This has been a bit of a crazy journey from day one. The process has changed quite a bit since we last went through it!
There was a bit more paperwork, the requirements are different, and last time we went through this, we were not “hague” ( hague is a convention in place to protect children from trafficking and other things in international adoption, and China is now a hague convention country). Yes, we had to redo everything, and we had to do it within hague requirements. This time I had to have a psychological evaluation. It was time consuming, but pretty straightforward. One of the things the psychologist did was give me a personality test. There were really no big surprises, but one of the husband’s favorite things was my score for privacy. Basically, I have zero personal privacy. I know this about myself…and the husband gets a kick out of my potential to overshare. It’s true, I am happy to share all the deets on my feelings, thoughts, etc…guess that’s why I love to blog!
Anywhoo, given my psychologically proven total lack of personal privacy, you can imagine how hard it has been to not share any of the going-ons of late. And believe me, there has been a LOT going on…
We started our process in March of this year. And by started, I mean we decided to start paperwork for another adoption, and we thought we would take our time with it, and see what happened.
I’ve never been good at taking my time, so we moved everything right along, and even though we traveled quite a bit this Summer we still managed to get stuff done. We hit a LOT of roadblocks…
Meanwhile, we had been perusing the children’s files on our agency’s website, and our boy had caught our eye. We really wanted him, and our agency was happy to help us work for him. The catch was that only family’s with dossiers logged in with China could request to adopt him.
Our dossier was not only not logged in, but we were not as close as we thought…and our boy’s file was set to expire with our agency, and would be sent back to China in October.
Our agency (which is fabulous, btw) requested an extension, but was disappointingly only granted a one month extension. We were disappointed, and even though we decided to work hard to get there, we were resigned to the possibility that we might not make it.
We got our completed homestudy at the end of September, and promptly sent it off to USCIS (immigration), and waited. Our cutoff was November twenty-first, which meant that our dossier had to be in China by the twelfth, to be logged in. By the first of November, we decided that we were not going to make it. I had heard from USCIS that morning that we had not even been assigned an officer at that point, and so I knew that we would never get our immigration approval in time to get the rest of our paperwork done. So I sat down and wrote an email to our agency. I wanted there to be time to advocate for this boy before his file was sent back to China. Just before I hit send, I got an email. From USCIS. We were approved, and not only were we approved, we were approved the previous day, and our approval had been sent out.
So I deleted my email to our agency, and wrote a new email.
We received our approval notice the following day. Then we scrambled like crazy people.
We got it notarized Monday morning (the rest of our paperwork already went through these next steps), and I drove to our state capital the same day to get it authenticated. Then the husband took it on Tuesday to the State Department in DC on Tuesday, and managed to get same day service for authentication. On Tuesday afternoon, I took our paperwork to the Chinese Embassy for their authentication…we picked it up on Wednesday afternoon, and Fedexed it to our agency. They got it on Thursday morning, and sent it to China on Thursday afternoon. That was the eighth of November.
Our dossier was logged in on November thirteenth, and we received pre-approval for our boy on November fifteenth, with a week to spare before our cut-off!
And that’s when I knew that it was meant to be. This boy was meant to be my son.
Impossible thing after impossible thing happened…even when I was sure that it would not work out, all of these seemingly impossible steps happened right on time. I am still having a hard time believing it.
But it is true. And it is meant to be.
**We will not be showing pictures of our boy until we receive our official letter of acceptance, per our agency’s request. But trust me when I say that he is the cutest boy you’ve ever seen. Truly.
I'm so happy for your family. I remember the stress of adoption paperwork. I think I nearly had a nervous breakdown during the whole process. Hugs.
Sounds like it is definitely meant to be. Can't wait to see his beautiful face! (which agency are you using, if you don't mind my asking?)
This post gives me chills !!! What a timeline.
I found your blog through your comment on my blog – congrats on your little boy 🙂 How fun!! Hope your LOA arrives soon!
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Oh that is just so amazing!! God jutted worked everything out for you all! LOVE the pics of M holding her baby brother's picture…too too cute! I hope your LOA arrives very very soon!