You can go back to the post on June 13 to read about how we found Lily and decided to adopt her. So immediately we contacted our homestudy agency to start the process. This was even before June 5Th when we said "Yes", we want to adopt Lily. We immediately made our Dr.'s appointments since we knew this was probably the hardest part to get done and the Homestudy can not be completed until various requirements are met. To name a few, you need 4 references, child abuse clearances (which also take some time). Order certified copies of marriage and birth certificates, Employment verification forms, medical reports on all living in the home, tax returns for three years, etc. etc. We jumped on all of this because our homestudy agency does not begin to schedule visits until all of this is done. Then we had our visits with our social worker which were complete by July 1st. All seemed to be going smoothly. In the past our Homestudy agency then sent us and the Adoption Agency the copies. Usually the Homestudy agency sends a copy via the Internet just to review. But our adoption agency needed all of the supporting documents at this time too. I expected to be able to get it all by the second week of July. But between them it has taken until now and now my social worker will be on vacation until the end of the week. All we need is a signature from her. When she signs, then my homestudy agency will be able to send me the copies. Then we can send in the 1800A which is the immigration form. We cannot go any further until we get this part done. Immigration will then send us an appointment for fingerprints, (yes more!) and then approval. It can take 2 to 3 months for this. When we get approval then we can send in our dossier after getting everything authenticated and certified. So I am hoping that by August 12 we can send the 1800A at the same time my agency can send my LOI (That is a letter of intent, meaning that we would like to adopt Lily) Then we will wait for pre-approval or PA. Our dossier can go to China after we get the immigration approval. Then you wait for LOA or letter of acceptance, this can take anywhere from about 70 days or more than a hundred. Then we have an extra step now due to Hague Treaty requirements and I am not sure yet what that is or how long it takes. I will keep you informed.
What is Lily's special need. We found Lily on an agency specific list along with her best friend who is also being adopted. Her only special need is her age and of course a family. But, just as it is with the children you birth you never know what you may encounter. We trust that God has led us in this direction. We have read and continue to read about the trials that we could encounter with adopting an older child. We will do our best to deal with anything that comes our way. I have read many blogs of people that have adopted older children and I especially appreciate those that are honest about everything that they encounter. We have been blessed with two healthy daughters from China and look forward to what our life with Lily will be like.
Are you naming her Lily? We think so. The adoption agency called her Lily on their website and it seems to be sticking. We have a lot of names we like but when we look at her picture they just don't match. We don't have a middle name yet so any suggestions of names that sound good with Lily we would love to hear. We already have Emma Sophia Mingjing and Meilynn Grace Shiyue, Kami Michele, and Meghan Justine. As for her Chinese name, I don't believe I can share it yet until we get Pre-approval, and then I will get to share her picture. And if she is more comfortable keeping the name the orphanage has given her then we will go with that. We will use it in her middle name as we have with our other daughters. None of our girls have been smiling in their referral pictures so we are always so excited when we get the first smiling one.
Will she share a room? This is the big question. Since she will probably be used to sharing a room we need to make that an option for her. Before we decided to adopt again we put Emma and Meilynn in their own rooms. By the way they are still in their cribs, but we told them when they were both 4 we would need to get them big girl beds and we had planned on full size ones. But now we will probably do twin bed in each of the rooms and use trundles and they can sleep where they want. Mike thinks it would be a great idea to have them all three in the same room and then have the other room be their dressing room. We could put all of their clothes in the one room He may have something with that idea! But we also have our poor sleeper Emma and she may be the one that needs her own room. I am sure we will change our minds several times on this. So in answer to the Bunny Bed questions, Mary, we may be getting to use it after all!
How is the wedding coming? As most of you know our second daughter Meghan is getting married in August. I must admit that Meghan and Nick have done most of the planning. I have had a very small part. My Meghan is a very organized person. We are so proud of her. It is almost here and I am confident that Meghan and Nick will be able to get through any hardships in their marriage after seeing them handle his open-heart surgery in such a mature manner. They put their faith in God to help them through it and I admire their strength. We are excited to share this important day with all of our loved ones that have loved and supported Meghan since she was born. She has a beautiful dress that I cannot talk about because Nick could be reading. The girls are so excited to be flower girls and big sister Kami is excited to have a brother. Mike has been surrounded by girls and now will have a son. I can't wait to show you all the pictures.