: Submit I800 to USCIS to adopt Little Caboose

Next Step: I800 provisional approval then sent to National Visa Center

Next Step: NVC cables PDF to American Consulate in China

Next Step: American Consulate issues Article 5 and sends it to Chinese Government

Next Step: Chinese Government issues Travel Approval

Next Step: Consulate Appt. scheduled in China

Next Step: TRAVEL!!!

A couple of pictures taken before the "photo ban" :)

 I think this goofy little guy will fit right in :)

Blessings, Sandy

Friday, March 21, 2014

No more pictures...

The orphanage has a new director. A few minutes after taking this picture of Little Caboose (in yellow) Tammy was told no more taking pictures :(

I *love* how HAPPY he looks in this picture. AND that although his legs are not fully functional he is attempting (and maybe climbing?) up the slide!

I hope that in time the director will allow Tammy to take pictures and videos again, but it still does my HEART so good to know that:

 Tammy is there at the orphanage SEEING our son and PRAYING over our son - WHAT A GIFT!!

Blessings, Sandy

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Meeting Little Caboose

This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago - when Little Caboose STILL had HAIR!

Little Caboose is on the left. His classmate who was adopted by the family (FROM OUR CHURCH!) last week is on the right!

You might remember this family offered to bring a gift to Little Caboose, but because of the MEAN older kids in his sleeping room we asked them to pray over him instead?

Yesterday they MET and PRAYED OVER our boy!!!

And shared with us:
"*A nurse brought him over from another building
*he said ni hao to me
*very happy boy, little dimples ....he smiles a lot
*soft spoken but he was talking
*he was very clear speaking too  (A HUGE answer to prayer - and they didn't even know it!!!)
*honestly I saw him for maybe 5 minutes, he was very happy and and sweet. He looked good but shy
*he smiled the entire time I saw him
*giggled and bam dimples"


I can't wait until we can meet the Little Caboose ourselves!!!

Blessings, Sandy