Friday, December 4, 2015

Making a List

Right after I started cleaning out the refrigerator this afternoon I decided that blogging sounded like much more fun, so here we go. It's not a super exciting post--just a catch-you-up on our fall happenings.

We've been working down (and across) our list of document requirements provided by the agency. As you can see, there really isn't much left that needs to be done for our dossier prep! Right now, the majority of our paperwork is being authenticated by the U.S. Department of State; once we get those back then we send the documents to the Chinese Embassy in Washington D.C. to be authenticated.

You might have to squint to see it, but there are two line items that are pretty blank. Last night we were checking our list of what still needed to be done and realized we had somehow completely skipped one of the documents--whoops! Plenty of time to get that done. We're also waiting on approval from USCIS/immigration, which is the other big blank space on our To-Do list. Once all of those blanks are checked for each document, then we send to CCAI for critical review before it all goes off to China. If you want to feel really cool and special, I'd recommend you brush up on your adoption alphabet soup, so you can say fun things like "So once you're DTC, how long before you're LID?" or "I'm so excited you're LOA! That was the shortest time ever from your LOI!" Just a side note, once our dossier completion is only the beginning...nothing can happen until that's done!

If you're interested, here's a list of everything!
So what else has been happening? Well, we went to Florida for a last trip before our Next Big Trip to China. We had planned to go to Seattle, the Rockies, or San Diego...but both of us just wanted to sleep, eat, and sit on the beach. If you have never, ever been to Seaside, you need to go. Best beach vacation ever. But...more on all that at a later date.

Shortly after we got back from Florida, we went camping at Starved Rock with our friends Clint and Jessica. You may remember our last (and only) camping experience (see here if you need a refresher), so I was skeptical to say the least...the very least. 

But, it didn't rain, the weather was beautiful, we were close to the restrooms that included showers, and we went hiking and to a couple wine tasting rooms. It was a win-win for everyone! The worst thing that happened was that my nutella fry-pie burnt to a cinder block. We'll take it!

We're still working on fundraising for the adoption, and we're so thankful to everyone who has helped out so far! A few highlites:

  • We had a Pampered Chef fundraiser around the beginning of October that raised over $200 that went to our account with our agency. Thank you to everyone who came--my aunts even drove down from Chicago to come! 
  • Tomorrow I'm having a Noonday Collection Trunk Show with 10% of purchases going to our agency! (Click here if you're interested in purchasing!). Every little bit helps!
  •  My sister also made a bunch of these ornaments (below)--there's only a few left I think! Amazing! 
  • Last but not least, we've sold over 60 puzzle pieces so far. Again, words cannot express how thankful we are to every single person who has contributed so far. Yes, indirectly you're helping us, but ultimately you're helping a child receive a family. 

Last but not least, Derek is hard at work fixing up the bedroom and making furniture for the baby/toddler/child (we really don't know what to call him/her). I don't want to steal his thunder because he's been taking pictures every step of the way, but here's a teaser photo of the room. Hopefully we will be able to move the table saw out before we're home from China. Casey has learned to adapt to the noise level by cowering as far away as possible at night and sleeping all day long to recover. What a life! 

So that's it. Enough of my ramblings, it's time to actually finish cleaning out the fridge. Next week we have our fingerprinting/biometrics appointment up in Chicago, so check back with us soon to find out if we've been approved or not!