Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Finally~ What We've Been Waiting For


The official LOA!!! --click to enlarge (personal details blotted out)

Dad signing YES!!

Mom's turn... YES!!!!!!!

Boo holding the "Congratulations" folder that our agency sends the LOAs in!

Happy to finally have the LOA and be sending it to AWAA so it can go to China!!

She's better at using chopsticks than her brother, Will!

Celebrating LOA at Pei Wei!

This is the paper that we have been anxiously awaiting for the past pratcically three months. It's so good to know that we finally have it. It's a burden lifted off of my shoulders, that's for sure. The date that it was signed (September 4- Thursday) was a very hard one for me. I remember crying out and begging God to send it to us. I honestly thought it would never come. I had gotten my hopes up far too many times and I was ready to give up. Yet God has a funny way about Him. Just when I was ready to give up and think that I could control it, He nudged me and reminded me that HE is God. That little reminder came yesterday... our LOA. So for all of you guys still waiting... I wish I could say it gets easier with time... but that would be a lie. It gets SO hard and you will find yourself crying out, not understanding why... but it WILL come! Just hang on! He's going to pick the perfect time to remind you that He is FAITHFUL and in CONTROL!

This week has been absolutely crazy. Everything is just CRAZY. I wish you could come over and just see how absolutely insane everything is in our house. The painters finished painting AC's new room, the new guest room, and the family room yesterday. So, we have furniture EVERYWHERE. AnnaClaire's big girl bed arrived today, which means more furniture in the kitchen. We are getting a new stove installed which has been a process and there are people just coming in and out doing everything. Then of course, yesterday we got the LOA call and were on cloud 9 getting NOTHING done (did I mention I had 5 hours of homework and was up until 1 doing it?) Then today, FedEx came with the LOA and Mom and Dad had to rush around to get everything ready and to AWAA by 12 today. (Of course that is a good thing!) It has just been so crazy here in our house. Oh and also- we got AnnaClaire's Half the Sky reports!!! Can't wait to post those pictures. I will later this week! She looks exactly like herself and is so stinkin' cute!!! Speaking of AC, she got a haircut today!! We loved having her hair long and it fitting into adorable pig tails, but when it was down, it was just too straggly. So she is now sporting a cute little bob! We were hoping it would be a little longer of a bob, but it will grow. It is pretty darn cute on her, though!!

I don't think I even mentioned what exactly LOA is... for those family and friends who aren't "in" all the adoption. When you adopt SN, you get three approvals: PA, LOA, and TA. PA (Pre Approval) is the first one which basically says that China has read your LOI (Letter of Intent) and accepts that. LOA (Letter of Approval) is the second and big approval that formally states that the CCAA has reviewed your dossier and approves you to adopt the child you have sent LOI for. It is basically when they say that YES, this child is yours and upon receiving TA, you can come get her! If you are familiar with the NSN proess, LOA is the same referral acceptance that NSN people get upon receiving their referrals. You just mark "yes" or "no" to say if you are accepting the official referral. Obviously, we marked YES, YES, YES!!! TA (Travel Approval) is the last approval stating that you can make a CA (Consulate Appointment) and start planning travel! That's a lot of acronyms... but that explains what exactly just happened!

So anyway, we FINALLY have the LOA IN OUR OWN HANDS!!! What an awesome feeling. Well actually it is now somwhere in route to Virginia, but you know what I mean. I cannot believe we finally got it!! Unfortunately, I was once again at school for all the excitement, but the FedEx truck pulled up around 9:40 and he delivered THE LOA. Mom said it was the same man who delivered AC's referral package in July 2006! He remembered bringing it and asked all about AC. AC even ran out to see him/talk to him! Of course, no one thought to take a picture (I should've stayed home from school!) so we have none from that. I think the whole taking a picture of the "stork" is a little less anti-climatic when you have had the referral for 3 months and you already know you have LOA. Of course, it is still exciting. So, Mom and Dad (obviously) checked "YES WE WANT TO ACCEPT THIS REFERRAL!" and then proceeded to overnight it back to AWAA where it will be sent back to China tomorrow and we will just wait for our TA to be processed!



Holly said...

YEAH FOR LOA!!!!! Oh Emily I am so happy for you guys!! Finally, finally, finally!!! You will have your sweet mei mei before you know it! Now come on TA so you can hop on a plane to China and go get your sweet Kate!!! October will be here in no time!

Lisa said...

Congratulations to you and your family!!!

That is wonderful news. Your LOA came on LilyRose's birthday. We still have a connection somewhere.

I love all the pictures of Kate. She is absolutely adorable. TA will be here before you know it and I can't wait to follow your journey back to China.

Send your mother my regards.


M's 玠玠 said...

I am so excited. What a great post, Emily! I was jumping up and down over here in MD!!!!

Miss Kate is so beautiful and I am just so glad that LOA finally came! :)
I am so excited for you to go to China AGAIN!!!!! That TA better come fast! I cannot wait for October-double blessings Kate's gotcha plus AC & Maura's 3rd Birthday!
Sending love to your family!

Desiree' said...

Congratulations, I knew it would come. Praying you get TA super fast. Love the new blog look!!

Anonymous said...

Emily,(and the rest of the family),
I am so glad ya'll finally got the long awaited LOA. Kate is so adorable and is blessed to have not one but 2 big sisters! (AnnaClaire-you will be such a great big sister with that sweet smile and fun personality!)

AWAA mom

Ohilda said...

WOOOHOOO!!! Congratulations! I am so excited for your family that Kate is finally coming home.