Evidently it is spelled, A-P-P-R-O-V-A-L. I feel like a new person. I have slept well for two nights in a row... something that had not been happening and I don't do well with enough sleep. I feel as though I can tackle the bills piling up on my desk, though I'm not looking forward to it. There is a good chance I might actually get to the loads and loads of unfolded laundry in my bedroom. And, I don't have to spend the majority of my day forcing myself to do my regular activities or reminding myself to relax my shoulders. (I tend to carry all my stress in shoulders as I find they get tenser and tenser and rise higher and higher when I am stressed.) I can breath and it feels good.
I would like to publicly thank a few people. First, I would like to thank Sen. Mark Kirk and his extremely responsive and kind office staff for advocating for us and our daughter. I would also like to thank our two agencies, Adoption Link (our home study agency) and CCAI (our placement agency). Both advocated heavily for us and we appreciate that. When push comes to shove, it's really great to have agencies that have your back, and we certainly did. Thank you all.
Now we can get on with the business of bringing our daughter home. I have had many people ask what this means for when we would travel, and sadly, I have to remind everyone that we are still at the very beginning of the paperwork process, even though we had our Pre-Approval since late November. (Go to my explanation of how it all works if you want to see how much farther we have to go. We have moved onto Step 6.) I will file for initial immigration permission this week and when that arrives we will finally be able to complete our dossier and have it submitted to China. I am really hoping that we can have it submitted by mid-June. Once the dossier is logged-in, travel can happen anytime between 4 and 7 months, depending on how long each subsequent step takes. There is still a chance we could travel before Christmas, but it could also very well be January. Because of a variety of factors, we won't travel during December, so if it looks as though that is going to happen, we have the ability to push it back a month. Really the short answer to "When will you travel?" is, I don't know, but it won't be soon. There is still an awful lot of paperwork between now and then.
Sunday was lovely. We had our approval. K. received his Bible in church and was terribly cute. I took the 6 youngest children to see the very funny show that J. and B. are in. It was good to enjoy my family, laugh, and relax. And really, do you need a laugh? You have one more weekend to go see Kung Fu Suburbia: Cul-de-Sacrifice. I may be just a little bit biased, but even so, I think B. was incredibly funny (and handsome and talented) in the show. Really, really funny. Like Tim Conway funny. You should go see him. Because I like to show off my children and have people tell me how great they are. (J. is also really good and the show looked great. I am now hyper-aware of sets and props because of M.'s involvement with them.) It's easy to order tickets online. Go and enjoy yourself.
Now to go back to being a functioning person and dig out my house.