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Adoption Timeline (First Adoption) 2003/2004

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I know when we were in the paperchase stage it was helpful to read other's timelines.....Whew, it's a long process, but it is worth every moment of stress, panic, and craziness for sure!!

Back in October of 2003, we realized God was calling us to adopt a daughter from China. We began the adoption process in November, 2003. In March 2004, after four and a half months of "paperchasing", our paperwork was sent to China

 

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." 

    Ancient Chinese Proverb

Here's our timeline:

10/11/03 Attend an adoption conference and decide to begin the adoption process.

We begin researching agencies, fees, policies, etc.

10/28/03 We order birth and marriage certificates.

10/29/03   Half-way around the world, in a village in the southeastern most part of China, a tiny little girl is born (our Miyah!)

10/30/03 We apply to Children's Hope International.

11/01/04  Miyah is found and brought to the Dianbai SWI (orphanage) where she is named Bai Li Juan.

11/03/03 File I-600 A (Application for advanced processing of Orphan Petition) with the immigration office. This is what usually takes the longest to get back as our state office is notoriously sslooow.

11/06/03 We are accepted by our agency! (The day of Cindy's knee surgery) Cindy gets a lot of adoption-related reading done while recovering.

11/13/03 Pat and Cindy apply for passports.

11/14/03 Our I-600A is returned to us due to an error on our part. We pray this doesn't slow us down.

11/15/03 We send the corrected I-600 A back to CIS. Begin collecting and completing: Financial statement, tax returns, life and medical insurance documentation, and employment letters.

12/02/03 Begin autobiographies for our social worker.

12/02/03 We request personal references. Thanks to those who wrote our references. We greatly appreciate it!

12/03/03 Cindy gets a physical and lab work done. Each family member needs a physical showing we are healthy and current on all immunizations.

12/10/03 Request police reports at the local police station.

12/10/03 Cindy writes her (un)employment letter.

12/15/03 Megan gets a physical.

12/17/03 We have documents notarized.  We update and notarize our wills.

12/18/03 Matthew gets a physical.

12/18/03 Pat and Cindy have first interview with social worker. Social worker informs us of a new policy (in our state) for those whose home study is not completed before the new year, that would require another fingerprinting through the state bureau of investigation (and possibly prolong the process by three months). We beg our social worker to speed up our home study so we can avoid the extra wait. She agrees! Thanks, Diane!!

12/19/04 Pat types and notarizes employment letter.

12/20/03 We get a letter inviting us to our FBI fingerprinting.

12/22/03 Pat gets a physical.

12/24/03 Pat and Cindy get FBI fingerprinting done.

12/28/03 Home visit with our social worker.

12/31/03 Our social worker completes our home study before the end of the year!

PHEW!! It's been a busy three months; but we are done with the home study and now need to concentrate on the paperwork for our dossier (pile of documents that will be sent to China).

We find that our Home Study needs two revisions made (what can we expect when our social worker spent part of her busy holiday writing our home study).

1/09/04 Our home study is sent to Department of Children's Services for approval.

1/10/04 Attend the Dossier class at our agency.

1/12/04 Send out a letter to friends and family explaining our adoption process.  Click here to read the letter.

1/15/04 Send Birth and Marriage certificates to be Authenticated by the Chinese Consulate in Chicago.

1/17/04 Attend a Chinese New Year Party with our adoption agency.

1/22/04 Matt receives second Hep B immunization for travel.

1/27/04 Receive home study approval from "Interstate" office (Dept. of Children's Services).  Our home study will now be at the immigration office where it should be processed for the anxiously awaited I171.

2/02/04 Type up financial statement.  Type our Letter of Petition to Adopt.  Go to agency to have some docs notarized.

2/07/04 Pat's police report needs an affirmation correction.

2/10/04 Pat's police record comes back with incorrect birthdate.  We send it back for a second correction.

2/28/04 The long-awaited I-171-H arrives from the CIS after 5 1/2 weeks!!  We now have a completed dossier and only need to notarize, certify, and authenticate all our documents.

3/01/04 Pat has documents county certified.

3/02/04 Pat has the documents state certified.

3/02/04 Dossier is sent to the Assistant Stork.  She will bring papers to the U.S. State Dept. for further certification and the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. for Authentication.  This is the final step before our papers are sent to China!

3/05/04 Assistant Stork brings our documents for certification and authentication.

3/07/04 We get our documents back and they are all ready to go!

3/08/04 Bring our COMPLETED dossier to our agency!! 

3/12/04 Dossier is sent from agency's St. Louis office to China!!!!!!!

3/26/04 Our dossier is logged-in in China!!!! Our official Log In Date (LID) (but we don't find out until later that this is our LID)

Now we wait, wait, wait! 

**We are expecting our referral (information and picture(s) about our daughter) in September or October.  We then plan to travel to China a month or two after we receive our referral.

9/07/04  OUR REFERRAL IS HERE - read info on referral page.

9/08/04 We receive beautiful pictures of our newest daughter!

11/07/04  Miyah is ours!!  Finally, we are a big happy family!

 

"Somewhere children dance to the joyous music of life, and elsewhere they cling to existence.  They are all our children."