Finally! I sent off Ezra’s first care package on Friday. I wanted to wait until we were a little further along in the process and it was closer to his birthday. He will be 4 on October 1st!
Here is what was in it:
- The ‘family’ pajamas
- A sun hat
- Sunglasses – hopefully they will use these! If you haven’t seen how hard it is for him to be outside without a hat or glasses, head over to this post to see photos and videos of him outside!
- Dum dums to share with his friends
- Chocolates for the nannies
- A stuffed monkey
- A photo album – with a photo of himself on the front (so he knows it’s his), labeled pictures of me (māma), Billy (bàba, or daddy), Chandler (jiě jie, or big sister), Noah (dìdi, or little brother), our house and his room
- Instead of the disposable camera, I sent a flash drive because USPS said I wasn’t allowed to send a camera. Let’s hope the orphanage has a digital camera! The idea here is that they will fill the flash drive with whatever photos they have or take new ones and I will pick it up when we go get him.
- I also got him this recordable storybook so that he could hear our voices. Billy and I took turns recording each page. The book was on sale for $5 so I couldn’t pass up that deal. They are usually $30! Plus, the cute panda sold it for me! Pandas are very revered in China and a symbol of good luck. It mentions God, which could pose a problem… so would you join me in praying that they really give it to him?
I labeled the dum dums and chocolates using the list that our agency sent to us so they would know who they were for. I also put Ezra’s Chinese name on all of his items. I was able to just print the labels by copying and pasting from the agency document, but…. I had to figure out what to do with the stuffed monkey. I couldn’t just tape a label to it and I wanted to be sure that it didn’t get lost so I had to write his name on it. Haha! I think I did a pretty good job, but it probably will look like chicken scratch to them! 😆
The Ugly Truth
We finally had our appointment for our I800A biometrics (fancy term for fingerprinting) on Monday. Now we are waiting for USCIS (US Citizenship & Immigration Services) to approve our I800A form (Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country).
This is the last thing we are waiting on to finish up our dossier. After we get this form we can send all our dossier docs to get certified at the Secretary of State and then authenticated at the Chinese Embassy. Then we can send all of that to our agency for them to review and translate and send to China. THEN we will be what they call DTC (dossier to china) and our paper chase is over! After that we just wait for our LOA (letter of approval), which is THE document that says we are absolutely going to be able to adopt Ezra. We do have pre-approval, but there is always a slight chance that something could happen so when we get LOA we will be ecstatic. And of course, we will be able to go get him at that point!
We still need your prayer for a few things. Please pray:
- That I800A approval comes soon! The average time for approval right now is 45 days. That’s a long time and would love for it to get here sooner.
- Favor with government workers & agencies both here and in China.
- Patience and faith for us.
- That God will prepare Ezra’s heart for the adoption. Adoption is so bittersweet. Getting him will be one of the happiest days of our lives, but most likely one of his worst. All he will know is that he is leaving everything and everyone familiar to him to come with strangers to a strange place.
- Favor with the organizations that we have applied for grants with. Half of the financial burden of this adoption will be right before we travel to pick him up. We will need around $12,000 to $15,000 at that time.
Thank you! We appreciate your prayers and support so much!