Wednesday, May 25, 2011


today we received ARTICLE 5!!  which means, that we are 2 - 4 weeks from receiving Travel Approval (TA)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

it's so close now, i can smell the airplane fumes!  :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

may 20, 2011

we are on day 9 of the 14 to 17 day countdown to Article 5!  once we have A5 (hopefully on may 25th, which is the earliest we can get it), and it goes to beijing (takes 2-3 days), we will start the 2 to 4 weeks countdown to TRAVEL APPROVAL! 

once we have the coveted and magical TRAVEL APPROVAL (TA), we will be 10 to 14 days from getting on a plane to china and ben!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

so, at this point, i'd like to say, we are still short of funds.  :)  yes, i'm begging, again!  don't forget our "ChipIn" located somewhere in the archived posts of this blog or found here:

and i have had a marvelous and generous offer from a photographer friend for a free portrait sitting for a local family!!  (local defined as Culpeper, Fauquier, Rappahannock counties, please)  my friend, kristen has offered a free portrait to the local family who donates the most before we travel (we travel in roughly 5 to 7 weeks)!  for examples of her work, go here:

kristen conway 

i can't even begin to thank kristen, trish, nancy, alyssa, wendy... and there are so many more! - all the folks who have so generously donated their time and skills and money to helping us raise enough dough to bring benjamin home!  thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


a sign that travel time is truly drawing near - we got another update!!

they took pictures on may 4th!  he is now 31.5 inches tall, has a 5 inch foot and is 1y8m old on the 14th of this month!

it appears that his right arm is partially bent, information that we needed and had trouble getting before this photo.  it doesn't change our plan of care, but better prepares us for meeting him.  also:  HE IS STANDING!  and hopefully walking!  fabulous!  he is so freaking cute!!!!  we can not wait to meet him.  :)

we have been cabled!

this is really a sort of small, but exciting step.  it happens all outside of our control and without our efforts, even.  suddenly, you get an email saying you have had your paperwork sent from one government office (National Benefits Center - NBC) to another (National Visa Center - NVC), and that the NVC is sending it all to the US Embassy (consulate) in guangzhou, china!  once at consulate,  more processing takes place.  then, about 2 weeks after arrival at consulate, we will be notified that another document (called Article 5) has been produced.  Article 5 is then delivered from consulate in guangzhou, to beijing and is immediately carried to what used to be called the CCAA (China Center of Adoption Affairs), but is now called CCCWA (i have no idea what that stands for!).  regardless, the CCAA/CCCWA is the sole governing body of adoptions in china.  the ONLY adoption agency, so to speak.  :)  they will take about 2-4 weeks to review and compile all the many documents and will then issue our coveted TRAVEL APPROVAL!  our TA is the last thing we need.  once we have that, we will be 1 to 2 weeks from travel!

so, the long and short of it is:  cabled.  Article 5 in two weeks.  TA in 2 to 4 weeks.  china two weeks later!  wow.  seems like time is SCREAMING BY.

we are willing to accept loans at this point!  the "chipin" has never been a successful strategy for us, although we are HUGELY HUGELY grateful to those who have donated and that money is so desperately needed.  thank you.  but we realize at this point, we will probably not raise the rest of the $$$ through "chipin" and that is perfectly okay.  what we did raise is already spent (virtually) on the upcoming fees and travel stuff.

in light of how fast things are moving, though, we are entertaining new options.  we are pushing IRS hard to get the rest of our ATC (Adoption Tax Credit) back asap.  but IRS does things at IRS's speed.  :)  and we all know that!  :)

also, i am nesting like crazy!  we have the basement almost completely cleaned out.  a marvelous marvelous occurrence!  we are also going through all the storage spaces and cleaning those out.  it feels great!  i have given all sorts of stuff away this week, stuff that i tried in vain to sell and couldn't.  still, it had to go.

i'm open to any new fund-raising suggestions or even loans (with reasonable payback conditions, of course).  i think we are going to try the bank soon.  we have to go there anyway and have them stack up clean bills in great condition for our trip.  that is next.  and packing, i guess.  we will have to start thinking about packing.  also have to buy gifts for the officials...  a lot to do, still.  tick, tick, tick!!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011


this was my grammy's bunny.  i made it for her years ago, while we were still living in north carolina.  when she passed away in dec of 2008, right before olivia was born, the bunny came back to me.  it is a permanent part of the two of us.  a lovely wonderful reminder of my dear grammy.

Monday, May 2, 2011

I-800 PreApproval!!

a most amazing day for many reasons, one of which is that today in the mailbox i found our I-800  PreApproval!!!  this was not expected for TWO MORE WEEKS!!!!  we are shocked and amazed and really REALLY happy!!!!  this moves up our travel date by two weeks, but also means that we have two fewer weeks to acquire our last monies!  no stress there!!!  :)

so please consider a donation to our "chipin", which can be found by scrolling through the posts below or going here:  ChipIn for Ben

also remember our SALE FOR BEN which can be found on the previous blog entry.  thanks so much for all the unwavering support!!!  we love you all!!!!!