Thursday, August 23, 2012

Nora in the Northwoods

Because I do not want to forget any of the details (warning, this is long) …

Early this year we booked a family getaway, a week in northern Wisconsin planned for early August.  Little did we know we would be in a critical place of working through paperwork to bring our little miss home.  A very important step in the adoption process is getting that coveted “Referral Acceptance” (also known as “Letter of Acceptance”).  This is the official document from China approving you to adopt a specified child.  Already well established on this little blog, I am a planner (seriously people, I should be in a 12-step program).  By all my scientific evaluations of trends and what I’ve seen other families experience, we should have received our RA the week of July 30th or even the week before.  When the RA is received, more paperwork is triggered.  And, the timing of this paperwork is important as the sooner you turn it around, theoretically, the sooner you might travel.  You know where this is going, don’t you?

Much to our surprise and the surprise of our agency, no RA as of Friday, August 3rd.  I had a bit of angst over this, but we packed the family and the tote of adoption paperwork and headed up to northern Wisconsin to stay at a cottage that some might describe as being out in the middle of nowhere.  Phone service?  Yes.  Wireless capability?  No.  

Okay, so onward, on Monday, August 6th two days into our week away, we missed my cell ringing and then heard Jason’s ringing but missed it too.  Could it be?  Yes, we both had a message from our agency to call right away.  Woo hoo!!!  We got our RA!  Our agency was going to e-mail it and more paperwork (Remember?  No wireless).  They would send the original document to us, via FedEx to arrive on Wednesday morning so that we could sign and return it.  I gave them the address of the cottage and then had a momentary panic wondering if FedEx could deliver to a cottage we were renting and wondering if the owners, who live in a different state, had any forwarding of mail / packages.  Thus, I made a call to the owners and explained the whole situation and was relieved to discover that we should have no issue receiving our FedEx.  Phew!!!
So, here’s what we needed to do Monday afternoon:
1. Print e-mail and attachments from agency,
2. Sign a variety of papers and return them to agency (via e-mail with scanned pdfs), and
3. Submit our petition to US immigration to adopt Nora (the I800).
Reminder – no wireless!  I had done my extensive research the week before and found there was an OfficeMax approximately 45 minutes away.  At the OfficeMax we could print documents, get pdfs, make copies and FedEx said documents.  However, Jason felt that we could accomplish everything “in town” so on Monday, he calls 3-4 places (grocery store, library, coffee shop, etc.).  Each, it seems, could only do one of the things we needed done that is until we were referred to a family run printing company that typically services area businesses (prints brochures, other advertisements, etc.).  Yes, that’s where we ended up.  Here’s proof!
At this printing company, we got our e-mail and attachments printed and copies and pdfs made.  So thankful for smart phones!  Now, it was on to a local coffee shop that yes, was an authorized  FedEx shipper.  The owner, as he was making our label, specifically asked if we were sending adoption paperwork.  He recognized the stack of papers and the fact that we were sending documents to US immigration as he and his wife adopted two children from Russia 15 years ago.  Seriously.  See God working here? 
So thankful for my resourceful husband who was persistent on finding a more time effective (and turns out way more memorable) way of getting all this done.
Fast forward to Wednesday, the FedEx man made it to the cottage with the very important official document!!!  Praises!!!
Decision to adopt Miss Nora?  A thousand times yes!
We signed the document!!!  So exciting!  And, then we went back to the printing company to get a copy of it and then back to the coffee shop to overnight it back to our agency!!!!  
Fast forward to Friday and we got an update on our Nora including a few new photos.  Of which, this is one of my favorite!  (You may recall this one from Nora's introduction below.)
Love this smile!!!!  
In God’s perfect timing, despite what I wanted, despite how much I was praying for our RA before our family getaway, He made Nora a part of our time in the Northwoods.  And, I am thankful.


Kim said...

What excitement! It will be forever a memorable part of her story;) LOVE IT!!!

Nikki said...

A reminder that our God is never late, but rarely early. :) What joy to see the continuing story unfold. God's grace is stamped all over the place! XO

Kirstin Roethel said...

That is absolutely amazing!!

Amy said...

Love the story! And I love the picture of Jason signing the document! Oh my, it brought tears - so sweet.

Jen Cruz said...

Hi Heather! I am so happy to hear that China Girl (aka Miss Nora Jane) will be coming home soon! I can't wait to see a picture of her with her family!! I have been following your journey and this makes me very happy!

Take care!