Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Longest Pregnancy in History: Our Adoption Timeline

Many have asked when we started the adoption process. Well here's a look at our timeline:

December 2004 ~ While still working with a fertility Doctor, a good friend mentions that America World Adoption agency is doing a local seminar. We attend the seminar but aren't yet sure what our next steps should be.

April 2005 ~ We feel that God is leading us to adopt but we don't yet know from what country or what agency. We are immediately drawn to China and Korea. But spend the next few months praying and researching countries and agencies.

Sept 11, 2005 ~ China is where our child is! We submit our application to America World Adoption Agency (AWAA) to bring her home.

Sept 16, 2005 ~ Our application is approved! :)

Sept 29, 2005 ~ We receive our home study and dossier (fancy word for the documents that go to China) packet. We immediately start the paperchase which is the term referring to the next step in the process which is assembling the soul-baring mountain of paperwork.

October 3, 2005 ~ We order new birth certificates, certified marriage certificate and mail the CPS form.

October 5, 2005 ~ I have my physical which includes blood work as well as compose a letter (for the Dr. to sign) detailing my past surgeries. The letter also had to state that I fully recovered and am able to parent a child. I also have new passport photos done. In addition I take our sweet kitty to the Vet for her physical. Yep, even the kitty must be checked out. Oh and the vet had to give me a letter on the office letterhead stating that the kitty wouldn't scratch our child's eyes out. ;-)

October 6, 2005 ~ Doug has his physical and blood work done. We compose his surgery letter for him as well. We begin to gather copies of all our financial records, last years tax return, fill out a financial form and request a notarized employment verification form from Doug's work.

October 10, 2005 ~ We have our state fingerprints and police background check done.

October 13, 2005 ~ We make arrangements for a guardian and have them fill out a form. We also write five page autobiographies about our lives. Yippee!

October 28, 2005 ~We have a traveling notary meet us at our Dr.'s office to notarize our Doctor's signature, letters, my unemployment letter, financial statement and application letter.

October 29, 2005 ~ We have our 1st home study meeting!

October 31, 2005 ~ We have our 2nd home study meeting.

November 1, 2005 ~ Cam has his physical and TB test.

November 17, 2005 ~ I happen to tell our social worker about all the speeding tickets I received when I was in college. :( Most of them were between the years of 1987-1989 (yah, yah, I was a bit of speed demon in my younger days. They didn't call me the Hustling Hyundai for nothing!) Well anyway, she had me draft a letter (that would go to China) detailing my poor behavior along with an apology that explained I learned from my poor choices and would never do it again. Hmm...

November 18, 2005 ~ Had our pool fence fixed so that it once again self closing.

November 21, 2005 ~ We have a pool inspector out to check that everything is up to code.

November 23, 2005 ~ We have our 3rd Home study meeting which is the anxiety causing individual interviews. They go just fine. But it does seem that our social worker doesn't quite get my sense of humor. Go figure! :)

November 30, 2005 ~ We have our 4th and last Home study meeting which is the dreaded home inspection. We scrub the house from top to bottom and do all sorts of crazy things like put more cabinet locks on and rearrange cleaners, knives and other kid friendly items. All of which she spends exactly zero time on. Oh well, they were all good things to do anyway. :)

December 2, 2005 ~ We mail Doug's Employee verification form to the Texas Secretary of State to be certified. (Doug's company is based in Texas)

December 14, 2005 ~ Our home study is sent to the Arizona Superior court.

December 28, 2005 ~ Our home study is approved!

December 29, 2005 ~ We send our I-600a Immigration form along with our home study to INS.

January 11, 2006 ~ We send Doug's employment verification form to the Chinese Consulate in Houston for authentication.

January 12, 2006 ~ We have our FBI fingerprints taken.

January 28, 2006 ~ We receive the much sought after I-171H form from INS. This form will allow us to bring our daughter into the US.

January 30, 2006 ~ I have all our forms certified at the Arizona Secretary of State's office in Tucson and then send them all to the Chinese Consulate in LA for authentication.

February 6, 2006 ~ I finish up the scrapbook type pics for the dossier.

February 13, 2006 ~ We assemble our dossier and send it to our agency. Here is the result of five months of paperchasing:

February 17, 2o06 ~ Our agency has checked and approved everything. We are DTC! This means our dossier has been sent to China. This is a great day!

March 13, 2006 ~ This is our Log In Date (LID)! This means our dossier has been logged in at the China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA) in China.

May 27, 2006 ~ We receive the coveted brown envelope. We aren't sure what it's for, since not everyone receives one. But we are told we need to bring it to China. ;-)

February 1, 2007 ~ We are "officially" out of the review room. This is a huge milestone! This means that China has approved us and the next step is to be matched with our child.

April 18, 2007 ~ Unfortunately, due to the extended wait, our home study and I-171H form are getting ready to expire so we begin our home study re-certification and I-171H renewal. We have our home study visit today.

May 14, 2007 ~ We have our state fingerprints redone.

May 22, 2007 ~ We refile our I-600a immigration form.

June 6, 2007 ~ The Arizona Superior Court approves our re-certification.

We are currently waiting to have our FBI fingerprints redone and then receive a new I-171H immigration form.

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