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Journey to Rhenay

When will she get here?
What will she look like?
Where will we get to go this time?

We Begin.....

....  the journey to Rhenay on June 21, 2003 by filing our I-600 A form with the BCIS in Atlanta, GA, and our application for adoption with Great Wall China Adoption Agency (GWCA). 
The Chinese government mandates that all post placement reports on previously adopted chinese children must be filed before registering your dossier for another child.  We completed all paperwork on Ashley June 27, 2003 and the final report was filed with the Chinese government on August 1st. 
We competed our adapted homestudy with AAA Partners in Adoption  on June 28th and it was received by the BCIS on Friday, August 8th.  We recieved our letter for permission to be fingerprinted by the BCIS on Thursday, August 14th and plan to go to Atlanta this week to be fingerprinted and to get the certification for the homestudy's notarization - Our final certification!
We will then wait.......... for the I 171 H form - Permission to adopt, before completing the rest of the steps needed to send the dossier to China.


The call came at 2:48 p.m.
Thur. October 14, 2004
Fu Chuan Hong born 11/28/03
currently residing in the Fuzhou SWI
Jiangxi Province

I - 171 H Form In!!!

After one full week of calling Officer Honor in the Atlanta CIS, former BCIS, former INS, (once in the morning and once in the afternoon on a daily basis) we finally got the return call we were waiting for!!!  She called Friday afternoon around 2:00 and stated that even though we were not the next in line to be reviewed, since she went a head and checked our paperwork, we were approved on Thursday, Sept. 25th and the glorious I- 171 H was mailed out then!!  We received the beautiful envelope from her office on Saturday, Sept. 27th and will send off everything to the Secretary of State Monday first thing!!
If the timing holds true, we should have our Authentication completed by Friday, October 3rd and could be ready for the turnaround trip to the Houston Chinese Consulate then!!  We hope to be DTC (Documents to China) by my birthday, October 8th (or that week anyway! - our agency sends in every Friday).   But most likely they will go in on October 17th!!

State Certification Complete!!

The lovely FedEx lady delivered our State Certification package this morning (Friday, Oct. 3rd) at 10:58 am!!  Erin Ellis, FHS Cheerleader Extrodinaire, will be coming by around 12:30 to sit with Ashley while she naps and I make all the copies, etc. and get that envelope ready for a Houston Turn Around!!  We are looking to have everything back by Tues, or Wed, October 14th or 15th to get it to GWCA by Thursday am for China delivery on Friday.  Here's to a few more prayers going up!!!

Houston Consulate Done in Record Time!!

Amazing!! We received our Authentication packet today!! 10/09/03!  What a birthday present!!  Just for those who doubt - The packet was delivered to the Houston Consulate at 9:45 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 6th and sent out complete, Wednesday, Oct. 8th to be received by us on Thursday, Oct. 9th!! We paid no expiditers or courriers!!  I actually think that they would have taken longer according to their published time-line!  Thank you Houston Consulate!!! 
I am planning on making the copies necessary Friday and it will be in the hands of GWCA by 10:00 a.m. Monday morning for review and send off on Friday!  We will make our deadline!!!

Official DTC!!!

It is official!!  We have a registered DTC date of October 22!!!  Thanks to all at Great Wall who helped us get this in so quickly!  We are looking forward to watching the process SPEED along PLEASE!!  and meeting our travel partners!
One prayer concern.  The Georgia High School Association has moved football season up to begin July 19th and first games to start the first weekend in AUGUST!!  For our family's sanity, we really need to be traveling in June!  I do not know what Robby will do if Rhett has to miss any football games.  Keep this in your thoughts as we wish for a stress free travel!!  Thanks,

The Wait....

November 12, 2003
Well, time will tell what will happen.  Ashley and I pray for baby Rhenay everynight when we say her prayers, but I don't think she has any clue as to what a 'baby Rhenay' is.  I have been showing her a clip off the internet about a family that has set their adoption story to music.  The mom used to work as a video producer.  They have the first and second adoptions to different songs and the first daughter is with them as they go to get her sister.   It is so moving and I cry and cry everytime we look at them.  There really just isn't anything concrete out there that I have found to help prepare her.
I have been spending my time focusing on the 'when' we travel to keep my mind off of the other intangibles, but I am giving myself a stomach ache!!  So I guess I will have to just find myself another project to work on. 
I have started the koi pond in the back yard.  I would like to replicate some of the garden that we saw in Kunming.  It was so beautiful and what a neat addition for an international family to add to a Victorian garden! 
I have yet to finish or even begin honest work on the window treatments for the living and dining rooms and Ashley's room still needs touch up paint.  I have also been named the 'official' room mom for Ashley's preschool class.  I really do have enough to keep me occupied, if only our bank accounts will sustain all my ideas!!
Time on the computer is limited to early morning when Ashley feels quiet, so keeping up with the message boards has passed to the way side.  Football is going - that is all I will say on that subject.  At least two more weeks - Friday is our last regular season game and play-offs, which we have made, start the following week.  Then it is win or go home.  I have already begun thinking about where we will stay for 'The Dome' this year - I hope it is not wishful thinking.  We should play North East Macon for the first round, then will have to travel to WACO (read exceptional team and tradition) to make it to round 3 which will be back home.  Then 'THE DOME' - and state championships.

March 11, 2004
Wow, it is amazing the things that have happenned since my last update!  Well, we made it past the first round and did play WACO in the 2nd.  We went home afterwards - No Dome this year!  and Robby (Rhett's brother and the head coach) was fired the following Friday in order to bring back the coach that had left the previous year.
What a short run!  We immediately started applying to other schools and we will be living in Macon when Rhenay get's here - as long as we sell the house!  Rhett got his 'official' you are not needed next year speech last Thursday from Coach Robby Pruitt and was offered a position at Westside Macon the following Tuesday.  Go Seminoles!!
And I thought our greatest worry would be having to travel during season!!  We are facing 3 choices with the adoption, either post pone it 3 months so that we would delay referral and be able to travel with the group we are referred with; or post pone travel 2 - 3 months and go ahead and get our referral with the other October groups, but not be able to travel until Dec. leaving Rhenay in the orphanage or foster care until we could go get her OR just let it go and let GOD handle it, which is probably the safest thing to do!!
We were definately leaning towards postponement of travel, but the more I think about leaving her for another 3 months and the continued attatchment and her expected age by the time we get her, I am waffling.  We have until the end of this month to make our decision.  I do not want to pull the dossier from the matching room if possible.  I have to keep reminding myself about the 3rd option!!
We are currently 4 months from referral with dossiers spending approximately 3 months in each room.  However, the Chinese government did send out a double batch this past month - all of June and July through the 20th.  If they continue this trend, or speed up by one month, such as sending out July 20th through August 20th or all of August, we would then be moved up to travel in August, which might get us in under the deadline for football.
I wonder if there is anything called expidited travel?  I will have to call on that one!
Rhenay - WE LOVE YOU and we are waiting with bated breath to see your beautiful face!!

What a disapointment.  We decided to officially postpone the adoption of Rhenay on March 20, 2004.  It was a heart wrenching decision, but one we felt like we really needed to make and as quickly as the referrals started coming, it was the right one.
We reactivated the adoption on June 23, 2004 - exactly 2 years to the day of receiving Ashley - the timing just seems perfect!!  The only thing that the CCAA asked us to redo was our letters of employment and financial statement.  That completed, we re notarized, authenticated, and officiated everything and at 3:45 pm on Tuesday, August 17th we are officially back on track!!
The 'package' should leave the GW offices this Friday for China and hopefully an October Referral!!
Ashley is now talking about her sister and that we are going to China for Christmas.  I can't wait until we see her picture!  From our original group, Steve and Wai Cho returned from China towards the end of June with their second, and in July, Dennis and Jerri Parker received their referral and expect to travel in October.  Good things come to those who wait - but I am sure ready to end this process!!

Stork Alert!!!
Well, they SAY that it should be today that we get the official word that the referrals have been mailed!!  Surprise of Surprise, we have been placed with a group that includes our friends from Metter, the Daughtry's AND another family from our original adoption group, the Bedford's. 
Ashley turned three on the 22nd of September and I turned 41 this past Friday.  We hope to be able to post the picture of our newest family member by next Friday the 22nd at the LATEST!!  May be THIS Friday, the 15th!
Ashley is officially wearing her BIG GIRL panties and I have cleaned out all of her things from Rhenay's room so that when we get the referral, we can start from scratch rebuilding it for BABY Rhenay.  Ashley is talking more about her role as a big sister and her new sister she is getting for Christmas. 
I have resubmitted the paperwork to have our fingerprints redone by the FBI - ours should expire about 3 weeks before we should travel - Everything looks like it is on go....
Just a few more days......

If you have any questions about international adoption, please feel free to email me!!

Great Wall China Adoption

How Much Longer???
November 5, and still waiting travel approvals.  I am starting to panic a little!  None of the packages sent to Rhenay's orphanage have made it through and it looks like we may have a bad address.  Hopefully we can get a good one and  get our package out soon.  We do want her to know that we are thinking of her and love her and can't wait to get to her!
We bought Ashley (and us) a portable DVD player yesterday for the plane trip.  They have a compatible 8 hour battery that we will get to help us with the long flight!  Starting to panic MORE!  I can't belive we will be leaving in approximately 4 weeks!!  Soon, baby, soon!

Travel Confirmation!!
Well, we have Confirmation!  We will be leaving Tuesday, November 30th for China and will receive our newest family member on Sunday, Dec. 5th!!  YEA!!!!!  and will be home on December 15th!  Buck's Birthday!!  I wonder if he will accept a new cousin in leiu of a present?
Outfits and gifts are pouring in from family and Rhett, Ashley and I are busy piling all our travel stuff into Baby Rhenay's crib so that it won't look so empty!  Not packing too early will be really hard!
We will be traveling to my family reunion for Thanksgiving (boy do we have a lot to be thankful for!!) in Arlington, GA  on Wednesday morning and coming home Friday afternoon after a day at the park.  That will leave us just 3 days to pull our hair out and get as much ready for Christmas as we can!
We will be posting daily from China! so keep checking back begining on 12/2!!