Lucas Lingao Dennis Lillie (aka Luke)
(he really was wearing split pants in this picture and was not fully covered. So we had to censor it! Seems like our boy may be potty training, yea!!)
We are ecstatic to say that we received our Letter of Approval (LOA) from China this past Friday. It was dated August, 2nd - only one day after our Pre-Approval (PA) from China. This is the fastest I have ever seen anyone get a LOA and I believe is due to the fact that our paperwork has been in China for so long (we have had it there since March of 2012). In fact, when I was looking back at my emails, it looks like our Home study was completed 2/22/2012. Just 6 days before Lingao was born. ;-)
In any case, this expedited LOA means we could be in China in November or December, assuming no other glitches come up. That said, we did have a recent glitch arise (its international adoption, not a surprise!) with the US government side of the house. For those of you into details, read on....
In July, I submitted an extension for our US paperwork. Per the instructions, I submitted the paperwork to the office in Missouri, where my original paperwork was approved.
Well, apparently those instructions were wrong b/c 2 weeks later, I received the entire paperwork package back at my home with instructions indicating I need to send it to a lock box in Texas. At this point I know we are in trouble because the paperwork was supposed to be there 6 days earlier! The instructions are clear, however, that if I don't get this extension approved before my original approval expires, I have to start the US part of the paperwork all over again. This includes another $1000 to the US Gov't, 75 days of extra waiting, and re fingerprinting in downtown Detroit (such a nice trip we had).
Anyhow, I have since emailed my case to my officer and asked for an exception. She replied once and said that, yes, she realizes the instructions say to send it to the approving office in one spot of the .pdf; however, she is quick to point out there is another place on the .pdf that indicates it needs to be sent to Texas. Hmm...I am still like, 'well the instructions are not consistent and I am where am I am. Can you help a girl out?' No response. That was 7 days ago, still we have heard nothing. Super frustrating, right?! I hope I didnt bite the hand that feeds me when I mentioned to her that someone ought to update those instructions!!
Given the 1 day LOA, I have to assume God's got something up his sleeve and my extension will be approved in the next few days. It would be a dumb story to make 1 part of the process that is usually the longest/most unpredictable super fast for us and then make another part of the process (the US side) that is usually extremely predictable, slower, right?!
I am going with that..Gods got us!
In the meantime, we are glowing in the bask of our new son, Luke.
We still have not officially decided on that part, lol.
PS - we had to decide on a name today as one of the forms required it now that our LOA is approved. We work better under pressure anyway!!