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21-months Old, 43 Days Until Travel, and $22k to Fundraise. We’re About to Lose Control, and I Think We Like It.

If we were frantic Peking ducks last month, today we’re The Pointer Sisters so excited (that we just can’t hide it) about the one-two punch of updates we just received. The summary: our baby gal is seemingly doing great and we should be traveling six weeks from tomorrow!

First, let’s start by giving an update on our little love (for whom the nicknames just keep growing, to now include “Chief”). We received our standard single update from the orphanage back on January 23, and the written report, photo, and video led us to believe that our “Chief” wasn’t doing so well. While she looked amazingly cute and healthy in the photo, the written report said she wasn’t yet mobile and the video showed a very lethargic little 19-month old buddy. Even though we tried to pass it off as typical institutional development delays, we were scared. And our pediatrician and agency were concerned too, as she seemed well behind even for the circumstances. She was and is ours no matter what, but our hearts were breaking at the thought of her failing to thrive. Those nannies at the orphanage are angels in our minds, but with that many kids to care for… there’s only so much they can do.

After waiting an excruciating month to hear more (with Chinese New Year in the middle to cause delays), just last night we received an overwhelmingly encouraging follow-up report, along with five more photos and four videos! Yes, five and four more that we commemorated in this heart collage. The difference in these two updates couldn’t have been more drastic, and we’re beyond lucky to forever have this documentation of her progress. Her new report said that now, at nearly 21 months, she can stand with help. And in these latest photos and videos, she seems genuinely content (even playful!). She took steps while holding a nanny’s hands, bounced as she absorbed music in the background, displayed motor skills in various settings, flipped and explored toys like an engineer-in-the-making, and showed off lots of new facial expressions! Sarah and I balled in relief as we watched the videos, finally feeling assured that things are as good as could be expected. Wow.

NOTE: if you would like to see the photos or videos, just email us and we’ll be glad to share with you privately. Trust me when I say, you should be sitting when you see her cuteness, and we’re happy to gush. All. Day. Long. We truly feel honored and don’t know what we did to deserve the privilege of getting to bring this amazing child into our lives forever.

The second exciting update in this one-two punch is that one of the final important pieces of paper was granted today: our Article 5 from the Adopted Children's Immigrant Visa Unit (ACIVU) at U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou. This is literally the final hurdle on the U.S. side of things, and now China can issue our travel approval and schedule our immigration visa appointment which we’ll attend together with the lotus in Guangzhou. The timeline from here is that we expect travel approval to come in two weeks, then we travel 2-4 weeks later! As in, it’s on, and our agency expects us to be taking off from U.S. soil, China bound by April 11! That’s six weeks from tomorrow, party people. 43 days! Keep those fingers crossed and prayers coming that these final, small details are confirmed with no delays.

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In the meantime, our fundraiser could still use your loving support if you feel so inclined to donate or share our page. Since we officially launched it last month, we’ve raised an additional $2,000 from you wonderful family and friends. That’s amazing. But while we’ll be hosting a fundraising weekend in Huntsville in March, and continuing to save diligently on our own… we’re currently $22,000 away from our full goal. Every little bit helps, whether it be a contribution via Adopt Together, the couple of dollars we make when you buy coffee through us, or spreading the word to your own friends and family. You wouldn’t believe that even the smallest donations here and there make a significant impact on both our financial needs, and morale to boot. Thank you humbly for considering any type of support.

And if nothing else, thank you for reading. This blog and the support we’ve received through it is a gift for the lotus, us, and our loved ones combined. You’ll start seeing more updates as things crank up, like a look at the nursery once it’s wrapped (including the amazing new hand-made built ins). Things are looking good in there, baby girl, so hurry home soon and make that room your own! Just, no boys.

Stay tuned for more, friends, and feel free to reach out to chat more directly. We love you, and her, with every inch of our being.

"I am a lotus flower – delicate, fragile, yet strong... floating, unfolding, and blossoming into the life where I belong.”