There has been a lot of “stuff” going on around here lately, and I’m just now getting a minute to take a breath and get it all straight in my head. Adoption is a lot of hurry up and wait, and we’ve finally hit the HURRY part.
First up, we had a exciting step forward when we received our LOA, which stands for Letter of Acceptance. This is a government document that states that we agree to accept Jia as our daughter. This is the final step you go through before your files are officially matched together and the deal is sealed, so to speak. In our hearts, Jia has been our daughter for months now, but now it’s one step closer to being official in the eyes of the government, so hooray! We received our “soft” LOA on May 7th, which means that our agency was notified that we were approved and the CCCWA (government agency over adoption) was shipping our LOA. Our agency received it on May 11th, and sent it to us, and we received it on a few days later. Then we signed it and sent it back.
Once that process is initiated, we get to apply to US Customs and Immigration using form I800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative. So that means that once that’s approved, Jia will be considered our daughter and a part of our family, just like Eden is.
Once our I800 is approved, it is sent to the National Visa Center, then it will be sent electronically to US Consulate in China, and they will produce an Article 5 letter, which will be delivered to the CCCWA by our agency reps in China. That letter lets the CCCWA know that our immigration file is ready so they’ll issue our Invitation to Travel (TA or Travel Approval). After that, we set a Consulate Date, which is when we meet with the US Consulate and complete our in China paperwork. Once that’s set, we can make travel arrangements. Most families travel within 10-21 days after TA.
So, it seems like all the stuff should take a while, right? Not really! Most families travel 9-12 weeks after LOA, which puts us travelling in July. Now, there is still a LOT that could happen between now and then that could change that time line but assuming everything goes as planned, we’re headed to China in about a month and a half. WOW-ZA.
To say that we’re feeling the crunch… would be a massive understatement. Jia’s room isn’t ready, all of our funds aren’t in place, we have about a zillion things on our “want to do before Jia comes” list, Eden’s wrapping up the school year so I want to do all the end of school things, my job is in flux and it’s been a recipe for wanting to hide under the covers and come out in July when we’re ready to get on a plane. There has been some stress eating and some crying and some desperate emails to friends (thank you Anna!). It is nice to paint a rosy picture of the adoption process, but honestly friends, sometimes it feels overwhelming in a way I have never been overwhelmed before. You would not waste your prayers on us as we move into this final chapter, and we could certainly use them.
But, on a happier note, as part of LOA, we also received an update on our littlest girl! We learned that her favorite color is purple, she loves sea weed snacks (we’ve tried them ourselves and I think we’ll save them for her!), she is putting together two-three word sentences, and we also got some updated pictures, a few I’ve included here. We are so excited to see all these things in person!
We also finally decided on her official name, which will be Jiaqi Madilyn Pollard. You pronounce Jiaqi, GE-AH-CHEE, which is kind of like hibachi if that helps. We will still call her Jia though.
A few things you could be specifically praying for or sending us good vibes on:
- Jia’s transition from her foster family to us will be really hard. There is no way through but through and we are already grieving that for her. Please pray for her attachment to us and for her grief as she misses the only family she knows right now.
- Eden is really excited to be a big sister, but it is really sinking in that having a sibling means sharing your parents, and we’re starting to see some hard stuff from that. This will be a transition for everyone and that’s totally normal and good, even, but please just pray for her tender heart and for our girls to develop a sister bond that will last.
- And finally, as we walk through transitioning two girls through some HUGE changes and adjustments, Josh and I would so appreciate your prayers for patience, our positive attitudes and that we would know how to handle things the right way. We really make an effort to be a united Team Pollard and stress sometimes makes that a little more challenging, so we’d certainly appreciate any extra support.
So, that’s the latest! As always, thank you for your support and love for us. I wish I could do a better job of telling you just how much your support means to us, but please know that we are humbled constantly by your kindness.