Sunday, April 14, 2013

Care Package

This waiting is really hard. We already feel as though Emma is our daughter, but we can't know what she is doing or do anything for her. Her birthday is later this month, and I didn't realize how sad I was about missing it until I was talking to some friends about when her birthday is and then I felt the tears coming. I am feeling very emotional lately. We are so ready to bring her home. Now that we have LOA, we are finally able to send our sweet Emma a care package. We picked out some gifts for her and for her foster family. We also get to an album of pictures. We are praying that she is shown this album (sometimes it is not shown to the child) and will recognize us when she meets us. We are praying that this will help her transition. I received an email this morning letting me know that Emma will receive the package in a couple of days! It really feels good to be able to send her presents. Finally we are able to do something for her.

Here is the complete care package. There is a stuffed panda, a toy phone, tea for the foster parents, and seed paste (don't ask me) for the foster parents and foster siblings. There is also a letter that we sent. It was really hard to try to write a letter to an almost 2-year-old who is about to have her world turned upside down and who will not understand what is happening to her.

These are the pictures we sent and the photo album that they are being put into. Captions in mandarin were added so the foster family can tell her who everyone is. I didn't know how well American names would translate, so I put aunt, brother 3, cousins, etc.

The dress that is being sent. We did not get to pick out the specific outfit.

This is a backpack. The goal is to have the foster family put Emma's special things into it so that she can always have them. We may or may not get it back, and it may or may not have anything in it.

This made me the happiest. We sent a camera so that hopefully they could take pictures of Emma for us to have. The fact that the care package company replaced the camera with a flash drive means that there is a good chance that the flash drive will be loaded with pictures from Emma's childhood. I am praying for this to be the case. Right now, we have 3 pictures of Emma that were taken on the same day when she was around 6 months old. We also have the video that was taken in January (we have taken still shots of the video). It is heartbreaking to me that we might not have pictures of Emma's childhood. Please pray that we get this flash drive back FULL of pictures from Emma's life before she joined our family.

There is a paperwork update. I emailed immigration on Friday and was told that we had provisional I800 approval (the US government saying that we can adopt Emma specifically). We are hoping to get the final approval in the mail this week. Then, we wait to be "cabled" which is where the National Visa Center grants permission for Emma to receive a visa to enter the US. This normally takes around a week. Then the Article 5 is issued and dropped off at the US consulate in Chi*a. It is normally picked up exactly 2 weeks later. Unfortunately, it looks like this process will hit for us when offices are closed in Ch*na for their Labor Day holiday. Hoping that will only be a couple of days delay, if any. We then wait for official TA (Travel Approval) from China. This has been taking about 2 weeks, but there is no guarantee on this timing. We then are able to set our official CA (Consulate Appointment) and will then be able to book flights!!!! We are getting there. Here is a picture of the adoption binder which holds all the paperwork that we have completed so far in this process. Every bit of it worth it!

- Jenna

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