adoption, authentication, dossier, milestones

Next step!

Well, this just got real!  You know that picture we shared of us standing out in the cold after having our fingerprints taken a few days ago?  Just like that, it turned into this:

This is our I 800A approval letter – the final document we needed to begin 
authenticating our dossier documents,* so we are on to the next step!

 

  
Welcome Home
Travel to China – 2 weeks in country
Invitation to travel – plans made to travel in 1 month
Finalize Immigration
Letter of Approval (LOA)
Log-in Date (LID) – Dossier has been received by PRC
Dossier to China (DTC) – will take 2-3 months once submitted
Authenticate Documents – Started 02/17/2016
Immigration Approval (I800-A) – Completed 2/16/2016
Homestudy – Completed 1/13/2016
Pre-approval from China to adopt – Completed
*Today I got the distinct pleasure of sitting and watching our four year old play with the five year old daughter of a dear friend. Five years ago, I was pregnant with our daughter and my friend was waiting to be matched with hers. As she shared her experiences while our older children played together back then, I remember learning all kinds of things about authentication and dossiers and all manner of things we are now experiencing or may soon experience. I remember reading her blog and thinking there was a bit of a foreign language to learn before travel was even on the horizon. 
Dossier – the packet of information that goes to China to represent us as a prospective family for this precious child.  It includes a wide range of information from birth and marriage certificates to letters of reference, background checks, household budget, medical history, description of our home and community, approval from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services to bring a child into the country, and (my favorite part) family photos.
Authentication – a test to see how well one follows directions.  Not really – but it seems like it.  First, the gathered documents go to the Secretary of State in the state in which they were issued or notarized to get the Great Seal of that state. Next, the entire packet goes to the Secretary of State of the United States to receive a federal Great Seal, and from there, the now-twice-sealed packet goes to the Chinese Embassy to receive a special embassy seal. While it seems like many steps to go through, and some of it seems superfluous, and all of it is costly, it is crucial that adoption be conducted ethically and only when it is the best option for the child. So we gladly take these steps to make sure that all the legal and ethical processes are being attended to, and we are mindful that each of these steps brings us closer to this beloved daughter whose journey has already been hard, and whose steps we are so eager to match, to witness and to guide as she grows.  
  

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