Saturday, March 31, 2012

Introducing

Bailee Joy YuanQin Weaver

Date of birth: August 18, 2011
Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China


I know this post is going to be long, but I want to document our journey to Bailee.

Back in April of 2011 Stefan and I first talked about adding another daughter to our family.  He wasn't convinced that he wanted to have to go through the process and travel again so he said no at that time.   My heart was in China with a little girl and all summer I kept thinking about the fact that another daughter was in China that was meant to be in our family.  Finally in August he told me that God had changed his heart and we could start the process again.   I made contact with Lifeline Children's Services on August 9.   The next week on the 15th we submitted our application and on the 16th I started our homestudy process with Adoption Related Services.   Little did I know that just a couple of days later our precious daughter would be born halfway around the world.
This adoption paperwork process was different (and harder) than the process we did for Taylor.   Right after we submitted our dossier (oodles of paperwork) to China for Taylor in March of 2008, the US ratified the Hague Treaty which adds lots of paperwork and about 3 extra months to the adoption process.   Here are the steps that we had to do so far:

August 15/16 applications to placement and home study agenices completed
End of August-Child abuse clearances for every state that we lived in since we were 18 sent for/birth certificates ordered
September 13, 15-Stefan/Joy Dr. Visits
September 13-1st home study visit
September 30-2nd home study visit
October 6-3rd home study visit
November 9-Home study finished and approved by Lifeline
November 14-1-800A form and home study sent to US immigration for approval
December 28-Notarized papers for dossier
December 30-Took documents for dossier to Harrisburg to get state certified
January 3-Sent documents to courier to go to US State Department and Chinese Embassy to be authenticated
January 4-Call from courier that birth certificates needed to be state certified (Joy's mistake)
January 5-Stefan runs to Harrisburg to get new birth certificates and get them state certified
January 9-Documents taken to State Department/Chinese Embassy
January 12-1-800A (I-797) approval
January 16-Receive 800A/receive 12 dossier documents back from courier
January 17-Stefan takes 800A to get notarized and then to Harrisburg to be state certified/sends to courier
January 18-800A authenticated with overnight service from US State Department/Chinese Embassy
January 23-All dossier documents now at Lifeline
January 25-Dossier to China
February 8-Log-in-Date-We can now officially wait for a file to be sent to us that could possible be our daughter.

These are the documents that had to be sent to China as part of our dossier:
1. Adoption Application -one document
2. Stefan's Birth Certificate
3. Joy's Birth Certificate
4. Marriage License
5. Certificate of Income and Property (Financial Statement)
6. Stefan's Certificate of Profession
7. Joy's Certificate of Profession
8. Stefan's Medical
9. Joy's Medical
10. Stefan's Certificate of Criminal or No-criminal Record
11. Joy's Certificate of Criminal or No-criminal Record
12. Home Study Report
13. CIS Approval (I-797)

Here's the part about Bailee:
Starting on February 8, we were eligible to be given files of babies who were LID (log in date) first.   There are over 2000 children right now who are able to be adopted in China.   They are on what is called a shared list.   This means that every agency who does SN (special need) Chinese adoptions can show the files to their clients who can decide to lock the file and submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to adopt that child.   The very young babies (2 and under) are rarely on the shared list for very long unless they have severe needs.  About every month China releases new files to the list at a preannounced time.   Every agency's rep (in the US or in China like our agency rep, Lily) is ready to "lock" a file for their client at the moment of the files coming on the list.   Because babies under a year (what we were asking for) are very rare, the files are locked within seconds of them being placed on the list.   Mallory, our SW for Lifeline, told us we might have to wait 4-6 months for a match as our age range/needs were rare.   China lately has been sending very young girl files directly to certain agencies so there are even less of them for everyone else.
In February we were e-mailed a file, but she had a need that we couldn't accept.   Two days later we were given a file, but she was much older than our age range.   We then had to wait for the March files to be released.
On March 19 we were sent a file, but she was older and had a very severe need.   On March 23 we were sent another file but she was still out of our age range.   On Sunday March 25, Stefan and I were very discouraged, but had resigned ourselves for a long wait until next month's list came out.
On March 26 when I got to school I looked at my e-mail and there was an e-mail from Mallory with the subject line: Zhu Yuan Qin for Weavers.   I was a little bit dreading opening the e-mail as my heart broke a little with every file we looked at that wasn't our Bailee.   I could hardly believe it when I saw that her birthday is August 18, 2011---she is only 7 months old.   I had been praying every night for two specific things-that our referral would be for a baby as young as possible (close to 6 months) and from Guangdong province.   I looked at the province and saw that my second request was answered-she is from Zhuhai which is in Guangdong province.  
[Let me explain the significance of the request to those of you who are not familiar with Chinese adoption.   Every American who adopts from China finishes their time in Guangzhou which is the capital city of Guangdong province.   After three different cities (and three different seasons to pack for, three different hotels, three different guides, and two in-China flights) for Taylor's adoption we just wanted to be able to unpack in one hotel and stay there for the whole time we spent in China.  We also have had 4 exchange students from Guangzhou and would love to visit them while we are there if possible.]
Back to Bailee-we sent her file to our pediatrician and asked her to forward it to Dr. Mackay who is a plastic surgeon we are familiar with from our visits to the Cleft Palate Clinic for Taylor.   He is the chief plastic surgeon at Hershey Med.   He got back to us on Tuesday and we called Mallory to let her know that we wanted to proceed with Bailee's adoption.   We sent our LOI to China and recieved our Pre-Approval on Friday so now we are able to share Bailee with you.
I guess I didn't specify what Bailee's need is.   She has a Tessier 7 facial cleft and some skin tags on her right ear.  Dr. Mackay said that both will be taken care of in a surgery when we get her home.
I am part of a forum called China Adopt Talk.   There is a wonderful lady on the forum who analyzes all the statistics that people provide on dates for their journey to their children.   Here is the latest chart which will give you come idea of our time frame.
My plan (which is probably different from God's plan) is to start the school year, teach a few weeks, and then leave for China on September 7 and arrive home on September 19 or 20.  The latest we expect to travel is October, but anything can happen.   Our wait time was 2-3 months longer with Taylor because of a glitch so we are praying for smooth sailing this time.
We are beyond excited to be blessed with this precious baby girl.   Please keep her (and us) in your prayers as we wait for the day we can finally hold her in our arms.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Snapshot: Easter Photo Shoot

We went to Picture People on Saturday for our Easter photo shoot.   As with the Valentine pictures, a promise of fingernail painting for Taylor did the trick in getting her to cooperate.



This is what happens when you ask your silly girl to sit up straighter.










Sometimes they can be sweet to each other.


Where did my baby boy go?







Ni Hao Yall