A bit about the Himsels
In July 2011, we were drawn to a posting by our adoption agency of a little girl that was soon to "age out" of the orphanage in China, and they were hoping to find her family before her birthday in February, when she would no longer be eligible for adoption. After reviewing the information, giving it alot of thought and prayers, we knew she was to be our daughter. So we started the paperwork chase to bring her home. But God had a bigger plan in mind for the Himsels. Along the way, we decided to pursue adopting a little boy, and that journey actually led us to two little boys, who are 18 months and 14 months old. All three children are located in the Guizhou province. We are excited to be so close to bringing home Ella (Jinglan), William, and Ethan, and we hope you follow along with our journey.
Friday, December 30, 2011
Finally, we received our NVC letters (National Visa Center) letting us know that our I800 information had been forwarded on to the Consulate in China. Another major step forward in getting our appointments secured for finalizing the adoptions. Of course, all of the offices in China are now closed, but will open back up Tuesday, and we should hear something soon on our official travel dates. Keep your fingers crossed that we will be traveling on January 25. The sooner we can bring home those adorable children the better. I can't wait to get my arms around each one of them.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
And we were told there are two options for us for traveling, depending on when the NVC letters arrive. We could leave January 25 (right after Chinese New Year) or February 1 (which is tight with Ella JingLan's birthday, but doable). Yikes, that's about a month away - so much work to do around here before then. Let's keep our fingers crossed, and say a few prayers that its January 25th - we'd like to not make it that tight with Ella JingLan's birthday right around the corner.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Last Thursday, things were getting a little stressful. Our I800s had been with USCIS for over a week and we still hadn't heard anything from our officer assigned. She had assured us that as soon as she got them she would push them along since we are so tight on time. When I checked with her, she said they hadn't been pre-processed yet and she was trying to track them down. Senator Lugar's office was also involved and our contact there was also trying to move things along. I received a call on Thursday to see if two of our kids were related. Since they are in the same orphanage, they have the same orphanage surname, and someone assumed they were siblings, which they are not. Because of that, they hadn't processed our paperwork yet because the papers were for 3 unrelated children. Once that got cleared up, our USCIS officer said she was hopeful that she would get the documents sometime early this week and would keep us posted. Well, we got the best Christmas present today - an email with the following from our officer: "A miracle happened at USCIS today! The I-800s left TX Friday and made it to my desk this morning. With the help of several good people I was able to review and approve the I-800s just a little bit ago." Whoo Hoo - another step closer. Now waiting on our NVC letters to arrive, but going ahead with filling out the US Visa apps for the kids. And so we had to finalize the kids names. So let me introduce you to:
Ella (Jing Lan)
Friday, December 9, 2011
With our I800 forms and all of their supporting documents turned in, Chris and I needed to really settle on the kids' names. Just like with Andrew, they will each keep their Chinese name as one of their middle names, but we want them each to have strong first names as well. The boys were pretty easy actually. The older of the two boys, who is now 18 months old will be William. And the younger boy, who is almost 14 months old, will be Ethan. And our little Jing Lan - because she is older, we definitely will give her an American first name, but give her the choice to go by either name. Now to decide on that first name for Jing Lan. We're torn between two of them - we'll have to make a definite decision soon.