Saturday, June 1, 2013

We're Going to Hong Kong!!

I have withheld this information for the last couple of weeks, hoping that we would get High Court Order, so that I could let you all know that we got High Court Order and we are travelling to Hong Kong.  But, even though we don't have it yet, we have our travel itinerary!  I find it quite unusual that I was able to make flight arrangements without having the HCO, but I'm OK with that. The social worker is confident that it will come in this upcoming week.

So here's how our life plays out in the next week and following.  We leave June 7, bright and early in the morning, stop in Chicago with a 4 hour layover, and then on to Hong Kong, which we will arrive on June 8 in the evening.  On the 9th, we'll sleep in and sight see a little bit (not much).  Oh..... did I mention Ashton is coming with us?  Yes, the social worker felt like Noah would transition better if he were with us.  On the 10th, we finally meet Noah for lunch with a bunch of people.  I think she said social workers, government officials, and the entire extended foster family.  On the 11th, we go to Noah's school, meet his teachers, and talk to them about his academic abilities and what he needs extra help with.  On the 12th, we have an extended visit with him doing whatever we want for at least half the day.  I've been told not to push too hard on capturing "Hong Kong", but to focus on bonding.  With this in mind, we will probably stick around the hotel and swim in the pool and maybe walk around the local area.  If there is a park near by, we may go there.  It is rainy season in Hong Kong right now, so the forcast doesn't look too favorable for a lot of outdoor activities.  And then....on the 13th... he is officially ours.  This is our Gotcha Day!!!!  YEA!  He will stay with us the rest of the time in Hong Kong, and we leave on the 15th.

Please pray for us while we are gone.  Pray for safe travels. Pray for Noah that the transition for him will be easy.  Pray for his foster mom, who is very anxious and sad that we are coming (she must love him very much). Pray for pretty weather while we're over there, and most of all please pray that God will use this experience to His Glory in whatever capacity he need to to bring someone closer to Him.

Thank you, and we'll be blogging again soon :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

World Down Syndrome Day 2013

As we come to the end of 3-21-13, World Down Syndrome Day, I reflect on my day and can't help but be amazed at where God has brought me in my life.  Two years ago, March 21st was just another day in my life.  The only thing to mention about this day, is that it's the day before my brother's birthday.  It still is the day before my brother's birthday, and that is worthy of mentioning, but it now represents a pillar day for me and my family.  I would never have dreamed that God would lay on my heart the desire to adopt, let alone adopt a child with special needs.  But He has and I am on fire about it!  I am eager to be a mom to Noah, and eager to become involved in organizations promoting awareness of Down Syndrome and special needs.  I'm eager to connect with other families who have children with Down Syndrome and form lasting friendships.  I can't wait until that World Down Syndrome Day when I can hug my own baby and let him know how special he is and that there is a wonderful day set aside for the whole world to acknowledge just how special he is!!  I'm shooting for 2014!!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Article 5!!

We are so excited to finally be telling you that we received Article 5 today! This is what that means according to our Bethany Hong Kong adoption process paperwork:

     The U.S. Consulate will issue the Article 5 letter and forward the letter to Social Welfare Department (SWD) for further processing.  The SWD processes the additional documentation in the Hong Kong courts to transfer the guardianship to the respective agency.  It takes six to ten (6-10) weeks after the Article 5 is issued to receive the High Court Order.   During this wait time the Hong Kong agency will arrange the visa medical appointment for the child. 

This was another major hurdle that we needed to get past and I'm so excited to be moving forward.  They will now start working on Noah's visa and passport documents and hopefully give him the video, pictures, and gifts we sent him a while back.  I am so thankful to my Lord and Savior for not giving up on me, despite my inability to learn patience.  At least now I know there is nothing left to do but wait and dream about life with Noah!!!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Could this be the Month???

It's been a while since I've posted anything on our blog.  I believe that's mainly because between Christmas and now, our adoption process has been very frustrating.  But, it is a new month, all the frustrating things are behind us, and I am praying that we will get that call sometime at the end of this month!  In the meantime, let me give you a slight glimpse into what we have been persevering through. Jake turned 18 on Christmas Day, which automatically added a new adult member to the household.  By the way, Mary turned 18 in September, so we finished all her paperwork by the middle of December.  Anyway, we had to wait until after the first of the year to start on Jake's paperwork because of the holidays.  Paperwork was filed after a comedy of errors and Jake finally got his fingerprinting done yesterday.  You can't just go anywhere for fingerprinting.  You have to wait until the US Immigration department sends you an appointment time.  And don't try to change the appointment....that would be way too complicated!  I find it quite humorous that as soon as the fingerprinting was completed, I called our Immigration officer who is over our adoption and he recognized who I was and before I could even tell him why I was calling he asks "Did Jacob get his fingerprinting done this morning?"  LOL!!!  I said, "Of course he did!"  He assured me that as soon as it came across his desk, he would push it through to the next level.  So now that we have completed all the paperwork for our two new adult members of the house (which has been a 5 month process), hopefully we will receive our Article 5 letter very soon and High Court Order.  I'm not exactly sure what either one of those mean, I just know I need to get them in order to go get my son.  I'm excited that I know things will move in a positive direction from here.  I have gotten no recent updates on Noah, no new pictures, and haven't even heard if he got our video and pictures yet.  The social worker in Michigan that communicates with the social worker in Hong Kong keeps asking for updates and gets no response.  Working with the International Social Services department is very frustrating!  I remind myself almost daily that God is teaching me two things through this process.. Patience and Contentment.  I'm sorry to say, I'm still in the learning stage :)  I appreciate my husband because none of the waiting bothers him, therefore, sometimes it doesn't bother me either.  But then, I won't lie, other times it just plain irritates me that he's not about to lose it over all the waiting (like I am)!  Nonetheless, God has his perfect timing for us to go get Noah, and it is fast approaching that time!  The idea that it could be at the end of this month is major exciting!  I shall keep praying that I will be patient, and content with the timing He has arranged!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I800 Approval!

We are so excited to announce another major milestone in our adoption!  We received I800 approval today.  This form is a petition to classify the adoptee (Noah) as an immediate relative.  Our form was accepted by the United States Immigration Department and now goes to the Consolate in Hong Kong for final approval, which should come in 2-4 weeks, called Article 5.  This will be the last major hurdle before we receive High Court Order and travel dates.  I'll explain all that as we move forward in the next few months.

I was a little discouraged last week when we thought our process was going on the back burner for a couple weeks until Jake gets fingerprinted after his birthday.  Everyone who is 18 or older in the house has to be fingerprinted and have a background check.  Jake will make the 4th one in the house to have this done.  Thankfully, the Lord has other plans, and it seems that our adoption is still right on time!  My projected date of travel is the week of March 12, 2013!  I will be very excited to see how close we actually get to that date :)  Thank you for continuing to pray for us!  Please keep it up :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Matching Approval!!

This was a pivotal day in our adoption process.  The day we received matching approval.  What does this mean?  It means that Yeh-Sui Ye (Noah) is officially the son of Mark and Amanda Price.  Hong Kong has granted approval for us to become the legal parents of Noah.  We have been waiting 21 weeks and 2 days for this sacred approval.  As Mark and I were enjoying our celebratory glass of wine, I was reminiscing over the last several weeks.  I had become obsessed with checking my emails in between patient appointments.  I believe this was instigating my ever increasing discouragement that it wasn't coming in a timely fashion.  Today would change all that thinking.  I didn't check the email until around 3:00 this afternoon, but it was like any other email check between patients.  When I opened my email, that coveted phrase "noreply  Bethany..." was in bold print at the top of my list.  Suddenly...I couldn't even breathe.  I was surrounded by coworkers as I excitedly opened the email.  It was official... We had the approval I had been waiting on for so long!!!  I find it such a God wink that we received the approval on the 1st day of National Adoption Awareness month!  Wow, God!!!  You are so Awesome!  Incidentally,  we just finished National Down Syndrome month.  I can't help but think how perfect God's timing really is as we progress from DS month to Adoption month, and, right in the middle of it, we get our matching approval of our super awesome kiddo from Hong Kong with Down Syndrome.  Officially.....he is no longer an orphan, but finally has a mommy and a daddy!!!  I couldn't be more honored......AND EXCITED!!!!!!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Empowered to Connect conference!!!!

Mark and I got back last night from the Empower to Connect conference in Nashville, sponsored by Show Hope, and can I tell was simply AWESOME!!!  We both agreed as we reflected over our weekend how grateful we are to learn ways of connecting with our adopted child before we actually get him.  I'm hoping I'll retain some of the strategies that Karyn Purvis talked about in regards to building a trust based relationship.  I had no idea how complicated bonding can be in a child who is not biologically yours.  I found myself debating whether or not any of this would really apply to our adoption.  After all, Noah had a normal pregnancy, normal delivery, and his mom tried to take care of him for about 5 months.  The only issue he had was spending 17 days in NICU right after he was born.  I guess you never really know until you get your child home and see how it goes.  At risk of major transparency, I also let it cross my mind that, because my child has Down Syndrome, I'm definitely not going to have to worry about reactive attachment disorder.  They're just too loving....right??  I have no idea.  But this is what went through my mind as I was sitting there listening to testimonies from couples that had dealt with this.  None of them had adopted a child with Down Syndrome.  Maybe we have eluded this undesirable area of the adoptive world.  Here's what I will take away from this conference...
1.  Spend more time nurturing my children, I have too much of a dismissive attachment parenting style
2.  Give my children probiotics and less antibiotics so that dopamine levels don't rise  (this is complicated to try to explain, but I will be doing research on this topic and using it in my everyday advise to parents that bring their children to the clinic).
3.  There are LOTS of resources for adoptive families.  Empower to Connect is a great starting point.

While we were at the conference, we met several wonderful people.  I'd like to give a shout out to my new friends Angie, Laura, and Melanie!!!  Hey girls!!!!!  Angie and Laura were at the conference with us and we randomly met and decided to go to lunch together.  Here we come Chile Burrito (wonderful food by the way).  While we were there, Mark noticed a couple at a table with 2 children with Down Syndrome.  Naturally, we had to get the story.  This is where we were blessed by the story of Melanie and Chappy Hollis!!!  They just adopted their little boy and are a member of a middle Tennessee support group.  Not sure if it's a support group for adoption or DS, but sounds Awesome!!!!  And, she even knew a mutual friend!!  Small world for sure!  Now we're all facebook friends forever (FFF)!!!

Nonetheless, it was a great trip, Karyn Purvis is wonderful, Michael and Amy Monroe are wonderful, Dan and Terri Coley are wonderful, and Debbie Jones is wonderful (and Tanner ;)).  If you have an adopted is so worth going to this conference, you would not regret it!

On a side note, please pray that we hear from Hong Kong this coming week.  Tuesday will be exactly 3 months and 2 weeks since our dossier was received.  We are so close!!!