Adoption Timeline

2 Nov
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 02, 2006 02:25 PM, CST

Adoption Timeline

I’m going to take you back to the beginning of our adoption journey. Prepare to be schooled in International Adoption!

August 2005 – began researching adoption agencies

10.13.05 – J~ & I went to an info. meeting in Peoria for Lifelink Adoption Agency with our good friends. After the meeting we knew we would sign with Lifelink. We had to wait to apply until spring 2006 since China requires adoptive parents to be 30.

2.15.06 – Our friends came over for supper so we could go over the paperwork they had received from Lifelink. It was a fun evening, but very overwhelming. There was so much to do!

2.28.06 – Sent our application to Lifelink

3.3.06 – Received our first packet from Lifelink. Let the paperwork begin! We had to write our auto-biographies and fill out a few forms.

3.29.06 – Traveled to the Quad Cities to meet with Lifelink’s head social worker for our area. We spent 2 hours with Linda going over the process and the paperwork. We asked lots of questions and we were very excited when we left the meeting. We were officially started!

4.7 & 4.10 – Completed our first fingerprints. The first ones were for the FBI. These were done at our local police station and sent with our local clearances to Wash. DC to be screened.

4.10 & 4.18 – The whole family had to have physicals. Our family dr. had to fill out many forms saying we were healthy and capable of raising a child.

4.19.06 – J~ & I went to Peoria to meet with our case worker Carole. We first met with her together to talk about adoption and our family life. J~ then met with Carole on his own to talk more about his auto-biography.

4.22.06 We spent the day in the Quad Cities at Lifelink’s Cultural Training Day. Lifelink brought in presenters to talk about issues in Int’l adoption. They also brought in families that had adopted (& their kids). That was by far the highlight of the day.

5.1.06 – I had my individual meeting with Carole in Peoria.

5.13.06 – Mailed our IL State Police Clearances. In IL we’re required to become licensed Foster Parents. This is in case one parent doesn’t travel. If only one parent travels overseas to get the child, the adoption is not completed in the child’s country, it has to be finalized in the US. I don’t understand all of the legal issues, so we’ll leave it at that.

5.23.06 – Home Visit. Carole came to our house to see how we live. She met E~ & G~ for the first time and talked with them about adoption and how they felt about having a little sister. She walked through the house to make sure it was suitable for another child. Lots of people dread the home visit, but we found it to be completely painless.

5.06-6.06 – During these months we were busy collecting documents. We needed 3 copies of each birth certificate and our marriage license. One copy of each document had to be certified by its originating state. Certification is when the Secretary of State signs a paper stating that the notary that signed the original certificate is an actual notary. We have documents from 3 states. It takes a little research and patience to get everything where it needs to be. Thankfully we had the pleasure of dealing with helpful and kind people.

6.20.06 – Our completed Home Study begins its journey to the US-CIS (formerly INS. In other words, Immigration). US-CIS reviews our homestudy and issues a letter authorizing us to be fingerprinted (fingerprint #3).

7.07.06 – Receive our letter to be fingerprinted in St. Louis.

7.09 – 7.10 – J~ and I stay overnight in downtown STL so we can be at the US-CIS office at 8am. We were warned it could be quite a wait – we’re out in 30 minutes.

7.06 – During July two things happened. Adoptions in China were really slowing down. The wait for a referral when we started researching was 6 months. When we applied to Lifelink, the wait was 8 months. In July, the wait jumped to 1 year and counting. Projections had the wait stretching to 2 years. China has a very popular adoption program and the applications for adoption had jumped to over 20,000. While they place many, many children each year, the program was quickly becoming maxed out. The other thing that happened was Lifelink partnered with another agency to do adoptions from Vietnam. The wait was much shorter; the program had been closed to the US for 3 years, and the children are quite young (2-3 months at referral versus 6-12 for China). Jason and I prayed and researched and decided to switch both countries and agencies. Lifelink’s program was very expensive or we would have happily stayed with them. We signed with an agency out of Oregon. If you read the journal history you’ll understand why they are referred to as PA (placement agency). We haven’t been completely satisfied and don’t feel like giving them the free advertising. Plus, if they find the journal, they can’t object to the bad press since they’re not named 🙂

7.24.06 – Application sent to PA.

8.24.06 – Finished our first round of paperwork for PA.

We started the journal around this time so the blow-by-blow account of this fall’s activities are in the journal history. I’ll do a short synopsis here.

9.21.06 – Finally received our dossier papers from PA

9.25.06 – Received our US-CIS I-600A. This means we have advanced approval to bring an orphan into the US.

9.30.06 – Our final package of papers for our PA are sent.

10.09.06 – Our PA sent our IL documents to the IL SoS for certification.

10.18.06 – Our papers are back in OR from the IL SoS. Our PA prepares to send our completed dossier to the Vietnam Consulate in San Francisco. The consulate is in charge of checking our documents to make sure the SoS is really an SoS. This process is called Authentication.

10.19.06 – Our dossier is sent to San Francisco.

10.30.06 – Our dossier is back in OR. It has cleared the consulate! Now we sit and wait for our PA to add the rest of the documents and make copies. When they’re done doing their thing, DHL will take it to Vietnam where it will be translated and we will be matched with our daughter. We won’t receive any info on her until she has been legally cleared for adoption and we have been approved by the Vietnamese gov’t for adoption as well. That process should take 4 months. After we accept our referral we will wait for our invitation to travel and our Giving & Receiving date. This is the day our daughter becomes legally ours. Our hope is to travel in April or May to bring her home.

You may have noticed that she has been named T~. We have a great friend named T~, and while our T~ hasn’t specifically been named after her, it was the one name we could agree on and it already had a good conotation for us. We wanted to name her so E~ & G~ would understand that she exsists even though she isn’t with us. They both talk about T~ and she is beginning to make an appearance in their conversations & art work.

I hope the timeline answers some questions and gives you a better idea of what we’ve been doing for the last year. Thanks for taking the time to read this, I hope it was interesting as well as being really long!

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