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.
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: