Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Dossier Timeline

Now that we are this far in the process what is the timeline for the dossier once it goes to Vietnam? The Vietnam AdoptionBuzz website has a wonderful wealth of information that you can read.

Dossier link is HERE
Timeline link is HERE

If you look under the CATEGORY links (under the archives), there is everything you need to know. It is a ton of reading but wealth worth it for anyone in-process, looking for info, or family of those in process. Thanks to Tad Kincaid for his wonderful site.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Faces of Angels

This video is of the orphan rehabilitation center in Da Nang, Vietnam. It is also one that Holt works with in the province and sponsors many of the children that live here. One of our fellow Holt families (Kelli & Adam) son Jude is from the Da Nang home. Most, if not all were malnourished. The caregivers here provide so much love and help to these beautiful boys and girls. Parts of the video are from another nearby care facility (later in the video) . Hope and pray that these little angels find a forever family soon.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Dossier Off To San Fran!

E-mail from Holt says they forwarded our Dossier to the Vietnamese Consulate in San Francisco yesterday where it will be authenticated! WOOHOO! Turn around time is about two weeks! Once this is complete then the dossier will be authenticated and forwarded to the Embassy in Vietnam for translation and processing.

Helping To Save One Life and Welcome Another

Yesterday at work was STI Day, where we all receive our annual "big bonus" it is a huge day for everyone with Verizon Wireless as it is just another great reason to work there. From time to time they ask for stories about the work quality and with STI day they were looking for stories about our benefits. This is the story that I submitted and it made the front page.

Helping to Save One Life and Welcome Another

Hank Belz
St. Louis, MO

“In 2003, a few months after I joined the company, my wife, Tricia [pictured here with Hank], was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. After two surgeries, radiation treatments and numerous doctors’ visits and hospitalizations, she is doing very well and is four years cancer free. All of her bills have been handled by CIGNA with our out-of-pocket expenses being just the nominal co-payments. Without this wonderful coverage, we would have had almost $2 million in medical bills to pay.
“On a related note, due to her cancer, we are in the process of adopting our first child from Vietnam. The unplanned cost of adoption was something that was hard to handle, but Verizon Wireless is coming through again. In November, I discovered the Adoption Assistance program benefit had increased to $10,000 from $3,000. Coupling this with federal and state tax credits, we are able to fund almost 100 percent of the adoption. I am proud to be here and I spread the word about how wonderful our benefits are. Thanks, Verizon Wireless, for truly saving a life, and adding a family member!”

If you are unsure of your company's adoption benefits please ask because most have one and can significantly help in re-paying the costs associated with your adoption. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

In Their Hands Now!

Dossier made it to Eugene (hope in one piece). Would HATE to have to re-do any papers, but we packed the papers in a raincoat envelope from FedEx.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dossier Complete!

Well, finally the dossier is off to Holt in Eugene, OR. Had planned on NOT spending all day yesterday chasing paper but as it turned out that is exactly what happened. One of our nieces is in town and we planned on doing fun things like going to the Arch, etc but instead we spent all day doing dossier things. Here is the story. Had planned on just running all the docs down to the Secretary of States office yesterday morning to have them certified, copy and ship. What I found out was the about seven of the items we had did not have the affirmation jurat on them (but had the notary stamp and signature) which is the statement that says basically, "Yup I swear this is a valid document". SO, we had to turn around, drive back out to the doctor, my bank, our bank and then to another bank where all the docs had originally been notarized to have the affirmation jurat on the docs by the same notary. After that, it was back in the car to downtown again. This whole thing started around 9:00 am and by this time it was 3:30 pm when we got back to the Secretary of State. Keep in mind our niece who is 14 is with us, doing all this. What a trooper! So after about 1 1/2 hours waiting all the docs are state certified. By this time there was no way to get to Kinko's copy all the docs three times, sort and pack them as needed and make it to the airport to catch FedEx because all of us were headed BACK downtown for the Blues game! So, all in all we put 351 miles on the car yesterday made three trips to downtown.
So early this morning I went to Kinko's, made triplicate copies of the dossier, packed the original and two copies and FedEx'd them to Holt. We keep another copy. Yes! Time to cross that off the list and celebrate another small step! It usually take 2-3 days for Holt to verify everything that is in the dossier making sure everything is in order etc. Once that it complete, it is sent to the Vietnamese Consulate in San Francisco for authentication and translation. Stay tuned!

Monday, February 18, 2008

When Holidays Are Not Fun!

Who doesn't like a holiday? No work, get to sleep in, do things you have been meaning to do, short work week. Heck who does not like them? HANK!! Well at least President's Day on 2/18/08! Why? Because the Federal offices are all closed today which means that I can not run these docs downtown to be state certified today. I think the government offices should be like QuikTrip 24x7x365 or at least we should be able to call and say HEY, I need something come on in and take care of it please! I mean aren't they actually employed by us since we pay their salaries? Wishful thinking eh? Well I guess it will have to wait until tomorrow! Side salute to President Reagan!

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Actually we are almost ready to send everything off! Just waiting on the two employment letters which we will have on Monday. After those are in-hand we will run everything downtown to be state certified. Found out by calling Jeff City the US Customs building does it too. Only $10 per document (cap of $100 for adoption in MO) Oklahoma was $20 per document for certification and those landed in the FedEx plane last night! Everything is working smoothly. Dossier will be off to Holt TUESDAY who will check it for accuracy and then send it off the the Embassy of Vietnam in San Francisco for authentication. Here are 5 of the 6 pix used for dossier. House one was not on the CPU so I couldn't post that.

Aunt Tricia and Jack

Jack and Uncle Hank

Us from the DR this year

HB, TB & JP from Labor Day

ERAC Holiday Party

Friday, February 15, 2008

Prepare to come about!

Talk about a change in direction. Holt has now changed course in the adoption process. Normally we would be doing what we have been, waiting on referral and once matched we would start on our dossier. Now they are wanting us to complete our dossier ASAP and get it submitted. Well that sounds easy enough, but now the mad dash to compile the following:

-Employment letters
-6 passport photos each

-Doctor's letters
-I-600A approval letter

-Passport copies

-Home study

-Family photos and home photos
-Police reports

-Application reference forms
-Application for adoption
-Acceptance of referral forms

-Marriage certificate
-Kitchen sink :-)

Yeah not a problem right? Well then 99% of these have to be notarized (has to be valid for at least 12 months) AND state certified. Which means that we had to send our marriage certificate to Oklahoma City. The rest are sent to Jeff City. Sounds fun right? Sure it does! Some of the application reference forms and commitment forms do not need to be filled out since they are in Vietnamese, but we have to sign about 12 times. So, we are doing well in getting these compiled. Doctor (PCP) is proving to be a pain in the rear. The little snooty girl behind the frosted glass sliding window says they do not have a notary...please....Dairy Queeen has a notary! Now I have to go up there are throw some of my persuasive personality on her! Great way to spend a Friday morning. Hope to have all of this ready to go to Holt in Eugene, OR by mid to late next week.
Oh, yeah so what is the dossier? Well it is basically our life application which is given to the Vietnamese government presenting the Belz and our qualifications to become parents! That is all for now. Headed out the door to the doctor's office and rattle some cages....Great weekend to everyone...

Friday, February 8, 2008


Actually TWO good things! First off we received our I-171H today in the mail which is the favorable approval from our I-600A (advance processing of orphan petition) application we submitted just over 30 days ago. So chalk up another little battle victory!
Second is that Tricia received a VERY good promotion today at work. Her hard work has be remarkable and the rewards are coming! My Grandmother (Mimi) always says "she is going to be running that place someday!". Hope you all have a great weekend! We sure will! WOOHOOO!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Increasing The Odds

With all the uncertainty around the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) and the looming September expiration date, and no clear cut answers as of today how this will affect families in the VN program, Trish and I have decided to increase the age range of BabyBelz from 6 months - 1 year to under 2 1/2 years old. While this is not guaranteed to speed up our referral time it can not delay the process any either. We will check in with Holt around March 5th in regards to were we are in "the line" for referral. Just looking at some of the new families that have been officially classified as waiting, we are more than likely going to be in the high 20's in March. Status quo for now. Still waiting on the I-600A approval from the CIS. We appreciate all the well wishes and prayers from everyone out there. Passing time during the winter really stinks, as the weather has been so sporadic. 77 and sunny one day, 10 inches of snow and high winds with temps in the teens the next. Looking forward to Spring time! For some more information on the MOU and what is going on, please read the information on Ethica's Vietnam page. It explains alot and clears up many rumors that roll around. I also placed it in our links section.