3 years, 3 months, and just 3 more days

I think the title just about says it all for today!  But I’ve been somewhat obsessed with timelines during our waiting period, so now that we’re at this point I actually have a completed timeline (and itinerary for the last few days left) of my own to share and look back on.

August 21, 2008
Retired from Olympic competition and ready to start a family!

Summer 2009
We were not sure if we could have biological kiddos.  Adoption had always been discussed as something we wanted to pursue in addition to having biological kids.  Had very honest conversations about adopting first.

September 7, 2009
On our 7th wedding anniversary we celebrated by signing the agency agreement with Great Wall China Adoption and were officially pursuing Zoe!

March 2010
Dossier completed (dossier- a very fancy french word meaning everything you or anyone remotely related to you has ever even thought of doing all put down in one giant stack of paper).

March 19, 2010
Our Log In Date (LID).  This is when your dossier is officially logged in at the China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption.  This also marks the date when they say your waiting officially begins.  Waiting is described as the time from your LID to your referral (referral- matched with child).  When we logged in, the waiting period was about 3 years.

September 2010
As we the waiting period was slowing down, we were told we could consider adopting concurrently- another child at the same time from a different country.  We were seriously considering this but Eriek was unemployed and I was busy trying to get all kinds of different jobs to get us by.  Then we had a wonderful surprise- we were pregnant!

May 11, 2011
Arella Joy was born and our lives were forever changed!

November 12, 2011
Zoe Xiu was born, and we had no idea on that day how she would also change our lives forever!

Winter 2011/2012
Began discussing how the wait had slowed from 3 years to almost 6.  We really wanted our kids to be closer in age.  So we started having some honest conversations about switching to the special needs program called Waiting Child.

March 2012
After much prayer and consideration, we jumped into the Waiting Child program.

July 2012
Finished updates and ammendments to the homestudy, and decided to wait until August for our first opportunity at getting matched with our child because we were in London at the end of July.  It only happens on the last Monday night of each month.

August 27, 2012
Our fist opportunity to get matched came and went with no phone call.August 30, 2012
Surprise!!  We got THE call!  Apparently Zoe’s file was released after a 72 hour lock period and our agency swooped her up for us!  We opened our email and this is what we saw…

August 31, 2012
We submitted our Letter of Intent and other paper work saying we desperately wanted this little girl

September 6, 2012
We received our Pre-Approval.

September 13, 2012
We received our Letter Seeking Confirmation (LSC).

October 1, 2012
We received our I-800A approval letter.

October 9, 2012
Our LSC and DS230 packet was delivered to the Consulate in Guangzhou.

October 25, 2012
Received an update on Zoe including this adorable picture…

October 26, 2012
Our Article 5 was delivered to Beijing.

November 8, 2012
We received our Travel Approval.

November 13, 2012
We received our confirmation of Consulate and travel dates.

And now you are all caught up on our journey to Zoe!  Here is a quick glimpse at our upcoming itinerary…

November 30, 2012
Leave Houston, Texas, USA.

December 2, 2012
Land in Changsha, Hunan Province, China (Yup- those dates are correct.  It’s a 30+ hour trip and we cross the international dateline.  woohoo.)

December 3, 2012
10:30am- Meet Zoe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Otherwise known as Gotcha Day.  And once we meet Zoe, she will be with us the ENTIRE time- YAY!

December 7, 2012
Fly to Guangzhou.

December 13, 2012
Official oath-taking ceremony at American Consulate.

December 15, 2012
Fly home to Houston and our family of 4 will be together for the very first time!

  • Marla Taviano
    Posted at 04:23h, 28 November Reply

    Sooooo thrilled for you guys!! Praying for all 4 of you! Love you!!

  • Maricarmen
    Posted at 04:27h, 28 November Reply

    Beautiful! What an amazing journey!

  • The Armstrong's
    Posted at 18:40h, 28 November Reply

    Oh you just made me cry a bit! I am so excited for you and your family. What an amazing thing you are doing for this sweet little girl. She is going to finally feel the bond of a family and the special love only parents can give. I will pray that she greets you with open arms and joy knowing that you are her forever family!! Please stay safe and keep going with the updates, LOVE IT! Please let us know when she is ready to meet her new friends!!

  • Sandy Daron
    Posted at 22:45h, 28 November Reply

    Praise God!! I feel your excitement!!! I was adopted and I can only imagine how excited you are. My mom tells me about the 1st day she saw me!!!

    I can NOT wait to hear you recount how GREAT it is to feel your arms around Zoe!!!

    God speed and I pray for NO complications!!!

    ♥♥ Love ya!! ♥♥
    C.O.L.E.'s Foundation
    (Caring Openly, Loving Eternally
    Email: sandy@colesfoundation.com
    Sandy Daron

  • Txgirl123
    Posted at 23:19h, 28 November Reply

    Wow! this brings tears to my eyes. You guys are fantastic people and Zoe is a lucky girl. I'm also sure that you feel you are the lucky ones, too;-)

  • The Foster Family
    Posted at 02:22h, 29 November Reply

    Yay! So so happy! Got all teary eyed. Thankful for your precious Zoe, praying for the transition for all of you, and most of all rejoicing with you!

  • Laura Wilkinson
    Posted at 03:42h, 29 November Reply

    Wow, thank you everyone for your sweet comments! I had no idea anyone could get so much from a timeline 🙂 haha!

    My goal is to post everyday we're over there, although we'll see how good our internet connection is. But at the very least I'll try to post a picture a day. It means so much to us that you all are on this journey with us and praying- what a precious gift you are giving us… thank you!

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