Waiting For Ladybug

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Greatest Birthday Gift!

Monday, July 10th was AbbyGrace's 3rd birthday. It was a bittersweet day. It was very hard because I had so desperately wanted to have her home by now. At the same time, I knew that this would be the LAST birthday that she would celebrate outside of our family. It was tough. I had said that what I wanted most for AbbyGrace's birthday was a gift from the USCIS - the gift of our I-171h.

It came! It finally came! The LAST piece of our dossier, the I-171h - Notice of Favorable Determination Concerning Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition (wow, that's a mouthful!) And, you guessed it! Right there on the letter - as a reminder that God's plan is always perfect, and always in perfect time - DATE OF COMPLETION OF ADVANCE PROCESSING - 7/10/2006!

I've been stalking the mailbox for over a week now. I knew it HAD to be coming any time now. I couldn't hardly believe it when I flipped through the mail, and it was there! A simple white window envelope with the return address from the HOMELAND SECURITY! (When you see a letter from HOMELAND SECURITY, you sure PRAY it's a I-171h! If it's not, then goodness, what did you do!) I was shaking, I couldn't hardly even open it! I scanned it quickly to make sure it wasn't a "SORRY - NO WAY" letter. But, there it was - Notice of Favorable Determination...

SO - what does this mean? This is the final step in the dossier preparation. We will deliver a certified copy of this document to the Secretary of State in Austin who will certify that the notarization is certifiable (notarizing the notary?) We will then send this document to a courier who will deliver the document to the Chinese Consulate in Houston to have the document authenticated. Then the document will go to our agency, where it will join the mounds of papers that are waiting for this last piece of the puzzle. The complete dossier will then be sent to China to the CCAA.

Then we wait. Again. BUT this is the LAST TIME that we wait! We will wait for our TA (Travel Approval) that will give us approval to travel to receive our AbbyGrace. The AVERAGE wait time for this approval is currently 77 days (maximum wait 115 days, minimum wait 41 days). Usually, people will beginn their journey to China approximately 2 - 2 1/2 weeks from the time that they receive their TA. Upon receiving our TA, our agency will secure a consulate appointment for us with the US consulate in Guangzhou, China. This appointment will provide the final documents that will be needed to allow our daughter to return home with us.

So, now we wait. What should my next wish be? My birthday is October 25th. I think I'll wish for my little girl to be placed in my arms on my birthday! God's granted every wish thus far - why not dream big!


Blogger Stephanie said...

CONGRATULATIONS Shannon!!!! I am so happy for you.

7:41 PM  
Blogger McRae said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:00 PM  
Blogger McRae said...

Oh, Shannon! I am SOOO happy to see this. Been thinking about you a lot and miss you! Hopefully your wait will be the minimum!

Love ya!

6:01 PM  
Blogger Margo said...

Shannon this is so exciting, man I don't know how you can get anything done anymore thinking about this all the time. What an amazing feeling. I will be praying that the time wait is very minimal for you guys.
Miss you tons!!!!!

8:01 AM  
Blogger Kathy and Joel said...

So very exciting!!!!!!!!! How are things going?

3:26 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Shannon, I am so happy for you and your family. Praying that God will grant your prayer that AbbyGrace will be placed in your arms on your birthday. I know that will be a very special birthday gift to you from our Heavenly Father. Love ya! Barbara

9:18 PM  

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