Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Onto the next wait

We finally got five notarized copies of our home study last Thursday. I had the I-800A prepared to mail once the home study arrived...
That is until I read that we'd need a letter from FTIA to go with the home study or USCIS wouldn't accept it. Hats off to FTIA, they mailed the letter that day and we got it on Saturday. So we put our I-800A packet in the mail today. The packet contains the 12 page application to adopt an orphan, our home study and FTIA approval letter, necessary documents and of course a check; everyone wants money in this process.
We will get a letter soon saying they received it and then another letter telling us when our fingerprint appointments are. Once the fingerprints are accepted it will take a couple more weeks to get our approval. I'm hoping we will have the approval by the beginning of July.
We are on Day #6 waiting for our PA. All this waiting; I will either be a master at waiting or never want to wait a day for anything the rest of my life by the time this process is over.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


The very next day after posting about the process dragging on we got a huge speed up! Last Thursday we were granted permission to join the yahoo group featuring all the children on the shared listing. That morning I sat in my pajamas until noon while looking through all the files and adorable pictures. I made myself read the files before looking at pictures so it would be a bit easier to make a clear decision with my head. We narrowed it down to 3 girls and emailed the agency to check and see if any of them were still available; two of them were.
I was drawn to one girl so on Friday night I sat down with her files to thoroughly look through all the test results, convert all her measurements to figure out her growth pattern, etc. One result in the urinalysis threw me for a loop and after figuring it probably wasn't a sign of good things I closed the computer and told J that I was too uneasy about it. I told myself she wasn't "the one" and tried to think of other things. I tried all weekend but my mind kept going back to her.

Monday morning I received another email from the agency saying more files were added overnight so again I sat in my pajamas until noon reading through them (they really take a long time to read!). I specifically did not open her file so I could consider the other children with a clear mind. After looking through all the others I opened her file once again and read it over; I knew her file was better than the others. I decided to call a doctor who reviews the files of special needs children and ask her to look it over. She got back to me in two hours (!!) and told us the result I was worried about was nothing; she is fine!

I feverishly started working on paperwork to lock her file. J called the bank to make sure this was something we could pull off with less time than we originally thought. We barely got all the paperwork done and emailed before the agency closed and then we just had to wait. Great, back to that waiting and patience thing!
We showed the kids her picture (Emily had already seen her) and told them we were moving forward to adopt her. I wish I had videotaped Emily; she was shrieking- shrieking "She's going to be my sister?! For real? My SISTER?!" It was so cute watching her try to contain herself but she had so much excitement she couldn't.

We took her picture with us while we ate so we could decide a name for her together. We haven't come to a clear decision yet.

At 8:30 this morning we got the email we were waiting for- her file was still available and they locked it for us. They are submitting our Letter of Intent (LOI) today. Once China receives our LOI we will be waiting again. China will send us a Pre-Approval (PA) in 1-4 weeks and after that I can share her name and photo with the world. Until then here is a sneak peak.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Still waiting

I have heard to never pray for patience, so I don't. But, I'm beginning to think I may come to the end of my patience soon.

We still don't have our home study. Our home visit was one month ago today so we should have several final, notarized copies of our home study in our hands. We don't. The home study is caught up in review between our home study agency, our international agency and us. It's like playing the telephone game on email.

Not as time critical but our documents that went to DC on 4/21 are still there. They did leave the state department and journeyed successfully to the Chinese embassy but they are still there. The longer they are gone the more I think they might be getting lost.
The majority of our dossier is at the Chicago consulate. That was 11 documents so it might take a bit longer. Once we get those back we will only need two more documents to complete the dossier; our home study and the I-800A approval from immigration.

I think getting our dossier complete by the end of June is probably not going to happen.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Workshop complete

We traveled several hours this weekend to attend the 7 hour international workshop required to complete our home study. It was long but informative and mostly, we are just glad it is behind us. We can now get our final home study and hopefully that will arrive this week.

While the kids were in school Friday morning, J and I drove downtown to a satellite office for the secretary of state to get our documents certified before sending them off to the Chicago consulate to be authenticated. When dropping off the documents we realized we didn't have the 1 1/2 hours to wait so we would need to come back and pick them up this week. As the office attendant took the papers and paper clipped them together I had physical anxiety symptoms, which is rare for me. I felt my stomach flip-flop and my heart race as if I was on a high, very long bridge; one thing I despise. I am so worried one of those documents might fall from the paper clip and get lost. My inner being was screaming "You have no idea how long that has taken or just HOW important each of those papers are!" When leaving the office I told J that I felt as though I had just dropped my baby off with an unknown babysitter and he told me "well, you sort of did." Yes, I guess I did. I hope they have taken care of her this weekend and didn't lose her blanket or teddy bear our financial statement or medical forms.

Our GA paperwork made it home safely from the Houston consulate last Thursday but the US Secretary of State is taking their time with our TN paperwork and has not sent it onto the Chinese Embassy yet. I'm sure there are very critical national situations that might take precedence but I need our paperwork!