Thursday, June 29, 2006

The beginning of the story

During the summer of 1997 we went on a mission trip to Ukraine, after spending some time in the children's wing of a hospital playing with some of the children, we decided we wanted to eventually adopt.

Brandon was born in Taiwan on July 21, 2000 and came home on December 16, 2000. Our first child and first adoption, but we knew we weren't done.

In November of 2002 we started interviewing adoption agencies and choosing which country we wanted to adopt from for our second adoption. We initially chose to adopt a child or siblings from Ukraine. Since that time, we left the agency that we started with and pursued the adoption independently. Ukraine also went through a lot of changes both politically and with their adoption process.

In May of 2005 we were finally officially registered with the National Adoption Center in Ukraine to adopt. In July we were told that our letter was in the mail telling us when our appointment would be in Ukraine to choose a child, adopt them and bring them home. We soon realized that our letter was lost in the mail and were first told that we would get an appointment in October, then once October came and went we were told that there were no 'healthy' children and that we would be given an appointment after the first of the year. The first of the year came and Ukraine closed their adoptions.

As our paperwork was getting ready to expire, and with the delays from Ukraine, we started to look at other options. I was told to check out a yahoo group that lists waiting children from China that are considered special needs for a variety of issues. From that site I looked at several pictures of children available for adoption. One of those pictures was of a little boy named Li Lei who looked so much like our son Brandon it was amazing. God did not let me forget that little boy. After much prayer and discussion we decided we wanted him to be our son, not a waiting child any longer. This was in May 2006.

Lei was born on July 26, 2002. He is at the Chengde SWI(social welfare institute) in the Hebei provice of China. He had surgery to correct spina bifida at six months old and also is diagnosed with strabismus(cross eyed).

By the middle of June we were well on our way to getting the paperwork together, and traveled to Kansas City to turn in our I-600A for our INS approval on Wednesday June 28. We used the infopass to schedule an appointment and we were in and out in twenty minutes. I was amazed at how much easier it was this time around. The first two times we spent a lot more time in the INS waiting room.

Now the wait begins. First for our 171H from INS then our dossier can go to China.