Monday, October 27, 2008

Things Are Happening!!!

Our visas were approved and are already in route to me via Fedex. I should have them in my hands tomorrow.

Bryson has an appointment at Sacramento Shriners on December 15th at 8:30am!!!!!

USICS (Immigration) has received our I800 application as I sent it Fedex and could track it.

Now we will just wait for I800 approval, TA and CA and we are off to China!!!!! I started packing all the cute little boy clothes I have got for Bryson. I have his suitcase started and throwing in all the things we will not need between now and then as well as important must haves while in China.

My D*ll laptop crashed. So now I have to buy a new laptop prior to leaving for China as my laptop will be my only means of communication with family and friends while I am in China alone after Robert leaves. If anyone knows of a good deal or good laptops out there other than D*ll, please email me. The guy at the computer repair shop recommends S*ny. He said they have great customer service and less things that go wrong with them.

Please pray that everything continues from here to happen in a timely fashion so we can travel and be back prior to Lauren's 13th birthday.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Give me an L!
Give me an O!
Give me an A!

Yes! We have LOA!!!!
Bryson, here we come!

Here is the order of events after receiving LOA.
I800 approval from US Government saying that we can adopt Bryson and bring him home to the USA – takes about 5 days to get hoping to have it by November 3 at the latest
TA – travel approval from China saying that we can travel to China to get our son. This has been taking about three weeks to get. This would be around November 14th. Once we have TA, we can get CA
CA – Consulate Appt at the US Embassy in China. This appt is usually two days prior from us returning home from China.
We hope to travel within two weeks of getting our TA. We will know more the closer we get to TA about actual dates. We do know that we always leave on a Thursday and the trip is 12-14 days in length. More specific details about our trip later.

Last night I was praying for LOA to be today. I just could not imagine another weekend not knowing about our LOA! I opened my bible and this verse jumped out at me.
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days! Psalms 90:14
I slept peacefully last night knowing that in the morning my prayers would be answered! And what joy today has brought! Pure joy!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Oh, the Adoption Roller Coaster!!!

This is the email I received late this afternoon. I like it!


I am sorry we have not yet received your LOA.
*** did check with the CCAA once again. They say it is ready, has been printed and all. Sounds like it was delayed in getting out though; some issues in the mailing department. We hope it has definitely gone out by now.
We will let you know as soon as it arrives.

Again, we apologize for the delay we have done all we can to make sure it is coming.
Take care,"

I guess Thursday or Friday and it should be here! We will have joined the over 100 day club! Not a club I ever thought we would be a part of, but as long as I don't have to go through another weekend wondering I will be okay.

My next post will be posting our LOA!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Down and Out!

Truly believed today would be the day. I am beyond disappointed. I feel like I have been very patient with this adoption. I have been very realistic since day one about the wait and time. However, when I see others getting LOA's before us that had LID's (log in dates) after us, it makes me happy for them but sad for Bryson. I also know that all my dates I posted and hoped for were all with a large cushion already. Looking like the soonest we could get anything now is Thursday or Friday. :(

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Not a Wasted Day Here!

I decided since our LOA didn't come and I was at a standstill that I needed to do something that was moving us in a positive direction. Usually you apply for your Visas after you receive your LOA. Today, I decided I was Fedexing our applications and passports to the courier in Maryland to be one step ahead of the game. That way we at least know that is one thing off our big TO DO List that starts as soon as we get LOA. Once we get LOA, we hope to travel in 6 weeks. So if we get LOA on Monday, then we would be traveling December 1st. We could still be home for Lauren's birthday and Christmas!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

It's My Birthday and I Can Cry if I Want To!!!

Or NOT!!! It is what it is. I can not change the fact that we did not get LOA this week. I can not change the fact that our agency truly believed we were getting it and didn't. I know our agency is cautiously guarded with getting adoptive parents hopes up. So because of that their news last week really did get my hopes up. But hey its my birthday and I am going to celebrate with the kids I have here right now. I am going to have a weekend filled with family and good friends. And I am going to be hopeful for a Monday morning call that makes next week the best week ever!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

No News Thursday! Hope for Friday!

I would by lying if I didn't say that I am incredibly disappointed that we do not have LOA as of yet. I truly thought today would be the day. I woke up at 5:30 with anticipation of the 7:00 am phone call from the East Coast telling me that we have LOA! No phone call, just an email confirming no LOA for today, but it is possible for tomorrow. At this point, I feel kind of numb to it. I remember feeling this way with Marissa's adoption as well. I am afraid to get to hopeful for tomorrow being LOA day in fear of another disappointment.

My biggest concerns are now that we will get too far into December for travel. I do not want to miss Lauren's 13th birthday on December 15th nor do I want to be in China for Christmas away from the rest of our family.

I know that God has a specific day planned for Bryson to come home. I just need to hold onto that for now or I would be a blubbering idiot.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Very Nice Rumor!

Our agency emailed yesterday saying that our LOA will arrive next week! It is just comforting to know that it is on it's way with no problems with our paperwork! Go to poll and let me know what day you think it will be here!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Some News is Better Than No News!

We got an update on Bryson's measurements. We were also told he is doing very well and the orphanage can't wait for us to travel. We have sent lots of pictures of our family to him and a lengthy letter describing our family, so it sounds like the workers at the orphanage already know us.

Okay so at 4 years and 7 months, Bryson is:
36 inches tall
31 pounds
5 inch foot
19 inches for his head measurement
22 inches for his chest measurement

So if growth is indicative of how the foster family is treating him, then he is getting good care. Since we started the process, he has gained four pounds and has grown almost two inches!

Go to the sidebar and vote on when you think we will get LOA, not when you HOPE but when you think realistically we will get it.
Our wonderful agency also told us that they are just waiting on getting a stamped approval for our LOA to be sent to the USA! I am sure by the end of next week at the latest we should have it, but of course still hope for this week. If they stamped it Monday, we would have it tomorrow or by the end of the week! YIPPEE!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

His Sweet Little Hands!

I have two concerns about my little man that have been plaguing me for awhile now. First one is when we first started the adoption for Bryson, we were told that he may have something wrong with his sweet little hands. But after reviewing his photos and hearing the foster mother say that she could not find anything wrong with them, we believed them to be okay. However, they have always looked a little floppy or low tone to me.
Second concern of this adoption that has been wearing on me is that I have been convinced that I have to fly all the way to St. Louis to see one of the country's best clubfoot doctors as not many of our ortho doctors treat older children since clubfoot is always fixed at birth here in the USA. Now the Ponseti method that we want to use to avoid as much surgery as possible means weekly cast changes for up to 8 weeks. This would be a lot of traveling and time away from the girls. I have been specifically praying for God to lead me to the right doctor for Bryson.
Who says prayers aren't answered? Recently my class has been blessed with one of the best occupational therapist in our school district. She works in my classroom at least once a week. She is a hand specialist. We started talking on Friday and she told me that she worked with the clubfoot doctor at Shriners for six years. She said he is a wonderful doctor and works on lots of children from South and Central America. She also said that the Shriners Chief of Orthopedics is a hand specialist. She worked with her for ten years and speaks highly of her too. She said both of them would be her first choice if it were her child. She also has been back to the Shriners in St. Louis so knows both places well. It is nice to know that we have a highly regarded local doctor who was originally referred to me by Dr. Ponseti himself. For the time being, God has answered my prayers and has settled any nervousness I have had about our local Shriners.

Given the fact she is a hand specialist, I sent her pictures of Bryson's hands this weekend and this was her reply:
Hi Sally,From the picture you sent I can see that he has laxity of joints and low tone. This would make the joints of the hand very loose and affect stabilization of the fingers - you can see how the thumb is rotated when placed flat on the table. Normally, when we place our hands flat, the thumb nail would face the side. He has a slight curvature of the pinky finger which may be due to loose ligaments, or it might be a mild contracture. What does all this mean?? Similar to many kids with low tone and laxity of the joints, we would work to build up the intrinsic muscles of the hand. These are the muscles that start and end in the hand itself. We would make sure that he gets training in a functional pinch versus using an adaptive one -the most common adaptive pinch is using the side of the long finger versus the thumb pad to index finger. Some kids benefit from splinting to put the thumb into a proper rotated position to stabilize while working to build up the hand.I would gladly look at him sometime and let you know if I thought formal OT might be helpful. He could get this when he is being casted at Shriners -Plus splints if necessary.

Okay, honestly my first reaction was tears in my eyes, sick to my stomach and wanting to cry like a baby immediately thinking it is part of a larger syndrome or that he has more complicated needs than I first envisioned. And then this incredible peace came over me knowing that God placed this specific child into our care for a reason. There is nothing that we can not handle for through Him all things are possible. Now I am rejoicing that God has already placed us with a Ponseti certified doctor within 30 miles of our home. The Chief of Ortho at Shriners is a hand surgeon and I have access to a hand specialist several times a week. It can't get any better than that! Now, I just want to get on a plane and bring my little man with darling feet and sweet hands home!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Day 80 and wait continues!

We continue the wait for the letter of acceptance (LOA) from China. If we do not get it by 1pm PST, then the soonest we could get it is Thursday of next week. The CCAA (Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs) has been on holiday this whole week. So if they sign LOA's on Monday, the soonest they would get here is Thursday of next week.