Shortly after leaving the house to take Emily to the doctor my cell phone rang. I've been on pins and needles all day wondering/hoping that FTIA would be receiving a package of LOAs and ours would be included. Of course the call would come in just after leaving the house!
Our caseworker said the sweetest words- "yes, a package did come in today and your LOA was in it!" Praise the Lord!
So, our LOA did arrive in our 12th week of waiting and even better it arrived on day #88. Eight is considered a lucky number in China.
So, what are the next steps? More waiting.
1. The agency overnighted our LOA packet to us so we will receive it tomorrow.
2. We sign the LOA and send it back to them, along with the visa paperwork for Claire's visa. They will send it on to China ahead of our arrival.
3. Tomorrow I will be sending our I-800 off to USCIS. This is the second half of the immigration process. The first part approved us to adopt an orphan from China, this step will approve us to adopt Claire specifically and set it up that she will automatically become a US citizen once on US soil.
4. Once approved, USCIS will send our approval to the US Consulate in Guangzhou, China. We will have our final appointment at this consulate so they get part of the paperwork ready for us ahead of time.
5. When the consulate receives our I-800 approval, a second LOA that our agency will send and Claire's visa paperwork they will issue a document called the "Article 5." This is sent to the CCAA to let them know everything is in order on the US side and we can travel to China.
6. After all that the CCAA will issue us our Travel Approval, or TA. Once we get the TA we can set an appointment with the consulate and we back our travel up from that.
Right now it is taking about 50-80 days to get from LOA to TA. I think traveling by the end of the year will happen only with a miracle. We are most likely looking at travel in January.
Thank you all for your prayers and definitely don't stop now; we have a lot ahead of us.