I thought I would include a map of China so that you all could see where we will be heading in order to be united with Emma. We will first arrive in Beijing for about 3 days of sightseeing and to allow our bodies to adjust to the time change, then we fly to Guangzhou for the remaining part of our trip. Guangzhou is the capital city of the Guangdong province, which is Emma's province. The orphanage in Gaozhou will bring Emma to meet us in Guangzhou. We will leave Guangzhou and fly out of Shanghai back home.
As of this evening, we have purchased our plane tickets to and from China. Next, our agency has people working on our in country travel arrangements such as in country plane tickets, hotels, transportation, etc.
I can't wait to find out the day that we receive Emma. For those of you not from the adoption world, this day is called "Gotcha Day". This is a day that we have dreamed about for years now. To think that we are this close just blows my mind. I'm thinking it could be June 12 but that's not confirmed just yet. Hopefully we will know the rest of the details soon.
I want to go ahead and apologize to all of you who are close to me that will have to put up with this crazy woman for the next few weeks. My life right now is similar to a pregnant woman whose water has broke, out in public of course, and doesn't have a single thing ready for the hospital. Heads up... Beware!
We finally have our Travel Approval!!! I received a call from our social worker this morning telling me that Emma's visa appointment is set for June 20th and that we will arrive in Beijing on Thursday, June 9th.
The travel agency is currently working on all the details and we should hear from them this evening. I'll post more of the details once I have them.
As most of you know, we sent Emma a care package through the U.S. postal service the week after we received her referral. When I dropped the package off at the post office the lady gave me a "tracking number", at least that's what she said. So after a couple of days I jumped on the computer, put in the number and all it said was that it was in the local post office. I continued to check the tracking number and there was no change. I told Matt that I didn't have a very good feeling about this.
Well, last week I began to read other blogs, within the same referral batch, that had received updated photos from Ann at Red Thread. Ann, is a lady in China who has a business putting together care packages and having them delivered to your child's orphanage. She has a good reputation and a good relationship with the orphanages and therefore, is able to get updated information on your child. So, what's a momma to do? Send another package, of course!
The items we selected are very similar to the items we initially sent; A Hello Kitty photo album (with our pictures inside), a disposable camera, musical toy, candy for the caretakers and a letter.
As the wait for our travel approval is taking it's toll on my heart, I was blessed today with updated information and photos. I am so grateful to Ann at Red Thread for this gift. So, I'm choosing to focus on this blessing today. What a blessing!
07/28/2003 Matt listened to Stephen Curtis Chapman on Family Life Today
07/29/2003 Shawna tuned in to day 2 of Family Life Today
10/11/2003 Attended the “If You Were Mine” adoption workshop in Brentwood, TN
10/11/2003 God conceived in our hearts our daughter from China
02/2004 Found out we were pregnant with Eli ~ adoption on but on hold
07/2005 Sent in Pre-Application to Bethany Christian Services ~ was told by Bethany we should wait another year
07/22/2005 Mailed Bethany a letter stating why we believed God had said “Now is the time”, along with our financial statements
08/22/2005 Mailed official Adoption Application, auto-biographies, other Bethany forms, and the first check of many
10/11/2005 Criminal History Report request mailed off to the state of Indiana
11/07/2005 Passports issued
11/14/2005 Submitted our I-600 to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services
12/27/2005 Home study complete
03/15/2006 Fingerprint appointment in Indianapolis
04/03/2006 Dossier completed and submitted to Bethany
05/04/2006 Dossier mailed from Bethany, Grand Rapids, to China
05/11/2006 Dossier received by China ~ LID
07/2007 Second set of fingerprints done in Indianapolis
07/25/2008 Felt the Lord calling us to enter the COP program
07/25/2008 Sent off for Eli’s passport
07/26/2008 Began to doubt God’s calling to adopt ~ sought out council and was encouraged to look back and identify times we were certain we heard God and saw God work and then to cling to those movements
07/28/2008 Third social worker comes to update our home study to reflect our new house
07/30/2008 Third set of fingerprints done in Louisville
11/14/2008 I-600A Refile
02/09/2009 I-600A Refile
08/27/2009 Fourth set of fingerprints done in Louisville
06/14/2010 I-600A Refile
09/10/2010 5th set of fingerprints done in Louisville
11/06/2010 Home Study Update
5/25/2010 Ethan Blaine was born
08/06/2010 Went "on hold" due to the birth of our 2nd child
01/21/2010 Letter to request to be taken off hold was mailed to China