Joel and I have sensed a calling to international adoption for many years. In May, 2009 God made it abundantly clear that it was time. After much prayer, research and wise counsel we began the process to adopt a daughter from China. God directed us to an incredible agency that was founded by a family with an amazing testimony. This blog is a chronicle of our journey, to inform our friends and family and as a record of events for our daughter to read one day. Join us in the journey... it is sure to be an adventure!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Waiting for Approvals

Well, the Home Study draft has been forwarded to our Adoption Agency for approval. As soon as it has passed muster, we will get official copies of our Home Study to use in our Dossier, and to send to US Customs and Immigration (USCIS) to file for their approval to adopt internationally. Once we apply to USCIS, we will be invited to have biometric fingerprinting done and then we wait to receive their approval. Once we have it, we will begin having all of our Dossier documents authenticated.

These are the documents that compile a Dossier:
*Adoption Petition
*Birth Certificates of Adoptive Parents
*Marriage Liscense
*Employment Verifications for working parents
*Non-Employment Verification for non-working parent (ME)
*Financial Statement
*Physical Exam Documents including several blood tests
*Gold Seal Police Reports obtained through FBI fingerprinting
*I-797C form indicating approval to adopt from USCIS
*Finalized Home Study
*3 couple photos
*8 family life photos (both parents must appear in each)
*6 Passport photos each
*Copies of Passports

Everything except for the passports and photos must go through multiple levels of authentication. For most of these documents there is 1-Notirization, 2-Certification by the County Clerk (where the notary is from), 3-Certification by the Secretary of State (For us this is in Annapolis), 4-Authentication by the US State Department, 5-Authentication by the Chinese Consulate in DC.

Thankfully, our state capital is within easy driving distance, as is DC for the State Department and Chinese Consulate.

Many people have to do much of this through the mail. It is my hope to hand-deliver everything to every office. I have been told the document that walk through the front door are attended more quickly than the ones that arrive in the mail. So, that is where we are now.

The very exciting thing is that we are already on the Waiting Child waiting list. Since we are seeking a child with some medical needs, we will more than likely be matched by CCAI instead of the CCAA in China. Waiting Child matching tends to happen within 18 months. That timeline has already begun. We are not guaranteed a match within 18 months, but it is very possible...wouldn't that be an amazing Christmas gift in 2011?

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