People who know me best know that I like to have a plan in place. I’m usually good if the plan changes, but I need to know where we’re headed or where we want to end up. I know I want to end up in Hong Kong soon. Well, actually I want to end up in Lynchburg…with Joel at home with us. That’s the end point.
So our mail was blessed today with our notice of action (I-797) on our I-800: Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative. It was provisionally approved! Why only provisionally, you may ask. In order to officially approve the I-800 there are a few more things that have to happen. I’ll try my best to explain the “game plan.”
1. Our petition approval gets transferred to the US Consulate in Hong Kong (takes up to 2 weeks for this to happen – so by June 1st).
2. US Consulate notifies Mother’s Choice (the orphanage) when the approval and family file arrives in Hong Kong.
3. Mother’s Choice sends legal documents to the US Consulate for further processing.
5. SWD applies for the High Court Order to transfer guardianship to our adoption agency, Bethany Christian Services (can take up to 8 weeks from date of issue of Article 5 letter to get HCO – so we’re looking at mid-to-late July).
6. While waiting on the HCO, Mother’s Choice will arrange for Joel’s medical Visa appointment to clear him for travel to the US. Mother’s Choice is preparing Joel for all of this and introducing him to us through our videos and pictures.
7. Once Joel’s visa and passport are issued, along with the HCO, we’ll be traveling within 2 weeks of the HCO date (so hypothetically around the 1st or 2nd week of August).
So, we roughly have a little more than 2 months to get ready…and a big part of this remains raising funds for our plane tickets to and from (approximately $4000). We’re having a yard sale on Saturday, June 18th – so please support us if you can through donating items to sell or coming to shop. Please keep praying for Joel and his transition from life in China to life in the US. He will have so much love and support, but it is going to be critical to have your prayers for him. Ask God to hold his heart close to His and comfort him when he gets scared or overwhelmed with adapting to a new life.
My two groovy girls were talking about Joel during our road trip back to Lynchburg yesterday. They asked when he was coming home and I said, “I hope in August.” I didn’t know I’d get our letter from Homeland Security today. So now, we’ve got a game plan that takes us there. Can’t wait to land!!