We are getting so close to travel! We had originally thought that we would surely be traveling in August, but it will almost definitely be September. There is currently a hold up with our Article 5 processing. It was supposed to be picked up on July 31st (Monday), but it did not happen. Apparently, there was something that the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou wanted, and it wasn't there. It isn't anything that we didn't provide, but they won't tell us what it is. Very hush hush (insert eye roll). It could be "days or weeks" before they get whatever it is that they are requesting. The opinion of our caseworker, it is fairly common for older children being adopted, and it most likely is some evidence that they wanted directly from the CCCWA (Chinese Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption), rather than from our adoption agency. I won't go into any more detail because it really doesn't matter. We know that God's timing is perfect, and are trying to see this delay as a positive, rather than an excruciating negative. It gives us more time to prepare, more time to get school schedules and routines in place, and more time to get projects done around the house that we (Jenn) would like to finish. Hopefully it will get resolved sooner than later and we will be on our way mid-September.
On a positive note, we have had some HUGE praises! Our adoption auction was an incredible success and we made over $7,500! We are now fully funded! We were so grateful and humbled by the people, many of whom we didn't even know, that stepped up and graciously donated their goods and services. Also, our donors got some great stuff, and became a part of the story of bringing our boy home.
To all of you who donated, passed along auction information, nudged a friend to give, or donated your own gifts, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude! We can't wait to show Finn how much love has been shown to us, and our family, and to him!
Secondly, we got to video chat with Finn! We were so nervous and excited. It took place only an hour after our auction ended, so Jenn was an absolute mess..exhausted, distracted, and anxious. We were all ready to go, and our interpreter said we needed to wait about 20 minutes because he knew the orphanage was very busy on Mondays. Those 20 minutes were all we needed to calm down, regroup, and get ourselves ready to greet him. It was wonderful! We mostly sat there and waved and smiled and chatted a bit. He was curious if we had pets, told us he had been to Disney and saw a big castle. He cried and the worker that helped translate for us said they were "happy tears". We were pretty sure that they were happy tears mixed with a little anxiety, the realization that the people on the screen in front of him were his family (and not quite sure he even understands the concept), and that he would be leaving his home country and all the people he knows very soon. It was a little bittersweet and we (Jenn, really) got a bit weepy. We ended the call with more waving and smiling, and the plan to video chat again in 2 weeks (that's THIS Sunday)! We plan on letting the kids chat a bit, and then give him a virtual tour of our home and his room so he is familiar.
So, we are sitting here just waiting for the paperwork to go through. Tyler is working long hours to try to build some momentum before he leaves for an early-September (and incredibly important) convention, Jenn is going through curriculum, and planning the kids' school lessons, and organizing the house (a.k.a. nesting and keeping occupied), and the kids are squeaking out the remaining day of the summer. Praise God for the cooler temps!
We will update you all as we find out more!