Thursday, March 14, 2013

Blog move

Please join us on our family blog at:
 Hemmes Family Happenings.
I find I forget to blog here as often as I should!

For those who just want the simple now and then updates I'll post our new stats here.
We received a 36 day LOA on March 11th which is AMAZING!
I sent in our I800 paperwork to Immigration today so things are moving fast which is a blessing.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


First thing's first. 
Thank you  SO very much whomever donated $100.00 to John's fund. I couldn't believe my eyes!
We are now above the $1,000 mark!!!!
We will get there and John is so worth it.
Speaking of John, here is his latest photo!!
I noticed right away that our sweet boy has a big scratch on his face.
It also makes me very sad seeing him in a coat with pink/purple on it.
Yes, I know he is in an orphanage where all kids dress like this and I totally get that.
However, he goes to school in one of the wealthiest provinces in China.
So here is my son going to school where he already sticks out being a Little Person (Little People in orphanages almost never get to go to school in China)  and then he has to go wearing a girls coat.
I know I shouldn't feel that way but I do because he is my son and I want the best for him and to keep him from feeling like he is less than.
We were able to get 10 questions answered and while I am glad we have them I was hoping they would go over the questions with John but I can tell it is just someone who works there giving her answers to the questions as she believes. I really wish she could have spent a bit more time answering them as they are very short and to the point but I'll take it. :)
1. Does Hong Jian know we are adopting him and will be there June/July to bring him home?

2. What is his favorite subject in school?
Chinese language.

3. What is his favorite color so we may use it in his bedroom?

4. What things does he like and dislike to eat?
He likes to eat QQ candy (it’s like jelly). He doesn’t like milk.

5. Does he speak any English?
He can say hello.

6. Has he received our photo album and letter about our family?

7.Is he OK with us changing his name to John? If not, what would he prefer?

8. Does he have anything he is afraid of?
No, he is very brave.

9. Is he able to write/exchange letters with us now or SKYPE on the computer?
Sorry, it is not available.

10. We wish for you to tell him how lucky we feel that he is to be our son and that his brothers and sisters are all very excited to meet him!
Thank you, we have told him and he said he was very excited, too!

11. His updated measurements:
Height: 100cm; Weight: 20kg; Shoe size: 35.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

On it's way!



That's right! Today the last of our paperwork needed to send to China has left our agency and is now on it's way to Ch*na to meet up with our original dossier.
From here the paperwork will need to be logged in, translated, reviewed and accepted.
This typically takes 1-3 months with the number right now being around 55 days for approval.
We are SO thrilled that we are at this point in the process as every bit brings us closer to bringing John home!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Do we know what we are doing?

While we are still awaiting the fliers to announce our BIG fundraiser, ( it's been rescheduled 3 times now and yes I know I promised to tell you by now and I will just as soon as I can. Promise!) I will go on to our second most asked question about our adoptions.

When most people find out we are adopting they have questions.
How much does it cost?
How long does it take?
Why a boy from China, aren't they all girls needing homes there?

And the big one lately that has really thrown me for a loop,
Why adopt a child with special needs?
I've had two people in the past week ask me if we realize what we are doing adopting handicapped children.
You can't possibly be talking about my boys.
I looked up the word handicapped in the dictionary.
hand·i·capped adjective: physically or mentally disabled.
I have to say whoever thinks our boys are disabled are sorely mistaken!
While Liam may not have two legs of equal length he is by no means disabled.
And John may have achondroplasia dwarfism but besides not being as tall as others his age he can pretty much do anything you and I can do.

Why would we choose to adopt these two boys with special needs?
Well to us, their needs are what makes them special to us!
I am inspired daily by ALL of my children who ALL have needs that are different and special than other children just in different variations.

We have three daughters who are 21, 17 and 13 and if you tell me they don't have a lot of needs from us right now, you'd be wrong!

I've been reminded that it isn't the same as we are "older" and taking on children with medical needs.
We know.
We CHOSE these boys for all they have to offer this world.
We CHOSE them because they are wonderfully and perfectly made.
We CHOSE them because they will be a gift to our family and to so many others whose lives they touch.

I always welcome questions about our adoption.
I only hope that by my answers, others may understand how these children are NOT a burden to us and our family but a true GIFT.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


After two, yes TWO RFE (Request For Evidence) we were finally approved today through Immigration!

What's next.
I hope to receive the approval in the mail on Friday.
It then needs to be copied, notarized, certified and then taken to the Secretary of State for State Certification.
Once that is done I will send that and the other two necessary documents (home study and CCCWA letter) to a courier who will take them to the Chinese Consulate to be Authenticated.

After this we send all of our paperwork to our agency who looks it over and will send it to China!
This is big because we are reusing our dossier we only have until March 7th for these documents to be logged into China.
Once we are DTC (Dossier to China) it can take 1-4 weeks to be logged in.
I think we can make it and I will remain hopeful!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

John is loved!

I am unable to know who is adding precious funds to John's account but I want you to know it means the world to us.
Every time I see the funds rise I want to tell John, "See how much you are loved!"
There are so many people that have been praying for John and truly helping us bring him home and I wish he could know that.
If you have donated or prayed and want to make yourself known, please leave a comment below as I'd love to add you to MY prayer list!

We should have the last bit of information Immigration needs to our Officer by Monday so we hope we are approved this week.
From there I will rush around getting all the necessary papers notarized, certified and authenticated before they are sent to our agency to check over and send to China.
Please pray that this next step is one without bumps as we have a deadline for reusing our Dossier and we don't want anything to keep us from our son one day longer than necessary.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Small setback

Well it seems that walking in for fingerprinting early didn't save us any time at all.
It was worth a try!
Our actual fingerprinting date was Dec 27th and that day came and went without an Immigration Officer for our case.
I called again yesterday and we had just been given an Officer who was looking over our paperwork.
Unfortunately we got a RFE (request for evidence).
This will slow us down but not by much we hope!
Our home study agency is working on fixing the error now and we will have the corrected paperwork to USCIS hopefully today!

I thought a lot about John over the holidays and how next year he will be with us.
There are so many firsts we can't wait to share with John.
Step number one is to get our boy home!
Thank you so very much for all your love and support.
It truly means alot to know John has so many people that want him home as much as we do!