Our Long Journey to Yuna
Viewer's Comments about
Our Long Journey
January 16, 2010 Where does time go?
a blink of the eye the holidays are over and
a new year is upon us! The last two months of
2009 were very busy - just like for everyone
else in the entire universe, but for us, it
was also a time for lots of fun! For Thanksgiving
break, we headed to sunny South Florida where
Yuna had a wonderful time at Grandma Linda's
house. The weather was purrrrr-fect and we so
much enjoyed being with family, going to the
beach, and seeing friends. We also had a blast
visiting the Palm Beach Zoo (I love that zoo!),
CityPlace to see snow in 80 degree weather,
fishing off of Lake Worth pier and exploring
the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge where
we saw big (creepy) alligators! Yuna also had
her first haircut by Gina - our own personal
favorite and professional world famous hair
As for Thanksgiving Day...well, it was pretty
awesome! Other than an 'as usual scrumptious
dinner' specially prepared by Chef Leeen-da...
it was just last Thanksgiving we received a
referral for a Chinese orphan and for the first
time we saw Yuna's picture - so a very memorable
day indeed....Fast forward a year and Yuna is
now a special part of the Bergstrom Bunch and
celebrating her very first Thanksgiving with
her 'forever family' - that's us! She has since
added turkey and Banana Dream cake ( Too-Jays)
to her list of favorite foods!
put - Christmas rocked! On Christmas morning,
Yuna was so amazed and very excited opening
up her presents! We never even left the house
at all ... and.... no complaints from the girls
since they had endless hours playing with all
of their new toys. Yuna's day was great and
Kat kept saying, "This is the best Christmas
ever!" A very happy and relaxing day for
Moving along to New Year's Eve at Aunt Caryl's
house - which is always a great time....Yuna
had so much fun with her cousins Kayla &
Jake and also with all of Aunt Caryl & Uncle
Jerry's wonderful friends who came to visit
and help ring in the New Year! Unfortunately,
Yuna was in bed way before the clock struck
midnight, but trust me as we all know, she'll
have plenty of exciting New Year's Eve celebrations
in her future!
Yuna's next big adventure is a trip to Omaha
at the end of the month where she will meet
Grandma Lee, Grandpa Ron, Uncle Steve and Uncle
Ron for the first time! Stay tuned! Comments...
National Wildlife Refuge
Mick, Kat & Yuna
National Wildlife Refuge - I have no doubt
this was the
first alligator Yuna has ever seen! As
for me, I hope it's my last!
Park Beach. Yuna is thinking..."Life
BTW -Beautiful bathing suit courtesy of
the Murray Family!
Worth Pier - Yuna & Kat fishing for
the first time!
(Sorry Mick to cut off your head, but
I know how busy you were fishing for guppies!)
1: Loving CityPlace
West Palm Beach
Pic 2: First haircut with Gina - our favorite
professional hair stylist!
Yuna's First Turkey Day!
w/ Grandma Linda & Kat at the Palm
Yuna w/ cousin Nicole, Aunt Noreen, Kat,
Aunt Debbie & Mommy
w/ Uncle Jerry at Chilango's in the 'boro
Yuna w/ Aunt Caryl, Kat & Guido
November 17 On A Roll...
Per request - we have some Halloween photos
to share! Oh and you might wonder how Yuna enjoyed
Halloween? Well, let's just put it this way....You
knock on someone's door - say "Trick or
Treat" and you get a handful of candy thrown
into your bag, and you've got about 30 more
houses to go! Yep, she liked it pretty much
invade our house! Nothing like
hand-me-downs - Here's Kat in the same
costume two years ago!
Yuna's First Halloween!
Rapunzel by Night... We keep Yuna busy!
November 16 Getting Ready for Grandma's House
Yuna is getting ready for Thanksgiving at
Grandma Linda's house and from the looks of
the dresses she has been picking out - she's
planning on tropical weather! Let's just hope
there aren't any cold fronts in store for South
As I was taking these pictures of Yuna, it dawned
on me that this was a child who didn't even
know how to smile several months ago and geesh,
look at her now! Yuna can be such a goofball
and ham in front of the camera - she's a natural!
By the way, that's MY black purse she was quick
to call her own. Updates to follow.... Comments...
is ready for her "first" Thanksgiving
holiday at Grandma's house
Spring or fall clothes? Does it matter
when you're in So. Florida? Thankfully
is so happy and loves to have her picture
taken - can't you tell?
November 6 No Time Like the Present
Let me start off by saying that I have been
meaning to update this page for months, but
something always gets in the way and it continuously
gets put off. So I have decided to add just
a few notes and photos every few days or each
week - since something is better than nothing,
and there's no time like the present.
Since the beginning of summer, Yuna has had
many firsts - first summer here in Atlanta,
first vacation, first time at the beach, first
time in a pool, first princess party, first
4th of July, first time at the dentist, first
day at preschool, first birthday (with us),
first state fair, first pumpkin patch and first
That's the fun part.....Yuna has also had many
doctors appointments, but has been a real trooper
through them all. For those of you who may not
know, she has microtia / atresia and she was
also recently diagnosed with Goldenhar Syndrome.
Microtia means 'abnormal smallness of the external
ear' and atresia means her ear canal is closed.
Goldenhar Syndrome is a congenital birth defect
that usually is connected with atresia / microtia.
Basically it means that the side of her face
with the atresia / microtia is smaller - specifically
the jawbone and cheekbone. We already knew this
syndrome was a possibility and suspected it
by taking a real close look at her referral
pictures. There can be other medical issues
associated with her diagnoses, but we're thrilled
to say after many tests (heart, kidneys, spine,
eyes) Yuna is in great health!
Yuna will probably have her outer ear reconstructed
in a few years, but a cat scan of her 'lucky
ear' indicates she will more than likely NOT
be a candidate to have her canal opened. The
reason for this is because her middle ear is
so compacted that surgery would be too risky
since a facial nerve is in the same area and
one nip and her side of her face could be paralyzed.
The great news is that she has a normal inner
ear and while she does not have an eardrum -
her hearing is normal - yep - even though her
canal is closed, she can hear - and very well!
Also, her hearing in her unaffected ear is also
Yuna's language is amazing and she is speaking
in full sentences. She loves to sing her ABCs
and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"
among many others -and- she's crazy about storytime.
A true bookworm! Our next step is speech therapy
which was just recommended by her pediatrician
this week. So even though her language skills
are very good, she still has lots of catching
up to do. Overall Yuna has adjusted very well,
she's happy and flourishing! Updates to follow....
2009 & Yuna's 1st Dentist Appt (BTW
- No Cavities!!!)
June - Yuna Makes It Into the Love Without
photo in Love Without Boundaries' newsletter
welcoming her home!
June 1st The Girls Are Off To Summer Camp!
June 1st is finally here! Yuna has been so
ready to start camp that she just could not
stop smiling this morning! There were some tears
when I left, but after I dropped off Kadavy
with her group, I peeked in Yuna's classroom
and there she is...smiling and having a snack
- yep - she will be just fine! Her summer camp
is just a half a day program held three days
a week - same place where Kadavy attends preschool.
& Yuna - First Day of Summer Camp
- June 1, 2009
& Yuna Ready for Camp!
April 28 More Pictures!
I just got a message from my good friend Kelli
- and she made it quite clear everyone
wants to see NEW PICTURES. Now, I definitely
never want to be on Kelli's
bad side (she's been known to buy me a Cosmo
or few and I certainly don't want to mess that
up) So - check out all the new photos posted
below! BTW - All pix are courtesy of our family
photographer - Kayla! Oh and one more note,
if you have tried to add a comment, but weren't
able to do so, click here.
At Aunt Caryl & Uncle Jerry's House
- Loving That Trampoline!
We were up in Tennessee this past weekend for
our niece's Confirmation and this was Yuna's
FIRST road trip! We won't even sugarcoat it,
she didn't do too well for the 3 1/2 hour trip
- BUT - she did GREAT the whole weekend with
her cousins and their friends. Yuna had so,
so much fun - and so did we! Caryl & Jerry
have a trampoline and the kids had a blast on
it. Yuna loves jumping on the bed, so you can
imagine how she much liked the trampoline!
& Yuna at Aunt Caryl & Uncle Jerry's
Kadavy is still going through a lot of adjustments
having a little sister. At times it's great,
and other times, well not so much. Here are
some really wonderful photos of our girls on
one of those 'great days'. Kayla really can
capture the moment! These pictures were taken
after Kayla's Confirmation at Caryl's house.
BTW - no - Kadavy did not wear the Tinkerbell
outfit to the Confirmation!
Fun! Kadavy Is Really Goofing Off in Pic
Great To Be A Kid!
Cute Is This?!
Other April Updates...
Yuna had her first doctor's appointment and
other than her screaming bloody murder when
they took 4 vials of blood, did a TB skin test
and gave her 4 vaccinations, she did really
well. All test results came back 'normal and
the pediatrician thought she looked great -
YEA! Yuna still has to get an ultrasound of
her kidneys and she also needs to see an ENT
about her ear.
April 6 Home Is Where the Heart Is....
We love being home! When Kadavy first met Yuna
- she was in heaven to have a little sister,
although by the second day, she wasn't quite
so thrilled....so, yes, we are going through
a lot of adjustments right now. However, Yuna
continues to just do better with each passing
day. She frequently imitates us and she's repeating
a lot of English words. She loves to dance and
sing - oh and eat and sleep - although she does
put up a fight when it's time for shut eye,
but once she's out, she's out.
We're all slowly recovering from jet lag - which
was just terrible. Speaking of which, we're
happy to report our long flight was great -
yes, I truly mean it - great. We were so worried
about the direct flight from Shanghai to Atlanta
- 14 1/2 hours with a two year old.....we
just met! Yuna and mommy got the best deal -
we both slept a good part of the way ..... but...
she slept on Mick's lap oh for about TEN hours,
so he was pretty much stuck in the in one position
for a long, long time - poor guy. But don't
worry because trust me, Mick certainly managed
to get to his 'adult beverages' with no problems
Going through Immigration was slooooooow. We
sat in a room full of people waiting for at
least an hour. Then, another immigration officer
walked in and announced she would process the
kids' paperwork first - music to our ears! I
wish I got her name so I could have written
her a letter of thanks, because she was all
about moving us through which she did in a matter
of minutes. She must have been a mother!
Here are some new photos....
Families - The 'Red Couch' at the White
Where Was Mick?!
'Red Couch' at the White Swan Hotel
April 1 There's No Place Like Home, There's
No Place Like Home...
We are getting ready for our 24 hour journey
back to the USA! As soon as Yuna passes through
Immigration she is an American citizen!!!! They
say that as soon as we hit American soil, she's
a citizen, but I hear she actually she has to
clear Immigration first - regardless, let's
just hope we can sail on through! . We have
the "Brown Envelope" we received from
the US Consulate yesterday - "YOU MUST
NOT OPEN IT" they told us and hand it over
to Immigration. If you open it, they'll send
us back to China! ; )
Stay tuned because we will be adding much more
pictures very soon and lots more about "Our
Long Journey to Yuna"!
March 30 More Photos!
Let's get one thing straight right now - Yuna
does have more than just this pink sweater!
I still have not had the time to shop for new
camera since my zonked out last week, so most
of these photos are from the same day. These
new pix are from the family we met from New
York. Their son, Joe (all the girls are in love
with him - including Yuna) was nice enough to
take these shots of Yuna with his sister Lily
Rose. Lily is almost 4 and was adopted from
China 2 years ago - she's as sweet as can be
and so adorable. At first Yuna shied away from
Lily, but now she just loves being around her!
& Lily Rose
of Lily Rose & Yuna...Good Times!
March 29 Yuna Smiling!
We finally have photos on our blog of Yuna
smiling! These pictures were taken at the Blue
Bird Cafe in Kunming where we ate three times
in five days. It was across the street from
the hotel, it had an awesome upstairs deck,
weather was beautiful, food was good - - so
we couldn't resist. We were with another family
who just adopted a boy -"The New Yorker
Italians"- they're such a blast and certainly
have made this trip so much better! They now
have three beautiful children. We know we need
to get their family picture on this blog since
they are certainly a big part of our journey.
Smiling & Having Fun at the Blue Bird
Cafe in Kunming, China
We're in Guangzhou now ( pronounced - Gwan-jo).
Yuna's first flight was pretty good - she wasn't
crazy about being strapped in, but what 2 year
old is? The White Swan Hotel is nice - there
are tons families who just adopted and we're
all here to complete the US part of the immigration
paperwork. This is our last stop before we head
home (YEA!) The city is quiet and very pretty
- quite different than in Kunming where it was
just complete chaos. Today we're supposed to
tour with our guide and with two other families
from our agency, but the weather is horrible.
Hopefully it will clear up soon.
March 27 Your Comments
We wanted to take a few minutes to let everyone
know how much we appreciate their kind words
in our comments' section! It has been great
reading them, it's wonderful support and we're
thrilled you're all a part of our journey. We're
going to print them and keep for Yuna so when
she's older she can see how much everyone was
so excited for her and her new life! Although
we have not answered each comment individually,
know we are so excited to get them and we read
them over and over again! We hope they keep
coming because quite simply, we love hearing
from all of you!
Crazy for Kat!
Have we mentioned how much we are missing Kadavy?
believe we have not seen her in over a week now
and it's just killing us! Kadavy has been in the
best hands, so no worries there. Aunt Judy took
great care of her for several days and now she's
with Aunt Caryl, Uncle Jerry, Kayla and Jake --
and-- she just spent the week AT THE BEACH! Lucky
girl! We can see she's having the time of her
life from looking at the pictures and it does
comfort us to know she's doing so well while we're
The photo is Kadavy pointing to Yuna on the computer
which was taken by Aunt Caryl at the beach with
these comments - "Kadavy is slowly warming
to the idea of sharing her mom and dad with Yuna!"
Hmmm...adjustments for all definitely in store
upon our return!
with Aunt Judy, Aunt Caryl & Kayla
March 26 Yuna
Yuna is continuing to do well, but we think
she might have had a slight setback last night.
Right before it was time for her to go to sleep,
she wanted to go outside. She stood by the door
- just stood there and wouldn't budge. She kept
pointing to the door and talking in Chinese.
Mick finally took her and held her in his arms
- while she whimpered and shed a few tears -
but she did finally drift off to sleep. We wondered
if perhaps she was thinking, "OK, so we've
had a couple of days together and it's been
fun, but now I want to go home." I guess
we'll never know, but we'll continue to shower
her with our love and help her as best we can
through her difficult transition. Even though
she's running around laughing, playing, talking
and singing, we can't fool ourselves to think
that there aren't going to be any more hurdles
down the road. What's really important is that
we are making progress and we know in the long
run that our strong-willed little Yuna will
be just fine!
On a side note - my camera broke!! Can you even
believe it? Just stopped working. So while we
have our video camera which does take photos,
we don't have the right attachment to hook it
up to the laptop. We met some really great people
here and one family's son took photos of Yuna
with his sister and new brother which we hope
to get soon so we can post.
March 24 A Trip to Wal-Mart in Kunming
Yes, there is a Wal-Mart here - actually there
are NINE! We decided to walk over since the
one closest to us is just a few blocks away.
It was a bit crazy getting there - a chaotic
short journey might describe it best. We picked
up a few things which were dirt cheap (yea!)
and that's about it. Nothing too exciting today.
We ate a restaurant across the street from us
- Blue Bird Cafe which was really good - thankfully.
Yuna shared noodle soup with us which was burning
hot with chili peppers and she loved every bit.
There were actually bits of red hot chili peppers
on her lips which we kept wiping off, but it
never bothered her. So, when the director told
us that Yuna likes hot peppers, she was not
Yuna has had an exceptional day. We spent a
lot of time at the restaurant play area after
breakfast this morning and just had a blast
- she is really having fun! She's laughing,
singing and just talking up a storm. It's so
cute watching her walking around chattering
in Chinese - she is always so busy. We can tell
she trusts us and she is definitely bonding
- all good news! Check out our new pix of Yuna!
March 23 Yuna is Here!
Ok, so here goes...first there was a mix up with
our flights in Beijing. Not sure what happened,
but it appears we were given wrong flight information.
So, not really knowing what's going on because
of the language barrier, anxiety sets in. It was
all very frustrating, but to make a long story
short, we were on a different airline and had
a different departure time - which put us into
Kunming an hour and a half later than originally
scheduled. Our guide, Jerry was waiting for us
at the airport and brought us right to the hotel.
We got here about 5pm and he said they were going
to bring Yuna to our room about 5:30pm! However,
Yuna and the people from the orphanage were waiting
in the lobby and while we didn't see them when
we arrived, Jerry said, "Your daughter is
over there." Ok, so how do you ignore that?!
We asked if it was OK to go over and he said sure.
Yuna was sitting on the lap of one of the caretakers.
She was not happy - I could tell she figured something
was going on, and she was very uneasy. All of
a sudden it seemed like there were people all
around us and Mick was signing papers - yes right
there in the lobby of the hotel! They wanted to
hand Yuna over to me right there (!!!), but I
asked them to bring her to our room.
Yuna for the First Time!
Mrs. Hu brought her to our room - didn't stay
very long and before you knew it, Yuna was screaming
and crying at the door. I knew this day would
be very hard, but this is something far worse
than I could have ever imagined. Far worse. The
next few hours - a blur. I was very upset because
Yuna was so terribly distraught. Luckily Mick
kept it all together. Yuna eventually fell asleep
around I think just before 11pm. She slept the
whole night and I had to wake her at 8:15am. There
is a couple who are also adopting from the same
orphanage and staying just a couple of doors down
from us. I went over to see how they were doing
and they told us their daughter screamed for two
hours straight. It was great to get support from
them - which we really needed - and just to know
they were also going through the exact same experience.
When Yuna woke up the next morning, she started
to cry again. It was like when she opened her
eyes and realized that this wasn't just a bad
dream, it was really happening - it made her very
upset all over again. She took one look at me
and quickly looked away. She did calm down and
we walked down to breakfast - she held my hand
the whole way. Still not sure what was happening
to her - but she didn't have a problem eating.
She gobbled up watermelon, had no interest in
pancakes, ate some noodles and drank orange juice.
It was all good.
We went to the office for the orphanage later
that morning and finished the rest of our paperwork.
Came back to the hotel and Yuna napped. After
she woke up, I read Hush Little Baby
to her and while she wouldn't look at me, after
I finished reading, I asked her if she wanted
to look at the book, she quickly took it from
me, rolled over to her side and just kept looking
at it. She started to play with the toys I brought
her and was really enjoying them. After awhile,
we walked to the park near the hotel (which is
gorgeous) and then came back to the hotel and
then to dinner. We ate with Michelle & Mike
(they're the couple who also just adopted Hannah).
Yuna did well and was starting to open up even
more. After we ate, we brought Yuna and Hannah
to the playground right there in the restaurant
- how convenient, I know! For the first time,
when Yuna went down the slide - she laughed! She
was giggling and loving every minute of it! Definitely
having a ball!
When we got back the room, I washed her and she
was very good. When it came time for bed, I put
her down in her crib and she started to whimper
and reached her arms out to me, so I picked her
up and held her in my arms until she quickly fell
So that's it for now. We seem to moving in the
right direction - and it has only been ONE day!
She is definitely more attached to Mick, that's
for sure and every minute she seems to open up
a just bit more.
March 22, 2009 On Our Way to Miss Yuna Elizabeth!
Yes, "The Day" is finally HERE! It's
8:39am, our bags are packed and we're about
to check out and head to the airport. Our flight
is at noon and we arrive into Kunming at 3:15pm.
We're staying at the Green Park Hotel - and
sometime after our arrival, we will finally
get our daughter! Stay tuned...Our trip is about
to get a whole lot more interesting. Hope she
March 21, 2009 The Forbidden City, Tiananmen
Square & Hutong
It was a full day of touring in Beijing! First
we went to the Forbidden City which was really
incredible. Wow, emperors sure did have it made
back then huh? With how many concubines - a
thousand? More? "It's good to be king!"
Then we went to Tiananmen Square, known mostly
for the 1989 student uprising and where the
student was run over by a military tank. And,
then we went took a rickshaw ride through Hutong
- one of the older parts of Beijing - which
they are renovating. Homes are literally falling
apart. We sure do have it made in the US - no
matter how small you might think your house
is, trust me, we are living like kings and queens!
& Joanne at the Forbidden City &
March 20, 2009 The Great Wall
OK, so I actually cheated - I took one look
at that "Wall" going straight up and
all the extremely steep steps and thought, "Well,
I'm at least standing on it, isn't this enough,
does this count?" The Great Wall is an
awesome site. You've heard about it all your
life and then you're standing on it, pretty
We have a wonderful guide (Belinda) and we're
also with another family from our agency here
in Beijing - definitely having a great time!
Belinda took us by the Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium
and the unique "Water Cube" aquatic
center. Very neat!
& Joanne at the Great Wall and the
Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium
March 19, 2009 We Are In Beijing!
We have arrived in Beijing! The entire trip
went very well! Resting up at the hotel and
about to venture out to a local food market.
All Mick wants is a beer! LOL, no surprise there
: ) Tomorrow we tour the Great Wall of China
and on Saturday we go to the Forbidden City.
to eat our first night in Beijing?
Perhaps something OFF the menu? Maybe
& Scorpions - on a stick.... Such
March 2009 One Day Until Departure!
We leave tomorrow morning, March 18th - The
24 hour countdown has begun! On Sunday, March
22nd, we will be flying from Beijing across
the country to Kunming and that afternoon, we
finally get our Yuna!
All Dates Confirmed...YEA!!
Our consulate date is confirmed and
our flights are booked for March 18 - April
1! We will fly into Beijing and take a three
day tour. Then we fly all the way across the
country to Kunming which is the capital of Yunnan
Province -AND- where we meet our daughter! Not
sure on that date yet, but think it will be
on March 22 or 23. Kunming is where we complete
our China adoption paperwork. At the end of
the week, we fly to Guangzhou which is where
the American Consulate is located and complete
our US immigration paperwork for Yuna. On March
31 or April 1, we fly to Shanghai and then fly
direct to Atlanta.
2009 Getting Closer!
We received our TA and our agency
put in a request for a consulate date of March
30. We should know in the next couple of days
if this date can be confirmed. If so, our travel
dates to get Yuna will be March 18 - April 1.
We are so excited and can't wait to get Yuna...our
We sent a care package to our Yuna
and in it we packed a small photo album with
lots of family pictures, a teddy bear Kadavy
picked out, coloring books, crayons and two
disposable cameras. We used an agency to translate
our letter to the orphanage director and foster
care family. We heard from others who have adopted
that the photos can really help your child with
the transition. We hope that when Yuna sees
us for the first time she will recognize us
from these pictures.
January 2009 Still Moving Right Along...
We received our LOC, signed it, sent
it back and now we wait for our Travel Approval
(TA) from China!
November 2008 Thanksgiving Day...
We received a referral for another
child, actually right before Thanksgiving, but
it didn't work out. However...on Thanksgiving
Day, our agency asked us to look at another
referral. We quickly went over her records and
planned on sending them in for a medical review
as soon as the holiday weekend was over. This
little girl is just a bit over 2 years old and
she is so cute! Our hearts melted. "Yuna"
is a Special Needs child and we having a great
feeling she will be a perfect fit to our family.
We immediately wrote our Letter of Intent and
sent it to our agency. Now we wait for our Letter
of Confirmation (LOC)...
August 2008 Special Needs - Our New Direction...
OK, yes, I know it's been a LONG
time. The wait is much longer than expected,
much longer. Maybe another 2 to 3 year wait.
Ouch, not good news... Our agency talked to
us regarding the Special Needs program. We told
them we would certainly consider a minor, correctable
special need (we were OK with this from the
very start anyway) and it didn't take too long
before we were referred a child. To make a long
story short, after careful review of the records
by a doctor who specializes in these types of
international records, we decided not to accept
the referral based on medical reasons. We continue
2007 Nearing the End of the "Chase"...
We received our approval for the I-171H on
January 11th! Kadavy and I were talking to a
neighbor when the postman passed by, recognized
us and gave us our mail. There it was! I remember
telling our neighbor, I'm sorry, but we have
been waiting for 79 days now (not that anyone
is counting!) for this piece of mail - so we
gotta go! Then off to get a certified true copy,
money order at Publix, Great Seal from the Georgia
Secretary of State then off to Fed / Ex so it
will be delivered the next morning at the Chinese
Consulate in Houston. They call it the 'Paperchase'
- I think "Paper Race" is more like
it. All with Kadavy in tow while it's freezing
outside! Yes, I'm exhausted!
By the morning of Thursday, January 18th -
we received our authenticated I-171H from the
Houston Chinese Consulate - Our LAST document
needed to complete our dossier! After reviewing
the docs, my heart sank. There it was.....an
error! The GA SOS document was signed by Karen
Handel (she's new) and the Chinese authentication
states Cathy Cox - the previous SOS! Geesh,
can this really be happening? Our agency told
us to submit it anyway - which we did. In the
meantime, get another copy, notify the Houston
Consulate and keep that one on-hand in the event
there's a problem. So Kadavy and I made our
trip up to our agency in Lawrenceville to drop
off our 'at long last, finally COMPLETED dossier'
- Ready for China! It was a cold, rainy morning,
but nothing would stop us - remember, it's a
"Paper Race"! They shipped out our
dossier to their partner agency in Tacoma, WA
that afternoon. Yes!
On January 29th, I sent out this email to family
and friends: "Our dossier was overnighted
to China this past Friday - January 26! Once
we get our log-in date - the 'official' clock
starts ticking. Unfortunately, we won't know
what our log-in date is for another month or
so. The long wait begins! Tick tock, tick tock!"
On March 15, 2007 we received an email from
our agency titled: "Log In Date" and
this is what the email said - "Congratulations!
We have your official Log In Date: 2/11/2007;
2006 Plugging Along with our Paperwork...
Once we got about half of the paperwork completed,
we were assigned a social worker. The China
Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA) requires 4
in-person interviews and naturally, we wanted
to get them scheduled as quickly as possible.
(Editor's Note: See
New Requirements for China Adoption) We
knew our adoption journey would be a long one
and we didn't want to waste any time. Unfortunately,
our first social worker didn't work out. She
kept rearranging our appointments and we felt
as though we hit a brick wall, so we requested
another social worker who came highly recommended.
This was a great move as the new social worker
lined up all of our interviews in about 2 weeks!
Our first meeting was in her office and it
went very well. There really wasn't anything
we needed to prepare for - she just asked questions
about - us. She wanted to know how we met, what
we initially thought of each other, our lives,
our family, our work, etc. It was a very comfortable,
The home study requires the social worker to
inspect our home. It's not as intimidating as
it sounds (they don't go through your drawers
or do a white glove test!) they just need to
know have a decent home that's safe and tidy.
We were thrilled (at least I was) when she mentioned
in our official home study that our housekeeping
standards were excellent!
By the time we completed all our interviews,
our adoption course and forms, it was September!
Our home study was not officially completed
until October 23, 2006 and it went straight
to Atlanta INS, which as mentioned above was
necessary to complete our request to adopt an
Meanwhile, I was non-stop busy and lost in
the whirlwind of the 'paperchase'. The paperchase
is the long, tedious and nerve-wracking process
of collecting official documents for your dossier.
Your completed dossier is all of your authenticated
documents that goes to China. It also includes
photos of us and our home.
June 2006 The Beginning...
Here we are at the very beginning of our China
adoption journey - finally! We have both thought
about adopting a child, and a couple of years
after our daughter Kadavy (kad-uh-vee) was born,
we took the first step and contacted a home
study agency to get the ball rolling!
The home study is basically to make sure you're
in good health, you can provide a good home,
you have a clean record and that you're financially
stable. It's also required to be sent to US
Immigration and Naturalization (INS) in order
to complete your I-600A form titled "Petition
to Classify an Orphan as an Immediate Relative".
This form is your request to immigration to
adopt a child from another country. Even though
you are at the very beginning stages of paperwork,
this is something that must be completed before
your dossier is sent to the country where you
plan to adopt.
Our I-600A form took exactly 79 days for Atlanta
Immigration to process. The office is about
2 miles from our house and it was frustrating
to know that it was sitting in an office 'down
the street' from us, just waiting to be reviewed
OK - back to the home study.....Before we were
even assigned a social worker, we had to complete
a mountain of paperwork! Already! The longest
and most involved form was the autobiographical
form -which consisted of 10 pages of questions!
We both had to get physicals, background checks
from our local police department, and we both
had to complete the on-line course With Eyes
Wide Open: A Preparation Guide to International
(We at Adopt.com will be showcasing real stories
that highlight the process of adoption. The
Story of Mick and Joanne is ongoing and we will
provide updates and information as they progress
on their family adventure.)
Comments - Problems?
If you're trying to add comments, but keep
getting an error message stating the Image Verification
code is incorrect, trying clearing out your
cookies. If that doesn't work, then clear our
your "Temporary Internet Files" and
"History" if necessary. If you're
not familiar with how to do this - go to Tools
which is found in your toolbar and then click
on Internet Options. Still
having problems? Please let us know - send an
email to: Adopt.com