Hi friends!! Alot has been going on this last month! Yes it's been a little over a month already that we have been matched with Myla and we are just so anxious to get on a plane and bring her home! We love starring at her pictures and wondering how she is doing or what she has done that day.
We have been busy filling out all kinds of papers from I-800 immigration papers, to visa applications, article 5 papers and so on. (I'm sure none of you know what those are, but just thought I'd put them on here in case you were curious about adoption and for my records too;) We also consulted a few doctors/specialists about Myla's medical condition. (Not sure if you remember, but in China when adopting a child, it is MUCH faster to adopt a child with "special needs" than it is to adopt a "perfect child". And a special need could be something simple like needing glasses/asthma to the more severe special needs like heart defects/cerebral palsy/downs syndrome.) She has been diagnosed with mild a thalassemia which is a genetic blood disorder. It deals with iron levels, anemia, and low red blood cell counts. If severe, you would need routine blood transfusions medication, and more. In consulting a pediatric hematologist at Riley, after looking over her medical file, they believe that she doesn't "have" thalassemia but is a "carrier" for it. Since it is a genetic disorder, she has it in her DNA, but doesn't suffer from the symptoms. Once we get her home we plan to have some more tests done to determine the degree of her condition, but we are happy to hear that she is a healthy and thriving little girl! Because of the condition we were able to get one of our doctors to write an expedite letter for Myla to try and speed up these last few steps so we can travel a little sooner. That way the doctors can do further testing here rather than in China.
A few weeks ago we overnighted a bunch of papers to the USCIS Immigration to get our approval. And we ran into a little hiccup. They say typical turnaround is about 3 weeks. We may have been counting the days but approaching our 3 week period, we received a letter from them that stated that one of the forms we filled out had expired (as in the document format) and that we needed to fill out a new one. They didn't tell us or our social worker that that change had taken effect. So we quickly filled that paper out with some help and overnighted it back to our officer. In the meantime, we filled out our personal visa applications and sent those to Chicago to the Chinese consulate to get those ready for our passports. Early this week we received our passports in the mail and then today we finally received our I-800 approval letter!! We weren't expecting to get the approval letter until next week. HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO US! So that is now checked off the list and we just have a few things left to do.
Our next steps are to send our papers to China to the US embassy in Guangzhou and get our article 5 approval which takes about 2-3 weeks. Once we have that, we apply for Myla's visa and wait for travel approval which can take about 2-3 weeks. Once we have travel approval we will make our flight arrangements and BOARD A PLANE TO CHINA a few weeks later!!!!! We were hoping to travel sometime in late December. That is still a slight slight possibility, but it is looking more like January possibly February. (with Christmas and the Chinese New Year we may run into another little hiccup), but she will most likely be home before her 3rd birthday in March!!
Thank you so much for all of your sweet wishes and congratulations about our new daughter! We are so excited to get things moving again and bring our sweet girl home. I can't wait to introduce you all to her and for her to see how many people love and care for her! It's because of you that we are making it through these little hiccups! There have been so many of you who have been praying for us from the very beginning, have wrote us notes of encouragement, have helped us fundraise, and have just been there for us through those hard times. We are so GRATEFUL for you and couldn't have done this without you!
Please continue to pray for our adoption, that our paperwork would keep moving, and that things would fall into place in God's perfect timing. You could also pray for her safety and the big transitions ahead for all of us.
Hopefully the next update will be about our travel arrangements to China to pick up and bring home our little girl!!!