On Friday we got the wonderful news from our USCIS officer that our actual I800A documents had been received! They were sent in before Thanksgiving, and usually end up sitting in a lockbox for awhile before they are received and processed. We had seen that our check had been cashed, and on Thursday received the receipt in the mail so we knew they had them, but they had not been logged in yet. Finally, on Friday morning, they were there! Our USCIS officer continues to be so gracious and helpful towards us. She knows that we are in a race against time and is truly sympathetic towards the plight of this child who needs to be rescued before it is too late.
So, on Friday, after she saw the I800A was finally there, she faxed us our fingerprint letter and off we went, with only moments to spare before their office closed for the day at 4pm! Tim had an appointment downtown at 3pm and we knew we were cutting it close, but we made it! Fingerprints are DONE!
There is still more paperwork... an I800 to process, other papers to get verified and authenticated, but things are moving. Our agency is speeding ahead for us and we are so grateful for their help. According to them we should be planning to travel on January 15th, and we will get our son on the 16th. I am beside myself excited as well as very nervous. Are we really doing this?? We are!
Please pray that things continue to go well and that we don't hit any proverbial bumps in this already treacherous road. We still have lots of fundraising to do to get all our travel expenses together. Please pray that the funds for that come together in time.
Also pray that we can get one of the two consulate appointments we are requesting for the end of January so that we can return home the 29th. If we are not granted one of these appointments we will have to stay in China for an extra week because of Chinese New Year being on February 2nd. If that is the case, we would not return home until Feb 10th. This would be a long time for me to be away from my children, as well as adding more expense to the trip.
But God is mighty and He has shown us in so many ways and through so many people that He is here with us, helping us every step in the way. I have no doubt that He will provide for the remainder of our needs. What a great story this will be for us to tell of His provision and His glory when all is said and done. It already IS a great testament to what God can do if His people just have a little faith. We could have accomplished NONE of this so far without His help and His guidance and the love and generosity of His people.
Lastly, but definitely not least, I wanted to share with you that our son also has a new name!! One of the other forms that had to be filled out and sent in was the visa form for our son. On it they ask for his given name and the new name by which he will be called if it is different. We have been talking for awhile now about what this name should be and have finally come to a decision. Zou Lie will be officially named.....