The Crew

The Crew
Christina, Matthew, Joshua and Katie Grace XiHua

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


This post is a few days late, but I just wanted to share that we received our I-800 Approval on Friday! For those of you following my timeline to compare with your upcoming dates, that was 25 days after LOA. This is our final immigration document and it is good to know we are moving quickly toward travel now!!

Now we await our NVC (National Visa Center) letter any day now. Then our Article 5 which should be in about 2 weeks. 3-4 weeks after that, we will receive TA (Travel Approval) and we will travel 2 -3 weeks after that!!!

Friday, May 27, 2011


Yes, it is Birthday week around here! Happy Birthday to my loving husband, Jacob. He is my best friend and boy do we like to laugh a lot! There are times when we get to laughing so much. It's usually about something crazy that happened at work or about one of our funny work friends. We also enjoy talking about everything and anything that is on our minds. He supports my ideas, hopes and missions totally. I love him tons!

Monday, May 23, 2011


Happy Birthday Christina! She is sweet 16, and yes it's true, she is pretty darn sweet. Ok, well she does have an opinion with a splash of occasional drama :) , but I have to say that having a teenager is not anywhere as bad as people make it out to be! Whenever I say I have a now 16 year old daughter, people will usually say either, "oooh good luck with that" or " oh wow, how's that going?". Why do people automatically assume having a teenager is a negative thing? Anyway, it's a very positive thing for us and we love every minute as a family. She never complains about going as a family to sporting events, kids' concerts, church, or wherever. She is respectful, GREAT with kids, a good student and loves girl time with me. Happy Birthday to my little girl who is growing up too fast!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


We received an update, along with 3 new pictures of our waiting girl, Katie Grace Xi Hua!

Here is what the update said:

Please forward this to the Haines family.

Xi Hua's personality is quiet and shy. She is afraid of strangers. Her physical development is good and is going to the preschool in our orphanage. She is studying in the little tod class. She can feed herself and can climg up and down the stairs. She likes to watch cartoon, listening to music, likes to play games with other children and outdoor activities, and play toys. Her height; 84 cm; weight: 10.5 kg.

We are so happy to have new pics of her little preciousness and are glad to hear she is developing well!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Super busy week and I haven't had a chance to give Mother's Day shout outs! I hope you beautiful moms out there had a great Mother's Day and were treated like queens. :)

I am so thankful for my mom. She instilled in me my faith in God without placing judgement or legalism within it. She was so kind and affectionate when we were kids - lots of loves and hugs! I NEVER once heard her talk badly about another person. If she did, I never heard it! Who can say that about themselves? She never spoke a negative word about a person of another race or socioeconomic background. Pretty awesome mom to have and I'm so glad for the grace she passed down to me.

Below are a couple pics of my wonderful mama, Alberta, aka Mimi!

I also am so grateful for my mother in law, Susan! She is so much fun to be around. She is very generous and does so much for our family. "Lolli" is totally a hands on type grandma. She and Pops love to take the kids and they always do awesomely fun activities. We appreciate them so much!

Below is a photo of Christina and Matthew's Abuela, Altagracia. Even though am am divorced from their dad for many years, I still maintain a lovely relationship with his parents. They are kind and loving and generous. The kids love to go to Puerto Rico and visit and enjoy all of the delicious foods "Lela" prepares!

Monday, May 2, 2011


We are jumping for joy here at the house today as we received good news!

I was really starting to get weary. We passed 20, 30, 40, 50 days of waiting, and when I asked some others about their wait, someone told me they waited over 100 days for LOA! So last night on the way home from work I said something like this to God, "Ok PLEASE, it has been too long don't let us wait past tomorrow. I don't think I can take it! Please don't make Xi Hua wait any longer!" This morning we got the call on day 60... LOA! Letter of Acceptance. Our final approval.

So this is not concrete, and someone who has recently been through this, please share your timeline from here. But what I am gathering is this: About 2 more weeks for I-800 (immigration) approval. Then perhaps 2 weeks for Visa notification. Then a couple weeks for Visas. Then we wait for TA and plan for travel. So about 12 more weeks-ish??

We are getting closer!!

Many hungry children near the boarder of Myanmar and Thailand-click on photo