Paper Work Time Line -- Start to Finish!
January 3, 2007: Emailed our agency, CAWLI, and requested the "Re-Filing USCIS I-600A Petition Package". Oh joy. Not sure what all that entails. We are hoping that our original homestudy, up-dated homestudy, copies of our marriage license and birth certificates will do. Oh, and let's not forget another $545 for filing the form, again. We will also have to be refingerprinted. No, they don't change. We have been told that the FBI deletes them from their database after 15 months. Sure they do. :) But, this DOES mean we are getting closer. Thank goodness. Current guesstimates are referral in May-July with travel to China 6-8 weeks after. Here's hoping for May!!
September 5, 2006: Below is what the CCAA on September 1st. This is a very important milestone for us, with a LID of November 2005. This means that our dossier has passed review, so that they feel that our paperwork is complete and that there is nothing that they have any questions on. This, is a good thing! The top paragraph pertains to us, the bottom one shows just how slowly things are moving. There is talk all over the place on when we should expect our referral. Anywhere from receiving it in December of this year or December of next! We are keeping our fingers crossed (now) for an early Spring 2007 referral with travel in the early months of summer (hoping it won't be too hot!).
Summer 2006: We had our homestudy update done, because of our move to New Mexico (required by the US Government). We then had it submitted to the New Mexico branch of the USCIS.
December 25, 2005: Well, this is a hard day. We thought we would have been to China and back by now. I think I am having a harder time than Jeff is, or he is just not showing it as much. But trying to stay positive, with the end (hopefully) in sight near the end of the year.
However, we are happily settling in to Albuquerque. We have found a house, closed on it and moved in. Still unpacking (and waiting on some of our household goods to arrive from Sasebo!) but for the most part settling in just fine. Jeff is happy in his new job, Max just loves his back yard, and I am finding the important things (library, shopping and cross stitch stores!). We have much to be thankful for this Christmas, and look forward to a bright and exciting 2006.
November 23, 2005: Today is our official LID (Log in Date). CAWLI received word from the Chinese government that our dossier has been received and logged in. This is the date that the Chinese government uses, so it is very important. We were quite lucky to have such a quick LID; we have heard them taking much longer in the past so we were quite thankful.
Unfortunately, we have heard (both from friends and from CAWLI) that the Chinese government has decided to extend the wait times to referrals. We have no idea why, they just have. It used to be that it was pretty much a given that families would receive their referral for their child six months after their LID with travel approval coming 6-8 weeks after that. Now, they are saying the wait will be longer but the best time frame they will give is 9-12 months before the referral go out. The last few months have come in right at the 9-month mark, so we are hoping that they stay there (or shorten!) but do not lengthen. We have been told by our agency to prepare ourselves for a longer wait for 2006. That means that many (most) of our documents and forms will have to be redone completely as they will be outdated before our referral comes in. We have decided to not stress about it, when the time for our referral comes - it comes. It's hard, but we have no choice and in the end, all will be worth it.
November 10, 2005: We are DTC! This is a major milestone (especially for us as so many steps took so much longer than they should have). DTC means Dossier to China, CAWLI sent us an email this morning to let us know that it is on its way. Thank goodness!
October 20(ish), 2005: Our 171H finally arrived! Jeff made copies and mailed one to CAWLI. Finally, we are getting there.
September 2005: We are moving! It is with very mixed feelings as we just adore Sasebo and Japan and had hoped to stay here for another couple of years. But, it is also with excitement as we are moving to Albuquerque, New Mexico - somewhere that neither of us has ever lived but we have heard such amazing things about. Now to start packing and organizing! It is not the best time, as it will add some hoops to jump through for the adoption, but we have been told that it will be a wonderful place to raise our daughter - so it's a good thing!
September 1, 2005: Received an updated homestudy report from our social worker (for the same reason as the updated medical forms).
August 8, 2005: Received our updated medical forms. This is sort of a `just in case' thing as the forms have a `shelf life' and we were worried that they were going to expire before our 171H arrived from Seoul.
July 25, 2005: Mailed our last packet to CAWLI with our dossier photos and our passport photos (for our visas).
July 11, 2005: We received a note from the folks in Tokyo; they have sent our packet on to Seoul. More waiting, but at least we know were it is!
June 22, 2005: Well, this is a good news/bad news entry. I received an email from the Embassy in Seoul (where they issue our 171H), seems they have not received our packet yet from Tokyo. So, Jeff (being the "petitioner") called up to Tokyo and found the person he needed to talk with. The guy needed original documents (not copies, as all the other jurisdictions require, sigh). We got those together and mailed them to him via the Japanese mail system. He *promises* that the minute he receives the packet he will send it all on to Seoul. The good news: Jeff asked him for an estimate for the Seoul turn-around, it is about two months. Not really great, but at least it is something instead of a complete unknown (look for that silver lining!). If that is truly correct, we can expect to be DTC (Dossier to China) maybe by mid September/early October. Six-eight months from then we would get our referral and travel to China and our sweet baby!
May 3, 2005: Finally. At long last. Our homestudy is signed, dated, notarized. The I600A packet is officially in the mail as of this morning. Jeff and I are completely finished with the paperwork that we have any control over whatsoever. Now we wait for the wheels of our government to move. With any luck, they will move quicker than molasses on a winter day. Wishful thinking, but a gal has to look on the bright side. J Once we have that little piece of paper, our completed dossier with ALL of our paperwork will wing its way to China. They look at it, and hopefully accept us as "waiting parents". This is when the*real* wait begins (estimate of 6-7 months is the current thinking). We will wait for the CCAA (China Center for Adoption Affairs) to match us with the child we are dreaming about. The child we already love, though we have yet to meet. The child that is already deep in our hearts. The child that we cannot wait to build a life with, to share all that is ... family.
April 29, 2005: I bought a new domain name in the baby's name! As soon as it is actually up and running I will post a direct link!
April 21, 2005: Our last home visit for our homestudy. It's official, our homestudy is completed! All we need now are for the signatures to be notarized and it's off to the Embassy in Tokyo with our I600A packet, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition.
April 11, 2005: Kimberly's Virginia Criminal Check clearance arrived!
March 21, 2005: (Jeff's Birthday!): Went to Security and had our fingerprints done for the 1600A (171H). Also picked up our completed medical forms from our wonderful and very supportive doctor! Sent those to CAWLI. Finally feels like we are making progress again!
August - December 2004: Gathered our documents (birth certificates, marriage license, etc.).
March 7, 2005: Jeff's Virginia Criminal Check clearance arrived!
February 27, 2005: Homestudy nearing completion. Reviewed and returned to our social worker.
February 10, 2005: Mailed our requests for Criminal Background Checks to the State of Virginia.
January 27, 2005: Mailed application and first packet of documents to our wonderful agency, CAWLI (China Adoption with Love, Inc.) in Massachusetts!
Even though we have yet to travel to China, we have found and used to GREAT success a wonderful travel agent. I am a member of quite a few elists for International Adoption, many specific to China. One of the gals that posts mentioned that her mom is a travel agent and could help with adoption travel between the US and China. Because Jeff and I were planning a trip back to the States this spring that included many travel-legs, we thought we'd check to see if she would be able to help us.
She was AMAZING!!!!! She went well out of her way to help us. Truly, we felt we were in good hands and did not have a worry at all about our travel arrangements - she even did our car rental! If you are looking for help with your adoption travel (or other travel) call Sue Sorrels of Campbell Travel (Texas) at 817.784.8219 or email her at ssorrels @ campbelltravel DOT com (take out the spaces and replace the DOT with a period). Really, you will feel pampered and cared for!
Looking for Announcements?
I have found a site that has amazingly beautiful announcements. Jeff and I plan to use this site for our announcement when we return from China with our little darling! Take a wander around their web site, classy, gorgeous, and very different from anything I have yet to find.
Glossy photo birth and adoption announcements ~ Featuring a variety of your favorite digital
or traditional photos. Photo retouching included free. A memorable way to announce the arrival
of your little one. Many elegant and sophisticated designs.
I love these web sites!