I know it’s still really early. I’ve been restraining myself. But I finally bought some girl stuff last night–PINK girl stuff. Tommy, the boys, and I went to a benefit dinner and auction for Sardis Lake Christian Camp. I bought a basket of girl things–a pink dress, a diaper bag, and a burp bloth(all of which were made and donated by a dear friend of mine). I’ve also started thinking about her room. I found some adorable bedding in a catalog–green with pink ladybugs on it. Ladybugs are considered good luck in China. I have even been looking at Asian baby dolls.
As far as the adoption process we are moving right along. Last week we sent our form to immigration services to be approved to bring an orphan immigrant into the country. The home study is part of the application, so we sent a letter stating that we would send the home study as soon as it is completed. Yesterday we received our permission letter to get our biometric fingerprinting done. I have no idea what this is, but the only place in MS to have it done is the FBI office in Jackson.
We also had our last home study visit on Thursday. We will meet with our social worker one more time to review the home study. She is waiting on Tommy and I to each have our physical exams. Mine is next Friday. Tommy STILL has not made his appointment. (He has been extremely busy though.) She is waiting on several of our references, so any of you who have received forms and have not returned them please do so SOON. She is also awaiting our child abuse records from the state. It sounds like a lot, but the home study has really been much easier than we expected. Our social worker has been extremely nice and helpful.
While we’re completing the home study and awaiting our permission from immigration, we’ve been preparing paperwork for our dossier(the packet of forms that we send to China). We each received certified copies of our birth certificates. We received a certified copy of our marriage license. I’ve completed a certificate of profession which was easy since I stay at home. Tommy has to get an accountant to write his since he is self-employed. We are working on getting our physical exams done. Tommy has to fill out a financial info. sheet. I got a form from the sheriff’s office stating that I do not have a criminal record in our county. Tommy still has to do that. I’m sure I’m forgetting something. All of these have to be notarized. Then they have to be stamped by the Secretary of State of the state where they originated. Then they have to be authenticated by the Chinese consulate. Fortunately for us, our adoption agency recently started doing everything but the notarization for adopting families. That’s a huge burden lifted because it’s a very complicated process. All of these forms once they have been stamped in every way possible are sent to China along with our home study, our permission from immigration services, copies of our passports, an application to adopt (which is basically a letter from us stating that we want to adopt a child from China and we promise to take good care of her), and 7-10 photos of our family. Once they are in China they are sent to be translated into Chinese and then sent to the CCAA(China Center for Adoption Affairs). Once they process our package we will be given a LID(log-in date). Then the wait begins. Right now the wait from LID to referral(receiving info. on our assigned child) is 14 months. We are praying that this will decrease as it has been known to.
So, many months after our LID we will get a call from our adoption agency saying that they have our referral. The referral contains pictures and a brief description of the child assigned to us. The children are usually 8-10 months old by the time they are assigned a family. In China law requires that a search for the birth parents be done until the child is 6 months old. The agency will e-mail and also mail us the referral. We will then have to quickly reply to China that we accept this child. After that we await TA(travel approval) from China. Then we make an appointment with the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China. Then we can begin making travel arrangements. Families usually travel to get their child within 1-2 months after receiving their referral. So Rachel will be somewhere around a year old by the time we get her. By the way, the BIG day is called “Gotcha Day” by adopting families. Isn’t that great?
So for now I’m living vicariously through other families online who are currently getting their children. I guess that’s what I’ll have to do during the long wait.
Well, that’s probably more than you ever wanted to know about China adoption. Thank you for the prayers. Please continue to pray for Rachel and her birth mother/family wherever they are.