Re-posting from my Facebook page for quick reference, I will update my progress as time goes on:
People have been asking about the process, asking if I’m almost done (I wish!). Plus if I start posting abbreviations with exclamation marks this might help you understand why I’m so crazy excited. So here it is, adoption 101 (or as much as I understand it anyway):
1. Application and reference/background checks (done)
2. Homestudy/paperchase/trainings. Social worker will conduct 3 home visits and interviews, and collect copies of several dossier documents and I have to do 24+ hours of trainings (done).
3. After notarizing, I have to send documents for certification (state) and authentication (embassy). These go into what is known as the dossier. (awaiting for my i800a to be approved and sent for authentication).
4. i-800a – my completed homestudy and i-800a application goes for approval to USCIS to get permission to bring a child into the US. I have to fingerprinted for this, again
5. Dossier – My completed i-800a, documents, and homestudy get sent to my agency for critical review, then it’s translated and sent to China (also known as DTC). It then gets locked in (also known as LID)
6. My dossier and little dude’s file are officially put together and approved (known as LOA) – I have pre-approval right now, this is the official fancy approval.
7. More paperwork, i-800 application (because applying once isn’t enough, this time the application is for a specific child instead of general), DS260 (child’s visa application).
8. Once I have I800 approval and complete the DS260 and get RTF/PDF from the NVC (sick of abbreviations yet?) my agency schedules Article 5 drop off. If all goes well, Article 5 pick up will be 10 business days later) – This is where I am now
9. Travel Approval (TA) – I’ll be given a few choices of travel dates/consulate appointments and will be traveling within the next few weeks
10. Consulate Appointment (CA) – normally comes the day after TA, start booking like crazy!
11. Travel. 3-4 days in Beijing, Gotcha Day/1 week in Henan, passport/medical for little dude and 1 more week in Guangzhou
12. Fly home with LOTS of jet lag
13. Apply for SSN, certificate of citizenship, etc for little dude, medical appointments (pediatrician within 2 weeks, international adoption doctor within 8 weeks) and fight with my insurance company and all that fun stuff.
14. Post adoption reports done by my social worker for the next few years
It’s just a little intimidating, especially since there’s a fee at every single step. I like to do lists and checklists. Then lose them. And re-write them. Write them then cross things off then re-write them so it’s neater. Write them in different colored pens, then get driven crazy by the different colored pens so I have to re-write them with the same pen. I’m not the only one that does this, right?