Tuesday, November 2, 2010

We received an update today!!!

New Pictures of my baby girl brought happy tears to my eyes! Look at that SMILE!!! We also had a few questions answered: She is speaking 7 word sentences; can walk, run, jump, go upstairs and downstairs, and her personality is extroverted, active, lively and talkative. We also have updated measurements: Height-34.6 inches & Weight-26.5 lbs. I just Love Love Love her to pieces! I can not wait to get my hands (and kisses) on those cheeks!

Monday, November 1, 2010

We have TA!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finally!.... I am elated to report that we received Travel Approval today!!! I am on cloud nine! Bob and I want all of our wonderful, loving family and friends to know that we have felt your prayers-we are so thankful for each of you-your support has meant so much!
Additionally, we are extraordinarily grateful for this opportunity, our love for one another, and most of all, our amazingly good God!

We don't have our exact departure date yet, but we could leave for China as early as November 18th. We will, no doubt, be in China for Thanksgiving as our stay will last 2 weeks with our itinerary including Bejing, Xining (Bebe's province), Guangzhou, and Hong Kong.

We can hardly wait-I've already packed Bennett's suitcase including an adorable new coat, hat, mittens and boots. I don't think I'll sleep much in the next 17 days-Ha HA!

Blessings and gratitude,
Dori & Bob

Friday, October 15, 2010

Almost there!

Our Article 5 was picked up October 12! We have 2-6 weeks until we find out our TA. I KNOW what a range huh? On the bright side...we are that much closer even though it feels like treading water right now and doing anything I can not to COMPLETELY go out of my mind-LOL!
We have had some very encouraging news on the Taiwan front as well recently so a LOT will be happening this holiday season for the Busbys :-)

With Love, prayer, and gratitude,
~Dori and Bob

Monday, October 4, 2010

Not much of an update but....

It has been 3 weeks since we received our NVC confirmation (a letter stating our approval has been sent to the Consulate) and we mailed Bennett's DS-230 (Visa application). We were suppossed to receive our Article 5 (document the consulate isues stating that all immigration approvals are up to date and we are indeed approved to adopt our child) 2 weeks afterward, but the Chinese consulate (in Chicago) as well as the Consulates in Beijing are closed for holidays until October 7th which is delaying things a bit. We expect to have our TA about 3 weeks after that (the 29th). THEN....departure will be 2-3 weeks after TA. COME ON NOVEMBER!!!!
Meanwhile, we had another successful Yard Sale Fundraiser despite getting rained on this past Saturday; and my awesomely sweet co-workers threw me a "toddler" shower where we received soooo many adorable things-Oh where to put it all??? LOL! AND, Visa applications for Bob and I and his parents are with the courier in Chicago and will soon be processed and on the way back to us!
As always, we are so grateful for the encouragement of friends and family, but we could use a few extra prayers for patience as this last 3 weeks has been particularly stressful "waiting" since everything is now truly out of our hands-it has been difficult to give up control and be told "WAIT" some more. I do not enjoy the minor delays at this stage in the game, but I realize that the whole deal is "In HIS Hands" so godspeed and bless me with patience.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Officially Announcing-Bennett Busby!!!

I apologize that it has been a while since I've updated this blog....most of you know that we have been otherwise occupied (happily) and as always, the start of a new school year for a teacher is quite demanding.
Anyhow, on to the GOOD stuff...In the past several weeks we have reached milestones with our adoption of Bennett! August 11th we recieved our LSC (Letter Seeking Confirmation)which we promptly checked yes and signed and mailed to UCIS along with our I-800 and a "few" other forms. Septemeber 2nd we recieved approval for that I-800 (petition to classify a convention adoptee as an immediate relative)!!! WHOO HOO!!! Which brings us to now and the continued wait with still no difinitive answer to the ever popular question "When do you get her?" However, we do know that we are CLOSE, VERY CLOSE...we should recieve our NVC confirmation letter (stating that our approval has been forwarded to the US consulate in China )any day and then...we mail her Visa application and 2 weeks from then our approval is sent to CCAA who then take 2-3 weeks to work on Travel Approval-TA!!!
The BEST part of all of this is we are able to officially post her photos, and we were able to send her another care package,-this time with a photo book of our family and a letter to her foster family!!! She will learn who we are!! I have cried so many tears of joy over this and pray we will recieve answers to our questions and new photos of our precious baby girl.
God is good! We are continually thankful for the love and support of friends and family and appreciate your patience as we know everyone is anxious for us to be a family- we could not endure this process without your prayers, encouragement, and love.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Forward Motion

Well, we are about to enter the second to last phase of our journey- the referral phase! This leg may contain the longest amount of "waiting" yet and all we can do is pass the time and pray for speedy processing. Our dossier (paperwork) is in China and has most likely been LID (logged in) but our agency will not receive official notice of this batch of LID's until mid July. Time from LID to LSC can range from 30-90 days. Each day I pray it will be the former. As soon as we receive our LSC (letter seeking confirmation) we are able to send another care package- this time containing photos and a translated letter to our daughter and her foster family. I have put together a cute photo book on Shutterfly which I will share when allowed to.
Meanwhile, Bob and I have a few more documents to prepare so that when given the word, they can be swiftly mailed off and accepted. We have been very busy with preparing the house, yard, and pool for our daughter. We also had a VERY successful yard sale recently which will aid our next payment in this process. THANK YOU to everyone who generously donated items for this sale.
While we are both half way through summer school, Bob continues to pursue a job for the fall and we appreciate all the leads, words of encouragement, and prayers in this area. Thus far, God has amazed us in his ability to provide for this adoption and we have so many stories of ways we have witnessed his love through others including strangers that we could/should write a book- ha ha! We are confident that all will work out as intended and are trying to enjoy the ride as it unfolds before us.
We are both learning so much about the process of adoption including many joys and pitfalls and I have included a link that may be of interest to some who desire to understand a bit more themselves. Please check out the page titled Newsletter to access the link.

Blessings and Gratitude,

Bob and Dori

Friday, June 11, 2010

DTC!!!!! & Dragon Boat Festival

Our agency coordinator called today- our dossier is complete and will be sent to China Monday and officially DTC on Thursday!!!! This is a really BIG step and such a relief-praise god! The reason for the delay (packages are usually always sent on Fridays) is the Dragon Boat Festival taking place in China June 14th-16th.
The Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated by boat races in the shape of dragons. Competing teams row their boats forward to a drumbeat racing to reach the finish end first. The boat races during the Dragon Boat Festival are traditional customs to attempt to rescue the patriotic poet Chu Yuan. Chu Yuan drowned on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in 277 B.C. Chinese citizens now throw bamboo leaves filled with cooked rice into the water. Therefore the fish could eat the rice rather than the hero poet. This has turned into the custom of eating tzungtzu and rice dumplings. The celebration is a time for protection from evil and disease for the rest of the year. It is done so by different practices such as hanging healthy herbs on the front door, drinking nutritious concoctions, and displaying portraits of evil's nemesis, Chung Kuei. If one manages to stand an egg on it's end at exactly 12:00 noon, the following year will be a lucky one. and CCAA will be closed for the holiday.
Be sure to check out the video on our new page titled "Why International Adoption?"


We have been busy wrapping up the end of the school year and visiting my family in Arizona. The vacay was a much needed respite and distraction from a great deal of stress. It was wonderful to see my mom and Ron as well as my grandparents- who are looking great!
What made this trip extra special was the fact that just before the last week of school- we recieved our I-800A approval! This means we are officially approved to adopt Bennett by the US government and the process is moving along as this was one of the BIGGEST steps. Our agency sent off our documents to be authenticated at the state level just as we arrived in Tuscon and we are praying for DTC by next week!
Meanwhile, mom and I did a little shopping for Bebe and of course grandma got a few things as did mama and baba. My favorite is this little backpack I ordered with her name on it.
Bob and I are preparing for summer school which begins Monday and lasts 5 weeks-during that time we hope to hold a couple of fundraising events as well as finish painting Bennett's bedroom. We are looking forward to this summer and I am happy to have time to devote to all things adoption including filling out grant applications.
It is all in God's hands and we are truly blessed.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sweet, Sweet, Mail from DHS

DHS- Department of Homeland Security- we have received 2 important notices from them in a little over 2 weeks- the first was to notify us that our paperwork had indeed been received by their office and is in process. The second, even more anticipated, is the fingerprint appointment notice-wouldn't you know it- I have a big cut across the pad of my right index finger-bring on the neosporin and band aids!
We are anxious to get this step completed so that we can get our approval notice(possibly early June)sent to our agency which will then go DTC- dossier to China! Time frames seem to be about 2-4 weeks for LID-Log in Date,after that however, the wait is averaging 60-90 days for LOA-letter of acceptance and then another 60-90 days for TA. We are hoping/praying for Fall, but alas it may be Winter unless things start speeding up, which of course is not up to us.
In the meantime, we have been seeking out cultural events, language courses, and reading memoirs of adoptive families and are greatly enjoying learning about our daughter's heritage so that we may one day share it with her as well as incorporate it into our family.
We offer continuous praise to God for his loving and guiding hand on this journey and count the blessings of you- our family and friends who stand beside us.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

FedEx rides again!

It was another small step, but a step forward nonetheless- we applied to UCIS (immigration petition to adopt an international orphan and to be fingerprinted)this week! The mailer contained our 12 page application, our 17 pg. Home study, 2 Social worker licences, a GWCA HS approval letter, 4 copies of vital records, a cover page, and a cashier's check. I was very compulsive in checking and re-checking the contents and signature pages as the slightest misstep could cause a delay. Now- time to start slathering the hands with lotion and babying them-HA HA! Sorry- no hard labor for about a month-what will become of my yard/plants? We wouldn't want our fingerprints to "not take" as has happened to some on my China mommies user groups.
Even more exciting news...I found a sweet surprise in my e-mail Friday morning- my contact sent me our daughter's measurement updates! This is a fantastic and rare treat! I am thrilled as a sweetie pie co-worker of mine has given me a bunch of adorable toddler girl clothes/shoes and now I know they will fit her! I am eager to send her a little summer care package and see her in the super cute sundress and short outfits!
This past two weeks, has been difficult for me in that knowing the paperwork part on our end is complete and things are truly out of our hands and we must wait for the powers that be to go through their processes. We pray this all goes as quickly and smoothly as possible. I am struggling, yet trying to remember to give it over to God as I know he is watching over our little Bennett and has her in his capable hands. He has led us to her and he will see us through.
Glory to god and blessings to all who share in our journey.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

One more baby step forward...

We are relieved and excited to announce we have passed another (small) milestone! This past Thursday we met with our SW to review the final-16 page-copy of our Home Study report and our Intnl. agency reviewed and approved it the next day! This is exciting because we can now move on to the next step- which is apply to US Immigration! We already have the app. filled out and the fee ready to go- we expect to have notarized copies of our HS in our hot hands early next week and will then put it along with the I-800 application in the mail! Whew!Another step closer in getting our dossier to China and receiving our LID (log in date). We are thrilled!
On another note, as many people have been so generous in buying coffee, attending fundraisers, and donating to our cause, my mom got a surprise in the mail this week containing an anonymous donation to help bring home baby busby!
Bob and I want to thank everyone for your generous spirit and role in helping give a very special little girl a home and a mommy and daddy who have dreamt of her, planned for her, and ache to hold her. We ask for your continued prayers and welcome any questions and of course, parenting words of wisdom.

Blessings to all,

Bob and Dori

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

So...when do you get to go to China?

Well...that is a bit up in the air all because of paperwork, paperwork, paperwork, or rather the processing of said paperwork. Bob and I have pretty much completed our task of paperchasing and now the long WAIT sets in. WHY DOES IT TAKE SO LOOOOONG? is the question we've been getting lately, so here is the best answer I have in the form of a copy/paste e-mail from my agency:

We know you are anxious to bring your child home, and the next few months will seem arduous and long. You should expect to travel 6-9 months from your log-in date. The next steps are as follows:

1. Letter Seeking Confirmation (LSC): This comes after the CCAA reviews and approves your dossier. Once they have approved your dossier, they will send your file to the matching room with child’s file already tagged to your family. The matching room will “officially” pair your child with your family. Once this is done, the LSC is issued. The complete review and approval process takes between 70-100 days.

2. I-800 application: Once we receive the LSC, you will file the I-800. The I-800 application takes approximately 10 days for approval.
3. Once you receive your I-800 approval, you will send a package back to Great Wall with your LSC, copy of your I-800 approval, and your child’s DS-230. We will forward this to our staff in China.

4. NVC confirmation: Once the I-800 is approved, the National Visa Center will send you a letter stating your approval has been sent to the Consulate. We send this letter to the Consulate along with your child’s visa application (DS-230). The timeframe to receive this letter varies.

5. Article 5: This is a document the consulate issues to our courier stating that all of your immigration approvals are up to date and you are approved to adopt your child. This is picked up by our staff and then sent to the CCAA. This takes 2 weeks from the time your child’s visa application (DS-230) is dropped off.

6. Travel Approval: once the CCAA has your signed LSC and the consulate’s Article 5, they will begin working on your Travel Approval. This takes them about 2-3weeks to send to us.

7. Departure will be 2-3 weeks from when we receive your Travel Approval.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Paperchase is lessening!

We have completed all but one document for Mailer 1 to our agency and are 2 1/2 weeks ahead of our deadline! Whoo Hoo! Additionally, we held another successful fundraiser with our 2nd wine tasting event and it was a great time with friends and family! We have much praise for Jackie, Steven and Lisa of the Artisan Caffe' who hosted our event. Of course, we couldn't have pulled off any of this without our dear friends Tom & Liz Crowder-THANK YOU! For those of you who joined us and partook of the "taste" we are humbled by your love and support.
We also had a small celebration in honor of our daughter's 2nd birthday March 29. Bennett Shiyi Busby- Wo ai ni-WE LOVE YOU!!!!
A much anticipated Spring Break provided opportunity for us to begin painting and designing Bennett's bedroom-this has been so much fun! Preparing her special spaces in her home has helped make the WAIT more bearable. Many have asked if we know our TA yet and alas, we are not yet to that late stage of the process. However, we do loosely expect to travel in the fall and feel fairly confident that we will finalize in 2010!
NOW- we send our 1st mailer which will include our completed Homestudy, once it is reviewed and accepted by our Intnl. agency-we will apply to UCIS and then wait for confirmation and invitation to be fingerprinted (again). We will most certainly update everyone again once we have that in the works in the next couple of weeks!

God has been working in wonderful ways in our lives and we want to give him our full and sincere gratitude! GOD IS GOOD!

Dori & Bob

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

We have PA!!!!

After 3 excruciatingly long weeks…We have PA!!!! What does this mean exactly? The PA (Pre-Approval) is the CCAA's (China Center for Adoption Affairs) initial approval and agreement to complete the review of our dossier for our daughter Shiyi. The next step will be our Letter Seeking Confirmation or LSC. Currently we have seen this processed in 30-100 days depending on status of the dossier in process at the CCAA. If you have not submitted your dossier (which we have not yet, as it is still being compiled) the time for LSC will be estimated from the date of registration or LID-Log in Date (we are shooting for April/May). Once our LSC arrives, we should expect TA -to travel in 3-4 months afterward under the I-800A. All that said, there are still quite a bit of unknowns as we can only go as fast as each of the government entities process our documents. We are loosely thinking it will be September/October when we actually go get our daughter in China and we will definitely be there for two weeks. I have spared you the gory details of this paper chase unless you are just truly intrigued, in which case you may wish to visit with us and ask…Where are you in this process?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Update-Finally something to report!

The Trivia night was a great success! We are more than grateful to Emily, Lori, Mark, Lori, Jason, and Andrea for pulling off such a marvelous event on our behalf.
Since that date we have made progress in the ever-changing, roller-coaster world of international adoption. We have had our application approved with our Home Study agency, been assigned a caseworker, and are due to get started next week! Whew! Finally!
We had delayed this part (since June) due the fact that our original country we were pursuing went "on-hold", so we completed another mountain of paperwork to switch countries only to learn they are having "delays"...So...we had much contemplation, "sign" reading and prayer and have decided to move forward with China's Waiting Child program. But...Adoption Ark does not have a China (WC) program so we had to seek out one that does. They were very kind in giving me a contact who had adopted with them previously, but was now going to China for her second. We had wanted China all along but did not meet their marriage length requirement but I persisted until I got the answer we wanted-2 agencies were very willing to offer a waiver for the WC program and we jumped.
This led to much more excitement and a whole new obsession-scouring profiles of waiting children that had now become available via yahoo user groups, personal referrals, and agency lists. We had our hearts tugged and subsequently wrung out several times. Just as we would take time discussing (isn't that the smart thing to do after all?) and finally agree to "go for it!" we would find they had been matched. WONDERFUL of course for the sweet children, heart wrenching disappointment for us. You see, with this "waiver" comes the stipulation that we consider children on shared lists which means ANY agency's clients may also be viewing the same profile.
The very night of the trivia- we had extra anticipation as we had actually obtained the file of a darling 17 month old boy and were having it reviewed by an amazing doc specializing in adoptive medicine at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital and were most hopeful.
However, the file was 8 months old and that is a LOT for a baby with a heart condition. We have yet to hear back about the inquiry we made to the orphanage regarding the updated info. Both doc and agency say unfortunately this is typical.

Soldiering on, we have at least finally (again) decided upon an international agency- Great Wall China (in Austin,TX of all places :-) and are very pleased thus far with the communication and services they offer. We have had our screening and waiting child application approved and on file with them and just this weekend signed the formal application and sent in that fee. In (hopefully) about a week we will get approval and be given a contract, for which the awesome trivia night funds will go to.
Each day is wrought with joy and despair (well, at least frustration) in this process as it is not static,and my inability to have total control over this aspect of my life that I desire so deeply is emotional to say the least.
Faith, Hope, and Love is what we ask and so many have delivered. I pray for patience and the ability to truly "give it over". Such Baby steps from us now will hopefully yield the real thing for us in 2010.