Monday, November 17, 2008

Leaving for Southeast Asia on Dec. 14th.

Hello family and friends.

Yahoo !!!! All the visa stuff is done !!! Our I-600 (petition to classify orphan as immediate relative) was approved on Oct. 24 then sent on to the National Visa Center in New Hampshire. They "logged" us in and forwarded our file to the Embassy in Manila where they immediately, it seems, scheduled Reni for his medical exam which took place on November 13. On Nov. 20 a "caregiver" will sit for the formal "interview" then all the papaerwork will be completed within 5 days of that. Roland and I leave St. Louis on Sunday evening, Dec. 14, to fly to LA where we will stay the night. Then on Monday morning we leave for Tokyo, then on to Manila. We arrive in Manila on Tuesday evening around 10:00 pm, if all goes well. Manila is now 14 hours ahead of us here in St. Louis. We will meet Reni on Wednesday I presume. Most likely we will take custody of him on that first day....thank God for adrenaline !! Will post more later. It's going to be a great Christmas!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Legal Documents and more pics of Reni

After 5 weeks (it was supposed to be only 3-4) we finally received Renz's legal documents from the Inter-Country Adoption Board in Manila; a Birth Certificate and his birth mothers' Deed of Voluntary Commitment (placing him in the care of the orphanage). We can now file our paperwork with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Office. We're still looking at a possible 6-8 weeks for them to "approve" our petition and then another 6-8 weeks for them to notify the US Embassy in Manila and a bit longer for Renz's medical evaluation....then we should have a Visa for him. Is this Christmas still being a bit naive?? I think it can be done. We received more pictures of him too. The caretakers say he likes to watch Dora and Mickey Mouse on TV. Tino loves Mickey Mouse!!!!! (Not so much Dora) He can fall asleep easily regardless of where he is. Soooooo unlike Tino!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hospicio de San Jose


YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.

Click on the above link (in red) and then click on the little boy in red to see a great video from Reni's orphanage.

thanks for watching it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

It's A Boy!!


The phone call we've been waiting for, for months, finally came today, 8-18-08. We have a beautiful little boy who will celebrate his first birthday on Wednesday, 8-20-08. Yes, we will be celebrating his birthday too and Tino will blow out the candles for him.

His name is Renz and he is healthy and happy and we can't wait to bring him home. We do have quite a bit of paperwork to do now, Visa stuff..... and the US Dept of Citizenship & Immigration is NOT known for their "speed" in getting things we're still hoping to be able to go before Christmas to bring him home. Keep your fingers crossed!

Renz Joseph Nalagan (Reni) will be his name.... as of today anyway. We had to really think about the "Renz" thing....but it's starting to sound unique, do-able, and a tribute to his birth mother who so graciously carried him for 9 months knowing she would not be able to care for him once he was born. She wanted him to have a better life than she could provide considering she makes the equivalent of $70 a month working in a factory. She wanted Renz to have more opportunities and be with a family who could love him and care for him and give him what he deserves. We will always be grateful to her.

Renz is pretty much the same size Tino was at one year... 19.5 pounds. He has been in an orphanage since he was 3 days old, Hospicia de San Jose (St. Joseph) in Manila, so...Joseph as a middle name fits well. That has been his home, the only home he has known, where he has been cared for and nurtured since his birth. It is also a family name among my family, the Naerts. My grandfather, age 96, is named Joseph, my father's middle name is Joseph and my brother's name is Joseph, so... Joseph it is!!

The picture you see was taken 3 months ago and he clearly has more hair than Tino had even at 2 yrs. old. I love the shape of his mouth and his eyes....he is so beautiful isn't he???
Tomorrow Tino and I are going to buy him a birthday present, and a stuffed animal, that we will send to him, via our adoption maybe he'll get it by next month sometime. We are so happy and grateful and thank you all for you prayers!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

August 13, 2008

No news and we are getting very very very anxious. Every time the phone rings I run to check the caller ID....I think I'm driving myself crazy. I really really wanted to have our baby home by Christmas but that's not looking too promising as of now. Keep us all in your prayers.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Getting Closer !

We received a call from our contact at Holt International last week, she was responding to my questions I sent her via email. Evidently our file is 2nd from the top of the pile. The good, and bad, thing is that they don't necessarily go in order when placing a child. The caretakers from the orphanages try to match each child with the family they see to be the best fit for that particular child. I feel a match coming soon !!!!!!!!! We'll let EVERYONE know as soon as we get our "referral".
Once we get the referral we'll have about 3-5 months of paperwork and "waiting" once again....this time from our lovely government agency (Citizenship & Immigration) to approve our paperwork, fingerprints, etc., AGAIN and allow us to bring the child into this country as a resident, no longer an "orphan" as they are categorized until our paperwork is complete.
My goal, still, is to get to the Philippines and back w/child before Christmas. Still got my fingers crossed !!!