Adoption Alphabet Soup


So, today we got the best paperwork news we’ve gotten so far… we are DOCUMENTS TO CHINA!!!!  That means all of our documents have been through 3 layers of critical review, our photos mounted, everything bound in a pretty red folder, and everything sent via International Express Mail to the Chinese Center of Children’s Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA).  Once it gets to the CCCWA, since we’re already matched, our dossier goes to the “match room” where they process all of our paperwork.  Then we get a Log in Date (LID), and then we start our wait for our Letter of Acceptance (LOI), which is our Official with a capital O acceptance of Jia as our daughter.  The wait from LID to LOA is currently averaging about 45 days.

After that, we fill out more forms and government information and other stuff that I’m not thinking too much about right now.  I would estimate that we are still at least 3, but probably more like 5 months from travel.  Those months are going to fly by though!

If you’re friends with me on Facebook I alluded to the end part of our paper chase being a little chaotic, and now that it’s over, it’s actually kind of funny, so here’s a story.  We were really hoping to be DTC last Friday and were not.  I got a call on Monday from Kim at CCAI, saying that to complete our dossier, she needed a doctors letter related to Josh’s heart condition, basically saying “yes, he’s healthy, no current concerns, carry on.”  She said that to be DTC by Friday (today), she needed to have the letter by Thursday at noon.

So Josh called his cardiologist and asked them to write the letter, which we were thinking we’d have on Tuesday.  But then Tuesday at 5pm, we got a call from the cardio office saying that they couldn’t write it after all because they could only attest to his cardiac health, not his overall health.  Wednesday morning, I called our family doctor to ask them to do it.  They said they would, and again, I expected to have this letter by Wednesday afternoon.  I called Wednesday afternoon and was told that there wasn’t even a doctor in the office that day… so no letter.  By now we’re realizing that we’re not going to have this letter to Kim by the time she was hoping, so we emailed her and she said if we could get it in by Friday at noon, we had a CHANCE of being DTC on Friday.

Thursday morning I call the office and ask again.  Still no letter, but “we’ll work on it.”  Thursday afternoon I call and she says that she’s almost done typing it and finally I laid the smack down… “I know you’re very busy but please know that if I don’t have this document to our agency tomorrow, we will have to wait a significant length of time (okay, only a week, but it’s significant to me!) before we can submit our documents and we are just trying to get our daughter home as soon as possible. So any help you can give me gets her one day closer to us.” I had that document in 30 minutes, no joke. Apparently I’d finally reached my limit of waiting and was now resorting to guilt trips. I figure this is one of the only steps where I even have the opportunity to guilt trip someone so might as well take advantage.

Then with document in hand, I ran for the Post Office, overnighted the letter to Colorado, and they delivered my “we’ll have it there by noon” package at 11:41.  Nothing like cutting it close!  And then at 3:30, we got *the* email… the one that said “you’ve made it!”

We have jumped a huge hurdle at this point, probably the biggest one at least in terms of paperwork, and you know what?  It feels amazing.  At the beginning of this process I really doubted my ability to be organized and diligent enough to get this all done, but I guess that just goes to show what a mother will do to get to her child.  So, it’s done, we’ve crossed it off the list and we’re one step closer to China and our little girl.  It’s a fantastic day today.