On our LOA...we got an update from our agency today. Our LOA has been "in process" since 9/2/2011. This is good news, it means it is out of "translation" and are now being reviewed to be approved. Historically, our agency said they get the LOA 3-4 weeks after the date of "in process". This means we can expect to get the LOA the last week in September.
This would put us at mid December for our Travel Approval (TA). Some folks travel 6 days after TA, others won't travel for a month after TA. It depends on when the US can fit you into their Consulate appointment.
Why is this all so important? Its not just Christmas plans we need to think about. The date we pick up Emma (termed "Gotcha Day") has tax implications If we pick up Emma in the fiscal year 2011, we will be able to apply for the tax credit in late Jan of 2012. Background on the credit -- it is ~$13,000 and you can't electronically file. In addition, almost everyone filing the credit is getting audited (adding at least 6 mos to your tax refund to end up in your bank account). So if we pick Emma up in December of 2011, we could get the tax credit back in our hands in the fall of 2012.
If we don't pick her up until 1/1 or after, we can't file for the tax credit until late Jan of 2013. Assuming they are still auditing everyone, we wouldn't get the tax credit until Sept/Oct 2013!! By then, Emma will be 3 (and Lexie in Kindergarten!)! The credit is a nice to have, I am not complaining. Our timing is just a pickle.
On the upside, Emma's room got painted this weekend! I changed my mind last minute and we decided to paint it a neutral color called "Linen". In all reality, it looks a little like gray cement. Matt said it felt very "institutional". Lovely. Not exactly the feeling I was going for. I think it will be better once we get all of the stuff in there though.
We also met Matt's dad at Ikea on Friday. Collectively we significantly added to the stimulation of the US economy. I love Ikea, I can't help it. I will post pictures when I get things finalized in the nursery.
On Ikea -- my friend Martha's daughters room was selected by Ikea this week as their showcase room - check it out here -- too cool! Martha also recently sent me some pins of Emma and "CHN" (for China!) -- she is so crafty!
Hope everyone is enjoying fall! We went to a local fair with my cousin Johnny this weekend. Lexie had a blast! You can tell by the picture below, Johnny is one of those guys that just shines! We love him to the ends of the earth and we're so happy we were able to spend the day with him. Plus, Lexie saw a pig poop and has been talking about it nonstop since. :-)