Saturday, April 21, 2012

And it's OFF Already!

Well that document wasn't in our hands long!  The signed LOA and I-800 documents, along with a few other things, are off to our agency.  They should receive them on Monday and will likely send them off to immigration first thing Tuesday.  I think it's now time for me to read up on what happens next because this is the part I am not familiar with.  I do know that there are 3-5 more steps and that the wait for each is anywhere from a week to a month and then we are assigned our Travel Approval (TA) and given a Consultant Appointment (CA) in Guangzhou, China.   It's getting really real and exciting now! :)   

Friday, April 20, 2012

And it's HERE!

The infamous LOA (Lettter of Approval ) or LSC (Letter Seeking Confirmation) arrived today from our agency via Fed Ex.  I had forewarned the Fed Ex driver that it is a bit of a tradition for people to take a picture of their Fed Ex driver delivering this document because it is so important!   I am pretty sure he thought I was crazy.  Well then it comes today and it's a totally different Fed Ex delivery man.   I explained it to him and asked if it would be okay if I took his picture handing off the document and he told me in 18 years of delivering, this is only the 2nd time someone had asked him to do that and he happily complied and then said, "Congratulations!"   :)

The LOA just needs to be signed and dated and sent off with a handful of other documents back to our agency, upon which we will then move into the next phase- back to immigration for the I-800 this time (US Immigration approval of a SPECIFIC child).  :)  A couple little steps after that approval and then you are granted your Travel Approval (TA) and you are off to China usually 2-3 weeks from TA.  

Without further ado, I give you the Henningfeld family LOA!

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Today is our son Evan's 5th birthday and he wanted to tell everyone that he got the best birthday present today- our Letter Of Approval (LOA), which means he will finally have a sister!   If you don't know any sign language- my boys are trying to sign L O A!!! :)   We are thrilled!  This was also my grandma's birthday!  What a special day!  Looks like July travel is realistic. We waited 71 days for our LOA- the longest waits are over and now we have a few more smaller waits to go until we get our Travel Approval or TA. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

More Blessings While we Wait

More time has gone by- we continue to wait for our Letter of Approval (LOA). This is the big step- after this there are 4 or 5 more small steps, but they are more predictable. Once you have LOA you usually travel 2.5-3 months later. The thing about the LOA wait is that families wait anywhere between 30 and 140 days. There is no rhyme or reason that anyone can tell on why some wait 30 days and some wait 140 days. Even people with the same agency have different lengths in waits. Lately the average seems to be 50-70 days. I was hoping we'd fall in the fast to average range, but would have been just fine with average. Well- tomorrow we hit day 70 so I guess we're looking at the longer waiter range. :( Though I can't complain because there are a few people with our agency who have had to wait 90-140 days. I pray the couple families who are still waiting and in that range get their LOA's this week. There are two other families who are with our agency and on the same day as us. Maybe all 5 of us will get it the same day and end up traveling together. That would be neat! Praying my next post will be my LOA announcement and that it will be SOON! I am not going to lie- it is wonderful to celebrate with everyone getting their LOA, but you wish you could be celebrating for your own LOA too. This wait is painfully hard!
I also wanted to thank everyone who has supported us by praying, using our Amazon link (it is working), ordering through our affiliate account with Ordinary Hero, purchasing '31' products through our 31 fundraisers, or who have donated items for our rummage sale we hope to have in May. We are blessed and so thankful!
Today was a special day though because we were blessed with some more photos of Lena, this time from a family from the Netherlands who returned to the orphanage for a visit the beginning of April. Here is what she shared with me from that day:
"Just to say that we have been visiting Nanping SWI and seen your daughter. She was asleep, but the staff woke her up, so we could take pictures. My travel companion took some photos of her - unfortunately our respective cameras and computers don't communicate with each other, so she can only transfer the pictures after we get back home on the 14th of April. I hope you can wait that long:)The guide said that she was a bright girl who already knew how to read lips.The orphanage is beautifully situated, and the director and vice director are very kind and nice people."
And today I got the pictures they were able to take of Lena. Though she was woken up and not happy about it, it made this mama's heart happy to see her! :) I would have even settled for pictures of her sleeping. Below are the 5 pictures I received. But first is a picture of Lena with the family from Canada who went back for a visit in March. They got us a cute little video clip and the picture of them with Lena even made the orphanage website: