Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wee One Wednesday: Our Adoption Timeline

Everyone's adoption timeline is different. Here is ours, to date, as a means of documenting how far we've come, what we've accomplished, and how much closer we are to finding our daughter:

12/17/15: During a dinner date to celebrate my 35th birthday, my hub and I began discussing whether or not we were going to finally pursue adoption. It is something we had been considering for over a decade. We needed to finally determine whether this was the right path for our family. We decide to take some time to pray, consult with close family and friends, and come back together in a few months to decide. 

***Meanwhile, I begin researching various adoption and home study agencies, looking at the adoption requirements of different countries, considering various medical conditions and special needs for which we would feel comfortable being able to adequately seek treatment, etc.***

3/8/16: We decided on the agency we wanted to use should we end up deciding to adopt (Chinese Children Adoption International [CCAI]). We submitted a Medical Conditions Checklist (MCC) to CCAI while continuing in our decision-making process. We also decided on the home study agency we would like to use should we, in fact, decide to proceed with adoption.

***We continued to pray, journal, talk, consult as we waited to hear from God that he wanted us to adopt...***

4/29/16: Decision made. We had no doubt. Now was the time. Our adoption journey officially began. Applications were accepted by our chosen adoption agency (CCAI) and homestudy agency (Nightlight Christian Adoptions) on this day.

***The great paperwork chase begins and continues for the next five months. For our adoption agency, this included obtaining/creating/having notarized the following:

(1) an adoption petition
(2) birth certificates for my hub and me
(3) marriage certificate
(4) employment verifications for my hub and me, signed by employers
(5) financial statement listing ALL assets, liabilities, incomes, insurances, net worth, etc.
(6) comprehensive physical exams for my hub and me
(7) signed doctor's letter
(8) police clearance reports
(9) approved I800A (federal form also requiring fingerprinting appointments for my hub and me with Homeland Security)
(10^) Home study report
(11) 3 photos of my hub and I together
(12) 8 family life photos
(13) 3 passport photos each
(14) copies of our passports
(15) copy of our dossier

^The home study itself required it's own set of documents that were needed before the extremely thorough report could be written. This included:

(1) home study agreement
(2) fee agreement
(3) background information form
(4) consents to criminal background check
(5) child abuse registry form for every state each of us lived in since age 18
(6) financial information form
(7) three reference letters
(8) physician statement
(9) current physicals for all children living in the home
(10) current vaccination record for any animals living in the home
(11) guardianship information
(12) book reviews of five adoption-centered books
(13) website reviews of four adoption-centered websites
(14) copies of driver's licenses
(15) copies of car insurance cards
(16) birth certificates for all people living in the home
(17) report cards for every child in the home who is in kindergarten or above 
(18) 12 hours of specific, online training and education

5/9/16: Home study visit #1 (a joint interview with our social worker and my hub/me) as well as our home inspection

5/18/16: Home study visit #2 and #3 (individual interviews with my hub and me)

5/19/16: All 12 hours of our required education and training completed

6/14/16: Home study visit #4 (interviews with my hub/me and the kids)

7/19/16: Home study report finalized and sent to South Carolina's Department of Social Services (DSS) for approval

7/22/16: I800A form submitted to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

8/23/16: Home study report finally approved by DSS and arrived to USCIS

9/3/16: I800A approved

9/7/16: All required documents sent to S.C. Secretary of State for certification

9/9/16: Certification approved and received back that morning. Documents mailed to courier service in D.C. that afternoon for authentication to begin

9/14/16: Documents couriered to U.S. Department of State

9/20/16: Documents authenticated by U.S. Department of State and immediately couriered to Chinese Embassy for final step of authentication

9/28/16: Documents authenticated by Chinese Embassy and mailed back to us.

9/30/16: Authenticated documents arrive back to us. ALL paperwork, photos, reports, etc. (our ENTIRE dossier) complete and sent to CCAI that afternoon for critical review.

10/10/16: Critical review and approval of dossier by CCAI.

10/12/16: Dossier arrived to CCAI headquarters in Colorado for Chinese translation and binding.

10/14/16: Dossier to China (DTC)!!! Our dossier was sent to the China Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA) in China.

10/18/16: Dossier delivered to CCCWA, with anticipation of a Log-In Date (LID) within the next two weeks!!!!

10/18/16: Evening update: Two weeks 'til LID? -- NOPE!!! We got word last night that we are LID!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This means, it could be any day that we receive a referral of a child's file to review!!! 

After many months of lots hard work, we have faith that we will find our daughter, all in God's timing. The waiting continues... <3 

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