Where we’ve been:
We started this process in July. Since then, we’ve completed our home study, gathered all of our dossier documents, completed our Medical Conditions Checklist, finished Parent Training, submitted our Immigration paperwork, traveled to Detroit for our Immigration fingerprint appointment, and just TODAY…. received our Immigration approval. Phew!! That’s a lot in 4 months and looking back at all the work done, we’ve come a long way. Back in July, it was hard to imagine being here.
Where we are:
Now that we have our Immigration paperwork back, the work continues. We have to get most of our paperwork (employment verifications, financial forms, things like that) notarized, which is a process on it’s own because things have to notarized in a specific way, either as a copy or an original and it’s complicated, man. Then I have to have all of those notary seals approved by the county in which the notary is licensed. So far, I’m going to need to go to Lucas, Sandusky, and Cuyahoga, and possibly more, so that will be at least one full day of chasing signatures. Then, we have to go to the State Department and they have to approve everything, which means a trip to Columbus for more signatures.
Honestly, this is the part of the whole process that is the most stressful to me so far. When I first read the dossier instruction packet, it was super overwhelming, but once I read it a few more times, it started to make sense. But the first time I read the instruction packet for the sealing process, it was baffling, and I don’t feel like that has changed in my subsequent readings. So any prayers and good mojo you could throw at me as I’m figuring this out would not be wasted. My biggest worry is that I don’t want to make any mistakes because mistakes could mean we have to get something re-done and wait for that, and I don’t want this process to be any longer than it already is.
Then, once we’re done with all the sealing and approving, we will make copies of everything and send it by courier to the China Consulate for their approval. After that, we CELEBRATE and then send all of our paperwork to our agency for them to put through critical review and finalize the format and then we are DTC (documents to China). When that day comes, you will find me in a heap on the floor weeping from relief. They call DTC being “paper pregnant” and I figure all pregnant ladies (paper or otherwise) are allowed to weep on the floor occasionally, right?
Where we’re going:
Once our documents are in China, they’ll be reviewed again and then we’ll be logged in to their system and given a log in date (LID). And then we wait to be matched. There is a lot more that happens after that, but that’s another post for another day.
Today, with Immigration Approval in hand, it feels like a good day. It is a good day! We’ve made some progress and it feels like we’ve jumped a big hurdle. So we’re savoring today and preparing for tomorrow. We’re going to focus on Thanksgiving and enjoying being with friends and family, and then we’re going to start moving full speed ahead with signatures and approvals. Our goal is to have our paperwork completed and to our agency by the end of the year, and I really think we can meet that goal. We would be so thankful for your thoughts and prayers as we’re going forward from here, because this is where things get even more intense and details are crucial. We’re so grateful to you all for walking this journey with us and for keeping us sane!
We’ve already come a long way and we’ve got more to do, but we’re getting closer and the end is a slightly larger speck in the distance now. So, off we go… we’re going on an adventure!