We returned from a great week away to some amazing news - our 1-797 approval was on it's way! It arrived today. What's the significance? This was the final document we needed to be able to send our dossier to China! The official approval arrived in the mail today!

So all of our documents are headed to the consulate in Chicago this week for authentication and then off to our agency and then next stop...CHINA! Cannot wait to be DTC! It has felt like it would never get here. :) My goal was end of July and we won't quite make that but we are earlier than I was anticipating with the USCIS slow down I kept hearing about.

Happy day, happy weekend! We are getting there slowly but surely!



We are so excited about these bracelets! I was given one by a student this year ("Hope." with turquoise band) and I love it! It's an Indiana company that makes them and they raise money to help provide clean water in Africa as well as offering fundraisers. These bracelets are great worn individually but they also look awesome with more than one worn together.

Here are some details about the bracelets:
- They are waterproof.
- They are made of clay.
- They are adjustable in size (just grab the bead and pull).
- They make awesome gifts!
- They support our adoption!

We are suggesting a donation of $5 per bracelet plus $2 for shipping 1-3 bracelets or $3 for shipping 4-6 bracelets. If you live local - no shipping - we can arrange to get them to you!

Here's how to order:
1) Go to http://www.villagetovillageintl.com/the-falk-family-family-42.php and make your donation or you can give it to us in person or mail it - whatever is easiest for you!
2) E-mail me at alaina.falk @ gmail . com (without all the spaces, of course) and let me know:
- how many (We will not see when you donate so you MUST do this.)
- what words (You can see all 10 below.)
- what color of bands you prefer (We will do our best on colors but can't guarantee we will have your first choice so please give us a few options to work with. You can see all of the colors below and all of the colors are available for each word in limited quantities.Not pictured: I think there are also some black bands.)
- Your shipping address.
3) We will confirm your order via e-mail before shipping.
4) Thank you! We hope you love them as much as we do! I think each word has so many different personal meanings!


purple, turquoise, lime green, black, brown, pink, royal blue

lime green, turquoise, royal blue, brown

pink, purple, turquoise, brown, yellow, red, royal blue, orange, black



red, yellow, pink, brown, royal blue, black





A Big Update

Wow, I am so not good at this blogging thing lately! I'll give a quick re-cap:

- I-800a mailed June 8.
- Fingerprint appointment (797) received June 30 for July 20.
- Walked in with no trouble to be fingerprinted on July 10.
- WAITING...approval has been taking longer so I'm guessing 40-55 days but hoping for quicker.

- Birth certificate finally arrived on July 11 after waiting over a month. Grr...

- Applied for Village to Village International and were accepted.
- Profile went live on July 9 or 10.
- This is a way to give a tax deductible gift through a great organization. Their goal is to find 1,000 individuals to donate $10/month to use as grants. We not only receive money through direct gifts from our family, friends, or others who donate to us but also from the organization. We are so thankful to be able to fundraise this way!
- Check out our page: http://www.villagetovillageintl.com/the-falk-family-family-42.php for more information or to donate.

- Had our second garage sale this past Saturday.
- We did it only one day, we did not seek extra donations (but had a couple of people graciously give us some garage sale donations), we did not have a community sale just us, and we didn't do a very good job advertising.
- We made $385 which we were very happy with especially considering all of the above!

- We are very excited to be selling Mudlove bracelets!
- They just arrived today.
- We have 10 words which I will post in a separate post.
- They will be a suggested donation of $5/bracelet plus shipping.
- They are AWESOME! Love them.
- I will do another post with how to order!

- It's been a tough few weeks for us as we have worked through what we feel our family is equipped to embrace as far as special needs.
- We reviewed a file for quite awhile and couldn't get the information that we felt (and our International Adoption Specialist felt) was important in making a wise decision. So, with sadness, we released the file. We believe she will find the perfect family but it wasn't us. Painfully hard.

- We have been incredibly blessed with the gifts we have received towards #4.
- Knowing that God has prompted people to join us in bringing home our precious daughter has been so amazing.
- THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts.

- Finally...
- Calvin is having a rather major surgery on August 17. It is another palatal surgery to repair the functional issue.
- 7-10 days syringe and cup feeding (no straw, no utensils) and 4-6 weeks total recovery.
- We will be in the PICU for at least one night post-surgery.
- No matter how many times, he has surgery, I will NEVER get used to it. It's hard every.single.time - including "minor" surgeries like tubes.
- This is the first of 2 or 3 surgeries he will have in the next year or so.
- We appreciate prayers as we anticipate and go through surgery and recovery.

Wow. Alot going on... Hard to believe the summer is almost over. I desperately wanted to have the letters DTC posted this month (Dossier To China) but with the Immigration approval slow down, it doesn't seem likely. Trusting that it will be the right time! Hopefully we will be DTC in August!