Thursday, October 29, 2009

Finger Prints Done!!!

Today we had our fingerprint appt. Hopefully they both went through ok as sometimes the scan system doesn't take them clear enough.

So much for that. I found out 4 days later that my prints need to be redone. This happens sometimes for some reason. I received my appt notice to get them done again. Only it wasn't until 12/1. I went into our immigration office the next day, 11/10 and they took me. I was in and out in 20 min and it was not busy at all. The security guard thought it redicules they gave me such a far out date. I have been in contact with my USCIS officer and he will fax me the approval when he gets it.

OK, yet another hiccup. I got message today 11/13 that my fingerprints came back unclassified yet AGAIN. I'm so glad I didn't wait for the 12/1 date to do my prints to find out 3 weeks from now, they didn't go through. I am asked to now get police clearance reports from every city I've lived in for the past 5 years. Thankfully, it's only 2. Of course I have my current one as it's needed for our process. I'm driving to the other city on Monday to get the report. Sheshhh. What's next? Nothing. It's all going to be perfectly smooth sailing from here.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Penny's Care Package

We sent our first personal care package to Penny on 10/20. It's suppose to get there in 5-10 business days. We'll see. I put the phone number to the orphanage in there, the address that we have in hopes it gets to where it should. I will have Ann from check in 2 weeks to see if they received it. I promised Ann I would order another package or 2 from her in the upcoming months.

As we were putting the package together, I noticed 2 pairs of Tinkerbell undies missing and a teddy snugglie. Hmmmmm. I've been collecting these items for about 4 weeks now and Sami has ben in and out of the bags. I'm sure the undies ended up in Samis draw as she loves Tinkerbell. As for the snugglie, we found him in the dirty laundry basket in the garage. It was fine because I wanted to wash it anyway. I rubbed some of the essential oils that the kids use after baths on the tessy so Penny can be familiar with her new smells. It smells SO good.

My moms cyber friend from her knitting group Anne, translated a letter for me in Chinese. So that went in the box too along with a pack of Lolli's and camera. All under 4 lbs costing me 28.00 to ship a tiny box. Not so bad. Totally worth it.

Documents in hand

IT CAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Docs at the Consulate in Los Angeles

My agency coordinator suggested we fax the Consulate regarding our documents being as though you can't speak with a person. I did so yesrterday. They called me back in a hour and told me they sent them back to me that afternoon. Ok Great. I still haven't got them and the return envelope I gave to them was express. It better get here tomorrow or I think somethings going on. I can't believe it took over 2 weeks to get our document authenticated. I hope being as though our final document to get authenticated is only one document, it will be faster. And now we know the other 2 pieces of documents they need personally. Shesh. Almost there. Finger print appt is 10/29/09. Finally, next week. Feels like forever since I got the notice.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Authentication of Docs

11 of our documents were sent to the Consulate on 10/05/09. We received a call that they needed a letter from our agency that I was a client of theirs and a copy of the photo page of my passport on 10/08/09. Thought that was a good turn around. They received both of those on Thurs 10/08. We are still waiting for our docs to return to us as of today 10/17. Not so good turn around. Hopefully Monday they come. My one document from NY, my BC came back in 3 days. What gives CA???

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Thoughts about our travel

When ever one of my friends from my many adoption groups goes to get their child, I can't help but feel along with them what they are feeling. It's something you can only know if you've experienced it. Because we all go through the same exact thing, you know whats going on with them and how they are feeling through it. Even though the children come from all over China, we all pretty much do the same things and everyone has to end up in Guangzhou as the Consulate is there. Any time I see a post titles, what to bring, what not to bring, where to eat, what to do in ---, I can't help but respond EVERY time. I know going this time will be easier in some ways but more difficult with 3 toddlers. When we returned from China in Feb, I posted somewhere on my blog what I'd do differently or something IF I even go back. Hmmm, must have seen someting coming.

I try not to think about Penny being so far away from us. It's tough but in the end, we will only have waited about 8 months for her. Technically, not counting the last 4 years of waiting for her originally. 8 months, less then a pregnancy term and a lot more paper work. I think when we left the hospital with Sami, I sign one release form and filled an additional 20 adoption docs from our agency/social worker. Well worth it in the end.

I'm just putting together a care package for Penny. I just did a cute photo album of her new family and 5 pets. I hope she likes them. There are about 6 outfits, a snugglie, camera, undies and some lollipops. I have to keep it light. It will cost about 35.00 to send the items. Can't wait to see pictures of her in our outfits!!

Finger Prints

Because this blog is mainly for waiting families from China, I post all updates and timelines so we can all compare. It will be interesting to see these results in 10 years from now and compare it to the families at that time. That is IF the China program is still open to USA.

Sent in our 800A 9/17, USCIS received it 9/18. They issued our receipt on 9/21/09, received finger print appt on 9/5 for 9/29. Quite a long time to wait for your appt. In the past, our last 3 appts were that same week we received the notice. I'm just hoping this gives them ample time to review our home study and give us our I797 C approval. When we get that approval, I send it in to get certified, then authenticated, THEN I can send everything to our agency for translation. When it's translated, it goes to China then we are really waiting to travel.

My hope was that we'd be DTC "date to China" in Oct. That obviously is not going to happen. I hope everything is ready to go and we can be DTC mid Nov. If that happens, I can still hope for a Feb. CNY "Chinese New Year" travel date. Felix has grown out of his CNY oufit so I need to be back during/before CNY to get him a new one. Sami of course got several so she's good.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Family Pictures for Dossier

It's took me some time to dig up 6 family photos of all 4 of us from Feb for our dossier. I was trying to remember where we were when we got any family pictures taken. I came up with 7, 2 of which were taken in the past week as I knew I needed more. I got them printed out along with some photos that I will be sending to Sami's birth mother.

On Sat. I went over to Staples to print out copies of the 12 out of 13 documents for our dossier. Only you need to make copies of the doc, the notary page, certification page and "yet to come," the authentication page. I also needed 3 batches done. One for us, agency and the authentication process as they require you to send in your docs to be authenticated and copies of the docs, notary pg, certification pg. Something like 120 copies and 1 hour and 15 mins it took. It's annoying because the notary pg and the certification pages are stapled in different places so you have to be careful not to damage any of it.

BTW, for the record it took 4 days to get my docs back from Sacramento for certification, by mail. Hopefully Authentication is as fast. Will be sending docs in to get Authenticated at the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles tomorrow.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Moon Pies and Festival Facts

The Moon festival (also called the Mooncake or Mid-Autumn festival) falls on October 3rd in the year 2009. What is the Moon festival? Every year on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar, when the moon is at its maximum brightness for the entire year, the Chinese celebrate "zhong qiu jie." Children are told the story of the moon fairy living in a crystal palace, who comes out to dance on the moon's shadowed surface. The legend surrounding the "lady living in the moon" dates back to ancient times, to a day when ten suns appeared at once in the sky. The Emperor ordered a famous archer to shoot down the nine extra suns. Once the task was accomplished, Goddess of Western Heaven rewarded the archer with a pill that would make him immortal. However, his wife found the pill, took it, and was banished to the moon as a result. Legend says that her beauty is greatest on the day of the Moon festival.Other Moon Festival LegendsAccording to another legend, on this day the "Man in the Moon" was spotted at an inn, carrying a writing tablet. When questioned, he said he was recording the names of all the happy couples who were fated to marry and live happily forever after. Accordingly, just as June is the traditional month for exchanging nuptials in the west, many Chinese weddings are held during the eighth lunar month, with the fifteenth day being the most popular.Of course, the most famous legend surrounding the Moon festival concerns its possible role in Chinese history. Overrun by the Mongols in the thirteenth century, the Chinese threw off their oppressors in 1368 AD. It is said that mooncakes - which the Mongols did not eat - were the perfect vehicle for hiding and passing along plans for the rebellion. Families were instructed not to eat the mooncakes until the day of the moon festival, which is when the rebellion took place. (In another version plans were passed along in mooncakes over several years of Mid-Autumn festivals, but the basic idea is the same).How to Celebrate the Moon FestivalToday, Chinese people celebrate the Mid-Autumn festival with dances, feasting and moon gazing. Not to mention mooncakes. While baked goods are a common feature at most Chinese celebrations, mooncakes are inextricably linked with the Moon festival. One type of traditional mooncake is filled with lotus seed paste (see side photo). Roughly the size of a human palm, these mooncakes are quite filling, meant to be cut diagonally in quarters and passed around. This explains their rather steep price (around $5.00 in Canada). A word of caution: the salty yolk in the middle, representing the full moon, is an acquired taste.More elaborate versions of mooncakes contain four egg yolks (representing the four phases of the moon). Besides lotus seed paste, other traditional fillings include red bean paste and black bean paste. Unfortunately for dieters, mooncakes are rather high in calories.While in the past mooncakes took up to four weeks to make, automation has speeded up the process considerably. Today, mooncakes may be filled with everything from dates, nuts, and fruit to Chinese sausages. More exotic creations include green tea mooncakes, and ping pei or snowskin mooncakes, a Southeast Asian variation made with cooked glutinous rice flour. Haagen-Daz has even gotten into the act by introducing a line of ice cream mooncakes in Asian markets.

Moon Festival Celebration

Today we celebrated The Mid-Autumn, Moon Festival with some moon pies. Well, actually Whoopee Pie's from Trader Joe's. The chinese tradition is to eat Mooncakes and watch the full moon. Being as though mooncakes are not that good and difficult to find, we settles for moon
pies, but I couldn't bring myself to buy moon pie's, we got the whoopee pie's. Better ingredients!

The kids ran around after their whoopee pie's and I drank my coffee from Peets. We'll watch the full moon tonight and hope that Penny is watching along with us and we can feel like we're with her.

The Moon Festival is on Oct. 3rd in China but on the 2nd here in the USA. Tomorrow we're going to the Chinese Museum Down Town for some festivities.