The Journey of a Lifetime

Ryan and I have decided to pursue our forth adoption and add another beautiful baby to our family. We couldn't be happier and are thrilled! Join us in our journey in adopting baby Schlenner!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

One more step to go!!

Did you hear my screaming around 10:00 a.m. today????? You couldn't have missed the noise because we found out today that we have cleared the USCIS and NVC channels! Our paperwork is now in China's hands (well, it will be in China's hands at about 9 or 10 tonight as that's China's morning) and we now wait for what is called the Article 5 to be issued! This is our last and final step until we receive our TRAVEL!!!!!!!!!

Our in-country China rep will hand delivery our precious paperwork to the US Embassy in China on 9/1. It takes a standard two weeks to complete this process. Our Article 5 will be picked up on 9/15! Once it's picked up from the consulate, it will be delivered directly to the CCAA for Travel Approval! Everything is out of our hands and we ask for prayers for a speedy last step before we get our travel approval!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've started packing (no surprise there!!!) and making lists for everyones suitcases! To pack for 6 people makes my head spin! So as analytically anal as I am (major concrete sequential behavior type!) I have made a packing list for everyone so I know exactly what goes in their carry on and what goes in their piece of luggage! Everyones list includes their specific needs for their piece of luggage. (Example: Toiletries, Medical Needs, Clothing, Snacks, Electronics, Misc., and what goes in their Carry on/back pack.) lOVE IT!

Right now we are so thankful to be at this step and be so close now to be traveling to get our Magnus. We will know more when our A5 is issued 9/15th! But it's looking like we could be traveling in about 4 weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Aaahhhhhh!!!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Jocelyn goes to Kindergarten!!!!

Today is Jocelyn's first day of Kindergarten!!!!! I still can't believe it and miss her terribly. She was very nervous upon waking up this morning! And actually had a tummy ache, too! Regardless, she was ready to go to school and when I dropped her off she was already talking her classmates ear off about getting shots and going to China. So, I felt really good knowing that she is in the finest of hands with Miss Dudgeon at Holy Redeemer! Have a great day lil' Jocelyn. We love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Making Progress...

Good News continues here this week! We learned that we have received the I-800 from USCIS!!!!! This is another important immigration step!!! The I-800 is our Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative. It's our approval from USCIS to adopt Magnus!!!!

Now our paperwork has to go through the National Visa Center beginning of next week. Then we wait for another couple weeks for the LAST STEP called the Article 5! I actually have no idea what this step is for...but I know we have to complete it to finally be able to travel!!! So with that I'm guessing we'll travel in 4-6 weeks!!!!!

Today the girls and I went to the clinic to get our travel shots! I asked Ryan to help me and accompany me with the 'drama' girls...and of course, he said "No, I am busy and you can handle it!" So what seemed like a very simple appointment for the 4 of us, turned into utter and complete chaos! I won't go into details as the girls would be embarrassed and this could come back and haunt them once day (as it really should). But trust me when I say that I sincerely hope I don't ever have to see those two nice nurses EVER again! Because they went through hell and back during those 20 minutes!

Oh, and I'm never forget little Ahnya yelling at the nurses with her blankie and pointing her finger at them saying (at the top of her lungs, too,) "You weave my sista's awoooone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lady, stop it!!!!! You weave my sista's awooooone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Yep, and that was JUST the tip of the ice berg...but you get the idea!

All in all it was a good week for paperwork and the Schlenner Family is ready to travel to China!!! Oh, and did I mention that both Ryan and I's moms are traveling with us, too! Nana and grandma Peg are all set to travel with us to China!!!

More to follow...Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Gabriella's 1st Day of 2nd Grade!!

Today is Gabriella's first day of 2nd grade!!! I can't believe it!! She was so excited and she kept reassuring me that she wasn't nervous just EXCITED!!!! Her two sisters are beside themselves this morning and keep asking when is Gabriella coming home! Gabriella will be missed today-but she will have the best day and I can't wait to hear all about it!

Today is also a day about changes. Over breakfast this morning Gabriella explained that she was very sad that her best friend Ella would not be in school anymore as they're moving. It broke my heart to see her sad and hurt on this special day. For her to remember this on such and chaotic and busy day means she's thinking about it a lot and dealing with it her own way. So Ella, if you're reading this, Gabriella and our whole family miss you terribly and know that you are in all our hearts even though you're not in the same town anymore. And Annie and baby boys, we love you all to pieces and look forward to hanging out together. So today is all about changes, good or bad, we we'll take them in stride and thank our lucky stars that we are all blessed and have each other forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Special Delivery!

We sent our baby a chinese care package to his orphanage this past week!!! I used Angela from 'Lady Bugs and Love' to help! Angela has a company in China who specifically caters to adoptive families to send care packages to orphanges, contact orphanages, send letters and communicate back and forth, etc. She is wonderful and I am very pleased.

I told Angela what I wanted in the care package and she went shopping for me in China! She bought him a soft panda bear, camera for orphanage to take pictures of him, a photo album with 10 pictures of our family and captions under each of the pics in Chinese charaters, a letter from us to the orphanage asking specific questions about Magnus, nuts, and candy!

I can't wait to get another update soon after he gets the care package!

Update from the Orphanage

Today we got an update from the Chengdu orphanage where our Magnus is right now!!! Oh my goodness, Ryan and I were so thankful to get this!! He looks good and I am relieved to just SEE that he is well and cute as pie!!!!!!

Our little Magnus is a tiny thing. His arms and legs look so little. But that smile, THAT SWEET SMILE, completely reassures me that he is going to be fine and I need to stop obsessing.

We found out from the report that he can sit by himself, roll over, crawl and stand! He loves to be held, doesn't suck his thumb (the girls wanted to know this about him), he is very clever and especially loves candy!

Magnus is 20 lbs, 30 inches long, and his foot is 4.3 inches long. We know much of the information we receive from the orphanage could very well be fabricated to make him seem bigger and healthier, but his pictures speak a thousand words! Our Magnus is doing well and we hope to travel very VERY soon!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hot Damn & Hallelujia!!!! Finally LOA!!!!!

We have FINALLY received the news we have been waiting for!! On Thursday, Aug, 4th we received our Letter Of Acceptance (LOA) from the Chinese Government CCCWA. They have officially accepted our dossier and now recognize Ryan and I as the family that will be adopting our sweet baby Magnus!

The girls are super excited and you can tell they can't wait to get their hands on their new baby brother!

Here's our Magnus (Hu Lu Shu-his chinese name) in the orphanage in Chengdu, China! He is now 16 months old. We hope to receive a couple updates and new pictures this month!

This is the official LOA document that Ryan and I signed!

We are over the moon excited and you can tell by this picture that his "BIG" sisters can not WAIT to get their hands on him and smooch him to pieces!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

With this information we plan to travel this fall. Yahoo!!! There still is a process that our paperwork has to go through before we travel and it will take about 6-8 weeks to complete this paperwork if all goes smoothly. Quicker would be fine, too! So pray that our paperwork goes to the appropriate departments and we can all get to China SOON!!!!!!!!!!!!

Right now, we are just celebrating and thanking our lucky stars that we finally have LOA after 90 days of waiting!!!! "Hold on baby Magnus, we're coming as soon we can!!!!"

Friday, August 5, 2011

Happy Birthday Grandma Ro!!!

It was Great Grandma Ro's 49!!! (kidding) birthday and we were very lucky to celebrate with her in "style!" The girls shared some chocolate birthday cake with her, too!

We took Grandma to lunch in Osakis at the restaurant called "Just Like Grandma's." It seemed appropriate, of course! We like to go here every year during the summer with the girls! We have a tea, put our napkins in our laps, talk fancy and call each other "da-ling!"

For dinner, Grandma Ro made her special dish of FRIED CHICKEN!!! I had to take a picture because this is the REAL deal PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!! It's amazing and finger lick'in good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here's Grandma cook'in in the kitchen at the lake with us!!!

After a full day of birthday festivities, Grandma had a fuzzy navel cocktail! Yes, she actually put vodka in it, too! Here's proof for the family that Grandma can still have a good time!!!! Happy Birthday Grandma Ro! We love you and had a blast celebrating with you!!!!! Here's to many more memorable and "tasty" years to come!