I apologize as this isn’t going to be very interesting, just updates!
My dossier (paperwork/photos/etc) was sent to China on August 12th. China recieved it the following Monday, but it wasn’t logged in (LID) until August 25th.
That marks the beginning of my wait for LOA (letter of approval). I thought this wait would be easier, because I know to expect 30-40 days-ish. Nope, its not. I’m still obsessively checking my email for any news or updates.
After LOA I’ll have to pay my final agency fee then it will be a couple more months until travel. There’s several steps after LOA (I800, I800 approval, etc) which all ultimately lead to Article 5 pick up and drop off then travel approval (TA) and the Consulate Appointment date (CA). Once I have TA and CA I can book flights.
In the meantime I am working on filling out my visa application and I800 application so it can be sent as soon as I get LOA. I’m also scraping together the last agency fee. After the last agency fee its the home stretch with the orphanage fee, in country fees/expenses, and flights.
I’m also attempting more fundraising, although I hate fundraising. I’m so grateful for people who have been able and willing to help! It helped with about 1/3 of the first fee and part of the USCIS fees. My second agency fee I paid with a $2000 grant that I received from Rollstone Foundation and a Marriott credit card because 2 out of 3 hotels in China will be a Marriott so I hope to book with points. My fundraiser right now people have a chance to enter to win gift cards by making a tax deductible donation between $10-50 to my Adopt Together account. I do have one more fundraiser I can try (online auction).
I have two more grant applications that have been sent out – I won’t get them in time for the third fee but I’m hoping they will assist with the orphanage fee and travel costs so I don’t have to delay travel. I can only delay travel up to 3 months after travel approval, and the orphanage fee alone is almost $6000!
I think the waiting is the hardest part of this process – but the cost is another! Most people do not have $30,000 sitting around waiting to be used.