Sunday, December 23, 2012

Mumble Jumble

This post is going to be a jumbled mess and hard to follow but that is okay because it is a true reflection of my thoughts right now.  I had really hoped that all of our documents could be sent to China this year.  This step is called DTC - Dossier to China (your dossier consists of documents that the Chinese government wants).  We are not going to make that deadline :-(  We had our fingerprint appointment on the 17th.  This is a part of the USCIS  (Citizenship and Immigration Services) approval process.  Two of my fingerprints could not be read.  The nice woman taking them assured me that it would be okay because the rolled prints matched the non-roll ones.  Although I was sure that she knew what she was talking about, I still worried about it.  She was right, and our application to adopt was approved by the US government. We received our approval letter in the mail on Saturday the 22nd!  Best Christmas present ever!!  Now we have all the documents we need for our dossier.  Next step is to have everything certified at the Secretary of State office in Austin and then authenticated at the Chinese Consulate office in Houston.  Here is where it gets tricky.  Our agency only sends out dossiers on Fridays, so they must have our dossier by January 3rd in order for us to be DTC on January 4th.  Otherwise, it will be the 11th.  You may wonder what the big deal is about a week, but because of the timing it could mean a month delay in the matching process.  After DTC we will get a LID (Log In Date).  This is the date that confirms that China has our documents.  LID will normally come around a week after DTC, but you may not know your LID until a week or so later.  The list that referrals come from is normally released towards the end of each month.  We need to have our LID in order to be eligible to be matched.  If we are DTC on the 4th, then we will have a good chance of being eligible for the January list.  We probably won't get a referral in January, but it helps move us up the list so our chances will be higher the next month.  We really want the boys to come with us to China but that will only be possible if we are able to travel in June or July.  Every month counts in order for this to happen.  So in order to make the DTC date of the 4th, I am going to drive to Austin on the 26th to have our documents certified.  I will then drive to Houston to have them authenticated.  I have been told that the consulate now takes 4 days to complete the paperwork.  So I will then fly to Houston on the 31st to pick up our precious papers and will then send them on their way to our agency.  This is a lot of traveling.  I talked it over with Mark, and he immediately said that I should do it.  So it may be crazy, but I feel that it is right.  Please pray that all of the documents are correct and that none of them are rejected.  I might be stressing about all of this just a LITTLE.  

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Some Answers

Why China? I really don't have a good answer for that. It is just what I have always envisioned. I have tried to think of other options, but my thoughts always return to China. It is where we are supposed to go.

When will this all happen? I thought it took years to adopt from China?
There are 2 different routes in China adoptions, the SN (Special Needs) and the NSN (Non-Special Needs). The NSN route takes around 7 years. We are not going that route. The SN route normally takes AROUND a year. This is the route that we are going. We are open to needs such as minor to moderate heart conditions, cleft lip/palate, or club feet. We would consider other things depending upon the situation.

Do you know who she is? What age is she?
You can find your own referral when doing a SN adoption from China, but since we are open to only minor needs, then we most likely will need to wait for a referral to be given to us through our agency. We hope to have a referral in the spring sometime. We are able to review the referral and then decide whether or not to accept the referral. We are approved to adopt a child between the ages of 1 - 3.

Where are you in the process? What is the process?
The world of adoption from China involves many initials. HS, I800-A, USCIS, DTC, LID, OOT, LOA, I800, TA - just to name a few. If you really want to know about this, let me know. Basically, the steps are as follows: 1) get an approved home study (check), 2) get approval from the US side to adopt (step we are at) 3) send documents to China, 4) be accepted by China, 5) wait for referral, 6) accept referral, 7) receive permission from China to adopt a specific child, 8) receive permission from the US to adopt a specific child, 9) receive permission from China to travel, 10) travel to China to complete adoption.

Will the boys go with you to China? I am praying that they can. We will need to be in China for around 2 weeks. Two things will need to happen for them to get to go. First, the adoption MUST happen in June or July - high school kids can't miss school, and the band kid can't miss August band practice. Second, we have to raise enough money for them to go. We aren't believers in carrying a lot of debt, so if the money isn't there, then they can't go. Please feel free to pray that this can happen for them. I really want them to experience her native country.

Isn't adoption expensive? Yes, it is. It is about the same cost as buying a new car. The amazing thing is that once we made this decision, extra money for this just started to appear. I got a side job that pays well and requires minimal work. Other things just started popping up. I believe that God is clearly blessing this adoption.

One last thing, I am so excited I can hardly stand it. The wait just might kill me. I am ready for her to be home now. I worry about whether or not she is being taken care of and loved. I can't wait to see her face.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

- Jenna